Friday 7th October 2011

Expat children at school

A new survey has revealed that 80% of UK expats living overseas believe that their children have a higher quality of life since relocating.

In the survey, which was compiled and published by currency specialists Moneycorp, 85% of the British expatriates who were questioned about their lives overseas asserted that they would not be returning back to the United Kingdom in the near future and 25% said that if they were to move again they would consider moving elsewhere overseas before contemplating returning to the UK.

The main reasons that the British relocate was due to their aspirations to sample a change in lifestyle, with 51% saying that the need for fresh scenery acted as their main motivation for the move. Surprisingly, only 10% of those surveyed revealed that they moved overseas to avoid the British weather.

Unfortunately, while the quality of life overseas may have improved for expatriates and their children, many expatriates did reveal that their cost of living was higher overseas, with 51% of respondents revealing that their living costs had increased as a result of their move. Among those most effected were those living in France, many of whom have been impacted by rises in food and fuel prices over the past twelve months.

When questioned as to the drawbacks of expatriate life, 44% said that they missed family and friends. This disadvantage to life overseas has been compounded by the rises in transportation costs, which mean that less than 36% of British expatriates are able to return home and visit their family at least once a year: “UK expats face a dilemma. Although many are happy overseas and enjoying a better quality of life, they are suffering from a rise in the cost of living, which is forcing some to return home. This isn’t helped by fluctuating exchange rates as the pound has lost value against many major currencies of late, especially the Australian dollar, meaning those transferring money from the UK are seeing their funds diminish,” said Moneycorp private client manager David Kerns.

“Costs are clearly a concern for expats as over 60% of respondents want to know more about transfer fees when moving their money abroad suggesting they are wary of further constraints on their income. As the pound weakens, it’s especially important that expats speak to currency specialists to guard against these adverse fluctuations.

“By locking into favorable exchange rates for up to two years expats can protect themselves against the pound losing further value, as well as avoiding potentially costly transfer fees. Over a series of payments, these savings can run into the thousands of pounds, particularly if they are regular occurrences such as mortgage or pension payments from the UK.”

Read the full article: http://exchangerates.britishexpats.com/

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