Moving abroad? How to decide on your dream location
Establishing your dream location is the first step in planning a move overseas, and there are some key factors to consider before you make the decision. If you’re thinking about leaving the UK to start a new life abroad, take a moment to ask yourself these three questions.
What new lifestyle am I moving country for?
One of the first things to think about when deciding what country to relocate to is what you want your new lifestyle to be. Are you after fresh, exciting adventures or are you actually looking to escape the rat race and slip into a much more laid-back pace of life? Making a longlist of countries—or even specific cities and regions if you’ve already decided on a country—that offer you your preferred lifestyle can help you focus your research early, saving you time in the long run.
When you’ve set some lifestyle goals for the future, you can then start thinking about what kind of ties you’ll be keeping to home. If you’re leaving lots of friends and family behind, you might be keen to take regular trips back to see them, and it’s worth remembering that the ease of doing this varies from country to country. Considering transportation factors like airport routes and travel costs can help you refine your list even further.
Thinking about how close you’d like to be to amenities is another way to gauge what areas will suit you best. Everything will be on your doorstep if you choose the bustle of a city, but you might be willing to compromise on convenience in favour of a remote countryside escape, where you can enjoy a quieter life. In either case, an online search can help you build a more detailed picture of the types of neighbourhoods on offer.
What will happen to my money when I move country?
Once you know your ideal location, you can start considering more practical factors, like the cost of accommodation. Be sure to pay particular attention to any property taxes in addition to house prices, as these extra costs are not always immediately obvious and can quickly add up. For example, in Canada’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region, you’ll have to pay a 15% Non‑Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on top of the market value of a property when exchanging contracts.
Similarly, it’s worth keeping in mind what your general finances might look like in each location as you narrow them down. Slightly lower wages or an increased cost of living can be offset by significant improvements in your general quality of life, so it’s important to consider the bigger picture. On the other hand, you might want to prioritise areas where you’ll earn more than you’re used to or save on expenses, leaving more money in your pocket for exploring.
Whether you’re moving overseas for adventure or retiring to the sun, you’ll need to factor currency into your plan. A currency specialist like Global Reach can help you make tailored transfers for regular overseas payments like expenses or pensions, lock-in an exchange rate for up to two years for your overseas property purchase, and everything in between. You can read more here or call +44 (0)20 7989 0000 to speak to one of our experts about your individual needs and timeframes.
What do I need to consider in advance of moving country?
As you work towards committing to a location, spend some time thinking about how each potential destination might affect the finer details of your day-to-day life. Keeping in mind that there may be customs or cultural sensitivities that you’ll be expected to be aware of as a newcomer, you might want to consider the specific culture and history of each location and how it aligns with your own interests and values.
If the relocation involves learning a new language, you’ll need to factor this into your timeline. You might plan to pick up the native tongue as you go, but it’s worth attending a few introductory lessons to get started. Don’t forget that you can also squeeze some vocab lessons into your day with apps designed for learning on the go. In some locations, confidence in the spoken language is essential to secure work but having at least a basic understanding can minimise barriers wherever you go.
Throughout your decision-making process, remember to be aware of the visa requirements for each country you consider. You can refer to the latest immigration information on the country’s official website to find out if you’re eligible to move there or if there are any other conditions you need to meet. It’s also worth checking if your chosen country is experiencing delays in processing documentation, as your plan will have to account for this.
If you’d like to discuss moving your money abroad and find out how we can help, contact us on +44 (0)20 7989 0000 to speak to one of our Dealers.
Find out more about different destinations by checking out our country guides, here.