Relocating Internationally? 2 Things You Should Ask Your Employer to Pay For

As soon as you hear the words "international relocation," your heart might start racing. Companies spend an average of over $16 million dollars a year relocating their employees, which is why you shouldn't be shy about stating your expenses. Here are two things you should ask your employer to pay for as part of your relocation package so that you don't get stuck with unplanned expenses:

1: Cost of Living Differences

You might have a rough idea of what you would need to make if you moved to another state, but do you have any idea what it costs to live internationally? If you move without checking the cost of living in your new city, any raise you might earn might be offset by expensive housing, food, or transportation costs.

For example, if you move from Dallas, Texas to Singapore, you could expect to pay about 30% more for housing and a staggering 80% more for transportation. To put those numbers into perspective, it might mean that a condo that would cost $200,000 stateside would cost $260,000 in Singapore, and that a car that would cost $30,000 in Dallas would cost an astounding $54,000 overseas.

Before you tackle international living costs on your own, take the time to do a little research. Identify your top expenses and use international cost of living calculators to estimate your expenses after your move. Consider asking your employer to pad your income to offset these expenses, or to provide you with company perks to eliminate them altogether. For example, your employer might offer a driver service for your family to use to get around town, or you might be able to live in a company apartment.

2: Expenses Tied to Selling Your Home

After learning that you will be moving overseas, you might be excited to unload your old place and move into a swanky new international apartment, condo, or single-family home. Unfortunately, selling a home can be expensive, and overlooking the costs might run your finances into the ground long before you board that airplane. Fortunately, some employers will pay for expenses tied to selling your home such as:

  • Professional Cleaning: To make the transition easier for you, your employer might foot the bill for professional home cleaning. In addition to scrubbing those baseboards and helping you to power wash that exterior siding, professional cleaners can also take care of tasks like carpet cleaning. It might seem like a small contribution, but professional cleaning might improve a buyer's perception of your place so that you can avoid pricey repairs.
  • Realtor Fees: Since the sellers typically foot the bill for real estate agent fees, you should expect to deduct around 6% of your total home sale price to pay for commissions. This means that if you sell your place for $250,000, you might only pocket $235,000. However, some employers cover real estate agent charges so that you can walk away with more cash.
  • Loss on Sale: If the housing market in your area has declined since you purchased your home, you might not make any profit at all by selling your place. To make moving possible, some companies even offer loss on sale protection, which means that they will pay the difference between what you sell your house for and what you bought it for in the first place. For example, if you purchased your home for $200,000, but it is only worth $145,000 in today's market, your employer might foot the bill for the remaining $55,000 so that you don't have to take the hit.

By negotiating your international relocation package carefully, you might be able to enjoy your new surroundings without worrying about finances. For more information or assistance, visit resources like