abbey research finds that only 4% consider tax a reason for choosing to live abroad
Quality of life is the main factor driving UK inhabitants abroad, not tax considerations, according to research by Abbey National Offshore.
For the quarter of a million people that flee Britain every year, 38% do so for a better quality of life while a tax-free salary motivates only 4%.
Other key drivers for 30% of people was the desire for a new life experience, while escaping the British winter appealed to 11%, although this figure rose to 29% for people in Scotland. Career progression is also an incentive, but only for 9% of the adult population.
In December, Abbey sponsored Omnibus to interview 2,010 UK-based adults over the telephone, provided by BMRB, and then extrapolate the figure to the estimated quarter of a million people emigrating each year according to The Expatriates Handbook.
Abbey said the US was the favourite destination for 22% of people, followed by Australia (14%) and Spain (11%). Other European countries had less appeal, with 6% choosing Germany, Greece and the Netherlands. Cyprus and Portugal had 1% of the British wanting to work in each of these locations. Outside of Europe, Canada and New Zealand had 9% and 7%, respectively, choosing these destinations.
The research found that more than a third of people would move to a city and 28% to a coastal region. This choice, however, depended on age and life stage - 51% of 16-24-year-olds would choose city life but only 9% of over 65s would. Some 35% of the retired had a preference for coastal areas.
Britons living in the North of England and East Anglia were the most convinced by the thought of living in a rural idyll of a village or mountain location, with 17% wanting this, compared to 9% of the rest of the population.
Although moving away from family and friends can be hard for many, it seems that the British are not scared to make the break - more than half (52%) would be happy to move overseas for between six months and two years.
Indeed, one in five (21%) would be willing to commit to over six years in another country, with Yorkshire residents particularly keen on the prospect of a long contract abroad (30%).
Malcolm Corrigan, Abbey National Offshore, said: 'Working overseas provides the chance to experience new cultures and a different type of lifestyle, and with 250,000 people making the move each year it is important to focus on the financial practicalities before you make the move.
'Our research shows that three out of four people would continue to use a UK bank account while working abroad, despite it not catering for the needs of an expatriate lifestyle. Opening an offshore bank account could not be simpler and often your UK bank will have special services for expatriates.'
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