When should we move in together
18 Signs You’re Ready to Move In Together
Consider this your official checklist to see if you're ready to take the next step and cohabit.
By Meredith Turits
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television
Tired of putting on a hazmat suit every time you brave the corona commute to your significant other’s house? Well, one solution is to move in with them. Cooking, shopping, and cleaning for two is time-efficient and can save you money, but it can also put serious stress on a relationship—especially during a pandemic when spending time with other friends is harder than ever.
One thing’s certain: You do not want to end up in a situation where you go through all the effort, expense, and risk of finding a place together just to realize it was the wrong thing to do and have to move all over again, or worse, break up. To make sure your relationship is ready for this step, read through our checklist of all the conversations you should have and milestones to hit with your significant other before you reserve the U-Haul.
Copyright © ©Lifetime Television/Courtesy Everett Co / Everett Collection
You’ve agreed on a budget.
Who doesn’t love Zillow stalking, drooling over your dream home? But when it comes time to find new digs—especially with your partner—you have to burst the fantasy bubble. Before you start going to open houses, it’s important to have an honest conversation about your price range, and how much you’re willing to spend on rent (or a mortgage). It’s the only way to manage your partner’s expectations.
©Bravo TV/Courtesy Everett Collection
You’re not doing it just to save money.
Sure, moving in together knocks one rent out of the equation and condenses two sets of utility bills, but the end of your lease doesn’t automatically equal move-in time. Jessica Massa, author of The Gaggle: How the Guys You Know Will Help You Find the Love You Want, warns, “You have to say with 100% confidence that moving in together has nothing to do with your finances.”
Courtesy Everett Collection
You’ve already practiced cohabiting.
Are you spending four or five nights a week together (hopefully without too much midweek back-and-forth, to stay pandemic safe)? Good, says Amy Laurent, who wrote 8 Weeks to Everlasting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting (and Keeping!) the Guy You Want. “You should be getting a sense of what it’s like to be waking up to your partner every day before you move in together.” If you’re thinking about merging your living spaces but haven’t done a trial run yet, Laurent suggests giving it a go, especially if you’re used to spending only a night or two together now.
Fox / courtesy Everett Collection
Your schedules are compatible.
Playing loud music late at night when your romantic roommate needs to be up early in the morning is a relationship killer. And now that many people are working from home, there are so many more aspects of scheduling to think about. If you’re both on Zoom calls all day long, you need to be able to share the room with the good lighting. And loudly doing the laundry or cooking while the other person tries to meditate won’t work. If you are your partner have wildly divergent schedules, or lifestyles, try making a shared calendar. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. It’s your home too.
You regularly talk about your finances.
Money is one of the last great taboos. But when you’re living with someone and sharing the cost of living with them, it’s important to get into the habit of discussing your finances. Try casually working it into your dinner table conversation, or folding the money talk into your regular weightier discussions.
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You know how you’ll split rent.
Chances are you’re not making the exact same salary as your partner. So how does that impact how you’ll pay rent? While that’s important to figure out, as Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, the author of Breaking Money Silence told The Cut, it doesn’t need to be set in stone—especially considering income or job status changes. “Each couple needs to check in and see what feels right at various points in time,” she says. “A lot of people think that if you decide on a strategy, you have to commit to it for the rest of your relationship. Instead, think of it as, ‘Okay, new job, new situation, we’ve just come out of a tough patch. Let’s try out this arrangement for a few months and see what it feels like.’”
You have a plan for sharing expenses.
So you’ve got your rent situation down, but what about utilities? Maybe your partner takes much longer showers, or sleeps with the television on—racking up large water and electric bills. Or you have totally different tastes in food and what you’d like to stock the fridge with. Before this causes a fight, come up with a game plan for how you’ll divvy up expenses. When you first move in, you might agree to a 50-50 split with plans to check in in three months or to split things proportionally to your income.
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You’ve successfully taken a trip together.
Laurent says the intensive time of taking a vacation as a couple is like a mini living-together opportunity. Her test: Have you gone away for a week or two and spent 100% of the time together—and actually enjoyed it? “If you haven’t traveled together, you don’t necessarily know each other’s habits,” she says. Since taking a trip isn’t really in the cards right now, try spending a couple weeks at just one of your places, like a test-run of permanent cohabitation.
You can deal with each other’s mess.
Guess what? Living with a messy person won’t make a tidy person messier, and living with a tidy person won’t make a messy person tidier. You’ll just annoy each other. That is, unless you decide to make compromises and accept each other’s levels of organization and cleanliness. It’s an ongoing, and often annoying, conversation, but it has to happen. And it’s especially important during the pandemic to make sure you have at least compatible safety standards. Do all dirty masks go straight in the hamper, or are you leaving them on the couch? You need a plan.
Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection
You share the chores.
As part of the previously mentioned “mess conversation,” how are other housekeeping things getting done? Some people expect their partner to deal with checking and sorting the mail, unloading the dishwasher, doing all the laundry, checking the expiration dates on food. Some people like things done a specific way and get angry when their routines are changed. It doesn’t have to be a perfect 50-50 split on every task, but everyone should be pitching in and should feel their contributions are valued. That way everything gets done without anyone’s feelings being hurt.
You know the rules of social media.
Knowing what’s kosher to post online is part of any modern-day relationship, but it’s doubly important once you start living together. Some people may not want their home all over Instagram, whether for safety or privacy reasons. Other people like to tweet every funny thing their partner says, and when you live together, you hear it all. Be clear about your boundaries and respectful of the other person’s choices.
©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
You don’t have any financial secrets.
There’s a lot you might not know about your partner. Do they have student loans? Credit card debt? Bad spending habits? While these things might seem personal, when you’re living together and splitting costs, they can affect your financial standing as well—so it’s important to put them out in the open. “Put all your debt on the table—student loans, credit card debt, personal loans, auto loans, items in collections—everything needs to be discussed,” Pamela Capalad, founder of Brunch & Budget, told Insider. “If you’re getting an apartment together, you’re going to find out what each other’s credit scores are, so no need for unnecessary surprises.”
You’ve already survived a huge fight.
Remember the fight you thought was going to end your relationship? Turns out the fact that you and your partner successfully survived the Big Blowout of 2020 makes you more ready to share a place. Laurent says knowing how to recover from a huge disagreement is essential for a couple to take the next step: “You’re going to need those tools when you move in full-time.”
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You’re on the same page about pets.
Will your cat be allowed free rein to scratch up the furniture? Will your partner be rescuing dogs and letting them onto the bed? Who is in charge of picking up poop and paying for vet costs? If one of you is bringing a pet into a shared home, you need to know whose responsibility the animal will be, especially if you think you might get another while you’re together. And painful as it is to imagine, you should probably have a plan for who gets custody if you break up. Exes have been known to hold animals hostage when things turn nasty, and you don’t want your beloved parakeet subjected to that!
Odeon Films/courtesy Everett Collection
You don’t ignore your relationship problems.
The time you’re spending together already can be a good barometer for whether you’re ready to share space permanently. Massa says to look at the conflicts you and your partner have: Are the same issues coming up? If they are and no one is working on them, that’s a bad sign. “Once you get in the space, you’re on top of each other, and the problems just explode,” she says. “If you see that both of you are trying to make progress, that’s one thing, but if you’re living together, they’re only going to get a million times worse.”
You’ve discussed your future.
Laurent says the biggest mistake couples make before moving in together is not talking about what moving in together actually means. “Say, ‘Let’s sit down and discuss why we’re moving in together. What’'s the next step? Why are we now taking the time to move in together?’ That's when both people are communicating this is the next step,” she says.
Courtesy Everett Collection
You don’t feel like you’re rushing into it.
If you feel pressure to move in from anyone (your parents, your friends, your partner—even yourself), you may not be ready. “Anytime there’s a big, uncomfortable question mark, figure out how to take some time and make it work,” says Massa. She suggests finding an alternative, such as waiting a year or compromising by moving closer to each other. “If it’s even a question, just wait.” We’re all extra lonely right now, but you should take this step because it’s right, not because you’re scared about the pandemic.
You have an exit strategy.
Unfortunately, not all relationships stand the test of the time. But if you break up, that doesn’t mean your finances also have to take a hit. When you move in together, be up-front about what will happen if things don’t work out. Maybe one of you will stay in the house or apartment, or you’ll put money aside in case you need to break the lease. It’s not romantic, but it’s important.
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When Should We Move in Together?
Deciding to move in together is a big step, so with a checklist at hand, you can assess just how ready you are.
Every couple has its own milestones. One of the biggest is the decision to order that moving truck and co-create a shared living space.
Should you move in together? There’s a lot to factor in and no one-size-fits-all timeline. But there are several signs that might indicate that you’re ready.
This question is very individual to each couple, says Kim Egel, a marriage and family therapist in Cardiff, California.
“However, if you think of a new relationship as a life transition, then you can give the relationship at least 1 year to wait to make the leap to cohabitate,” she says.
How long do most couples date before living together?
