Posts

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.

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.

Healthy Living

What to consider when you are relocating abroad

Relocating abroad will almost always involve finding somewhere to live, looking for a new job, and finding schools for your children. With so many things to consider, it is often easy to overlook something as important as international health insurance. In this article, we explain what to consider when you are relocating abroad, and we will explore the international health insurance that you will want to take with you when relocating abroad.

The Importance of International Healthcare

The most important factor in your plan to relocate is to acquire an appropriate international healthcare plan. The most common misconception regarding this topic is that you can take your domestic healthcare plans with you when you relocate. In fact, when you leave your native country, most domestic health insurance plans are voided. From an insurance company’s point of view, an expat is no longer a resident in their home country when living abroad and therefore no longer entitled to domestic coverage.

Another misconception is that as soon as you move to a new country, you will be entitled to local healthcare coverage from the state; however, this is not always the case. In addition, healthcare standards in many destinations are often inconsistent and lesser than the standards of your home country. It is also critical that you seek out expert advice when seeking international health insurance, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions which require coverage.

Relocation considerations aren’t only measured in terms of financial costs of living, such as moving expenses and cost of living, but one must also keep in mind the adaptations of language requirements and cultural differences. It is critical that you prepare appropriately for your various needs; however, without international medical insurance, an unexpected injury could cripple your financial situation.

Heart Rate

Find what’s best for you

Finding the right international medical insurer is an extremely complex issue. There are many different levels of healthcare around the world, as well as vastly changing local regulations. It is subsequently very important to ensure you’ve selected an international health insurance plan that fully protects you and your family.

Expat Financial offers a variety of international insurance health insurance plans on a group or individual basis. To maximize your expat experience and avoid unforeseen risks and costs, please contact us today to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements. Our toll-free number: 1-800-232-9415 or email us at info@tfgglobal.com.

Health Insurance

What to consider when moving abroad as an expat

Deciding what to consider when moving abroad as an expat can be an overwhelming experience. Relocating abroad will almost always involve finding somewhere to live, looking for a new job, and finding schools for your children to attend. With so much to consider, it is often easy to forget to look into an essential ingredient to having a successful and happy period abroad: international health insurance.

International Health Insurance 

International health insurance is an absolute necessity when relocating abroad. What do you need to consider? Let’s explore what you will want to take with you in an insurance plan.

The most important part of relocating abroad is to acquire an appropriate international healthcare plan. Your domestic health insurance will not cover you, contrary to popular belief. This is a very common misconception – that your domestic plans will cover you abroad but the truth is that when you leave your native country, a lot of the time, most domestic health insurance plans become void. From an insurance company’s perspective, an expat is no longer a resident in their home country when living abroad.

Another misconception is that as soon as you move to another country, you will be entitled to healthcare coverage from the state. While this is sometimes the case in some European countries, more often than not you will not be eligible for local healthcare through the government or a local insurer. In addition, healthcare standards in other countries (which may include your destination) are often inconsistent and have lesser standards than that of your home country.

International Health Insurance

Expert Advice

Because of all these misconceptions, you need to seek out expert advice. Receiving this advice will seeking international health insurance, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions which require coverage, is essential.

When relocating for your expat assignment, you also need to consider the following: moving expenses, cost of living, location, language requirements, and cultural differences. It is critical that you budget appropriately for your various needs; however, without international medical insurance, an unexpected injury could cripple your financial situation. This is what makes international health insurance to critical for you to obtain BEFORE you depart.

Finding the right international medical insurer is an extremely complex issue. There are many different levels of healthcare around the world, as well as vastly changing local regulations. Therefore, it’s very important to ensure you’ve selected an international health insurance plan that fully protects you and your family.

Expat Financial offers a variety of international insurance health insurance plans on a group or individual basis. To maximize your expat experience and avoid unforeseen risks and costs, please contact us today to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements.

USA Flag

Health Insurance for Canadians in the USA

Health Insurance Options for Canadian Expats in the USA

Our company is contacted almost every day by Canadians living in the USA or about to live in the United States who are not eligible for local healthcare. More often than not, it is the parent of a student living in the USA who is calling us to find a high-quality expat health plan for their Canadian son or daughter. They all know the cost of medical care in the USA is extremely expensive – some expenses can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands. For example, here are some sample medical conditions and the expected claims costs in USD:

  • Pancreatic Cancer – $100K to $150K
  • Valve Repair – $60K
  • Complicated Pregnancy: Hundreds of thousands
  • MS – $80K
  • ICU Stay – Such a claim could be huge depending on the condition and length of stay.

