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Increased salaries and improved quality of life do not go hand in hand for expats
05 November 2010 @ 11:52

The biggest incentives for moving abroad are to find a better way of life and to boost earning potential. But these two benefits are rarely found together, a HSBC Bank International survey has revealed.

According to a HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) Bank International report on expat experience, while the majority of expats questioned claimed that increased financial gain and career opportunities were their key reasons for becoming an expat, the countries which provide these improvements tend not to satisfy quality of life expectations.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia are the most popular countries for those citing financial gain and career progression yet rank in the bottom five of 25 countries in the quality of life league table.

In contrast, expats moving to countries that score well on the quality of life league table, such as South Africa (3rd), Spain (6th) and France (7th) are much less appealing as destinations to those looking for financial gain.

There are exceptions to the rule: expats living in Bahrain and Bermuda both scored particularly well for quality of life, scoring 2nd and 5th respectively, as well as featuring in the top quartile of this year's HSBC Expat Economics league table.

BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the Middle East were found to be the most difficult expat locations to set up in, taking into account a range of factors such as the ease of setting up their finances, healthcare, accomodation and utilities. South Africa, followed by Canada proved to be the easiest countries to do this.

The only area South Africa-based expats found difficult to set up was their finances, where nearly a third admitted having problems when first relocating.

India was ranked as the most difficult country for expats to set up in overall, with adjustments to the new culture and lifestyle something expats found particularly challenging.

4,127 expats from more than 100 countries worldwide took part in the Expat Experience survey by HSBC Bank International , making it the largest of its kind.

Source: The Telegraph/Yahoo Finance

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