Newbie expat mistakes and how to correct them

Published:  27 Mar at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Moving overseas is a stressful experience, whatever your reason for leaving the home country, but avoiding the headaches caused by obvious mistakes isn’t as hard as it may seem.

In the rush to make sure you, your family if applicable and even the dog arrive safely in your new country, it’s easy to put off or even forget essential tasks which will make your life easier after you arrive and even ensure your eventual return will be trouble-free. Most of the tips here involve money and the ease of your access to it, a subject which many soon-to-be- expats would prefer to put on the back burner!

Banking necessities for those moving overseas should include keeping an address in your country of origin, if only to ensure you’re able to re-establish your credit once your contract is ended. Not having a UK address may well also result in your losing your UK bank account, as many high-street banks now insist they’re only there for British residents. Most expats have trusted family members willing to help, and having a UK address can be essential when renewing your credit/debit card as the same high-street banks won't send cards to overseas addresses.

If your credit card is in good standing, it’s a mistake to close it, as you may lose your overall credit score and have major problems getting a new card when you return home. Keeping your card in your home currency is useful, even although the annual fee is a bore. If you’re closing several accounts, don’t do this all at once or, again, it’ll impact your credit score. It’s essential to let your card issuer know you’re emigrating as this will reassure the company you’re not fleeing the law or planning to become a money launderer. Even if you get this right, there’s a strong change your card will be stopped the first time you use it overseas.

If you’re self-funding private health insurance, make sure you exactly what's necessary and don’t end up with expensive, unwanted coverage. Research into whether your destination country offers free heathcare of any kind to expatriates, and check healthcare standards in developing countries before you sign up for a plan. Research into all life’s rich facets in your destination country is essential, especially as regards the documentation required for visas, property purchase or rental and job applications.

Monetary mistakes can take the shine off even the most seductive destination, with establishing a day-to-day budget the best way to ensure a happy lifestyle. Keeping an emergency fund separate from your everyday financial needs is the best idea, and factoring in exchange rates is important if you’re planning to draw cash from your home country account. If you’re a USA citizen with savings or an income, you’ll likely need an expert to advise you on IRS matters, but whatever you do, don’t just forget about your annual returns.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive