International Pension Transfer Guide

Retiring overseas in a cheap and relaxing destination is a great way to enjoy your golden years and get the most bang for your pension. Whether you are currently living abroad and want to transfer your whole pension to a new country or just need to make regular pension disbursement transfers to an overseas bank account, a money transfer firm can help. They can make the process quicker, less confusing, and cheaper. Accessing your pension from anywhere in the world has never been easier and finance savvy retirees know that an international money transfer firm will minimize the costs associated with moving money.

 

Best Option for Sending Monthly Overseas Pension Payments

Your best bet for regular monthly pension disbursements is to set up a scheduled overseas payment plan which automatically deducts a set amount from your account every month, exchanges it for a foreign currency, and deposits it into the account of your choice. This way, you never have to worry about forgetting to initiate a transfer or finding yourself without any money when you need it. Many money transfer firms also offer lower fees and better exchange rates for regularly scheduled transfers.

 

Transferring Your Whole Pension to a New Country

Moving your entire pension takes a bit more planning than regularly transferring small amounts. When moving large sums of money, you need to pay more attention to the exchange rate and any expected fluctuations. Start planning for your pension transfer long in advance and stay abreast of the exchange rate. Speak with a consultant at your money transfer firm of choice to discuss current market events that may affect the currency you are watching. Plan on making your transfer when the currency you hold is at a high value against your desired currency. If you time everything right, this could be a great opportunity to increase your pension value by a few percent.

 

What to Consider When Moving Your Pension

  • The Limitations of Your Current Pension

Not all pensions will allow a transfer so you may be limited to setting up a regularly scheduled monthly transfer as opposed to moving your entire pensions. If this is the case, you don’t need to waste your time researching the following steps as it will be irrelevant. Seek professional advice if you are unsure of the limitations of your current pension before trying to initiate a transfer to ensure you don’t lose out on any benefits you are receiving.

  • The Form of Your New Pension Scheme

Check out the types of pensions and retirement plans available to you in your new home country. You need to be aware of the type of pension you currently have (i.e. defined benefits or defined contribution) to be sure that you are losing any benefits you currently enjoy and won’t wind up with a retirement plan that puts you into a worse financial position. Take some time to read up on the benefits and drawbacks of your current plan and compare them with the benefits and drawbacks of the new plan you are considering. It is a good idea to check with your retirement advisor to gain some knowledgeable third party insight.

  • The Transfer Value of Your Pension

When transferring out of an existing defined benefits pension, the trustee will have to calculate the benefits into a cash value so you know the amount of money that will be moved. This also gives you a good idea of the amount of money you can expect to have access once you are living overseas. Once you have calculated the cash transfer value, you can decide if you are going to invest it into a pension scheme with a new employer or an individual pension.

  • Tax Implications

There is always the possibility that moving your pension could trigger a tax payment if the transfer doesn’t meet specified criteria. This depends on the type of pension you have and the country where it is currently held. Your accountant should be able to answer any tax questions you have about the potential tax implications of transferring your entire pension account.

Tips and Advice for Studying and Sending Money Abroad

Having a child attending school overseas brings along a slew of logistical concerns regarding the transfer of money to the student for living expenses, payments to the school in a foreign currency, and backup plans in case of emergencies. This guide will help you prepare so that you have your processes in place and all the necessary resources available when you need them.

Moving to a new country to study is an exciting and trying time for students and their families. It may be the first time your child has lived on his or her own and they will have to adapt to a brand new environment with customs they may be unfamiliar with. As a parent, you’ll have to get used to the idea of your child moving on and growing up. There will be a number of unexpected challenges for both of you and the last thing you need is a confusing and expensive process for transferring your money. Your best bet is to plan ahead, set up an account with a money transfer firm, and speak with one of their consultants long before your child sets off.

 

Setting Up Your Finances

Most international students will need to have funds available as soon as they arrive in their new country whether for living expenses or school tuition. This is doubly important at the beginning when they have yet to establish an overseas bank account and don’t have access to money locally.

