world in my handsAre you looking to move and start a new life? Becoming an expatriate is one of the best ways to make a new start. Moving to a new country, creating a new home, making new friends, it can be a very fulfilling experience. One of the hardest decisions can be deciding where to move. After all, the world is a big place and it can be difficult deciding on one location. So if you are looking to make the big jump but are having trouble deciding on where to go, use the list we complied of some of the top places to be an expat!

Ecuador

According to InterNations, Ecuador is the highest ranking country in the world for overall satisfaction of expatriates. Although the language barrier can be difficult to overcome, it can be very easy to make new friends in Ecuador. It also offers a low cost of living, with growing downtown areas in cities such as Quito and Guayaquil which is creating a plethora of job opportunities.

Switzerland

Switzerland is notorious for having some of the world’s best banks and financial companies. With so many foreigners investing in their financial industry, it has helped create a high standard of living. English is commonly spoken helping to make it easier to adapt and settle down. Switzerland is also full of crystal clear lakes and beautiful mountains which makes it perfect for those who love the outdoors and wish to live an active lifestyle.

Singapore

One of the biggest draws for expats going to Singapore is the opportunity to earn a higher salary. A higher salary may be needed for those with children, as schooling here can be quite costly. Even though schooling is costly, it may be well worth it as Singapore is home to some of the best schooling in the world. Some other great benefits of living here are a great public transportation system, a stable economy, and low tax rates.

Canada

Oh Canada! Canada is a beautiful country that can offer wilderness and one of a kind natural beauty, and also appease to those who wish to live in a metropolitan area. One reason expatriates may be drawn to live in Canada is their national healthcare system. While the majority of Canadians speak English, Canada has a multicultural population with a plethora of friendly locals to help make it easier to settle in to your new country. Just make sure you pack some jackets!

Thailand

Who wouldn’t want to live in a tropical climate? Or in a place that is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and islands? Aside from Thailand being an exotic location, there are many benefits for expats besides the tourist attractions. Some benefits include a low cost of living and a friendly tax system. Also, Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, offers plenty of employment opportunities to expatriates.

Australia

Many people who visit Australia never want to leave. This could be why there is such a large number of expats living there. Australia offers people a great quality of life, breathtaking landscape and wildlife that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, and we can’t forget the beautiful beaches. Think about it, how cool would it be to say that you live “down under”?

Moving to a new country can be an amazing experience, however if you decide to move back home there are some things you should be aware of. For more, read our previous blog, “What to Expect When Repatriating”. For those that are preparing to move to a new country, read our Expat Checklist for a to-do list to complete before the big move. If you are interested in more information about Expatriate Insurance, or are interested in purchasing Expat Insurance, contact us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding expatriate insurance coverage for you, your family or group!

The world is a big place and it can be difficult deciding on one location. So if you are looking to make the big jump to become an expat, use this list we complied of some of the top places to be an expat!

Golf Ball near holeFour! Are you ready for a golf getaway?

Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and often times one of the few activities that can be associated with business and leisure. Some of the largest business deals have taken place on a golf course. In fact, golfing is one of the few sports that can be the purpose of a trip or vacation. Many of those who play regularly dream about playing on certain courses around the world. It might be time for you to start panning a golf getaway at one of these amazing places!

1. Scotland

Those who follow golf know that Scotland is the birthplace of the sport. Scotland is also home to the most famous golf course(s) in the world, St. Andrews, which is also considered the home of golf. St. Andrews has hosted The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, a whopping 29 times! What golfer wouldn’t play the same course that many of the world’s best play?

Don’t forget about all that Scotland has to offer outside of golf. Bagpipes, scotch, kilts, seemingly endless rolling hills, you’ll be sure to enjoy every moment on the course as well as off.

2. Ireland

Everyone celebrates St. Patrick’s whether of Irish decent or not. Maybe it’s time you go experience the home of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day! Ireland is home to the K Club, which should be on every golfers list. With two courses designed by none other than Arnold Palmer (the person, not the drink), you’ll feel right at home when stepping onto the green.

3. South Africa

Many people associate a trip to South Africa with safari tours, and wildlife expeditions. But did you know it can also be a top golf destination? South Africa is home to one of the world’s famous courses, Francourt. Francourt has hosted several prestigious tournaments including the President’s Cup! Where else in the world can you go play a round of golf, then go on a safari?

