Making an overseas move is difficult, not only because you'll be
leaving your home for a completely different country, but also because of all of
the logistics involved. In between
all of your preparations for the actual move, there's also the issue of transferring your money.
If you're moving to another country with a different currency
system, your American money is going to need to be exchanged for whatever
currency is used in your new country. Before you can do that, you're first
going to need to transfer the money that you do have.
Since withdrawing all of the money from your accounts and carrying
it over in a suitcase when you travel isn't the safest idea, you're going to
need an alternative way to transfer your funds so you won't have to rely on just your credit
cards to survive. Take a look at the following tips on how to transfer your money effectively.
Preparing in advance
Getting your funds transferred overseas well before your
departure will benefit you, and allow you enough time to get all of your
finances sorted out by the time you arrive. As a rule, you
should begin setting up your bank account in the country you're moving to at
least a month before your departure. Some overseas banks take longer than others
to process transfers and may request documents from you as well. Starting
this process well ahead of time will ensure that you're not scrambling at the
If you're not going to be moving overseas permanently, and therefore leaving some of your money in the United States, then you should decide how much of your money you want to transfer overseas prior to your move. If you still have bills to pay and may have investments in your home country, it
helps to prepare all of your documents and make a plan for how much money you'll
be taking with you overseas and what will be staying home.
For this scenario, it helps to have two credit cards - one in
your home country and a foreign one that you'll use overseas. You should also consult a financial advisor
with expertise in overseas money transfers. He or she can help you make a budget and guide you on how to best manage your money.
If you are moving overseas, but still remaining a
citizen of the United States, you'll still need to file a tax return and pay
taxes on your international income, so make sure you know your tax obligations
before you move and you discuss them with a tax professional. Chances are,
you'll be finding a job in your new country and will also be paying taxes there,
so it's important to understand the tax situation so you'll
be better equipped to deal with it when the time comes.
For this reason,
ask your new overseas bank whether you can keep a separate account for U.S. money in addition to
your foreign money account. It never hurts to have a supply of money in
your home currency in case you ever need it, even while you're overseas.
Additional financial tips for moving overseas
Here are a few other things that you should keep in mind when moving
overseas and deciding how you want to transfer your money over to your new
- If you're moving to a country that is less developed and has banking
systems that are less stable than the American banking system, make sure
you always investigate the bank thoroughly before deciding to open an
account. In some smaller underdeveloped
nations, the banking systems aren't as secure as others, so be prepared to ask questions and consult with a
financial advisor if need be.
- Find out if the foreign bank you'll be opening an account with issues U.S.
credit cards like Visa or MasterCard. Also, inquire about whether deposits are
guaranteed and, if so, find out who they are guaranteed by.
- Always have a budget. It can be difficult to decide how much money to
transfer overseas and how much to keep at home - weigh the decision
carefully. Making a budget will help, as you can figure out how much money
you'll need to live comfortably in your new country.
- Monitor the financial landscape of the country you are moving to. Some
countries are more financially stable than others, and the exchange rates
between different currencies can often be dramatic, depending on where you're
moving, so be sure to keep an eye on this before you relocate.