Planning for the future as an Expat 

August 2022

Living as an expat it is easy to take a back seat to planning for the future. Before you moved abroad you did your fair share of planning and research. It’s time to start getting back to life’s regular responsibilities. Planning for the future as an expat means you have a few extra things to consider. We cover the most important things you need to plan for in your future.

Managing your finances as an expat will help secure your financial future and protect you from leaving yourself in a vulnerable position down the line. If times get hard when living abroad you don’t have direct access to the support of your family and friends back home. So, it's crucial that your finances are in order.
Saving a small amount each month can add up to substantial savings over time. Bank providers often offer saving plans that are tailored for expats. This can help get you organised without having to think too much about it. 

In the past, taking an expat position abroad increased your chance of professional success when returning home but in 2022 this is no longer a guarantee. Therefore career planning for your future as an expat is so important. The cliché question ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ can help you get an idea of where you’re going in your career and what are the right paths for you. 


Investing in yourself and your own personal career development will help you secure your ideal position down the line. Once you have reviewed your own career, skills and ideal future roles. Start mapping out what you need and how you can get to where you want to be. Making clear and specific actions will help you achieve your career goals over time.

Research has found that a third of expats have lost or misplaced their retirement savings in foreign countries. Don’t become part of that statistic and plan for your future retirement as an expat. Setting up a timeline for when you want to be retired will keep you focused and help you plan. 

As an expat it is not uncommon to live and work in more than one country in your career. This can lead to you making contributions to more than one pension plan. This is not an issue when you are young but when it comes to retirement, you won't want to lose track of any contributions you have made.


Consolidating your retirement funds will allow you to access your pension plan with an offshore account. Giving you access to your pension pot virtually.

If you are planning on retiring abroad, consider what that would look like, and what you need to retire comfortably there. Taking account of the cost of living and if you will require a visa or citizenship to do so. 
If you’re planning on retiring at home, you need to research the best way for you to access your money and any tax implications involved. 

If life as an expat is only a temporary move for your career you need to consider planning your return home.  Moving back home might seem like a smooth transition. But be prepared to feel out of sorts for a while. If you have been abroad for a long time then you need to prepare yourself to experience reverse culture shock. Planning for this eventuality can help you settle in back home.


Consider taking similar actions to planning your move abroad. Seek out ways to maintain your lifestyle at home. Look for expat communities you can join, and get in touch with old friends at home. Planning for small and simple steps can help you transition back to life in your home country. 

As an expat you have to navigate so much, from new tax regulations, new cultures to language barriers and feelings of isolation. So, it is safe to say getting advice on all of this can go a long way. 


Our expat assistance programme allows you to speak to a professional offering multilingual and confidential support for mental, financial, physical and emotional wellbeing. Helping you plan for the future with support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.