These decisions are not made lightly though, and there is much to consider before you become an expat and take off for sunnier shores.
In past articles we have already discussed:
- The Realities Of Moving Abroad
- What Not To Do When Moving Overseas
- Preparing Your Taxes For International Living
- Tips To Invest In International Real Estate
Now let us consider some more tips for making your move as pain free as possible:
How is communication involved with moving overseas?
Communication is imperative when making the major decision of moving overseas. Involving your significant other or your entire family is a crucial step to take early in the decision making process. Obviously, the decisions you make will affect not just you but also your entire family. There is no "I" in Team as the saying goes.
There are many questions to consider as a family. Such as what will your priorities be when you are moved? The question of whether you want to move to a city, a rural area, or beach area is also important. You also may also want to consider the possible weather difference and local health care concerns of the area of choice. Trust us, if the wife and kids aren't happy, then nobody will be happy. Their opinion counts just as highly, if not higher than yours.
Another very important question to be asked is, are you willing to learn a new language if it is necessary to do so? Learning a language can start months before the move actually takes place. This can actually help everyone to be more comfortable in his or her new environment. It also helps build the excitement and anticipation of moving overseas.
Taking time to answer all question will go a long way. When you allow all parties involved to convey their concerns you will be better equipped to ease any fears and, in turn, ensure full cooperation and participation in the adventures to come.
How can you affordably stay in contact with loved ones?
No matter how stressful life may be in the beginning of your new adventures overseas, one thing that will always keep you sane is staying in contact with your friends and family. Now this can get very expensive if you do not know what you are doing. Calling directly from your home phone or cell phone is going to cost you dearly. So what is the alternative?
Technology is a beautiful thing. These days they have something called an Internet Phone Service. Every day these companies are becoming more and more efficient, making it easier and cheaper for you to call home. There are a few different companies for you to choose from. Such as Vonage, Delta Three, and Skype. These companies offer a variety of plans that cater to calling internationally. It can cost as little as 2 cents a minute to call home. We like Skype very much, they allow you to have a number in the country of your choice that people can call you at without additional charges, you can also have a voicemail box hooked up to it so you don't miss anything. Many of these services even offer a real phone that hooks up to your internet so that when people call you it will ring like any normal phone!
So do your research on each companies website, and figure out which plan would be best for you. It's a very big comfort to know that your friends, family, and loved ones are only a phone call away, with out costing you a fortune.
Is it worth the effort to ship down all your possessions?
Admittedly having a little piece of home in the new country you are moving too can help keep your sanity during the stressful acclimation period. With that in mind though, is it worth all the toiling to get it shipped? The answer is probably no.
Not only is shipping your belongings overseas very expensive, in the end it becomes unnecessary. When it comes to your U.S. manufactured electronic items and power tools, you never know if the products will work in a different country with out an entire extra piece of costly equipment.
Another rational thing to keep in mind is that damage during transport is very likely. So the question is, would you rather have friend look after your heirlooms while you're away or take the risk of casualties during the shipping process? The choice is yours.
There are many amazing flea markets abroad with antiques that are considerably cheaper then the U.S. Choosing not to ship down your goods can open up the opportunity to explore your new environment, finding things you may never have found otherwise.
On the other hand, some good advice we have always lived by is not to pick up and leave everything behind entirely. It can be very difficult not having any memories of your old home, and home sickness can be a real problem. Take what you can't bear to leave. Bring along items that remind you of happy times, good memories, and precious moments. Even some decorations that you had in your old home may happily find a new location in your new one. It can be brutal to leave everything you've ever known behind, so take along those important things to remind you of where you came from.
When it comes to your health, be prepared.
When living abroad your Health is of paramount importance. There is an abundant amount of new things to try in your new country, which brings along the risk of getting sick. So why not be a little prepared?
Most U.S. health insurances do not cover you once you move overseas. Do not fear though, there is an alternative. It is called international health insurance. There are a few different options in this regard but it is going to cost you around $600 per person per year.
Another more affordable option you can look into is the government insurances in your country of choice. Not only will this cost a fraction of what it would cost in the U.S, but it may also be more readily accepted in a larger amount of hospitals.
When it comes to you and your family's health, it's best not to mess around. Weigh your options and choose accordingly.
Take your decision to move seriously, weight your options, and be realistic. More than anything else: Get ready for the ride of your life!