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Articles

Expat Articles


Financial

UK SMEs Eye Euro Weakness, While USD Stays Strong

Posted on Monday February 16, 2015 (08:16:12)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

One month into 2015, and we’ve already seen enough volatility in the currency markets to last a year. However, though the first month of the New Year has been a turbulent one, it may have worked in your favour - especially if your business is involved in importing goods from Europe – as the pound has hit fresh highs against the euro.

The European Central Bank’s long awaited decision to announce a plan worth around EUR1.1trn to purchase assets in a bid to create inflation and stimulate demand in the Eurozone is long overdue, and it was the expectation of the announcement that caused a broad sell-off in the European single currency. At the time of writing, the euro is down 6% through 2015 already.   more ...

Financial

New Year Cheer For The Pound Versus The Euro

Posted on Friday February 13, 2015 (22:23:14)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

In the first month of 2015, we’ve seen the rise and rise of the pound against the euro, with GBPEUR hitting its highest level since March 2008. At the start of February, the rate was at 1.334; at the start of January it was down at 1.2824. In just a month, the euro has lost over 4% against the pound.

But why? Well, part of the reason is that while the European economy continues to grapple with extreme levels of unemployment and fears over deflation, the UK economy had become one of the fastest growing in the G10. Euro uncertainty around the Greek election, and fears of a possible Greek exit from the single currency hardly helped matters either.   more ...

Financial

Positivity In European Property Market, But Still Some Way To Go

Posted on Tuesday October 07, 2014 (21:02:04)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

Let’s start with a stat. Two thirds of Europeans say house prices are too expensive. That’s according to a survey of over 12,000 European consumers by ING Bank.

It’s very possible that you’re reading this in the UK, and wondering whether that 66% have ever taken a look a property prices in the UK, and if they know how lucky they are!   more ...

Financial

Buying Property Abroad This Summer? Make The Most of the Foreign Exchange Rates

Posted on Wednesday August 13, 2014 (08:36:47)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

It’s that time of the year when many people are heading away on their summer holidays, and such breaks away usually involve three stages; the anticipation in the build-up before you go, the sheer enjoyment of being there, and the disappointment but inevitability of having to leave a week or two later. Just imagine if you didn’t have to go home. Imagine if you moved abroad to start a whole new adventure.   more ...

Financial

British Sporting Disappointment But UK Economy Gives Reason For Expat Cheer

Posted on Saturday July 12, 2014 (10:35:07)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

Britain has suffered a disappointing summer of sport, with the recent failure of England’s football team in the World Cup, a whitewash for England’s rugby players in a three test series against New Zealand and defeat in the cricket versus Sri Lanka, who won their first ever test series in England. Add in Andy Murray’s worst Wimbledon performance since 2005, and that caps a pretty miserable month or so for those of a sporting persuasion. Thankfully, the UK economy isn’t suffering in quite the same way; in fact the opposite is true – it continues to flourish.   more ...

Financial

Rocketing House Prices At Home Make Overseas Property A Real Option For Expats

Posted on Wednesday June 04, 2014 (09:30:01)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

In what appears to be a symptom of rocketing property prices in the capital, a garage in Kensington was recently put up for sale at £300,000. That’s more than the UK’s average house price, which I’m sure you’ll agree is absolutely remarkable.

Foxtons, the estate agent marketing the garage, speaks of its generous proportions – with room for two cars – and the fact that it’s “located in a highly sought-after area.” Plus, it has “easy access to Kensington High Street.” But it’s still only a garage.   more ...

Financial

A Strong Pound Means Expat Money Goes Further

Posted on Tuesday May 06, 2014 (20:08:55)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

We’re already a third of the way through 2014 – clichéd I know, but seriously, where has the time gone? – and so far, it’s been a good year for sterling. A succession of strong data has kept the pound on top of most other currencies, and what a difference a year makes - at the beginning of last year, sterling was weak, data was poor and the UK economy had been downgraded.

Expats looking to buy a property in Europe will be pleased to hear that this strong pound will enable them to get more for their money. Whereas just over a year ago, a pound will have got you €1.15, it will now get you €1.21.   more ...

Financial

Spring Has Sprung – Time To Spring Into Action With A Property Abroad?

Posted on Friday April 04, 2014 (22:42:10)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

After what has seemed like a never-ending winter, spring appears finally to have sprung. We’ve tasted a little sunshine and experienced some warmth and maybe, it’s just injected a little more positivity into our lives.

However, you never know when the warm sunshine will be replaced by cold rain. British summers are well known for being anything but, well, summery, and promises of barbeque summers (remember that classic) have turned out to be nothing more than a damp squib.

Maybe you’ve decided enough is enough, and are contemplating a move away to warmer climes, where the way of life is more relaxed and the weather is slightly more dependable.   more ...

Financial

How The 2014 UK Budget Affects British Expats Living Abroad

Posted on Saturday March 22, 2014 (11:31:33)
Oliver Heslop
Expatriate tax director of Global Expatriate Tax Services Ltd and official Expat Focus UK tax partner Oliver Heslop discusses the recent UK budget and its impact on British expats

Budget Day in the UK was 19 March 2014, when the UK Chancellor George Osborne announced the UK economy to be very much back on track.

We consider the reforms that he has announced to UK pension annuity rules to be seismic changes.   more ...

Financial

Sterling Strength and Fall In French Housing Prices Provide Perfect Expat Opportunity

Posted on Wednesday March 05, 2014 (13:14:20)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

If you’re thinking of moving abroad, one of the main considerations is what kind of house you’ll be able to get for your money. This is determined obviously by the value of the house you’re buying, but also by the exchange rates, which can have a significant impact on what kind of property you’ll end up in.

If, for example, the pound is strong against the euro, you’ll get more for your money, and you may be able to afford more than you thought. The exchange rates can fluctuate dramatically in the space of just a few weeks or even days, so it’s always worth keeping your eye on the markets.   more ...

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Expat Focus Preferred Health Insurance Partners


Bupa Global

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Cigna

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