Before you Move – What you need to plan ahead…
Making the decision to move abroad can be tremendously exciting. Actually, moving abroad, however, can often be rather stressful. That’s why Clements Worldwide has compiled a list of some key items to keep top of mind to help ensure you are as prepared as you can be for this new chapter of your life.
One of the key things to check on in advance of your international move is to make sure your passport is up-to-date and find out how to renew it whilst overseas. Also important is to check on any visa requirements necessary for a smooth entry and a pleasant stay. Your country’s foreign ministry (often also called the Department of State) is the place to help you with both passports and visas.
Health is the most important aspect for you and your family when overseas. Before moving it is always wise to research the local area and ensure you have had all the necessary vaccinations.
Also important to research is the standard of healthcare in your new location, as this is likely to differ from what you are used to. It may be of a lesser standard or even cost significantly more than your home medical plan. International insurance policies can offer a level of consistency to ensure you and your family can enjoy life overseas happy and healthy.
Dental work is another facet of healthcare to plan for in advance of your overseas move. Consider taking care of work you know you need, such as crowns or the removal of wisdom teeth, before you go.
Personal security is another area that may be different than at home in your new destination. Ensure you do plenty of research into the security climate in your new home country and look for local police or fire departments that may offer a free personal security class.
Your home country’s foreign ministry may offer the option to receive local security alerts and warnings so it is wise to register your passport with them on-line before you depart.
Depending on your destination, you may want to consider political evacuation or war and terrorism insurance coverage. Common sense strategies such as dressing not to attract undue attention, being aware of your surroundings, and not being distracted by your phone are a good foundation to stay safe anywhere.
Finance is another key area to take care of before you head off on your international relocation adventure. You will want a way to take care of banking, perhaps by finding an international bank or a new bank in your destination country. If you will have a 401K or pension plan in your overseas job, you may need to research how to connect it with the one you have in your home country and currency or decide how to handle it if you are paid in two different currencies.
Another area to consider as part of financial planning is income protection insurance. This provides financial assistance should you be unable to work due to illness or injury.
Finally, two parts of estate planning: your will and life insurance which are designed to look after your spouse and/or family should the unthinkable happen. Giving yourself and your family a secure financial footing brings you peace of mind and will allow you to enjoy all the great things you’re looking forward to in your new destination.
A big part of any move is packing, and an overseas move has extra considerations. If you are leaving a home you own, you may be able to rent it out for additional income and to offset some of the costs of living abroad. In this case, find a good property management company to handle day-to-day issues with your tenants.
When packing, you will always need more boxes than expected. If your belongings will be shipped to your new home, did you know there are international insurances that can cover you from door-to-door while your belongings are in transit? Don’t rely on the moving company as often there additional products available to you at a cheaper price!
By including Personal Effects/Home contents insurance you can make sure your belongings are protected once they arrive at your new home. Some international insurance policies also offer personal liability coverage so you can have peace of mind when entertaining in your new home.
Whether you are pursuing another degree, seeking to learn your host country’s language, or looking for a new school for your children, education will play a vital part in your overseas experience. Research the educational facilities available to you and your family and be sure to look at commuting times and routes to and from these institutions to make sure they are easily accessible.
Some schools, such as International Baccalaureate, offer a consistent English-language education and curriculum worldwide and will allow your child to connect with his or her own community of expatriates.
In addition, educational facilities are a great resource for making local connections and helping you assimilate into your new home. They are often the hubs for expat communities, so make sure you look at the activities they provide not only to your children but also to the parents.
Keep in mind that these are a few of the key items that you need to think about before moving. If you are unsure about how to protect yourself before you move, contact Clements Worldwide for a free consultation. We can help you with many international insurance coverages from Personal Property to Life.