Friday, 30 October 2009

Offshore accounts 'could help expats make the most of their money'

This recent post on Expatriate Healthcare, referencing migrant advice website Shelter Offshore, reports how offshore accounts are a useful tool for expats managing their finances.

Existing financial links not only make it easier to repatriate if they decide to return home, they also make it easier to retain control of commitments back home or may represent a more stable banking system. This latter point is particularly pertinent given recent economic conditions.

Monday, 26 October 2009

The expat outlook

This recent blog post highlighted how some expats have been benefitting financially from the latest foreign exchange trading figures, on the back of sterling’s recent strong performance, due to international loans and investments.

In addition, the article mentions how British expats are apparently searching for value by targeting investments in the US, where it is more affordable than France or Spain. These are just two examples of how expats have benefited from their international outlook…

Friday, 23 October 2009

Do you crave home comforts?

Noticed a post earlier this week on the Times website talking about how expats based in Spain were looking forward to the reintroduction of British institution, Marks and Spencer. It seems we all crave the odd home comfort from time to time and expats are just the same.

What home comforts do you miss when you’re working abroad? And have you found anything in your new country that you could now, not live without?

Friday, 16 October 2009

Non-local-language newspapers

Many expats like to keep up to date with what is going on in their home country. A recent post on Just Landed observed how many of the British dailies are actually simultaneously printed in Spain and are available the day that they come out in the UK. Expats can buy the Sunday Telegraph fresh off the printing press while relaxing on a beach in the Costa del Sol! Very useful for keeping up with the Jones’s back home.

We thought this was interesting and it has got us wondering about other popular expat destinations and the world and the preferred media of expats there. What are the trends in other areas – do other areas have good availability of non-local-language papers or do expats adjust to what is available locally? In the information age, more and more people are turning online for their news but it’s not quite the same as holding a paper in front of you...

Friday, 9 October 2009

Six million expats in UAE

Check out this article that has appeared on Investment International. According to research carried out in the United Arab Emirates, the number of expats living in the country is increasing rapidly – to a population of approximately six million so far.

That’s apparently one sixth of the total population of the UAE. With the recent reported expat exodus from Dubai because of a lack of jobs, can UAE offer longer term career prospects without damaging the local job market? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on whether this is a good or bad thing for the nation’s economy.

East to West - the financial divide

Our Expat Economics report described how, from the evidence of our survey results, wealth appears to be “moving East”. We found that Asia is home to among the highest paid expats in the world; while their poorer counterparts can be found in Australia and further west in Europe. The highest earners are to be found in Russia, Hong Kong and Japan.
At the same time, Western countries remain vastly popular for expats and in particular the population of the UK is expected to rise in the future largely due to migration, making it the most populous country in Europe by 2050 (see Daily Mail article). This is despite the reported cost of living in the UK.

Does this mean that there is a divide between the East and West in terms of the type of experience an expat can expect, and should seek? Does more competition for top salaries in the Western employment markets mean that it is easier for expats to find financial opportunity by looking East?

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Norway - The best country in the world, according to the UN

According to the latest UN Human Development Report released earlier this week, if you want an all-round great life, Norway is the place to live. The study ranks countries on their education, wealth and life expectancy, using figures compiled by the United Nations Development Programme.

According to the Telegraph and the Daily Express, Norway ranked highest on educational achievements including adult literacy rates and enrolment in primary, secondary and university institutions, scoring a near perfect score. They also fared very well when it came to life expectancy and GDP per head.

For the first time in almost 30 years, Britain dropped out of the top 20, losing out to the likes of New Zealand, Demark and bizarrely, Lichtenstein. The index ranks a total of 182 countries on how developed they are.

It would be really interesting to hear your thoughts on the report. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Signs of the end of the recession?

Expat Focus has put up an interesting blog post that gives a perspective on ‘the end of the recession’. Apparently there are signs that interest in the property market in France is ever so slightly raised after 18 months of quiet… It’s an interesting post and worth reading. Link

What do you think of this insight? Are there any views, in agreement or otherwise, and does anybody else have first-hand experiences that suggest economic conditions may be improving?

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