On this page, I aim to provide all of the resources needed for a successful relocation back to one’s home country. I am coming at this as a western expat living in Asia (South Korea) and returning to a western country (USA), but my hope is that anyone looking to repatriate can get some benefit from it. If you see a missing resource, please don’t hesitate to reach out and have it added.
Affiliate links are used occasionally on this list of resources but only for resources I would endorse regardless. I have also linked to information and products put out by fellow repats where appropriate. We gotta stick together! To that end, if you have a blog or product that you think belongs here, make sure to contact me and have it added.
Stuff that doesn’t fit neatly into one of the below categories, but still useful.
In terms of books for hopeful repats, the literature is pretty thin. Fortunately, Jackie Bolen’s self-published book Life After ESL provides an excellent introduction to the challenges repats facing a likely career chance have to contend with. The book focuses on a survey she conducted of former ESL teachers. While it is not perfect and I don’t think it would count as scientific, it’s a fast read, reasonably priced, and, currently, the only book of its kind on the market. For more information, check out my full review.
For US citizens, it’s easy to fall behind on filing your taxes (yes, you DO have to file your taxes) while living abroad. And then even if you do the right thing, it’s easy to rush through and make a mistake. This happened to me personally and Tax Uncomplicated got me square with the IRS.
Getting your personal finances in order sounds like a chore. I’m not gonna lie: it IS a chore. But repatriating is serious business. While for you the idea of going might be comforting, for your family, it is going to be disruptive. Getting on a budget (written by my friend and fellow prospective repat Shawn Roe) will be far more helpful than you realize. There may be a few uncomfortable conversations with your spouse about spending habits and priorities, but investing in those conversations on the front end will be worth it for the arguments they save you from in the long run.
Setting a relocation time frame.
Best bank accounts for expats
Building Credit as an Expat
Choosing a New Home
Buying vs. renting
For US citizens, health care has always been a major concern (in fact a strong disincentive) for relocating back home with our families. The Affordable Care Act, while not perfect, has changed the landscape somewhat. <Link to blog post laying out information on the ACA and how to figure out your family’s anticipated health insurance costs.>
Getting a Job
Complete gameplan for getting a job
We’ve all had those moments where you click ‘send’ on an email and then spot an obvious grammar or spelling mistake. When it comes to sending out resumes and cover letters, it can truly be a disaster. Grammarly helps you avoid that. Although I’ve always been proud of my writing skills, when I started using Grammarly I realized just how many mistakes I’ve been making all along. Check out my own experience with Grammarly and decide if it is for you. <link to blog article about Grammarly>
Resume writing advice/services
Interview skills and prep
Things you can do NOW (in your current physical location) to improve your resume (volunteering, improving practical skills)
Recommended skill improvement courses
- Udemy LinkedIn Course
- Master Excel
Networking from far away
- Start blogging and posting on LinkedIn
- Professional Organizations
- Alumni groups
- Start blogging and posting to these groups
You need a website as well as a carefully curated social media presence, even if you aren’t involved in entrepreneurship. Think about it this way: a prospective employer is going to google your name. Is the first google search result an editorial you wrote for your college newspaper defending the right to drink beer in class, or is it a one-page website with a professional photo and your resume?
Starting a Business
Entrepreneurship, especially with an online business, has solid benefits as a route to repatriation:
- You can start working on it right now.
- Having location independent income already coming in can free you up to help your family with their transition.
- There are enough proven online business models that you can surely find one that fits your skills.
The best resource out there for ‘repats’ is the secret Facebook mastermind group.
Starting a freelance business is a way to start making money right away. You may be surprised at how fast you could get up to speed and start getting work via odesk, freelancer.com, fiverr, etc.
Freelance skill courses
- Teach English Online
- Rob Percival’s Complete Web Developer Course
- SQL Course (relatively easy to learn and a lot of jobs in the field)
“Location Independent” resources
- The Four-Hour Workweek
- Smart Passive Income
Starting an LLC (How and Why)
-Building credit personally while abroad is very difficult. Your LLC, however, will be physically located in your home country and CAN build credit. This probably won’t help you buy a house, but maybe a car?
Best Practices for Online Life
Having a website is important for all of the above.
Build your own website (server space, domain name, wordpress)
Hire someone to do it for you.
Getting a professional sounding email address (Smith.John@gmail, not HotBodLuvr1975@aol)
Calming Fears (yours as well as loved ones)
Culture Shock resources
Effect of relocation on children
Expected adjustment times for spouses/kids