The cost of living in a new country is a concern for many expats who find their bills are higher than expected.
Half are forking out more than planned after moving, research by Axa Global Healthcare reveals.
Expats with families are especially hard hit, with 40% shocked by the cost of higher education and one in three finding childcare cost much higher than anticipated.
Tom Wilkinson, CEO at AXA Global Healthcare said: “The cost of living varies massively around the world, and even across different regions in the same country, so it’s important on any international secondment to be aware of your spending and manage your finances appropriately.
“If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources online – and even apps available – that could help make managing your money a little easier.”
The cost of private health care was surprisingly low for many, with just 2% concerned about the price.
“The key to being prepared for healthcare costs abroad – especially if you have a pre-existing condition – is to ensure that you have a good grasp of the services and facilities available in your new home,” said Wilkinson.
“In countries where certain treatments are difficult to come by or particularly expensive, it may even be worth considering how international health insurance could help you to manage your healthcare needs.”
Where to research living costs
Expats drafting a budget can find cost of living costs for hundreds of cities and countries free online.
Some of the most popular places to look for data and comparisons are:
- Expatistan – Comprehensive data lists expat cost of living by city, country and comparisons using spending in the Czech Republic as a baseline.
Bermuda is listed as the most expensive country to live at 214% more expensive than the Czech Republic, while India is the cheapest, at 35% lower.
- Expat Explorer – Another comprehensive data and expat information site run by HSBC Bank
Switzerland typically takes the top ranking for the dearest place to live for expats.
- Numbeo – Boasts of being the world’s largest expat data site covering more than 9,400 cities and nearly every country.
Data compares prices, property, crime, health care, pollution, quality of life, traffic and travel.