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Common Expat Misconceptions


We've all had that conversation where you tell a friend you're planning on moving abroad. Their eyes light up as though they are talking to a movie star and they say something like, "living abroad is so glamorous." Once they've calmed down and stopped fantasizing about drinking G&T whilst watching peacocks roam across the lawn of their vast estate, you can tell them the truth. It's not going to be so exciting. Whilst many see expat life as an adventurous chance to live carefree without the stress of modern life, they are looking at it all wrong. Expat life isn't an extended holiday; it's going to work and buying groceries. Just in a different place.

When you decided to become an expat, your finances were probably one of the main priorities for your attention. You had to weigh up whether you'd be better off financially abroad or back at home and consider factors like medical insurance and school fees in your deliberations. But Expat Beleggen has found that many people who've started a new life in a foreign country allow money misconceptions to lull them into a false sense of financial security.

Lots of expats are paid substantially higher salaries than they would have received at home, while they may be getting an attractive package including health insurance or school fee subsidies. However, while things may look bright financially, it's always vital not to rest on one's laurels. No job is ever guaranteed in the long term and incentive packages can come with a shelf life. So, it's important to have a contingency plan. This may include paying into a savings fund, investing in the stock market, or putting your expendable income in other assets like property.

Think smart when it comes to saving money.

Canny expats also know that they should live to their means. Many people rightly take advantage of being on a new continent, using their spare time eating out, visiting tourist hotspots, and travelling to exotic locations. But it's important to make sure that you're not being too frivolous with your money. We suggest saving some cash every month and considering other ways you can invest a portion of your income on a regular basis. Getting professional financial advice from the experts at Expat Beleggen will help you choose the right savings plan and investments for you. Once this is done, you can enjoy your hard-earned money with abandon!

Another misconception amongst expats is that there's plenty of time to save up for children's school and university fees. We all know that it can cost a small fortune to educate children in Asia, the Middle East and beyond but many people still don't prepare for this in advance. It doesn't matter if your child isn't even walking yet – it's never too early to start saving for their education. The sooner you start, the less you'll need to find each month and the more you can save in the long run. You'll thank yourself for it in years to come.

Meanwhile, some expats choose to gamble on their finances by not taking out life insurance or critical illness cover. They may think that, because they've never been seriously ill before, nothing will happen to them in the future. Indeed, they may look at people who've been struck by cancer or other life-threatening illnesses and think, "it'll never happen to me". But, unfortunately, none of us can say that with any certainty. And when you're in a country without free healthcare, it's imperative to make sure you're covered by insurance. Without a detailed policy in place, you could be faced with the biggest bills of your life, right at a time when you need to focus on your health and nothing else.

For the very best advice when it comes to your finances, call on Expat Beleggen.

Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation: hello@expatbeleggen.com 

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