Yet another expat survey focuses on high life destinations

Published:  5 Feb at 6 PM
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Switzerland is now the world’s most expensive destination for expat professionals.

For the majority of expats in all popular destinations worldwide, the latest survey result listing Switzerland as the most expensive world country won’t come as a surprise. The small, snowy country has owned the title in most if not all expat survey results ever since emigration became the norm amongst career-hungry professionals. However, as a destination for mid-financial level retirees, SME owners and suchlike, the Alpine state is as closed as is North Korea!

The remaining nine countries making up the top 10 most expensive countries for expats are at least approachable, with the possible exception of the Bahamas, and include Japan, Singapore, Israel, Denmark and South Korea. Taking Japan as an example, living a luxury lifestyle is indeed very expensive for cultural as well as financial reasons, but expats who choose their in-country destination carefully and live like the locals can easily get by on an average wage, something that’s almost impossible to do in London or New York.

The survey itself measured the cost of goods including clothes and taxi fares as well as groceries and the all-important costs of accommodation in 132 diverse countries, the top ten of which were Europe-heavy. The UK’s rating was 27th and the USA came in at 20th, suggesting that healthcare costs in the latter country weren’t taken into consideration. As regards eating out at restaurants, Switzerland was the most expensive, with Japan rated well below European pricing norms.

It has to be said that surveys do have their usage as regards helping would-be expats choose the most suitable destination for their preferred lifestyles, but the vast majority are already aware of which countries to reject out of hand due to living costs versus average salary levels. For those on reassignment, companies are expected to be aware of costs and adjust wage levels and perks accordingly, but the new breed of entrepreneurial expat techies are mostly well aware of where to avoid as the costs are far greater than the business opportunities.
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