Compare the best ways
to transfer money overseas

Category: Immigration

Top 10 countries for expats

HSBC published the 9th edition of their Expat Explorer Report, ranking top 45 nations attractiveness for expats. This analysis relies on YouGov poll of nearly 27,000 expats in 190 nations. Regardless of where they…

HSBC published the 9th edition of their Expat Explorer Report, ranking top 45 nations attractiveness for expats. This analysis relies on YouGov poll of nearly 27,000 expats in 190 nations.

Regardless of where they made a decision to move, expats aren’t only looking for higher salaries or career success.

Among other top reasons for moving abroad are:

  • improve the quality of life
  • learn new skills
  • travel
  • find a new challenge
  • foreign assignment
  • travelling spouse

Expats were questioned about how simple it was to work, live and raise their children in the country they reside. Subsequently the results were combined to 3 main topics: 1. Economics, 2. Experience, and 3. Family. Each country received a grade for each topic. Switzerland is at the top in the Economics category. New-Zealand is number one in the Experience category and Sweden at the Family one.

This is the top 10 countries for expats in 2017:

10. Germany (rated 5th last year)

9. Bahrain (rated 4th last year)

8. Sweden (rated 3rd previous year)

7.  Austria (not ranked before)

6. Norway (not ranked before)

5. Switzerland (ranked 10th last year)

4. Chezh Republic (versus 18th position the year before)

3. Canada (6th last year)

2. New Zealand (same position)

1. Singapore (two years in a row)

No Comments on Top 10 countries for expats

The Most Affordable Places To Live in Europe

Have you ever wondered what your salary could buy in other European capitals? Sometimes when you are on holiday you might notice that a drink is significantly cheaper at your…

Have you ever wondered what your salary could buy in other European capitals? Sometimes when you are on holiday you might notice that a drink is significantly cheaper at your holiday destinations than at home – but how about rent, transport and food?

Discovering the most affordable cities

On the website www.numbeo.com local people can submit the average cost of food, transport and the most basic goods in their cities – including rent and mortgage payments. The results of the submission of the participants for each city are then averaged and then contrasted against other cities, using New York City as the base Index of 100 to calculate the affordability of living in these cities.

As of September 2017, numbeo is listing the following five places as the most affordable capitals to live within the European Union:

  • Athens, Greece
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Bucharest, Romania
  • Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Lisbon, Portugal

These five cities have been also recently at the forefront of so called “digital-nomads” in Europe, people who are working remotely on the internet with their clients based all around the world and generally earning their livening in US-Dollars, Euros or British pounds.

While local wages in the five cities above might be in line with the relative lower expenditures, for digital nomads with clients in the United States or the UK, living there would likely be a very interesting opportunity.

Managing foreign currency when living in Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria

If you are interested to becoming an expat or digital nomad in one of those cities, an important point to remember is that apart from Athens and Lisbon, none of them is part of the Euro currency zone, but still use their own local currency.

Unfortunately, using a bank account denominated e.g. in Euro and withdrawing cash in Romanian Leu, Bulgarian Leva or Hungarian Forint is not only not practical, but also quite expensive.

Over the last years, however, companies have emerged who do not only make it possible but also affordable to withdraw cash and paying in foreign currency.

Companies like Revolut and N26 are offering a pre-payed credit card which can be topped up in any major currency like British Pounds or Euro by a wire transfer from your bank account or an instant payment from any other credit card.

You can then use the card to immediately pay in local currency and get better exchange rate directly from the interbank market.

If you want to send money back home, you should explore your options, e.g. transferring 1000 GBP from Hungary to UK you can save about 40 pounds.

No Comments on The Most Affordable Places To Live in Europe

The 4 Best Ways to Save on International Moving and Immigration Costs

If you move from a very wealthy country to a less prosperous one, you can easily cut your expenses. You can live a better life while spending far less. However,…

If you move from a very wealthy country to a less prosperous one, you can easily cut your expenses. You can live a better life while spending far less. However, the costs of moving country and immigrating can be quite high – so it is important for you to be savvy about your move. We have put together the four most important ways on how you can save money when emigrating to another country.

Moving and transportation cost

One of the major and immediate expense when relocating to another country you face is paying an international moving company to move your belongings from your home to another country.  In principal the costs depend on the following factors: the amount of luggage you move, the distance between the places your belongings are moved in-between and the means of transport you are choosing. Air freight will arrive within a couple of days while moving your items by ship or long freight can take weeks.

The main way you can save here is by deciding on what is most important for you and where you can make compromises: do you need you items to arrive quickly (expensive) or can you allow some time for them to arrive (cheaper option). Also, there can be big differences between what companies are charging for the very same service.

Once you have started packing your belongings and identified the exact quantity of the items (e.g. 20 moving boxes sized 18″ x 18″ x 24″, 1 bed, 1 chest of drawers,…) the best way to compare costs is to google for moving companies and obtain a definitive quote for the move by mail by at least five companies. You will be surprised about the differences between the cheapest and most expensive option: out of personal experience the most expensive company would charge up to 5-times as much as the cheapest one!

Housing fees

If you are planning your arrival carefully, there are additional tricks how you can save money: most of us will not be able to find a good permanent and cheap rental property from a distance. House hunting takes time and effort. So in order to find the most suitable and cheap place to stay permanently, you might want to try to stay at a temporary place upon your initial arrival:

  • Airbnb: this widely known service allows you to rent a room or apartment from a day to many month and is used by many expats to bridge a few days or weeks for house-hunting
  • Renting a short let: there are many options of renting a fully furnished flat for a shorter period of time (generally between 1 and 3 months) in any major city. Just google it.

Once you have found a permanent place to stay, you will need to be aware of how the local  housing market works and what taxes and fees are involved to get settled (e.g. estate agent fees, taxes, council fees,.. which can vary widely from country to country). Make sure you understand all fees, charges and taxes you will be liable for in advance of signing a contract for the housing you will be using.

Visa fees

Moving to another country to work or study can mean that you need to apply for a visa, unless you’re moving within the EU, which allows you to move between countries visa-free. Obtaining a visa usually involves a significant amount of paper work and the payment of sometimes quite substantial fees.

Visa fees also normally fall due every time you need to renew your visa. Depending on your nationality, visas to stay in e.g. in the UK can cost over £1,000.

The solution here is to thoroughly study the visa condition for the country you’re considering to move to at the very beginning of you moving plans and try obtain information based on people’s personal experience rather than relying on embassy information only.

We recommend to check online message boards and forums where people share experience and visa agents they have been successfully using. There will be unfortunately not a lot of options to lower the costs for visas as they are fixed by the relevant governments.

Journey and flight comparison

Once you have budgeted your visa requirements, the transportation of your belongings and any temporary housing, it is time to look for the most efficient way to travel. To compare various means of transport by time and costs you can use the website www.rome2rio.com : simply type in your current location, your destination and the date of travel and Rome2Rio will display time and costs for bus journeys, train journeys, plane and car travel.

In case you only would like to compare flights, www.skyscanner.net Is the most comprehensive flight comparison portal.

By planning the means of transport and comparing them well ahead of your departure, you will be able to save a significant amount of money which you can use upon your arrival.

Enjoy your trip!

No Comments on The 4 Best Ways to Save on International Moving and Immigration Costs

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search