Planning a move back to the UK can be just as tricky and time-consuming as planning to leave!
Whether you’re moving back to the UK as intended after a lifetime working overseas or being forced back by fear of Brexit’s consequences, the first thing to realise is that the country of your birth has changed a lot since you left. New rules and regulation have been introduced, especially as regards financial matters, and you’ll need to have closed everything down in your expat location before you head back to Britain.
If you’re looking to buy a house in the UK, it’s best to get temporary accommodation rather than rushing in and buying the first one you see in order to have a home of your own again. If you’re waiting to sell your overseas property or have already done so but the money isn’t in your bank account yet, comfortable short-term accommodation is a must. Don’t try to coordinate your overseas property sale with the purchase of a new UK home – it’s just too complicated and can go very wrong very easily. As regards healthcare in the UK, you’ll need to have been resident for six months before you’re entitled to the free NHS service, and you should try to get your medical records sent back from overseas so that they can be entered into your NHS data. Translation to English is necessary as the NHS doesn’t accept medical records in foreign languages.
Taking advice before you move your pension from overseas to the UK is the best way to ensure your immediate access to your regular income stream, with the British taxman offering a scheme which transfers a QROPS back to an approved product without paying penalties or taxes. If you’ve managed against all the odds to hold onto your British bank account, transferring your currency from overseas may be a costly exercise as regards fees and currency conversion charges. Opening a multi-currency account means you can wait to convert overseas currencies to pounds sterling, but the effect of Brexit might mean you’ll need to wait a good while before getting a decent exchange rate!
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