“Same gender couples, on average, move in together within 6 months. For all other couples, it seems to be on average about 2 years,” says Dr. Brenda Wade, a psychologist in San Francisco, California.
Research from 2017 found that from 2011–2015, 70% of marriages among women under 36 years old started with at least 3 years of cohabitation before marriage.
Signs you’re both ready to move in together
It’s not a matter of when you should live together but why, says Wade.
“Sit down and ask yourselves why you want to live together,” she says. “The secret ingredient is being clear, which means don’t try to figure out things after you move in together. Figure it out before.”
You may be ready to move in together if you’re on the same wavelength about:
- alone time
- your future as a couple
- how to set up your living spaces
It can also help to be open about what it’s like to live with a certain mental health condition, so you both know how best to support each other.
Here are some guides to living with and dating people who have:
- bipolar disorder
- narcissistic traits
Love is a start, but it’s not everything. There’s a lot more that goes into a couple moving in together.
1. You’re used to each other
If you’re already spending most of your nights together, and have successfully weathered disagreements, meeting each other’s families, and relationship hardships, you might consider these solid steps toward cohabitating.
2. You’ve talked about finances
Will rent be split down the middle, or proportional to how much you earn? What expenses will be shared or separate? It’s a good idea to get on the same page about this before you sign on the dotted line.
3. You have a game plan for chores
The dishwasher isn’t going to unload itself, sadly. While you may have some idea of each other’s habits, consider discussing how you’ll divvy up cleaning and how much mess is OK with each of you.
4. You’re setting boundaries
Will phones be allowed in the bedroom? Is there a pet in your future?
You might take time to co-create a vision for your sacred space that makes sense for both of you, while setting healthy boundaries from the get-go.
5. You’ve learned to argue in a healthy way
If you can successfully overcome disagreements, communicate effectively, and listen to your partner, you’ll have a better chance of success in a shared space.
6. You can be yourself
“When you start dating someone, you may feel obligated to keep all of your typical, but occasionally humiliating behaviors… hidden from them,” says Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, a psychologist in Chicago, Illinois.
“It may be time to live together if you’ve grown so comfortable that you’re not holding in gas or pretending to be a more delicate eater than you are,” Lombardo adds.
7. You feel excited
It’s natural to have mixed emotions about a big milestone. But, ideally, you’ll feel more excited than nervous about this upcoming transition.
If you feel dread, anxiety, or pressure to move, pump the brakes until you can sort out your feelings.
It’s helpful to understand that anxiety and depression can affect decision-making.
Egel says that if you’re feeling unsure, you should have more intimate conversations around the future.
“Factor in important topics such as want for a family, finances, and emotional readiness,” she says. “These are topics that can help deepen a connection, or show where there is work and a conversation to be had.”
If you need support, a relationship coach or a couple’s therapist can help you navigate challenges and improve communication.
There’s no perfect how-to list on dating, moving in together, and marriage, so there’s no “right time” for everyone.
When to move in together is a decision you’ll have to make as a couple.
Before you make the big decision, it can help to take an honest inventory of your relationship, finances, and vision for the future. If you need more support or are feeling pressured, consider reaching out to a professional who can help.
How to comfortably move to a dream country - Migration on vc.ru
Such global changes in life as moving to another country, even a person who is well settled in life, returns to thoughts about basic needs. I also had such thoughts, especially when I was preparing for the second move, from Israel to Canada. This time I moved alone with three children, and all responsibility for their and my comfort was on me. Moving is a rather stressful situation, and therefore it is important to go through it comfortably.
Toronto, Canada Katya Morozova
In my previous country of residence, I had already reached a certain level of comfort and I did not want to lose it at all. Therefore, my strategy initially implied that I was not ready to live in incomprehensible apartments in dubious areas, even for the first time in a new country. Also, it was important for me that for the children a long flight and adaptation go smoothly and easily. Based on how I planned the move, I wrote a small instruction with recommendations on how to comfortably move to the dream country.
Some are considering whether to travel alone first, and then transport the family, if there is one, or move all together. My opinion - unequivocally all together. Moving is a rather serious change, and adaptation in a new country is a rather difficult period. There is absolutely no need to stretch it out for a longer period, and this is exactly what will happen if you move in parts. Plus, in the event of a family move, the support you give each other is incredibly valuable. And having children nearby will give you great motivation for development. So it was in my case.
If you are already a successful professional in your field, you probably have savings. Of course, you yourself decide what to send them to, but if you have a dream to move, then it would be foolish to invest in a mortgage. Well, you understand ... Although some do.
