Thinking of living abroad? Here’s some useful advice…
There’s plenty to think about if you’re considering making the move and living abroad; you need to research your new destination, think about your long-term plan and organise important safety measures such as life assurance or medical cover.
If your living abroad adventure is taking you from the UK to another country within the European Economic Area, your move should be fairly straightforward in terms of the legalities. If you’re planning on moving to a further-flung destination, you should contact either the British Embassy or the embassy for the country you’re interested in before you start making any plans.
Living abroad – before you take the plunge
Living abroad doesn’t need to be a massive headache, but it does require research. You should make sure that you visit your intended new home at least once to be sure that you’re making the right choice. Also make sure that you look into any relevant laws or customs, and consider your budget and currency fluctuations carefully.
If you’re used to free health care, such as the NHS in the UK, make sure that you’re aware of how the health care system works in your new country. Benefit systems, pensions and help for widows and dependents may also vary from country to country should anything happen to you while living abroad – so organise your life assurance to ensure you are covered in the new country, the best place to seek this advice is through an International Financial Adviser who understands your new destination. If you’ll be living abroad with young children, make sure you investigate the education system too.
Once you’re living abroad, what else should you consider?
Once you’ve arrived in your new country of residence, you may need to apply for a residence permit and/or register with the local authorities. You should also register with your local embassy and organise any ID documents that you may require – you may even need to make changes to your driver’s license if you intend to buy or hire a vehicle. If you’re moving within the EEA, you may be able to organise a non-resident bank account as soon as you get there, with the option to upgrade to a regular bank account once your residence permit has come through.
If you haven’t already organised that all important life assurance, then now is the time to do it; you should be able to find expat financial advisors in your area, or simply use a local service if you’re confident that they are regulated and bona fide. If you haven’t done so before, you should also make a will now, and on a more personal level, try to learn the local language so that you can fit in with your new community.
Our advisors here at Guardian Wealth Management have plenty of firsthand experience of the challenges you face when living abroad – many of our advisors are living as expats, so we totally understand how you feel and the different things you need to think about. With advisors all over the world, we can help you to organise your pensions, life assurance and wills, as well as dealing with matters such as inheritance tax. So whether you’re just considering living abroad, or you’ve already made the move, feel free to contact us at any time for some accurate and friendly advice.