Making the decision to move overseas is something that should never be taken lightly. Many people, excited by the prospect of a new life abroad, run the danger of jumping in with two feet without truly considering the reality of what life overseas may bring.
In order to assist potential expats to make decisions based on the true facts, we have created our essential guide to the research you should do before taking the plunge and getting on that flight.
1) Carefully consider your financial situatio
Your cost of living is very unlikely to be exactly the same in your host country as it is in your home country and it is therefore very important that you research what prices you will expect to pay for the same standard of living that you currently enjoy. Make a list of your currently costs, both fixed and variable and then take time and effort to research how these may vary between what you pay now and what you will pay when you move overseas. When relocating you should always try to ensure that you achieve some type of equalization, i.e. the salary and benefits that you secure as part of a job will allow you to enjoy the same, or better, standard of living as you currently have at home. Here’s some useful resources to help you research and plan your financial future:
2) Understand what day to day life is really like
Visting somewhere on holiday and actually living there are two very different realities and it is easy for expats to fall into the trap of believing that the grass is greener on the otherside; quite often it isn’t. It is imperative that you truly understand what your lifestyle will be like in your proposed host country. One of the best ways to do this is to try and visit for a 2 to 3 week period in order to sample the day to day lifestyle on offer. Stay in a serviced or self catered apartment and try and live life in the same way you will when you eventually live there—shop in the local supermarkets, take public transport, live off the sort of budget you will have when you live there for real and try and explore the country or city from the point of view as a local as opposed to a tourist. The following sections of our free expat manual will be of assistance in preparing yourself for a move overseas:
3) Research the education and healthcare facilities available
The wellbeing of yourself and your family should be a top priority when relocating. You should never leave the question of whether the medical and educational facilities on offer will meet your needs to chance. Before you relocate ensure that you research the following:
- The cost of healthcare, the insurance that will be required and any limitations to that insurance.
- The availability of suitable medical facilities and the location of these in relation to where you are planning to live.
- The quality of education on offer and the cost of this education where relevant.
- The availability of school places and the requirements needed to secure a place.
Check out the following free guides for further help:
Although you may be tempted to get on with planning all the fun you will have while you are living overseas, you really do need to sit down and do some hard and serious research before you take the plunge. The more prepared you are in advance the higher the chances that your relocation will be a success and you will enjoy your new life overseas.