Setting Up a Bank Account After Your International Move
Once you have relocated overseas, you will obviously want your money to follow and be accessible to you in your foreign country. In order to do this, you will have to transfer your money into a bank account from a bank that is local to your new home. Chances are your new country will have a completely different form of currency than the home that you just left, so you will have to convert your finances accordingly. It can be a lot more difficult than you think, but it definitely is not impossible.
The first thing you will want to do is set up a new bank account in the country that you are planning on moving to. Countries have different laws regarding their banks, so you will want to research all that you can before settling on a bank. If it is at all possible, try to use a bank that has branches in several different countries, especially the one you are moving from. They should be experienced in transferring from one currency to the next, and if you are already banking with them, you may avoid fees and other hassles that come with opening an account. Make sure that you are up to date with currency exchange rates, so you will not be converting at a bad time and losing out on money. Also, by choosing a bank with international locations, you know that you are choosing a bank that is stable. Remember that there is no FDIC overseas, and your money might not be as protected as you would like. Do as much research as you can before committing to any one bank.
Other Things to Consider
When you open your account, be aware that there are more documents that you will need to verify who you are than if you are opening an account in your home country. To go along with all of the standard forms of identification, you may also need a passport, financial references, and a verification that you plan on using your funds in a legal manner. Banks can sometimes be wary of a foreigner opening an account with them, because they never know the reason why. You should use the same amount of wariness on how a bank is going to invest the money you give them. You should also look into getting a foreign credit card. This way you might not have to convert all of your money, because you can use credit to pay for a lot of things. This is especially helpful if you plan on remaining an American citizen, or think that you will be returning one day. You will not have to transfer as much money from one currency to the next, and avoid a lot of hassle and fees.
That being said, consider keeping an account in your new home, and in your former country. This way you will have a security net just in case the bank that you are using overseas goes under. Also remember that you may still have to pay taxes back in the US. This will absolutely be true if you were drawing social security or still own land in the United States. If you have dual bank accounts, you will avoid having to exchange currency in order to pay your taxes. It is advisable to hire a tax accountant to help you with any taxes you might pay, and to help you set up and keep your dual accounts in different countries. Luckily with the internet, it should be easy to keep track of your funds from your account back home, while you are abroad.