Moving abroad is a big decision, and it comes with a lot of responsibility. Here are some tips to help make the process easier on you and your finances.
Review your bank accounts
You’re going to need a bank account in your new country. There are several reasons for this, the most important being that you won’t have access to any bills or paychecks until you have an account set up. Your bank will be the first thing you need to open once you arrive in your new home country and ensure its details are correct.
To avoid any issues with opening a bank account, you must know all the information about your current account before moving abroad: the number, its SWIFT code (a unique identifier for international transfers), and where it is located. With all the information at your hand, you will be able to figure out the best way to transfer money from one bank to another.
Check your Investments
If you’re moving abroad, checking your investment accounts is a good idea. Many companies don’t offer services in the country you’re moving to, so you must know your options before making any plans. You may consider transferring or establishing new accounts with a local bank or financial institution.
Close your Insurance plans
Make sure you are not paying for something that you don’t need. This is especially important if the plan has an annual premium and it expires while you are abroad.
Check your existing insurance policies to see if they cover you while abroad. Some may require that you notify them as soon as possible, while others will allow coverage even after the expiry date of your policy.
Consider setting up a foreign bank account
Setting up a foreign bank account is the easiest way to shield yourself from currency fluctuations. This can be done by opening an account at any of the major international banks and then transferring money into this account before you move abroad. Most of these banks will even let you keep your existing checking/savings accounts in your home currency as well as convert them into units of local currency. Some may require a minimum balance before opening an account, so do your homework beforehand to find out what they are!
Check currency exchange rates
The cost of living in another country can vary significantly from your home country—even if the two countries are close together and share a language. Take Australia, for example: the standard of living is high there, but it’s still cheaper than Canada or the United States. But suppose you’re moving from Canada or the United States to Australia and trying to figure out how much you’ll be able to spend on rent, for example. In that case, that cost-of-living comparison might not hold up so well when you look at how much things cost in Australian dollars versus US dollars (or Canadian dollars). SoFi experts recommend that you “check your financial institution’s rules before you try to transfer money from a savings account into a different account.”
To get an idea of what your new life will cost, use an online currency converter before packing your bags!
We hope this article has shed some light on the many things you must consider when moving abroad. From getting a bank account in your new country and transferring money to making sure all your insurance plans are up-to-date—it can be a lot! But don’t get overwhelmed just yet. With our tips and advice from previous articles, we hope you now feel more prepared than ever before, embarking on this exciting journey towards living abroad.