How to plan your finances when relocating to a new country

Relocating to a new country brings up many factors you need to consider. It certainly isn't a walk in the park, and the stress of moving your belongings, especially delicate things, and keeping your finances in order can get overwhelming.

3 mins read
24th May 2023


Leatherback Content Team


After several months of working from home during the pandemic, a lot of people decided to change their environment and move to a new country, leading to a relocation wave that rocked and is still rocking Nigeria. 

However, it is important to note that the excitement that comes with moving to another country causes most people to forget the hassles and stress that come with relocating to another country, particularly planning your finances. If you’re looking to pack up and move, then this article came in timely fashion for you. 

We’ll walk you through why it is important to plan your finances before you relocate, and how to do so. Stay tuned.

Why you should plan your finances?

Relocating to a new country brings up many factors you need to consider. It certainly isn't a walk in the park, and the stress of moving your belongings, especially delicate things, and keeping your finances in order can get overwhelming.

Having a plan is important because poor planning can leave you stuck without affordable housing, cash strapped, or unable to return home quickly in case of an emergency. Any of these situations can also lead to a lot of stress and anxiety that could make it difficult for you to settle in and ease into your new home. To avoid that. We’ll share some of the most important tips to bear in mind when relocating.

8 ways to plan for relocation

  • Don't close your bank account in the country you want to leave: When moving to another country, many people close their accounts in their home country, especially if the bank charges are on the high side. However, if you still have bills to pay, keep it open. Keeping the account open and active provides you with a good place to keep emergency cash, or funds for when you come to visit. It also helps you to avoid losing money due to exchange rates if/when you return.

  • Keep your account officer updated about your plans: You must keep your current bank and account officer informed of any changes to your account. Inform them that you are thinking about moving abroad because they are the only ones who can assist you with account changes and closures (if the need arises). Before traveling to another country, make sure your contact information is up to date and any debts are paid off. Finally, before traveling, discuss any bank account fees you may incur with your account officer and arrange for a payment method.

  • Open a local Account in the country you're moving to: You need a local bank account in your destination country. Some countries allow you to open a local account in one of their banks from your home country, whereas others require physical presence.  With Leatherback, you can do this seamlessly without any hassles, even before your trip. You can get an account in 15+ currencies across 21 countries here. Getting an account before your move will help you with other plans such as arranging for your accommodation.

  • Use a reputable and reliable transfer service to transfer funds between overseas accounts: Once your local bank account has been established in your new country, you may wish to access the funds in your home account, which the bank will classify as an international transaction. Due to the exorbitant rates that banks charge per transaction as well as unfavourable exchange rates, financial analysts and experts have recommended using independent transfer services instead of traditional bank transfers. With Leatherback, you can get these services free of charge, and we do not charge any transaction fees! There’s also no limit to how much you can transact, so you don’t need to worry about your account getting shut down because you crossed a certain threshold.

  • Consider exchange rates and taxes: Most people prefer to transfer lump sums of money to their foreign currency account when the exchange rate is at its lowest. This is a hack that helps you avoid losses and get the most bang for your buck. Something to note when using Leatherback is, you can negotiate your exchange rates for a better deal. So, bear this in mind when you need to transfer your funds! In addition, you must notify the local tax authority that you intend to relocate to another country or transfer funds from one country to another. You should research the tax requirements in your new country before taking that step. Experts advise that you contact a financial advisor who can explain all of the ways you can save money on your tax bills.

  • Think about pension and retirement: When planning the financial aspects of your relocation to another country, you should also consider pension and retirement. You should notify your pension provider that you are moving abroad, and you should keep all of your work contracts, pay slips, and pension policies intact in case you need to provide proof of employment. Following that, you should conduct research on pension and retirement policies in your new country, as this will help you decide whether or not to retire there. If you intend to retire there, you must first contact your previous pension provider to see if your pension can be transferred abroad.

  • Conduct thorough research on the cost of living, relocation, and health insurance: You also need to investigate the cost of living in your destination country. Estimates for food, rent, bills, healthcare, and so on should be included. You could then use price comparison websites to see if you can get a better deal on some of these necessities. You’ll realise how useful these are when using relocation companies to ship your belongings abroad. Also, healthcare costs can vary greatly depending on the country you are relocating to. Investigating health and medical insurance providers can assist you in saving money and avoiding costly bills.

  • Have a budget: After researching the cost of living and relocation, develop a budget for your move. This will assist you in staying on top of your finances during your first few weeks in the country.  Due to the world's economic situation, it's important to be prudent with your finances. So, having a budget will help you to track your expenses and prevent you from unnecessary spending. 

That being said, relocating is a beautiful and exciting experience. Of course, everything will not always go exactly as planned, but a plan can help to mitigate hiccups and help you ease into your new life. Get started now and we wish you the very best!

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