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Expats and Money

Two thirds of expats feel that the economic situation in their new country of residence is better than in the UK. The figures released from Halifax International also reveal that one third of expats believe the value of their property abroad has remained the same since January last year.

However, expats have been feeling the pinch according to the results of the survey which was undertaken in January 2009. The expat mood monitor reports that since January last year, more than half of expats say they have less disposable income and have seen a decrease in the value of their investment portfolios.

Some 88% reckon their food bill has increased, with more than half having noticed an increase of more than 10%. This highlights the need for expats to consider carefully the cost of living in their dream overseas location before buying a property and how important it is that buyers choose somewhere with a low cost of living to make sure their money goes further.

James Gairdner, Managing Director of Halifax International states, "These figures demonstrate that it is now more important than ever that expatriates are not only provided with more competitive, available and secure saving options, but also have access to the right financial advice when they are overseas. This will enable them to make the most of their investments."

It looks unlikely that many expats will be heading home. The survey also discovered that 41% of expats worldwide do not wish to ever return to the UK. Those who have escaped the UK, cited their top reasons as 'a better quality of life', 'work', 'weather' and 'youth culture and crime'.

Interestingly one in four missed nothing at all about the UK, although some did say they missed family or people, followed by the culture and the traditional British way of living. One in four remarked that they had noticed a 10% increase in their purchasing power when converting money back to British pounds when they last visited the UK.

Halifax International provides simple offshore savings to British expatriates through internet and telephone banking services. For more information visit