THE Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been highlighting the perils and pitfalls of moving abroad.
They have stressed the importance of getting your financial affairs in shape, ensuring health provision for yourself and family is set up and raising awareness of making informed decisions when buying overseas.
One of the reasons the FCO is keen to see people prepare in advance is that they are helping many older people, especially in Spain, who are struggling with healthcare now that those who moved in the 1980s are getting older.
And whilst France enjoys a health service second to none the FCO warns that people need to be properly covered, and to take out private cover if needed to pay for a proportion of costs, otherwise they could face a steep bill.
As part of its work the FCO has published a collection of guides that you can download aimed at those travelling abroad, but there is also one offering advice on making a permanent move.
The guide provides some very useful information, especially on pensions and health, and points out the different forms and departments within the UK's social security system that you need to speak to when moving abroad.
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I hope I can give some very good advice on your subject above.
When we arrived in France we were 'on holiday' with long lunches and lots of sightseeing before reality and property renovation took over.
Then our son was taken seriously ill and he needed several months of treatment and aftercare.
That thankfully passed and with that great shock we took out extensive insurance for both our children but with a certain thought 'it cant happen to us' we ignored our own needs.
Yesterday Donna suffred a broken pelvis after being thrown from her horse and now we are liable for 25% of all medical care and 35 % or all pharmacy costs.
If I could turn back the clock I would but I can't.
I would just offer this advice -
Get insured and bear the cost.
We have opted for Aviva which is generous in the event of any claim with sometimes 300% of any treatment being paid.
We continue to learn lessons so it is our advice to make the right provisions
Posted by: Phil Voice | 13 November 2006 at 20:08