Average earnings rose during 2019, but the Resolution Foundation – a living standards think-tank – paints a more sobering picture. According to the RF, household incomes diminished in ‘real terms’ and the cost of living has ballooned. Standards of living in the UK have also declined, with a staggering 22% of the British public living below the bread-line.
But elsewhere things are different. Many parts of the world are bucking the trend and the global impact of economic recession, austerity and rising poverty. Their industries are thriving and their economies are growing.
So could you enjoy a better standard of living, higher wages and a better work/life balance by doing the same job in a different country?
There could be a number of pros to working abroad:
- Lower cost of living – depending on your choice of destination, lower prices and better wages will mean a more comfortable lifestyle.
- Expanding business sectors – the tech and finance industries in particular are expanding globally, leading to greater job prospects if you work in these fields.
- Adventure –surround yourself with a new culture, environment and language; enjoy new experiences, foods, people and landscapes.
- Weather –retreat to sunnier climes, leaving the inclement British weather behind.
But you’ve also got to think about the cons:
- Friends and family – you’ll be a long way from home and unable to see friends and family as regularly as you could before.
- Homesickness – you’ll almost certainly miss home at some point.
- Culture shock – saturated by a new culture, new language, new environment and new ways of doing things, culture shock is a very real risk.
- Language – learning a new language can be difficult. This may be less of an issue if you move to a country where English is commonly spoken.
Beyond the process of looking for work and securing the job itself, where can you expect to find that all-important work/life balance and a better wage without increasing your hours or workload?
Offering an enviable work/life ethos and affordable cost of living to wage rates ratio, New Zealand is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for expats. Check your compatibility with New Zealand’s skill shortages by visiting www.newzealandnow.govt.nz
Canada offers some of the best living standards in the world within a burgeoning market of energy, technology, manufacturing, banking, insurance and retail. But Canada is also a very popular destination so competition for work will be high. Generally, expats only find work if they possess in-demand skills. Check the Canadian Shortage Occupations list online for further information.
The Czech Republic, a member of the EU since 2004, is situated in the heart of Europe and perfectly placed for trade and commerce. The country offers a wide array of job opportunities in the export/import and services sectors and is an attractive option for British expats. To acquire residency for tax purposes you need only possess a property in which you spend at least 183 days per calendar year. However, you will still need to apply for a work permit before you move and work permits are only issued for specific jobs with the employer named in the application.
Check your eligibility for emigration to any of the above destinations at www.emigrationgroup.com
When you finally secure that dream job, you’ll need to give some consideration to money transfers. Not only will you need to exchange savings and pensions but any property purchase or house rental will also need to be made in the local currency.
Your high street bank offers this service, but you may be charged fees and you’re unlikely to secure a competitive exchange rate.
Looking to transfer your currency? Get a quote here to work out how much you have – the answer may surprise you.
Avoid this eventuality by using a currency transfer provider. Most providers work on a fee-free basis, so there’s no hidden sting, and offer better rates.
Services like rate alerts will also help you track the rate, while forward contracts allow you to fix an exchange rate in place then make a transfer at a later time.
Torfx offers excellent exchange rates – you can sign up here.