Health Insurance

That is why it makes sense for Canadians in the USA to purchase a global health plan if they are not eligible for local coverage by themselves or through an employer. If a Canadian is maintaining provincial coverage and will be spending a few months in the USA, then most will obtain emergency only travel medical insurance coverage from one of our Canadian suppliers such as Tugo. However, if the Canadian is becoming an expatriate in the USA by spending a lot of time living, retiring or working in the USA and most likely losing their provincial medical coverage, an international health plan for the USA is vital.

Most Canadians are not aware of the true cost of their provincial medical plan because they pay little or nothing towards it as the costs are all paid by general tax revenue. We have all heard the stories of how expensive medical care is in the USA, especially in the news where someone forgets to purchase travel medical insurance when traveling abroad. If you are a Canadian expat in the USA and not eligible for local plans, then you will have to purchase an international health plan. Note that when you apply, there will be some medical questions and you may or may not be approved or there may be an exclusion. Also remember that individual expat health plans are not HIPAA, COBRA or PPACA compliant.

Most global health plans for expats in the USA will offer in-patient care with options to add wellness, out-patient medical and evacuation insurance. Dental and visioncare is also available. Some will choose a large deductible, but this is a personal choice. Most Americans are used to having very large deductibles and co-insurance while the Canucks are not.

For more information, give us a call or email today as we are very experienced in covering expats around the world. The best plan we can offer expats in the USA is the Cigna Global Health Options plan. You can even get a quote and apply online. Another potential option is the GeoBlue plan.

 

Costa Rica Culture

Top 5 reasons expatriates are choosing to live in Costa Rica

You’ve taken the plunge and decided to move to a foreign land to pursue your dreams of living an expatriate life. Countless days have been spent trying to decide on the perfect new place to call home, and the decision has finally been made: Costa Rica.

There will surely be obstacles along the way; learning a new language, adapting to new cultures and customs, and developing new social networks. However, these obstacles are no match to the numerous benefits that will come from making the move.

Whether you want to surround yourself with a vast array of volcanoes and waterfalls in the Central Valley, prefer the quiet life on the beach in Tamarindo, or want to live an exciting life of adventures and activities in the Arenal Region, Costa Rica offers a diverse and exciting profile for everyone.

For English speakers looking for work in Costa Rica, available industries are wide-ranging for an expatriate: varying between hospitality, tourism, the arts, sales, sports, and education. With Costa Rica calling your name, read through the top 5 reasons to make the move to this beautiful country.

1. Low Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Costa Rican regions is relatively stable throughout the entire country. Costa Rica is relatively affordable in comparison to most Canadian & American cities, and therefore, more advantageous for incoming expatriates.

On average, a furnished 900sqft apartment will cost ~$750USD per month, and in a more luxurious region can cost up to $1,500/month. Groceries range from $5 for an lb of chicken, $6 for 500gr or cheese, $2 for 2lbs of potatoes and $0.75 for bread. If you are living in a region where transportation is necessary, a bus pass will cost you $ 62/month.

Being an expatriate in a new city, you’ll surely want to explore the town with a few nights out. An average dinner for 2 will cost you about $40, drinks at a downtown bar will be $8 and if you’re in the mood for a fancier night out, a high-end restaurant will be ~$68 for 2.

2. Culture

 Costa Rica Culture

“The happiest country in the world” – Costa Rica has long been given this reputation. Through its energetic and friendly locals, Costa Rica is a sophisticated and proud country. It prides itself on its strong cultural values, which stems from freedom and equality for all, with a rich history incorporating many diverse influences. Costa Rican citizens are very friendly and it is a great country to explore culturally.

3. Safety and Stability

As an expatriate, it is important to know that you will be living in an area that prospers in safety and wellbeing. As one of the longest reigning democratic states in Central America, Costa Rica is known for its safe and stable environment and functional government. While you will want to take normal precautions that you would take while living abroad, most expats will agree that this beautiful country is a safe destination for living abroad.

