Top three things to remember when moving abroad

Over the years, I’ve met many people that have moved abroad in search of sunny pastures new. Some are looking for a new adventure, while others are hoping to spend the remainder of their lives in warmer climates living a better quality of life. Whatever your reasons may be, if you’re thinking of moving abroad then there are a few key things you should remember…

  1. Prepare for life in your new home

It’s easy to get caught up in stress of cancelling accounts and utilities, redirecting post and so on, but don’t forget that you’ll need time to settle into your new home. Everything you cancel now, you will be setting up in a few months’ time, whether that’s setting up your local utilities accounts or investigating where the local hospitals are.

Then, what about transport? You’ll need to do some research on second hand cars so you know how much money you’ll need and what kind of model suits your new environment. Then of course, the most important task of all is thoroughly researching the area you’re moving to, including its cultures, traditions and diverse population. If you want to blend in with the locals, it will require more than just learning the language!

  1. Let the proper authorities know

It doesn’t matter what area you’re from, you must make sure you inform the correct authorities of your move. For example, if moving to South Africa from the UK, you will need to fill out a P85 form from HMRC and return it, as this notifies the tax authorities that you are leaving the country, ensuring you’re only taxed for what applies to you.

Many people move abroad to live off life savings and pensions however, so if you’re one of them, continuing to receive interest income from savings in the UK, this requires form R105 from HMRC to be sent to the financial institution where your savings are held. This can be a very complicated area of law to understand though and mistakes are easily made, so you can check out a useful guide right here.

  1. Will you stay or go?

Finally, are you keeping your property at home for rental purposes? Some people prefer to keep their previous house as a source of extra income, but this of course has many added complications. For example, how will you manage the property? Who will find suitable tenants and screen them effectively? Who will carry out repair work and monitor any complaints or requests? Who will clean the property in between tenants and replace any broken furniture? A letting agent might be the best option, but they do charge a fee.

Then there’s the fact that you will need to state your responsibilities to the government as you could have tax considerations, as well as the fact that you will need expat landlord insurance which could be costly if you don’t shop around.

When moving abroad it pays to be organised – what other tips would you give new ex-pats?

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