Guest Post: Richard Laycock, Insurance expert at Finder, shares his tips on what you need to know before moving internationally.
It’s that time of year again. “New year, new me”. It’s a time when a lot of people are considering a change of scenery. Whether you’re launching into a new job, chasing an international dream or just looking for a fresh start, moving overseas can be both exciting and scary. And while you may never really feel like you’re completely ready, it’s important to prepare as much as possible before you go. So what do you need to know if you’re planning on moving overseas?
Know your plan before you go
There are so many factors to consider when moving overseas, so it’s important to plan as much as possible before you go. If you’re moving for a job, there are lots of things to think about. For starters, you should have your accommodation booked or planned before you leave. Even if it’s just for a week or two until you find your feet, it’s a good idea to sort this out early so that you know you’ll have a home base once you get there.
Make sure you’ve got an income or savings
It’s important to have a job lined up or plenty of savings in the bank before you move overseas. Many countries will require that you have a minimum amount saved in your account before you enter, but you should aim for more than this. If you’re planning to move first and job hunt later, having a safety net will really help you out in case it takes you longer than expected to find work. And if you’re looking for jobs from home before you move, try a platform such as relocate.me, which focuses on the tech industry, or GoAbroad.
Register for a TFN
This may seem mundane, but it’s very easy to move overseas and not even consider the importance of having a tax file number (TFN) for the country that you’re going to be living in. You won’t be able to work if you don’t have the appropriate TFN so this is one of the first things you should knock off your list when you’re planning your move.
Get travel insurance
What most people don’t know is that through some insurers, you can take out travel insurance for up to one year if you’re moving overseas. One-way policies are available through many major providers and can cover:
- Major emergency medical assistance
- Loss of luggage
- Theft of cash or belongings
- Significant travel delay or unforeseen cancellations
This can really help if something goes wrong, especially if you’re stranded in an unfamiliar environment. It’s worth taking out cover even for the flights alone.
Research international money transfer options
How much money you’ll need with you will depend on your situation, and whether you’re looking to move overseas permanently or just for a year or two.
If it’s not a permanent move, you might want to think about keeping some long-term savings in a high-interest bank account at home and setting up a separate bank account in the country you’re planning on moving to. If you end up needing more money while abroad, there are many international money transfer options that you can use to transfer your funds from one bank account to the other. You’ll often find better value with an independent money transfer company, like WorldFirst, rather than with the big banks.
In fact, WorldFirst offers exchange rates that are up to 7 times better than the Big 4 Aussie banks, and when you’re transferring a big sum of money, it can help you save significantly.
If you’re ready to transfer right now, a spot contract could be the one for you. WorldFirst will offer you a rate based on the live exchange rate on the day and you can make a payment there and then. They’re great if you just need to get it done.
If you want to lock in a rate, but aren’t ready to make a transfer, you can ‘fix’ it up to 2 years in advance with a forward contract. The great thing about this is that you’ll know exactly how much you’ll get when you’re ready to transfer.
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