Moving abroad can be an exciting new chapter in your life. But to make it work, it's essential to do a little groundwork and get your finances sorted first.
To help you with your move, we've put together a list of things to consider when relocating abroad.
1. Take your finances online
Using online financial services can help you to manage your money efficiently, no matter where you are in the world.
If you're not yet familiar with online banking, moving to another country is an excellent reason to get to know it.
It's a good idea to retain your bank account in your home country for some time after relocating. Ensuring that you're all set up with online banking and electronic bank statements before you move is a must.
2. Don't forget about your debts
If you have debts at home, inform your financial institutions that you're moving overseas so you can work out the best way to keep making payments from abroad. Your overseas creditors can still take action to collect the debt, even if you're living abroad.
You can set up a recurring payment to keep chipping away at your debts while you're out of the country.
3. Choose the right time to close bank accounts
Your credit history may be used to determine your eligibility for accommodation or financial services, so it's important to protect it.
One thing that can harm your credit score is closing multiple bank accounts and credit cards all at once.
So, don't rush to close all your accounts just because you're moving abroad. You may still find it useful in the future to have a bank account in your home country.
If you have many different credit cards and bank accounts in your name and wish to close some, do it over an extended period (it protects your credit rating).
4. Stay in touch with financial institutions
Before you leave the country, inform all your financial providers of your move. Otherwise, your bank may freeze your account when you try to access your money from overseas.
If your bank requires you to have an address within the country, you may be able to change it to a trusted relative's address. Opt-in for online communication, so that you don't miss any notifications about your account or service.
5. Gather all essential documents
When you first arrive in a new country, there'll be many papers to sign and forms to fill out to get set up for your new life.
Without the right documentation, you could face delays, extra expenses, and unnecessary stress.
Here's some of the documentation you may need:
- Birth certificate
- Change of name certificate
- School, college and university certificates
- Past payslips and bank account statements
- Medical records
- Passport, ID and driver's license
- Visa documents and work permit
- Marriage certificate
- Tax records
6. Get insured
Having the right health, life and home insurance when living abroad is important. Use a price comparison website to find the best deal on insurance. In some countries, having valid health insurance is a mandatory requirement.
7. Stay on top of your taxes
When you move abroad, learn about tax requirements in your home country and the country you're moving to.
It may be worth hiring a financial advisor who understands the tax regulations and requirements. An expert may also be able to advise you on how to make savings on your tax bill.
Don't forget to inform the tax authority in your home country that you're moving abroad.
8. Research job prospects and living expenses
If you plan to look for a job after your arrival, research job opportunities before you go and find out how much you can expect to earn. Then you can work out a budget for rent, bills, transportation, and food.
The cost of living around the world varies vastly, and a high income usually goes hand-in-hand with high living expenses. Do some research to figure out the cost of living so that you can create a monthly budget in the local currency based on your projected income.
Here are just a few of the expenses you should research:
- Moving expenses
- Visa and residency fees
- Exchange rates
9. Get local advice
Seeking locals' advice is one of the most effective ways to get information and could even save you some money. Support services, professionals, and your network can all be valuable sources of information. Don't be shy about asking for a piece of advice from locals - most people will be more than happy to share their knowledge.
10. Think about your retirement
Having the right pension in place means that you'll be able to stop working when you want to.
Before moving abroad, take the following steps to look after your pension:
- Find out if your job abroad includes a pension scheme
- Inform your current pension scheme provider that you're moving overseas
- Decide whether to leave your existing pension with your current provider or transfer it to a new scheme in the country you're moving to
- Keep all your payslips and other relevant documentation from employees. You will need proof of years worked abroad and your home country to help you claim a pension upon retirement
11. Moving your money overseas
One part of managing your money that doesn't need to be complicated is moving money overseas. Use our overseas money transfer service to transfer money to yourself or your friends and family abroad. You can choose from various convenient pay-out options, including mobile money, airtime top up, bank transfer and cash pickup.
Our customers can opt-in to receive daily notifications straight to their phones about their chosen currency's latest exchange rates. This will help you to choose the most cost-effective time to make your transfer.
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