When people decide to move abroad, or are asked to move by their employers, there are numerous issues that need to be addressed. The initial considerations are usually location, housing and schooling, but there are other financial topics that need to be dealt with too.
In most cases expats will be paid in a currency different to that used in their home country and will need to open local bank accounts to receive salary payments. Even if you will not be using your home country accounts whilst overseas, it is important to keep these accounts running as it can be difficult to open an account in many countries without a short term residency history. Online banking makes it easier to manage accounts. Naturally details of the bank accounts available with comparison details can be found on the Souqalmal.com website which makes the choice so much easier. [Related: Five things you need to know about banking in the UAE]
Whilst you may be moving to somewhere without personal income tax, this does not necessarily mean that you are not liable for taxes in your home country. Take professional advice so you can plan effectively and don’t end up with any unexpected bills. [Related: The value of financial advice]
You are unlikely to have access to free healthcare so if your employer does not offer a company sponsored scheme, you will need to arrange your own plan. The levels and scope of cover varies significantly between companies and plans, as do the costs, so it can be enormously beneficial to use a broker who is familiar with the range of providers and plans on the market. [Compare healthcare plans | Isahd health scheme]
Existing protection policies
If you have existing life assurance or critical illness policies, you should ensure that they will still be valid once you have moved to another country. In certain cases premiums many increase or cover may become invalid whilst non-resident, so it is important to get confirmation in writing.
Whilst the majority of people need a will written in accordance with the laws of their home country, there are cases when changes need to be made following a move, especially if property is bought in the new country of residence. You will not need a new will for a different country and making another one, will usually invalidate the last one. [Related: Why you need a will]
There are some cases where you can continue contributing to an existing pension scheme, albeit at a low level, but for many nationalities payments must cease, at least until your return. For those who are moving abroad permanently you may wish to consider moving existing funds to an offshore pension plan, but this is a complex area that can have repercussions so requires qualified advice. Whatever the situation, there is little doubt that you will need to save for your future and a number of options will be available dependent upon your circumstances.
Keren Bobker is an Independent Financial Adviser at Holborn Assets and writes at financialuae.me