It’s Expensive to Move Abroad but You Can Seriously Cut Costs

The increasing mobility of people in the global workforce has spurred the growth of many peripheral industries. These include immigration experts, migration services companies, freight and shipping, consulting and money transfer options, among others. Many people are interested in relocating to foreign countries, to take lucrative positions, broaden their horizons, or simply to enjoy a better quality of life. Whatever your rationale for moving abroad, there are many important costs to consider.

Contrary to popular opinion, the biggest expenses are not the costs of the airplane ticket though those can be quite costly nowadays – it’s everything else that must be considered. For example, the immigration fees alone can be costly for a big family seeking to relocate abroad. That says nothing of the stress involved in the process. This includes legal fees, immigration fees, biometrics fees, work authorization, payment for official travel documents, and more.

Factors to Consider when Relocating Overseas

Many of us don’t think that the costs of relocating abroad are substantial, but they are. Besides for your airfare, there are import taxes to consider, packaging materials for your personal belongings, the costs of the moving company, shipping costs for your personal items, and the education costs abroad. An international move can cost many thousands of dollars – substantially more than it would cost to relocate from one part of a country to another.

The daily living expenses are perhaps the biggest sticker shock that immigrants face in a new country. Travel, communication, groceries, education, rentals, mortgages, car insurance, health insurance and other factors are often neglected when moving abroad – but they can certainly break the bank.

These elements contribute to what is known as lifestyle living expenses. Then of course, your lifestyle will be impacted directly by taxation. People who are dual citizens may be subject to double taxation, and this is certainly a big cost factor that you will want to take into consideration. Sometimes, people will move from a country with a strong currency like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, or the United Kingdom to an affordable country like Thailand, Vietnam or Laos. But if it’s the other way around, you must be prepared for the ill effects of currency exchange rates. When the bills start adding up, you may be required to transfer money from your home country to supplement your income abroad. Remember that transferring money globally can be expensive so you want to be sure that you’re getting the best possible exchange rate at all times. Most people think that banks are the only viable option, while they really are the most expensive option available to you.

Healthcare and Education Fees Are Big Ticket Items to Consider

Healthcare is one of the most important concerns for a family. From cradle to grave, healthcare is essential. Unfortunately, not all countries are created equal where healthcare is involved. Countries like the United Kingdom, Israel, Sweden and others offer heavily subsidized government health care programs. The costs of healthcare are dramatically lower in these countries.

Unfortunately, in countries like the United States healthcare is extremely expensive. This is a cost item that needs to be carefully considered as part of a broader personal immigration budget. As new immigrants in the United States for example, each member of the family will be required to undergo a full medical test at their own expense. These tests are expensive, and are not subsidized by the government. Be advised that any existing health care benefits you have in your home country will likely not be applicable in a foreign country, unless you’re remaining in the European Union. For most families, healthcare is nonnegotiable. Therefore, accommodation must be made for it in your relocation budget.

For people intent on moving abroad, an education may be the only way to break into the workforce. This takes on many forms such as a reeducation, retraining, advanced degrees and even children’s education. The costs of education vary greatly from one country to another, and they are one of the most important relocation-related costs to consider when moving abroad. In the United States, tertiary education can become extremely expensive depending on where you attend college.  It is common for college graduates to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt by the time they enter the workforce. Young families need to be especially mindful of these education costs when relocating abroad.

Supplemental Income Ideas for Nine-to-Fivers

Maybe your 9-5 gig is getting dreary. Maybe you love your job but could use some extra income here and there. Whatever your reason is, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of your skill set and make some extra cash on the side. With our world growing more and more connected as time goes on and alternative options become readily available, there’s never been a better time to tap into that reservoir of options to get your finances in order and grab a hold of a better income.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at self-employment income tips for nine-to-fivers.

Uber

Do you have a car? Do you have insurance on that car? Well, then chances are pretty good that you can become an Uber driver. Even if you don’t have a car, Uber has flexible options to help you finance a new vehicle for use in driving for the company. This is a great way to bring in extra income, too, when you consider the fact that with Uber you’re your own boss, and you can set the hours that you work.

On top of that, you’ll probably have plenty of good conversation with the customers that you drive. An added bonus is finding those customers who want to go to a place a couple towns over. This way you’ll be pumping up your income even further than what is usual.

Write

Do you want to activate your inner Hemingway? Got a million article or blog ideas bumping around in your head? Whatever your reason is, there are plenty of opportunities for you to write on the side. You can reach out to your local newspaper with a story idea, maybe cover a local event that’s going to be going on soon. What’s more likely, though, is that you’ll find a gig online.

There are plenty of sites that offer you the opportunity to write for clients that bring article ideas to the site. This way you don’t even have to worry about coming up with an article idea. You can simply follow the instructions that are provided and get to writing.

Consult

If you’re a highly educated professional who wants to augment their income, one of the best ways to do this is through consulting. There will never be a shortage of individuals looking for help in their business operations. There are even sites that will connect you to professionals who are in need of professional consulting help.

It’s all a way of boosting your income, rejoining the talent pool, and meeting interesting people while still having a job. This would also be perfect for moms who want to spend time with their baby yet still need to make an income on the side.

Use Your Car

We already covered being an Uber driver, but this option we’re about to cover is very different. Many people need a car, but they aren’t willing to pay to lease one, so they’ll only need a car temporarily. This is where the concept of renting your car comes in.