To make my move to Canada, I took out my pension savings. They were enough for the first three months of life in a new country, renting an apartment and for a flight, which I also tried to make comfortable, given that I was flying alone with three small children.
Traveling empty-handed is not an option if you have children. Spending savings on moving to another country is quite logical and justified if this is your dream. And, most importantly, it pays off both financially and in terms of getting a high standard of living, which was not there before the move.
There were no direct flights from my point of departure to Montreal, I had to fly on two flights with a change somewhere in Europe. When we flew to Canada for the very first time, three years before we moved, we missed our second flight in Brussels. Being completely unprepared for such a situation, we spent a day at the airport, sleeping on armchairs.
I didn't want this situation to happen again, so I planned my flight in advance so that there would be enough time between flights for a comfortable overnight stay in a hotel this time in Geneva. The children, who were 10, 7 and 4 at the time of the move, made such a flight without any problems.
The importance of a comfortable flight should not be overlooked, because it is with it that your impressions of moving and life in a new country begin. Do it with pleasure.
I had an experience of living in absolutely terrible places, which I also did not want to repeat. Therefore, I chose an apartment, not only based on the price, but above all, based on the parameters that are important to me: a beautiful and clean apartment with good energy, separate rooms for children, the presence of a park, school and shops nearby, relative proximity to the city center, good area. Of course, all this had to fit into the budget.
The search took me a couple of weeks, and I searched in advance, before moving, looking through photos of the apartments. I found the perfect place for me that meets all the parameters.
Be sure to write down what parameters your ideal home should meet. By clearly understanding what you need, you will find it faster. Do not put off the search for housing until later, thinking that when you arrive, it will be easier for you to find it - this is a myth. Search in advance.
What is the most important thing for you for a comfortable life? With the creation of these conditions, and begin. For me, for example, these were: my children are nearby, a good apartment (see the previous paragraph), beautiful and comfortable furniture, healthy vegan food, yoga in the morning, correspondence and WhatsApp conversations with friends. Having created all this, it was no longer so scary and difficult for me to organize life for myself and the children in a new place.
These preparations should be taken care of even before moving. Along with the “paper” part (documentation and medical insurance, opening a bank account, obtaining a local driver’s license), think about how you arrange the usual amenities for yourself, what creates a buzz in your life.
If children have already passed the stage of nursing infants, they must be prepared in advance. Talk to them about the move, talk about plans, about the future country, about the new language. Encourage them to move too. The more they know, the more they are privy to your plans, the easier it will be for them to adapt later. Let children feel like full-fledged creators of change, and not unwitting participants in events.
I constantly talked to the children about the upcoming move, told them about Canada, asked their opinion. As a result, now I see quite joyful children next to me, understanding and conscious.
If you have a dream to move to another country where the standard of living is better, and you decide to make it come true - this is a super cool step. Just don't rush on the way there. If you achieve your goal by breaking yourself, it will not bring you happiness. Don't forget to enjoy what's happening along the way. I am all for creating big changes in life for the better with ease and pleasure.
Everything you need to know about moving abroad
- What do you need to move to another country?
- How to start moving to another country?
- Want to move to another country but don't know where to start?
- Moving with family to another country
- Taxes when moving to another country
- How to choose a country to move?
- Documents for moving to another country
- Frequently asked questions when moving to another country:
At first glance, moving abroad seems to be something very difficult, long and difficult. It is necessary to collect a lot of documents, obtain a residence permit, somehow resolve the issue of housing, work, education of children, etc.
But if you have a clear plan for moving to another country, where each item has detailed instructions on what, when and how to do it, everything immediately becomes easier. And if you are just thinking about changing citizenship, let's think about where you can move from Russia or another country, which state to choose and why?
In addition, let's not forget about taxes, language barriers, strange local laws and other nuances.
What do you need to move to another country?
First of all, desire, because it is quite difficult to change the familiar environment, start a different social circle and learn a new language. Especially in adulthood. On the other hand, let's not hide the fact that most of those who want to move do it for the sake of big goals. For example, to take your business to the next level, get better medicine and education for your children.
So, the first thing to consider in this situation is the migration policy of the state you want to go to.
For example, many want to become citizens of Germany, England and France. But is it that simple? How much time, effort and money will have to be spent on obtaining a residence permit, and then on obtaining citizenship?
Moreover, many simply do not know that in the same Europe there are countries that offer to obtain a residence permit and citizenship for investment . Among such countries are Spain, Portugal, Montenegro, Greece, Malta and Cyprus.
