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Financial planning steps to include in your relocation to-do list before moving abroad

By July 10, 2024FinGlobal

Financial planning steps to include in your relocation to-do list before moving abroad

July 10, 2024


Moving abroad is an exciting yet daunting prospect, especially considering the financial implications. For South Africans contemplating things to do before moving to a new country, careful financial planning is crucial to ensure a smooth and sustainable move.

This guide outlines the essential financial steps before embarking on your international adventure.

Things to consider before moving abroad: your financial situation

Before making any significant decisions, it’s vital to understand your current financial standing. This involves:

  • Reviewing your assets and liabilities: Make a comprehensive list of your assets (property, savings, investments) and liabilities (debts, loans). Knowing your net worth will give you a clear picture of your financial health.
  • Assessing your income and expenses: Monitor your income streams and monthly spending. This will enable you to identify potential savings and necessary lifestyle changes.

Differences in living expenses in your destination country

Living expenses differ significantly between countries. Understanding these differences will help you budget more accurately. Some key considerations include:

  • Housing costs: Investigate rental rates or property purchase prices in your target city.
  • Everyday expenses: Assess the costs of groceries, transportation, utilities, and healthcare.
  • Tax obligations: Tax systems vary by country. Make sure you understand your new tax duties and their financial impact.

Create a budget for your move

Moving abroad involves numerous expenses beyond just travel costs. Create a detailed budget that includes:

  • Relocation costs: Consider the cost of flights, shipping your belongings, and temporary accommodation upon arrival.
  • Visa and legal fees: Factor in the costs of obtaining visas, work permits, and other legal documentation.
  • Emergency fund: Set aside a financial cushion to cover unexpected expenses during your transition.

Handle your financial accounts

Managing your financial accounts can be complex when moving abroad. Here are some steps to take:

  • Notify your bank: Inform your bank about your move to avoid disruptions in accessing your accounts.
  • Open an international bank account: Consider opening a bank account in your new country to facilitate transactions and reduce currency exchange fees.
  • Plan for currency exchange: Be aware of exchange rates and plan for currency conversion costs.

Understand your insurance needs

Insurance is a critical component of financial planning, especially when moving to a new country. Ensure you have adequate coverage for:

  • Health insurance: Research health insurance options in your destination country and ensure you’re covered from the moment you arrive.
  • Travel insurance: Consider travel insurance to cover potential risks during your move, such as flight cancellations or lost luggage.
  • Property insurance: If you ship belongings, ensure they are insured during transit.

Plan for retirement

Moving abroad doesn’t mean you should neglect your long-term financial goals. Take steps to secure your retirement:

  • Review your retirement accounts: Understand how your move will affect your existing retirement accounts and contributions.
  • Explore retirement plans abroad: Research retirement savings options and social security benefits in your new country.

Seek Professional financial advice

Managing the intricacies of global finance can be difficult. Consulting a financial advisor specialising in expatriate finances can offer valuable insights and help you make well-informed decisions. Relocating to another country is a major life transition requiring thorough financial planning. Considering these factors, you can guarantee a seamless and financially stable move. Seeking professional advice can also help you make the best decisions for your specific circumstances.

FinGlobal: Tax emigration specialists for South Africans abroad

Avoid unexpected tax issues with SARS and enjoy peace of mind as you build your future in a new country with FinGlobal’s expert assistance. Our services cover expat tax compliance, tax emigration, retirement annuity encashment, or financial emigration from South Africa.

To inquire about your South African financial emigration, email us at or provide your details below. We offer an obligation-free SARS check and a complimentary, no-strings-attached consultation and quote. Your confidentiality is guaranteed.

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