Top 5 Destinations for Expatriates in Thailand​

Top Five Destinations for Expatriates in Thailand

There is no doubt that Thailand has some of the world’s most sought-after destinations for vacationers as well as expats. The omnipresent welcoming ambiance and the low cost of living make Thailand the number 1 place to live abroad. Whether you are settling in a bustling city like Bangkok or looking for a peaceful stay in the jungles, this country has something to offer to every visitor.

You can enjoy a year-round tropical climate, modern facilities or comforts, and top-quality medical care without having to spend much. You can live a western lifestyle without having to worry much about expenses. Happiness is a priority among Thais and they live life “king size”. You just need $2,000 a month to live a comfortable life in this Asian tourist hub.

You can get acquainted with the Thai culture and lifestyle in a quick time as you start living in an expat destination in Thailand to get an extra dose of peace and serenity.

Here is a list of 5 of the most popular expat havens in Thailand:

  1. Chiang Mai

Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a great place to spend your expat life in a calm and serene environment. It is also home to many Buddhist temples built hundreds of years ago. Apart from its exotic past, Chiang Mai residents can enjoy comfortable weather throughout the year with a temperature of about 77 F during the cooler season. Apart from the fabulous dining options, this beautiful getaway is home to lavish malls, JCI-accredited hospitals, and movie theaters showing the latest films.

Chiang Mai’s growing popularity means that there can be an issue of overcrowding soon, especially in the Old City area. Expats arriving in huge numbers in Chiang Mai usually prefer to stay near the city center. You can get a decent place to stay here for just $300.

  1. Koh Samui

If you are interested in a beach lifestyle, Koh Samui is the place for excellent expatriate life. Imagine staying in a peaceful abode, which is close to palm-lined beaches and a tranquil ocean. The ultra-easy lifestyle and low costs will make your stay in this destination forever. During your time here, you can keep yourself busy by attending yoga or dance classes when you are bored with soaking up the sun on the pristine beaches.

The laidback lifestyle of Koh Samui can be compared with the one of Hawaii where sun, sand, and sea become an integral part of daily life. Also called “Coconut Island” because of the abundance of coconuts, Koh Samui is an ideal place to enjoy all forms of adventure and entertainment including surfing, sailing, and zip-lining. Koh Samui’s affordability is also evident in the availability of mouth-watering local delicacies that can be enjoyed at extremely low prices.

  1. Bangkok

Apart from being the country’s capital, Bangkok has been a favorite of expats for decades. It has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and today, it is much more than a flourishing cosmopolitan city. You will love the sight of gleaming skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and public transport facilities that adhere to the highest standards. The multicultural vibe and inexpensive living make Bangkok a top choice of expats from all parts of the globe.

You can enjoy a five-star meal for just $100 or have a bowl of sumptuous noodles on the street for less than a dollar. There are numerous North American-style malls too where you can indulge in shopping. Healthcare facilities in Bangkok are well-equipped with some of the best doctors and medical professionals. You can get world-class healthcare services from specialists at limited costs. Moving around the capital is also convenient as public transportation is available for almost all the main routes. The Thai law has restricted the purchase of properties in the country; however, you can always choose those beautiful condos and two-bedroom sets at economical rates.

  1. Hua Hin

Hua Hin was a quiet little fishing village once upon a time; however, it evolved as a popular beach getaway a few decades back. Located at a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Bangkok, Hua Hin is currently one of the biggest expat destinations in Thailand. Thanks to its sandy beaches, exquisite vacation homes, and pleasant climate, Hua Hin is a seaside haven where you can spend your expat life at ease.

The inexpensive shopping and dining options will lure you into staying in this expat destination for long. At least, you will fall in love with its small-town vibe like the myriad expats who call it their second home. You won’t be tired of tasting some of the freshest seafood in the area’s busiest stalls. During your stay, you can also enjoy the annual jazz festival featuring some of the most popular local and international talents.

  1. Phuket

Phuket is undoubtedly an expat’s paradise boasting of turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and majestic mountains. There is an ever-present breeze blowing across this island, encouraging comfortable living amongst visitors and local folks. Your stay can be easygoing or a club-hopping one depending on what you like the most. Indulge in a lavish lunch at Naithon Beach or enjoy the music and cabaret shows in the Patong area.

