Looking to move abroad in 2021? These are the top countries to be an expat

Research has found that most people move abroad for lifestyle improvement, adventure, new activities, earning more money and new career opportunities(1). Undoubtedly, moving to a new country can bring a host of challenging, exciting and life changing experiences. 

With 195 countries to choose from (all boasting different cultures and lifestyles), finding the perfect location to move to for expat life can cause a headache for many.

Blacktower Financial Management reveals the best countries for living and working abroad in 2021 using data relating to key metrics that determine happiness and quality of life, such as world happiness data, quality of healthcare, property price to income ratio etc. 

Discover the top 25 countries below to find out which countries top the list for expat life:

RankCountryWorld Happiness RankingAverage Monthly SalaryCost of LivingProperty Price to Income RatioQuality of HealthcareGlobal Peace Level
1Switzerland7.43£4,792.89122.48.6872.441.375
2Denmark7.6£2.845.10837.45801.316
3Iceland7.494£2,275.14100.486.7465.921.072
4Norway7.554£2,551.05101.438.7774.361.536
5Australia7.228£2,716.8773.547.5277.381.419
6Finland7.769£2,225.5970.388.3575.791.488
7New Zealand7.307£2,090.2072.538.5273.811.221
8Netherlands7.488£2,280.7873.757.5174.651.53
9Austria7.246£1,867.6170.3810.8878.731.291
10Canada7.278£1,881.6167.627.9771.581.327
11Singapore6.262£2,771.9381.122.3170.841.347
12Sweden7.343£2,210.0869.839.2769.231.533
13Japan5.886£2,062.9783.351381.141.369
14Belgium6.923£1,862.8571.786.9174.341.533
15Germany6.985£2,160.4065.269.3873.321.547
16Ireland7.021£2,139.8775.917.4951.891.39
17Qatar6.374£2,562.5064.045.8273.31.696
18United Kingdom7.054£1,915.2867.2810.0974.461.801
19France6.592£1,887.2374.1413.0479.991.892
20U.S.A.6.892£2,752.8071.053.5269.272.401
21South Africa5.895£1,812.2978.1817.3181.971.867
22United Arab Emirates6.825£2,028.4061.985.2967.041.847
23Israel7.139£1,901.1481.1512.8373.292.735
24Taiwan6.446£1,105.1861.3723.6986.711.725
25Spain6.354£1,235.0153.779.3778.881.699

Switzerland is the best country for expats in 2021!

The number one country for expats is Switzerland – perhaps that’s not surprising, given the Swiss commitment to neutrality and peace, but a high average monthly salary and a strong ratio of property price to income makes it a great option for anyone looking for a new country to settle in. 

The Nordic states also come out extremely well, with Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland all making the top ten – so it seems the chilly climate doesn’t stop them from being great places to live. 

Top financial tips for expats

The Blacktower Financial Management shares its top financial tips for managing and protecting expat finances when living and working abroad:

1.       Familiarise yourself with local tax laws

It goes without saying that the taxation requirements are nuanced from country to country. Ensure you that you understand exactly where you are required to pay tax and the intricacies of any inheritance tax laws so yours, or your family’s, finances don’t take a hit further down the line. 

2.       Brexit proof your finances 

From December 31st, many UK bank accounts will be closing the accounts of expats living abroad without a UK address. Seemingly, many of the high street banks are stepping back from their EEA clients and leaving many people’s finances in the balance once the Brexit transition period ends. Speak to a professional and ensure that your financial future is in the hands of someone regulated and licensed to operate in a post-Brexit era. 

3. Local knowledge and experience are invaluable

There are any number of reputable online sources of advice on financial matters, all offering sage and sound general guidance. But local knowledge and experience of the products and services in your new country, offered by professionals who have lived and worked in the area for years can deliver so much more. Take advantage of those people who have intimate knowledge of the local market. Nobody gives expat financial advice like an expat themselves.

4. Consider transferring your pension

If you have spent years building up a substantial pension pot in your country of origin, it makes sense for you to maximise returns on it during your retirement years. Currency fluctuations and local tax laws can mean you receive less per month than you were expecting. Transferring your fund to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPs) can help you to make the most of your money in the local currency, whilst mitigating tax liabilities.

 “Moving to a new country brings a host of life changing opportunities, our new expat report features insight and practical tips that both the new and experienced expat can find helpful. 

Expats see a wealth of financial, lifestyle and career benefits from moving abroad and I encourage more individuals to take the leap and enjoy the rewards” John Westwood Group Managing Director Blacktower Financial Management Group

For full details on the expat report, rankings and data can be seen at: https://www.blacktowerfm.com/the-expat-hub/

Author: Editorial Team

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