Quality of Life Index
There is more to life than cold economic and GDP numbers, so that’s why we’ve analysed data for quality of life relating to key metrics that determine happiness. Discover the full index below to find out which country tops the list for expats to live in.
|20||United States of America||6.892||£2,752.80||71.05||3.52||69.27||2.401|
|22||United Arab Emirates||6.825||£2,028.40||61.98||5.29||67.04||1.847|
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Q&A from Expat Experts
From QROPS and tax advice to how expats can invest money, here you’ll find the answers from the experts at Blacktower Financial Management to some of the most commonly asked questions asked by expats.
Some questions simply don’t have objective answers, and the best country for expats is one of those.
I live in Spain, which hardly ever leaves the top of the rankings - and it’s easy to understand why. The weather is excellent, the food and culture are very rich, there are beaches, mountains and ski resorts everywhere and people are generally friendly.
Compared to many other countries in Europe, it’s still reasonably affordable, and the public health and education systems are competent (and free).
But it’s also true that the job market is not strong, it can be a lot more touristy than most people like,
A similar scenario happens with other usual favourites, like Portugal, France and Italy.
If a warm temperature is less of a factor, then places like Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland are strong for job opportunities.
You can find most of the qualities mentioned above in countries like Slovenia or Croatia, but then the challenge might be a difficult language and less familiar cultures.
What is the best choice? Whichever works for you is the only correct answer.
(Brazil, the 90s and Daniel Craig are my answers, in case you were wondering.)
But most important, and to achieve all of the above, it is crucial that expats seek the advice of a financial adviser in their new country of residence, so as to have the confidence that your financial arrangements are being treated by professionals who will bring you invaluable peace of mind.”
We work alongside the main Overseas Pension Trustees and our personalized QROPS solutions allow us to advise you on ensuring your retirement income needs are met in a safe, tax efficient way.”
Make sure you take advantage of the tax efficient savings vehicles in the country you live in , for example the Assurance Vie in France or the Tax Compliant Bond in Spain, why pay more tax than you have to?
2. Get advice on the laws of inheritance in the country you are moving to.
Every country has its own way of taxing people’s wealth after they have left this world. Leaving the UK, contacting HMRC and completing the P85 form does not remove your Inheritance Tax liability to the UK; but on top of this you are likely to have a liability on the assets you hold in the country where you now reside and this is certainly true in France and Spain, potentially up to 60% Inheritance Tax liability in France and up to 82% in Spain. Careful financial planning is required to ensure that you get to leave your wealth to your loved ones in the most tax efficient way possible.
3.Neglecting your pensions
Next you would be advised to review your pensions; we have all been educated over our working careers that we must set aside monies to be able to live a comfortable life in retirement. So, what should you do with what has been accumulated? What are the options outside of the UK - QROPS, SIPPs and which is best for you
One mistake expats make is believing that their financial adviser is regulated and authorised to do business in their new country of residence. You need to ask the question and complete your own due diligence; the Internet is a good place to start and they should be documented on the Regulator’s website.
5. Don’t become a victim, don’t get scammed
Naivety or greed can affect us all, especially where finance/investing is concerned, experienced con artists regularly defraud 10,000´s of people a year, they know in times of low interest rates savers and investors are looking for a product that offers a better rate of return. Usually they will tempt you with something that is offering growth rates higher than you could achieve anywhere else, often they will say that there is no risk or use terms like Capital Guaranteed. Please don’t become a victim, if something seems to be good to be true, especially where investments are concerned it usually is.
Start planning well in advance and speak to an adviser in your new to be home country before the move. He / she may point out certain potential pitfalls you need to take into account. One common example is if you are selling your house in the UK it is best to do this whilst still being a UK tax resident before taking up fiscal residency in another jurisdiction as otherwise there may be tax consequences.
2. Healthcare / health insurance
Look at what is available to you, figure out how the healthcare system works and if additional health cover is needed.
Learn the language! It will massively help integration, especially if you are moving with children.
4. Social Media
There are so many location specific groups on e.g. Facebook where you can ask around for anything from a good gardener, which restaurant to go to, which schools are recommended etc.
5. Give it time
Prepare your children beforehand and once at your new destination, give it time to get used to your new life and to settle in. Ask questions about anything you are unsure of as this will help to adapt to your new environment.
2. Have a financial review as soon as possible from a local Financial Adviser and before taking official residency – you can get your finances sorted and avoid huge pitfalls that may be too late to unravel once you are officially in the Spanish system.
4. Join the local U3A (University of the 3rd Generation) they will have a website and you will be able to go along to all the local events/groups/activities and understand what is going on in your area and also it is great for meeting likeminded people.
5. Make sure your Accountant/tax adviser speaks your language very well.
Reasons for moving abroad - https://www.ippr.org/publications/brits-abroad-mapping-the-scale-and-nature-of-british-emigration
Quality of life Index:
World Happiness Data - https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2019/
Average monthly net salary (after tax) - https://w3.unece.org/PXWeb2015/pxweb/en/STAT/STAT__20-ME__3-MELF/60_en_MECCWagesY_r.px/?rxid=0806c85a-23f8-4249-a4d0-10980df459d1
Cost of living - https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp?title=2020
Property price to income ratio - https://www.numbeo.com/property-investment/indicators_explained.jsp
Quality of healthcare - https://www.numbeo.com/health-care/rankings_by_country.jsp
Global peace level - http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2019/06/GPI-2019-web003.pdf
To calculate the Quality of Life index, we first normalised the data categories and the following metrics were used per country: World Happiness Data, Average monthly salary (after tax), Cost of living, Property price to income ratio, Quality of healthcare, Global peace level.