In addition to the right to reside and move freely within the country, the "Golden Visa" of the above countries allows you to travel freely to more than 100 countries around the world, provides tax benefits for business, the opportunity to move to the United States and receive other benefits.
If you are satisfied with the resettlement rules, then before you start moving with your family to another country, you need to get to know it first. You can go there on vacation and at the same time take a closer look at the local infrastructure. It will be ideal if you can even decide on the city in order to assess how convenient it is in reality for life.
In addition, we advise you to visit the location for a possible move in different seasons. For example, to see if you like to celebrate the New Year without snow. Or whether it will be comfortable to endure a long hot summer, a rainy season, high humidity, etc.
If you are satisfied with the climate and the attitude of local residents towards visitors, then you should evaluate the prospects for work, study and business development. What social package are the authorities ready to provide to migrants? Will there be tax benefits, deferrals, assistance in adaptation?
It is best to clarify this information with those who have already taken the same step before you. That is, he has long decided to move to another country and lives here for at least a few years. You will be much more comfortable if such people live in the neighborhood. You can always turn to them for advice.
Of course, in advance you need to look at all the statistical calculations on the level of crime, medicine, the development of the urban environment and the general quality of life in this state.
After all, there are situations when everything seems to be fine, but some one aspect does not give rest. For example, Italy has a fairly high standard of living, a rich history with impressive architectural monuments, and there are social guarantees. But medicine is at a rather weak level.
Of course, the numbers cannot give a complete picture, but it is hardly worth moving if several analytical agencies are trumpeting bad ecology, low life expectancy and social support at once.
Before you move to live in another country, you need to study and understand its tax laws well. Alas, many migrants are faced with the fact that they paid much less deductions from their income to the treasury from their homeland. In addition, progressive taxation works in most developed countries.
Therefore, each family pays different amounts, which depend on the number of children, income, living space and other factors.
How to start moving to another country?
From an assessment of one's real possibilities. First of all, we are talking about finances. Do you have a "safety cushion" for at least 3-6 months, if at first you cannot work, because you are settling the last formalities with relocation.
Will it be easy for you to find a job or continue to develop your business in a new place? Yes, if you work remotely, then this greatly simplifies things, but will there be enough income from remote work in Russia for a comfortable life in Switzerland, for example?
Another important point is the language. When you have chosen which country to move to, look for language courses or native speakers. You will definitely have to learn a new language for yourself in order to live comfortably in a new place.
Analyze how easy it is for you to study it. Is the process a little too complicated? For example, Iceland is a small, friendly and prosperous country, where many people would certainly like to move. But Icelandic is recognized as one of the most difficult languages in the world to pronounce.
Some countries require migrants to take language exams, which makes this even more important.
The next step is to study local laws. When moving to another country, it is imperative to know how to obtain a residence permit. What financial guarantees should you present, because the authorities of many states are afraid of getting an additional burden on the budget.
Next, you need to take care of the issue of renting or buying a home. Here again it is worth recalling the possibility get a residence permit and citizenship by investment . This is very convenient, because when buying property in Portugal or Montenegro, you immediately solve two problems - provide your family with a roof over your head and get a residence permit under a simplified program.
In addition, after a few years you can sell your villa or cottage and get your investment back with a profit.
Want to move to another country but don't know where to start?
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Moving with your family to another country
It is clear that you are unlikely to forget your soul mate, children, and maybe even parents at home. At the same time, there is a whole bunch of questions that you don’t immediately think about, but which are of exceptional importance for you personally and for your family members.
It is very important that the move is understood and accepted by the family, and not just your individual requirement or whim. In practice, we have seen a lot of cases when a family, forced to move without much desire and understanding, soon rejected a new place of residence, no matter how wonderful it was. It came to big quarrels and even divorces.
The adaptation of spouses and children is the most important issue. They need to be given the opportunity to feel at ease as early as possible: to find a circle of friends, take up their favorite hobby and find new hobbies. In the most positive cases, we saw that families used the move as an opportunity to spend more time with each other: children no longer felt deprived of parental attention, and parents could devote their days to self-development and each other, rather than work.
To create a favorable family atmosphere, which in the first year or two of moving can be tense even from scratch, it is important to create the right living conditions. Let's start with the fact that somewhere you need to live. The selection of housing is an important issue that needs to be decided in advance. Buy or rent? Apartment or house? For what?
Please note that real estate is a long-term thing, therefore, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the issue, since no one likes to move often. The location of housing also directly affects a number of other issues, such as the time spent on transport, the quality of local schools or shops, and even the cost of health insurance.