Many countries won’t allow you to open up a bank account until you have your visa and proof of residency so figure out how your child will access money from their home bank before they leave. Some options are the use of a home bank debit card (this can be an expensive choice as international transaction fees add up quickly), researching brick and mortar places close to your child’s new home where they can pick up international money transfers such as a western union, or working with a money transfer firm such as Xoom or USForex that allows money to be picked up at a local banking institution even if your don’t have an account with them.

Here are some tips to follow when transferring your money to a student overseas:

  • Compare international money transfer firm exchange rates and fees to find the one that offers the best value for your money
  • If paying bills or tuition, ensure that you know the exact amount of the received money so that you don’t run the risk of shorting your payment.
  • Use a reputable company
  • Avoid using traditional banking institutions as they offer the worst exchange rates and charge the highest fees
  • Do a test run with a small amount so you have a good understanding of the process without risking the loss of a large amount to fees and poor exchange rates

 

Opening a Bank Account

After finding a place to live, one of the first things a student overseas should do is open a local bank account. Keep a reserve of funds in the local account to help manage your day to day life and any unexpected expenses that may pop up. Many established banks have special accounts for students that may have less fees or lax opening restrictions. You should still expect to have to provide them with your passport showing a study visa for a minimum of 6 months, proof of residency, and maybe even a school admission letter.

 

Move A Few Months before Class Start Date

Getting situated in a new country takes time. The earlier a student arrives in their new homeland, the more time they will have to get acclimated to a new culture and way of life. It’s also important they arrive with enough to process any necessary paperwork and set up a comfortable living environment. This helps ensure their grades won’t suffer from culture shock and they won’t be too busy focusing on setting up their life to attend classes. Plan on them arriving a minimum of one month before classes start.

Many colleges offer an orientation semester for international students which is a great time to learn about the campus and familiarize yourself with your new schools teaching techniques and transportation options. It will also help them make friends and set up a social circle. Attending an orientation semester helps ensure that students are fully prepared when classes start full-time.

 

Plan Ahead

Moving to a new country for schooling can be a stressful, but exciting adventure. Don’t let small frustrations get the best of you and keep a positive mindset. Staying positive is one of the keys to a successful transition. Another important aspect is to plan ahead for any emergency situations that could potentially occur. As long as you have followed our advice and properly set up access to overseas funds and taken the time to familiarize yourself with your new city and the school campus, everything should go off without a hitch, and remember, a money transfer is only a phone call or a mouse click away.

How-to Guide on Buying and Importing Cars from Overseas

Purchasing a car from overseas with the intent of importing it to your home country can be a tricky endeavor. There are a number of factors that must be considered before making the purchase. You need to have a thorough understanding of the import laws in your country and knowledge of the import process. It’s not just the price of the car or the cost of shipping that must be factored in, but the additional costs for taxes and duties too.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the ins and outs of importing a car, the next step is to find the best way to transfer your money to the seller. Choosing the wrong option can easily add 5% to 10% more to your total cost.

Here are some tips to help ensure your overseas car purchase goes off without a hitch.

 

Buy from a Reputable Source

There are a number of unscrupulous car dealers around the world. While in America it might be difficult to sell a salvage car unless you have gone through the correct processes and inspections for obtaining a rebuilt title, many other countries are much more lax. Take care that you are working with a reputable car dealer so you don’t wind up getting a cherry that looks good on the outside, but is rotten on the inside.

A good option is to buy from an online auction company that specializes in classic cars. You can usually find the exact car you are looking for and, if they don’t currently have it, they will put you on a list to be contacted when they get that model in stock. They are also more likely to stand behind the car and work with you if there is a problem as they need to keep their reputation in good standing.

Buying from an individual overseas is extremely tricky and we recommend you steer clear of it. If you insist on going this route, do some research on the individual to see if they have sold cars to buyers overseas in the past. If you are unsure for any reason, pass on it and find another car or seller.

