Financial planning checklist for expats

If you’re leaving Blighty to live abroad there are things you must make sure tick off before you jet off, says Chris Wicks.

★   Arrange travel insurance before you book your flights.

★   Arrange medical insurance, if not provided by your employer, and check that it includes a full repatriation benefit so that you can be returned home for treatment if you or your family are struck by serious ill health or injury.

★   Open a multi-currency bank account so that you can readily and cheaply transfer funds between the currency in which you are paid and the one in which you intend to carry out any expenditure.

★   Open a foreign exchange account for buying/selling currency without suffering the higher costs and fees of using bank.

★   Ensure that you have properly notified the tax authorities that you have left the country on a permanent contract of employment so that you are no longer deemed to be resident for tax purposes.

★   Consider paying voluntary National Insurance Contributions in order to qualify for certain UK social security benefits such as the state pension.

★   Establish tax efficient investments and savings to ensure that you build up a retirement fund that is sufficient to provide you with a comfortable standard of living once you stop working.

★   Don’t forget to write a will to ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes and not those of the country where your assets are located. This is particularly important if you own property and have investments or savings in different countries.

★   Very importantly, ensure that you take advice on the tax and other implications of moving from one country to another before you make the move.