There are many Brits living in Spain but why did they leave the UK? What drives people to leave their home and set up somewhere new?

A new study by YouGov and Lloyds Bank Private Banking has found that one-in-four British people would seriously consider moving abroad if it meant that they could be closer to their children.

The results of the survey, which is likely to send shivers down the spines of 20-something flyer girls and barmen everywhere from Marbella to Ayia Napa, were recently published by the bank, and reveal that 67 per cent of Brits with children believe that a move abroad would help their family improve their quality of life…

Other factors that would attract Brits to expat life include access to better schooling (38 per cent), better healthcare (22 per cent), and the opportunity to experience a different culture (59 per cent).

The Family Futures Survey asked 1,100 Brits about their intentions to move abroad at some point, with scenario-based questions positing a host of different scenarios, such as relocation for work, coming into a windfall, or retirement.

Based on the results, the survey seems to suggest that for many Brits, the chance to improve their family life might well be the biggest attraction to starting a new life overseas, with worries about culture clashes, integration and schooling of less concern than in previous years.

“It is clear from the research that the appetite to move overseas is very mixed, and often down to personal reasons and circumstances,” said Richard Musty, director of Lloyds group’s International Private Bank. “The most important point is simply to be prepared before making that move, and seek the right guidance.”

Moving overseas is not without its pitfalls, particularly with children in tow. But largely, if the desire is there and families have done their research, upheaval can be minimal and any shortcomings in lifestyle are usually outweighed with an abundance of positives, such as better climate, more varied social and leisure interactions, new cultural opportunities and much more.

Budding expat parents should also be aware that children will respond to change in different ways. What can be exciting and fresh for one child could prove bewildering and frightening for another, so parents should be sure to talk clearly to each of their offspring before, during and after the move, explaining the decision and focusing on the positives.

For the parents, a new language, new layers of bureaucracy and new social norms will have to be learnt and adopted. Some families find the transition seamlessly easy, while others naturally struggle. Only you can truly gauge how you might fare, but you won’t know until you go – that much is a given.

Back to the survey, seven in ten of the people polled said they would find it hard to move away from family and friends – a common concern. Some 60 per cent were worried about schooling, with one-in-four concerned that a move of such scale would prove unnecessarily stressful.


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