Moving abroad for work is one of the reasons many expats relocate abroad. However before you accept a job offer that looks great on paper, it pays to do your research before accepting the offer. Here are five important things to consider before you sign on the dotted line.
What’s the cost of living in your proposed new country?
A job offer may look amazing on paper, but will it provide you with a comfortable life and still allow money for savings? Many South African expats who move to Australia, the UAE and Singapore make the mistake of thinking their salaries will more than cover their costs – without realising that the cost of living is substantially higher in these countries. The end result is that you have very little in your pocket at the end of the month and a quality of life that leaves much to be desired.
So, do your homework and work out what your major expenses will be – accommodation is often the biggest expense and this can vary from country to country. If you are moving to the Middle East, then a state school might not be an option for your children, in which case you will need to factor in the costs of sending your children to a private international school.
Can your family come with you?
If you are considering taking up a long contract, it’s important to consider whether your work permit will allow your family to come with you. In some countries, a “travelling” spouse’s work prospects will be very limited and this might be a hard adjustment for the family. If taking your family with is not viable – will your salary be enough to cover your living expenses and your family’s expenses back home. If you have children, schooling is another important issue to consider – especially if you are moving to a country where education at state schools occurs in a foreign language. If you are planning to return to your home country at the end of the contract, then you might have to consider placing your children at an international school so they keep up with their curriculum.
Will you be able to adapt to the culture?
Culture shock is something that goes with the territory when you move abroad – even if you are moving to another English-speaking country. If you are moving to a country like China or a country in the Middle East, it’s important to consider whether you will be able to adjust to the culture and lifestyle of both the country – and the way they conduct business.
How secure will you and your family be?
Safety and security are important factors to consider when you are moving abroad, particularly if you are considering working in a country that is considered high-risk or high up on the hardship scale. Often these jobs pay extremely well, but you need to decide whether the inflated salary and work experience are worth the risk to you and your family’s personal safety.
If you are a South African living and working abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.