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Dreaming of moving abroad? Here’s the reality.

tavernaWhile the UK has been blessed with perfect weather for the past few weeks, somehow the sun is always brighter aboard: which is why this weekend marks the peak exodus of Brits to foreign holiday resorts. Because while eating fish & chips watching the English Channel is great, it doesn’t really compare to lounging in a taverna munching calamari with the azure Aegean lapping your toes...

The problem with holidays is that they have to come to an end and soon, you’re dumped back in the hellhole of Terminal 2 with just a ride on a filthy, expensive train to suffer before you get to your home which now looks gloomy compared with the white-tiled villa you’ve been enjoying.

So it’s understandable that when you come home from your holidays you might start dreaming about moving abroad permanently. After all, in this digital age, we can all work from anywhere, right? And isn’t abroad cheaper than living at home?

Time for a reality check. Brexit issues aside (who knows how/when/if they will affect any Brits living abroad in Europe) it’s not always that easy or cheap to shift your life overseas. Even if language isn’t a barrier, getting work may be. There’s the tax position to consider: imagine dealing with an overseas tax authority. Remember too that free healthcare isn’t a given elsewhere as it is in the UK.

If despite all these factors, you still fancy escaping for a life abroad then do your research first. There’s a fun new online tool, The Real Cost of Moving Abroad, from home interiors people Hillarys: have a look here. It lets you compare costs in 50 countries – for example, I found that while buying a home in Greece will on average cost about £1,089 per square metre (less than half that in the UK), the cost of utilities in Greece is a massive 101% more than in Britain, mainly thanks to much higher mobile costs. Checking out how much it could cost to live in your holiday location might make you more appreciative of the charms of a British winter and Southern Region: though possibly not the latter...

And see our guide to buying a property abroad here

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Saturday, 20 April 2019