Nowadays we are all learning how to be more flexible and adaptable when it comes to our working lives – after all, we’re all becoming acutely aware that we have to adapt to survive this economic downturn.  Therefore, this means that increasing numbers of us may have to consider changing our working practices and even locations.

It’s expected that there will be an increase in the numbers of people considering taking an overseas assignment to ride out a period of redundancy back home, and in addition, companies that truly embrace globalisation may require their staff to be more flexible when it comes to working abroad for short or even long periods of time.

This increased flexibility that we will all have to show in order to survive economically means that more of us really will have to start preparing for a work assignment abroad.  If you are about to be posted overseas or you’re thinking about going abroad to find a job, here is a practical checklist of tasks and considerations that you need to have covered and keep in mind to ensure you do the best for your family.

Sorting Out Essential Insurances When Living Abroad

Medical Insurance: –

If you’re being relocated will your company pay for yours and your family’s medical insurance?
What level of cover will be given – will your insurance policy cover repatriation in the event of serious illness for example, and what about death and disability cover?
If your company is not paying for your insurance, do your own research into the most appropriate policy.
When you find a policy or are in receipt of details of the company policy from your employer, look closely at all small print, at excesses and exceptions and exemptions.  You have to make sure that the cover you’re being offered is a) appropriate for your personal requirements, b) suitable for the country you’re going to be in and c) flexible enough to fit in with your lifestyle.
Finally, think about the nation you’re going to be working in and the work you will have to do and make sure that the insurance in place is 100% broad enough to cover all eventualities – for some it may even be necessary to have a level of cover for kidnapping and ransoms.

Life and Death in Service Insurance: –

Does your firm have insurance in place for death in service?  This type of cover usually pays out a sum to your surviving spouse if you die when at work or on assignment.
Do you personally have life insurance in place to cover not only your outstanding mortgage debt but also any other credit or debt obligations that you have such as credit card debt, outstanding loans or car finance?  You need to think about having a large enough sum insured for to take care of your children’s needs up to the age of 18 as well, and you may need to have money for their education beyond the age of 18 too.

Sorting Out Personal and Familial Legalities

As adults we should all ensure that we have a will and that it is fully up to date, but when going overseas to work it is all the more important to have your will correctly written to cover the laws of your nation of origin and your new nation of residence as well if needs be.  Generally speaking, if you have physical property in more than one nation you will need to have legal documents in place such as a will to make sure that, in the event of your death, your assets are handed down as you would have wished.
If you have children you and your spouse should appoint legal guardians for them in your will.
If you’re going abroad to work, and particularly if you’re leaving your spouse and family behind, consider giving your spouse the necessary authorisation to access your bank accounts etc., in the event that something happens to you.
Make sure that your spouse has a company contact for you and that your company has all the contact details for your spouse in the event that something happens to you abroad.
When you do move abroad you should consider registering your presence with your nation’s embassy or consulate.
Make a record of your solicitor’s details, your savings, investments and bank details and where your will is kept – and make sure your family know where to access all this information.

Getting Your Financial Situation Sorted When Moving Abroad to Work

Sort out your bank account, get standing orders and direct debits set up for all your ongoing obligations, consider having an offshore bank account as well as an account in your new nation of residence, and look at offsetting currency fluctuation risks with the help of an FX brokerage if you will have to transfer money back and forth between more than one country.
Review your pension arrangements.
Review your overall financial situation once you have relocated to see if there are ways you can enhance your fiscal situation now that you’re working abroad.

All of these items on the checklist will help you ensure that you are properly organised and have everything in place so that neither you nor your family has to worry about anything once you leave home to begin working overseas.