Leaving on a Jet Plane – Returning Home


If your stint as an expat is coming to an end, there are several things to bear in mind.

Whilst leaving your home country to work abroad takes a lot of planning, it can still seem like an adventure, no matter how many times you do it. Planning for the move back home, however, may not seem as inspiring and can easily be overlooked. If you are going back home, there are certain things to take into account.

Retirement planning

Retirement planning may be affected by the jurisdiction in which you are resident. If you are returning home, you may no longer receive certain expat tax advantages, for example. It’s important to consider whether you want to continue paying into your current retirement plan or make new arrangements in your home country.

Income, investments, savings and tax

Returning home could have implications for your investments and savings too – certain products are only available if you are resident of a certain country.

Of course, this may also affect your tax situation, as your income could come under a different regime. It is vital to consider in which jurisdiction you will be entitled to receive your salary or other income. Will you be obliged to be taxed in your home country? If not, which is the most preferential place to be paid?

Also, if you hold assets or have bought property as an expat, there will be tax implications either in the country where the property is owned or even your home country. Residency tests can be complicated and vary according to the jurisdiction.


If you’re opting for a private school for your children, or they’re planning to go to university, it’d be wise to draw up a financial plan make the costs easier to swallow.

Bank accounts

If you’ve closed your bank account in your home country, you may no longer have a credit history. Just in case, it could be worthwhile keeping an offshore bank account open until you’ve been able to open a new account at home.

Insurance Policies

It’s important to be sure that your current life, health and other insurance policies are valid and relevant in your home country. You may find that you’ll need to change policies so that you’re covered as well as you’d like to be at a cost-effective price and so that you’re eligible for the relevant tax breaks.

Shipping your possessions

Moving your things back home needs careful planning so that they are properly covered by freight insurance and have an accurate description and declared value. This isn’t merely to ease compensation or replacement in the event of any breakage or loss; it also enables you to make informed decisions regarding your tax planning.

Currency exposure

Earning in local currency may simplify life while you’re an expat. However, when you go home it could expose you to possible fluctuations in currency values if you intend to repatriate some or all of your cash assets. There are solutions available to limit this exposure, however.

Ask an expert

To help you plan your repatriation, it’s best to consult an independent, impartial advisor. An advisor can point out the most tax efficient way to deal with your investments, retirement plans and foreign currency exchanges.

Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, MBMG Group cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. The views of the contributors may not necessarily reflect the house view of MBMG Group. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation. MBMG Group’s Personal Advisory team is on hand to advise you on planning your next move. For further details please contact us by e-mail on [email protected] or call +66 2 665 2536.