At a distance or in "tourist" mode, it is very difficult to immediately find the right accommodation, so temporary rent may be the most reasonable in this situation. Despite the fact that this option scares off a sense of temporality and is always discouraged by realtors, it allows you to look closely and find more favorable areas, more suitable schools, and even determine the geography of your social circle, which affects the search for friends, including for your son. or daughter.
An equally important issue is the education of children. It is also worth thinking about in which kindergarten, school or institute to arrange children in advance. In some educational institutions, you need to enroll for several years, it can take the same amount of time just to understand the nuances of the local education system.
Remember that children's education is really worth changing the country of residence for, so the choice of your child's learning environment is paramount! It is extremely difficult to find a worthy replacement for the Russian school curriculum in the West, no matter how much they criticize it in recent years, not to mention elite Russian gymnasiums. However, this is possible if you really invest your time in search and analysis and dive deeper into the issue of education.
Another important aspect of life is leisure. On the one hand, organizing your free time seems easy, but many objective things - language, presence of a native diaspora, climate, traditions of the local population - will be out of your control, and therefore can create problems.
More than once, it was the lack of proper leisure that caused people to move or even get divorced. And in order not to once again double-check that tourism and emigration are different things, it is better to live in a new place for at least a few months and get comfortable before making fateful decisions.
Smoothly moving on to less interesting, but no less important legal topics, we note that residency and citizenship in a new country can radically change the rules of existence that are familiar to you. Many basic things you might not have suspected. A passport can mean military service and voting, while a residence permit can mean registration procedures, reporting on a child's education, compulsory insurance, and even special rules for sorting garbage.
On a separate note, residency in a new country will automatically mean applying local family and inheritance laws, which can easily negate the value of your trusts, private foundations, marriage contracts, wills, and other family planning and inheritance instruments.
At the same time, unlike in Russia, many issues in foreign law will be decided not so much in form as in essence. And to close these issues in their favor outside the legal field, to put it mildly, is difficult.
The most striking example is the UK. Here you will be blown away by the news that a local English court can easily annul a ten-year-old decision of any foreign court on divorce and division of property, and make its decision not according to the law, but “in good conscience”. It is not at all necessary to prepare for the worst when moving, but whoever is warned is armed.
Taxes when moving to another country
Let's talk about taxes - according to Americans, an eternal topic, along with death. Countries can be classified according to the level of taxation as preferential, adequate, and aggressive.
For example, the tax system in Cyprus and Malta is as simple as possible and tempting for wealthy foreigners, the tax rules in Portugal are already a little more complicated and there are some pitfalls hidden in them that are invisible to the naked eye.
Italy has recently struck a chord with a very tempting, simple and relatively inexpensive tax program, but it sometimes limps on "excesses on the ground" and raises concerns about its stability. Switzerland and the UK are widely known for their special tax regimes for wealthy families, but you need to meddle in these countries only after understanding the intricate structure of these systems - behind the external simplicity there are a lot of complex nuances.
First of all, the change of residence rests on a potential conflict between two national (domestic) systems of law, each of which determines in its own way who is its taxpayer.
In Russia, for example, this rule is 183 days for 12 consecutive months (until the discussed, more complex, rules of the center of vital interests are introduced).
In Cyprus, residence is determined by the rule of 183 or 60 days, in Malta - 30 or 90 days.
In Switzerland, you can become a resident in 30 or 90 days, and in England, if you have links, you can become a taxpayer in 90 days or even a shorter period. But a simple mathematical calculation of days to determine tax residency does not work everywhere either.
In the vast majority of countries, the tax authorities are guided by the so-called "warm pillow" factor, the presence of real estate, a spouse, a school for children, the availability of sources of income, and other factors that create a home or economic anchor. We know of cases where tax authorities have assessed driver's licenses, bank cards, phone cards and mobile expenses, insurance policies, medical expenses, newspaper subscriptions, and attendance at celebrations, guests and parties to determine residency.
With this approach, your passport (or passports) will not matter for taxes, unless, of course, you are a citizen of the United States, China or Kazakhstan, which automatically means tax liability in these countries, wherever you live.
A number of countries support the unusual concept of a partial tax year, so that a person can easily be, for example, a tax resident from January 7 to September 15, and not just for the entire calendar year ...
Recently, due to the close attention of states , the banking system and journalists, the possibilities for artificial planning of tax residency tend to zero, so you need to move honestly, that is, permanently and with the whole family. Otherwise, unpleasant surprises await you - for example, in the form of a residence challenge or the application of Russian rules for controlled companies (CFCs).
