Moving overseas? A six point checklist for updating your finances

User Written by Carl Turner on September 30, 2016.

Moving overseas? A six point checklist for updating your finances

Moving overseas or transferring to a new country, whether for business or personal reasons, involves a great deal of change. The logistical aspects of packing up a home in one country and setting a new one up in another entails a lot of forward planning and, usually, a fair dose of stress. With your home, car, pets, insurance, packing and shipping to think about, it’s not surprising that financial affairs can often take a back seat.

And yet it is of the utmost importance to make sure that you continue to have all the cornerstones of a sound financial plan covered. Here’s a handy checklist to work through:

1. Life insurance

Make sure your existing life insurance cover will allow you to be overseas and that you have notified your insurer of your change in residency. Not doing so could render your policy invalid and mean that there is no pay out on death. It is quite common for domestic insurance policies to exclude living overseas for more than three consecutive months so you may need to take out new cover. A financial adviser can help you determine what cover you need and you will also find further information here.

2. Medical insurance

Contact your insurer to see if your policy covers you in your new location – it is entirely possible that it will not. If you are moving companies make sure the cover is adequate for yourself and your family with a comprehensive policy tailored to your requirements. For more information on choosing medical insurance see this link.

3. Pension

Check to see if you are still allowed to contribute into your current pension arrangement after moving countries. If you have a domestic pension this may not be possible due to the potential tax implications. If you don’t know how to check, ask a qualified financial advisor for help.

4. Change of address for all financial and other important documents

Make sure you notify your bank and any other financial institutions where you have savings, investments, stocks and other assets of your change of address. I have had clients who have lost track of their investments over time due to moving frequently and not receiving any paperwork for a long time.

As an aside, whether you’re moving or not, it makes sense to keep a detailed record of all your assets which is easy for your next of kin to find should anything untoward happen to you. Our free, editable PDF is a very useful tool for this purpose and can be downloaded here.

5. Savings and investments

Check to see if your existing savings and investments are both suitable given your new country of residence and continue to be the most tax efficient possible. Future contributions may need to be invested differently. There will also be new implications to consider such as the currency you are paid in and how this may be affected by exchange rate fluctuations.

6. Check your tax status

When you leave your home country it is imperative that you inform the relevant tax authorities of your new status. Below are a few useful links and blogs on the subject. I have only listed a few countries so if yours isn’t included and you would like information on how to do this feel free to contact me.

Leaving Australia
Leaving Canada
Leaving South Africa
Leaving the UK
Leaving US

If you could do with some help to ease the hassle and anxiety of getting your financial affairs back in order after a move, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Carl Turner

Carl Turner

Posted on September 30, 2016 in Financial Planning.