Living the Thai Life

A convenient lifestyle is the biggest draw for most expats who settle in the various parts of this beautiful tourist hub. You can select from an array of gourmet delights including Italian, Indian, Chinese, and more. You can also join one of the many expat clubs to make the most of your stay in Thailand. Top-notch medical care is available at a fraction of the price that you would be paying back home in Europe or the United States. No matter what your budget is, there is a global healthcare plan for most expats starting a new life in Thailand. It is critical that you obtain global medical insurance if you live in this beautiful and fascinating country. We recommend the Cigna Global Health Options plan for most expats in Thailand.

Selecting Insurance

The importance of protecting your income while working abroad

Make Sure you Purchase Disability Insurance When You Work Overseas

Nowadays, apart from safety, what most people are concerned about when considering an offer of employment overseas are the salaries and benefits coverage. According to HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey, more than 35% of expats working in the banking and financial services sector in Hong Kong make more than HKD 1.55 million annually. And according to ECA International’s annual MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey, middle expat managers in Japan earn $375,289 per year on average. An expat professional’s income is one of the most valuable assets, but what if an unfortunate event happens and you lose that income? Disability can occur at any time. In this article, we will discuss the importance of protecting your income while working abroad.

What is Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance often called income protection, is designed to ensure the beneficiary’s income if the worker becomes disabled and is unable to earn an income. The types of disabilities include serious illness, an accident or injury, and a mental health issue. The plans will generally pay you a percentage of your income after you are disabled for a set number of days or months and pay until you reach age 65, can complete another job or are no longer disabled.

Short-Term & Long-Term Disability Insurance 

There are generally two types of disabilities insurance: short-term disability and long-term disability. Short-term disability insurance provides a percentage of income if an employee is disabled and unable to perform job duties in six months. Long-term disability insurance will pay an employee a portion of monthly income if he or she is unable to work. Payments end when an employee starts working again or dies. The benefit plans often differ significantly from one employer to another.

 

Market

Hazards of Life When Living Abroad

Working and living overseas comes with a set of challenges. This is not only regarding the initial culture shock, but it also involves a certain level of risks such as urban crime and political protests. How safe it is for expats to work and live abroad depends largely on the chosen destination. People in some countries may prejudice toward nationals of certain countries for historical and political reasons. There are certain countries where it is more dangerous than others. These unexpected circumstances and events reiterate why it is so the importance of protecting your income while working abroad.

Why Disability Insurance is So Important?

Besides physical accidents and work-place related accidents, most expats don’t realize that chronic conditions can also cause disabilities. And if they become disabled and unable to work, could you pay the bills? This is why disability insurance becomes very important. The chances of disability are actually quite high before age 65. if you think about it, your most important asset is your ability to earn an income.

Disability Insurance

It is strongly recommended for expats moving overseas to obtain an international health insurance plan with disability coverage. Especially for those self-employed expat individuals and independent contractors. Many expat benefit plans include some local healthcare benefits. However, these local medical plans do not provide medical treatment outside of your destination country nor cover emergency evacuation and repatriation. Most expatriates will want a plan that provides international medical treatment. Expats will also want to obtain life insurance when working and living overseas. Remember, some say that your ability to earn an income is your most valuable asset!

How to Obtain Expat Disability Coverage?

Don’t forget to include the coverage of expat disability and life insurance. The peace of mind of knowing that your future income is protected while working and living overseas is very important for individual expatriates and their employers. Expat Financial, a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd., can often source group expat life and disability plans for organizations that are employing expat employees. A group plan will often provide superior coverage and rates. We also offer a great expat disability plan for individual expatriates.

If you have questions about the individual and group expat disability plans we offer or if you would like to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.

Expat Tokyo - Why you need international health insurance?

6 Reasons Why You Should Relocate Overseas

Six Reasons Why You Should Move Abroad

The traveling bug seems to have taken the world by storm. One can also call it the “expatriation bug” as people are moving abroad in increasing numbers. While there are people who are investing their time to explore new pastures for the sake of adventure and fun, there are many who are actually looking to turn it into a way of life. In fact, the idea of departing from an old and mundane lifestyle to a new beginning seems extremely inviting.

Though the very thought of beginning from scratch might appear to be intimidating initially – if you have put your mind to it, you will soon realize the amazing benefits of relocating to a foreign location of your choice. Listed below are some of the wonderful advantages of moving overseas in 2019, six to be precise:

1. Opportunity To Explore New Culture:

Moving abroad allows you to step out of your comfort zone and embark on a new journey wherein you get to explore a new country and its culture, people, food, and language that is completely alien to yours. Besides some new and stimulating experiences, you learn to set up things for yourself independently such as doing the daily chores, making a living etc. while grappling with new challenges. This gives a strong boost to your confidence, which is extremely important to settle down in a new country.

