1.65m Expats Leave Britain For A New Home Overseas

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

You are one in 1.65 million if you are a British expat who has moved overseas since 2006, according to a new report.

But the trend of looking for new horizons is slowing, says the research by Lloyds Private Banking.

Between 2006 and 2011, an average 162,667 Brits left for new shores between 2006 and 2011, but this number fell by almost a fifth to an average 134,400 from 2012.

He most recent statistics put the number of Brits abroad at 4.92 million.

Top destinations

The favourite destinations between 2005 and 2015 were:

  • Australia with 385,000 expats choosing to move Down Under
  • Spain, where 144,000 opt for a life in a warmer climate
  • The USA, attracting 132,000 expats
  • France is a new home for 129,000
  • New Zealand’s wild scenery and opportunities attracted 94,000 expats.

Other top places for British expats were Canada (70,000); United Arab Emirates (61,000); Germany (49,000); Ireland (20,000) and Switzerland (19,000).

Expats mainly left for work – with three out of four taking up a job offer made before leaving the UK.

The bank says the research points to June, July and January as the most popular months to think about moving overseas, with inquiries about work, day to day life, finance and culture flooding in.

Peter Reid, expatriate banking director at Lloyds Private Banking, said: “Moving overseas can be a daunting prospect.

Tax and finances

“A new life abroad is likely to be one of the most exciting and life changing decisions you’ll ever make, but there’s also a lot to think about.

“Ensuring your finances are in order is one of the most important. There are a lot of considerations, including an international bank account, tax liabilities and transferring money overseas and it’s important to seek professional advice if you’re thinking of making the move.”

He suggests sorting out tax and finances before leaving the UK is a good idea for expats.

Besides arranging banking and credit cards, expats should take professional advice about finalising their UK tax affairs and switching their UK pension to an offshore QROPS.

Many countries, such as the UAE, also require expats to have private health cover in place before they arrive.

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