challenges of living abroad

Top 5 Cost of Living Concerns for Expats

Find Out More About the Cost of Living Concerns for Expats

Let’s talk about the least fun part about being an expat- budgeting.  Living in Thailand for five months, then relocating to Mexico and calling it home is not impossible if you plan well. Even seasoned digital nomads traveling through the wonders of the world will carefully plan out the cost of living in each destination. Here are the top five cost of living concerns for expats.

cost of living concerns for expats

1. Destination

There are certain considerations you need to take into account when choosing between two destinations. Firstly, you need to research and understand the safety concerns in the country and the cities that you want to live in. In Mexico, Cancun is a lot safer than the hottest tourist spot, Los Cabos. Similarly, you also have to consider transportation safety. Some countries like Bali and Thailand, use bikes as a mode of transport. If you end up deciding to buy a motorcycle, you know have to consider the safety of yourself and others.

Different countries govern differently. Some government makes it easier for expats to obtain citizenship, while others have strict rules. You also have to find out how your status as an expat is affected by the UK‘s exit from the EU.

cost of living concerns for expats

2. Culture

Moving to a new country that’s completely different from your culture seems thrilling at first. But you will soon hit a few bumps on the road in the first few months in your new home. The food culture will be different in Thailand if you’re from Canada. The question is, how willing are you to assimilate into the new culture. It boils down to your reason to move. Are you heading to Malaysia to work, study, or just travel?

Then you need to find out if the English language is widely spoken in your new home country. If it is, then you will find it easy to navigate the ebb and flow of your city. In other cases, you might have to do some prep work. You would have to consider learning the basic language as it will have an impact on your life there.

cost of living concerns for expats

3. Finances

Part of being a digital nomad is figuring out how many times do you want to visit your home country. Sometimes, you need to take care of important business and would require an emergency flight back home. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you have to find out how easy it is for you to fly home, and map out a cheaper journey. For example, Kuala Lumpur is a travel hub for most international citizens, as it has more affordable flight options. It is also a hub to visit other neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

Another important budget you need to plan is the daily cost of living. How you spend your money every day can dramatically impact your monthly expenditure.  Are you cooking at home, or spending money eating outside? If you’re a young digital nomad, then you have to invest in a speedy internet connection to get your freelance work done. Similarly, you also need to figure out and plan other expenses, such as phone lines, accommodation, and transportation.

4. Health Insurance

How important is health insurance? How much will it cost? One of the most important considerations for expats and global nomads is the cost of global medical care. Local health plans in your new destination may be cheap, but unavailable or inadequate. Also, some local plans won’t give you access to private care – they are definitely not portable, but expats are. Some countries have free healthcare while other countries operate best under private healthcare. If you’re planning to relocate to Africa or even South America, you would have to get comprehensive international health insurance. Make sure you pick a plan that is as comprehensive as you can afford and that the global medical coverage will be there for you and your family when you need it most. A deductible can certainly help reduce your premium. Generally, the lower the cost of healthcare in your destination, the lower the premium the global insurance provider will charge you.

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5. Be Practical

Finally, it is vital to find out the cost of a visa. Some countries give you a visa on arrival, and other countries require you to apply for a visa at least six months in advance. It also means you have to plan your next trip well in advance. Similarly, some countries make it easier to get dual citizenship. If you are planning to stay longer, do a trial run first. Get a tourist visa and see how you like living there.

In conclusion, planning your cost of living concerns for expats may feel daunting at first, but it will get easier once you learn the ropes. It is an important part of an expat’s lifestyle. Researching about each country before moving will make it even more enjoyable once you are there. You will make memories that will last a lifetime. Happy planning!