We should not forget about the control of financial institutions, which in recent years have actually been entrusted with police functions within the framework of anti-money laundering legislation and automatic exchange rules. Now banks and trusts must know and verify where you actually live, and you must notify them immediately if you change your country of residence and tax residency.
We have seen many cases where bank clients pretended to be residents of, for example, Cyprus, Monaco or the UAE, while the bank tracked the clients' flights, calls and expenses, questioned the declared residency and sent tax information on accounts to Russia. At the same time, they threatened to block accounts and transfer cases to the prosecutor's office on suspicion of laundering and tax evasion.
It is necessary to plan not only the change of taxpayer status, but also, in fact, the tax regime itself. The good news here is that the tax burden in a new country can be significantly reduced.
With proper preparation, in Malta personal taxation can be reduced to zero, in Cyprus - up to 2.5% tax on some passive income (interest, rental income) and 12.5% tax on active income (trade, services), in Italy and Switzerland will have a flat tax of 100,000 euros respectively, or from approximately 300,000 Swiss francs.
Portugal can reduce the tax rate up to 20%. In the UK, you usually don’t have to pay anything right away, but after years there is a “trap” with taxation of up to 45%. All of these schemes are legal, since, in fact, they were created by countries to attract wealthy foreigners.
To finish the topic of taxes, it is worth recalling that in many countries there are taxes and rules that people of Russian hardening never dreamed of. These are high progressive income tax rates, wealth taxes, inheritance and gift taxes, taxes on various hidden and imputed incomes, attempts to tax corporate structures through you and your management, sophisticated CFC rules, and other delights.
It is worth considering that the history of the Russian tax system dates back only a couple of decades (and in fact, serious tax rules appeared in it only 4 years ago), while in other countries 40-50 years ago the dog was eaten on those tax schemes that in Russia today seem smart and progressive.
Often these tax complexities can be elegantly circumvented by thinking about them in advance, but sometimes you just have to put up with them. We observed the worst clinical tax cases among migrants who remembered taxes 5-6 years after the move, and among those who honestly consulted with tax charlatans, of whom, unfortunately, there are many and whose appearance and speech “can not be distinguished from the real ones” professionals.
Migronis experts will tell you in detail about the tax regimes of the most popular countries for moving, how to become a tax resident and compare the level of taxation in different states.
How to choose a country to move to?
Many of our compatriots are concerned about the question: “Which country is better to move from Russia to?” Well, let's think about what criteria this country should meet in order for the Russians to be as comfortable as possible in it.
Let's start with the fact that many people want to leave the Russian Federation because of the harsh climate. This means that we need to consider such locations where it is warm almost all year round, there are no Siberian frosts and autumn-spring thaws.
According to such criteria, we can safely add Madagascar and the islands of Oceania to the list, but it is hardly worth doing this. Our culture and traditions are too different. We need something closer to our mentality. Another important criterion is how easy it is to fly back to Russia.
If you combine all these requests together, then the list of the best countries for moving from Russia should be headed by Montenegro. Or at least be among its leaders.
This is the smallest Slavic republic in the Balkans, which will surely delight you with the mild and pleasant climate of the Adriatic, with its picturesque bays and affordable housing prices.
In Montenegro, you can get citizenship by investment , which is very beneficial, because it opens visa-free access to more than 124 countries, and also makes it possible to apply for an E-2 visa to the United States. There are no language requirements.
To become a citizen of the Balkan state, you need to make a donation contribution in the region of 100,000 euros and become the owner of real estate in the north or south of the country. All family members can move with you. They will receive a Montenegrin passport within 6 months.
Russians will surely like Greece and Cyprus. Here you can also get a residence permit for investment, and the countries themselves are united with Russia by a common religion, which has become an integral part of our culture.
Another important point when choosing a place for immigration is how much it costs to move to another country. And here the options proposed above look even more attractive, because they are much more expensive to live in Western Europe or Scandinavia.
Other popular destinations for Russians are Bulgaria, Malta, the UK, and the Caribbean. And this is not surprising, because even in St. Kitts and Nevis or Antigua and Barbuda there is a modern airport, as well as a seaport to quickly get to the island or leave it.
These countries also offer citizenship for investment in real estate. And they have equally strong passports, which provide visa-free access to almost one and a half hundred countries of the world and help them settle in the United States.
Let's not forget about the tropical paradise with palm trees and the cleanest beaches with clear turquoise water.
