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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Want to move abroad? Take these helpful hints on board

Want to move abroad? Take these helpful hints on board
There comes a time in many people's lives when they realise that they could, if they wanted to, move abroad and make the most of a different society and culture. An exciting world can await you but, without the proper planning, you could find yourself facing a number of hurdles that will make your dream move more of a nightmare than anything else.

Here are a few things worth considering if you head across to Europe, Asia or South America - even if you just plan on crossing the border into Canada or Mexico. If you don't address them, beware - you could be in for a world of pain!

Healthcare - is it cheaper or free?

If you're moving with a job, you may find that healthcare packages are included with the role. However, it may be the case that you have access to partially-free treatments, particularly in places like the UK or Europe. Find out where you stand, as you could save a lot on insurance costs.

Pension changes needed?

If you're older and you have a pension fund to draw from, find out if there'll be any limitations to drawing it when you're abroad. You may need to move it all in one lump sum, or even have to re-open it on the other side with a new provider. Speak to your pension holder to understand what the most cost-effective approach is.

Do you want an expat experience?

Many people see locals as an essential part of their experience abroad, yet others may prefer the perceived safety of expats living in their chosen nation - after all, they will understand the culture better and speak your language. Understand how close such groups will be to you regardless of your decision.

Decide what you're going to do with your current home

If you own a property, it's important to sell it before you move out - if you're going for good, at least. Not only will you have capital behind you for a deposit on another property, but you'll also forego the worries of having to sell it from another country. If you want to keep hold of it, consider renting it; if you need to shift it fast, consider selling your house quickly with a property buying specialist.

Understand tax ramifications

You may find that you're stuck between two countries to move to. Often, a good deciding factor is tax; after all, you could be paying five per cent in one place and 15 per cent in another. It pays to be clued up on these things!

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