Moving Abroad? Mistakes Expats Often Make

Deciding to pack up your bags and relocate to a new country is obviously one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. However, there are a number of people who make this massive decision and then end up returning back to their home country. The last thing anyone wants is for his or her dream move to turn into a nightmare. To make sure this does not happen to you, read on to discover some of the most common expat mistakes you need to avoid.

Underestimating the costs entailed

One of the main reasons why expats end up giving up on their dream move is because they run out of finances. A lot of people fail to do the necessary monetary planning and thus they underestimate their budget. Thorough research is needed to determine everything from the cost of living, to travel expenses, to rental costs and such like. You also need to take into account potential fluctuations in these expenses. Don’t forget that you may have some one-off costs to contend with as well, such as visas, taxes and legal services. These can all make a huge dent in your budget, no matter how carefully you have planned it. The best thing to do is overestimate your expenses and you should also make sure you have a sum of extra funds available to cover any unexpected costs.

Assuming like-for-like cost of living

Another monetary error a lot of expats make is assuming a like-for-like living cost. As a consequence, they underestimate the costs entailed because they are basing their finances on what they currently spend in their home country. Indeed you may have chosen your new destination because living costs are generally a lot lower when contrasted to your home country. However, this does not mean that all living costs are going to be lower. For instance, broadband prices are relatively low in European countries such as France and the UK, and so British and French expats may be shocked at the higher broadband rates when they move to another country. The same can be said for any type of expense, from electricity to tax. The best thing to do is use websites like this one on Kajang. You get a real insight into what it is like to live in this part of Malaysia, as well as the properties available. You can then toggle between different cities to get all of the details you need and build up an accurate picture of all of the costs entailed.

Not doing enough research

No matter how well you think you know a country there is always more to learn. One error a lot of people make is the following… they visit a country on holiday and fall in love with it and therefore they decide to move there. There is nothing wrong with this, however the blunder comes by assuming that living there is going to be the same as having a vacation there. You need to research everything from the customs and culture, to the rules and regulations in the country. Make sure you are knowledgeable about all aspects of life in your new destination, whether it is transportation, education, employment or anything else.

Failing to take out an expat health insurance policy

A lot of expats fail to consider their health when they are planning for their big move. It is vital to take out an international medical insurance plan before you relocate. This will ensure you are covered in all eventualities – in your home country, in your new destination and even when you’re on holiday. A global health insurance plan will not only protect you in terms of your well-being, but also financially as well. One of the reasons why so many expats fail to take out an expat medical insurance plan is because they simply assume that the standard of public healthcare is going to be the same as it is in their home country. However, this is definitely not the case. Firstly, are you sure that you will even have access to the public healthcare system? If you do have access, there is every chance that the standard of care will be low compared to what you are used to. If you have an international health insurance policy in place you will gain access to the best network of hospitals, facilities and professionals, which will ensure the best possible care.

Not visiting your chosen destination enough

There is no need to rush your move, is there? So, why not visit the destination a few more times before committing to a new life there? By visiting on a regular basis you will get a good understanding of what life is like before you make your final move. A lot of people visit an area on a two-week destination and think ‘wow this is the perfect place for me’. However, it’s impossible to learn everything about a location within a mere couple of weeks. Thus, you should visit several times and explore as much as possible about the country. Not only will this give you greater confidence in your decision to move, but it will make it easier for you to integrate into your new life.

Assuming that everyone speaks English

There is no denying the fact that English is widely spoken all over the world. However, this does not mean that every city in every country is going to have a large population of English speakers. It is always a good idea to learn the local language of your new location. However, you should also research as to whether there are a high percentage of English speakers in the destination. You don’t want to be lulled into a false sense of security.

Failing to embrace the way of life in your new country

Last but not least, another mistake a lot of expats make is attempting to live their lives in the exact same way as they did in their home country. If you do this you are going to limit your experience. After all, surely you did not decide to move abroad simply to have the same experience you were having in your home country? Embrace your new way of life. Explore the culture and respect the customs of the country you have moved to. You should also make an effort to mix with the locals, which relates to the earlier part about learning the local language. Failure to do this could make it difficult for you to integrate.

To conclude, moving to a new country is definitely a period in your life that should be positive and exciting. Nevertheless, if you fail to plan effectively beforehand your dream move could be very different from what you envisioned. Thus, take note of the seven points that have been mentioned in this post to guarantee that your relocation goes as smoothly and successfully as possible.

Nb. Collaborative post.