Even if a gentleman’s destination is not a place, but a new way of seeing things, here are the best countries to live and work.
Do You Think the United States Made the Cut?
You might occasionally feel like you’re living in the best country to live and work, but according to a survey of expats, it isn’t the U.S. And, for the first time in five years, it isn’t Singapore either.
HSBC’s annual survey on expat work patterns has produced some new (and maybe surprising) results. Topping the list as the No. 1 country to live and work and surging all the way from an eighth-place finish last year to do so, is Switzerland.
Yes, the land of yodeling, savory meats, and scenic landscapes has dethroned long-standing champion Singapore to claim the crown of most-preferred country of residence for expat workers. Singapore didn’t end up too far down the list, however, just finishing at #2.
Fully 82 percent of expats told HSBC that they had seen a significant improvement in their quality of life since moving to Switzerland, and 71 percent of survey respondents stated that they were now enjoying a higher degree of disposable wealth than they had previously.
As for the rest of the top 10? Canada took third place, with Spain and New Zealand following in fourth and fifth, respectively. Rounding out the latter half of the top 10 were Australia, Turkey, Germany, the UAE, and finally Vietnam. Meanwhile, the U.S. came in at 23.
There are a few things that seem to have solidified success for those expat workers who have decided to take the plunge in moving to a completely foreign country.
According to the survey, paying attention to an incoming set of laws, regulations and requirements well in advance is important, as is a general willingness to adapt to local norms and cultural values. Producing a rock-solid personal budget to stick to and having at least some foresight – or a grand vision of the future – were also crucial for most expat workers.
The whole working abroad thing is often seen as a seasoned worker’s territory, a place to go when you’ve gained enough work and life experience to get a good job elsewhere. That’s not necessarily true, however, as the survey results indicate that the number of younger expats is increasing, and a vast majority of these youthful workers are learning new skills as they live abroad.
While it may not seem appealing to leave the land of the free for so-called greener pastures elsewhere, a great many people do take the plunge, loving their host nation (and themselves) all the more for it.