Moving abroad

Monday, October 20, 2014

Moving abroad

Deciding to retire abroad is an exciting choice, but don't be fooled into thinking of it as an extended holiday. There's much more to it than that and some simple steps can make the transition so much easier.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have teamed up with A Place in the Sun to encourage anyone thinking about moving overseas to think long-term and plan thoroughly before taking the plunge.

Spain, Portugal and France remain popular destinations with people either buying a holiday home or planning to relocate full-time. For many people, the appeal of warmer weather, different scenery and a new lifestyle is tempting enough to up sticks and move. But there are many more things to consider.

James Duddridge, Minister for Consular Affairs, say:

"Moving abroad can be a wonderful experience, but living somewhere new is very different to your average holiday. It's crucial to think about the future and allow plenty of time to do your research.

"A permanent or semi-permanent move overseas involves many practical and social changes. We would advise British nationals to take their time to research all aspects required for a successful move, such as the laws and customs of your future home country, the long-term financial implications for you and your family, any legal issues requiring independent advice and your current and future health needs. Remember, relocating is about more than bricks and mortar".

This may sound like common sense, but statistics shows that for many, the idea of research is too arduous!

A OnePoll Survey conducted in September 2014 suggested that only a third of British nationals (32%) believe doing their own research is the most important thing to do before moving. Just one in ten (10%) saw their long-term financial requirements as the most important factor.

Andy Bridge, Managing Director of A Place in the Sun, says:

"It's no coincidence that people who make the most successful transition abroad are those who are fully prepared and have done their research. Considering long-term financial requirements, learning the local language and seeking independent legal advice are just some of the important things you should think about. The FCO's moving abroad checklist is a good place to start.

In addition, you'll find loads of information about relocating abroad on our Advice pages

One last thing to think about - almost half (46%) of the survey respondents who already live abroad said their top piece of advice for those looking to relocate is to be realistic with their expectations.

Carole Hallett Mobbs, editor of echoes the sentiment:

"Successful expats are those who go into their new life with their eyes open, and with a sense of adventure tempered by realism. The grass isn't greener, it's just different grass."

The FCO and A Place in the Sun have produced an infographic called Tips for a Smoother Move Abroad to help with your overseas move.

For more information visit Know Before You Go.


A Place In The Sun