Buying property or moving abroad is a complicated business, with a number of important financial matters that need to be considered and planned for. Getting all things financial in order is a key part of the process and needs to come at the very start of your planning, once you have made the decision to purchase property overseas or emigrate.
If you’re emigrating…
Migrating to any one of the ‘big four’ English-speaking, long-haul destinations – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and America – is likely to be an expensive process. If you are already living within the EU and planning to emigrate closer to home and stay in the EU, you are likely to find the emigration process a less expensive one, although poor exchange rates between the Pound and the Euro, for example, and Brexit uncertainty, are not making things any easier…
While there are a number of factors that will affect how much money you will have to start your new life with, there is one thing that will have a greater impact on your finances than anything else: the exchange rate. All too often, emigrants leave thoughts regarding how to turn their money into Dollars or Euros until the last minute, too caught up in all the other aspects of the move and, understandably, the more exciting aspects.
You should start thinking about exchanging your currency for the currency of your intended destination as soon as you start on the long road to emigration. The exchange rate you secure for transferring large sums will have a huge bearing on your spending power in your new homeland.
Top tips for overseas financial success
We have teamed up with a number of our expert partners and financial experts to provide some handy tips about getting your finances in order before you emigrate, learn what you can expect living costs in your new country to be like and compare property prices between the UK and each of the aforementioned destinations covered in this guide.
We’re not saying that reading this guide will give you all the answers and do all the financial planning for you – far from it – but it will certainly give you an idea of the different financial considerations that you will need to address over the coming months, as you progress with your overseas move.
Get a specialist on your side
Of course, you want to achieve the best possible exchange rate, so you can take more money with you when you go. To do this, speak to a foreign exchange specialist, as they watch the currency markets constantly, so they can keep you updated about what exchange rate movements mean for you and your emigration, but you can instruct them to watch for the sort of rate you are seeking. A personal currency expert can really get to grips with your requirements and suggest strategies to help you plan, budget and protect your money throughout the process of emigrating, buying property abroad, and beyond, so you know you always have the right support.
Once you’ve started transferring money internationally, you’re going to need somewhere to put it. Thankfully, it’s possible to set up an overseas bank account before you arrive in any of the ‘big four’ long-haul emigration destinations and European banks, and it’s advisable to do this well in advance – especially if you’re emigrating long-haul. It is surprisingly hard to set a bank account up once you arrive; the difficulty being that you often need proof of your permanent address and identity documents. If you are living in rented accommodation on arrival, you won’t get utility bills and so may have to wait several weeks to be able to open a bank account. Catch 22?
Beware overseas transaction fees
Setting up a bank account in your chosen destination and transferring funds there can prevent accumulating overseas transactions fees for continued use of your existing accounts, whereas opening an account pre-arrival could have helped you build your new credit rating in your new country from day one.
If you are already drawing a pension, you will want to explore the possibility of transferring it to your new country; and research any additional pension payable to you as a resident there. It’s crucial to get independent financial advice on all pension matters for your emigration and in your new home. Find out more.