An increasing number of Britain’s under 40s are considering packing up and starting a new life abroad, reveals Nigel Green deVere Group
36 per cent more UK citizens under the age of 40 sought advice from the deVere Group, expat wealth management experts, about moving overseas, compared to the same period last year.
“Enquiries regarding the financial implications of relocating to other countries from the under 40s have increased by more than a third over the summer months. This is surprising as, typically, it is in the autumn and winter when there’s a groundswell of people considering moving overseas,” notes Nigel Green, deVere Group’s chief executive.
The findings, says Green, challenge the traditional perceptions of who emigrates from the UK.
“It is widely assumed that expats are mainly retirees who pack up and head off for a relaxing retirement in sunnier climes in destinations such as France, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Florida.
“And whilst it is true that a significant number of British pensioners do head to these places every year, we’ve found that there’s a significant, and growing, number of the UK’s working population who are also considering moving abroad. The vast majority of these enquiries came from successful and financially-comfortable individuals.”
This tide-shift is driven not only by ‘push factors’ such as a weak economy, high taxes, crime and bad weather, according to the deVere Group, which has offices in 100 countries worldwide.
“More and more people are being drawn by the career opportunities and lifestyles offered in other countries. Destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Russia, Malaysia, and South Africa are amongst the most enquired about for this age group.
“The vast majority of people tell us that they believe they will be more financially and personally fulfilled in another country,” explains Green.
Such beliefs are supported by the latest Lloyds TSB International expatriate survey in which British citizens living in the 10 most popular expat destinations were polled. Results indicated that in almost every major destination those surveyed were more financially secure than they would be in the UK. In the United Arab Emirates, for instance, 95 per cent were better off.
Similarly, the research concluded that an average of 68 per cent are “far happier in their new country” than they were when ‘at home’.
Downturn Defiant Expats
This report, amongst other studies, ‘flies in the face’ of what is generally reported in the media, says Nigel Green.
He says: “Since the start of the financial crisis, there has been a perpetual flow of sensationalist media reports of an ‘unprecedented expat exodus’ and ongoing stories about unfortunate, broke, expatriates who are, for whatever reason, unable to return to Britain and are living a nightmare.
“This is a clear distortion of the reality. Whilst it is true that factors such as stealth taxes on foreign-owned homes in some popular destinations and the ongoing exchange rate volatility, amongst other factors, have compounded the tough financial environment, but those abroad remain relatively resilient to the wider economic turmoil compared to their friends and family in the UK.”
Indeed, the vast majority of expats are considerably more likely to be ‘downturn defiant’, according to international research, such as the annual HSBC Explorer study.
“Our recent findings that more and more of the UK’s under 40s are considering a move overseas to further their careers and improve their financial situation shows that most people are seeing through the sensationalism and are being lured by what other countries can offer,” concludes Green.
You can follow Nigel Green’s opinions and comments via his blog – www.nigel-green.com
Watch the video of Nigel Green speaking with International Adviser