Ex-Pats struggling with Credit Crunch
A Devil’s Advocate Article
The last couple of month’s has seen a dramatic slump in Sterling with some exchange rates going 20% against us. Although this may assist us in Exports and Tourism to this Country from abroad, it is affecting those wishing to travel or are living in other Countries very negatively.
It was of therefore with interest that I read last weeks article in the Independant and listened to the BBC News this morning about the plight of ex-pats who have moved abroad to places like France and Spain.
The main bones of contention seem to be from Pensioners, who are getting up to 20% less on their payments and people who have moved abroad but do business solely with the UK over the Internet.
I think at this point we need to consider why people move to these places and research seems to show it’s two thing’s; the weather and the lower cost of living.
I have a genuine sympathy for the Pensioners who have at least paid into the system all their working life and would be the same over here as over there by not working. I also have admiration for those brave enough to up sticks and try elsewhere.
However, with the others (I’m sure the great minority), isn’t life about choices, decisions and most of all, chances? They have opted for a different way of life like many have here, but without moving abroad. Sometimes luck and chance go with you and sometimes it doesn’t.
They decided upon their move, it was their own personal choice to do so.and if by a quirk of fate, things have turned against them, isn’t that what happens to almost anyone?
In some cases, according to news reports, some haven’t learnt the Spanish or French languages which would at least give them an option of working on the same terms as the Nationals and would save them, again according to news reports, having to pay for Translators for their official letter writing and other business.
So if I’d have moved to France or Spain, I’d be pretty peeved of with the financial situation, but I don’t think I would try and seek too much sympathy – I don’t think so anyway. There are many Business’s big and small which are hugely affected by this situation, especially with those who need to import goods to make their Products and this in turn will lead to job losses for those who have not moved out.
Life is full of chances, sometimes it works out well for us and sometimes it doesn’t. Which Road we decide to take at each of Life’s Junctions is our choice, so we have to accept it when things don’t go our way all the time.
To those who have moved abroad and are genuine in their quest and stand firm with a brave heart, good on you and I write this without predujice, but to some, maybe we have to take life on the chin.
It’s a pity that it is the minority having a go and some may recall how the Brits became known as Whinging Poms down under, but in reality it was just a few.
The Credit Crunch is proof alone that no matter what we do or where we go, things aren’t going to be the same as they were before.
Maybe it’s the wake up call we need, but to some, a wake up call was not necessary and they are the one’s who will really suffer ??
I feel for pensioners who now find that a pension which would have converted to 100 Euros now brings only 65 Euros, after all their bills haven’t gone down to match their reduced income so it must be very worrying for them. Nevertheless as you say they chose to move to France or Spain because of the much warmer weather and much lower cost of living and many expats have had the financial benefit of a decade or more of easy living during which they could have saved against a rainy day. Even if they had only saved their winter heating allowance (which many certainly didn’t need) then they would have had a little cushion. Now, like virtually everyone else wherever they live, they are finding themselves in economically straightened circumstances but you will notice that whinge as they do, they don’t go so far as to return home in order to experience the British cost of living!