There are plenty of good reasons to think about moving overseas. But are you ready to live it up abroad?
Whether you’re selling up for retirement, want to be closer to family living overseas, or are just looking for a change of scene or pace — moving abroad has a lot of appeal. But before you start packing, there are some important things to consider when choosing your destination.
Cost of living
With Australia now being one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, more people dream of moving to a country where you can get more out of the dollar. If this is you, it’s important to do your homework first, to understand the true cost of living in your destination location — so there are no expensive surprises once you arrive.
Find out the costs of renting or buying a place to the price of groceries, utilities, recreation and transport. Check the taxation rules for any income you bring to the country or earn — either in the workplace or from your investments. And if you still have family in Australia, factor in some extra money to pay for regular flights back home.
Unfortunately, getting a visa for certain countries may not be as easy as you think. Depending on where you go and what sort of visa you are applying for, you may find you are limited in your choice of country and the time period you are entitled to stay there for. There may even be restrictions on the kind of work you can do. Whether you are thinking of working or retiring overseas, make sure you have done your research on visas before you start planning your move — to avoid ending up being disappointed.
Healthcare and social security
Take some time to consider the health and welfare needs of you and your loved ones — now and in the future. If you are young and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, you may not spare much thought to a country’s healthcare system — but that’s why you need to think long-term.
If you have a family or are planning to have one, how will your children’s health be taken care of and at what price? And if you are older and retiring overseas, you’ll need to consider possible health complications and treatments you may require.
If you currently receive benefits like the Age Pension from the Australian Government — or will be entitled to receive them in the future — seek advice on what you can continue to claim while overseas. You should also find out what benefits you may be entitled to in your destination country, so you’ll have a clear picture of how much you’ll have to live on.
Ask the experts
To find out how to make the most of your move overseas, speak to your financial adviser today.