The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in a shift in core financial values for expats, with 62% saying their future plans have been affected by the pandemic, according to a new study released today.
The study, conducted by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of Allianz Care, Allianz Partners’ international health brand, found that of the 52% who had changed their priorities, more than half (53%) said health and wellbeing were now for them a greater priority than before.
48% say family is now a bigger priority than it was before Covid-19, and 73% say the health and well-being of their family is now a “crucial consideration” in deciding whether to stay abroad or go home draw.
Almost overnight, massive lifestyle changes were forced upon us, which in turn forced us to reevaluate our lives and reevaluate what really matters, ”said Paula Covey, chief health marketing officer, Allianz Partners
When it comes to the reasons for moving abroad initially, almost half (49%) say financial gain is a primary reason for moving abroad, but for the majority, striving for better quality of life, health and wellbeing is the Key. 46% moved abroad for personal development reasons, while 40% made the move in order to achieve a better work-life balance.
The research was conducted among people living and working in the UK, France, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, who were born and educated elsewhere. It examined the effects of Covid-19 on them and their families, who is the “expat” of 2020 and what challenges they are facing.
Another important result was the shift towards a longer-term international life instead of the earlier perceived rapid entry and exit of work abroad in the past.
Paula Covey, Chief Marketing Officer, Health at Allianz Partners, said: “2020 has been a life changing year for many of us around the world as we grapple with the effects of Covid-19 overnight, which in turn have forced us to do ours To reevaluate life and to reevaluate what is really important.
“The same is absolutely true of the ‘expat’ community that lives and works all over the world. This can be seen strongly in the increasing prioritization of health and family. “
Most (71%) of those questioned have moved abroad with their families, half (51%) of all those questioned live with their children in their new country. Striving for a good work-life balance is a major influencing factor for 70% of expats when deciding whether to stay abroad or move.
Of this number, three out of five respondents (60%) state that they have a better work-life balance abroad than at home. That number rises to 72% in Canada and 71% in the United Arab Emirates, although over a quarter (26%) of Singapore residents found the work-life balance there to be worse.
Covey points to a shift in life plans where in the past “expat” duties were rather high-paying and often short-term, but research has shown that this community is now taking a longer-term perspective on living abroad.
“76% said they had changed jobs since moving to their new country, 59% bought their own home, and 58% said they plan to stay in their adopted country for the long term,” she said. “It’s an interesting trend for employers starting to move from the traditional expat assignment model to more local recruiting in each market.
Covey described the study as “extremely useful” for Allianz Care to understand the challenges and considerations this global community is facing in a post-COVID-19 world.
While most respondents felt that they had access to quality health care and services while abroad, which contributed to the positive impact on overall health, there were regional differences. While 72% in Singapore, 67% in the United Arab Emirates, 62% in France and 58% in Canada found the services better than in their home country, 23% of UK residents said the quality of health and wellness services there was to find worse than in their home country.
“Listening to our customers means that we can constantly adapt our services and offers to the ever-changing needs in the healthcare sector. The pandemic has shown all of us how quickly things can change, “added Covey.