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26 April 2010

Expat lifestyle “sunnier in more ways than one”

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by Gill Montia

Expat lifestyle

Nine out of ten British expatriates say moving overseas has given them a better quality of life.

According to research by NatWest International, a good life/work balance under-girds the sentiment, with 87% of respondents rating their personal balance in these areas as excellent or good

The annual survey, which is undertaken with the Centre for Future Studies, asks expats to assess 16 “life experience” factors in order of importance and to indicate levels of satisfaction with each one.

For Britons abroad, financial security and financial wellbeing occupied sixth and eighth place respectively, with the natural environment, climate, culture and leisure, healthcare and education taking priority.

In addition, the number of respondents who said they would return to the UK fell to 19% in 2009, from 26% a year earlier, despite the financial pressures of the global economic downturn.

Natwest International’s head of personal banking, Dave Isley, comments: “The fact fewer expats say they will return to the UK in the future, compared to three years ago, proves that the pace of life, work life balance and earning potential abroad means life as an expat is sunnier in more ways than one – and that they are weathering the financial storm.”

The study also revealed that professional expats typically earn over £20,000 more than their peers in the UK, with 92% reporting a salary increase over the past three years.

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