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Health and Lifestyle

6 Things to Consider When Moving Abroad

Have you recently been on holiday and fell in love with another country? Sun, sand and being far away from everyday stress leads us to dream of moving away, a fresh start, an exciting new life… If your kids have flown the nest, you are independent and single, or you are nearing retirement and want to downsize, you might be even more inclined to wonder if a slower pace of life in a new place where property is still affordable might be the answer.

Whatever your reasons for dreaming, if you are seriously considering moving abroad, you will need to take a close look not only at the opportunities, but also the challenges and implications of such a move. It is absolutely essential that you research the destination of your dreams in some detail and make adequate preparations before moving. Single Parents on Holiday have collated some of the most important aspects to consider when moving overseas:

Cost of moving to another country

When moving to another country, the first question you might ask yourself is how much is the  average cost of moving overseas? Removal costs can vary greatly depending on the distance from your current home and the method of transportation you choose for moving your belongings. There are two ways of transporting household goods: air freight and sea freight. Sea freight is one of the cheaper options available as ships can carry more goods than airplanes. However, air freight is the better choice if there are under time constraints because delivery can take less than a week versus many weeks at sea.

You could, of course, reduce the number of belongings you take. Yet even if you decide to leave your furniture behind for now – or, in fact, for good – you will be surprised by the amount of personal items you own and may want to take. So, do make sure that you factor in the cost of the removal company.man sealing removal box for move overseas

Language and culture 

Don’t underestimate the obstacle language can present. You might manage fine with English on holiday but getting an office job or working as a professional abroad, will require you to know your destination’s mother tongue to some degree. It is even more important to know the native language when dealing with local authorities. Realistically, it will take many years before you know a language fluently and can converse at a level that misunderstandings are a rare occurrence. So, try to go to on holiday often and apply your language skills at every opportunity, because practice makes perfect.

It is equally important to ensure that you are well aware of the culture of the country you wish to move to. Even if you have chosen a Western European country to settle in, you may find that locals have different values, prefer different foods and drinks, laugh about other matters, don’t share the same table manners, and dress or behave differently in work or social situations. The list is long, and it is imperative to consider whether the culture agrees and is compatible with your own values and views of the world. trying to learn a foreign language before moving abroad

Climate and weather

If you live in the UK, the weather might be the exact reason you wish to move! But don’t be fooled by one of your recent solo holidays in the sun. It may be wonderful to worship the sun for a week whilst lying by the pool, yet it will be a lot less pleasant when you have to work in constantly high temperatures for several months a year. You will be wearing work clothes, and will need to focus despite the heat, and chances are you can’t quite afford that air-conditioned home with a swimming pool in the back garden. Don’t underestimate the impact of the heat on your skin, your health, and your energy levels.

Countries that are hot in the summer, quite often experience a harsh and cold winter, more so recently with global warming. You might be faced with a few unexpected challenges from a poorly insulated home to transportation issues and the winter blues. So, whilst the weather might be one of the key reasons you are wishing to move, make sure the country’s climate suits you all year round.woman in bikini on lilo enjoying the sun in the pool

Work and earning a living

 Whilst you can still travel to Europe on a British passport post Brexit and stay in a EU country for up to 90 days out of any 180 day period any time, you will most likely need a visa and work permit to live and work anywhere in Europe for any longer period of time. Naturally, each country has its own rules, so you need to do your research before you hand in your notice with your current employer!

So, do your research and make sure you satisfy all the requirements of the country you are heading to and apply in good time. If you are not looking for employment but are intending to work freelance or set up your own business, you also need to do your research on rules and requirements. Being an entrepreneur can be more or less expensive and cumbersome than in the UK. So, you need to think carefully about how you can earn a living when moving overseas.cost of living abroad

Taxation rules

 Similar to researching your earning potential in your chosen destination, you need to take a good look at your tax obligations in the UK and abroad. Whilst property may be cheaper in many other countries, your take-home-pay may shrink in equal terms. Unless you continue working for your UK employer, in which case you may be classified as an ex-pat, you are likely to have to adapt to a lower wage. On the upside, you might also pay less tax, and more or less social security. It depends entirely on your new country of residence’s rules, but it is important to do the math well in advance of any move to ensure you can afford to live the lifestyle you are seeking.

Tax rules can be very complicated whether you become an expatriate in another country, are seeking employment abroad or are retiring overseas. Therefore, it is advisable to seek professional help to ensure you not only comply with the rules of your home and your new country, but also that you seek the solution that gives you an optimal income.

Living arrangements

Certainly, the best piece of advice we can give you is to move into rented property before selling your home in the UK and moving all of your belongings abroad. It will give you the chance to check if the move was the right decision, to explore one or more regions from your temporary residence, and then decide on the neighbourhood that suits you best, before finding a permanent home. It is also much easier to view and assess a property when you already live in the area and are able to chat to your potential new neighbours.

The romantic chalet in France that you discovered on past solo ski holidays may seem like a dream come true at the time, but may turn out to be too isolated, lack adequate shops, doctors, or hospitals, feel not secure enough or simply not offer you the lifestyle you are seeking. Your new home will have to meet your expectations or else why would you move?contract in foreign language

The bottom line

Making that decision to move abroad is brave, and we salute you for it! It may come with some challenges, but most of all it’s about being organised and persistent. Adequate preparation is vital. There is a lot of paperwork and admin to be done, but also a lot of exciting stuff, like exploring new places and viewing potential homes. If you consider all the implications and do your homework, moving abroad can be a smooth and easy experience.

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