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Living as an expat: what you need to know and essential apps to help

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about where to spend your retirement years and have decided you want to live offshore. Or maybe someone who can work from anywhere with a stable internet connection and a power source for their device and continue to save for retirement.

Either way, there are many places to choose from and many things to consider. Here are some key suggestions for what to settle and prepare for before you move, and some ideas for apps that can help you before and after you move.

Preparing for a new life as a foreigner

Becoming an expat is more complicated than packing your bags and boarding a plane. I have some plans to create first. While not exhaustive, the following action items are essential if you want to get off to a great start in this new phase of your life.

1. Identify where you want to live

Think about what kind of environment you need for your new life. Have you always wanted to live near the coastline? Having a house in the middle of town and being able to walk everywhere can also help. Perhaps you live near a small town and are the idyllic type who likes the idea of ​​having the space to grow your own vegetables. maybe.

Make a list of the qualities, amenities, and services that your new home setting must have to be worth considering. It helps a lot.

2. Learn more about climate and people

With several countries in mind, carefully consider the climate of each. I like the idea of ​​having lots of sun and not having to worry about utility bills. Maybe being close enough to catch a breeze from the water sounds perfect. , may not mind the rainy season.

Along with the climate, find out about the locals and how they interact with those born elsewhere. Focus your attention on countries that have a reputation for welcoming and accepting foreigners who live there. That’s the setting you want to be.

3. Determine your average cost of living

One of the main reasons why many people choose to live abroad is to enjoy a lower cost of living without sacrificing quality of life. Therefore, we want to take a closer look at countries with strong infrastructure and affordable costs.

For that, take a close look at your monthly net income. How much money can I reasonably expect to receive consistently? It is unusual for many countries to require proof that expats have a consistent and verifiable source of income. not.

For those who are about to retire, this includes sources such as spending from pension plans and 401k, Social Security payments, and other income that won’t go away anytime soon. If what you’re getting in is more than the amount needed to meet government guidelines and you can live comfortably, keep the country as a viable option.

4. Determination of housing type

Some people can’t imagine living in anything other than a single-family home with a privacy fence. Some people are happy living in condos or apartments. You may prefer to rent your own place or you may like the idea of ​​buying your own place. However, be aware that some offshore locations may limit your options .

Look closely at the laws governing real estate ownership. In some countries, there are few, if any, barriers to buying the type of housing you want. In other areas, you may be able to rent but not buy. This is another factor that helps narrow down your options for where to live.

5. Consider factors such as culture and language

How well do your customs fit into the culture of the countries on your list? The goal is to determine if the culture suits you, or if it makes you feel a little like a fish out of water. You want this part of your life to be the best, so consider choosing a culture that makes you feel welcome and readily available for holidays and other important events for those who already live there. .

Focusing on countries where the language spoken is familiar makes it easier to become an active member of the community. North Americans will find many places in the Caribbean where English is the official language or is widely used. Spanish may also be expected in the same field. If you speak both, there are some countries where you feel at home.

6. Understand your rights and privileges as a non-citizen

Depending on the country they choose, expats can enjoy most of the same freedoms and privileges afforded to citizens. Still, there will be some requirements that you must meet in order to remain in the country. For example, once or twice a year she may have to leave the country for short periods. This continues until you meet the requirements for permanent residency or become eligible to apply for citizenship.

Knowing what you need before deciding to move is very important. Get information from embassies and government agencies. This will help you learn more about your rights regarding employment with local businesses, opening bank accounts in the country, and many other important aspects of life as a foreigner.

7. Understand your taxes and other obligations

It is not uncommon for countries to actively reach out to expats to offer superior tax incentives. It’s not just the privacy afforded to you and your finances. It is often about spending more income domestically and being able to stimulate the local economy.

Still, don’t think you have no tax liability. Accounting professionals can help you understand what taxes you need to pay to stay in good standing. Please be aware that there may be certain fees associated with renewing your visa or retaining the privilege of staying in the country. Before you decide where to live, make sure you know all of them and how much they cost each year.

