Before planning to live or work abroad, it's advisable to investigate the local taxes, particularly income tax, social security and other taxes incurred by residents. If you plan to buy a home abroad, you may also need to take into account property taxes (rates), capital gains tax, wealth tax and inheritance tax. For many people, moving abroad is an opportunity to reduce their overall taxes, particularly when moving from a high to a low?tax country, when the timing of a move can be decisive. Some countries encourage foreigners (e.g. retirees) to take up residence by offering tax incentives and many countries provide tax incentives for foreigners employed for a limited period by a foreign company.
An important aspect of living abroad is insurance, including health, travel, home contents and third party liability insurance. In many countries, the government and local law provide for various obligatory state and employer insurance schemes. These may include sickness and maternity; accidents at work and occupational diseases; invalidity, old-age and survivor's pensions; unemployment insurance; and family allowances. It's unnecessary to spend half your income insuring yourself against every eventuality from the common cold to being sued for your last penny, but it's important to insure against an event that could precipitate a major financial disaster, such as a serious accident or your house falling down.
Social security benefits in many countries may be non-existent or less than you're used to, and in most countries you would be unwise to rely solely on state benefits to meet your needs.
Further information is available in our Living and Working series of books.