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Moving Abroad - Things to consider...

For anyone considering relocating to foreign shores, away from the UK, the immediate future will be filled with a sense of excitement mixed with a twinge of trepidation. Relocating abroad presents many challenges and issues which much be fully researched and considered before pursuing such a route. The attractions of expatriate life are many and varied. The climate, the culture, the cuisine, however, if the financial implications of a move overseas aren't anticipated and planned for, this may impact greatly on the ultimate success of your relocation and you may miss opportunities to establish a sound footing for your future in a new country.

For anyone leaving the UK to live abroad, the importance of adequate financial planning cannot be overstressed. Failing to prepare for your expat status could end up being an administrative headache at best and at worst, it could prove an extremely costly mistake.

Did you know that there are currently more than 5.5 million British-born people living abroad? That means around 10% of British people are living overseas and can be considered a UK expat. The reasons so many people end up living abroad are almost as numerous as the countries in which they settle.

Many people, having relocated abroad, suffer not just because of disappointment at what they have found, but because they miss the things they have left behind. Whilst many may have holidayed many times in their chosen area, the reality of settling down and living there 365 days a year may differ somewhat. There are some key issues to research and assess when making such a decision, in order to ensure the decision is the right one for you and all your family members, these include, but there are many more you can probably think of:

• Ability to gain a good work/life balance
• Employment Options
• Education options for children
• Language barriers
• Finances – tax, bank accounts, pensions, insurances
• Familiarity and convenience
• Provision/Availability of key services
• Safety & security
• Property purchase – rent or buying
• Property maintenance
• Proximity to loved ones
• Community involvement
• Impact in family pets
• Transport links to UK

One of the biggest barriers people face when relocating to a new country is the language barrier. Whilst there are a range of ex-pat communities where English is spoken widely, most people find that they need at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to be able to undertake and complete administrative tasks with regards registering with local council, mayor’s office, healthcare etc. It is recommended that anyone considering relocating should commence language studies as soon as possible in advance of their move in order to assist them with managing their final relocation in their new chosen area.