Family on the beach

Thinking of moving overseas for a new career or retirement? Whilst an exciting prospect, it can also be daunting leaving your home country. To ensure a smooth relocation, use our handy checklist to make sure you have everything in place. From taxes and finances to shipping and storage companies, read what you need to consider before securing your roots someplace new.

Plan Your Finances

Before embarking on any change, it’s key to understand if your finances are in the right place. Costs of food and utilities can be considerably higher (or lower!) abroad, so do your research beforehand. International bank transfers can also be expensive, so use foreign currency specialists for the best rates. And, you may need to arrange new bank accounts locally, as well as an expat option in the UK, depending on your circumstances.

Check Out Public Services

Public services like health, education and public transport do vary from country to country, so make sure you’re aware of the arrangements in your new residence. Check factors like whether or not there’s state-funded healthcare, as you may need to budget for private cover (and don’t forget to de-register from the NHS and notify your current GP/dentist) – there is an EHIC card if you’re moving within Europe too. Also, if you have children, research entry requirements and quality of schooling, and talk to other parents online if possible. In terms of driving, you may not be equipped (or comfortable) to do so straightaway, so look into public transport options as well.

Understand Tax Requirements

When you move from the UK, you must notify HMRC for tax purposes, and register with your new country of residence. Some countries have double taxation agreements with the UK, so make sure you fill in a P85. Also, get tax planning in place for any of your remaining UK-based income/assets (i.e., you may be renting out your UK-based property), and if you’re retired, check how your pension and inheritance tax exposure may be affected.

Research Properties

Of course, you can’t venture abroad if you’ve got nowhere to live! Consider the pros and cons of renting and purchasing, and agree a budget – sign up with agents in the local area, and use the web for tips/feedback from other expats. Even if you’re buying a property, be aware that the legalities can take time. Plus, your belongings can take weeks/months to arrive overseas, so it might be a good idea to rent a furnished property temporarily while you get everything settled.

House abroad

Arrange Moving/Storing Items

Your belongings are precious, so it’s important to choose a reliable shipping company that will transport everything safely. You might even opt to get your items packed professionally too, with insurance in place for added peace of mind. Plus, check whether you need a full container or partial load shipping – you might even want to leave some things in storage, in case you don’t have the space or budget to take everything abroad. Don’t forget your beloved pets either! If they’re coming with you, they’ll need to be micro-chipped and immunised against rabies at least 21 days before travel.

Organise Your Paperwork

Paperwork can be overwhelming, but it’s better to have everything organised to avoid any unwelcomed obstacles for your grand move. Keep together birth/marriage certificates, passports, driving licenses, and any other forms of ID (as well as your completed visa application forms if necessary). Also make sure your travel, life, driving and home insurance policies still cover you – and if they don’t, get them updated beforehand.

Change Phone and Utilities

General admin is another time-consuming factor of change (and one that can be easily missed) so go over each area carefully. Have you set up mail redirection at the post office? Are you registered for voting as an expat? Do your bill providers know you’re moving, and will they switch off your utilities? Have you organised phone and internet services in your new home country? Don’t forget international driving requirements either, as you may need a permit, and some countries might require you to take a test.

Settle in and Integrate

Once all the official stuff is sorted, you can prepare to get settled in! Try building up a support network before you arrive, and research ways to get involved in the community – there are loads of expat websites and forums. It’s also wise to learn at least a base level of your new country’s language, which you can do from the comfort of a phone/tablet app. And, keep in mind that culture and etiquette are likely to be a little different to what you’re used to, so read up on the societal norms.

Man browsing computer by pool

Hopefully, this checklist will have you all prepped to chase your new and exciting relocation dream! Keep the move smooth and stress-free with a shipping company you can trust – our residential service will transport your belongings safely to your new home, by road, sea or air. Contact Andrews Shipping today.