The chance to live and work abroad is an enriching experience, bringing excitement and satisfaction in many ways. It also causes challenges and some of these have been notably intensified during the pandemic. For example, travelling, which is central to expat life and identity, is also important in managing our finances in different places. Black Swan Capital Europe have made a list of 5 important considerations for people in the European expat community that you might find helpful in your financial planning and also to let you know that you are not alone.
- Assets scattered When you have lived and worked in several different places, you may have financial assets spread around the world. These can include pensions and superannuation that are crucial to handle correctly, but easy to lose track of. It can make managing money complicated and a good reason to seek help from a qualified and ethical financial planner with expertise in international regulations.
- Children and education Having children as an expat can bring extra financial pressures. Educating children in international schools is very expensive and going to a local public school may not always be an option. Thought must be given to your child’s primary academic language, what curriculum best suits the child, their cultural needs and their future aspirations. Then there’s college or university fees, living expenses and contingencies for difficulties your child might face such as dropping out or problems with loneliness. Along with this goes planning for being an expat empty nester.
- Caring for ageing loved ones When working abroad we may have to pay to get our loved ones the care they deserve. This requires research and careful financial preparation. Sometimes we have to help ageing family members with their finances from afar, in different time zones.
- What’s next? Repatriation or… How long will you stay in your current country? Most expats really don’t know and have to plan for many different possibilities. Immigration status can change, a job might be offered in another country or perhaps you aim to settle down exactly where you are. If expats want to repatriate, they also have to think about what kind of life they would like in their home country and take into account the variable cost of living, knowing that this is often the most difficult move of all. We all eventually hope to retire, and expats may have to consider where they can live comfortably when they stop working, and sometimes going back home is not the plan.
- The unexpected Sometimes life happens. Separation and divorce, redundancy and job loss, illness and death are part of life, but we prefer not to think about them. When you’re living outside of your country of citizenship, these events can be devastating. Having a good relationship with your financial planner and having organised integrated support is important in dealing with these unpleasant parts of life that demand principled money management.
Life as an expat can be enriching and challenging. Planning to manage the complexities and making provision for the unexpected can reduce stresses and increase your quality of life. Speak with us at Black Swan Capital to see how we can help you.