Know Before You Go – A Life Abroad is More Than Bricks and Mortar

FCO urges British nationals planning to retire abroad to learn more about their destination before moving.

With six million British nationals planning to head overseas when they retire , the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is teaming up with ‘A Place in the Sun’ to urge UK retirees and others considering a move abroad to think long-term and plan thoroughly.

According to ‘A Place in the Sun’, there has been a swing back towards more established destinations since the global downturn, with Spain, Portugal and France proving to be particularly popular – both for buying a second home and full-time relocation. For many, moving to foreign climes to settle down in a place with warmer weather, different scenery and a change in lifestyle is an appealing prospect.

But there are many things to consider to help ensure a smooth transition. Despite the importance of being prepared before heading overseas, a recent survey has suggested that only a third of British nationals (32%) believe doing their own research is the most important thing to do before moving. Just one in ten (10%) saw their long-term financial requirements as the most important factor.

James Duddridge, Minister for Consular Affairs, said:
“Moving abroad can be a wonderful experience, but living somewhere new is very different to your average holiday. It’s crucial to think about the future and allow plenty of time to do your research.

“A permanent or semi-permanent move overseas involves many practical and social changes. We would advise British nationals to take their time to research all aspects required for a successful move, such as the laws and customs of your future home country, the long-term financial implications for you and your family, any legal issues requiring independent advice and your current and future health needs. Remember, relocating is about more than bricks and mortar”.

Andy Bridge, Managing Director of A Place in the Sun, said:
“It’s no coincidence that people who make the most successful transition abroad are those who are fully prepared and have done their research. Considering long-term financial requirements, learning the local language and seeking independent legal advice are just some of the important things you should think about. The FCO’s moving abroad checklist is a good place to start.’

Carole Hallett Mobbs, editor of ExpatChild.com, moved to South Africa over a year ago and comments:
“I speak to British expats frequently, and often people forget simple, everyday steps such as cancelling their water back in the UK, which is a difficult task when you could be thousands of miles away. I would advise those looking to move abroad not to cut all financial ties with their home country when they move. Having a UK bank account left open can prove extremely useful when you discover an outstanding bill or utility needs sorting out, or in case of an emergency.”

Almost half (46%) of the survey respondents who already live abroad said their top piece of advice for those looking to relocate is to be realistic with their expectations. Hallett Mobbs echoes the sentiment: “Successful expats are those who go into their new life with their eyes open, and with a sense of adventure tempered by realism. The grass isn’t greener, it’s just different grass.”

If you are planning to move abroad, visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/living-abroad for more information, or see our video guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a-jSafRm-I. If you know the country you would like to move to, check the FCO’s Living In guides https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/overseas-living-in-guides for more details.


More Information
For more information on moving abroad and how to make it easier, look through some of our top posts:
5 Top Tips for Would Be Expats
Choosing between local or international schools
Moving abroad with your pets
8 Great reasons to move abroad
5 best ways to learn the language

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Managing your international payments

PensionThis is a guest post by Cathryn Evans.

In the current economical difficulties, people are now seeking better value for their money. They are looking for simple, uncomplicated processes to transfer money abroad. There are many options for consumers who are buying property abroad or paying for additional services, these range from bank transfers, credit or debit card, currency bought in their home country and cash withdrawals from Multi-banco when in country. All of these methods imply poor rates of exchange, additional charges and fees, as well as commissions in many cases.

Another option is a Foreign exchange company, they can look at offering you a higher exchange rate than your bank many with no fees or charges, they should be regulated by HM Customs and Excise and from May 2011 the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

As soon as you make that decision to buy a property abroad, whether it is to emigrate or a holiday home – this is the key time to talk with a Foreign exchange company, they can give you the best advise on the rates and discuss timescales with you – this then gives you your budget for viewing properties.

At Premier FX what we can do listen to your needs. We can then go through the options to secure the best rates for you, as we know its all well and good while the rate is in your favour, but what happens if you have a large sum or regular payments you need to transfer and the rate is against you?

When this happens there is solutions for you, Premier FX can offer fixed rates for up to 2 years and we can look at fixing rates for regular payments on a monthly basis, this can protect you against the fluctuating exchange rate and give you piece of mind. Of course we can still offer the spot rate – which is the rate on the day, our online system gives you access to the latest rates 24/7.