2. Better Employment Opportunities:

Though the aspects of an expat life might appear to be difficult, yet, there are several facets that make this endeavour extremely rewarding. One of the most significant reasons why moving abroad is catching up amongst people, especially millennials are promising employment opportunities. Countries such as Canada provide a perfect destination to people looking to begin a new professional journey that is extremely fruitful and rewarding.

Tokyo City

3. Strengthening of Your CV:

Working abroad will help you develop new skills that are significant to sustain oneself in a competitive job market. The skills and expertise gained abroad can make your CV look impressive and provide you with an upper hand vis-a-vis your counterparts. Who knows your prospective employer may be simply impressed by your newly formed qualities. It has been documented that taking an overseas work assignment can really benefit your career long term.

4. Better Lifestyle:

Often, folks consider relocating overseas with a vision of starting life afresh. By getting access to new opportunities, they intend to have a luxurious lifestyle, which they might have been yearning for in their home country. Countries such as the UK, Canada etc… with their advanced infrastructure, a strong economy, and low tax rates are extremely alluring for people willing to relocate.

Tokyo Airport

5. Broadened Outlook Toward Life:

Once you migrate to a new place, you tend to broaden your horizons by stepping out of the dependable comfort zone that you relied on earlier. As you meet new people, explore a new culture, taste new food, and above all travel around, you will be able to form new attributes that will broaden your outlook toward life.

6. Appreciation for Yourself:

Living in a foreign location provides you with several opportunities for self-actualization. You will learn to understand certain traits about yourself, which you were probably unaware of earlier. While some of these might leave you introspecting and improvising, some may make you adore yourself more than ever before. After all, the most important relationship a person has in their life is with themselves.

Yet wait, another reason to move abroad is to potentially earn more money. It has been reported recently that you can earn more money if you move abroad as companies employing expats often pay a salary that is higher. Multinationals often provide better benefit plans and superior global insurance coverage. You may even benefit by paying fewer taxes while living abroad.

The aforementioned reasons are just the tip of a massive iceberg, and there are many others that can fuel your zest to resettle on distant shores. However, if you are keen to write a new success story, just take the leap of faith to realize some of the most promising benefits. We would be remiss if we did not mention the importance of obtaining global health insurance coverage before you move abroad, but it is possible to get global healthcare if you are already living abroad.

Global Business

Tips on Becoming a Global Nomad

Become a Digital Nomad Abroad – Global Nomad Tips

Being a global nomad is definitely an intriguing opportunity for many people. However, there are many factors that come into play while choosing an expat destination. Prior planning regarding the city you would want to move to, type of residence to book, and children’s education is a must to look into if you don’t want to juggle around at the eleventh hour before departure. We have created a beginner’s guide for tips on becoming a global nomad to get you on the right track for your next adventure!

Being a global nomad can be quite challenging, especially if you are moving alone in search of a fresh and better life abroad. Here are a few tips that will assist you in having an amazing experience as a global expat:

1. Manage Expectations

Having too many expectations apart from the usual ones can prove to be frustrating, especially if you are not very familiar with a particular expat destination. Have an open mind when you relocate to a foreign land. Be prepared to face issues and challenges during your initial days at your desired destination.

2. Meet People and Make Friends

Even if you are not too keen, you should mingle with as many people as possible. Staying indoors won’t help, so venture out to meet people and make friends. Meeting and talking to as many people as possible daily will help you be comfortable during your stay as an expat. Participate actively in community activities and events to boost your network. You will be missing out on a lot of fun if you feel shy and don’t have the guts to communicate with strangers.

Friends

3. Obtain International Medical Insurance before Moving Abroad

No matter how good healthcare facilities are in a particular expat destination, having an international health insurance policy can be very helpful. Unexpected health issues can turn out to be an expensive affair abroad. Visit Expat Financial and get a quote for one of the best global health plans before you decide to move. Remember that countries like Spain may not let you stay long term if you don’t have private insurance. So, it’s always better to obtain one in advance. Click here for a free quote today!

4. Go for Language Classes Immediately

If you are planning to move to a country with a different official language, you should join language classes immediately. By learning the language, you will be able to communicate with the local folks effectively. A communication gap can be a major hurdle in interacting with locals if you are clueless about the main language of your destination.

5. Consider Living Costs

Living costs can vary from country to country. Always check whether your dream destination is affordable for you before you decide to relocate. For instance, the average cost of living in Asian countries is much lower than in any North American or European country. You also need to consider the taxes you will have to pay in your chosen foreign land. You should also bring a laptop that will last and work with the local wifi. Did we mention wifi – make sure wherever you go has high-speed internet access that is both reasonable and dependable.

