Make sure this is where you really want to live. It is mighty different living in a place than spending 10 days’ vacation there. What’s it like outside of the tourist season and how overcrowded and noisy does it get during the tourist season? Look at available housing to rent (don’t buy straight away until you have been there a while and you know what area to settle in) are there decent schools, medical facilities, shops, and of course culture?
Can you afford it? Moving overseas can cost a lot, even if you are using EuroUSA ??. It’s not just the shipping, its car hire, hotels, flights, may be no income while you change jobs, eating out every meal while waiting for your new house and things to arrive. Buying a car, buying new furniture or electrical items, deposits for electric, water, gas, cable, internet, phones and house rental all might require cash up front. Money to come home to visit friends and family is important and stock up on Sonic’s milk shakes, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, prime rib, or whatever you are craving for.
With help from Google and expat forums, investigate in advance how you obtain a driving license, buy or sign into health insurance, get a social security card or equivalent, open a bank account, buying a car, obtaining insurance, registering with a doctor, local transportation, visa’s, house rental, and more.
Check with an experienced international accountant how your taxes will be worked out and deducted. Don’t forget you have to declare worldwide income if you are an American citizen so even when working abroad you still have to file your taxes in the USA. There are tax treaties between most countries so you probably won’t pay double taxes but you might have to pay the difference in the tax rate between foreign and the USA rate. Check tax laws if you are thinking of owning a holiday home overseas and spending some months there and some here. Check on the tax year dates as some countries run different start and finish tax year dates. What rates are the destination countries tax rates? What about sales tax or vat? Do they have a different rate for temporary visitors compared with residents or citizens? Can you import your household items duty and tax free?
Consider all the little things that all together can sometimes make or break being an expat. Here is a list of some of the things to consider. If some of these things already exist, don’t think they will vanish just because you are moving to another country. They could get worse!
Kids, will they enjoy it? leaving family behind, what about your pets, marriage problems, you will get home sick, leaving elderly parents, leaving friends, having no friends or family when you arrive overseas, changes in culture, diet, work ethic, language barriers, health problems, are you and your partner equally committed to make it work, will one of you be stuck at home not knowing anyone while other one is always at work. Changes in hairdresser, doctors, dentist, therapist, optometrist, nail salon etc. Chances are you will have to miss the odd wedding, birthday parties, funerals and other family events.
Now if you are up for the challenge, looking forward to some life changing experiences and ready to relocate overseas, give us a call or email us to get an international moving quote.
We want you to be happy and successful there for the long term and not having to move you back after a few months!