There are few people who have not at least thought about what it would be like to move to another country. Whether you would love to live in the bustling environment of Hong Kong, the dream of spending your retirement somewhere tropical, or have simply always thought it would be cool to live in Australia, this dream really can become a reality. It is a lot of work to pull off an international move, but you will never have to wonder what it “would” have been like. That being said, these are things you need to consider before going ahead with your plans.
Where Are You Going?
This is a huge move. It does not matter how spontaneous or free-spirited you consider yourself to be, you should put at least a little (preferably a lot!) of thought into choosing your destination. Will you stay in a hotel until you can find a place to live, or do you plan on securing a rental or purchasing a home prior to moving? If you do secure a place, you will need to make sure you are comfortable with the area.
Where Will You Work?
If you are retiring abroad then this question really does not apply to you, unless you plan on working somewhere part time just to stay busy. Otherwise, you will need to think about where you will work. Are there employment opportunities in your profession available? Do you need a work permit? If yes, how long will the permit take to get? Sometimes it is a long time! So, you will need to make sure you have enough money to live on for a while.
What is the Cost of Living?
There are two scenarios that may come into play here. You could be moving to a location where your money is worth significantly more, allowing you to live like royalty, or you could end up somewhere that has a higher cost of living. You do not want to move overseas and not be able to afford to even enjoy the area.
What About Healthcare?
Will your current health care plan cover you there? If not permanently, will you at least be covered temporarily until you can get coverage? If the county offers free healthcare, how long do you need to live there before you become eligible?
Are You Comfortable Paying for Moving Expenses?
If your company gave you a huge promotion and is handling your moving expenses then you really have it made. An international move is expensive. Are you prepared to pay for this? Is selling and donating everything an option, so you don’t have to deal with the international moving rates? In this case, are you going to get rid of your vehicle too?
Have You Considered What You Are Leaving Behind?
It is nice to have a fresh start somewhere but make sure it is not impulsive. Leaving behind friends and family is not easy. Are you prepared to miss out on those holiday gatherings, weddings, graduations, and countless other events?
Why Are You Moving?
Breaking up with your significant other or simply being bored with your town may seem like great reasons to move to another country, but you may find you regret your decision after you are there. Do a little soul-searching and make sure a move this significant is what you really want.