Due to the global financial crisis, an increasing number of Britons are considering moving overseas to become Expats, who are generally much more immune to downturns than nationals.
According to latest figures from the office for national statistics, an average of 4800 Britons are leaving every week. This means a quarter of a million people are leaving the UK every year.
Most are looking to maximise their pensions by relocating to warmer climates (both financially and monetarily) like Florida, the Med or South Africa. But more and more young Britons are seeking employment opportunities in the Middle East, Hong Kong and China, as prospects are looking increasingly bleak across Europe.
Not only are there more job opportunities overseas, often the salaries are higher and the tax levels lower. However, in the Middle East and Hong Kong, Singapore and many other countries, often there are very high rents and living costs. Britons looking to relocate overseas need to be careful that despite low taxes, they will still have enough funds to not only get by, but also save for the future.
It is perhaps unsurprising that many more people are seeking to become Expats, as they often are able to avoid global downturns to greater degrees than other individuals. This is because Expats have a range of savings and investment options available to them that are not available to permanent residents of Britain.
These include investment options like multi-currency investment accounts, which are designed to protect investments against currency fluctuations by through careful currency diversification. These are generally much more necessary and useful to Expats, as they often have income and/or savings in more than one currency anyway. These investment accounts allow users to access funds in the currency of their choice anywhere in the world, meaning Expats save huge amounts of money on bank transfers and currency exchanges.
Expats can also apply for pension schemes like QROPS or QNUPS, which require holders to have lived outside the UK for five or more years. These offer preferential tax rates and can be structured to provide a higher level of pension income, and also one that is better diversified, and therefore better protected, against global downturns.
While Expats are certainly never going to be totally immune to the global downturn, they do have exceptional access to financial services that can protect them from the worst aspects of it. Really, it is no wonder that so many are deciding to take a chance and join the ever increasing ranks of the global Expat community!