Living Cost

 

Prepare For an Amazing Global Nomadic Life

It is common knowledge that people in every country are different. There are marked differences in the way they eat or cook food. It is this diversity that you will learn and eventually enjoy as you continue mingling with people in every new destination you explore. Being empathetic and kind towards others can endear you to everyone you meet on your journey and take you places. Always keep an open mind and be kind-hearted while you are living a nomadic life abroad.

Global Nomads

9 Questions To Ask Before You Become An Expat

9 Important Questions To Ask Before You Become An Expat

Planning to kick-start your journey as an expatriate? Still confused about deciding to settle abroad? Moving to a foreign country on a short-term or long-term basis is in no way an easy choice to make. Your international assignment is a big step in your career, life or even retirement. You may even be going abroad for a few years for extended travel. To make the most of your days on foreign soil, asking yourself a few questions will certainly help. Here are 9 questions to ask before you become an expat living abroad, or even if you have already moved offshore to your dream destination:

1. Where do you want to move to?

Similar to purchasing property, location is a major factor when you are planning to move abroad. Your research about a particular place should help you ascertain whether your expectations as an expat are reasonable. Check out various expat guides online or read what the expats have to say about a particular destination in the bulletin boards. Embracing a career opportunity in a place that doesn’t suit your lifestyle or health may pose several challenges during your stay there.

2. What is motivating you to go abroad?

Some of the reasons why you are motivated to move abroad may include career and financial growth, better lifestyle, lower cost of living, suitable weather, etc. As an expat, you would be investing a lot of time and money, so make sure that you get good returns on all your efforts.

Leaving Abroad

3. Can you communicate in the local language?

If you can’t speak in the local language, learning a few key phrases to at least exchange pleasantries in first-time interactions before you reach your destination can be helpful. After arriving, you can go the whole hog for language classes. Imagine mingling with the locals by speaking their native language. You will surely feel accepted in a new location which you can call your second home once you learn that language well enough.

4. What will be your tax liabilities when living abroad?

Knowing the accurate taxation policies of your expat destination will help you to be better prepared to manage your finances. For instance, a professional in Japan have to pay up to 45% of his salary as tax. Taxation policies may vary from country to country. However, US citizens will have to pay tax no matter where they live and work. It is important to talk to an expat tax advisor if you are moving abroad to discuss your global tax requirements.

Health Insurance

5. Did you purchase International Health Insurance?

OK, we are a bit biased when it comes to the importance of international health insurance. We can’t overstate how critical it is to get global healthcare if you are living abroad. The news and internet are littered with stories about people who moved or traveling abroad without health coverage and were stuck with large medical expenses.

6. Are you capable of handling any emergency, including a sudden move back home?

Your stay abroad should be planned carefully and wisely. Having sufficient money during your overseas visit will help you enjoy a hassle-free time in a foreign country. You can leave some cash in your native place and use it as a financial lifeline to fall back on if required. You can also rent or lease out your property until you are sure about settling abroad forever.

7. How do you motivate your partner and/or children to migrate?

Living life as an expat may be exciting and fruitful for you. However, your family members may not share the same enthusiasm and be motivated enough to relocate. Let them know the positives of being an expat and help them strike a rapport with diverse communities that suit their interests. Learn more about expat kids.

8. Are local healthcare services reliable or do you need private insurance?

Many countries offer excellent healthcare to expatriates, while others offer nothing at all. You would need international health insurance to ensure that you are fit and healthy in a foreign land. Check out the cost of obtaining a new global health insurance plan and see whether it is affordable after your new salary package.

9. How will you deal with common obstacles to moving abroad?

There can be many obstacles in your path of being a global nomad. Obvious obstacles include money crunch, work permits, visa, certifications, etc. The hurdles may seem tough to overcome, but proper planning will help you handle every challenging situation. Reach out to people who you feel can bail you out of difficult times.

Next Steps for Expats

After going through these 9 Questions to ask before you become an expat and if you have convincing answers to the questions above, you can plan a nomadic lifestyle in your dream destination. Expat life may not be glamorous for everyone. However, basic steps like going for international health insurance may ensure a happy expat life. Expat Financial can help you make your experience memorable as an expat.

