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06 June 2016
Moving Abroad: The Essential Guide
Moving Abroad: The Essential Guide

Moving Abroad: The Essential Guide

Going to live abroad is a big decision. It’s a decision that needs a lot of careful thought and planning. Rushing into this can cause more disadvantage than advantage so make sure you’re ready and in the know before you go.

Final destination

Where you decide to move abroad to is the biggest decision you’ll make. Research places of interest, particular locations and areas. Reading blogs and articles can really help count towards your final decision so use the internet and other sources of information wisely. If you’re swaying towards Europe, you’ll need to consider cities, rural and urban areas along with suburban locations. You also need to bare in mind whether you’re moving just with a partner, friends or a family to decide which local amenities you’ll need, including schools, transport and jobs. Where will you work? Unless you’re transferred from a job this is key. Job opportunities arise higher in cities so if you fancy Germany, look at Berlin for instance. Is your area of interest in the EU or further ahead? Remember not every European country uses the Euro so some will be a lot cheaper than others will.

The boring bits

Tax, pensions and mortgages are really vital ingredients in making your final decision. Speak to your current pension company, tax advisors, your accountant, bank manager, and the important people who can help you with the tricky parts of a big move abroad. You need to be clear about your intentions for moving, your retirement plans and financial situation. There is no better time to be honest then when it comes to savings and your current money status. Whether your pension will be eligible abroad is something to be discussed with the company in mind. Without pinpointing and exploring these ‘boring bits’ you’ll make an error in moving abroad and find yourself in a worse financial situation or fines and prosecutions. Do this slowly and properly to avoid any nasty surprises. Your welfare rights are also important to make sure you know these and get any advice you need to help you claim them. And finally, health costs. You’ll need to know how much services are and whether you can afford them.

Moving forward

Once the boring bits are done and dusted, it’s time to find your place of dreams. Moving abroad is a little more difficult in finding somewhere in normal circumstances, as unlike in the UK you can’t easily explore a new home or area. You’ll have to fly before you buy. Flying to a new destination is great for working out how far away you actually are from home and how long it would take for visitors. If any difficulties in buying arise, it would be beneficial to get an English-speaking lawyer involved to help solve these problems. You may need to pay for the house in local currency so open up a foreign bank account and research your options into paying. Whether it be using a credit card, traveller’s cheques or a cheque in general, these are useful to know, as it will give you insight in how to purchase things in future. Once you have found your new home and signed for it, all the paperwork will need to be scanned over and copied, again your solicitor or a home-abroad estate agent can help you look through these. When agreed all is ok, the move can commence. Remember to sign up to local healthcare, authorities and any schools or universities. Education, health and security are so important when moving abroad so prioritise these areas and get them sorted before you can start enjoying your new home.