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5 Things You Should Do Before You Move Abroad


5
Save Your Money
Relocating to a far-off destination like Cape Town, South Africa, will require some serious savings.
Relocating to a far-off destination like Cape Town, South Africa, will require some serious savings.
Walter Bibikow/Taxi/Getty Images

If you've ever made a big move, whether to the next town or to the opposite coast, you know it takes cash, and often a lot of it. When you're moving to another country, it takes a lot more.

Consider all the unique costs of moving and living abroad: visas and other legal clearances, travel to get there, long-distance shipping of possessions, big-ticket purchases if you decide to store large items like cars or furniture at home, return trips home in case of emergency (or homesickness), possible taxing by two different countries. It's a big list of potential financial drains, and ideally you'll have the money to cover all of it before you leave.

Experts recommend having at least seven months, preferably nine months or more, of living expenses in hand before you make the big move. Running out of money in a country where you don't speak the language, don't know the customs, and/or don't have a support network is even scarier than going broke at home.

If you don't have that much saved up yet, your best move is to wait. If waiting isn't an option, make sure you have enough to cover initial housing costs and emergencies, including a trip home and unexpected medical needs.

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