It’s also a good idea to check the price of cars in a few different countries. There can often be thousands of dollars in price difference. Don’t forget to include the cost of shipping from the respective country before tallying up the final cost. You may find that a classic car costs $2000 less in Russia than Argentina, but with the additional shipping costs, the final price could be the same.

 

Research the Registration Process

Registering foreign cars can be a tricky process. Before purchasing any car from overseas, check your local regulations to ensure you will be able to register it. There have been situations where a car was purchased from overseas, but unregistrable. For example, if you buy a right hand drive car from London, it could be nearly impossible to get registered and legal to drive on US roads. Other issues could include lighting, speedometer, windscreen, etc. This page is a useful source of information about the process, expenses, and difficulties in registering a non-conforming foreign car for use in the US.

 

Shop Around for Shipping Options

All shipping is not created equal and finding the right shipping option can make the purchase of a foreign car considerably cheaper. Most people cannot work directly with the large shipping companies, so you best bet is to find a recognized agent to handle the paperwork for you. They can ensure the process goes smoothly and there are no unexpected fees to deal with. Xpressrate has a section specifically for auto freight and allows you to compare multiple shipping rates. Be warned though, once you submit your info, you’ll be contacted by numerous agents looking for your business.

 

Make a Budget Breakdown

Don’t just look at the purchase price of the car when deciding on your purchase. You’ll need to budget for taxes, import duties and customs fees. Most countries charge taxes based on the age of the car and the size of the engine.

In addition to that, you’ll need to account for currency conversion costs, and money transfer fees. This is where picking the right foreign money transfer firm can save the day. Use one of our preferred providers like US Forex. They can help you save a great deal of money on the transfer and conversion fees to help keep your costs down. You can also use our comparison tool to find the best provider for your particular needs.

 

Check on Warranty Restrictions

When talking about warranties, this generally refers to newer cars. You might be surprised to learn that there are situations where shipping a car overseas or driving it in a foreign country can void its warranty. Check with the car manufacturer to see if the warranty is still valid if you import it into your home country. You’ll also want to check if they have any service centers in your country that can work on the particular model you are purchasing.

 

Find the Right Money Transfer Service

No matter if you are buying from a dealer, auction house, or individual overseas, you are going to need the services of a foreign money transfer firm. This is a big opportunity to save and help limit the costs involved in the purchase. Using a bank could easily add 8% to 10% on to the cost of buying your car from overseas. With the right money transfer firm, you could limit this to a reasonable 3% or even less. Some money transfer providers may even have existing relationships with international car dealers or auction houses. Ask the seller if they have any working relationships with FX firms to see if there is an opportunity to save money.

If you know about your upcoming purchase long in advance, you can get the most bang for your buck by using a money transfer provider to start hedging against any sudden currency fluctuations. Speak with a currency specialist to explore what options are available to you. You might be able to lock in a favorable exchange rate months to years in advance of your car purchase. Read up on currency forward contracts to learn more.

How to Transfer Money Internationally for Overseas Charity Donations

Charity donations come in many different forms and from many different places. If you are considering making a charity donation to an overseas charity, consider using an online money transfer firm to handle the process. When giving to a charity organization, you want to make sure your money is going to the people who need it and not into the already deep pockets of some large, faceless banking institution. Don’t lose a huge chunk in the transfer process, send and confirm your fund transfer using a convenient and affordable FX firm.

 

Donations to Global Charities

With an increase in overseas disasters and the limited government resources to help, people are donating funds in an effort to provide some kind of relief. Donations help to put experienced disaster responders on the ground and give them the tools they need to help victims recover. Your contribution can be made quickly and safely through one of the online money providers listed on our site. Use our Comparison Tool to find the international money transfer firm that offers you the best exchange rate. With little to no transfer fees, you can have peace of mind knowing that your contribution is directly helping to fight these global disasters.