Costa Rica is also one of the leading Central American counties for a stable and prospering economy. Although deciding to make the move to Costa Rica is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, you will be able to rest comfortably knowing that you are making the move to a financially stable country.

4. Weather and Environment

Costa Rica Environment

If versatility is what you’re looking for, Costa Rica is the best place for you. You can enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches in 30-degree weather, to going off exploring the rainforest and jungle region of the country. With dry and wet seasons, you will still experience the changes of weather, while also enjoying a constant 12 hours of sun a day, all year round.

5. Established Healthcare System

Costa Rica has one of the leading healthcare systems in the region. Most expats will want private healthcare provided by a large global insurance provider. As an expatriate, Costa Rica has the added benefit of offering English Speakers at nearly every major hospital and clinic. However, when making the decision to relocate, it is very important to obtain an international health insurance coverage plan for your extra protection.

At Expat Financial, we provide international healthlifedisability, and travel insurance to expats moving abroad or already living the expat life overseas. Our firm has extensive experience in working with expatriates in need of global health insurance while living in Costa Rica and other Central American countries. Contact us with any questions and obtain a quote online today!

 

 

Expat Tokyo - Why you need international health insurance?

10 tips on how to keep your expat kids healthy & happy overseas

Here are Some Tips for Expatriate Parents on How to Keep Your Kids Happy and Healthy Overseas

Moving abroad is often a difficult transition for expatriates and their spouses, but often even more so for their children. You want to make sure that the transition to life abroad is as effortless as possible. One of the most important considerations for expat parents is how to keep their expat kids healthy and happy abroad. We have noted several steps that expatriates can take before and after they move overseas to make sure the little ones and even teen expatriates will maintain their emotional and physical health.

1. Adjusting to their new school abroad

While you are trying to welcome your new environment, don’t forget to help your children to choose a school. Picking the right school requires you to do adequate research before moving abroad. It can be vital to the health and happiness of your children. For most children, the transition to a new environment can require sufficient counseling to help them integrate.

2. Make sure they are vaccinated

Obtaining the necessary vaccinations is important if you are moving overseas, but especially for children. Talk to your doctor and make sure they are up to date on their vaccination schedule and also make sure that they are properly vaccinated for diseases that may exist in your new home country abroad. When it comes to vaccinations, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

3. Encourage them to pack their things

Another step you can take to help your children to stay positive is to include them in the packing process. Encourage them to pack their belongings, and choose what they want to take on the plane and what gets shipped. Of course, also make sure they don’t forget their favorite toy or blanket!

Portrait of happy mother and baby girl on street overlooking rooftops of rome on sunset

4. Be mindful of their mental health and adjustment abroad

Moving abroad is a big deal for adults, but even more so for your children. They are moving away from all what they are familiar with – home, friends, cousins etc… Don’t try to avoid their questions and anxieties. As soon as you know there’s going to be a relocation, include your kids in the conversation. Listen properly to their questions and concerns. They have to make new connections in a brand new culture. While they may be excited, it can be quite daunting. If you can see assistance both before and after you go and be very mindful of their mental well-being after you move abroad. Think about having them join a team or club while abroad. Also, maybe include your kids in the process of decorating their rooms. Let them choose their furniture, paint colour and bedsheets.

5. Keep copies of your kids’ medical records

One of the biggest challenges when relocating with children is looking for high-quality medical care. It is always suggested to bring your children’s medical records wherever you go, as well as vaccination updates, and allergy history

6. Research destination illness and health warnings

Many countries are providing diseases and health warnings on their travel websites. Expats should consult these sites before moving abroad. In most cases, children are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Through adequate research, you should be able to identify the signs and symptoms of some common local diseases. It also helps to take preventive actions such as vaccinations and checkups for your kids before you move.

Expatriate Life Insurance

7. Help your children to keep in touch with home country

Moving abroad will be a landmark event in your children’s lives. It is suggested that you help your children collect all of their friends’ contact information, put them in an address book. Another helpful step would be to create photo albums to preserve their memories from their home country. It will also be a good idea to host an unforgettable goodbye party to celebrate this life-changing decision.

