With the state of the UK economy, the good old British weather and no doubt the recent riots who can blame the large number of people leaving the UK to take up opportunities working overseas.
The prospect of a number of low rate tax systems, improved climate and a “civil and respectful society” in many countries is enough to persuade most.
Having represented many UK expats I would recommend that expats do the following:
Open an Overseas Bank Account
You will need to do this as soon as possible to pay for the basics such as utilities and ensure that you are not charged excessive and unnecessary bank charges for foreign transactions.
Research the Cost of Living
The attraction of a greater salary can mask the differential of the cost of living in a new country as opposed to the UK. For example in Norway and Denmark the cost can be over 40% higher than buying like for like products. This can certainly catch out many expats in the early stages of their move.
Salaries will often be offered in local currency or linked to a base currency such as US dollars. Therefore currency fluctuations can work for or against you depending upon your circumstance. Whilst most major international companies do operate a tax equalisation fact or commodities and service allowance quite often it is the individual who may suffer with short sharp fluctuations in exchange rates.
Many individuals will leave the UK for new careers but retain assets within this jurisdiction. By doing so can leave them liable to pay certain taxes. By completing a form P85 will ensure that HMRC are notified. Depending upon your new circumstances if you seek to draw a state pension upon your return to the UK then you will need to maintain your National Insurance contributions. My advice is to get advice from an international financial advisor before you leave to ensure that you take advantage of your move abroad and how to plan for when you are to return.
Make a Will
Not just in the UK but in your host country. Many jurisdictions have their own survivorship rules and in certain countries ruled by Sharia Law, all assets upon a mans death will pass to his nearest living male relative. This could leave wives and children financially exposed. It is also worth checking life policy requirements as policies taken out in the UK may not extend to cover overseas. See my earlier blog http://bit.ly/qcldBI
Being prepared will enable you to enjoy the experience.