 

Donations to Education Institutions

Supporting your alma mater has been a common reason for sending donations to a country where you no longer reside. Some of these institutions may have fundraising teams in your country or residence while others only have a fundraising office in the school’s home country. Use an online money transfer servicer to get the best rates and lowest fees on your charitable donation to your alma mater.

 

Tax implications of making a donation

When sending money abroad for donation purposes, the biggest concern is often gift tax and the ability to write it off as a deduction. The tax requirements vary for senders depending on who is receiving the foreign exchange funds. The monetary threshold, in regards to gift taxes, also differs from country to country. It is advisable to work with an international tax advisor to become aware of the country’s tax liabilities when making money transfers as well as limiting the costs associated with sending money overseas.

Donations can often be used to reduce your taxable position bringing you into a lower tax bracket and offering your significant savings at the end of the year. It doesn’t always have to be a cash donation either, property, shares, and goods can all be considered deductible charity donations. Speak with your accountant before making any donations locally or internationally to learn about your tax implications.

How to Repatriate Your Salary or Bonuses from Overseas

Have you found yourself in a situation where you have received a payment, paycheck, or shares from a company overseas for work you did while abroad? If so, you might be wondering about the most cost effective way to repatriate that money into your home country. There is nothing worse than losing a large portion of your paycheck or profits to the banks during the exchange and transfer process. It gets even worse if you get a bad exchange rate in the process.

We’re going to be frank with you. There is no way to move money between countries without paying some fees and losing a small percentage, but that doesn’t mean you have to use the traditional banks where you could easily lose 10% of your money. Instead, work with a dedicated foreign exchange and transfer services. You’ll still be losing a bit to the exchange rate, but with companies like USForex or Xoom you’ll only wind up losing around 3% of your money in the process.

Here’s some handy tips how to transfer your money internationally and help you get the most for your foreign currency.

 

Shop Around

Don’t just go to one source and take their word for it that you are getting the best rate. Sure any money transfer service is going to be cheaper, and usually quicker, than the banks. Depending on your starting currency and location and your destination currency and location, you may find that one money transfer provider is significantly cheaper than another. Use the Send Money Cheaper Comparison Tool to compare multiple providers at one and quickly find the best option for your particular needs.

Don’t just take fees into account though; you are going to want to take a hard look at the exchange rate you are getting too. This is often where exchange companies make the largest chunk of their money. Do the math to figure out which company offers the highest end value in your home currency when factoring in exchange rates and any applicable fees.

 

Plan for Your Currency Transfer

Unless you are in desperate need of the money immediately, it’s always best to plan ahead for salary repatriation. Currency exchange rates fluctuate daily, so it can be beneficial to start planning long in advance of the planned transfer and when the rates look good, use a currency forward contract or currency option to lock in favorable rates. Depending on the international transfer provider, you may be able to do this up to three years in advance.

 

Have Your Employer Handle the International Money Transfer

If you don’t have the wherewithal or time to handle the transfer yourself, consider setting it up so that your employer handles the money transfer for you. If it is a large multinational company, they may already have relationships with FX firms and could potentially get a better rate if they often transfer large amounts. This way, as soon as you salary or bonus is ready, it is automatically transferred saving you time and money.

 

Consider Holding the Currency

If the current exchange rate is poor, but you are expecting it to increase within the next few months or so, it can sometimes be beneficial to open a foreign bank account and hold the currency until exchange rates are favorable. If you aren’t currently living in another country, opening a bank account can sometimes be difficult. Speak with your employer to see if they can help. They should have a relationship with their business bank and be able to help you open an account for holding purposes. Just be aware that by doing so, you may wind up getting an even worse exchange rate if the currency value continues to drop and doesn’t rise as expected.

Guide to Sending Money Overseas for Helping Family or Friends

It is not uncommon to run into a situation where you have family or friends living overseas who need assistance. Whether they need help paying a bill, a large sum of money for big purchase, or just some cash to cover a few weeks of living expenses until their next paycheck comes in; international money transfer firms offer a variety of options to help.

