Need a change? A growing number of British citizens are looking outside of the UK for career and growth opportunities as well as somewhere to retire.
But before you start researching flight costs or deciding where to settle, take a step back and consider the financial implications of leaving the UK. Jetting off abroad without a solid financial plan could result in negative consequences, from failing to find somewhere to live to being unable to return home quickly in an emergency.
Furthermore, if you don’t plan ahead from the get-go, you could experience surprising financial complications upon returning to the UK.
With this in mind, here’s our advice on making the most of your move overseas:
Save before you leave – Never underestimate the need for sufficient savings – ideally 7-9 months’ worth of living expenses prior to your departure. The exact amount you will need though will obviously vary depending upon your job, lifestyle, family status and the current exchange rate, amongst other factors. You should also plan, not only for the costs of moving overseas, but for the costs of repatriation should it all go wrong. But what if you find yourself having to move abroad before reaching your savings target? We would recommend that at a minimum you should possess the funds to cover your housing costs including emergency health care and repatriation expenses.
Stick to your budget – Having a healthy savings account is obviously advisable but if you don’t have an accurate sense of the cost of living in your host country, you could spend it faster than anticipated.
Before your departure, identify the costs of housing, food, education, entertainment, transportation, utilities and insurance then create a monthly budget based upon your income and projected expenditures.
Research your banking options – Expats heading to countries with less developed financial systems should prepare to stigmatise any prospective banking offer. Verify whether your deposit will be guaranteed and by whom. If your new country’s government guarantees the accounts, consider the stability of that government. Should the guarantor be a private organisation, research the solidity and reputation of the organisation and confirm that private banks in your new country allows British citizens to open a bank account.
Set-up a bank account early – When possible, initiate the application process well in advance of your departure. Although you may find it difficult to open an account before arriving in your host country, identify and collect all the relevant documents that you require to get started. Delays in opening a bank account can cause unexpected financial stress and you may encounter difficulties finding housing, obtaining a credit card, mobile phone as well as cashing cheques.
Tax considerations – Moving overseas won’t help you escape from debt. Most countries require citizens to file tax returns and pay taxes when residing abroad, even if they also file a return in their home country. State taxes may also apply if you’re renting or selling your home while abroad so given the complexity of these issues, make sure you discuss your situation with a qualified advisor or accountant before you leave.
Are you hoping to retire abroad? – Never forget to save some extra funds for your twilight years. Those people with a pension should contribute to the plan while abroad. If company policy excludes expats, ask if the plan can be amended to allow expat participation.
The importance of maintaining a healthy credit score – Although you may be proud of your credit score when you leave the UK, should you live overseas for an extended period, that score could disappear, which may lead to trouble when you return home.
Many people decide to move home after a few years abroad, wanting to buy a new car or home but are surprised to find out they have no credit score and cannot buy until they re-establish their credit. Lucky for you, the solution is simple; remember to use a UK credit card a few times a year. For example, you could purchase a couple of books or DVDs from online retailers, and make sure you settle your debt on time; this will make sure your score is kept on track.
PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.
Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.