What do you need to move to another country?
While it is certainly possible to just quit your job, pack your bags and hop on the first flight to whatever sunny destination catches your eye, I would advise you to rethink such an approach.
Half-assed plans usually lead to a half-assed life.
Before you leave the West behind, there are three requirements that I recommend you meet:
- Do research
- Visit the country you want to move to
- Be self-employed with the ability to earn money wherever you are
Only the last one is absolutely vital, the other two are strongly recommended but can in theory be skipped.
However, doing so can lead to problems later down the road.
Let’s start with the “soft requirements”, those that you could technically do without, but which are highly recommended nonetheless.
First off, you need to take the time to properly research the country you want to move to.
On this site I provide you with extensive guides on many of the countries which are worthwhile, so you’ll already know a great deal more than the average person.
You have to be aware of big factors, such as the climate, the economic situation and the language, but also of the little quirks, what kind of food you can expect to eat on a regular basis, what the people are like, how foreigners are viewed, and on and on.
Every factor that is even remotely important for your happiness should be considered.
A prepared person is usually a happy one.
If you do not take the time to prepare and do proper, thorough research, you run the risk of being confronted with nasty surprises down the line.
In most cases, they’d probably be minor nuisances, but those do tend to stack up, and if you’re steadily getting more and more annoyed with small things, you might even be forced to move to another country – where the same thing might happen again.
Visit the country
Once you’ve done your research, the next “soft requirement” is taking a trip to the country you’ve selected.
And I don’t mean the stay-at-a-resort kind of trip.
Treat this as a test, not as a vacation.
Go there for at least a few weeks (a few months is better) and do everything you’d do if you were to live there.
Rent an apartment, do your own grocery shopping, get your laundry cleaned, and so on.
Get a true taste of what your life would be like if you were to live here.
Pay attention to details.
- How’s the internet? If you run an online consulting business, having frequently slow internet is detrimental to your business and income, and thus to your happiness.
- Can you deal with the climate? Is it too hot, too cold, too humid? Do you enjoy the amount of sunshine and rain?
- Is the city you want to live in very crowded and / or polluted?
- How do people treat you? Can you communicate with them at an acceptable level?
- Do you have access to healthy food? Or at the very least, food you can see yourself eating for the rest of your life?
- Is there a gym, or other outlets for physical activities you enjoy?
- Can you easily get dates? How do these dates go, can you see yourself having a successful romantic life there?
- If you have children, are there facilities for them within reach?
Anything you can think of, anything that is important in your life: Pay attention to it, experience how it would be in you were to live there permanently.
Don’t take anything for granted, try it out.
On paper a country might sound perfect to you.
You might have looked up factors such as amount of sunshine, hotness of the women/men, cost of living, and so on.
And upon arrival, to your delight you find that everything you researched is exactly how you imagined it.
But it could turn out the city you moved to is very dusty, and this causes you to cough frequently.
You’re fine for a few weeks, and you focus on the good parts, which seem great.
But can you imagine yourself living there for years on end, coughing your way through life?
Probably not, and this is something you wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t taken the time and effort to visit the country beforehand.
This is why hands-on experience in a country is totally recommended if you are seriously considering moving there.
Hopping on a plane and winging it is very close to gambling. There’s a 50/50 chance you might like it or hate it.
Be self-employed with international income
Doing research in advance and visiting the country aren’t hard requirements.
You could easily manage without them, as long as the final, absolutely vital, requirement is met: You need to be self-employed and have an income that is not tied to your location.
You need to be able to keep making money wherever you are in the world.
This results in mobility and the freedom to go wherever you please, whenever you want.
Unless you have a massive amount of cash which can last you the rest of your life, you’ll need to make money.
If you’re older, that might be in the form of a pension.
Relying on a pension is a very risky way to live – because you hope that a (Western) government will keep providing you with other people’s money.
I personally wouldn’t do it, but if you do want to rely on your Western pension wherever you move to, you’re free to take that risk.
As the West collapses, such a notion becomes ever more shaky and unreliable, but it’s up to you.
In addition, do not hope to find a job in your country of destination, because that rarely works out, in my experience.
And if you’re going to a country with a lower cost of living, you’ll most likely only be able to find jobs which pay less than you would make in your own country, causing you frustration and lower self-esteem, not to mention a possible decrease in lifestyle.
Having your own physical company (located in a non-Western country) which can be managed from a distance is a decent option, but much better are digital companies and sources of online income, or diversified passive income such as dividends, royalties from books or courses, and rental income from real estate.
Any consistent source of self-employed online income will do, but you have to make sure you have this in place before you depart.
I’ve known people who took a chance and moved to another country, lived off their savings, and hoped to “make it work”.
It almost never did, and many a disillusioned man had to trot back home, tail between legs.
It might work out for you.
You might find your dream job in the country you move to, but odds are not of a favor, so it’s better to be prepared and get your financial life in order before packing up and moving halfway across the world.
So how do you go about setting up a location independent income? Read on …