4. New Zealand

Many people consider New Zealand home to the some of the jaw dropping natural beauty the earth has to offer. You can see and experience landscape and scenery that looks straight out of a movie. Could you imagine playing a round of golf surrounded by all of that beauty?

Try playing a round or two at Kinloch, the only golf course in New Zealand designed by arguably the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus!

5. Hawaii

Who needs an excuse to go to Hawaii? It’s a top destination for any vacation, but when golf is involved, it should only climb higher up the list. This group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is home to a very famous course that many who follow the sport may have heard of, Turtle Bay. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, Turtle Bay has hosted many tournaments and is on many golfer’s “golf course bucket list.”

For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blogs, “Tips for Traveling Abroad” and “5 Tips for Surviving Your Next International Flight.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and the setting for many business deals. Find out where you should plan to play!

activeDo you ever find yourself too busy to exercise? Is working a full time job making it difficult for you to find the time to stay active? Trying to find time for yourself, or time to work out can be quite a challenge when working full time. After all, spending the majority of your day at work and battling rush hour can take a lot of energy. Yet, there still is no excuse for taking care of yourself. Living a healthy lifestyle is important, and sometimes it can feel like work gets in the way of that. So if you find yourself willing to try something new in order to stay active while working full time, follow some of these great tips! 

 

1. Get Up Early Waking up early can be a drag if you aren't a morning person. Hitting the "snooze" button is almost unavoidable. While it may take some will power and extra motivation, getting up earlier to work out can have an amazing impact on your day. For one, exercising in the morning is a great way to start the day, get your blood pumping, and give you that feeling like you are ready to take on the world. You will even find that by working out in the morning that you may be sharper throughout the day. 

2. Ride Your Bike or Walk to Work One fun way to try and stay active is to walk or ride your bike to work. While this option may not work for everyone, those that live in close proximity to their job should give it a try. Enjoy the scenery, get some fresh air, and have some time to clear your mind before starting your day at the office. The best part is that you will be saving money on gas! 

3. Take Periodic Walks While on the job, you want to be productive as you possibly can. So taking a long walk might be a bad idea. However, try breaking that long walk into shorter ones throughout the entire day. Use a bathroom break to walk around the building for a few minutes. Doing this every couple of hours will add up, and by the end of the day you might be surprised how much you have walked. Try wearing a pedometer to help keep track of your steps and help you reach any daily goals you might have.

4. Join a Gym Close to Work If you work close to a gym, consider getting a gym membership there. You can go for a work out on the way in or just after you get off. Waiting until you get home to exercise is another option, but after having along day on the job and having to battle through rush hour can leave you feeling exhausted by the time you get home. 

5. Use Your Lunch Break Going on your lunch break is one of everyone's favorite parts of the day. If you plan on eating at nearby restaurant or are picking up food to take back, try walking instead of driving. Or if you joined a nearby gym, try going there during your lunch break to save time. Just be sure to shower before heading back to the office, no one wants to sit next to the sweaty person. 

Here at MHG Insurance Brokers, we look forward to sharing tips and information with you that may help keep your stress levels down, and your quality of life up! For more information on the criteria for individuals, read our previous blog, “New Open Enrollment Dates and Penalties!” Whether you are purchasing health insurance for the first time or already have a plan in place, or are simply looking for better coverage, we want to help you find an affordable health plan that works for you. MHG Insurance Brokers is an Affordable Care Act certified insurance brokerage, and can offer you expert advice and solutions for you, your family, or your business. If you have any further questions or concerns about the Affordable Care Act and open enrollment, please feel free to contact us here by calling 954-828-1819, or visiting mhginsurance.com! Don’t forget, Open Enrollment began on November 1st and runs through January 31st, 2016.

5 Tips for Staying Fit and Active While Working Full Time

hamburg

Achtung! When thinking of Germany, there are a few things that come to mind like Oktoberfest, the Autobahn, German automobiles, etc. Germany is considered to have one of the top economies in the world, with major international companies such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Adidas, and Allianz based within its borders. Germany is also one of the most popular migration destinations in the world, partly because it is famous for having a universal health care system. You'll have no problem finding fellow expatriates and making lifelong friends with others who are going through the same experiences as you. So start brushing up on your German, and get ready to make the transition of a lifetime to Hamburg, Germany! 

