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The true cost of emigration: ten top expenses to factor in

The true cost of emigration: ten top expenses to factor in

Many of you will be dreaming of a new life abroad with endless days of sunshine, numerous rounds of golf - and much smaller council tax bills.

But moving to another country is a serious endeavour and one that can't be taken lightly.

Not only are there all sorts of practical and lifestyle considerations but finance is a big area that involves more than the price of a pint of beer, cup of coffee or other daily expenses.

With this in mind, looked into some of the key expenses involved that might not immediately be apparent to those looking to begin a new life in a different country.

The top 10 major expenses to factor in:

1. Visa costs - These are wide and varied depending on the country that you're looking to move to and one of the main expenses to bear in mind, as they can run into the £1,000's.

2. Shipping - Unless you plan to buy everything from scratch in your destination of choice, shipping costs needs to be taken into account. This can be anything from £1,000 for a pallet, to £5,000 for a shipping container, so the costs can be considerable.

3. The cost of a house - Do you plan to rent or buy? In many countries, the local residents often opt to rent a property rather than buy. If you decide to buy, you also need to factor in property purchase costs of 5-10 per cent (average).

4. Costs of selling your own property - If you're lucky enough to own your own house, then it should be worth a considerable amount which can help to offset the cost of a new life. But estate agent fees and other costs should be factored into overall costs.

5. Pension - If you receive a pension there can be fees involved for switching this to another country, which also need to be taken into account.

6. Flights - An obvious one here, but something that can't be overlooked. Not only will you need a one-way ticket to live there, but you might also like to take into account the cost of prospective visits to see what the country has to offer. When you are there you will need to factor in flights home to see the grandchildren.

7. Money exchange - any savings that you have in your bank account will need to be assessed by the exchange rate. You could be losing (or making!) a considerable amount on any lump sums you have in your current accounts.

8. Driving licence - Is your driving licence valid in another country? You often need to get a new licence applicable to the destination you move to.

9. Medical care - In the UK, you're covered by the NHS. But medical care in other countries often comes under a health insurance scheme (USA), or a contributory system (Spain) so you may need to take into account when considering a move.

10. Hidden costs - Phone installation, mobile costs, internet access and satellite television are all things you might take for granted in your current setup, but are all aspects of your new life that need consideration.

Liam Clifford of had the following comment to make: "Living in a different country can be a hugely rewarding experience allowing you to embrace a different culture and way of life.

"But moving abroad isn't as simple as jumping on a plane somewhere. Anybody wanting to make a move on a permanent basis has to take into account a wide number of factors. Costs soon mount up as things crop up that you hadn't initially anticipated, which might make you think twice about your decision.

"However, there are ways of reducing the expense if you use the right suppliers. There's also the fact that in some countries differences in taxation could mean that you're better off than you realise."

When moving abroad the key is Research, Research, Research! Read more advice about relocating overseas here.


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