There are many reasons a person may decide to become an expat. Job opportunities can be rather lucrative abroad and many decide to move in order to start a new chapter in their lives. That can be rather rewarding, but it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re safe.

It’s also rather useful to learn the language at least a little bit before you move and to establish some relationships so that you don’t find yourself in a strange land with no one to talk to.



Do Your Research

Before you make a big decision such as moving abroad you should do your own research about the country you plan to make your new home. This goes beyond the usual research about the culture, history, and economy. Go in-depth and try to anticipate the areas in which life in your new residence may differ from that in the US.



This is especially true when you’re elderly and you’re looking for ways to make your retirement easier while abroad. There are legal issues when it comes to inheritance for those who live abroad as well and you’ll do well to consult a lawyer on these.

Make Sure You’re Mobile

The best and most comfortable way to explore a new country is in your own car. That will give you the most freedom both in terms of the places you can visit and the schedule on which to do it. It’s relatively easy to get international driving license and use it to drive abroad.

Keep in mind that this document is only valid when you have a national driver’s license with you as well. The international permit is valid for a year and then you’ll have to make sure to obtain a license in your new country.




Healthcare System

The US healthcare system is different from those of other western countries and if you’re moving abroad you should take the time to figure out how your health insurance will work. There’s also a limit as to how much you can rely on a foreign healthcare system without being a citizen.

This differs from one country to the other and doing extensive research beforehand is warranted. Keep in mind that you can still use your US health insurance abroad if you’re paying your premiums and if proper care is available.



Finding a Home

Finding a new home is stressful enough as it is, and it’s especially stressful when there are restrictions on foreigners buying property. It’s important to hire a lawyer and figure out what your rights are and how they differ from those of a local.

It’s also useful to make sure your new home is physically safe and especially if you’re moving into a country where your wealth and expat status can attract burglars and other criminals. Investing in a good security alarm is the first thing to do after buying or renting the property. Spare no expense on this especially if you plan to move back and forth from and to your new home.