The Cost of Moving Overseas
If you work for General Dynamics, BP or The World Bank or any other large corporation the relocation costs probably won’t worry you. But for others working for smaller employers who are just given a moving allowance, these costs can be a worrying factor. When moving overseas you have 3 choices with your shipping. Leave with nothing, leave with something, or leave with everything. Moving overseas is expensive and bottom line is the best way to save on overseas moving costs is to ship less!
How do you keep moving costs under control?
Here are some tips to staying within your budget when it comes to your International Move.
1/ Develop a Budget in two parts. The International Relocation budget that covers the before you go costs like movers, car hire, may be a hotel stay, cancelling contracts on your cable or phones, air fares, health checkups, shots, visa applications, leaving party, and visiting friends and relations before your departure. Oh and don’t forget possible costs at home after you depart like taxes, credit card fee’s management rental costs and landscaping, insurance, storage for example
The “we are here” budget to identify the costs upon arrival at your international country you are moving to, such as housing, car rental, hotel fees, food, education, entertainment, transportation, utilities and insurance.
2/ Find a trustworthy mover. Check their credentials, memberships, financial guarantees, and years in business, online reviews and knowledge. Ask previous employees now living overseas who they used. Check forums and independent blogs not sponsored by moving companies to get personal recommendations. Read reviews from others about the International Moving Company you are thinking of using that are posted by the individual and not by the mover.
4/ Always request for all inclusive pricing. You don’t want sneaky extra charges that you were not expecting to be charged to you before delivery of your items.
5/ If you have the time, and your shipment is not too large for you to handle, then consider saving money by packing everything yourself. Your insurance coverage will not include breakage coverage but you will save yourself a bunch of money on packing costs and with lots of bubble wrap and good quality boxes you could be packing better than any professional packer.
6/ Have a sort out! Do not ship stuff you can do without! Don’t ship an old toaster for example if you can buy a new one at the destination for $15, it’s not worth it! Look online and compare prices of items new at your destination. Only ship things that have sentimental value, are personal items, or are cost effective to ship overseas. Will your stuff fit or even look right in your new home overseas? Will the hi tech electronics even work there?
7/ Make sure you know where you are moving to! That might sound like silly overseas moving advice but you need to know you are going to like it there. It’s an even bigger relocation expense if after 6 months we have to move you back to the USA! If possible take the family on a scouting trip so that everyone can see what it’s going to be like in advance. Use this trip to investigate housing costs, utility costs, buying a car, setting up bank accounts, schooling options and costs, and best areas that you can afford to live within your budget. This is the best way to get a sense of the place before you actually move overseas.
8/ Have a healthy savings account. No matter how good your international relocation allowance is, it will cost you personally, at least in the short term. Hopefully your bigger salary will make up for it in the long run but if you have a wife and kids with you the chances are the moving allowance will not cover the inevitable clothes shopping, eating out when you first arrive, deposits on a new car, new curtains, gym memberships, cell phones, internet and TV providers. Don’t forget to figure in the costs of going back to the old country for special occasions, emergencies or to cure the inevitable home sickness.
9/ If you think moving overseas will free you from paying Uncle Sam, think again. The U.S. requires citizens and green card holders to file returns and pay taxes when residing abroad, even if they also file a return in the host country. Does this mean you’ll be double-taxed? Not necessarily, there are Foreign Earned Income Exclusions, so given the complexity of the issue, discuss your situation with a qualified accountant before you go. Also State taxes may also apply if you’re renting or selling your home while living overseas.
10/ Use a mover who knows the part of the world you are moving to. Most moving companies have a specialty area. A mover who has a weekly service from New York to Mexico for instance might not be the best mover for your relocation to Sydney! A mover who sends shipments to Europe on a regular basis might not be your best bet when moving to Panama! Ask the international mover a few questions about customs regulations and advise on what to ship or documentation requirements. If you do not get sound advice, that mover is not best for you regardless of the price. If the overseas mover doesn’t get the paperwork done right and navigate the foreign red tape with experience and know how, duties, taxes, storage, fines, confiscation or even refusal of entry and return shipping could all come back at you as the owner of the shipping items.
For more information go to www.upakweship.com or call the experts at 1 866 868 6386 or if you have a question don’t forget to Ask The Moving Doctor for all your Overseas Moving Questions.
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