As new year celebrations become a distant memory and 2011 enters its fourth month, many UK citizens could be forgiven for having a continued sense of malaise regarding their finances and their jobs.
The reasons for moving abroad are plentiful, the United Kingdom is hardly at its best in the current climate, and more and more young professionals, and older ones, are becoming attracted by the prospect of an exciting life-change.
For a start, the UK is currently in a state of financial ruin, and when the government has no money you can be sure that its citizens will pay the price. With astronomically high debt levels currently plaguing the Coalition Government, a large number of cost-cutting, austerity, measures have been implemented for 2011 and beyond. One of the most obvious sanctions has been the increase of VAT, which has already begun to hit pockets hard. England has never been the world's cheapest country but with VAT going up to 20 percent items are now even more expensive. Along with this National Insurance Contributions have increased, as has the cost of fuel, and for high earners income tax has also risen, all in all quite a few increases for people to contend with.
Even if you have managed to save a bit of money UK interest rates are staggeringly low, leaving you with little protection from the damaging effects of inflation. Factor this in with spending cuts and an increase in job cuts only serves to further muddy what was once a bright picture.
Looking at the bigger picture is even worse, with spending cuts wide scale institutions like healthcare and education are also going to suffer, so it’s not just you who will feel the strain, but the nation's children will too.
Basically, what it comes down to is that UK citizens are going to be paying more to the Government and receiving less in return than ever before.
Of course there are undoubtedly many things about the UK that you still hold dear- friends, family, familiarity- however embarking on an expatriate adventure doesn’t mean these things will be out of your life forever, and it is actually a fact that expats who leave their comfort zones are more resourceful than their counterparts back home.
But moving abroad also has much clearer, tangible, advantages, namely those of a financial nature. By leaving the UK you have the chance to become UK-non resident and then benefit from offshore banking and offshore retirement planning. Offshore banking isn’t just for the super-rich, any Brit working abroad can utilise it. Some of the benefits that are associated with offshore banking include tax efficiency, greater confidentiality, increased flexibility and better options to diversify your investment portfolio.
Moving abroad itself gives you the potential to pay much less tax. As touched upon earlier the UK has a far-from favourable tax regime at the present moment in time, however this certainly is not the case in many other countries.
Many overseas destinations have great job prospects for skilled individuals while also offering low rates of tax, some places even have no tax at all, these places are known as nil-tax havens.
By leaving the UK you not only have the opportunity to pay less tax now, but you may also have the option of taking out an offshore pension, which can save you even more money over the course of your life.
If you are askilled professional then finding work abroad may be easier than it sounds. Many incredible destinations are always on the hunt for skilled foreign workers, to find out more about numerous locations, and more advice on actually becoming an expat, take a look at our detailed city guides.