For a successful experience living overseas, financial questions need to be considered and answered with self-honesty and transparency. Nothing spells defeat in living overseas more than lack of financial planning for your new life. Here are some questions to give thought to. Some will require gathering information; others will require you to look at your present situation and see how it can be translated into your new plans.
Here we go …
How much debt do you presently have, and how will you pay that off? This is a huge factor in your decision. If you are carrying a lot of credit card debt and are not paying the balance off each month, then you need to take a serious look at how that might play out in your new situation. If you are not paying it off at home, chances are it will be even more difficult overseas. So …
The fact is that for the best overseas experience, eliminate debt before you go. If you can’t do that, figure out how you will comfortably handle it. It can be a noose that will quickly cut off your life flow overseas. Again, the best scenario is to live without debt, especially overseas.
How do you plan to finance your new life?
How are you planning to support yourself?
Will you be living off savings?
Do you have a monthly Social Security income?
Will you be receiving a pension check each month?
Will you be tapping into investments?
Do you work online and are location independent?
Do you need to work overseas in order to support yourself?
It is imperative that you analyze all the sources of your income as well as the expenses you will continue to have at home as you think of your plans. Obligations at home need to be planned for first – you can’t afford to lose what you have at home because of poor planning. Figure what your expenses will be at home and add that into your monthly budget. As a part-time expat, there will be lives in two places – you must plan financially for that. Add up all your projected income and first subtract your expenses in your home country. Then you will know what you will have to work with overseas. Don’t forget to pad those home expenses a little in case of emergency or changes in charges.
Giving serious thought to these initial questions will take time and research. It is important to take the time to think this through carefully. Your financial base is crucial when living overseas.
As we explore the financial aspects of the part-time expat lifestyle, we will consider a range of questions dealing with income, expenses, credit, taxes, and employment.
Stay tuned … until next time.
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