Article Written By Adam Fayed

Expats’ Financial Checklist for Moving Abroad in 2023

Expats' Financial Checklist for Moving Abroad in 2023

Below is a financial checklist for moving abroad that you can use as an expat. In particular, it will discuss the essentials of pensions, health insurance, investments, and tax repercussions.

Moving to a new nation is an intriguing possibility, but it also involves extensive planning and preparation.

Financial Checklist: Pensions

What will become of my pension if I relocate to another country from the UK?

If you have paid into the National Insurance system for a sufficient amount of time, you are eligible to receive your State Pension even if you are residing outside of the country. The primary distinction is that if the State Pension is increased, residents of certain nations may not be eligible to receive the additional money even if it is added to their pension.

What will become of my pension if I relocate to another country from the UK?

State Pension increases are exclusively given out annually to residents of Switzerland, a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, or a nation that has a social security agreement with the United Kingdom that enables for cost-of-living adjustments to be made to the state pension.

Once you hit a particular age and have your own workplace or personal pensions, you will be able to receive these pensions even if you move to another nation. It is possible, however, that doing this will result in additional fees and administrative work.

For this reason, some expats decide to transfer their pensions from the United Kingdom to a provider that is based in the nation in which they currently reside. If you intend to move a pension overseas, you need the aid of a specialist in expat pensions in order to identify a Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) and finalize the transfer.

If you opt to retain your UK pension, then any changes in the value of the pound will cause your payout to shift in a corresponding manner. This may be beneficial or detrimental to your personal situation, depending on how strong or weak the pound is in comparison to the currency of the country you decide to move to.

Again, this should be accounted for when you are making preparations for your retirement, and you should discuss potential solutions with your financial advisor, such as moving your pension outside of the country.

What of my pension in the US if I move overseas?

You will be deemed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as residing outside the US if it has been at least 30 days since the last time you were within any of the 50 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands.

What of my pension in the US if I move overseas?

If you are a citizen of the United States, you have the opportunity to receive disability, retirement, or survivor benefits even if you are living outside the country, provided that you continue to meet certain qualifications.

However, beneficiaries residing in territories like Cuba, North Korea, and certain ex-Soviet republics will not get benefit payments from Social Security.

If you currently live in one of those countries and travel to a nation to which payments can be delivered, you will generally receive payment for all of your outstanding benefits.

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A different set of regulations may apply to non-citizens of the US. Such regulations will be based on their country of origin, the location in which they currently reside, and the type of Social Security benefits they are requesting. Moreover, these rules will in many instances be defined through bilateral agreements between the US and over 25 other countries.

In certain circumstances, Social Security will discontinue benefit payments to beneficiaries who exit the US over a half-year period or longer; however, payments will be resumed after the beneficiary has been back in the country for at least one full month.

If you already get Social Security benefits and are thinking about moving overseas, it is imperative that you do extensive research on the topic before relocating. Pay close attention to the restrictions, such as the place you want to call home and how your citizenship impacts your eligibility to claim for social security benefits.

There is a screening tool that can be used by Social Security to determine whether or not you are eligible to receive payments while living abroad.

Financial Checklist: Health Insurance

I have Medicare, what now?

In the event that you choose to relocate outside of the country, you will need to carefully evaluate how doing so may influence your existing Medicare coverage. Because the advantages of Medicare are restricted when traveling outside of the US, you might need to expand your coverage by purchasing other insurance.

Even if you move outside the country, you can still have your Medicare plan; but, in most cases, you won’t be able to make use of its benefits until you return to the US. However, should there be a medical emergency, you could be covered for some services provided in foreign hospitals.

If you are currently living outside of the US and want to enroll in Medicare, you must still satisfy all of the general Medicare eligibility standards in order to do so; however, the enrollment dates and process may be slightly modified to accommodate your situation.

What should I do if I plan to make regular trips back to the country even if I live abroad?

If you’re qualified, majority of countries can continue to give you Medicare benefits even if you are residing overseas. 

When choosing a Medicare plan, you should take into consideration both your financial situation and the number of times you anticipate visiting the US. If you intend to relocate back at some point in the future, maintaining your current coverage might be the most convenient option.

What should I do if I plan to make regular trips back to the country even if I live abroad?

Because of this, you will not be required to undergo the enrolling procedure again. You will, however, be responsible for paying the premiums even when you are living abroad.

For instance, a retiree has intentions to live abroad but will fly back to the US several times within a year to see friends or loved ones can maintain their current Medicare plan and acquire extra travel health insurance to guarantee that they will be covered no matter where they are in the world.

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What should I do if I have plans to stay in another country indefinitely?

