Connecting to LinkedIn...

Blank

Expat finances: where does the move pay best?

The ability to save more, enjoy greater disposable income or acquire real estate assets are all important considerations for expats moving to a new country.  Offering expats a regional view of the financial benefits on offer, Expat Explorer reveals the best countries to increase one’s standard of living.

Top 5 regional performers

% of  expats who say they have more disposable income since moving

% of expats who say they can save more since moving

% of expats able to own additional property as a result of moving

Average

Americas

Mexico

57%

52%

21%

43%

USA

59%

49%

19%

42%

Canada

53%

49%

16%

40%

Argentina

52%

41%

12%

35%

Brazil

48%

40%

17%

35%

Middle East

Qatar

76%

75%

24%

59%

Oman

72%

76%

25%

57%

Saudi Arabia

68%

75%

27%

57%

Bahrain

68%

70%

30%

56%

UAE

65%

61%

25%

50%

Asia

Vietnam

67%

68%

16%

50%

China

68%

65%

16%

50%

Hong Kong

67%

61%

19%

49%

Malaysia

63%

63%

20%

49%

Singapore

65%

60%

20%

49%

Europe

Czech Republic

60%

60%

20%

47%

Switzerland

65%

60%

12%

46%

Sweden

55%

49%

15%

40%

Russia

46%

47%

21%

38%

Belgium

55%

49%

10%

38%

The Middle East: the best all-round region for financial rewards

Expats in the Middle East enjoy the greatest standard of living globally. Over three-quarters (76%) of expats in Qatar saw an increase in their disposable income as a result of moving. This also helps them boost their long-term planning, with 75% being able to save more. One in four (24%) say that living in Qatar made it possible for them to own additional property, and a majority (54%) can now afford more expensive holidays. Bahrain and the UAE also shine for the Middle East: 68% and 65% respectively of expats there enjoy a greater disposable income than they did in their home country.

The region is also home to the second biggest group of expats with annual incomes over USD200,000 (16%, behind Asia Pacific at 19%).  These highest earning expats face increased financial challenges when living abroad: nearly half (46%) say their finances have become more complex as a result of moving, which compares to a global average of 30%. With a low tax environment, countries in the Middle East offer this group with an unrivalled opportunity to simplify their finances: only 13% of expats in Oman and 16% in Bahrain have seen their finances becoming harder to manage as a result of moving.

Middle Eastern destinations are also appealing for younger expats (aged 18 to 34) from a financial point of view.  Nearly three-quarters (71%) of expats under 35 years of age increased their earnings after moving to Qatar, while 68% receive an accommodation allowance from their employer. Qatar is also the best place for young expats to step on to the property ladder: almost a third (31%) of young expats bought their first home while living in the country. The UAE is close behind, with a quarter (25%) of young expats in the country able to afford their first property.

Asia Pacific: Vietnam tops the regional ranking for expat savings

In Asia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore stand out for offering expats the chance to save more money and enjoy greater disposable income.

Vietnam tops the regional league table with 67% of expats in the country seeing an increase in their disposable income and 68% increasing the amount they save, but the region performs strongly across the board. Meanwhile in China, 68% of expats enjoy more disposable income living in the country and 65% can save more than they did at home. This makes the country one of the top destinations for improving personal finances.

Although 85% of expats living in Hong Kong say they spend more on accommodation than they did in their country of origin, 67% have more disposable income after moving, and 61% say their ability to save has increased. In Singapore, 65% of expats report greater levels of disposable income, and almost one in four (24%) expats living in India say they’ve been able to buy additional property as a result of moving.
For younger expats, Asia is the best destination for those looking at reducing their accommodation spend abroad. Over half (55%) of expats under 35 in Indonesia and 52% in India end up spending less on accommodation costs than at home.

Asia Pacific, meanwhile, offers the easiest financial set up for high-earning expats, with 73% (of all income levels) saying that setting up financially in New Zealand is easy, followed by Singapore (63%) and Australia (56%).

The Americas: expats hit the financial sweet spot in Mexico

Mexico offers the easiest financial route into the Americas. With 63% of expats in the country spending less on day-to-day bills and 57% enjoying greater disposable income, expats in the country are able to save more (52%), afford more than one property (21%) and afford more expensive holidays (36%). Almost half (49%) of expats in the USA and Canada report a greater ability to save since moving.

For young expats eager to get onto the housing ladder, Canada is one of the best destination globally, with over a quarter (26%) of expats there being able to own their home since moving. This pattern is consistent across North America, with 24% of expats in the USA able to afford their first property.

Europe: The Czech Republic and Switzerland shine for expat savers

Expat savers in the Czech Republic and Switzerland experience the biggest boost in Europe, with 60% of expats in these countries increasing the amount of money they can save.

Offering the highest expat salaries globally (USD181,000 p.a. compared to a global average of USD104,000), 65% of expats in Switzerland also enjoy a greater disposable income. Sweden and Belgium also have a lot to offer financially: 55% of expats in both countries have more disposable income after moving.

 

Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat, commented, “Managing your finances is a key part of living abroad, whether that is sending money back home, saving for the future or, for long-term expats, getting a foot on the housing ladder.

“As an expat, you often need to navigate these financial issues in not one, but two or more countries. That can be difficult but shouldn’t be impossible – no matter where your expat journey takes you, detailed planning and professional advice can help you to prosper abroad.

“Many destinations offer financial rewards too. Earning potential can be higher and living costs lower for instance. That can mean building your savings while still enjoying more of the finer things in life. With the right financial planning, you will spend less time worrying about money and more time enjoying the expat experience.”

The Expat Explorer survey is commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by YouGov. Now in its eighth year, it is the largest and one of the longest running global surveys of expats, with 21,950 respondents sharing their views on different aspects of life abroad, including personal earnings, careers, experience and family. 

Tags:

Articles similar to

Articles similar to