As the summer holidays starts, Brits consider a permanent move abroad
However, most do not move on a whim, with 74% moving for a definite job. Australia, Spain, USA, France and New Zealand are the five most popular destinations. Australia tops the list with 385,000 heading for a new life Down Under over the past ten years.
The most recent estimates suggest there are 4.92 million British citizens living abroad – equivalent to 7.5% of the current national population, though numbers are slowing.
Between 2006 and 2011, the number of Britons leaving the country averaged 162,667 per year. Since 2012, this average has dropped by nearly a fifth (17.5%) to 134,400 per year.
Interest in moving abroad peaks in the summer. The research found internet searches and posts about moving abroad rise in the summer months (June – July) followed by the New Year (January).
Top tips for managing your money abroad
- Take the time to research your banking options. You will usually need a local bank account or international bank account to pay bills and the process for opening an account can be onerous. Many banks have English-speaking services to help you.
- If you need to transfer money overseas, check out a broad range of options: many will go to their bank as a first port of call, but some online brokers offer currency services and may be able to provide more options for currency management.
- Research the local laws, such as tax regulations, housing requirements and the potential impact on your pension. If you are letting out a house at home, understand the tax implications. There will be tax treaties to stop you paying tax in both places, but you need to make sure you make the right claims and declarations. You will almost certainly need a local adviser.
- Understand how your lifestyle may be impacted by any fluctuation to your income caused by exchange rate changes and look at ways to minimise this. Some currency brokers allow you to change at a set rate for several years ahead.
- Investigate whether you will require private health insurance. Many countries only provide basic provision to expatriates and use of medical services could incur significant costs.
- If you are planning on returning back to the UK in the future, look at how your pension entitlement may be affected. You may not have enough national insurance contributions to qualify for the full state pension, for example.