Here are some common scenarios where one might need to send money to family overseas:

  • Children studying abroad
  • Elderly family members who need monthly supplements
  • Emergency healthcare costs
  • Paying bills for family members overseas
  • Regular monthly remittances to family members back home

Foreign currency transfer and exchange firms have a service specifically tailored to each of these scenarios to help ensure you are getting the most value for your money.

 

Regularly Scheduled Payments

If helping your child studying abroad or elderly family members who need financial assistance every month, you best option is probably a regularly scheduled money transfer. You’ll save time by not having to initiate the transfer yourself every month and FX firms will often offer better rates and lower fees for scheduled transfers.

 

Emergency Transfers of Large Sums

There may be times when a family member runs into an emergency situation where they need money fats to cover medical bills or some other crisis. In this situation, using a bank will not only cost you more, but take longer too. Most banks can’t transfer money internationally in less than three or four days. Western Union can get the money there within in minutes, but they have exorbitant fees. Our preferred money transfer firms like Xoom, USForex, and World First all have options to get your money where it needs to be within 24 hours.

 

Paying Bills for Family Members Overseas

Depending on the country and type of bill that needs to be paid, many of our preferred money transfer firms offer direct bill payment for things like utilities and education. You can save your family member time by not requiring them to go to the bank, withdraw the money, and then head to the office where the bill needs to be paid. Instead, set up an account with an FX firm so that they can automatically deduct the amount of the bill from your desired account and process the payment for you.

 

Remittance of Funds to Family Members Back Home

Many people move overseas for better job prospects and a higher salary. People make the sacrifice of not seeing their family everyday in the hopes of providing them a better life and financial stability. Don’t make the sacrifice in vain and give up large portions of your remittance to a bank for the privilege of sending money back home. Instead, use a foreign money transfer firm and ensure your family is getting the money they need.

Guide to Money Transfer for Buying Property Overseas

No matter whether you are buying property abroad or selling it, foreign exchange transfers can help you maximize the value of your currency offering you large savings and leaving a great deal of money in your pocket. SendMoneyCheaper.com can steer you in the right direction to find the cheapest, fastest, and most cost-effective solutions for international payments to buy property overseas.

Our website has helped thousands of people get a great deal on their large currency transfers and save money when buying or selling a currency for international property purchases.

 

Why Use a Money Transfer Provider

Money transfer firms like Xoom and USFOREX have currency specialists that are experts in transferring money for the best value. Just a couple or percentage points difference can equal to thousands of dollars in savings. These firms offer:

  • Better exchange rates than banks
  • Minimal or zero fees and commissions
  • Added security against exchange rate fluctuations with options like currency forward contracts
  • Immediate international payments and transfers
  • Dedicated account managers

 

Planning Ahead for Your International Property Purchase or Sale

Once you have an overseas property purchase planned, we suggest you make early contact with a money transfer provider. Use our Comparison Tool to find the best provider for your needs, and then open an online account with them. Once you have an account, you can begin to receive advice on future exchange rates, expected market happenings that might affect your purchase, and how to plan to minimize risk on your expected currency exchange. There are a variety of hedging options to help you lock-in future rates like currency forward contracts and currency options. Be sure to take some time to discuss these options with your account manager.

 

Maintaining a Property Abroad

There are a number of reasons you might be maintaining a property overseas; it might be a holiday home used for vacations or maybe you are an expat with a rental home in your native country. Whatever the reason, there are bound to be monthly expenses such as mortgage payments, utility bills, association fees, or maintenance costs. You can easily handle these by setting up a recurring payment plan with a money transfer firm so you don’t have to waste time doing it yourself every month, or worse, forgetting and incurring additional charges.

Expat International Money Transfer and Moving Guide

Whether you are planning on moving overseas or you are already an expat, there are a number of things to deal with when living in a new country. We’ve put together a handy guide which summarizes some of the most important areas to focus on. Many of these items relate to your financial needs and the best way to move money between countries so you don’t lose a large chunk to poor exchange rates or high commission fees, but we also look at issues relative to visas, immigrating, schooling, banking, and more.

