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Welcome to this edition of Expat News

Expatriate Healthcare update the news everyday on their website. Here's a round up of the top stories in January 2011...

Monthly round-up: January 2011

As we welcomed in a new year, many people are considering relocating abroad with searches for overseas properties on the rise in locations around the world.

In last month's news, people enjoying the winter weather on ski slopes were warned about the possibility of high costs should an accident occur and citizens from the UK were identified as the group most likely to relocate abroad.

Take a look at some of the other headlines from the month featuring healthcare and relocation advice for expatriate insurance customer.

It's never too soon' to start planning expatriate lifestyle

Prospective expatriates hoping to relocate abroad in the future should waste no time in planning for their getaway, Shelter Offshore has argued. According to director of the website Rhiannon Davies, sorting out money matters and expatriate healthcare should be the main priority. "The number one thing to get right is your finances, therefore consideration should be given to affording the move and affording ongoing living, healthcare and property costs, for example, above all else. I would say that it's simply never too soon to start planning," she advised.

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Take plenty of bed rest with flu

Expatriate medical insurance policyholders should not underestimate how poorly they will feel should they catch flu. This is the view of Dr Catherine Hood, scientific advisor to Mentholatum response beta Anti-viral hand sanitizer, who noted that bed rest is the most important thing to do should someone come down with the seasonal illness. "Keep warm and get plenty of rest," she advised.

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Expats advised to take health insurance in France

Expatriates who have taken early retirement and settled in France have been advised to take out expat health insurance. A recent article published in the Telegraph has assessed the options available to people living in the Mediterranean country. While in previous years people from abroad have enjoyed using the country's healthcare system without contributing financially through their taxes, president Nicolas Sarkozy changed all this and called for the exclusion of these people from the state healthcare system.

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Physiotherapy 'benefits MS sufferers'

People suffering from MS have been advised to include physiotherapy in their healthcare plan. Jon Graham, clinical director of PhysioFunction, said that physiotherapy can help MS sufferers by strengthening the muscles that aren't affected by the condition so that they can compensate. "It can also assist in the early stages when there is only temporary impairment to the nerve cells, and those muscles that have been weakened can be strengthened again through appropriate exercise," he added.

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Economic stress 'could increase obesity risk'

Expatriates living in countries with 'free market' economic regimes could be more likely to become obese. This is according to a recent study conducted by scientists at Oxford University. The research revealed that the stress of being exposed to economic insecurity can push people into eating more.

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Over-50s 'are more content with life'

Expatriate medical insurance policyholders who have reached the age of 50 are more likely to be content with their life. This is according to research from Engage Mutual, which found that individuals who have celebrated their half-century tend to have paid off their mortgage, have a family and are happy in their relationship. Some 40 per cent of over-50s say they are more content now than they ever have been, while almost two-thirds are experiencing confidence in their own skin.

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'Quality properties' available in Barbados

People who are relocating abroad might want to look into moving to Barbados. Kieran Kelly of Cluttons Barbados told Overseas Property Professional that the island is proving tempting due to the "stability of the economy, currency exchange rates, location and the quality of properties that Barbados has to offer". However, expatriates might want to get in quickly as the market is strengthening and prices could soon start to rise again.

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Berries 'good for skin'

Expatriates enjoying life in sunny climates might want to look into eating more fresh fruit. Recent research has suggested that brightly coloured foods, red berries in particular, are very effective at protecting skin. Sally Penford, education manager for the International Dermal Institute, explained that a lot of these foods provide the body with "great antioxidants".

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TEFL offers 'rewarding overseas employment'

People who are keen to expatriate but aren't sure what to do might want to consider Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) as an alternative to menial jobs. According to expatriate advice website Shelter Offshore, TEFL is a "fantastic way to do something different and exciting whilst living in and enjoying a new culture". However, there are a number of things to consider when relocating abroad. People using TEFL as a source of income while travelling should still be sure to check their expat health insurance needs before they head off on their adventure.

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Foreign buyers 'home in on Spain'

Expatriates are continuing to focus their hunt for a home overseas on Spain. This is according to the latest analysis from Kyero.com, which confirmed that Alicante accounted for a large proportion of enquiries. Indeed, 33.8 per cent of overseas interest in Spanish property was focused on Alicante during the first half of 2010, rising slightly to 34.8 per cent in the second half.

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