It may be everybody’s dream to live in another country with enough cash saved up to retire, but the truth is that many people look to relocate well before they reach their twilight years. And that means they need an alternative to the idea of living on retirement funds.
With that in mind, regardless of when you choose to become an expat (and that means even retired expats should consider this an option), starting a small business can be a great way to fund your new life. There are, however, a number of things you’ll need to consider before taking the leap, so here are a few pointers on what you’ll need to have given some thought. Think of these as your starting points for further research, because it can be tricky depending on which country you interested in living in long-term.
Do you have the right business insurance?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small online venture or a retail outlet, you’ll need to look at the different types of business insurance out there. Sites like MoneySupermarket offer a guide to this kind of coverage as well as links to some great deals, so make a point of checking out what they have to say. There is a lot of business insurance ideas to take in, so also consider consulting with other local expats who own businesses and might have the lay of the land.
Is there a market for what you’re planning?
If you’ve had a great business idea or have experienced success in the United Kingdom, Europe, or the US…well, there’s no guaranteeing that same project will work in a different country. You should think very carefully about the culture of the place you are moving to, as you may find it doesn’t quite fit with the locals in the way you would like.
How well do you know the country you’re moving to?
It’s very easy to come home from a holiday with a rose-tinted view of a place and start making plans to make it your new home, but you should thoroughly research everything about the place before you commit to a move. Annual weather patterns, seasonal popularity, local transport, relations with neighbouring countries and import and export rules could all have a significant impact on your business. Then think about cultural research — read up on local authors and see how the country’s cultural dynamics fit in with your needs.
Have you done your calculations properly?
It may seem obvious, but many people fall foul of international differences in taxes and even more simple things like the cost of living. You may have put together a very intricate business plan that works for the Western market, but this will need to be severely rethought should you want to set up overseas.
When your thoughts turn to setting up a new life abroad, it’s easy to get carried away. But by making sure you do your homework in advance, you’ll be making sure that dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Many Westerners before you have realized their dream to start a small business somewhere in Asia, so know that it can be done. Now comes the research to make sure you have the maximum chance for success.