8. Find local expat kids groups

There are local expats groups or communities resources online, through social media or employee networking. Bring your kids to these child-friendly activities. It has been proved that these similarly minded expat parents can help expat children to acclimatize to the new surroundings faster.

9. Learn the language together with your children

It is a good idea to begin a language course before relocation. However, to better help your kids’ transition, you are recommended to take the time to learn the new language with your kids. It will help them to see there is a learning curve for everyone. And if you are enjoying the new language, they will be more likely to also.

An elementary age girl is holding her stuffed animal at the doctors office. Her mother is talking to the doctor in the background.

10. Obtain international health insurance to cover you and your expat kids

It is crucial for every expat family to take the necessary action to ensure that their spouse and children’s health and well-being are protected and provided for via an appropriate level of international health insuranceExpat Financial offers a wide array of excellent global health plans designed specifically for expatriates of most nationalities around much of the world. You should also consider purchasing the expatriate dental coverage option.

If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized evacuation quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.

Asian Tourist

A financial checklist is important for expats moving abroad

Make a Financial Checklist if You Are Moving Abroad!

Financial planning is often considered confusing, frustrating and time-consuming, especially for expatriates who are busy enough living and working abroad. However, don’t let it frighten you off. Financial planning aims to help take control of your life and budget, and achieve your financial goals. This is very important for expats living and working overseas. In order to have a clear picture of what you want, it is recommended that you create a simple financial checklist before moving abroad.

Do you want to own a home or rent an apartment?

Expatriates working overseas will have the chance to own a larger amount of disposable income. A clear financial goal is important if you want to make the most of your money. For expatriates aiming to purchase home overseas, it is suggested to look for neighbourhoods with appropriate community services and excellent schools. This will be attractive for future resale value. If you decided to rent an apartment, make sure to check the entire room before signing the lease contract. Rental agreements will vary, you are responsible to read carefully before signing.

Do you have emergency savings?

Any unexpected events or risks could hurt your financial health. Financial professionals suggest holding at least 3-6 months of income as emergency savings. This is especially important for expatriates living overseas in the event of any financial emergencies. It is recommended to establish a monthly budget to cover day-to-day expenses, protecting cash account being invested or overspending.

Asian Girl

Do you have a retirement plan?

If you have a retirement plan at hand, you will be clear when making major decisions such as what lifestyle you can afford, how much to save and where you will retire. The earlier you get the retirement plan ready, the more comfortable retirement. A lot of factors will help to design your retirement plan: investment returns, cash flow, country-specific benefits, etc. You should talk to an expat investment expert who may be able to guide you in the right investment plans and investments. Generally, the closer you are to retirement the less risk you may want to take. Expats may want to think about if your investment accounts are consolidated and organized?

There are also many retirement hot spots for expat retirees such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand, etc. There are many reasons why expats choose to retire overseas: lower cost of living compared to western countries, beautiful beaches, cuisine, climate, etc. Check out our Expat Retiree page to read more about international health coverage needs for your current or upcoming retirement plan.

Tax Planning

Have you undertaken adequate tax planning and preparations before moving abroad?

Tax issues can be complicated, especially for international citizens. Moving abroad can involve significant tax implications – some positive and some negative. For example, some Canadians become non-residents for tax purposes when they move abroad along with significant tax savings depending on the country they will be residing in. For American expats, it can be quite complex as well. It is recommended to visit your local tax office and consult expat tax experts before moving overseas. We often recommend that expatriates talk to an expat tax expert such as Citizen Abroad Tax Advisors. We also list several other firms on our links page.

Have you made financial arrangements in your new home country?

If possible, it is wise to arrange for a new bank account in your new country of residence and bring adequate ID and financial letters from your home bank. You may also need to transfer money into a new currency – we recommend our foreign exchange associates at OFX and use them ourselves. You should also check into money restrictions and regulations in your existing and new country of residence.

Do you have international health insurance to protect you and your family while living abroad?

Yes, as you can guess global healthcare is near and dear to our heats! We work with many expats who reside where the local healthcare system is usually not the best choice. That local health coverage may not even be available, especially if you are residing in the developing world. You may not even be eligible for local healthcare or it simply may be substandard. The cost of using private medical care is usually very high in many parts of the world, especially in parts of Asia and of course the USA.  It is common that you may be living in a country where medical care is inadequate, and you may need to see medical care regionally or globally. The expense of emergency medical evacuation is also quite expensive. For example, we know of a friend of ours who was charged 75,000 USD for a short evacuation flight from one island to another. A large medical bill can destroy your financial goals and hurt your financial future. If your employer is providing health coverage, make sure it is adequate coverage for both you and your family. Note that some companies do not extend coverage to dependent spouses and children.

