Is the expat lifestyle dream fading for Brits

Published:  10 May at 6 PM
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Results of a recent survey hint that the long-held retirement dream of living in warmer climes is becoming a nightmare for many who are planning to return to the UK.

The survey, conducted on behalf of NatWest International, reported that 97 per cent of expat respondents are unhappy with aspects of their lives, with most citing the increased cost of living as the main reason. One third of those surveyed told of their plans to return to the UK.

Almost all of those surveyed said that a deciding factor for a return to the home country would be continual financial worries. Falling property values are an ongoing cause for concern since the 2008 financial crisis, with many afraid they would not realise enough capital to be able to purchase a home back in the UK.

Retired expats taking part in the survey cited another strong reason for returning home, in that missing old friends and family still based in the UK seemed to increase along with the years spent overseas. Even advances in technology such as video calls, instant messaging and emails weren’t enough to ease the ache, especially when grandchildren were involved.

According to the survey, another issue encouraging a wish to return was that the novelty of a new country tends to wear off and spur a longing for British culture. Every respondent stated that his or her loyalty remained with Britain, adding that they see their personal identity as British.

CEO of NatWest International Dave Isley commented that it’s sad for expats when their dream fades and they feel unfulfilled. He recommended that those thinking of retiring overseas should carefully consider their financial status in the light of the reality of living abroad in a totally unfamiliar culture and environment.
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