Moving to a new country can be exciting. Globalization has created never-before-seen opportunities for skilled professionals and employees. Whether it is for work or love, permanent or temporary, there is something adventurous about putting down roots in a new place in a country not your own. Some of the famous expats are Albert Einstein and writer, Henry James. A move such as this makes you an expatriate and more often than not, these are people sent by their organizations on deputation. The sheer excitement of the move and settling down does not always take away the sometimes unsettling nature of a new environment and culture. Here are some suggestions to make the expat experience one of peace and progress.
1. Eat local - A new country means new cuisine as well. While you might miss your steak and your apple pie, it helps to get comfortable with the local food on offer. This kind of food, apart from being available everywhere, as street food or on an expensive restaurant’s menu, suits every budget. Besides, each culture offers a unique culinary experience and you may be the better for it. So go ahead, indulge those taste buds.
2. Use your salary benefits - Most companies offer benefits apart from the regular salary. These benefits could include cost of education, housing and even healthcare. Ensure that you use these benefits so you can save more. In fact, if the house or the school comes recommended by company staff, chances are you will find both to be safe environments with like-minded people.
3. Take a load off the tax - As an expat, you might receive a great tax benefit if you plan to move back to your own country in a stipulated amount of time. So understand your tax options when you plan your stay and travel.
4. Money Transfers - International money transfers can be a pain and a drain on your finances, what with high transaction fees and awful exchange rates. Ensure that you read the fine print, whether it is to be aware of the hidden fees or take advantage of the most ideal exchange rates. It would be a good idea to have a bank account outside the country that you are residing in right now.
5. Invest offshore - If you are looking forward to your retirement, ensure that your money is invested in legitimate financial concerns. This will afford you some freedom in determining when you want to use the money. You may also want to consider additional financial planning to take care of those rainy days.
6. Others - Use the local transport - bus, train or ferry to get from one place to another rather than expensive taxis. Use the internet to make payments for utilities and save time and effort. Always have adequate insurance for emergencies.
The advantages of being an expat are many. If you are from a developed country moving to a developing one, you will like the low cost of living, disposable incomes and rather generous remuneration packages offered to you. These suggestions could enable you to enjoy all that the expat living has to offer.
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I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, and a full-time blogger/influencer.
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