3.5m Brits living overseas confirm they’ll never return to the UK

A global survey undertaken by deVere reveals seven out of 10 Brits residing overseas would never move back to the UK.

A majority 69 per cent confirmed they would never relocate back to Britain; 10 per cent said they would consider it; whilst 21 per cent said ‘maybe’.
That said, although most of those polled said they would never consider a move back to Britain; the survey discovered that 72 per cent of them still send money back to the UK on a regular basis, and 87 per cent are able to accumulate more savings in their overseas location.

Furthermore, the poll discovered 23 per cent made the decision to leave the UK predominantly for work/career reasons.

Although the number of Brits living abroad has boomed in recent years – approximately 5 million now reside overseas – the real figure is expected to be significantly higher as many expats don’t register with the relevant authorities in their countries of residence.

As such, when extrapolated to the total number of (officially) identified British expatriates, that comes to 3.5 million vowing never to move back to the UK.

This poll emphasises that for the majority, living overseas is an enriching, gratifying experience. This is likely down to various key reasons such as better career opportunities, lower cost of living, higher quality of life, top quality childcare and education, lower crime levels and a good climate.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty concerning that seven out of 10 expats are adamant they would never return to the UK.

Nobody knows what could happen in the future. Circumstances beyond their control may arise meaning they have to go back to Britain, for family or work motives. Can they really be 100 per cent sure they will retire or be retired forever abroad?

The main worry is that those who are fixed on the decision to never return to the UK won’t have the necessary/available financial options should they be forced to go back for whatever reason.
As such, it’s essential that expats use flexible, cross-border financial solutions as part of their overall personal financial plan.

Whilst it is uplifting that 87 per cent of people are able to save more money by living overseas, in order to make these funds work effectively, expats need to take full advantage of their expat status, look into all their options and cover all cross-border bases.

Naturally, whilst it is certainly encouraging in many aspects that 72 per cent regularly send money back to Britain – ie not cutting off all financial ties – it is probably for one sole purpose rather than a more extensive financial strategy.

Additionally, if they are using traditional banking services, they are highly likely to be being slapped with high transfer fees. This underscores why expats should look at their finances holistically and over the longer-term.

Whilst living an international lifestyle is an immensely positive, rewarding experience for most, it is crucial not to discard the possibility of returning back to the UK or another destination in the future.

Indeed, if expats fail to plan for such contingencies by taking into account all cross-border financial options now, they could be putting their long-term financial security in jeopardy.

Survey results:
Would you ever move back to the UK?
Yes 10%
No 69%
Maybe 21%
Did you relocate for work or lifestyle (including retirement)?
Work 23%
Lifestyle 36%
Both 41%
Are you able to save more money on a regular basis in your country of residence?
Yes 87%
No 13%
Do you use any financial solutions designed for expats (eg offshore bonds)?
Yes 35%
No 65%
Do you regularly send money back to the UK (eg mortgage repayments, school fees etc)?
Yes 72%
No 28%

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