Unique 

Home to over 1.7 million people, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest in Europe. One of the reasons Hamburg is a great place to live is because there is such a large international community, creating somewhat of a “melting pot”. There is so much creativity throughout the city, from the art, to the architecture, to the food, it is easy to see the impact of many different cultures living in one place.

Hamburg is unlike many of the other cities in the country. There is a rich maritime history, diverse cultures, and always something to do. You also may notice that there are a plethora of bridges, over 2,300 to be exact! That is more than London, Venice, and Amsterdam combined!

Maritime 

The city is located on the southern point of the Jutland Peninsula, right on the River Elbe. Since it is so close to the North and Baltic Seas and located right on a major waterway, Hamburg is the largest port in all of Germany. Over time, Hamburg has become a very important trading hub due to its port and harbor, and today it is one of the busiest ports in Europe, second only to Rotterdam.

It’s no wonder Hamburg has such a rich maritime history dating back to its establishment in the 12th century. You can learn more about its history at many of the museums in the city, and there are tons of other things to do involving the water! Also, due to its close proximity to many bodies of water, it is also one of the best places in Germany to get fresh fish. 

Stay Busy 

There is always something to do in Hamburg; different festivals, a variety of community events, and seemingly never ending options for night life, it will be hard for you to find yourself “bored”.  Hamburg also has a great shopping district. Everything from worldwide household brand name stores, to local boutiques that are sure to offer items that can’t be found anywhere else. It is also easy to stay active as many choose to walk or bike everywhere. 

Before relocating to another country, trying to find expatriate health insurance coverage on your own can be a daunting task. Not to mention the checklist you must complete before leaving. For help developing a checklist, read our previous blog, “Expat Checklist before the Big Move.” 

Many of us at MHG are expats ourselves and we understand the global insurance needs of international businesses, and individuals and families living and working around the world. Our Insurance Specialists have the experience, knowledge, and access to multiple international insurance carriers to find you the most suitable plan based on your budget and future plans. Our commitment to your well-being does not end once you have purchased a plan; through our “Concierge Broker Service”, we will continue to assist you with questions about your policy and provide assistance throughout the claims process. Call us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding expatriate insurance coverage for you and your family or business!




Home to 1.7+ million people, Hamburg is the 2nd largest city in Germany, and a great place to live. Learn why you'll never be bored calling this place home.

fallFall is here! Who’s ready to see the leaves change, watch some football, cuddle up in the cooler weather, and eat pumpkin flavored everything? This time of year also brings one of the best times to go on a trip. The kids are back in school, and most places are transitioning from being in-season to off-season or vice versa, which typically means less crowds and better deals. I’m sold! Now just to decide where to go…       

  


Burlington, Vermont vermontBurlington happens to be the largest city in Vermont, however that isn’t the reason you should be planning a stay in this city. Step outside, take a deep breath, and smell the autumn in the air as you gaze upon colorful leaves and natural beauty. For those who are looking to get in touch with some American culture, you can visit the Shelburne Museum.       

  

Kyoto, Japan kyotoThe fall season is one of the best times to visit Kyoto. Being able to see the leaves changing from green, to yellow, orange, and red among the unique Japanese architecture is a one of a kind experience. Some places that are considered “must-see” include the Imperial Palace, which was at one point the palace of the ruling Emperor of Japan, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a bamboo forest full of wildlife will offer an experience that you won’t be able to replicate anywhere else, and Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), which serves as a Zen Buddhist temple and is one of the most popular buildings in Japan.  

  

Toronto, Canada torontoToronto is considered the “New York City of Canada!” Visiting this great city in the fall is perfect timing, right in between when it is scorching hot from the summer, and freezing cold in the winter.  There is so much to do in Toronto, you may want to book a second trip before you are finished with your first. Go to the top of the CN Tower and stand in the middle of Toronto’s skyline. Or visit the Distillery District where you can choose from different café’s, galleries, and a brewery to pop in to and get cozy. A place famous for maple trees, how could you not want to see the giant maple leaves turn and signal the fall season?   

  

Cumbria, England cumbriaThose who love the outdoors will be in heaven in Cumbria as it is one of the best places in England to get in touch with nature. Take a walk or a bike ride along one of the many lakes in the Lake District and feel the crisp autumn breeze come off the water. Or visit Carlisle Castle which is over 900 years old, and was the site of many battles. Any trip to this area is incomplete without a visit to Hadrian’s Wall which served as the northern limit and a defensive structure for the Roman Empire. It’s easy to see how this is Northern England’ most popular tourist attraction!  


