Moving abroad is exciting, yet a bit frightening at the same time. Learning about a new culture, making new friends, trying new things and simply fitting into new surroundings can be quite a challenge. Preparation is the key to making the move exciting and fun, rather than an exercise in frustration. Nowhere is preparation more important than in the financial area. Knowing exactly how your finances may change and what to expect is key to a smooth, drama-free move abroad.
Cost of Living
The first thing you need to consider is the cost of living at your new location. Make certain that your wages or salary will continue to provide for you the same or better standard of living in your new country. Cost of living varies widely around the world, as does what is considered a good standard of living. Be certain that you fully understand both for your new home nation. Do research on how individuals at your income level live in your new area of the world. This will not only make certain your salary is adequate to provide what you need, but will ascertain if the new location is a good fit for you.
The next most important thing is to understand how the banking system works in your new location. Will you be paid in U.S. dollars or the local currency? If it's in U.S. dollars, what's the exchange rate? Be certain that your employer makes up for this difference or pays you in the local currency so your buying power is what you think it is. You will want to set up a bank account in your new city. Try to find a bank with connections back to your homeland. This will make money exchange and setting up the account much easier.
SEE: 5 Ways To Invest In Currencies
Notifying the Right Companies
Don't forget to notify all your insurance companies of the move. Some may be able to continue coverage for you overseas, others will not. It's critical that this financial aspect is taken care of prior to your move. You certainly don't want to be in the position of being uninsured in a foreign country. If your current providers can't help you, find firms in your new country that will write the polices you need. Also notify your credit card companies of your move. If they see activity coming from a different country, they will likely assume that the card was stolen and shut it off. Notifying them of the move will eliminate this potential.
The Bottom Line
Moving to a new country is an exciting undertaking. Just be certain to follow the above tips and use common sense in managing finances.