The expat dream remains very much alive and very real amongst Brits, with a series of independent polls and official statistics. This suggests a continued upward trend of UK citizens seeking or actively committing to leaving Britain.
With this in mind, and taking an interesting, ‘side look’ at the issue, I have recently taken time to further understand the reasons why many of those Britons who have already moved overseas wouldn’t consider returning back ‘home.’
The results revealed that the majority of expats – most of whom moved to their adopted countries for a better lifestyle, warmer climate, a lower cost of living and/or job opportunities, would only move back to Britain in dire circumstances, such as severe financial difficulties or chronic poor health.
Improved lifestyle and enhanced career
Most people who are living “the expat dream” fall into two main categories:
- Those who do so for lifestyle reasons; and
- Those who do so because they are lured by career and financial opportunities.
I base this observation on my dealings with expats professionally, and also on a personal level. After all, I have been an expat for much of my life.
Expats who move out of Britain to further their career prospects, typically to places such as Dubai, Qatar, Switzerland and Hong Kong, tend to be extremely content about their financial situation, and could well be ‘top earners’ in their new countries. Their salaries are not often reduced less by tax whilst living and working abroad, which results in a much higher monthly disposable income.
Others move abroad to improve their lifestyle, typically to places like Spain, Italy and South Africa. This ‘category’ of expats often say they are attracted by warmer climates, more ‘outdoorsy’ and/or relaxed and family-orientated ways of life, higher living standards and lower living costs.
Expats: more money in their pockets
Research has shown that expats were relatively ‘downturn defiant’ in the face of what was one of the worst global economic conditions in living memory. In short, wherever they are in the world, the majority of expats are able to enjoy a range of benefits unavailable to their friends and family back ‘home’, plus for many, living in their adopted countries is indeed a dream come true – whether this is driven by lifestyle or career factors… or, as is so often the case, a combination of both.
To understand more on the expat dream, read my recent blog “Why so many want to retire abroad“.
Blog published by Mike Coady.