Direct Debit

Another thing to think about before you go overseas is how best to pay your stateside bills. You might be carrying a mortgage, or have insurance or college tuition and/or loans. Some organizations will get weird on you when you present a foreign address. Even if the organization is willing to send the bills to you overseas, the longer mailing times (in both directions) means that even if you pop a check into the mail the same day you get the bill, you may be late in payment due to slow mail service. This is less of a problem in western Europe and much more of a problem in the developing world.

One solution is to set up direct debit. This is a system whereby the organization needing you to pay a bill is able to be paid right out of your checking account without you having to do anything at all. Not every place you owe money to can do this, and in some instances you may not have the confidence in your bank to even try it. More and more however I have found this type of electronic commerce works as advertised. Lots of times, you can even it just charged to your credit card!

An alternative would be to purchase software, such as a Quicken product, that allows you to pay bills electronically. Essentially this software lets you do manually what a direct debit setup does automatically, move money electronically from your account to someone else's.

Federal Benefits are things like Social Security and entitlements from the Veterans Affairs. If you are currently receiving anything like Social Security, please follow this link to learn more about how living overseas might affect your benefits.

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