HK, Lux, Sydney named best for an agreeable, tax-efficient life

Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Sydney are named the “most favourable tax-efficient locations for the quality of life on offer” in a report just published by the London-based, internationally-focused real estate giant Knight Frank.

Knight Frank’s Global Lifestyle Review 2016 analyses the lifestyle available in 26 jurisdictions around the world that researchers from BDO, the accountancy firm and business advisory firm, had previously determined to be the most favourable tax locations for people at three different stages of life.

Thus, the Knight Frank report says, Hong Kong ranks as “the best place to live for an entrepreneur”, Luxembourg “tops the list for a family”, and Sydney “is the No. 1 location for a retired couple”.

Also ranking high on the Knight Frank tax-efficient/lifestyle league table are such other well-known, tax-efficient locations as Dubai, Geneva and London, for entrepreneurs as well as families.

Monaco, meanwhile, appears among the top-ten winners offering “excellent quality of life for entrepreneurs and retired couples”, according to Knight Frank.

In ranking the various jurisdictions, Knight Frank’s researchers examined the lifestyle factors that typically motivate individuals at different stages of their lives before they purchase a property.

“Taking into consideration a variety of factors, including but not limited to personal safety, political risk, quality of life, education, cost of healthcare and available leisure pursuits, Knight Frank has weighted these lifestyle elements and identified the top ten places to live for an entrepreneur, family and retired couple,” Knight Frank explained, in a statement accompanying the results of its Global Lifestyle Review.

Alex Koch de Gooreynd, partner and head of Knight Frank’s Swiss network, said the purpose of the report was to give individuals considering their relocation options some help, since the wealth managers or taxation advisers they typically rely on for advice ahead of a move “rarely take into account the lifestyle factors that will make the move a successful one for more than simply fiscal reasons”.

“Within this report, we have analysed the lifestyle factors which motivate clients to purchase property, and have identified locations which are best suited to people at three different stages of their lives,” Koch de Gooreynd added.

“Whatever stage you are at – whether [you’re] an entrepreneur who wants airport access and entertainment on tap, a family whose priorities are good schools and outdoor activities, or a retiree for whom security, healthcare and a like-minded community top the list – it’s crucial to understand the day to day life of a destination.”

Richard Montague, a tax partner with BDO, which contributed to the Knight Frank Lifestyle Review, noted that jurisdiction-shoppers need to do their homework, as there are “many pitfalls for the unwary”.

” An understanding of the tax regime in the country of choice is key,” he added.

“Most countries have some form of indirect taxation, such as a value added tax or property transfer taxes, and will also apply direct tax on income, and [on] profits on the disposal of assets. Other countries will seek to tax capital gifted or inherited, or apply an annual tax on net wealth. Some countries even seek to apply an exit tax when individuals break tax residence.”

Below are the three  Global Lifestyle Review 2016 rankings. To read and download the report, click here. 


Most favourable
jurisdiction for entrepreneurs

  1. Hong Kong
  2. London
  3. Vancouver
  4.  = Dubai = Geneva = Sydney = Vienna
    8.  Singapore
    9.  Copenhagen
    10. Monaco

Most favourable
jurisdiction for families

  1. Luxembourg
  2. Vienna
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Geneva
  5. Dubai
  6. London
  7. Singapore
  8. Vancouver
  9. Dublin
  10. Miami

Most favourable jurisdiction
for retired couples 

  1. Sydney
  2. Malta
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Limassol
  5. Vienna
  6. Faro (Portugal)
  7.  = Auckland = Vancouver
    9.   Copenhagen
    10. Monaco


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