Perthshire, Scotland perthshireIt makes sense to visit a place nicknamed “Big Tree County” in the fall. Perthshire is home to ancient forests which are sure to offer sites you have never seen before. Gargantuan trees with leaves falling and turning colors, you’ll definitely be taking some back home for the scrap book. Go on an adventure and go white water rafting, or visit the Scottish Highlands, and of course you can’t visit Scotland without playing a round of golf at one of the world’s most famous courses. If you’re feeling lucky, take the short trip to Lock Ness and see if you can get a glimpse of Nessie!   


Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee smokey mountainsWho doesn’t want to get away from society and go unwind on a secluded vacation? A trip to the Smoky Mountains will get the job done. Stay in a cabin in the mountains where all you have to do is wake up and look out your window to see the colors of fall. This time of year is a great time to visit as you will see the orange, red, and yellow leaves throughout the mountains with rivers winding through creating waterfalls that are sure to take your breath away.     


Napa, California napaWho needs an excuse to go to “Wine Country?” Drink wine, sip wine, taste wine, and drink some more wine, sounds like those are all the reasons I need! Tour some of the world’s most famous vineyards as you gaze upon endless rolling hills of colorful grape vines. Stay at a quaint bed and breakfast, or a luxurious resort, Napa can cater to all.       


Douro Valley, Portugal douro valleyDouro Valley is quickly becoming one of Europe’s great wine destinations. Get away from the hustle and bustle and have a hillside picnic in the vineyards, or eat at some of Portugal’s best restaurants. Oh, and drink some wine! 




Bruges, Belgium brugesIf you’re a history buff, Bruges should be at the top of your list. When visiting this historic city, the architecture will make you feel like you are back in the medieval times. A visit to this city isn’t complete without going to the Historic Centre where you can see original Gothic buildings dating back hundreds of years. Bruges is a canal-based city much like Venice or Amsterdam, so don’t leave without having a romantic boat ride with your significant other through the city, as you cuddle together in the cool fall temperatures.     


Vienna, Austria viennaConsidered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Vienna should be a top destination for everyone. When in Vienna, you’ll be surrounded by some of the world’s most distinct architecture, such as St. Stephens Cathedral. Go for a stroll along the Danube and see the leaves floating in the water. Or visit the Haus der Musik, a museum for sound and music, which is fitting given that both Mozart and Beethoven considered Vienna home at one point.

Visit mhginsurance.com or call +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 for help in selecting the plan that fits you best. Check out our previous blog, “Tips Everyone Should Follow When Traveling Abroad,” as it is important to have proper travel insurance coverage in case of an unexpected emergency while traveling abroad. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to offer advice or help select the best insurance plan for your needs. Safe travels!

Fall is here! Who’s ready to see the leaves change, cuddle up in the cooler weather, and eat pumpkin flavored everything? Now just to decide where to go...

English teacherHave you ever dreamt about being an expat? How would you like to live in another country and teach English for a few years before settling down? Moving from an English speaking country to another country where they speak a different language can be intimidating. Especially if you are moving there to teach English! There is a high demand for English teachers around the world, as many countries are adapting to English speaking. Maybe it isn’t such a daunting idea after all! It should be noted that many places will require you to obtain a TEFL Certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to teach abroad. 


Spain 

Did you know? Every year, the Spanish government recruits many people from English speaking countries to work as teaching assistants schools. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to live abroad, and who is looking to become an English teacher. There are plenty of opportunities to become a private teacher or tutor, if you would like to teach on the side to gain some experience while you work your way up the ladder. The pay and benefits may not be as great as it is in other countries on this list, but depending on what you value most, it could be an easy compromise to call this exotic place “home.” So if you would like to experience a country rich in culture, have tasty foods such a tapas and paella, and watch world class futbol up close and personal, Spain should be at the top of your list. 

Czech Republic 

The Czech Republic has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, which has created a huge demand for English teachers. Those that are considering a move to Europe may want to consider Czech Republic, as the cost of living is less than other Western European countries. Imagine walking the streets and seeing castles, cobblestone streets, and breathtaking landscapes. 

United Arab Emirates 

The United Arab Emirates has a very large expatriate community, which can help you to feel more at home, and assist in making new friends. Some other advantages that may make the UAE a top destination for English teachers are the great salary and benefits you can earn. Many times the salary is much higher than what you would earn at home, and the benefits are usually 100% covered! There is a catch, typically you must have a lot of experience to get an opportunity to become an English teacher here as it is very competitive. 

