Canadians who are considering job postings abroad should make it a priority to get expatriate financial planning advice. It is a major move which entails plenty of considerations, complicated by the different laws which govern each country.
If you are relocating to a new country, a bit of guidance from the financial experts will help towards making the most out of exciting opportunities.
Moving to a foreign country can be very expensive. While the company may shoulder some of the costs, the expat will still be responsible for a substantial amount. Finding a nice home near the office and good schools for the kids can be tricky. The house may be bought or rented, each with its own pros and cons. Shipping old furniture and other belongings to the new residence can also be costly. Getting advice on how to handle local properties and manage a quick transport of items will go a long way towards reducing initial expenses.
Most insurance plans in Canada are only good for incidents that happen within the country. Check whether your policy has international coverage to have peace of mind. The employer will usually offer some form of insurance as part of the compensation package. This may be limited, though, so expats will typically have to obtain local insurance as supplement. An expert financial planner will know the best Canadian insurance provider for expats depending on their needs.
Citizens who work outside Canada are entitled to tax breaks and other safeguards that prevent their incomes from being taxed twice over. These differ from person to person so it is best to consult an expert who knows the applicable credits and exclusions, as well as the required paperwork to make everything run smoothly. Potential inheritances issues should also be looked into ahead of time. Some countries place large estate tax on inherited properties that were bought locally, but a tax specialist can find ways to minimize it.
A lot of expats live in countries where the cost of living is very low. This allows them to save a great deal of money and have plenty of funds for investments. The savings will have to be judiciously divided into local, Canadian, and offshore banks. Investments should also be considered carefully to maximize their potential, something that trained financial planners are excellent at doing.
The potency of expatriate financial planning advice is at its highest early in the process. Try to arrange a meeting as soon as possible to get all the paperwork in order and enjoy a smooth transition to living and working in a foreign country.
If you would like to relocate to a different country, we at Canuck abroad have everything you need to go abroad. We maintain a list of Canadian embassies and consulates, Canadian expat groups as well as all kinds of other travel advice.