Moving to a new country or continent can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience at the same time. Even though the decision to move maybe wasn’t that hard, the process itself can be very stressful and demanding. Whether you’re emigrating because of a business opportunity, you got a chance to study abroad, or you want to retire overseas, it’s crucial to have your finances in order before you leave.
So, before you pack your suitcases and throw a goodbye party, here’s what you need to do in order to make this transition go as smoothly as possible. Minimize financial faux pas with these simple tips.
Start Saving Early and Save As Much As You Can
This is paramount. If you don’t start saving at least six months prior to leaving, you might want to reconsider the move. This is advisable even in situations where you’re moving to a country which has significantly lower living costs. Relocating to another country or a part of the globe carries many unforeseeable expenses with it. So, don’t leave any room to feel flabbergasted and dumbstruck by the amount of money you’re spending somewhere in the middle of the process.
You want to save as much money as you can, to avoid any unexpected or unpredicted costs. The exact amount of money you’ll need varies greatly from country to country and from region to region. Expat life can turn out to be very costly, especially in the beginning. You also want to take into consideration if you’ll be earning the money abroad, or if you’ll be just spending your savings. If the latter is the case, then you’d obviously need much more than you would if you were continuing to work.
Do the Research Prior to Leaving
Prior to leaving, you’d typically want to do the research about various things concerning the destination country. You’d want to know the culture, the customs, a few words of the language that’s spoken out there, etc.
As far as finances go, you’d want to ask around which bank to choose. There are high chances that you’d need to set up a new banking account over there. Go online or ask your friends around if they had any previous experiences with the country you’re moving to. Ask them about the banking system in general – is it bureaucracy-ridden, are the people willing to help you, what are the currency rates, do you even have a permission to open up a banking account as a foreign citizen, does the bank offer online access and so on.
After you’ve made sure that everything is in order in that regard, you want to ask around about the taxes, and how exactly do the expat taxes work. You might need to pay the taxes in both countries at the same time, depending on your home country and the country you’re moving to.
All these things might get a bit complicated at times, so don’t feel reluctant to ask for help. Make sure to contact a good immigration lawyer in Sydney, and make things absolutely clear. You don’t want any elements of surprise here, as these are rather serious matters that need to be approached with utmost caution.
Do the Math For the Budget Abroad
Decide early what exactly will you be bringing along. If you’re travelling lightly, with only a couple of suitcases and a carry-on, you’d want to calculate how much money will you need for housing, furnishing, appliances, clothes, etc.
Other than that, you want to calculate the approximate living costs per day, week, month, and a year in the country you’re moving to. Check the prices of food, gas, transportation, monthly rent, bills, leisure time like movies, theatre, bars, swimming pool, gym, or any other activities that you might be interested in pursuing in your new home country.
Compare your current budget situation with the newest calculations and you’ll know exactly what you can expect. You know your lifestyle the best, so the general advice would be not to get caught up in something which is way over your budget.
If Possible, Set Up a Bank Account Abroad Before Leaving
Once you’ve done the research and the basic calculations about the approximate amount of money you’ll need, it would be advisable to set up a bank account even before you leave, if it’s possible. This would make your life much easier in certain situations. For example, many landlords won’t even consider your apartment application unless you provide them with your banking account number. They want to be sure that you’ll pay the rent each week or month, and a person without the account might have difficulties explaining the situation.
There are other instances and cases in which it would be an advantage to have a bank account prior to actually relocating. For instance, you might face difficulties obtaining a credit card or a cell phone, or cash your paycheck.
Make a New Retirement Plan and Keep On Saving
No matter if you’re migrating somewhere because of a job opportunity, or enjoying your retirement, we would recommend you to get a new retirement plan and generally keep on saving the money. Even if all of your research and calculations were done right, and you have a certain plan that sounds pretty good on paper, there are still some unforeseen and unanticipated things that can force you to change the entire plan.
What if something happens and you suddenly need to move to a different place or get back to your home country? This is why it’s so important to keep on saving the money or make a new retirement plan.
We’re not saying that you should worry about the finances all the time. You definitely want to enjoy things, but at the same time, just be aware of the possible surprising elements, at least somewhere in the back of your head.
Relocating to a different county or a continent can be too stressful and nerve-wracking at times. You can make things so much easier if you make a thorough plan of all the things that you need to do prior to leaving, as well as the things you’ll do when you get there.
Having a sound financial plan is one of the most important things in this process. Dig dip into the research and calculations, and don’t be hesitant to call for the professional help, in case you get stuck in the middle of preparations.
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