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Weighing the cost of packing up and moving abroad

Written by Robinsons Relo
Storage Specialist

The thought of packing up and moving abroad sounds like a luxury idea when the weather is rubbish, work is getting on top of you and all you want to do is lie back on the beach and enjoy the summer sun.

As easy as this often sounds, there is often many underlying costs that get in the way which may not be apparent on first glance.

Many countries, particularly the desired ones, have tough systems integrated to ensure that the people they allow into their country have something to offer their economy back. For example, if you have a desired skill that a country requires, they will allow you into their country on a working visa. Other countries may allow you in if you have family in the country or a sizeable amount of money to invest.  However, some countries only require you to be financially independent and not living off the state.

Doing your homework before moving abroad is essential to ensure your move is as smooth as possible.

Look to answer the following questions; Are your skills relevant to the employment market? Could you require the necessary skills? Is the culture of your chosen country different to that of the UK? If so, could you and your family adjust? Would you miss your family and friends unbearably?  It is so important to be realistic with your answers to ensure this is right for you.

On top of these primary questions, make a checklist of the following areas, making sure you are in full control and have knowledge of all incomings and outgoings before moving abroad.

1. Visas and residency

Check that the visa you are purchasing is correct for the country you are travelling to and what you need it for i.e. working visa.

Each country requires different things so make sure you are aware of what you are asking for.

2. Personal Finance

Make sure that your budgets are planned properly and realistically before you begin to move. Taxation is a complicated area, particularly when dealing with overseas moves, and need to be thought out properly.

For example Canada’s banking system does not recognise ISA’s which are tax-free in the UK, so check these grey areas before diving in.

 3. Retirement

If you are looking to retire abroad, then you must make sure that you are aware of what is involved before you flee abroad.

Look at how your pension will be handled and whether it protected in the country you are moving too.

4. Healthcare and medical treatment

Look to see whether the country you are moving to provides medical treatment for you and your family before you move abroad.

Some countries, like the USA, have private health care, while countries such as Canada and Spain offer state health care.

Make sure that if you are on regular medication, you have enough with you between leaving the UK and signing on with another doctor at your new destination.

5. Property matters

Whether you are making a clean break and selling up, or renting your home in the UK while you are away, make sure that you are fully aware of what is being paid and spent by you before you move abroad.

It is essential to seek advice from a lawyer who speaks fluent English to ensure that you know what you are signing and what you are taking on.

6. Removals services

Packing and shipping your belongings is something that should not be done alone and employing a removals company to do the hard work for you eliminates the stress and worries that come with moving house.

It is a good idea to contact an overseas removals company in advance to make sure that the move is as painless as possible.

Firstly check that the removals company you use is accredited to a trade association, such as the British Association of Removers.

Next, ensure that they can provide insurance and what it actually covers.

When given a quotation, look to see whether it includes the destination port charges, destination customs and quarantine charges.

Check to see where your goods will be stored if not shipped within the next 24 hours or have to wait in a country for their next pick up.

Ask for delivery dates and times and ensure that you are kept informed with everything from packing to unpacking of your products.

When looking for a removals company, look to search for a company with plenty of experience. Robinsons is a specialist overseas removals company that can offer a variety of services to aid your move abroad.

With over 100 years experience in the industry, customers can track their personal belongings at any stage of the shipping, purchase insurance to cover their personal belongings, and rest assured that their items will arrive safely and securely within the set time given by staff at Robinsons.


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