There’s an increased interest in Americans relocating to international destinations. While some are fulfilling a retirement wish, many like the idea because of better jobs, accessible healthcare, reduced cost of living, a better quality of life, and exposure to new people, places, and cultures. Approximately 9 million Americans live in other countries around the world, and that number continues to climb.
If you’re ready for a change and plan to relocate your family to international waters, these tips will help make the process more manageable.
Research Ideal Locations
Most people decide where to move by selecting destinations they’ve traveled to in the past. Although vacationing in a particular country or region may provide some insight, it’s very different to live there. Therefore, you must conduct extensive research to determine which country best suits you and your family.
Your research should include population, weather, cultures, religions, laws, employment opportunities, healthcare, currency exchange rates, cost of living, and overall safety. You’ll also want to find out the requirements to become a resident as it varies by country.
Finding A Place To Live
Once you’ve decided on a country, the next step is finding a place to live. Fortunately, the internet makes it easy to review real estate online. You can browse the available listings, compare rates, and even schedule a virtual tour. You’ll want to connect with a local real estate agent to assist you in your home search. They’re familiar with the area and can find houses and apartments that meet your needs.
Check Out Schools
While some parents prefer to homeschool their children, others want their kids to benefit from school. They’ll learn from the local curriculum, get taught by highly-qualified educators, and may have an easier time socializing and making friends. If you’re planning to put your child in an international school, you must do your due diligence.
Let’s say you’re moving to the Bahamas. You’d complete an internet search to find the best private schools in the Bahamas. Evaluate the grades, curriculum, learning methods, school policies, success rates, and tuition costs.
Securing A Job
Unless you hit the lottery, inherited a lot of money, have a sizeable retirement fund, or own a business that will fund your life internationally, you’ll need to find gainful employment. You want to start searching for job opportunities early in your planning because there are often multiple steps involved before you can legally work in another country.
You can use international job sites or work with a head hunter that can assist you in locating employment. If you don’t want to work for an employer, you could become a freelancer or start a home-based business.
Schedule A Visit
As things start to come together, you should plan a visit. Unlike a vacation where you indulge in fun activities and check out popular tourist attractions, this should be a trip to learn more about everyday life. You can link with your real estate agent to check out properties during this visit. You can also line up job interviews or make time to put in applications. Finally, ensure that you visit the schools and take a tour. If possible, talk to the locals or other US natives that relocated to hear about their experience.
Plan Your Move
Now that you’ve done some research, selected an ideal destination, found quality schools, made plans for employment, and experienced everyday life in a new country, you’re ready to plan your move. You should complete the necessary paperwork to obtain citizenship and gather essential documents like your passports, birth certificates, and social security cards.
Next, begin getting rid of anything you don’t need so that you won’t have much to ship. Then, find the appropriate international movers to send your things and inquire about rates and insurance. Pack and label your belongings and have them prepared for shipment. Finally, tie up any loose ends and start the countdown until moving day.
The United States is a great country to live in, but as people’s needs, priorities, and desires change, international moves become an option. If you believe that you and your family would enjoy a change of pace or scenery, use the advice above to find the perfect country to call your new home.