The pound made fleeting gains on Thursday, driven by hopes for a solid economic rebound in the UK this year.
Now that Covid-19 vaccine rollouts are starting worldwide, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s tantalisingly close.
Once we’re through this tough spell we can pick up our postponed plans, and for many that is to move country in 2021.
So, with the events of the last year in mind, we’ve selected some of the best countries to move to in 2021.
Finland: Europe’s happiest utopian paradiseFinland has coped particularly well with the coronavirus pandemic, with infections rates generally much lower than its Nordic neighbours and the rest of Europe.
Aside from its strong pandemic performance, Finland has economic stability and promise in the years ahead, while still creating an admirable collectivist culture in which wellbeing is ranked above economic growth.
For instance, according to the World Happiness Report, Finland is one of the happiest countries in the world.
Not only does Finland offer excellent social security, free healthcare, and a work-life balance that is the envy of many of its European counterparts, but it is also stunningly beautiful with breathtaking landscapes, forests, and rivers, complimented by a rich and welcoming culture.
Finland is often referred to as a utopia, and it’s especially popular with British expats, with 88% of them aged between 15 and 64 years old – the highest percentage in the European Union.
Canada: for a friendly welcome in the ‘Great White North’Canada’s vaccine rollout is underway putting the country on the path to recovery, making it a great option for a move in 2021.
Unlike Canada’s next door neighbour, the United States, a combination of political stability and economic resilience makes Canada a potentially more appealing move post-Covid-19.
Add in Canada’s rich culture of being a true melting pot of communities from around the globe, and the fact it boasts dramatic scenery and a famously welcoming culture, Canada just becomes more attractive.
Also, according to a recent HSBC survey, Canada is second when it comes to being home to the most welcoming communities.
More than that, Canada – like the UK – has excellent free healthcare and a whole host of other benefits, such as being home to many other British expats who admire the country’s lifestyle, stability and scenery in the ‘Great White North’.
New Zealand, one of the most promising countries post-coronavirusNew Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden declared victory against the coronavirus at the end of 2020.
Following New Zealand’s strict lockdowns, it looks like the nation’s economy could be in for a rebound in 2021.
Grant Robinson, New Zealand’s Finance Minister, said that the nation’s response to the Covid-19 crisis had “contributed to a better-than-expected economic recovery” with a forecast to outperform many others in the Eurozone, and both the UK and Japan.
Economic benefits aside, New Zealand has always been a favourite for Brits thinking about living abroad, with the nation boasting one of the best work-life balance records in the world.
33% of all British expats live in Australia and New Zealand, and a key reason is most likely the quality of life and excellent summer weather.
Also, if you’re thinking of transferring your pension, the country doesn’t tax any benefits that you might receive from the UK.
Another major bonus of New Zealand is of course its wildlife, beaches, and mountains. There is plenty of space to explore as New Zealand is one of the least densely populated countries in the world.
On top of economic, language, and landscape benefits, HSBC has rated New Zealand as being eighth on the World Happiness Report.
Vietnam, for quality of life and low cost of livingA completely different but equally attractive prospect as one of the best countries to move to in 2021 is Vietnam.
Not only will you experience a radically different culture and exciting new professional life (if you’re seeking a new career) but you’ll also meet some of the world’s most exciting people.
InterNations ranked Vietnam as fifth in personal happiness rankings owing to the nation’s vibrant culture and stunning natural attractions.
If rainforests are your thing, Vietnam has some of the most exotic, and if you enjoy national parks, Phong Nha-Ke Bang and Hang Son Doong, home to the world’s largest cave, are second to none.
Also, when it comes to cost of living, Vietnam is one of the most affordable in this list, with houses going from between 500-800 dollars per month, that’s around 370-590 pounds.
Places like Saigon and Hanoi have higher prices, but, again, they are very reasonable, especially when compared to other countries in this list – and, of course, the UK.
But the definite winner for Vietnam is its light visa requirements.
As a nation it is very relaxed, with those who wish to move there needing to renew their visa every three months. Other than that, entering and leaving is easy.
All the countries explored in this list offer a fantastic new life post-coronavirus, while 2021 and beyond is, fingers crossed, looking brighter.
The respective economies of these countries are recovering from the Covid-19 crisis thanks to imminent Covid-19 vaccine rollouts, but the quality of life – especially in places like New Zealand and Canada – are likely to improve over time and could be some of the best countries to move to in 2021.
Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.