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According to the NatWest Annual Quality of Life Study, British expats have weathered the 2008 financial crisis in surprisingly good shape. In fact 70% of the 1800 expats questioned claimed that their lives have been unaffected by the political and economic fallout from the recession.
Many of those fairing well were living in Asia with those in China, Hong Kong and Singapore the most upbeat. Many claim that their standard of living has improved in recent years. In contrast, those emigrating to France, Spain and other European countries are more pessimistic, many having issues with debt as well as difficulties with fluctuating exchange rates which can play havoc with fixed pensions paid in sterling and subsequently transferred into euros. Cost of living is also increasing in these popular expat destinations with a knock-on effect on disposable income.
Another interesting finding of the survey is that an increased number of expats – 44% – claim to be putting more time and effort into managing their finances with a greater emphasis on financial planning than previously. This is perhaps a side effect of the financial crisis and the impact it had on the global economy. The economic climate is very different in 2015 to that of 2007 when the NatWest survey began. Pre-crisis, GDP forecasts were positive and general confidence was high. Since 2008 consumers have become much more cautious and in the light of consistently gloomy news with regard to state pensions and free healthcare, reality has dawned that we need to make our own provisions in these areas.
If you think it is time that you spent a bit more time concentrating on your finances, you might benefit from a consultation with one of our professional financial advisers. They can assist you with everything from defining your financial goals and working out how to achieve them, to putting in place wealth protection in the form of health and life insurance. These are particularly important considerations for expats who may not benefit from the same rights as if they lived in their home country. If you would like to arrange a free, without obligation consultation get in touch today.