Despite 2% salary hike per year, 54% expats confident about building personal wealth in India

Even with a modest salary hike of 2 per cent annually more than half of the expats living in the country are confident about building their personal wealth during their stay in the country, a survey has revealed. Expats are optimistic and confident about their financial future and their present is shaping up nicely as well, the expat explorer survey by HSBC said. Lower cost of living compared with their home countries ensures that they have more disposable income than they did in their home country, it added. More than half (54 per cent) of expats in India are confident that their life in the country can help build their personal wealth. The salaries of these expats are only slightly higher in India than their home country, rising by 2 per cent compared with a global average of 25 per cent, it said. The survey was conducted among 22,318 expats from 163 countries, including in India, and territories through an online questionnaire in March and April by YouGov, and was commissioned by HSBC Expat. While a majority of expats move to India for work, family life as well as cultural experiences are a big component of the expat experience in India, according to the survey. It found that *two thirds of expats in India enjoy the local culture* and the financial gain allow more expats in the country than elsewhere to support causes, participate in local community events and donate to charity. Meanwhile, the survey revealed that the average person globally taking a job overseas usually adds USD 21,000 to their annual salary when they move, which is enough to buy a new car, pay off the average household’s debt twice over or cover rent for two years. *Switzerland has topped the list of destinations* for the biggest pay packets, with the average salary increase of USD 61,000, to make the average annual expat salary the highest in the world at USD 202,865. The US took the second place at USD 185,119, Hong Kong the third at USD 178,706, while *India came at the seventh spot, with an average annual expat salary of USD 131,759* According to HSBC India head-retail banking and wealth management S Ramakrishnan, while a move overseas can often mean a rise in disposable income, it also brings complexity along with it. A taste of life in a new location can be the key to unlocking your creative potential, finding the work life balance, or taking career in a new direction. However, too many expats spend their first months abroad stressed because they didn’t get their finances in order before moving, he said. The survey revealed that Sweden and Brazil came top of the class for offering a creative work environment, while the UK and the US were voted the best places to get ahead in career.

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