Are you Financially Ready for Expat Life?


Every year over 6.6 million Americans choose to live in another country either for work, necessity or to be close to family. Living abroad and buying that one-way expat ticket can be incredibly exciting but the move can also be stressful too. One area of concern is keeping your budget under control when you’re away from home. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can get your finances in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. 


Sorting Out Your Finance Fundamentals

Unless you’re retiring abroad, a key part of moving elsewhere is working out how you’re going to make your income. It’s important to do your research well and in-depth, as many ex-pats find that living abroad is not as cheap as it initially seemed. Key questions you might need to consider are whether you are planning to open a business in your new country of residence, or to continue working for a U.S company but organize a relocation or work remotely? Whatever your options, plan beyond the first 6 months and work out what the lowest risk option is for you. While many people have successfully opened their dream business on a beach somewhere, many people have also failed. 

Most importantly, as a U.S. citizen, the IRS expects that you will pay US taxes as long as you’re a U.S citizen and earning some kind of income. To minimize complications during your transition phase, you can opt to bank online and pay bills online and get your stateside mail sent to a relative or to a post office box.


Can Ex-Pats Get A Loan?

Borrowing money as a foreigner can be complicated. If you have unexpected expenses that you can’t cover, then the simplest way to get a loan is to apply to an online lender based in the U.S. Lenders such as SoFi loans, LendingClub or LendingPoint have faster application processes than most traditional banks, and to qualify you must have a U.S. bank account. 


The Cost of Moving

Make sure you research what all of the costs are associated to moving to another country, including how much it will cost to ship your belongings through to any upfront costs you may have to pay for your new residence. If you will have a regular income once you’ve moved and just need a personal loan to cover the transition costs or use any savings you have set aside. 

As romantic and idyllic as a move abroad can sound, it’s vital that you have reviewed all of your potential costs upfront and determined how you’re going to afford to do it. 

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