How to Prepare Your Finances for a Move Abroad

Not sure where to start? Don’t know what needs to be taken care of now and what can wait until you’re on new soil? Let us break it down for you.

Xe Consumer

July 22, 2020 4 min read

Girl with suitcase preparing to board a boat

So, you’re making an international move. That’s exciting! Whether you’re moving to a neighboring country or relocating to the other side of the world, it’s common to feel a mixture of excitement and anxiousness surrounding an upcoming move. You’re looking forward to your new home and new life, but thinking about everything you need to take care of between now and arriving in your new home is making your head spin

Along with packing everything up, making travel arrangements, and saying goodbye to everything and everyone you currently live with, it’s important that you get your finances in order so everything will be completely set—the last thing you want is to run into trouble while you’re getting settled in.

Not sure where to start? Don’t know what needs to be taken care of now and what can wait until you’re on new soil? Let us break it down for you.

Research any visa and passport fees

Once you know you’re moving, this should be the first step you take. You might need to pay different fees depending on:

  • Where you’re moving from

  • Where you’re moving to

  • What kind of visa you need.

As soon as you know where you’re moving, look into your new country of residence’s visa requirements. Do you need one? What kind? How much will that cost you?

In addition to potential passport fees, some countries may also require residency fees or medical examinations. Know what is required of you before you start packing—and know how much it costs and how you’ll be paying.

Get in touch with your bank

It’s safe to assume that you currently have a bank account. In preparation for your move, contact your bank and let them know when and where you’ll be moving, and provide them with updated contact details. If you have any outstanding debts that you’re in a position to pay, take care of them before you leave.

Whether or not you decide to close your bank account depends on one thing: do you still have business in your former country of residence? If you’re planning on moving back or frequently visiting, or you need to make payments in that country’s currency, you might want to keep at least one bank account and credit card open.

Figure out how you plan to bank in your new home

Before you leave, look into banks in your new country of residence and think about where you’d like to start an account. Many banks will let you start the process of opening a new bank account before arriving. No matter what you decide to do, make sure you understand which documents you’ll need to open a new bank account. You don’t want to arrive and not have a safe place for your money!

Know your tax requirements

Will your income in your new country be taxed? Will you still be responsible for taxes back in your former country of residence? Before moving, do some research and consider meeting with an accountant or tax planner to discuss your situation and what you’ll be responsible for in each country, including whether the two countries have any sort of double-tax agreement. Don’t forget to inform your local tax authority of your move beforehand!

Account for any outstanding debts

Sorry...those don’t go away when you move! You’ll still need to make those regular payments, no matter where you are. 

If you have the option of paying those debts off in full before you move, that’s one less thing to worry about. However, if you’re planning on continuing your payments as usual, there are a few things you’ll need to do:

  1. Inform them that you’ll be moving abroad

  2. Establish a method to continue making your payments on time.

And that brings us to...

Have a way to send money back home

Maybe you still have family members living in your previous country of residence, or maybe you have debts or bills that will still need to be paid there. Do you know how you’re going to get the currency? How you’ll send the money?

International money transfer is the best friend of expats and nomads everywhere. Quick, easy, and secure, you can trust that your money will reach its destination on time and without any hiccups along the way.

Here are a few benefits to choosing online money transfer over the banks or wires:

  • Travels quickly (often within 24 hours, sometimes in minutes)

  • Lower fees than bank transfers and wire transfers

  • Easy to manage and able to be initiated 24/7, 365 days a year, from any location.

Do you still have debts or bills to pay in your former country of residence? You can even set up Regular Payments Abroad to automatically transfer funds for each payment—after setting it up once, you won’t even need to think about it.

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