Friday, 4 December 2009

Expats - Where is Best to Live? Canada or Russia or Singapore?

CBC.ca reported on a survey done by HSBC which discovered that Canada offers the expat the best lifestyle. Towards the bottom of the news item, there is mention of a second HSBC survey called Expat Economics 2009, which ranks countries for the best financial rewards for expats. Russia comes out on top there, quite a surprise, but is almost at the bottom of the list for lifestyle.

Which presents the obvious question, which offers the best overall combination?

HSBC Lifestyle Table


HSBC Economics Table


The country with the highest combined ranking is Singapore! It is number 4 in Lifestyle and 6 in Economics. Hong Kong is not too far behind.

Of course, which is best depends on what you are looking for. It seems a lot of retirees, who are not in the wealth accumulation phase of life, like Canada.

The UK ranks poorly in both tables. Expats have a hard time saving as living costs, especially housing, are too high. One wonders why so many people want to come to the UK.

The report says that the credit crunch and its aftermath have caused expats to, surprise(?), spend less and save more. More interesting is the finding that high income $200k+ earners put a much higher proportion of their savings and investments into shares, bonds, property, funds versus the heavy focus on bank savings by those earning less than $60k. One might say that at the time the survey was conducted - February to April 2009 - the big earners seemed to be taking advantage of buying opportunities. And how does one get to be rich / a high income earner - is it possibly by taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves?

The other interesting indicator is that, as HSBC says, "wealth is moving east". Russian and Asia are the places to make big money as an expat. Europe and North America are falling behind.

One must note of course that HSBC admits that the survey was not scientifically conducted and may be inaccurate.

2 comments:

Igor Katkov said...

Both pictures are unreadable

CanadianInvestor said...

Thanks Igor. I've replaced the shots with what I hope are better ones.

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