Cruising

Top 7 careers for Expats in South America

Careers for Expats in South America

Planning to start a new life overseas? If you want to boost your income and travel at the same time, you’ll be happy to know South American countries and cities offer a wide range of jobs for expats. Based on your skills and qualifications, you can definitely find a decent job to take care of your expenses. We have created a list of the top 7 careers for expats in South America that will aid you in your search abroad:

1. Teach English

South America is a continent where English is not the first language; so, there’ll be many people who would invest money to learn it. You can join various language centers or educational institutions if you have a TEFL certificate. As a one-to-one private tutor, you can definitely earn more than what you would in a language center. However, you can get plenty of hours in one place and build a strong network if you work in a center for language classes. There are many companies that can place you in schools and colleges where you can also earn well

2. Get Job in Healthcare

Many South American countries have excellent healthcare schemes; so, finding relevant jobs as a doctor or nurse won’t be too difficult. As a healthcare professional, you will get enough opportunities to provide the care that is required by patients. Depending on the duration of your stay in South America, there are many placement agencies to help you get a job that suits you.

Healthcare

3. Go for Engineering Jobs

Engineers are in huge demand these days in this continent. If you have the desired degree and experience in engineering, you can expect good remuneration as well as job security in Latin American cities. From structural engineering to chemical engineering, you have many options to explore.

4. Take Up Mining Job

The bustling mining industry in South America offers an array of jobs at various levels. Whether you wish to work as an artisan or an executive, finding employment in this sector is easy as the continent is home to huge mineral reserves and producers. Apart from a rewarding career, mining professionals can expect good job security too.

5. Become a Tour Guide

As an expat in South America, you can be an educational tour director or a tour guide. You will also gain a lot of information and knowledge about the top attractions around the country and share them with the assembled tourists or students. Your wanderlust would be satiated as you travel to breathtaking tourist destinations with various study or travel groups.

6. Work in a Hostel

Hostels across South America often look for English-speaking workers, especially during the peak tourism season. During these months, hostels usually look for additional staff to help them with cleaning, housekeeping, and reception work. As a seasonal worker in a hostel, you may be able to get free lodging and food. Your long or short stint in a hostel will also offer you the opportunity to meet young and exciting faces with whom you can chat and hang out.

Abroad Hostel

7. Become Digital Nomad

Today’s young workforce love to be digital nomads, which means that they would be “working from home” and their “home” is worldwide and not constant. Graphic designing professionals, photographers, programmers, and freelance writers can easily fit into the role of a digital nomad, working from anywhere and at their own pace. You will just need a good internet connection though.

Get Prepared To Relocate

Forgoing a career in your native land and moving abroad for a better life is not an easy decision. If you are lucky enough to get a good job in your chosen destination, you will be more than happy to relocate. Don’t forget to check out the job descriptions thoroughly before you apply for jobs in South America. Plan well in advance to ensure that there are no last-minute hiccups.

Purchase International Health Insurance

Although we have created this list of the top 7 careers for expats in South America, it is still important to obtain proper global health care before relocating. No matter where you decide to live your expatriate life, or what career you decide to do, having health insurance is a must. Expat Financial can assist and guide you in obtaining a good international health insurance that would make life easier for you. You can also get a quote online to purchase a health plan that suits your lifestyle and budget.

Couple Abroad

6 Challenges for Expatriates Living Abroad

 Six Challenges for Expatriates Living Abroad

Living on foreign soil with unknown faces around may pose many challenges to an expat, especially those who have left behind the luxury of family support and a convenient lifestyle. No matter how mentally strong you are, the challenges that you face while living abroad can make life difficult. Everyone thinks that you won’t get at least some “culture shock”, but it happens to everyone.

If you cope with the issues with utmost determination and will, living overseas can be an enjoyable experience that you can cherish forever. Here are the top 6 challenges that you may face during your overseas stay:

1. Inadequate Personal Support

Leaving behind friends and family for greener pastures can turn out to be a curse. If you are moving abroad, you need to take the initiative of sharing news, being in touch, and asking your loved ones for mental support. In today’s fast-paced world, even social networking can’t replace one-on-one interactions with people who really matter. Despite the distance, messenger services like Viber, WhatsApp, and Skype can be used to enjoy some face-to-face time with those who you really care for. Check out our Social page for more info.

2. Worries About Future Finances

Tensions regarding future finances can dampen your mood and desire to settle in a foreign land. Before you decide to start an expat life, it is important that you plan your future finances well in advance. Keeping yourself secure through adequate bank balance will assist you in living a stress-free expat life. If you are still unprepared, it would be better to revisit your plan and make the move when you have sufficient resources for those rainy days. Anxieties about future finances will lead you nowhere. If you are an expat, make sure you adequate life and disability insurance coverage.

