Before you go
Going to live abroad is a major decision and you should obtain a wide range of information and advice before you go:
- Familiarise yourself with your new destination before moving there permanently.
- Understand the different laws, regulations, and customs abroad. You can find more information in our
- Budget correctly to take into account currency fluctuations.
- Understand the different healthcare systems abroad. Unlike the NHS residence-based system, many countries in the EU have a contribution-based system, which means that you may have to pay into the social security system in order for you and your dependants to get state healthcare.
- Be aware of your changing needs as you get older, such as potential increased medical care and as before, know what health services you are entitled to.
- Know your income. Unless you are a resident in the UK you may not be eligible for Pension Credits or Tax credits and if you are outside the EU your pension may also not be increased annually. Contact the
Department for Work and Pensions
for more information.
- Contact the country's local education authorities to find out about the education system. The government’s website will also have useful information on education in that country. Most countries have English or international schools which you should be able to find on the internet.
Buying property abroad
- If you are considering buying property abroad you should research thoroughly in advance. Property laws and customs in many countries are different from those in the UK. British nationals can run into problems with ownership rights due to these differences.
- You should engage an independent local lawyer. A full list of English-speaking lawyers is on each British Embassy's website. You should deal only with established and reputable estate agents or with other contacts whom you know to be reliable and genuine. You should make all payments within bank premises and/or through banking channels.
- Timeshare ownership is well established in many countries, with respected companies, agents and resorts operating legally and fairly. However, you should beware of timeshare companies offering incentives (including stock market investments and discounts on airfares and accommodation) when exchanging existing time-share ownership or taking out membership of holiday clubs. Such incentives are often bogus. If you are approached by agents operating such schemes, treat them with caution.
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