Is Expat Living for Me? (Part 4: Financial Questions Continued)

african-child-and-man.jpegIn our last post in this series, we looked at important initial financial questions when thinking about moving overseas part-time.   Here we will look at some additional financial questions in an effort to bring increasing clarity.  And, remember, if an answer emerges that seems to put a damper on the idea, don’t let that discourage you.  It may be a simple matter of some extra planning or changing plans a bit, or making some adjustments that will make it feasible in spite of some challenges.  Living in two places just takes some planning and creativity.

Here we go . . .

Do I have enough income to support myself (ourselves if moving a spouse or family also) overseas or will I need a job?

How is your income looking after considering your sources? What do you think your expenses at home will be?  How much do you have available each month?  Will you need to work overseas?  If you will need to work, it is very important that you research the laws in several countries where you have interest.  In some countries, it is very easy for foreigners to work overseas; in others, very difficult.  If employment is imperative, then this research will be crucial.

asian boy in window

There are a number of expat forums online where you can ask questions of people living in various countries. Simply search “expat forums.” Engage with expats living overseas in several places.  Ask how they finance their lifestyles.  Ask about working in the country and how easy it is to work legally.  Sometimes, if someone has little experience living overseas, he/she will assume that things are like they are in the home country.   Legal differences can put a sharp halt to wonderful plans if we haven’t done our research ahead of time.


What sort of expenses will I need to consider in living overseas?

As you look at income, it is equally important to consider what expenses you will encounter.  In our last blog, I encouraged you to figure what your expenses will be at home to begin with.  Your obligations at home should come first.  After you have an idea of what those will be, move on to researching expenses in a few countries of interest to you.  Here are some broad categories to research.  Unless otherwise indicated, research monthly costs.

Housing (rent, purchasing costs and taxes if purchasing)


Utilities (include water, electric, cable, internet, phone/cell)

Personal care items

Entertainment (movies, restaurants, gym, activities)

Transportation (car? Taxes? Fuel? Bus? Taxis?)


Local taxes


Banking cost/Insurance

Travel (flights back and forth to home country, sightseeing within your new country)

two boys and a bike

There are many resources on the internet where you can find monthly living costs for most any country you choose to research.  I did a random search using “cost of living for expats in _______ (name of country)” and found extensive information in 10 countries that I chose randomly.  This should be a big help in estimating what you might need to live in several countries you have interest in.

laughing kid crowd

Make this a fun task!  Imagine yourself in various places. Enjoy learning about the places of interest and what it might cost you to live there…….

So, here is the question we ask each time … “Is expat living for me?”  Well, you are on your way to finding out.

Until next time …


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