Moving Overseas – Bank Accounts Abroad

Well it looks like we are returning home from over overseas adventure. We are moving to New Zealand probably at the end of the year. I thought I would take the opportunity to update this blog with some of the issues that we have to deal with to put our lives on the move again. Bank accounts –  they can be a bit of an issue to acquire in the first place. New to the country you don’t have a credit record, we found we could set up a bank account from overseas. We used the Commonwealth Bank who allowed us to open an account from abroad. Getting the credit card was more difficult – now  I probably wouldn’t bother – debit cards are now easily available and can be used over the phone and  on the Internet – which is just why I wanted the credit card anyway.

Bank accounts are an issue if you don’t have them – my top tip is that when you leave a country don’t be in too much of a hurry to cancel credit cards and bank accounts.  If there is even the slightest chance of return if just for a holiday – leave at least one account and one credit card open. You may need to find a local address but mail forwarding services have other uses as well.

Why keep accounts in an overseas country? Well it makes it easy to sort out final bills and get refunds from utilities and rental bonds and similar.  Also it means if you do return for a visit or longer you have easy and cheap access to the local currency. And of course it gives  you the charge to play your own forex game especially if you have any residue income from the country.

One of the issues that we have is that we have worked in Australia so will have Superannuation which we have to leave behind – at least for a few years before New Zealand changes the rules. Thats annoying but at least we might get to use if for  a couple of holidays – another good reason to leave accounts behind.

With today’s electronic non-paper banking then the only statements we will have to deal with are those from the credit card company – not sure why they insist on sending us a piece of paper every month but they appear determined to!

So think about your ongoing banking needs every time you move overseas – or am the only serial gypsy with the issue?

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