3. Building Relationships Can be Difficult

It is a reality that living abroad without a partner can be difficult for various reasons. Being single, you may have the freedom to do whatever you desire, but you are bound to feel lonely at some point in time. We all need someone with whom we can share our deepest feelings. If you are a career woman or man who is very new to a city or country, finding the right person to build a lasting relationship may not be easy. You will have to play the waiting game and see if you are lucky enough to find the love of your life.

4. Adjusting to Different Business Cultures Difficult

As an expat, don’t expect local businesses to adjust with your style of working. For an expatriate, understanding and learning a new business culture can be quite challenging. It is always better to be flexible and have an open mind. Instead of being judgmental, learn to make decisions that are appropriate and work best for your business. Ask the people within your network to assist you in setting up your business in a particular location. And don’t be shy to ask for references or introductions.

5. Making New Friends Abroad Can be Difficult

For any expatriate, making friends is unfortunately not easy. Expats usually lament the fact that people move to expat destinations for two or three years and then leave. So, the friendships built during these years come to a halt when they depart. This is the reason why many expats don’t even think of making new friends as they would eventually leave. Don’t get down, you will meet people if you join a club, association, religious organization or socialize with your new co-workers.

6. Language Barriers Can Make Expat Difficult

If you are moving to a place where English is not widely used, communicating with natives can be a big issue. So, learning the common language of that particular location before you leave will definitely help. There are many language learning tools online to help you out if you are not too keen about hiring a language tutor. Remember that culture shock is temporary. With time, everything will become normal for you.

Being an expat has its advantages as well as disadvantages. There is no doubt that it can be very stressful for new expats. However, don’t let anxiety and stress overwhelm you. Being mentally prepared to face various challenges at the outset will help you overcome these woes with a cool head. A positive attitude is vital for enjoying every moment as an expat. If you take the right steps, your stint as an expatriate may turn out to be very fruitful too.

Importance of International Health Insurance

Before you pack your bag and baggage for expat life, having an international health insurance policy is paramount. Being prepared for the unexpected in terms of health and well-being will help you stay relaxed and secure. Grab one of the global health plans offered by Expat Financial and lead a tension-free expat life in your chosen destination. It is not difficult to get a quote and apply online.

International Health Insurance

Make sure you research international health insurance coverage before moving abroad

Moving abroad can be an exciting and life-changing experience for you and your family. If you are going abroad to study, work, travel or retire, it is vital that you be prepared for life’s overseas challenges, including healthcare. Unfortunately, many expats do not properly research international health insurance options before departure and some even think that their domestic plan will cover their health expenses overseas. In this article, we will discuss the importance of international health insurance, healthcare costs overseas in general and how to obtain a healthcare insurance quote online.

Will Your Domestic Insurance Plan Cover You Abroad? 

The short answer is probably no, but you should always check the fine print first. For most Canadians, if you are living abroad for more than 6 months, your provincial medical plan coverage will probably stop covering you and when it does, it will only pay a fraction of the overseas treatment and no evacuation costs. For most other nationalities, the domestic health plans that cover you at home will not pay for medical treatment you incur while living or traveling abroad. That travel medical plan can probably cover you up to six months or a year, but only for emergency expenses, not out-patient care, wellness, cancer treatment and much more. So it is usually best to assume the worst and plan for the best by buying a comprehensive global health policy.

Why Is International Health Insurance Important?

Healthcare systems are operated differently worldwide. Most countries have public and private medical facilities. In many countries, local health care plans may only cover a small amount of medical specialist treatment and prescriptions. Despite the overall quality of medical facilities, medical emergency evacuation is a very important aspect for expats. No matter you are residing in a country with limited medical services, or a highly developed country, the cost of ambulances, helicopters, traveling medical care and planes can be incredibly high if you do not have an adequate evacuation plan.

Expatriates should obtain international health insurance before departure. Such policies can provide you and your expat family with a flexible and worldwide service. It offers direct payment so that you do not need to worry about any out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

Healthcare Costs Overseas 

It has been reported by global researchers that medical costs have been increasing rapidly. In many countries around the world, private medical treatment is becoming more and more expensive. And medical costs for expatriates has also increased. For expats who want to use the private medical system, it is very important to make sure that you are covered by expat health insurance.

What if I Didn’t Purchase an International Health Insurance Plan?

Well, you should obtain a quote and get coverage right away. If you have a global health plan in place, do not cancel it until your new plan is in approved, paid and effective. If you have a Pre-existing Conditions Coverage for Expats pre-existing medical condition that is covered by an existing expat health plan, think very carefully about canceling that plan and perhaps keep it in place as new individual policies require medical underwriting by the new insurance provider.

