The Smart Expatriation online calculator enables would-be expatriates to work out the true value of their future income, taking into account all potential stoppages and costs, in a given host country.

Smart Expatriation sets out the pros and cons of a move abroad

In 2014, the number of expatriates around the world was estimated at 100 million. This migrant figure includes people who go to take up a post in another country, plus students and also so-called ‘economic migrants’ who leave their home country in search of better living conditions elsewhere. In fact it seems that so many people are tempted by the lure of foreign parts that tools are now being created to help them to work out the cost of living in their destination country. International job mobility specialist Helma has taken the initiative to offer these globe-trotters an online platform on which a user can calculate the value of his/her compensation package abroad, taking into account the differences in cost of living, average accommodation prices, plus personal income tax rates and the level of social security contributions. This personal income calculator does have its competitors but, points out the originator of the platform, Ghislain de Rengervé: “There do already exist calculators designed solely for company use, so that’s a completely closed system. What we set out to do was to provide as many people as possible with professional information on the subject.”

Comparative compensation studies

The new tool, called Smart Expatriation, enables both individual people and HR professionals to work out a person’s equivalent income in another country, taking account of local cost of living and other relevant factors. Explains Ghislain de Rengerve: “If today you’re living in Paris and you receive an offer to go and work in Shanghai, the Smart Expatriation tool will make a calculation starting out from your current remuneration, income tax and social security stoppages, plus the cost of your accommodation, and then make a comparison with the same situation in the mooted host country.” An employee can thus work out the differential and so make a more accurate assessment of what the employer is offering, based on the real costs of living in the new country. All you have to do is enter some basic information and the Smart Expatriation tool will tell you what would be the equivalent salary required to maintain your standard of living in the host country. If you would like a more detailed analysis, there is a paid-for service available, at a charge of €55. Users have the option of putting questions on their specific cases directly to local experts and obtaining personalised advice.

New online platform gives users the financial pros and cons of a move abroad

Planned coverage of over 30 countries

Data on a variety of countries is being collected and made available to users through a “network of partners who frequently look after foreigners arriving in their country, plus also our network of tax experts in each country,” reveals the Smart Expatriation inventor. Following the official launch of the new tool on 20 April, he is now hoping to attract a million visitors to the site within a year, a relatively modest proportion of the large number of current and prospective expatriates worldwide. The platform will cover 80-90 cities in over 30 countries. “Following our official launch, our aim is to add two extra countries every month.”  The site is aimed at all types of audience, with a view to opening up this information to as many people as possible. “We’re targeting a broad international community, students as well as working people,” underlines Ghislain de Rengerve.

By Anthéa Delpuech