Primary considerations when emigrating: A guide for high-net-worth individuals

By Sheldon Halcrow, Caleo Capital

Emigrating to a new country can be an exciting opportunity, but it can also be a daunting experience. Take the time to plan in advance and consult with specialist advisory teams skilled in cross border panning to ensure you have a smooth landing.

In this article, we present some of the primary considerations when preparing for the move and deciding on alternative destinations.

  1. Tax Implications: Different countries have varying tax systems, including income tax rates, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes. Seek professional advice to ensure you have a clear understanding of your tax obligations in both jurisdictions.
  2. Economic and Political Stability: Before making any decisions, thoroughly research the economic and political stability of your desired destination. Stability is essential for protecting your investments and ensuring a favorable business environment. Assess factors such as economic growth, political climate, legal frameworks, and property rights to make an informed choice.
  3. Lifestyle and Quality of Life: Consider the lifestyle and quality of life that your prospective destination offers. High net worth individuals often prioritize factors such as safety, healthcare facilities, educational opportunities, cultural activities, and recreational options. Assess whether the new location aligns with your personal and family needs.
  4. Residency and Citizenship Options: Evaluate the available residency and citizenship options. Some nations offer attractive investment-based immigration programs that provide residency or citizenship in exchange for specific investments, such as real estate, businesses, or government bonds. These programs can provide flexibility and long-term benefits.
  5. Asset Protection and Wealth Management: Ensure that your assets are protected, and your wealth management strategy is well-structured. Consult with experts in estate planning and global wealth advisory to ensure your financial interests are structured and protected during the emigration process.
  6. Business and Investment Opportunities: Assess the business and investment landscape in your chosen country. Evaluate the market potential, industry regulations, growth prospects, and investment climate. Consider engaging local advisors to gain insights into the local business environment and identify potential opportunities aligned with your expertise and interests.
  7. Education and Future Prospects for Children: If you have children or plan to start a family, evaluate the education system and future prospects for their development. Consider the quality of schools, universities, and educational programs that will be available to them. Ensure that your chosen country offers a nurturing environment for your children’s educational needs and future opportunities.
  8. Cultural Adaptation and Language: Emigrating involves adapting to a new culture and possibly learning a new language. Consider the cultural nuances, language barriers, and social integration aspects of your prospective destination. Assess your comfort level with adjusting to a different way of life and the potential impact it may have on your personal and professional interactions.
  9. Health and Medical Facilities: Evaluate the healthcare system and medical facilities. High-quality healthcare services and access to specialized treatments are vital considerations. Research the availability of private healthcare options, medical infrastructure, and health insurance coverage to ensure you and your family’s well-being.
  10. Networking and Community: Building a strong network and finding a supportive community can greatly enhance your emigration experience. Seek opportunities to connect with fellow high net worth individuals, professionals, and like-minded individuals in your new country. Engaging in local business networks, social organizations, and expat communities can help ease the transition and provide valuable connections.

We recommend that clients prepare for the move by engaging a cross border specialist and following a three-step process.

  • Needs analysis. Understand your key drivers and be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Select a destination which provides business and investment opportunities suited to your background, skillset, and preferences. This is in addition to offering the lifestyle you want for yourself and your family.
  • Global asset map. Consider preparing a schedule of your assets into a visual global asset map that shows asset allocation, holding structures, currency allocation and global geographic dispersion. This is a valuable visual tool that assists in the planning of departure as it serves to highlight areas of concern that would require attention and consideration in planning for the move. The global Map is then used to develop a roadmap for wealth migration to ensure cost and tax minimisation.
  • Sequencing document. Because your transition to the new country may need to happen in phases over an extended period, scheduling and synchronising each step is critical. A sequencing document, along with regular reviews, ensures that when you land, the bulk of the foundational work has already been done and you can look forward to a smooth landing.