Everyone has a dream in one way or another. It could be fame, riches or sporting achievement. For others, though – an increasing number, it seems – it’s simply escaping the UK and heading abroad to settle down. It’s not hard to see why, either; whether you’re going to the US, Spain, Thailand, Australia or even somewhere a little more obscure like Finland or Paraguay, you have access to some of the most amazing sights, sounds and weather that the world has to offer.
Getting there can be a bit of an issue, but it’s not always too difficult if you keep saving or have a job lined up at the other end. Of course, it’s a lot easier if you have property to your name. By attracting buyers on the market to your home the traditional way, or using specialist property-buying firms to sell your house fast, you can get real capital for a building you won’t need when you pack up and get away from the UK.
It is worth remembering that aside from considerations concerning family and friends, people moving abroad must consider pensions, tax and healthcare costs. Simply put: you need to make sure that all of the essentials are covered before you leave. If you’re a UK national, you have the right to live in any European Economic Area (EEA) country. If you want to move elsewhere, you need to firs speak with the British Embassy for further information.
From here, you must find out about welfare rights abroad. This is because many UK benefits are not in force outside of national boundaries; many others will apply only in the EU or where prior agreements were made with the UK, such as Singapore or Jamaica. You’re strongly advised by the UK government to take out health insurance to cover medical and dental treatment, as well as repatriation to the UK.
The government will also provide you with an estimate of your State Pension; HM Revenue & Customs will also hook you up with information regarding tax liabilities on income over the UK personal allowance. Obviously, UK tax payable from abroad varies depending on where you choose to live. It’s also very much worth getting independent tax advice about the benefits of offshore banking, as this could reduce your tax liability.
Remember that the likes of Citizens Advice will sort you out with any other information or recommendations before you go, but don’t rush things, wherever you go and whatever you do – you could lose a lot of money and prematurely end the dream itself.
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