About the author: Aviva Tabachnik is a resident currency expert at OPP award winning comparison webs...
5 financial tips for a successful expat relocation04 April 2014, by Aviva Tabachnik
Moving country can be fraught with problems. From arranging transportation of your personal belongings to finding the right foreign currency deals, there are bound to be many hurdles along the way.
It can all be time consuming, frustrating and expensive, and if you are not careful you could end up spending more than you need to along the way.
The good news is that there are many ways you can avoid being ripped off during your great expatriation adventure. Read our five essential tips to ensure your big move goes as smoothly as possible and that you keep a tight hold on your relocation budget.
› Do your research well ahead of time
Before you book your plane tickets, arrange your accommodation and hand in your notice with your current employer, do a little homework on your chosen destination.
You’ll need to get the lowdown on visa applications, the cost of living, the culture, the currency and the factors that are going to affect you personally once you move.
There are lots of expat community resources online and forums where you can share concerns, ask questions and find out more from the people who have actually been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.
› Consider using a specialist financial advisor
There are many ways a financial advisor experienced in giving expats advice can help you to make wise decisions about your future.
Whether you are looking to get a mortgage or you need to move a pension, a good financial advisor can give you the lowdown on the processes involved, the paperwork you will need and how to avoid some of the financial pitfalls often associated with big money transfers and legal transactions. It pays to get the right advice.
› Don’t fall victim to high bank charges
When moving to a new country, there are bound to be times when you need to arrange an international money transfer.
Your first thought may be to use your bank for this service, but this could cost you dearly. The high street banks offer a rate that is a great deal lower than the rate you would be offered from an online money transfer specialist.
If you are transferring large sums of money in one go or on a regular basis with your bank, each money transfer you make could cost you up to 85 per cent more than it would with an online transfer non-bank foreign exchange specialist. Ensure they are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).
It’s easy to avoid the bank money transfer trap. By using a money transfer comparison service you can find the latest companies offering the best deals, low transfer fees and professional advice when you need it the most. Always benchmark the "sell" rate against the "real" rate on a reputable currency converter.
› Hunt down deals designed for expats
There are hundreds of thousands of expats the world over and this has caused the money transfer companies to sit up and take notice. As a result, there are some great transfer deals out there for the taking.
From locking in the best exchange rates to enjoying reduced fees there are many offers available that will not only save you money but give you instant peace of mind that you are getting the best deal now and well into the future.
› Choose a budget and stick to it
Many expats move to their new country permanently before they have secured a job or got to grips with the cost of living and economy. That means you might need to live off your savings and your wits for a while.
Don’t worry, you will get used to it and with a little clever planning, you won’t suffer the fate of many expats who need to move back because their finances ran out.
From knowing the cost of a loaf of bread to working out visa and removal costs, it pays to devise a budget and stick to it rigidly. Once you are in employment, settled and in tune with your new surroundings, you can start to enjoy the good life - after all, that’s the reason you relocated in the first place.
Moving to a new country should be exciting and exhilarating, but it doesn’t always need to be expensive. Planning ahead and avoiding some of the expat scams and ripoffs in operation will stand you in good stead for the future!
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