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6 Financial Questions and Answers about Moving Abroad

6 Financial Questions and Answers about Moving Abroad

September 29, 2023 5 min read

6 Financial Questions and Answers about Moving Abroad

Relocating to a new country can be an exciting adventure, but there are many details to figure out first. Perhaps the most essential are those about financial planning. Whether you plan on moving for a short stay or want to make it your permanent home, read the answers to these top money questions to avoid additional stress!

1. What will my income be?

You may have some money saved up to live on for a time, but it’s important to have a way to finance your lifestyle continually. Some countries require you to have a steady source of income lined up before you go — especially for residency applications. Check the rules of your new home to know what’s expected.

Sources of income may include:

  • Employment
  • Gig work (self-employment)
  • Child or spousal support
  • Life insurance payments
  • Trust payments
  • Business income
  • Retirement funds
  • Investment income

2. What fees do I need to cover?

Depending on where you move, it may not be cheap. Even countries with a lower cost of living will require some starting over, which will come at a price. Knowing all the expenses before you go can help you plan appropriately.

Here are some standard fees you may have to pay:

  • Travel costs for you, family members, and pets
  • Storage costs (if you don’t take everything with you)
  • Shipping costs (if you do)
  • Visa or passport fees, plus renewal fees
  • Customs duty costs

There will also be the costs of finding a new place to live. Whether you rent or buy, expect to pay more for deposits and possibly even real estate finder’s fees. Even if the cost of living is cheaper where you go, you may have to purchase additional items like clothes, furniture, food, and transportation passes to get settled in.

3. Is it worth it to ship belongings?

Whether you ship something or leave it behind depends a lot on your goals when you get there. If you are downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one, you won’t be able to take everything. Get rid of some things or put what you can’t fit in storage.

Ask yourself these questions to see which items make the trip:

  • Can I live without this item for a few years (or longer?)
  • Could I replace it if it got lost or damaged in transit?
  • Does it cost extra to ship due to size or being breakable?
  • Can I easily get something just like it overseas?

Many items, like books or media, can be left behind since you can use ebooks or digital music in their place. Family heirlooms or priceless antiques may not be worth the risk of shipping, and they can’t be replaced. Take just what you need, and don’t be afraid to explore a new, minimalist way of life when you get there. It may be much more affordable.

4. Should I open a foreign bank account? 

If you have a bank account you love and can access anywhere, you may not need one in your new country. Still, you’ll need to consider the exchange rate, as well as the foreign fees for using your debit card in stores.

If you do want a foreign bank account, inquire about what’s required. Some banks will let you set up an account immediately with just your passport. Others may not let visitors get accounts until they have achieved permanent residency.

If you become a permanent resident, you’ll want to eventually get a bank account in the country and region where you now live. But that doesn’t mean you have to close your existing accounts. Just keep tabs on how much you have in the foreign account since your home country may require this information for tax purposes.

5. How do I file taxes abroad? 

No matter where your home country is, you may still have to report income and pay taxes there. This is true whether the income you receive is in U.S. dollars or paid to you in foreign currency. Your local tax authority will have more information about how to pay taxes when you move overseas.  

Plan to file on time each year, no matter what country you live in, and allow extra time for paper documents to make their way through the international mail system. Reaching out to an expat tax consultant can help get your questions answered so you don’t have to handle it alone. 

6. How do I send money back home — or receive money abroad? 

Today, Ria makes it simple to figure out how to send cash to your loved ones. Family and friends can use our mobile app to check fees, initiate the transfer, and send you funds wherever you are. Our services are available in over 165 countries, so you can be covered just about anywhere! Plus, you don’t need a foreign bank account because transfers can work as bank deposits or cash pickups. 

Money anywhere in seconds

Whether you move somewhere nearby or go halfway across the world, you can send money to loved ones — and receive funds, too. At Ria Money Transfer, we’re dedicated to making your international money transfers easy. Start sending on our website or app today!


The information on or through this site is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for specific advice about laws, regulations, taxes, finances, immigration or travel. For specific advice, contact a licensed attorney, financial advisor or other professional. 

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About the author

Devon Costantine

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