The number of Americans looking to move out of America has increased in the last two years. Countries such as Portugal, Italy, France, and Spain are high on the list of desirable countries to live in. Americans are drawn to the lower cost of living, improved quality of life, affordable healthcare, warm climates, and low crime levels.
The age range varies from young adults looking for jobs, families moving with children and older adults planning their retirement.
Regardless of where you move and why you are moving, everyone will need to transfer money at some point. Within this journey, you will need to transfer money to rent or buy a property, invest in a visa, pay for a NIF (in Portugal) or move your savings. Traditionally your bank would be your first point of call. However, it is always worth checking the exchange rate. We usually see a 3-4% difference between a bank and an overseas money specialist. In some extreme instances, we have seen a bank charge 9%.
An American customer was due to receive over £1 million from a UK lawyer. Fortunately, the customer asked the bank what exchange rate would be applied. The rate the bank offered was 9% away from the market rate. Thankfully the client contacted Spartan FX, and we saved them over £90,000. While this example seems extreme, it is not uncommon. The other thing to bear in mind is that you will not know the exact rate at the time of transfer; the bank rate is not guaranteed. If the rate is unknown, how will you know how many US Dollars to send? What if you are sending money for a property purchase and the Euro amount is short? This could delay the purchase, and you also have the hassle of needing to send more money.
Using Spartan FX, an overseas money transfer specialist, is similar to using an insurance broker, realtor or mortgage broker. Like us, they are specialists in their field. When you move to another country, you will need to transfer more money than you are used to. Exchanging $250,000 can be daunting, then there is the international IBAN – have you got the correct details?
Our team deals regularly with customers in your position. We are always available on the telephone and will even take calls via WhatsApp. You can make transfers yourself online, or we can make the exchange for you. Also, on behalf of our customers, we double-check bank details and speak to bank tellers unfamiliar with international IBANs. We will keep you constantly updated with the location of your money and notify you once it’s in the beneficiary account. Helping to make the process stress-free and giving you peace of mind is our main priority.
Another important factor is exchange rate movements. Moving your money often features low on your ‘to-do’ list, however, a rate movement can significantly impact the amount of money you receive in Euros and the cost in US Dollars.
March 2021 to May 2021, there was a 4% rate movement in the USD/EUR rate.
Cost in March = $585,550
Cost in May = $610,100
Cost in March = $23,422
Cost in May = $24,404
Difference = $982
Depending on these fluctuations, it may be advantageous to make a transfer before you need your Euros. Don’t worry if you do not have all the funds available; you can fix the rate with a 10% deposit. Your personal dealer will explain the different options available to you, helping you save money on the day and helping you buy at the right time.
As of April 2022, we are nearly at two-year highs, an excellent time to sell US Dollars and buy Euros. You need to ask yourself:
• What was the price when you started your journey to move to or buy a property in Europe?
• What price would you be happy with?
If you are receiving rental income, pension payments or paying for a rental property on a monthly basis there are also ways to make these transfers more cost-effective. Another consideration is how to move your money once you are abroad. When transferring large sums, your US bank might ask for more information. For example, you might be required to go into your branch to sign a form or apply for an international card reader. Once you are abroad, this will be harder to do, and a flight home might be costly and delay your transfers. Your personal dealer at Spartan FX will be able to make sure you ask the right questions before you leave the US.
What do you need to do in advance of your move:
● Apply for a visa, a NIF (Portuguese tax number)
● Set up a local bank account
● Set up an account with Spartan FX, an overseas money transfer specialist
Spartan FX is an award-winning currency specialist. We have helped hundreds of customers save time and money on their overseas transfers and enabled them to achieve their dream of moving abroad. Our experts Ben Amrany, Sarah Davie or Neil Poyton regularly share their money-saving tips on expat community webinars.
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