Where to start when moving abroad?

where to?For most people choosing which country to go to when moving abroad is pretty simple, if it is with a job it is usually when a new opening comes up so there might not be much choice, if you’re retiring or are moving for a better life it is usually to a country you’ve spent a lot of time in, on holiday mostly. However, sometimes you know you want to move abroad but you’re not sure where to, so what do you do if you are in that situation?

Well, the best thing is to start working out where you DON’T want to move to. Let’s keep it simple, this is a blog about the EU and my next move, for example, will be in the EU so I don’t need to worry about the rest of the world. Therefore I have 28 countries to choose from. Well I can cross out where I am now straight away and one of the main reasons I am moving is the weather so I can also cross off quite a few of the northerly nations:

Czech Republic
United Kingdom

I can also put two on the most likely list because they are countries we know a lot about and would be happy to move there, so Portugal and Romania I’ve put in green and I’ll investigate those options when I have my finished short-list. France is also a definite possibility as is Hungary so I can also add those in green.

That leaves me with 14 countries I need to whittle down. At this point then I need to do a little more research into each of them, ideally we’re looking for a bit of land but we’re on a limited budget so we need to find a country that has reasonably priced properties for sale. I think I’ll be able to cross quite a few countries of the list pretty quickly with that criteria so that’s the next step.

Are you considering moving abroad but don’t quite know where to go? Where have you started with working it out? Please let us know below…

Moving Abroad Checklist

Here’s a brilliant checklist for anyone thinking of moving abroad, courtesy of the FCO and A Place in the Sun (PDF for download at the bottom):

Moving Abroad Checklist Final AW Jpeg

Also, not on the list – don’t forget to plan for your pets!

Here’s the checklist summary:
1 – Do your homework
2 – Don’t rush in to buying abroad – something we definitely advocate here, consider renting first.
3 – Be a part of the community – integrate as much as you can
4 – Consider your long term financial requirements
5 – Plan for your health
6 – Read up on tax regulations
7 – Seek independent legal advice
8 – Tell the authorities you’re leaving

Moving Abroad Checklist Final AW PDF

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

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.

Cathryn Evans
Tel: + 351 289 358 511

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:

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