How To Obtain Health Insurance Quote Online? 

Expat Financial offers various high quality and affordable international health insurance plans for expatriates living abroad and obtaining a quote is very easy. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan as TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd, which owns and operates Expat Financial, acts as your independent advocate. Our firm is also very experienced in sourcing group plans for multinational firms with expats.  If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.

Challenges faced by expats

5 Common Challenges Faced by Expats

Challenges that expats often encounter while living abroad – Five Plus One.

Moving abroad is often an overwhelming experience for any expatriate. The act of moving to a country that is unfamiliar to your own, a limited social network, and new cultures and languages can often feel burdensome on many people. As an expat moving abroad, there are surely going to be some challenges and obstacles when it comes to the relocation process, as well as the adjustment period once relocated. Many people will react to the stress in different ways as challenges will vary depending on location, cultures, languages, personal mannerisms and general customs of the country. However, there are a few common challenges that most expatriates encounter when relocating. We have put together a list of the 5 most common challenges faced by expats in order to aid in your settlement into your new country and allowing you to enjoy this adventure to the best ability possible. Note that the challenges below are in no particular order of importance.

Challenge #1: Fitting in

As an expatriate moving abroad, there is a big chance that you are leaving a large social & professional network back home. This can have a huge effect on someone, especially if you are someone that places a high significance on these relationships. Don’t fear, you are definitely not the first, nor the last expatriate to have the fear of not fitting in properly in your new city.

Challenge #2: A language barrier

If you are moving to a country that has an entirely different language than your own, the process of getting accustomed to your city and the locals may seem daunting. This is something that is ultimately unavoidable if you don’t know the local language beforehand. Read all about our advice on learning a new language while living abroad in order to facilitate the process, and jump-start the learning curve for your new life abroad! We do recommend trying to learn a rudimentary level of the foreign language before you take off, as it will facilitate the entire process of moving overseas!

Challenge #3: Being lonely

Don’t let the fear or the potential of being lonely prevent you from embarking on a new adventure and impede your decision to become an expatriate in a foreign country. It is extremely common for a new expat to feel lonely when they first move abroad. A key point to target when you relocate to a foreign country is to build strong relationships with the people around you. This will surely take some time, but it is important to try your best to form some bonds with the people and the city in which you now call home.

Challenge #4: Finances & money management

Organizing your finances, taxes and money management can be extremely difficult when you are living in your home country but adding overseas travel and living abroad to the mix, and things get very complicated. As an expatriate, you will have to decide if you will become a non-resident for tax purposes by talking to an expat tax expert – do not try to do it on your own. We have a list of some great expat tax advisors at our Links page. You will also have to advise your bank that you will be living abroad and probably have to set up new banking in your new home country. Most countries will want to see your visa documents and also some proof that you will be living there. It may be useful to keep your bank account back home as well. Having a bank account in your new host country in the local currency will still be invaluable and probably save you on foreign exchange. You may also have to move your investment account as well, so talk to your investment advisor and tax accountant to see what solution works best.

Challenge #5: Healthcare 

Making sure you have proper global health insurance while living abroad is one of the biggest concerns that many expatriates worry about when it comes to relocation. Local plans in your new host country may not be up to your standards and may only provide basic coverage and access to local hospitals. Most expats want to have access to private healthcare both in the host country, regionally and also for treatment back home. Having an international health insurance plan in place before leaving abroad will alleviate stress with finances, ability to obtain medical help and peace of mind for the duration of your relocation. Contact us today to discuss all your international insurance needs!

Challenge #6: Safety 

Yes, I know we said only 5 challenges, but we really needed to add expat safety to the article. As discussed in our expat safety page, personal safety is a very high priority for individual expats and expatriate employers and global mobility managers. While the world is safer now than it has been in the past, today’s security concerns and challenges range from terrorism, bombings, assaults, thefts and much more. It is vital that expats prepare for the worst when moving abroad and check out the local security in their new home country through both free and even paid information sources. Even expat destinations in first world countries can be fraught with danger – such as the terrorist attacks in Europe and mass shootings experienced in the USA. Expat safety should definitely be your priority if you are moving abroad or already living the expat life.

healthiest countries

The top 10 healthiest countries to be an expat

A guide to the top 10 healthiest countries to be an Expat

Countries all over the world offer a variety of appealing aspects that may drive expats to relocate there. In recent studies, 6 of the top 10 most healthy countries in the world to live in are situated in Europe. Factors that were considered for the study were life expectancy rates, tobacco use and obesity rates.  Note that any list is somewhat arbitrary and subjective, but here are the top 10 healthiest countries to be an expat for 2019 are the following (in no particular order):

