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    Moving Abroad (Just) To Earn More Money?

    An option for many expats

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    Your goal is direct: work abroad and earn more money? You are not looking to relocate permanently, but rather to return home with a fair amount of money? Achieving this objective involves considering several aspects. Here is a list of essential steps to ensure your project runs smoothly.

    Define your true intentions

    Why do you want to earn more money? Although increasing your income can be a goal in itself, there is usually a specific purpose behind it. You are not aiming to hide your profits under your mattress. The money you earn abroad will likely go toward funding a project when you return to your home country. Are you planning to buy a home, pay off loans, start a business, invest in real estate, secure retirement funds, cover educational expenses for yourself or your children, or perhaps buy a home for your parents? Clearly defining the intended use of your financial gains is crucial. Even a short period abroad can feel like too much if you don’t have the right motivation. Identifying the ‘goal behind the goal’ will help you stay focused and reignite your motivation during difficult times.

    Be ready to spend your time and money

    The saying “time is money” is true in a foreign country, as expenses add up quickly. From researching the destination country to sorting out visas and immigration paperwork, money seems to flow in all directions. You are not only spending before you leave, but also afterward, covering costs such as accommodation, private health insurance, contributions to health insurance in the host country, food, transportation and various other expenses. Therefore, planning your budget well before your move is essential. Calculate your expenses in both your home and host countries, taking into account differences in the cost of living and the impact of inflation.

    Choose your country wisely

    We’ve all heard “work harder to earn more.” For you, it would be “work away to earn more.” While you don’t necessarily have to go to the ends of the earth to get a better salary, how do you choose your host country? Your variable is money. It is up to you to select all the countries that offer high income, according to your sector of activity. But this choice will have to be weighed against other crucial factors: the possibility of obtaining a residence permit (and the time it will take), affinities with the host country and possible restrictions (your health status, for example). Do not minimize these aspects. Even if you are very motivated, the days can be very long if you choose a country that can offer you a good salary but where you do not feel comfortable.

    Set a deadline

    To streamline your preparations, set both a financial goal and a deadline. You’re moving abroad with the specific goal of increasing your income, but that’s not the end of the story. Your visa selection and overall organization depend on these two factors. How much money do you need to earn to meet all or part of your underlying goal? And how long do you anticipate it will take to achieve this goal? In your calculations, remember to take into account the expenses incurred during the expatriation process and living abroad. Estimate the time required and the salary necessary to save the desired amount.

    Choose your visa/residence permit

    Before finding a job through which you can earn more money as an expat, it is crucial to select the right visa. Consider the expenses associated with the visa application: visa fees, minimum income criteria, and health insurance (especially for digital nomads). In both scenarios, these expenses must be weighed against the cost of living in the destination country. Opting for a country with a lower cost of living than yours increases your purchasing power. The same principle applies to a country with a weaker currency. However, keep in mind planning for your eventual return home.

    Work visa

    This visa serves as the gold standard for increasing your income abroad. Although it can be difficult to secure, it offers greater flexibility. With this visa, you have the freedom to work indefinitely in your preferred industry and reap rewards such as bonuses and additional benefits. Many countries experiencing significant labor shortages are actively seeking foreign talent. Industries such as healthcare, transportation, information and communication technologies (ICT), emerging technologies (AI, advanced robotics, etc.), construction, automotive, agriculture and food processing are particularly in demand .

    Digital nomad visa

    Are you self-employed or do you work for a company that allows remote work? A growing number of countries are adopting the digital nomad lifestyle. These include popular expat destinations that actively recruit foreign talent, such as the United Arab Emirates, Norway and Spain. However, the income requirement varies depending on the country you choose. For example, in Spain, you will need to prove an income equivalent to twice the local salary, which translates to at least 2,500 euros per month (approximately $2,700). Other countries such as Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Ecuador and Cape Verde have lower monthly income requirements, ranging from $870 to $1,300.

    Startup visa

    Are you considering a company? Countries that actively seek foreign talent are particularly interested in entrepreneurs. Canada, France, Japan, Finland, Estonia and Germany have established their own programs tailored for entrepreneurs. However, it’s important to carefully review the eligibility criteria and make sure they align with your goals. Keep in mind that countries that offer favorable conditions for startups often aim to retain them in the country. Consider investing in a project that can be easily relocated, such as digital, to ease the transition of your business when you return home.

    Evaluate your skills when choosing a job abroad

    Are you currently employed or seeking employment abroad? Are you considering exploring a new career path during your stay in a foreign country? What level of education do you have and is your profession in demand in your chosen destination? Are you working in a field facing labor shortages? How does your current salary compare to salary levels in the country you are considering moving to? After deducting your estimated expenses from your projected salary abroad, how much would you have left to live on? How much could you potentially save each month? Do you plan to keep these savings in your foreign account or do you intend to invest them elsewhere (such as life insurance)?

    Not surprisingly, high-tech sectors and prestigious positions tend to offer higher salaries. However, it is impractical to undergo training in the tech industry just for a short-term international relocation of 1 or 2 years, especially considering that the time frame for training is unlikely to coincide with your departure deadlines.

    Keep your expectations realistic

    Are you aiming to save $100,000 in a year while living abroad? That equates to approximately $8,330 per month. It doesn’t take much calculation to realize that this goal may be unattainable, even in a managerial position. The era of golden packages (from expats) is over. Moving to a high-wage country often comes with a high cost of living. Your short-term stay abroad could be extended to 2 or 4 years, depending on your plans and the provisions of your residence permit. So be sure to update your project regularly to adapt in case of an early return to your home country (such as non-renewal of your residence permit).

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel https://youtube.com/@resonanceCR
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