Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Australian Expats
Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Australian Expats – with every new year Australian expats have a renewed vigour to make changes in their lives, whether they be health, relationship, financial or a myriad of other changes.
To help Australian expats financially make the most of 2019 we have put together the the Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Australian Expats. Every year we meet Australians all over the world who wished they had taken these steps earlier and financially made the most out of their time away overseas.
- Review Your Financial Situation – without reviewing where you are currently at it is next to impossible to determine what, if anything, needs changing and what you need to do to achieve your financial goals. This can be as simple as sitting down with a pen and paper and listing out what you assets and liabilities or taking the next step and engaging a specialist provider of Australian expat financial advice to review your financial circumstances.
Expert Tip – Don’t let 2019 be another year where you say i’m going to do it but nothing happens.
- Create a Budget – when you move overseas and join the expat ranks it is very easy for your lifestyle to adjust to your new disposable income level which can result in you having nothing left to show for your time overseas apart from more stamps in your passport and great stories to tell. By creating a budget you are able to put money aside that would have normally been caught up in your discretionary spending.
Expert Tip– most expats do not receive a monthly super or pension contribution as part of their salary package so if you aren’t putting away up to 9.5% of your gross income you will be at a financial disadvantage to your Australian friends and colleagues.
- Set Up An Emergency Fund – the life of an Australian expat is one of change and adventure however because of this your life may not be as stable as when you lived in Australia. Whether it be a sudden retrenchment, political unrest or family emergency it always pays to setup a emergency fund that can get you through the difficult times.
Expert Tip – This money should be readily accessible and in come countries be in held in cash should you require a speedy departure.
- Automate Your Payments – expats live a very busy life and it is very easy to forget to put money away into a savings account, pay your bills or put some aside in case of emergency. By automating your fortnightly or monthly transfers not only do you not have to worry about taking the time to login to your bank online but it also removes the human element as to whether something gets paid or not.
Expert Tip – its 2019 and the tools to do this are there. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to schedule your monthly payments
- Pay Off Bad Debt – in the last 20 years debt has been very easy to accrue, even for an expat living in a foreign country. Have a look at who you owe money to and write down a list. At the top of the list should be the debt that incurs the highest interest charge and is not tax deductible.
Expert Tip – Focus on paying off the debt off at the top of the list first, even before you start a savings account, and make your way down your debt list until all non tax deductible debt is paid off.
- Review Your Superannuation – with Australia’s workforce moving between jobs and employers more frequently these days this can often lead to having multiple super funds. The problem with this is that even if your balances are relatively low you will still be paying a minimum administration fee across each of the accounts. Review your superannuation accounts and look to consolidate them into one fund that suits Australian expats or better yet engage a specialised financial planner who can do the hard work for you.
Expert Tip – of Australia’s 15 million super fund members, 40% have multiple super fund accounts
- Contribute Either to Your Superannuation or Foreign Pension – As we mentioned above most expats don’t receive a super or pension payment as part of the salary package which means that when you leave Australia no one is putting away 9.5% of your gross income into a superannuation account. To ensure that your time away as an Australian expat is both personally and financially fulfilling make sure you start saving early into your relocation otherwise your lifestyle will adjust and you may find it difficult to maintain.
Expert Tip – superannuation is agnostic to where you live. Apart from Self Managed Super Funds you can still manage and contribute to it where ever you live.
- Create/Update Your Will – no one expects to die suddenly, especially Australia expats, but unfortunately it does happen and is part of every day life. By either creating or updating your existing will you can ensure that not only will that difficult time be a little bit easier to manage due to the structured nature of a expat will but that your wishes will be carried out and loved ones looked after.
Expert Tip – even if you just have a will in Australia it is better than not having a will at all
- Review Your Insurance – a lot of the time Australian expats will leave the country not realising that they may either have more insurance than they thought (especially if they have multiple super funds with insurance inside each one of them) and/or they are paying for insurance that is invalid because you are classified as a non-resident.
Expert Tip – it is up to you to tell the insurance company that you no longer live in Australia not the other way around. They will keep debiting your account until you tell them otherwise. By reviewing your insurance (Life, Total & Permanent Disability, Income Protection & Trauma) you are able to confirm that those respective policies are adequate for your financial circumstances as well as your country of domicile.
- Improve Your Financial Literacy – the importance of financial literacy cannot be understated when it comes to managing your finances. The more you understand the more attention and effort you will inject towards making financial decisions.
We hope you found this list useful and that it will help you create your own list of what you need to do to start 2019 off right and ensure that by this time next year your fiances are in a healthier state than when you started.