Most Brit expats staying abroad, poll finds

A majority of British expatriates are not contemplating moving back permanently to the UK, according to a poll conducted by a global financial consultancy.

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The survey by the deVere Group found that 62% of British expats said that they had no plans to return to Britain, while 27% said that it was possible they would and 11% said they were considering a return.Some 44% of the 754 respondents said they had relocated from the UK primarily for work reasons, including career progression, while many of the others were presumed to be pensioners.Expats responding to poll lived in Australia, New Zealand, the UAE, Oman, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France, Portugal, Hungary, Germany, Mexico, Russia and Zimbabwe.Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, said, "It will surprise many observers that despite the global pandemic and rising economic, political and social tensions in many countries around the world, the ‘pull' factors of overseas living far outweigh those of the UK."Indeed, the UK's ‘push' factors - such as fears over a no-deal Brexit, political issues, the cost of living, high taxes, low interest rates, a weak pound, the scrapping of some age-related benefits, quality of lifestyle, crime concerns and the weather - that encouraged people to relocate, anecdotally, seem to have intensified for many respondents."The poll reveals that for the millions of Brits living abroad, including myself, it is a positive, rewarding and fulfilling experience for many reasons. These include more lucrative career opportunities, lower cost of living, higher quality of life, high quality childcare and education, lower crime levels, and good weather."Living internationally is an overwhelmingly positive lifestyle experience and career move for the majority of people. Yet it is important not to rule out the possibility of returning back to the UK or moving on somewhere else in the future."Mr Green said there were "legitimate reasons to be concerned" that the majority of respondents had decided not to return to Britain. "No-one knows for sure what the future holds. Perhaps they will be forced to go back to the UK due to a change of personal circumstances, for example."The concern is that those who assume that they will never return to the UK, or indeed relocate somewhere else, is that they will not have all the available and/or necessary financial options open to them should they need to go back to Britain, or indeed elsewhere, for whatever reason."Although a majority of respondents said they would not be returning to Britain, the poll found that 70% of them still regularly sent money back to the UK and that 81% were able to save more in their overseas location.

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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