How far will your money go in Asia?

How far will your money go in Asia?

How far will your money go in Asia?

Moving overseas is, for most expats, a leap in the dark as regards lifestyle and budgetary demands, made even more complicated if salaries and pensions are taken in the currency of the home country.

An increasing number of expats are deciding on Asia for their next move, with China in particular attracting entrepreneurs to its booming cities. Southeast Asia is becoming a popular region for retirees due mainly to its choice of destinations with low costs of living and its tropical climate. Deciding on a monthly budget and sticking to it once you’ve arrived sounds easy, but the best laid plans of mice and men can easily be upset by two facts of expat financial life – inflation and currency fluctuations.

Nowadays, UK and USA expatriates are likely to be affected by changes in the value of their home currencies versus those of their chosen destinations, mostly due to the political shenanigans going on in both countries.

China is drawing more and more expats to its shores and, surprisingly, seems to welcome them and value their input. Life, even in the huge mega-cities, can be easily affordable, and inflation at the present time is set at 1.4 per cent, meaning the population doesn’t have to worry about swingeing rent and foodstuff prices. However, the government is aiming at a 3 per cent inflation target rate as manufacturers are complaining they’re not seeing much profit from current retail price levels.

India’s inflation rate topped a horrendous 12.27 per cent two years ago, but is now around 2.2 per cent following government intervention. However, the price of foodstuffs is now on the rise, and is expected to result in a 3.2 per cent inflation figure later this year. Even so, shopping like a local is still able to stretch the average salary or pension as far as is necessary for a worry-free life, and rents are cheap in comparison with many other Asian countries.

Indonesia and Myanmar are comparatively new destinations for expats, but consumer goods are comparatively expensive. Myanmar’s inflation forecast sits at 7 per cent, with Indonesia’s at present on 3.82 per cent against a forecast of 4.3. Myanmar’s prices are expected to increase further due to investments and rising supplies of money allocated for credit. As regards predicting how currency fluctuations will affect expats’ international incomes, it might be easier to guess the Euro lottery numbers!

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