8. Prepare your visa and other key documents

If you are planning to become a foreigner, there are some documents you will need. A travel visa is not enough. At a minimum, have a valid passport, birth certificate, work permit if you want to work after arrival, income documents, medical records, marriage certificate if applicable, and a valid form of photo identification please give me.

Depending on your country of residence, more documents may be required. This is another thing you can learn from the government agencies that oversee the entry of people who want to stay longer.

9. Open an international bank account

While you may be able to manage your finances using a domestic account, it also makes sense to set up an offshore account. The exchange rate will be higher when you travel, and your balance may even earn more interest.

To do so, consider opening an offshore checking, savings or fixed deposit account. You can also finally look into investment accounts. Banks that serve offshore customers have staff that can help you choose the best account for your situation.

Useful apps before and after moving

We are fortunate to live in an era where digital communication makes managing many tasks easier. As an expat, you’ll find many apps to help you plan and come in handy once you’ve settled into your new home.

Here are some ideas for the types of apps you can make good use of.

🧳 Package and ship packages

Even if you’ve successfully sold a lot of your belongings, you may still have quite a few that you’d like to pack and ship to new locations. Finding the right service can be frustrating, but it’s easy with a mover identification app that can make sure everything is in order.

Try an app like Packing Pro. They can help you with packing arrangements and suggest what to bring based on the weather and other factors.

🏙️ Know your area

It’s only natural that you want to know more about what’s near where you choose to live. But you don’t have to wait until you arrive to start this process.

Apps like Nearify can help you learn more about shopping, entertainment, and other places near your new home. But don’t miss the possibility of using Google Maps to see what else interests you.

🧑🏻‍🤝‍🧑🏿 Make connections with like-minded people

Who wouldn’t want to make new friends? Connect with people who share your hobbies and interests with app versions of major social media services.

There are also apps like Lianna and Meetup that make it easy to meet locals. Just enter your location and interests and we’ll quickly find people who would love to get to know you.

🗣️ Break down communication barriers

Even if you already speak one or more of the local languages, dialect differences can make communication difficult.

Try using a translation app like iTranslate, Google Translate or TripLingo to get started. It won’t be long before you pick up the nuances of the local language and start to feel at home.

🍴 Find places to eat

Where do you go when you don’t feel like cooking? Of course, you also want to know where the locals like to eat.

Along with recommendations from locals, apps like OpenTable and Time Out can help you find the best places to try.

👩🏻‍💻 Connected to Wi-Fi

What if the phone signal is weak but you want to find out something? A hop to any available local network is the most practical solution.

To find an internet connection in your area, try apps like Wi-Fi Finder or Osmino to find free hotspots near you. These connections may be in coffee shops or restaurants, where you can grab a snack while you work.

💱 Keep up with currency exchange rates

Knowing the exchange rate of a new country can be difficult. For example, as you become more familiar with the local currency, you may wonder how the displayed prices compare to what you would pay in your country.

Apps like XE Currency let you quickly compare multiple currencies and send money. It’s fun to use and provides data based on the latest exchange rates.

The key to a successful transition to expat life is preparation

Leaving the country of your birth and going to a new country is exciting, but it can also be stressful in the process. However, making the right choices and being prepared can make the transition to life as an expat, and to your new home, easier.

Remember to make the most of the resources you have on hand even after you arrive. It doesn’t take long to get used to and feel like you’ve been part of the community for years.

Featured image credits: Porapak Apichodilok; Pexels; Thank you!

Luigi Wevesi

President of Caye International Bank, FinTech School Instructor and published author of The Digital Banking Revolution. It is now in its 3rd edition.

Luigi Wewege is President of the award-winning Caye International Bank, based in Belize, Central America. He is the author of his The Digital Banking Revolution, now in its 3rd edition, and co-author of an economic study presented to the US Congress. He has also served as an instructor at Fintech Schools in California and on the advisory board of Fort Cobbe International Vault in Panama. He holds an Italian MBA with a major in International Business from the MIB Trieste School of Management and his BSBA from the University of St. Missouri with his three majors in Finance, International Business and Management. Louis.

Living as an expat: what you need to know and essential apps to help

Source link Living as an expat: what you need to know and essential apps to help

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