Contractors’ Questions: Which foreign cities cost contractors the most?
Contractor’s Question: Does it always follow that high-end contracting destinations pay contractors the most to compensate for the high cost of living there?
I’m asking because this Q&A implies cost of living to be a relevant consideration when weighing up where to contract abroad. I know clients in London tend to pay more to offset the costliness of the city; do the capital’s overseas rivals do the same?
Expert’s Answer: You do not say in your question which country you are looking at as a potential destination in which to professionally freelance.
So in Table 1.0 (below) we have ranked countries in order of how much they pay UK contractors annually on average, and in Table 2.0, we have ranked countries in order of their annual, average cost of living.
In both tables, we have also provided each featured country’s overall ‘lucrative ranking.’ This allows you to see where each nation charts in terms of the average disposable income that a contractor will end up with. It is this factor -- how much the contractor tends to take-home after factors like tax and cost of living are deducted from their headline pay -- that usually interests professional consultants the most.
From looking at the table, you can see that a high salary can indeed be a good indicator of high take-home pay; as opposed to high-cost of living which appears to be a less reliable indicator.
In terms of cost of living if that’s your sole consideration as a UK contractor, in Europe, you could do a lot worse than Austria where the cost of living is very competitive, while beyond the continent, Malaysia has a very low cost of living.
Table 1.0 - Top-paying overseas work-destinations for UK contractors
|Salary Level (EUR)||Lucrative ranking|
Table 2.0 - Highest cost of living work-destination for UK contractors
|Cost of Living (EUR)||Lucrative ranking|