1. Iceland

Iceland has been regarded as one of the healthiest places to live (outside of Europe) for multiple reasons. The population of Iceland live off of a farm-to-table philosophy, meaning they believe in eating foods that are naturally abundant and fresh. They also have phenomenal governmental policies that regulate industrial pollution and encourages businesses to use clean, renewable and sustainable energy sources that aid in the well-being of the countries health standards. The local population has also said that they believe that “Water therapy” is a reason that contributes to their happiness and health. Water therapy is when you sit in the waters on the natural hot springs found all over Iceland, and allow yourself to relax in the volcanically warmed waters. Another very important reason as to why Iceland had made it to the list is their gender equality policies. Iceland was the first country to fully remove the gender gap pay and is a leading country for all gender inequalities for the world.

2. Switzerland

Switzerland has long been known to be one of the happiest and healthiest countries in the world. The way of life encourages a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. One of the reasons Switzerland is famous for is investing in its population. Government spending is budgeted for high standards of education, excellent health care and for innovations for the country. A well-balanced lifestyle has allows the people of Switzerland to be one of the countries with the lowest level of depression in the world.

Switzerland

3. Spain

Why put Spain on the top 10 healthiest countries list? Spain has one of the highest life expectancy rates, and it continues to increase as the years go on. Environmental factors, such as access to clean water and sanitation, a Mediterranean diet, minimal use of tobacco, and low obesity rates are just a few other reasons why Spain continues to be a desirable and healthy country to live in. Spain is also known for its close and important familial ties and bonds that are ingrained into the local population. This, of course, isn’t the main reason why Spain tends to flourish, but it definitely is an important factor.

4. Norway

Norway has also been placed on the top 10 healthiest countries to live in. In a traditional Scandinavian way of life, Norway places a high value on a well balanced, active and healthy lifestyle. Another key point that drives Norway to the top of the list is shorter working hours, where employees are almost never required to work past 4 p.m., as well as a cultural environment that minimally encourages the drinking of alcoholic beverages.

5. Italy

The importance of leisurely dining and a well-balanced diet is extremely common in Italian culture. As the Italians say, always chose quality over quantity. It is common for Italians to source their food, oils and spices from local and non-commercialized sources. Their focus on a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes local fruits, vegetables, oils, and fish, is also sourced as a core reason as to why Italy has continuously made it to the list.

Italy

6. Sweden

A second Scandinavian country to top the list of the healthiest 10 countries to live as an expat is Sweden. Known for a lifestyle of moderations (food & alcohol), Sweden is famous for living under the philosophy of “Lagom”, which indirectly translates to English as “not too little, not too much, just the right amount”. This allows the population of Sweden to live a casual lifestyle, eat in variation and walk everywhere.

7. Israel

The Israelian population flourishes in a culture that promotes a vibrant lifestyle, spirituality and a positive healing environment. They focus on an extremely healthy, fresh and delicious diet that promotes the well being of the nation. Their healthy eating habits and lifestyle is one of the main reasons why Israel is one of the leading countries for life expectancy rates in the world. The emphasis on family and family values are also leading causes for the countries health prosperity.

8. Japan

The first of two Asian countries to be recognized as one of the healthiest countries to live in in 2019 is Japan. One of the main reasons Japan is highly regarded for its health standards is due to their diets and lifestyle. Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which is due partly to its green landscapes, its family values, and its well-balanced eating habits.

Japan

9. Singapore

The second of two Asian countries that have made it to the top 10 healthiest countries to be an expat in 2019 is Singapore. Leading with one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world, Singapore has continuously considered as being one of the most sought out countries to live in as an expatriate. Singapore is well known for being extremely safe and has some of the best food in the world.

10. Australia

Known for the Gold Coast and beautiful sandy beaches, Australia has continuously been placed on the list for the healthiest countries to live in as an expat. Complete with a sport and outdoor culture, Austalia is one of the most active and adventure seeking countries in the world. While some may indulge in a bit too many Fosters and shrimp on the BBQ, this outback country is an excellent expat destination. The country is well known for it’s laid back lifestyle – the Australian population is known for being mostly healthy and happy!

 

Although these countries are listed as being the top 10 healthiest countries to live for an expat, it is still crucial that you obtain international health insurance if you are planning on pursuing an international relocation. Staying healthy is not easy, but everyone gets sick or has an injury at some point in their lives – that is why it is critical for you to prepare for the worst by obtaining global health coverage that will be there when you need it!

Contact us today at info@tfgglobal.com to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements.