Taiwan and Ukraine top personal finance rankings

Taiwan and Ukraine are the best places in the world for your wallet, according to new research, thanks to their relatively low cost of living.

The latest 2016 Personal Finance Index, conducted by InterNation, ranks countries around the world for expats’ level of financial satisfaction and the overall cost of living compared to their income. Taiwan and Ukraine are new entrants in the annual chart, but both dominated the top of the table, overtaking former frontrunner Ecuador, which dropped to third.

In Taiwan, only 2 per cent of the respondents are generally dissatisfied with their financial situation abroad, compared to the global average of 17 per cent. Instead, 85 per cent are satisfied overall, and 28 per cent even go so far as to say they are “completely happy” with their financial situation.

Just 4 per cent of expats in Taiwan think that disposable household income is not sufficient for their daily life, while more than two-thirds of the respondents (69 per cent) say they have more than they need to cover their expenses, as opposed to less than half of the survey participants worldwide. Two in nine respondents even state that they have a lot more than enough, compared to one in 10 globally.

Life in Taiwan seems to be rather inexpensive, as it ranks third in the Cost of Living Index. Five in six respondents (83 per cent) are generally satisfied with the cost of living in Taiwan, compared to just under half worldwide (49 per cent). Moreover, 35 per cent of expats in Taiwan say that the cost of living is very low, more than double the global average of 14 per cent. The cost of living was also regarded as a potential benefit by two-thirds of expats when they considered their upcoming move to Taiwan.

Similarly, just 13 per cent of expats in Ukraine are unhappy with their financial situation, compared to 17 per cent worldwide. Almost three-quarters of the respondents think that their disposable income is more than what they need to make a living in Ukraine; three in 10 even state that their disposable income is more than enough.

Lingering at the bottom of the Personal Finance Index is Greece, which came in last in 2015 and 2014. Just one-quarter of the respondents in Greece are satisfied with their financial situation. In addition, more than half of the expats in Greece (53 per cent) say their disposable income is generally not enough to cover their daily expenses, with 22 per cent saying it is “not even nearly enough”.

Italy takes the second-to-last place, after ranking 61st out of 64 countries in 2015. Over three in 10 expats in Italy (32 per cent) are not satisfied with their finances, and around one-third say their disposable income is just about enough to cover their daily expenses.

Ireland, which was ranked 54th out of 64 countries in 2015, comes in 65th place out of 67 countries in 2016. One in four expats in Ireland says they are not satisfied with their financial situation overall while close to two in five expats state their household income is not enough to get by.

Photo: sese_87