Going on vacation doesn’t take much thought, really. You choose a place, pack some
things, make sure your passport is up to date, buy airline tickets, and you’re gone.
Moving overseas—even if it’s only for a few weeks or months a year—is another story
entirely. But it needn’t be a traumatic event. In fact, it shouldn’t be. You’re moving
overseas because of the many benefits you can gain from living outside the U.S. This is
your chance to start over…to prioritize…to live the way you want to live.
So your first order of business should be to figure out what, exactly, you’re looking
for…and to think about the ways you might have to adjust and adapt in your new home.
It’s a huge decision-making process. Maybe one of the biggest decisions of your life. You
need to set aside sufficient time to do your research and figure out where in the world you
could call home.
When making such huge life decisions, a lot of time can be wasted because you are not
sure what to do next, or who to talk to. That is why we have come up with our “12-step
program”, which we hope will, in a matter of months, have you arranging your new life
Stufe Eins: Machen Sie eine Liste Ihrer persönlichen Prioritäten und VorliebenStep One: Make a list of your personal priorities and preferences.
“Where is the best place to live?” This is one of the questions that haunts us…one that is
frequently asked of us by readers. Truth is, we have no idea. It’s different for everyone.
There is a best for you—you’ll just need to invest some time to discover it.
When deciding where you may want to live, here is a list of key issues to keep in mind as
you consider each country on your list in turn:
· Cost of living
· Health care
· Safety and stability
· Cultural and recreational opportunities
· Accessibility to North America
· Special benefits for retirees
· Cost of real estate
If you have an ongoing health concern, health care becomes paramount. If you’ll be
living in your new home on a fixed income, cost of living is key. If you intend to
continue operating a business…or day trading…infrastructure (that is, high-speed
Internet access and reliable e-mail and telephone communications) is critical. If you don’t
want to learn another language…maybe you should think only about places where they
speak English. Otherwise, you’ll probably never really feel at home in your new country.
If you have children or grandchildren you want to stay in close touch with, accessibility
to North America should be at the top of your list.
Prioritize this list according to your current circumstances. Climate and cost of living are
primary factors for many. Issues such as taxation and special benefits for retirees are
usually secondary factors that may help later when you are torn between two or three
very similar destinations.
Stufe Zwei; Estellen Sie eine Liste der Top Auswanderungsländer.Step Two: Make a list of the world’s top overseas havens.
For this one, help is at hand. Here’s our list of recommended havens, places in the world
that we believe make the most sense for North Americans interested in living, retiring,
escaping, or starting a business overseas:
· Costa Rica
Stufe Drei: Überprüfen Sie Vor- und Nachteile des jeweiligen Landes.Step Three: Consider the pluses and minuses of each country.
To help you identify the advantages and disadvantages of each of your possible countries,
do some research. Check out www.InternationalLiving.com and let us give you our
recommendations. Also, talk to people who have already been to the countries you are
considering and look at discussion forums on websites relating to your chosen countries.
Stufe Vier: Verkürzen Sie die Liste der Auswanderungsziele auf drei bis vier und verbringen Sie eine gewisse Zeit in jedem davon.Step Four: Narrow your list of potential paradises to three or four…and arrange to spend time
in each one.
Spend a couple of weeks in each of these countries and use the time to compare and
contrast what each has to offer.
Stufe Fünf: Verkürzen Sie nach Ihrem Aufenthalt die Liste auf ein bis zwei Länder und planen Sie dort einen längeren Urlaub.Step Five: After your visits, cut the list to one or two countries…and plan extended stays.
If at all possible, plan your trip to take in the worst season possible in your country of
interest. During tourist season, everything is buzzing. The sun is shining. You’re spoiled
for choice of entertainment and restaurants. Banks and businesses are open for you to go
about your normal routine…if you want to. But what happens in the off-season? Or
through the hurricane or rainy season? Best to check that one out.
Stufe Sechs: Während Sie sich in diesen Ländern aufhalten, treffen Sie sich mit Auswanderern, Maklern und schauen Sie sich Immobilien an.Step Six: While you’re in each country, trying it on for size, do three things:
· Meet with as many expats already living in the country as possible.
· Meet with as many real estate agents operating in the areas of the country you’re
interested in as possible. (Note: Most real estate markets outside the U.S. do not
come with multiple listing services.)
· Look at as many properties for sale as you can. Keep in mind that a single
property may be listed with a number of agents at varying prices.
Stufe Sieben: Reden Sie mit einem Steuerberater in Ihrem Heimatland und dem Land Ihrer Wahl.Step Seven: Meet with an international tax planner in the U.S. and also with a tax advisor in your
country of interest.
You soon may have a new tax obligation…but don’t forget that, as an American, you will
never be free of your old one. Get advice from a U.S. tax expert who knows about things
like the income exemption for non-resident Americans and the benefits of an offshore
Plus, critically, meet with a tax expert in the country (or countries) you’re considering
moving to…who is experienced in working with foreign residents. Do this before taking
up residence in the country. Otherwise, the most advantageous options for organizing
your tax affairs may not be available to you.
Stufe Acht: Informieren Sie sich über die verschiedenen Visa-und Aufenthaltsmöglichkeiten.Step Eight: Meet with a residency expert from the country (or countries) you’re considering.
Determine which visa or residency permit would be most advantageous given your
Stufe Neun: Jetzt sollte nur noch ein Land auf Ihrer Liste stehen, setzen Sie sich einen Termin für den Umzug.Step Nine: If you haven’t already, narrow your list to one…and set a date for your move.
Determine whether you want to ship your household belongings with you…or buy new
when you arrive. Your decision may have something to do with the type of visa you’re
arranging (which may or may not allow for the tax-free importation of personal
belongings, household goods, a car, appliances, etc.)…but should have mostly to do with
the hassle factor. Packing and shipping a household full of stuff across borders can be a
pain in the neck…and expensive.
Stufe 10: Organisieren Sie Ihre Post und Rechnungen.Step 10: Set up a portable global office (to allow for reliable and
international telephone calls, bill paying, credit card usage, etc.).
You’d be amazed at how something as simple as paying your telephone bill can take on
new dimensions in a foreign country. For hassle-free, day-to-day management of your
household and/or business, you’ll need to know how to stay connected while living
Stufe 11: Vergleichen Sie die verschiedenen nationalen und internationalen Krankenversicherungen.Step 11: Look into international health insurance policies.
Typically, the insurance policy that covers you at home will not travel with you when you
cross international boundaries. The following companies offer international coverage:
· Bupa, website: www.bupa.com
· InsuranceToGo, website: www.insurancetogo.com
· Expacare International, website: www.expacare.net
· IHI Danmark, website: www.ihi.com
· GoodhealthWorldwide Ltd., website: www.goodhealth.co.uk
Stufe 12: Kaufen Sie nicht gleich, sondern mieten Sie lieber eine Immobilie.Step 12: Do not buy…but rent a new home in your chosen haven…in the area where you think you
want to relocate permanently.
Rent for six months to a year before committing fully by buying. The mistake that expats
so often make is to settle in the first place that catches their eye…only to find, once
they’ve settled down, that their ideal haven is in fact 50 miles down the road. Of course,
it’s not the end of the world. You can sell your house and buy again. But, you’ll have the
transaction costs to contend with.
Quelle International Living