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What relocation means for your pocket and how to make a seamless transition

By Opinion Time of article published Sep 2, 2020

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According to a study by moving and storage company BigSteelBox, one of the most stressful events in life is moving to a new home.

It may be a happy occasion but moving, especially to a foreign country, is a disruption which can easily cause anxiety.

There are a lot of essentials that need to be taken care of before, during and after you move, including being prepared for the admin which can be overwhelming. Often people miss important considerations such as their banking needs especially when moving to another country.

“Moving overseas will require you to relook your approach to banking, saving, and investing. Your finances will most likely be divided between two countries, you will need to consider currency exchange rates, how you’ll be taxed and where you want to keep your money,” says Erik Olwagen, Head of South Africa Sales and Distribution International Personal Banking at Standard Bank.

If you do relocate or this is something you have been thinking about, here are some tips on how to protect your finances:

A failure to plan is a plan to fail

There are several options for managing and accessing your money while working abroad, based on your circumstances and requirements. Consider the expenses you will need to cover while you are living overseas, including accommodation or housing and everyday living costs. Think about appointing a financial planner, who can offer guidance on developing an overall investment strategy that is in line with your financial goals and objectives.

Managing your money in different countries

An international bank account will enable you to easily and quickly make international payments, while also allowing you to start saving as you embark on your new adventure.

Bear in mind that choosing the right location for your finances will require research. It’s advisable to plan and think carefully about where you are going to keep your money and how your will ensure the safety of your cash and investments.

Understand your tax obligations

Becoming a resident in a new country and still having financial commitments in another can have an impact on your tax status and may even result in paying tax twice. Consider getting advice from a tax specialist to help you determine how much tax you will have to pay so that you can avoid unpleasant surprises.

Prioritising your savings

Although living in a foreign country can mean enjoying new experiences, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity you’ve been given and save for when or if you return home. For many people working abroad, the priority is to earn money, often more than you might at home, and to send it back to your family, or to save for something big like a dream home.

Start by creating an emergency fund to cover you in case you take ill or have an unplanned financial expense.

“At Standard Bank we have a suite of financial offerings that ensure that our customers can move territories seamlessly when it comes to their finances. Following these steps and plugging into our international offering when relocating internationally will go a long way in helping to alleviate some of the stress you might be feeling.”

PERSONAL FINANCE

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