 

Immigrating

Visas

Nearly every country in the world requires you to apply for a visa in advance, with just a few exceptions. In addition to obtaining a visa to stay in the country, you will most likely need to be approved for a work permit if you plan on obtaining any type of legal work. This can be a complicated and drawn out process, not to mention expensive too. You may need the support of an immigration lawyer to help ease the process and make everything happen smoothly and timely. Check out the U.S. Department of State’s website or Visa HQ to learn more about the requirements of your chosen country so you can be prepared long in advance of your move.

Types of Visas

If you are retiring overseas or have some kind of remote job which you can do online, you can generally apply for some kind of long stay visa, but if you will be working in your new country, a work visa is usually required. To obtain a work visa in most countries, you may need the support and sponsorship of a company that has already agreed to hire you. The smoothest transition will often be if you are moving with your existing company to a new office overseas.

If you aren’t being sponsored by a company in your home country, you will need to be hired by an overseas business that can help you with the process. The larger a company is and the more people they have sponsored in the past, the easier it will be for them to sponsor your work visa.

If you have some type of specialist that is in high demand, many countries have some kind of fast track program or extra visa allotments to help people like you immigrate quicker and easier. Check with any relevant immigration authorities to see if you qualify.

Moving with Family

Bringing along a spouse, children, or parents further complicates the immigration process as they will all need to be included the visa application. Every family member will need to qualify for and be issued their own visa. Some countries are strict about the family members you can bring along while others are more relaxed and may not give you any trouble. If it is important that your spouse be issued a work visa as well, check with the company that is sponsoring you to see if they can help. If not, they may have to find their own organization to hire them and your work visa applications will have to be handled separately.

 

Finances

Bank Accounts

Opening a bank account in a foreign country usually requires at least a 6 month visa and proof of residency such as a lease contract. There are some countries that actually require you to obtain permission from a specific department so contact some banks before you move and ask their requirements. Check some online expat forums for your new country where you can be guided by other expats who have already been through the process. You can also check with the company sponsoring your work visa to see if they have existing relationships with any banks to help you start the process.

Credit Cards

Just like you home country, you will probably want a credit card in your new homeland. Using your credit card from back home will become costly as you’ll be incurring international payments fees and incurring poor exchange rates. Unfortunately, actually obtaining a credit card in a country where you have no credit history is even trickier than opening a bank account. They may want you to build up some kind of good credit history before offering you a line of credit, but you won’t be able to build up any credit history without first obtaining a credit card or a loan. A good option is to start with secured credit cards or department store cards with low limits.

Transferring Money as an Expat

Once you start your new life as an expat, you’ll most likely need to access some of your funds from back home to help you get set up in a new home or apartment, buy necessities, and pay for daily items until you start receiving an income from your new job. You may also need to send money back home to pay to cover any leftover expenses. Your best bet is to use a money transfer provider. They can help you save money by offering better exchange rates and lower transfer fees than large brick and mortar banking organizations.

Consider using one of the money transfer firms listed on SendMoneyCheaper to handle international money movement needs. Our Comparison Tool will help you find the best provider for your personal needs. Whether you are regularly transferring small amounts or need to move a large amount for vehicle or property purchases, we recommend setting up an account with a money transfer provider to help.

 

Miscellaneous Considerations

Schooling

If you are bringing along young children, school enrollment policies as well as the teaching language must be taken into account. Make sure to research long in advance and consider starting language lessons up to a year in advance.

Local Customs

Read up on local customs before you move so you can prevent and unintended faux pas. You want to make a good impression on new business acquaintances and neighbors. The internet is a great resource to learn about local customs to ensure you don’t accidentally offend anyone.

Research, Plan, and Prepare

Wherever you are moving and whatever the reason, take the time to do your research and start planning long in advance. This way, when the time comes, you will be prepared and can smoothly transition into your new life as an expat.

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