Expats Give Up Their Lifestyle Secrets

Expats looking for a chilled lifestyle should think about packing their bags and heading for Switzerland, according to a new survey.

Switzerland topped the latest HSBC Expat Explorer Survey of 34 countries by offering some of the best salaries coupled with a high quality lifestyle and good work/life balance.

Expats heaped compliments on the Alpine nation.

One in four told the survey that they earned more than £125,000 a year and just over half said their increased salaries came gave them more time to spend with their families or to relax.

Two-thirds revealed they had more money to spend due to lower taxes as well.

Top 10 expat nations

Almost 50% also felt the economy was robust – the highest level for any nation in the global survey.

Parents especially praised the country, with 81% confident their children were safer in Switzerland than anywhere else, while 77% agreed they had an improved lifestyle and two-thirds felt the country offered their children a better education than their former home.

The other top 10 nations were:

  • Singapore
  • China
  • Germany
  • Bahrain
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • India
  • Hong Kong

China beat Switzerland for having the largest number of high-earning expats, with 38% paid at least £125,000 a year, while three-quarters of expats said they had a larger disposable income in China.

The Middle East was a popular place for career-minded expats and the place where they felt most confident about the local economies.

Expats voted New Zealand their favourite destination for raising a family.

Worst rankings

Many praised the government for making immigration to the country easy, while 54% said their standard of living improved after their move.

Around 90% of expats enjoyed the country’s spectacular scenery of mountains, lakes and beaches, three-quarters found the locals friendly and parents said New Zealand was a good place to bring up children.

“Expats have to make a lot of decisions when moving overseas,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat.

“Money is an important factor, but parents also have to consider their children and their well-being. This includes integrating into the community, education and safety.

“Although Asia offers higher salaries, New Zealand was the clear winner when we asked expats about quality of life.”

The countries to fare worst in the survey were Egypt, which cam e bottom of the rankings, followed by Britain and Brazil.

Read the full HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2014 results

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