A report conducted by the Post Office has found that British expats are facing tougher times than before, especially in the Eurozone.
The Post Office Expat Payments Index reported that the average cost of living abroad is 11% higher than just a year ago with that number rising to 15% for expats based in the Eurozone. These rises are occurring concurrently with the decrease of property values.
Worldwide, confidence is at its lowest ebb for a while with 75% saying their property value had stood still and fallen with 66% of this group saying the changes had impacted their lifestyles. In Europe, food and fuel prices in countries like Spain and Cyprus were up the most whilst properties had fallen by up to 20% in value with higher decreases within the Eurozone.
Nearly a thousand people were surveyed and only 3.5% claimed that they had not seen an increase in their costs over the last year whilst 40% of respondents claimed that household expenditure at increased by at least 20%. The research found that the average increases were four times the rate of inflation in the UK.
The report also discovered that British expats are spending £217 million a year in transaction charges for transferring funds abroad via UK banks when such payments can be made free of charge. The Post Office found that expats were on average wasting £158 each on these unnecessary charges rising to £300 for expats with banks that have higher charges.