Expats beware: Working abroad could lose you money in the long run

Sarah Spickernell
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Hong Kong: A favourite for British expats (Source: Getty)
Moving abroad for work can be a very appealing prospect – there are higher salaries, lower tax rates and an undeniable sense of excitement.
But doing so can often lead to financial losses down the line, according to financial advice firm AES International.
They calculate that many of the 78,000 Britons leaving the UK each year to become expats in cities like Hong Kong, Beijing and New York are losing money because they are caught out by administrative steps they failed to take before setting sail.
“Moving overseas is obviously a hugely exciting time, but it can also be stressful and complex,” said Sam Instone, chief executive of AES.
“Often farthest from people’s minds are things like tax, inheritance and pension savings, but getting these right can help to secure the financial future people are often chasing when they move abroad.
If you want to make the most of living abroad and avoid losing money, these are the steps you should take:

Let HMRC know

If you don't let HMRC know you're leaving the country, they'll continue to chase you for tax. The P85 form is the one you need to fill out to avoid paying two sets of tax for the years to come.

Sort your mortgage so you can let

Letting out your home in the UK can be one of the best sources of income while living abroad, but if you bought your property with a residential mortgage you'll need to contact your mortgage provider. Otherwise you could face high charges and breach your mortgage contract.

Update insurance

If your insurance only covers the UK, you could find yourself in a sticky situation abroad. Therefore, make sure your insurance covers the country you're heading for.

Think about your pensions scheme

When you leave, you need to decide whether to continue with a UK pensions scheme.
While you're allowed to continue with a UK scheme, the amount you can put in each month is substantially lower than when a resident in the UK. If it goes above the £300 a month limit, you'll receive a bill from HMRC.

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