Documents for moving to another country
In addition to the hassle of settling in a new place, you still need to collect a package of papers to move. It may vary slightly in different countries, but the basic set looks like this:
- Visa (permanent or temporary)
- Document from your employer or proof of your income
- Certificate confirming knowledge of the language
- Questionnaire (to be completed at the embassy)
You may also need health insurance. However, some countries only need to receive financial guarantees and foreign passports from you, visas and language exams are not required at all.
In addition, if you move to Portugal, for example, you can apply for a Golden Visa , which will make you a real citizen of the world. The Portuguese passport is one of the most powerful in the world because it provides true freedom of movement.
You will be able to travel freely to 186 countries, including the US and Canada.
Savings means everything that has been accumulated by overwork throughout life and that is of a personal (non-commercial) nature - money, real estate, vehicles, art, passive investments (stocks, bonds, etc.).
With intangible assets (everything that cannot be touched and that is placed on virtual accounts), everything is quite simple: transferred abroad and forgotten. As a non-resident of the Russian Federation, you are outside the scope of Russian currency control, and your freedom of action will be limited only by your imagination. At the same time, do not forget that opening a bank account can take more than one month and more than one kilogram of nerves . ..
What to do with real estate is up to you - for example, leaving a big house in your homeland means increasing the risk of Russian tax residency according to the rules of the center of vital interests, which are planned for implementation in the foreseeable future.
The presence of real estate in other countries is usually not fraught with anything - except that you need to check the existence of tax conventions between the countries where such real estate is located and the country of your residence (without the specified convention protection, you can run into high taxes, for example, in Germany or Austria - just because that you rent a one-room closet there).
As for the rest of the movable property (transport, jewelry, personal belongings, etc.), when moving it, various issues may also arise. This includes the organization of transportation, insurance, customs clearance with the potential application of exemptions for the one-time movement of personal belongings, VAT payment, special rules for certain categories of things (quarantine for pets, checking art objects for historical value, and much more).
And finally, tax nuances apply to all of the above. Even if you don't earn a significant income from personal savings. Firstly, you own them (fortunately, there is no wealth tax in Cyprus, Malta and Portugal), and secondly, sooner or later you can start selling them. And this often entails taxes on capital gains (not relevant for Cyprus and Malta with proper planning, but may be taxed in Portugal and the UK).
If you are actively involved in business, you will almost certainly not be able to continue doing so from another country the old fashioned way. The main reason for this is the physical distance from people, assets and processes. In other words, you can't see who is slipping and you can't hear what they're whispering about...
The simplest solution to the problem is to sell everything (no business, no problem). But in most cases, it doesn’t work so simply: either there is no buyer at a decent price, or you yourself need such a “cow”.
To keep the business going and keep it running properly, you'll have to balance and compromise. Independent management will provide personal freedom, but you will lose control and take additional risks to boot.
Remote control will retain some leverage, but may shift tax residency both personal and corporate, with very unpredictable consequences. There are other options - for example, redomiciliation of a business or transferring it to management, but this is even more difficult.
The bottom line is the classic legal formula “everything depends on the circumstances” and the absence of any universal recommendations. Although no, there is one: decide what to do with the business even in the process of making a decision to emigrate. Otherwise, fate will decide for you: often the move ended in a sudden loss of business due to the lack of reliable managers, raider attacks, or for many other reasons.
Frequently asked questions when moving to another country:
Which developed countries with a pleasant climate are the easiest to move to?
Among European countries, we can advise Montenegro, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal. Each of them has a program for obtaining a residence permit or citizenship by investment. The most comfortable conditions have been created for such migrants, when it is not necessary to know the language perfectly, it is necessary to live in the country for a long time, etc.
In recent years, the island nations of the Caribbean have begun to gain popularity.
How to prepare for moving to another country?
First, it is worth making several tourist trips, then talking with former compatriots who once already decided and have been living in the country you like for several years. Language courses will definitely not be superfluous, where you can definitely understand whether you are comfortable learning a new language for yourself or not.
How to get a residence permit?
To do this, you need to meet the requirements of the state in which you want to move. For example, somewhere you need to have relatives with a residence permit or prove kinship with the citizens of this country. You need to have a Union State passport or be a native speaker.
Therefore, the easiest way to get a residence permit and not drag out the procedure for a year or more is to buy real estate and make a contribution to the national fund of a country where there is a program for obtaining a residence permit and citizenship by investment.
Are there any additional requirements for family members?
Almost all countries do not restrict you in this matter. Most importantly, provide financial guarantees for relatives who are dependent on you.
What documents are needed to move to another country?
The basic package consists of a questionnaire, passport, visa, income statement. You may also need a certificate of completion of language courses and medical insurance.