With an appropriate international medical plan in place, many individual expats and their families are covered around the globe (except in the USA unless you add it as an optional benefit). International health insurance plan provides day-patient care and full hospital coverage, preventive medical care, extensive cancer coverage, maternity and baby care (conditions may apply), dental & vision care and international medical evacuation and repatriation. This is especially important for expats going to visit the more rural areas in some less developed countries.

Health Insurance

How to obtain international health insurance 

Expat Financial can source global medical insurance plans for expatriate families that can provide excellent coverage and premiums. We have been offering international health insurance coverage on an individual basis for many years. For more information, please check out our International Health Insurance page.

Learning New Language

Five Tips for Learning a New Language If Living Abroad

5 Tips for Learning a New Language If Moving or Already Living Abroad

Moving to a brand-new country is never easy. Learning a new language can take years. And moving to a brand-new country while attempting to learn a new language can be downright daunting.

For an expat in a non-English speaking country, the question simply becomes: how can I learn the local language fast? While there is no magic pill to learn a new language overnight, there are ways to pick up a language quickly. While this task of learning a foreign language may seem huge, there are ways to make your life a bit smoother – here are five tips to learning a new language, while living abroad:

  1. Understand that learning a new language is difficult!

    There are multiple ways of learning a new language and not every way will work for you. No one is expecting you to learn a brand-new language perfectly and to be fluent speaker right away, especially if you are learning a language with many complexities like Russian, Mandarin, Arabic, Korean, or Hungarian. The faster you can come to terms with this notion, the faster you can get over any anxiety and embarrassment that may come with learning a new foreign language. Relax, figure out what method works for you, practice, and enjoy the process.

  2. Immerse yourself in the language.

    Pay attention to the street signs, the advertisements on the sides busses and on billboards, read food labels when grocery shopping; all of this helps (especially when learning a new language alphabet). Celebrate your wins when you recognize what the words or phrases mean. Try ordering your daily cup of coffee at your neighborhood cafe in the local language. Find out the keywords or phrases to get by and say pleasantries like please, thank you, may I, sorry, etc. and use them on a daily basis. They will become automatic and make you more confident.

  3. Self-study.

    If you like to learn on your own there are many books out there on learning new languages. You can check out local books stores in your new country, many of which will have books on learning English or baby books. Don’t discredit these books, reversing how you view the language may be quite helpful. And there are thousands of YouTube videos, podcasts, and apps to help you self-learn – most of them free. Listen or watch videos on your daily commute or for a few hours a day when possible. Making use of technology can be a lighter and easier way of learning as many apps aim to make the learning process fun and game-like. Talk to the locals who speak English, they can help correct you and guide you. If you don’t know a local who can help, join a learning group.

  4. Join a learning group.

    This will allow you to be in a structured environment to learn the new language. You will get feedback, be sounded by others from various different countries who are trying to learn the local language and may even receive assignments to test your knowledge. Find fellow expats, but beware of slipping back into your native tongue.

  5. Get creative.

    Make flashcards, try to write up your work emails or everyday texts in English and the local language, visualize the new language rather than relying on a direct translation. Have fun with friends or family members who are trying to learn the new language, get into a habit of picking a category to talk about ex. “colours” or “foods” and say the examples in the language. Watch the news for articulation and pronunciation. If you are in a big city check out a play, visit museums, and see movies in the language you are trying to learn.

And finally, something thing you might want to consider before choosing a language learning method is what purpose are you looking to achieve by learning a foreign language? Do you need it mostly for writing? Talking? Business? Can you get by without learning too much of the local language? Learning a new language will always assist in ensuring a good quality of life and freedom within your new country. A new language will assist you should you require medical care from a facility or doctor who doesn’t speak your language. A great medical plan will also provide medical insurance support in all of the major languages. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world who are about to move abroad or already there. If you have any questions regarding international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs as an expat, please contact us or complete the quote form.