Recent reports suggest that there are over 3.4 million British people living abroad, which is 7% of the overall British population. One of the major reasons for this is the weather. Roughly 1000 people leave the UK every day in search of sunnier climes and a higher standard of living. Of these 1000 people, over 40% are usually British citizens and most choose to relocate to either Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, the US or UAE.
Although the UK has some beautiful countryside and stunning coastlines throughout the country, the weather defines how often we get to enjoy the outdoors. Even during the summer, there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to visit our favourite beach due to either wind or rain often destroying our best-laid plans.
It’s generally a lot cheaper to live abroad and many skilled professionals find that they can often earn more than they do in the UK whilst experiencing better working conditions, less working hours, less tax and better private healthcare schemes.
According to a report by the Daily Mail in 2010, nine out of ten Brits currently living abroad said their quality of life had improved since leaving the UK; but that’s not to say that the moving process always goes according to plan! Unfortunately, it is often this process that is misunderstood; landing people with all sorts of unexpected difficulties to tackle.
If you are considering leaving the UK permanently, it goes without saying that thoroughly researching your chosen destination and not overlooking the important points is vital. Always visit key forums and expat community resources to help get a feel for the country, region or city you intend to move to first. For example, how does Melbourne differ from Sydney or Auckland from Christchurch? You might be surprised!
Consider your health. Once you permanently leave the UK you are no longer entitled to medical treatment under the NHS or via a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Be sure to sign-up to health insurance and if you are staying within the European Economic Area (EEA), read up on the S1 form (previously known as the E121 form). For more useful information visit the NHS moving abroad page.
Consider your long-term financial requirements by reading up on the impact moving overseas may have on any benefits or retirement income. Visit this state pension abroad page as a good resource. Be realistic about your living costs, don’t automatically assume they will be the same as the UK and don’t forget to formulate a Plan B if things go wrong.
Once your key research is in place and before deciding on a leaving date, set up a consultancy session with an independent legal professional and don’t feel under pressure to use your property developer’s or estate agent’s contacts. Take a look at http://www.gov.uk for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s English-speaking lawyers lists. It is very important that your legal consultant understands the law in the country you intend to move to.
Investigate recruiting a specialist international removals company such as PSS International Removals. We have successfully helped thousands of customers move throughout the world, over more than 30 years, and we are fully aware that issues with packing, customs and shipping must all be taken into account, and that’s not to mention initial advice on Visas, job seeking, property searches, tax and all of the elements that go into an individual’s life in a new country.
It is always important that you are covered for financial security to avoid any possible problems at foreign ports and paying extortionate fees just to recover property. With this in mind, we offer a door-to-door service meaning the customer sees their belongings being packed at their doorstep and then opened in the same state at destination.
Furthermore, we have achieved the highest level of service within the industry by attaining FAIM ACCREDITATION which is the only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry.
PSS is also a Member of the FIDI Global alliance, British Association of Removers Overseas Group, and BAR OVERSEAS, which is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for customer’s financial protection.
Once you have moved abroad and understand the costs, research the taxes that will be applicable to you in your new home (as well as back in the UK). Don’t forget to take exchange rates into account and consider the potential financial implications of moving.
Never rush into buying. Many advise renting for the first 6 months in a new country while you take the time to settle in, investigate the area and integrate into your community, ensuring you become familiar with the local protocol. You can then decide whether it might be somewhere you or your family will be happy long-term. Try and make a concerted effort to avoid isolating yourself and learn the local language that will play an important role in helping you settle in and meet new friends.
And finally, don’t forget to notify the Social Security Office, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work & Pensions that you are moving overseas, as well as your GP. For a full list of who to contact, visit this retiring abroad page.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with our international moves team.