Making a move abroad?
Make it legal
The number of people making the move abroad has risen sharply over the past decade, including a growing number of actuaries whose skills transfer well. However, it is essential to get the legal requirements right or those wishing to start a new life in a new country could find their stay shorter than expected.
First and foremost, anyone considering relocation needs to get clear advice on visa issues. Do your homework so you know exactly what kind of visa you need to apply for, what it enables you to do and how long it entitles you to stay. This can be a complex and confusing business, as regulations vary from country to country.
Do the research
Don’t assume that the grass is greener on the other side. Whilst the idea of working abroad may seem appealing, it’s important to be aware of the bigger picture – otherwise you could be jumping from the frying pan straight into the fire!
Many countries such as America are experiencing similar economic conditions to the UK, so consider how healthy the job market is before you leap. Australia has long been a popular choice for relocation due to the climate, travel opportunities, Commonwealth connection – and the fact that it is English speaking, making some skills more easily transferable.
Actuarial Skills Travel Well making the idea of a move even more enticing for actuaries. Nevertheless, in this time of economic uncertainty, one should proceed with caution.
Plan your budget
The move to another country may not be prompted by financial concerns, but it is important to ensure that you will have enough money to live comfortably once you get there. It’s true that the UK is renowned for having a relatively high cost of living, but don’t assume that moving elsewhere will guarantee a cheaper standard of living.
You should to find out the standard rates of pay for positions in different countries and how that relates to the cost of living so that you can ensure that the move will be financially viable and worthwhile.
If renting, remember that a deposit of at least one month’s rent is standard practice almost everywhere. It also pays to look into the housing market: if renting, is there a plentiful supply of rental properties? If buying, what can you expect to get for their money and how does that equate to the standard of living in your home country?
Make tax work for you
Tax regulations are notoriously confusing. The bad news is that it still has to paid – no matter where in the world a person may be, so stay on the right side of the law and find out what the tax regulations are for a specific country. You will need to determine your tax resident status correctly to ensure that you are paying what is owed. Not surprisingly, this is a complex affair and varies widely from country to country, so ensure that any advice you get is accurate.
Put a roof over your head
House hunting in an unfamiliar place is tricky enough; house hunting in a different country can be even more confusing so it is important to research costs and availability of housing. If renting, landlords often advertise in newspapers, online and in real estate agencies. When a candidate finds a rental property they will usually enter into a lease or a residential tenancy agreement which is a legally binding document. In this case, it is essential to read and understand the terms and conditions of the lease document as a signature is binding. Most standard rentals last from 6 to 12 months.
Reap the benefits
Different countries have different benefits on offer, so it is worthwhile researching what the system can offer to help whilst you are getting on your feet. In Australia for example, there is assistance available for those who have difficulty in finding or maintaining a private rental.
Ultimately, relocation is a very personal decision and no matter how carefully the move is planned, there will always be surprises. To avoid the unpleasant kind, we advise our candidates to take a holiday in the country they are considering, preferably combined with face-to-face interviews. This serves a twofold purpose: it demonstrates commitment to potential employers as well as helping the candidate come to the right decision – so they can fulfill their dream without it turning into a nightmare.
Contact us today for professional advice and to discuss your next role requirements