Whether you are looking at moving to Sweden or to Portugal your Foreign exchange company will be able to help you every step of the way, from the initial purchase of a property to making regular transfers.

We are here to make your currency transactions stress free and simple.

Premier FX is authorised by the FCA (530712) and regulated by HMRC.

CONTACT
Cathryn Evans
Tel: + 351 289 358 511
cathryn.evans@premfx.com

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Woohoo! Over a 1000 Twitter followers :)

MMA on TwitterOK, so a 1000 Twitter followers isn’t particularly astounding in the great scheme of things but it’s a great milestone for us to have reached – onwards and upwards as they say!

It’s nice to see so many users sharing great photos which is perfect for blogs on travelling or living abroad.

We’ve started a new Friday guess the profile pic – see if you know where it is:
https://twitter.com/movemeabroad

Here’s a clue: it’s in beautiful Portugal.

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Love Surfing? Try the top spots in Portugal

Here’s a handy infographic by the guys at Momondo showing the top surfing spots in Portugal. Portugal not only has some of the best beaches in Europe it also has some of the best waves. With spots for all levels – why not check them out? I used to live near Arrifana which is a beautiful spot and great for all levels of surfer. One word of warning though – it does get very busy in summer!

View the original and full article here: 10 unmissable spots that make Portugal a surfer’s paradise

Web

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Study Abroad Scholarship with Pimsleur (US readers only, sorry!)

Pimsleur Approach’s 2014 Study Abroad Scholarship

Prizes:

Students with the most thought-provoking and well-reasoned essay, as judged by a panel of Internet Order LLC staff members, will win one of the three top prizes:

  • 1st $1000 + Pimsleur Approach system of your choice
  • 2nd $500 + Pimsleur Approach system of your choice
  • 3rd Pimsleur Approach system of your choice

* Be sure to read the rules and submission details carefully before entering. No purchase necessary and no fees are required to enter.

About the Pimsleur Approach Scholarship:

This scholarship is in honor of renowned linguist and language educator, Dr. Paul Pimsleur. In honor of his commitment to language-study research, this award will help make language and culture more accessible to American college students.

Pimsleur believed in cultural exploration as a lifetime pursuit and that effective communication needn’t be cost-prohibitive. This scholarship opportunity can help provide an immersive experience consistent with Pimsleur’s mission to take language learning out of the classroom and into the world.

For more information please check out the full scholarship details and sorry folks this is for US students only!

Note: we have no affiliation with Pimsleur nor do we know anything about the Pimsleur Approach, we received an email directly from them about this scholarship opportunity so if you wish to proceed please be sure to check it out thoroughly. If you are interested in learning about Pimsleur, you may find this review helpful: Pimsleur Approach Review – An Honest Look

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Moving to Italy? Here’s 7 blogs to check out …

Thinking of moving to Italy? Then here’s some blogs from expats who have already made that move. Read all about their lives in Italy and the fun and frustration they have in their new lives.

runRunbritchickrun – http://runbritchickrun.wordpress.com/
I love to blog about life in Roma, my running & fitness and food.


umbriaAmericans in Umbria – http://americansinumbria.blogspot.co.uk/
Our experiences retiring to a small town in Umbria


oilMixing Oil and Water – http://mixoilandwater.wordpress.com/
Exploring little-known corners of Italy in the regions of Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia


englishmanEnglishman in Italy – http://englishmaninitaly.org/
An Englishman, his Sicilian wife and an English – Italian dictionary.


petinitalyA Blog on Pets in Italy – http://www.petsinitaly.com
Blog and resource for people with pets in Italy – cats, dogs, horses, geesem, you name it! Brought to you by British writer Fiona Tankard – resident in Italy since 1994


greenholidayGreen Holiday Italy – http://greenholidayitaly.com/
I am a freelance journalist living in a stunning corner of Italy. This blog is your guide to responsible travel in Italy. Slow food, off-the-beaten-track destinations, walking, trekking, cycling, ecotourism, nature.


parmamiaParma Mia! – http://parmamia.blogspot.com
Parma Mia! is a blog written by two expats offering advice, tips and personal recommendations to help you best take advantage of your time in Parma. Our blog introduces you to the highlights of Italian bureaucracy, assists you in finding English speaking doctors, kids activities, shops, keeps you up to date on local events and venues, and more!


For more blogs to read, check out the Italian list from ExpatBlog and also from ExpatWomen

For some basic facts about Italy, please view our Moving to Italy page.

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