Instead of letting your car sit there unused, you can always rent it to someone who will pay to use your car. You can have them pay by the hour, the day, the week, or the month. Whatever works for you will do the job just fine.

Maybe your 9-5 gig is getting a little tiresome. Maybe you love your job but could use some extra income here and there. Whatever your reason is, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of your skill set and make some extra cash on the side. With our world growing more and more connected as time goes on and alternative options become readily available, there’s never been a better time to tap into that reservoir of options to get your finances in order and grab a hold of a better income.

3 Reasons To Take Bitcoin Seriously

A lot of people are still inclined to dismiss Bitcoin as a fad or a non-factor in financial circles. Truth be told, those people will probably get by just fine. We’re still very far from a world where Bitcoin is a necessity in day-to-day transactions, and as a potential asset for investment it’s still just one of many options. In other words, there is no need to buy up Bitcoin, despite what some of the cryptocurrency’s most ardent proponents would have you believe.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to get involved. Bitcoin has proven to have some staying power all over the world, and has the potential to be a lucrative resource. Here are three reasons to take it seriously in the coming years.

1. The Price Is Soaring

Back of November of 2013, Bitcoin reached an incredible peak in value, just under $1000. It was viewed by digital currency enthusiasts as a major validation of what they’d been arguing all along—that Bitcoin was valuable and that it would endure. But it crashed so quickly that just a month later an article in the Los Angeles Times asked Bitcoin supporters if they felt silly for buying in. In a matter of weeks it crashed from $979 to $638. By April of 2014 it was $421, and by early 2015 it was barely hovering above $200.

All that is to say that Bitcoin has spiked before. But the 2013 peak came out of nowhere and was quickly corrected. By contrast, Bitcoin has been rising steadily since that low point in 2015. Though it’s dropped off a bit in January, it started the year at an all-time high of $985. That doesn’t mean it will stay there, and it does mean, naturally, that buying up Bitcoin has become expensive. But the fact that it’s now trading at such soaring values, and that it returned to its 2013 peak, means it’s worth keeping an eye on.

2. It’s Not Like Other Alt-Currencies

We tend to view Bitcoin and subsequently developed cryptocurrencies like a unique phenomenon—some sort of technological revolt against traditional currency. The truth is that the idea of alternative currencies goes back hundreds of years. People have always come up with different ways of paying for goods and services and exchanging wealth. However, looking at the history of alternative currencies they’ve almost always fizzled out without causing any sort of major disruption.

This wouldn’t seem to bode well for Bitcoin. One thing to note though is that it’s not necessarily being looked at as an alternative currency by the bulk of users. Instead, many are beginning to treat Bitcoin like a commodity to be used for investing purposes. That could wind up giving it more staying power than some of its historical predecessors.

3. Practical Usage Is Up

Even if Bitcoin’s staying power is seemingly being boosted by its status as a commodity, it still helps for it to have practical utility. While a handful of major online retailers are among the most significant merchants to have adopted Bitcoin use, small businesses are an emerging market for the cryptocurrency as well. We’re beginning to see independent stores and restaurants allowing Bitcoin payments, which should put the currency in higher demand.

None of this is to say that it’s absolutely necessary to buy up Bitcoin, but as we head into 2017, it’s time to reject the narrative that it’s a flash in the pan. Bitcoin is at least worthy of our attention.

The Ins and Outs of the SEC’s Tick Pilot Program

Getting into the weeds with day trading can be fun for some, excruciatingly boring for others. For me and the traders at Warrior Trading, it is fascinating. All the little rules and loopholes and math that affect how money moves around the globe every day. It is really pretty crazy when you think about it.

There are a whole bunch of SEC rules and regulations that affect how much profit a day trader can make and how quickly he or she can make it. Understanding these rules requires quite a bit of reading and studying. But the payoff is great. It will give you insight into how markets works and how you can make money from day trading in those markets.

Let me tell you about tick size, for one thing. Basically, before April 2001, all stocks on the U.S. exchanges were traded in fractions of either ⅛ or 1/16. What that meant was that stocks trading at ⅛ spreads had a 12.5-cent spread, while those at 1/16 had a 6.25-cent spread. Not very conducive to computer trading. On April 9, 2001, all stocks above $1.00 began to trade with 1-cent increments. Which means that stocks that used to have 8 price points or 16 price points now had 100 different price points. Decimalization was upon us.

Not everyone was happy about it. Lots of market watchers and traders complained that the move forced people away from small-cap stocks to large-cap stocks and long-term holds because the spreads on small-cap stocks got so small.

What does that mean for today? Well, the SEC has picked 1200 stocks to participate in a tick pilot program, where in October 2016, all those stocks began trading at a minimum of 5-cent ticks. The spreads got a little bigger and the theory is that investment banks might get back into the game of actively making markets on these stocks, which would improve liquidity.

The first responses to the program have noted that it has reduced volatility in the small-cap markets. Which can be good for large investment banks that want to get involved, but, maybe not so good for day traders that make money off big daily movers in the markets.

To understand more detail about the tick pilot program and the 5 cent tick pilot, go to http://warriortrading.com/5-cent-tick-size-pilot-program/. It has a long history decimalization, the reactions to it at the time and the run-up in this decade to the SEC studying a tick pilot program and implementing a solution.