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Can You Afford to Move Abroad?

Forget all the talk about where taxes have been stealthily increased, how inflation is cutting the value of the pound in your pocket and how a lack of a pay increase coupled with all of the above now means you x% worse off than you were this time last year – just stop and have a think about how your level of affluence has really been affected.

We don’t need stats and fiscal facts from the government, the media and Stephanie Flanders/Robert Peston to tell us that we have less disposable income today than we had just a couple of years ago.  For the lucky few it’s a case of standing still, but for the majority it means that they’re going backwards financially speaking.  And that’s the great British lot for the foreseeable future it seems…

Therefore it’s no wonder that the poor state of the economy and the knock on effect that’s having on the ‘common’ man’s coffers is driving more Brits than ever to consider relocation – but just how affordable and therefore realistic is a move abroad?  The truth is, an international relocation is expensive – but the good news is you can curb and even cap costs if you know how…

As Robert Pickles has show us in his Diary of a Returning Expat series in the Expat Telegraph, you can cut some costs by packing up to ship out rather than hiring in a firm to do it for you.  And there are plenty of other ways you can make the move an affordable one so that you can cut all ties with the UK and save yourself a future fortune in high tax, high inflation, high living costs and high property prices.

Shop Around – for Everything!

From your removal company to your flight tickets out of the UK, and from your essential insurances to your new home abroad it will literally pay you massively to shop around and haggle.

Business is hardly brisk for anyone anywhere at the moment, which means that as a potential consumer you have all the bargaining chips in your hand.  Haggle with your removal company, shop around for the cheapest flight deals possible, cash in those airmiles and consider using a service like AnyVan.com to move your personal effects at a time when its cheap.

You don’t have to hire in Pickfords to pack you up and ship you out in matching boxes – start thinking frugally!

Local Knowledge is Priceless

As anyone who’s already lived abroad will tell you, it’s only after you’ve really settled in, settled down and got to grips with a country that you really get to know it.  Which is why you need to tap in to local knowledge as quickly as possible in a bid to save yourself a fortune.

You can use the likes of expat forums and social networking sites such as InterNation.org to reach out, hook up and connect with expats out there who have already moved to your new nation, or who originally herald from your new country.

You can then begin to find out where the bargains are – you can discover where expats can live affordably, where you can shop to get the best prices, which suppliers to use for what services and goods, and basically how to get the best out of your new nation for the least amount of outlay.

A Fresh Start Means Ditching Some Debris and Cutting Some Ties

A bonus of packing up your own personal effects is that you get to see how much junk you have accumulated over the years!  And a bonus of doing that is you can shed so much of your own personal debris that it’s lighter and therefore much cheaper to travel.

Using local knowledge (as discussed in the above point) you can also work out what you need to take and what you defiantly don’t need to take.  So, you can give a lot away to charity, to family and friends – and even sell some of your more expensive personal junk on eBay or PreLoved.

In terms of cutting ties it’s never wise to do that with family and friends – it is however exceptionally advantageous for many people to cut financial ties with the UK.  From telling the taxman at HMRC you’re off using their P85 form – to telling your pension company you’re off if your financial adviser deems it wise for you to offshore your pension via a QROPS – you should explore the offshore world for your financial planning benefits.

Always do so with a qualified, regulated and independent financial adviser who has exceptional knowledge of an expat’s tax and financial position however.  And in so doing you could potentially save yourself a fortune in future taxation.

Property Costs Can be Capped

Instead of selling up your home in the UK and facing estate agent’s costs, and buying abroad and facing all sorts of taxes and lawyers fees, it might be far better for you to rent out your British home to cover your mortgage, and take on a rental property abroad.

The initial outlay will be far less, and you’ll be much less likely to sell in a hurry and risk getting a poorer price for your British home than it’s worth.  What’s more, it only make sense to buy abroad when you know you’re happy to stay there for the long-term, and you have spent enough time getting to know all the different neighbourhoods so you can spot a bargain.

Obviously your own personal circumstances will dictate the final decision you make.  But do think long and hard about this issues, and don’t be in a rush to sell or buy.

in Conclusion

You CAN afford to move abroad if you think frugally, shop around and use local knowledge to your best advantage.  What’s more, the long-term savings you will make on everything from your cost of living to the taxes and inflation you pay and face in your new country may well mean that you can’t afford NOT to move abroad!

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