Worst Advice Expats Received Before Relocating Abroad

Moving abroad can be the most exciting and daunting experience of your life and everyone loves to give advice. 

Every relocation is a great opportunity, and it’s our job to ensure that you make the most of it, right from the start. With a world of people with generations of experience, we’ve learned how to help make relocating successful.

If you’re well prepared—and you go knowing—you’ll enjoy the experience sooner rather than later.

Expats from around the world have shared their sage advice, so that you can make informed decisions on your big move, here are their stories!

Worst advice on finances

For the most part, managing financial matters is less complicated than it may appear, but it’s still vital you do your research. Depending on your destination, there’s a lot of information online that can help but it’s always worth speaking to an expert – particularly if you are relocating yourself and not through your job.
The first time I moved to China for work I was told not to bring any cash and that my foreign debit cards would work.  Not only did they not work, but I needed a good bit of startup money for my rent + deposit, home goods, etc.  The result was having to ask a family member transfer money via Western Union after unsuccessfully trying to find an ATM that would function with my debit card.
Quincy, eslauthority.com
You can make $10,000 in income and not pay taxes in the United States.  Wrong! If you live overseas full time, US citizens qualify for a Foreign Earned Income Exclusion for up to $104,300 but you still have to file a tax return then deduct the FEIE from what you made.
Jackie Lange, www.panamarelocationtours.com

Worst advice on storage and buying what you need

You made the decision to move, but packing and transporting your belongings can be challenging. Take some time to plan before you move. Think about if you will manage the entire move or if it would be wiser to have a professional moving company help so you can focus on what’s important to you.
We were told to put a lot of things in storage as we would not need them overseas. Unfortunately, there were a lot of things we could have used, such as all our lawn equipment, and it’s not like you could just run down the street and buy what you needed at your local Home Depot, as we were in a third world country.
Heidi, https://heidimcbain.com/

Worst advice on buying real estate after relocating

Before you take the plunge in purchasing a home in your new location, research the legal processes and costs involved in buying a property in your desired destination. Some countries won't allow you to purchase property without citizenship. Your realtor will make sure the legal nitty-gritty is correctly completed. Remember to check your finances, ensuring you can maintain both your lifestyle and property, be prepared for any additional costs that may crop up. Taxes and fees vary from country to country, it may be worth setting up an account with the local bank so your fees are paid with ease. 
The worst advice I received was to buy real estate right away.  It is better to rent for at least 6-12 months before you even think about buying.  If you move for a job it is better to only rent because you could get transferred on short notice.  If you're retired, you need to make sure you like the country and like the area you have selected before you buy. 
Jackie Lange, www.panamarelocationtours.com
Upending your life to move to another country is no easy task. You need to fill out copious amounts of paperwork — including visa applications, passport renewals, and health insurance forms — do your research.. But don’t let that to-do list dissuade you. 

Providing everyone with useful and practical information about relocating makes sense. And there’s nothing we like better than making sure everyone has everything they need before they go.