Relocating Abroad As A High-Net-Worth Individual: Core Considerations For The Mega-Rich

As a high or ultra-high-net-worth individual, you’ll doubtless spend plenty of time travelling the world and seeing the sights.

Still, home is home, and it’s where even the wealthiest among us spend our time, keep our pets, have our favourite items and make great memories with the people we know and love.

Everyone has a domicile address for tax purposes and a primary physical residence, and while for most people, it’s the same place, some ultra-high-net-worth individuals have separate ones.

Whatever your set-up, if you’re looking to physically relocate to a new country and make it your primary residence, whether you move domicile or not, there are a lot of factors to consider.

It can seem fun to pick out somewhere you’ve always wanted to live, like the city you love taking holidays to or somewhere sunny. Living in these countries is very different from just visiting, especially when you’re dealing with large land deals and have to shift your entire life to a new place.

These are the core issues the mega-rich face when relocating, so you can make the perfect choice and find your dream international home.

The Tax Situation

As a wealthy individual, even one with a different domicile for tax purposes, you’ll know that the tax position and how much you’ll have to pay will affect your overall wealth, particularly during times of fluctuation. These include when you’re buying or selling a property, getting married, or even when you or a relative dies. In some cases, being physically in a country can determine what you pay, even if you’re not domiciled there. So, you need to understand every aspect of the tax situation in the country you’re considering moving to. To help, there are many consultancy firms that specialise in tax and financial advice in certain countries. If you’re thinking of moving to France, for example, then a company like Kentingtons can provide expert advice about inheritance tax in France. You’ll then feel secure that you know what you’re getting into before you make your move.

Banking Institutions And Regulations

Alongside tax rules, you also need to figure out what banking institutions operate in the region and if there are any money transfer regulations to bear in mind. These rules could affect your ability to access your money, particularly if you’re a non-domicile or use multiple international banking firms. If you need to move your money before you relocate, this could take time and cause issues with your existing investment portfolio, so it’s crucial that you speak to a professional about the implications of your move. Talk to your broker or personal banker, who can provide you with tailored advice that ensures you choose the right country and make the right choices when moving your money internationally.

The Housing Market

Buying a property, particularly one valued at over $1 million, is always an investment, both in your future happiness and financially. While you will live in the property, and get good use from it, you also need to consider its resale value, and how much it will appreciate over time. Some international housing markets are more volatile than others, meaning that you’re taking more of a risk of losing money when you purchase property in these areas. Other countries are more stable when it comes to property prices, so you might want to consider your options before you purchase a new home. If you’re in doubt, or are still unsure about moving to a new country, you could consider renting a property in the shorter term. You’ll then be able to work out if you’ve picked the right area and make the correct decision before you invest in land yourself and take a more permanent step.

Restrictions For Foreign Nationals

As a foreign national moving to a new country, you might face some restrictions, even if you get a permanent visa or resident status. For example, in some countries, including the Maldives and Thailand and Australia, have rules in place regarding international citizens buying property. Throughout Asia, it can be difficult for foreigners or anyone not born in a particular country to fully purchase a home and own it outright. While you can circumnavigate these rules by using local companies and service providers, this can cause issues, particularly for the ultra-rich who are looking to invest in a home and build additional wealth. So, before you make big moves, you need to make sure that you understand all the rules involving home ownership in the country you want to move into. Talking with your lawyer or banker can help, so book plenty of appointments before you start shopping for the perfect new home.

How Your Family, Friends And Staff Will Be Affected

Everyone has someone they love whose lives will be affected by their move, but for the wealthy, it might be multiple individuals. For example, if you have an extensive household staff, you need to consider if they can move with you, or if you will be hiring new employees when you relocate. You also need to consider private schooling for any children you’re bringing, and whether they can board or if it’s best to move them to a new education provider. Then there are your pets. They might just be animals to some, but to their owners, pets are like family, so you need to understand the laws about moving with them and living alongside them in a new country. Every country has different animal legislation, including unique rules on keeping pets, so make sure you check before you make your final choice.

A Brief Conclusion

Moving your main domiciliary address and living permanently in another country requires plenty of forethought and planning at the best of times. Even those who don’t want to change domicile, and only residency, there’s a lot to think about. For high-net-worth individuals, whose wealth and assets total millions or more, it’s a major decision that requires even more preparation. These tips will allow you to quickly identify the best countries for you and ensure that you make the best decision for you and your loved ones. Moving abroad can make a lasting positive difference to your life, but you need to make an informed decision. Best of luck finding a new country to call home!