If you already have Medicare hospital insurance and intend to spend a significant amount of time living outside the country, you should maintain that coverage and, if you are eligible for Medicare medical insurance, you should either enroll in it or keep it if you already have it.

What should I do if I have plans to stay in another country indefinitely?

If you do not frequently travel back to the US, it might not be financially beneficial for you to pay for the medical insurance portion that you cannot use outside of the US. On the other hand, note that you’ll be subject to a late enrollment fine if you don’t register for Medicare medical insurance when you were first eligible yet deferred to enroll. 

In order to terminate your current Medicare medical insurance coverage, you need to notify Social Security and keep paying your premiums for one additional month.

You might want to investigate different health insurance choices that offer the broadest coverage possible, both in the US and in the country in which you will be residing, either before you move overseas or while you are already there. Compare the prices of these various plans.

What alternatives are available for other expats?

What alternatives are available for other expats?

Globally Available Health Insurance

This particular category of medical insurance provides comprehensive coverage. Those who want to do a significant amount of traveling while overseas may find that purchasing international health insurance is a practical option.

National Health Insurance

It is possible to become qualified for state-backed health insurance provided in the country you move to once you have satisfied certain requirements for residency or employment in that nation. Check the website of your municipal or county government to see if you are eligible for coverage.

Private Health Insurance

You are able to gain access to private medical treatment wherever in the country if you have this form of insurance. People who intend to remain in one place may find that purchasing local insurance, which is typically less expensive than purchasing foreign health insurance, best suits their needs.

Travel Health Insurance

Insurance for travel often covers expenditures incurred by medical emergencies that occur while you are traveling. This is a versatile and cost-effective alternative that may appeal to individuals who have plans to move about for an extended period.

Financial Checklist: Investments

Should I continue to hold onto my existing investments??

Should I continue to hold onto my existing investments??

According to research from financial services company Morningstar, the US offers the greatest rules, disclosures, fees, and expenses for investors. In many instances, you will also take pleasure in first-rate customer assistance provided by representatives based within the country.

As a result, it is most likely a good idea to maintain the status quo of your investments, presuming that you have already secured online access.  You might want to hire an international financial adviser to assist you manage complex tax and investment difficulties. This is especially true if you’re considering retiring abroad.

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What Happens to My 401(k), Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and Other Investments?

The most significant takeaway from this is that you must never, under any situations, cash out such accounts. This is especially true if you have not yet hit the age of retirement and your 401(k) balance is greater than $500,000. You could face exorbitant taxes if you cash out on impulse. 

What Happens to My 401(k), Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and Other Investments?

Leaving them in the US is one choice, and it’s probably the best one if you intend to move back to the country at some point in the future. As was mentioned before, the investing climate in the US is unparalleled; hence, it is in your best interest to keep your accounts in this country if at all possible.

Having said that, if you anticipate that your status as an expat will be permanent, you should probably look into rolling your funds into a retirement scheme in the nation that you have adopted as your new home. If there is a tax deal in place between the two nations, you may be able to take advantage of this choice.

If you are relocating to Australia, for instance, you have the option of rolling your retirement account into your superannuation fund. If you do this, there is a chance that you will enjoy large tax benefits. If, on the other hand, you are moving to a place like Croatia or Belize or any other South American location, then you will most likely need to look into other possibilities.

Consider taking a complete distribution from your Roth IRA while you are still considered a tax resident of the US if you are going to be moving permanently and have one of these accounts. Doing so will allow you to gain from the tax benefits that come with having a Roth IRA.

The strategy that will work best for you will be determined by a number of elements, such as your age, the total balance of your accounts, the location of your move, and whether or not it will be a temporary one. As is the case in every scenario, we strongly advise that you discuss your options with your financial adviser, preferably someone who is knowledgeable in the nation to which you are transferring.

Financial Checklist: Tax Implications

Where do we stand with taxes?

Moving to another country might have a variety of tax consequences. It is possible that you will be required to pay taxes in both the nation in which you currently reside as well as the country in which you were born if your new home country does not have an agreement in place to prevent double taxation.

Additionally, aspects such as the taxation on capital gains are different in each country. Make it a point to inquire about the implications of taxes for your income as well as your individual tax obligations, as well as do your own research on the particular taxes that apply for each territory.

About the Author(Adam Fayed)

Hailing from the UK, I assist expats and high-net-worth individuals in over 100 countries, streamlining processes through online solutions to save time, money, and hassle. With a significant online presence, I am a published author on Amazon and have a substantial readership of ten million across various platforms, including Forbes. Additionally, I am recognized as the most viewed financial writer on, accumulating 500 million lifetime views.

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