Barbados made the list in the “Best Ten Places to Live” list published in today’s Telegraph.co.uk.
I found myself in Barbados through the happenstance of love. But according to the article in the Telegraph, others rely on the head more than the heart. The Knight Frank research firm measured people’s desires in the areas of standards of living, economic viability, political stability, and other factors to come up with its list of Top Ten.
It’s amazing, the number of people who want to pull up roots and try something new. Research indicates that four out of 10 people who are older than 55 wish to emigrate and three out of ten under the age of 35 also wish to leave the UK.
The paper said that Australia is one of the most popular choices and that young professionals are often drawn to the United States, with Florida home to 400,000 Brits. But Europe trumps the States for transplanted Brits; 26% of transplanted British nationals live in France and Spain. The paper goes on to say:
For tax émigrés, Switzerland tops the list. “Many buyers are reconsidering their tax positions and are keeping a close eye on what is happening politically and economically throughout Europe, as tax implications for each country are changing all the time. But Switzerland is the most popular choice among those wanting to leave the UK full-time,” says Paddy Dring, Knight Frank’s head of international research. “It’s stable, well-organised, easily accessible, with good international schools and world-renowned health facilities and you have your lifestyle, in the form of skiing, an hour away.”
When I moved to Barbados, I never gave taxes a thought. I guess I was too busy looking through my lovey-dovey rose-colored glasses.
For the best all-round lifestyle, offering lots of property to choose from, good education and health services, the Telegraph reports that Tuscany and Majorca rate highly, along with France – predominantly Paris, southern/south-west France and the Alps. And for retirees, Southern Spain, southern Portugal, and Cyprus remain the most in-demand destinations.
So practical … the Knight Frank agency came up with its top 10 destinations for those considering a move abroad. Love is not on the list … more like tax, lifestyle, and retirement considerations — along with things sensible people consider: economic and political stability, climate, accessibility, tax regimes, health, education and the real estate market.
All I can say is I’m glad I didn’t fall in love with a man from Siberia.
Drum roll: 10 of the best places to live abroad, taken directly from the Telegraph.co.uk
1 SOUTH/SOUTH-WEST FRANCE
It has a diverse and established property market, good range of international schools, easily reached by train, car or plane. Rates highly for relaxed lifestyle.
Stable, tax efficient (though tax varies widely among cantons), easily reached by plane or rail and good quality of life, albeit costly. Despite limited supply of property for non-Swiss nationals, demand remains high.
Demand for French or Swiss alpine homes has been high this year, transport and education systems are outstanding and flight access is excellent. In both countries, buying and selling costs are each about six to seven per cent.
All-round appeal, with property attracting numerous nationalities. Property prices have fallen by 15-20 per cent, but interest in the south-west coast means there is little evidence of bargains. There are nine international schools on the island and one of busiest airports in the Med.
Highly accessible from Britain by plane, train, car or boat. Very low tax environment. Property prices have recovered from the crunch and a normal level of transactions has returned.
Property market less depressed than elsewhere in Italy, good international school in Florence, excellent state health care. Buying taxes are 10 per cent, but no CGT if property owned for five years.
7 SOUTHERN SPAIN
Great climate (this winter is a rain-lashed exception), excellent infrastructure and established British expat community. Endless choice of flights to newly expanding Malaga airport; there are 30 international schools in Andalucia. Marbella’s newly signed urban plan has cleared up years of planning corruption.
Good year-round climate, popular with British buyers. Low end of market suffering, but much of the new property stock is moving upmarket, with larger units and higher price points. Buying costs about 8 per cent.
Well served by low-cost flights, good international schools, three large hospitals. The majority of overseas buyers there are still British and stock levels remain high and varied. Older residences in prime locations are selling regardless of condition.
Politically and economically secure. Great properties at prices not seen since 2006. No CGT, inheritance tax or gift tax. Distance and lack of work opportunities may limit appeal to those looking to move permanently.