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Expat Investor : April 2008
EXP A T Serving expats for more than 16 years firstname.lastname@example.org June 2005 £4.95/ €7.50/US$7.50 In this issue Analysis of the top 10 most popular emigration destinations has found that the most stressful countries to move to are not necessarily those most alien to Brits in terms of language and culture. According to independent analysis from currency experts HiFX and psychologists, it is the hidden hurdles that are psychologically causing the most stress – a finding that catapults South Africa to the top of the stress barometer. Germany ranks as the least stressful place to move to. However, the research also shows that, with a small amount of preparation, it is possible to significantly reduce the potential stress emigrating can create. According to the study, emigrating to an English-speaking country does not mean the process will automatically be easier for British expats. Factors such as currency fluctuation, alien legalities and different taxation systems mean that the US and Australia followed hot on the heels of South Africa when tested against a number of ‘stress inducing factors’. Over 385,000 people emigrate from the UK each year – often in search of a more relaxed lifestyle abroad. While it’s commonly accepted that moving house is one of the most stressful things that people ever do in their lives, it could be easy to underestimate all the extra issues there are to consider when moving abroad. Revealed – the most stressful countries in the world I nvestor EXP A T Serving expats for more than 17 years £4.95/ €7.50/US$7.50 April 2008 Bringing advisers and investors together I nvestor EXP A T Serving expats for more than 17 years £4.95/ €7.50/US$7.50 Portfolio management Best strategies and tactics for investment portfolios. Pension planning Find out how you can transfer your pension into a foreign plan. Middle East products Money tools which work for expats in the Arabian Gulf states. Mortgage How borrowers and brokers clash over mortgage deals. Regulars 10 Offshore funds 12 Offshore savings accounts 21 Property investments 22 Offshore mortgage market Next issue Private banking Healthcare insurance Fixed rate savings Investment tools 6 13 15 www.expatinvestor.com Expats finding the going tough might want to check out how high their host country features on HiFX’s all-embracing location stress register, as Hannah Beecham reports. For more information from our advertisers or about products featured in Expat Investor enter the Fast Facts number onto the Reader Reply Service coupon on page 20 or go to: expatinvestor.com www.expatinvestor.com “There are those that you know you should read, and then there’s the magazine you will read.” To register for Expat Inv estor digital edition, visit the w ebsite at www .expatinv estor .com Serving expats for more than 19 years 18 Mark Bodega, Director at HiFX, who helps over 30,000 people buy property and emigrate abroad each year, explains these findings to Expat Investor. “Moving abroad isn’t just about moving your belongings and pursuing a new lifestyle. Decamping to a different country means getting to grips with a whole new way of living – from the language you’ll be speaking to the money you’ll be spending. Many of us don’t fully understand the tax and legal systems in this country; however the same lack of knowledge as a foreign national abroad could lead to problems. With so much to think about when packing up and setting off, people should make the most of all the assistance available from specialists such as tax advisers, and removal experts. Emigrating can mean the start of a fantastic life abroad so it is important that people mitigate any potential stress caused by the actual moving process.” A scientific formula, devised in consultation with HiFX, was used to assess the top 10 emigration destinations against 10 factors contributing to the stress of moving. Leading psychologists assessed the causes of stress and weighted the factors accordingly. Based on this analysis, mathematicians devised a formula to determine each country’s stress score. Those factors are civil stability, legalities, currency, quality of life, social services, distance from the UK, language, ease of visa application process, tax system, and cultural idiosyncrasies. Dr David Lewis, leading psychologist with The Mind Lab, explains, “Stress levels are based on the degree of control people are likely to be able to exert over a situation – the less control, the higher the potential for stress. Moving to a country with several issues beyond a person’s influence naturally increases the potential for stress. Whilst learning a new language can be daunting, it is not insurmountable, whereas civil instability and complex legal systems are beyond an individual’s control.” With high unemployment, increasing crime levels and complex rules relating to the sale of any property, South Africa scores particularly highly on civil instability and legal issues. Despite a laid-back English- speaking culture, Australia has an unfamiliar and complex tax system. A long and uncertain visa application process also means émigrés must take additional steps to ease the stress of a move there. Plus, the Australian dollar is a commodity currency, making it extremely volatile, which can significantly affect people’s future wealth if they do not fix their exchange rate when transferring assets. Intriguingly, Germany, while not traditionally thought of as a laid- back nation, is the least stressful country to move to. With easy links back to the UK, a stable currency and great social services, Germany is most likely to herald émigrés’ dreams of a more relaxed life abroad. Other countries’ stressful factors are revealed as follows. Canada, America and Italy all have complex legal systems when buying property and the process is very different to that in the UK, making it additionally stressful. The visa application process in New Zealand can take up to 18 months. Recent volatility in the US dollar leads to uncertain times. Italian is not commonly taught in UK secondary schools therefore Brits need to make added effort to acclimatise to the country. “When moving aboard it is vital to investigate your intended destination and take steps to make the process as easy as possible. Think about the move as early as possible and seek professional assistance,” advises Mr Bodega. Readers can input their circumstances for a stress score and bespoke tips on how to ease the process at www.hifx.co.uk/ stress_calculator OUT NOW! * THE ANNUAL INTEREST RATE QUOTED IS VARIABLE, GROSS AND EFFECTIVE FROM 6 MARCH 2008. THIS RATE IS PAYABLE WHERE NO MORE THAN 3 WITHDRAWALS ARE MADE IN A BONUS YEAR (1ST APRIL – 31ST MARCH) WITH A RATE OF 5.90% PAYABLE WHERE 4 OR MORE WITHDRAWALS ARE MADE IN THIS PERIOD. THIS ACCOUNT IS ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE TO INDIVIDUALS AGED 18 OR OVER AND IS NOT AVAILABLE TO UK RESIDENTS. Maximum balance is £1,000,000. 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This advertisement does not constitute an invitation to make deposits in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an invitation or offer in such jurisdiction. Interest rates are variable. Your tax position will depend on your personal circumstances and you may wish to seek guidance from your tax adviser. It is the responsibility of the depositor to declare any interest received to their relevant tax authority. EU residents who are subject to retention tax by way of the EU Savings Tax Directive will need to consider the effect of the retention tax that will be applied to their accounts. Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission to conduct Banking Business. % * GROSS P.A. 6.40 eSaver Internet Savings Account . Minimum balance £1,000 . No hassles . Helps you save . Manage from home 24/7 Available now at www.bbi.co.im/esaver Up to Stress Ranking Country Score 1 South Africa 80.0 2 USA 56.0 3 Australia 51.0 4 Southern Cyprus 50.6 5 Canada 50.4 6 Italy 49.4 7 Spain 48.4 8 New Zealand 47.8 9 France 10 Germany 41.8 intermediaries Fast Facts 44000
May June 2008