British expats worldwide are losers due to currency fluctuation

British expats worldwide are losers due to currency fluctuation

British expats worldwide are losers due to currency fluctuation

One issue that’s seldom taken into account when expatriation is under discussion is currency fluctuation.

Whether the reason for leaving the home country is for a better-paying job, retirement or entrepreneurship, the logistics of the move itself almost always take precedence over what may or may not happen in the future. Back in time when relative stability was the norm, Western would-be expats looking for permanence overseas sold their homes, banked the cash, drew their pensions and got on with the rest of their lives, secure in the knowledge they’d made the right decision.

For many, the 2008 global financial crash wiped out their financial security, leaving them to manage as best they could until a relative recovery set in, but subsequent events over the past few years are now causing even the best-laid financial plans to fray at the edges. No-one could have forecast either the Brexit referendum or the Trump presidency, but expats from those working for high salaries through SME entrepreneurs to those whose pensions aren’t exactly gold-plated are paying the price for daring to be different.

Traditionally, especially in the West, currency exchange rates fluctuate from time to time, but what goes down usually goes back up and expat life returns to normal. Nowadays, ‘normal’ isn’t heard often, especially in locations favoured by Brits. Those working for multinationals in far-flung places are seeing less and less local currency for their pounds sterling and inflation is upping the costs of consumer services and costs. In one way, the euro’s poor performance has helped keep the wolf from expat doors, as far fewer European cities now feature at the expensive end of cost of living surveys, but European expats working in the USA and receiving their salaries in euros are also paying more for everyday essentials due to the comparative strength of the dollar.

London’s reputation as one of the world’s costliest cities is now waning, as are other European cities popular with expatriates, but the majority of American mega-cities are now in the top 100 most expensive on the planet. Sadly for many expat retirees, overall prices in Asia are now rising fast as sterling falls still further, causing havoc with many formerly valid long-term retirement plans. For example, since the Brexit referendum, one British pound worth 70 baht ten years ago is now getting just 39 baht, leaving many wondering how long they can last on their capital and where else to go to get a better rate against the local currency. Relocating nowadays isn’t what it was, as millions are now finding out.

Related Stories:

Latest News: