Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Expat Guides to Finance - Arranging your finances

Improving your personal financial situation can often be a motivation for relocating to a different country. However countries rarely combine the perfect blend of financial prospects and lifestyle improvements so it is important for expats to assess their financial expectations before taking the plunge.

When you decide to move abroad one of the most important things to remember is organising your finances however financial experts say that many expats place financial matters at the bottom of their mental checklists and fail to sort out their banking arrangements until they arrive at their new location. This can lead to problems on arrival as access to money isn’t always straightforward.

For those of you that think this all sounds scarily familiar we have summarised an essential finance checklist for you below:

Get the right banking your money must be easily accessible, safe and secure so putting it in a reputable bank is the first step for any expat

Decide what accounts work best for you it is common for expats to have two accounts; your home account for ongoing transactions such as property rental, and a local bank account in the country where you are living for your wages (in local currency) and for day-to-day expenses. There is also the option of “home, host, offshore” banking: retaining an account at home, opening one local to your host country but also having an offshore account for savings, investment and wealth management

Be tax efficient one of the benefits of banking offshore is that, depending on where you live, you may be able to enjoy potential tax efficiencies on your savings and investments.

Arrange your banking before you move For those who have just arrived in a new country, a common problem when trying to open a bank account is being unable to show a credit history in the new country, or a permanent address. One way to avoid the difficulties of opening an account in your host country is to open an offshore account before you leave, thereby ensuring you have easy access to your money when you arrive in your new home. And if you're using a bank that has global reach, the bank may be able to open a local account in your destination country and transfer your credit history on your behalf before you even arrive.

If you are moving with your job look into what specialist financial advice your company might provide

And if your still not sure seek advice from a financial expert

To see more advice and our top tips for managing your finances abroad check out our Expat Guides via the Guardian website.

Got any top tips for handling expat finances? Then get in touch and let us know your experiences.....

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