According to a recent survey by Skyscanner, 9 in 10 Britons would consider leaving the UK for a better life abroad. The current recession in the UK and a positive perception of other countries (even including ones hit hard by the economic recession like the USA and Spain) are the main reasons for emigration.
1. Choose the Location With Care
- Choosing the right location, where you can really find what you were looking for is the first crucial step. Whether you need to find work, are retiring abroad or already have a job, whether you want to buy or rent a property, or whether you have children will all influence your decision.
- Some of the more popular countries to move to these days are Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, France and Thailand. Australia and New Zealand are good choices as their economy is still rather strong, and there are some good professional opportunities to find in these countries. Spain can be an amazing destination and can offer you a really exceptional quality of life, but only if you already have a job there or have no financial worries.
- It is also worthwhile to consider some less traditional expat locations. Scandinavian countries like Norway, Denmark or Sweden haven't been hit by the economic recession that hard and offer good living standards, although it might be initially hard to find a job. East European countries, such as the Czech Republic, Poland or Hungary do struggle with some economic problems, however, living costs are relatively low, there are employment opportunities, and these countries can also boast a vibrant cultural life and beautiful architecture.
2. Financial Considerations are more important than ever
- If you move abroad, especially during a recession, you really have to ensure that your financial situation is strong enough to support your lifestyle choices. If you are planning to work abroad, and haven't secured a job yet, start looking for a job as soon as you can, make sure that you have all the required skills and that your salary will be enough to cover your expenses. You could even consider jobs that you might normally be overqualified for.
- If you are retiring abroad, you won't have to find paid employment, but you have to make detailed financial calculations to make sure that your mostly fixed retirement income will really cover your expenses. If your income is in pounds sterling, factor in possible currency fluctuations.
- If you are planning to become self-employed or live from your investment in the new country, make sure that you are aware of all the local regulations, that the sector of the economy you are looking at is doing relatively well and that there are enough professional opportunities in your new country.
3. Consider Lifestyle and Living Costs
- If you are moving abroad during a recession you will also have to research the lifestyle choices and living costs in your destination country. The most essential is to remain realistic about your choices and the lifestyle you can afford abroad.
- Moving abroad means a change of lifestyle and you should certainly not expect to find the same quality of life and comfort level you've left behind in the UK right away. You might not be able to find employment right away, even in countries that are doing relatively well, and integrating into the new culture will take time and mean some stress. But if you do your research, and have realistic expectations about the country you are moving to, this shouldn't be a problem.
- It is also increasingly important to consider living costs and your potential purchasing power in the country you are planning to move to. House rental costs, taxes, food prices and leisure costs will vary a lot from country to country, even within the EU.