Financial tips to help expats make the most of their move

Published:  20 Sep at 6 PM
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After the initial buzz of finally making the decision to emigrate has subsided, reality sets in as the list of things to do gets ever longer and more confusing.

Relocating all your worldly possessions, often including children and much-loved pets, can become a nightmare in a very short time, causing migrants to forget less urgent tasks in favour of just getting on that plane in one piece. Putting financial tasks, however burdensome, on the back burner is one sure way to increase your stress levels once you arrive in your new home.

This may be obvious, but researching your destination’s average cost of living thoroughly to ensure you can afford your preferred lifestyle is essential. Arriving there and realising the salary you’ve agreed to or the interest from your investment just isn’t enough is decidedly not the way to begin the rest of your life.

Getting all your documents in order before you leave may be boring, but helps once you’re halfway across the world. Copies of ID cards, passports, an international driving license if necessary, your birth and marriage certificates and, if you’re leaving for another EU state, your health card are all necessities in one form or another, as is cancelling your credit cards and bank accounts.

Once you’re in your new home, make sure bills are in your name as it helps build up a credit record which will help with getting loans or a mortgage in the future. Opening a local bank account isn’t just for receiving your salary, interest payments or pensions, it’s also about contacts which stand you in good stead at a later date.

Online currency brokers offer fast, economical money transfers between countries, and opening an account before you leave is best. If you have savings to invest, get to know a reliable FA though local recommendation, and never trust those who approach you unbidden or via a phone call.
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