South Korea 

South Korea may be a top destination for younger, less experienced English teachers. That is because about 25,000 foreign English teachers are hired here every year. So those that don’t have a lot of experience teaching, can gain their experience here. Also, it is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, which may attract other young professionals. 

Chile 

There are not many places in the world where you can snowboard and surf all in one place. Chile is one of those places! With many different settings, Chile has something for everyone. From big cities, to countryside, to living in the mountains, to living on the coast, if you are looking to move to a certain climate, Chile has it. Also, Chile interviews individuals from North America in advance, which gives you the opportunity to secure a position before you make the big move! 

Moving to a new country can be an amazing experience. For more information on what it’s like being an Expat, read our previous blog, “5 Reasons why it’s great to be an Expat.” If you are interested in more information about Expatriate Insurance, or are interested in purchasing Expat Insurance, contact us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding expatriate insurance coverage for you, your family or group!

The 5 Best Places to Teach English around the World

houstonHave you ever heard the saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas!”? For those that haven’t been to Texas, I can assure you that statement is very true. Texas is home to three of the top ten largest cities in the United States, and six of the top twenty! The largest city in Texas, and fourth largest in the country, is none other than the great city of Houston. With the entire metropolitan area being home to over six million people, there is something for everyone, no matter what their interests are. It’s no wonder this city is growing fast, and expats should consider it a top destination. 

 

More than just Oil

While Houston is notorious for being run by oil billionaires, its business goes much deeper than just oil. The oil industry is a great industry to be involved in, and brings a great amount of money to the area, but Houston can also offer opportunities for those who don’t see themselves in the oil industry. According to Business Insider, Houston is the number one job creator in the United States and is home to 26 Fortune 500 companies, which is sure to draw a large amount of expats to the area. One of the large industries in Houston that you may want to be a part of include the IT industry, which is always growing and looking for top talent. Other industries include the aerospace industry (NASA has a headquarters there), as well as the healthcare industry (Houston’s medical center is as large as downtown Dallas!). 

More than just Cowboys and Cattle

When some people think of Houston and Texas they think of cowboys, horses, farms, etc. However, Houston is not like some place straight out of a John Wayne movie. It is a metropolitan city with plenty of trendy offerings. According to the New York Times, it is “one of the country’s most exciting places to eat.” The city offers all kinds of great food from barbecue, to seafood, to Mexican, and even Cajun. Houston is close in proximity to New Orleans so there is a strong Cajun presence. And what better way to spend a weekend than in New Orleans? Houston is also home to a plethora of parks and one of a kind museums if you’re looking for things to do. Many people visiting the city for the first time are quite surprised at the abundance of greenery and landscape it has to offer. It is also a home to teams from some of America’s top sporting leagues, including the NFL and NBA.

Things to be Aware of

After everything I have covered, it’s easy to picture yourself living in this great city. However, there are some things to be aware that you should plan accordingly. One is that Houston’s climate is very warm. If you are from a country that is predominantly cold, you may want to get a new wardrobe featuring some short sleeves and shorts. It is practically on the Gulf of Mexico, so it can be humid and muggy at times. While it may be hot in the summer, you’ll be quite happy in the winter when you aren’t experiencing frigid temperatures.

Before relocating to another country, trying to find expatriate health insurance coverage on your own can be a daunting task. Not to mention the checklist you must complete before leaving. For help developing a checklist, read our previous blog, “Expat Checklist before the Big Move.” Many of us at MHG are expats ourselves and we understand the global insurance needs of international businesses, and individuals and families living and working around the world. Our Insurance Specialists have the experience, knowledge, and access to multiple international insurance carriers to find you the most suitable plan based on your budget and future plans. Our commitment to your well-being does not end once you have purchased a plan; through our “Concierge Broker Service”, we will continue to assist you with questions about your policy and provide assistance throughout the claims process. Call us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding expatriate insurance coverage for you and your family or business!

Why it’s great to be an Expat in Houston!

10 Safety Tips for Travelers

women travelersDon’t be afraid to travel alone. Traveling can be one of life’s greatest, must fulfilling experiences. However, there are some precautions to consider, and preparation you can do to ensure a safe and successful trip. 

 

1. Research

Researching the area that you will be traveling to. It can assist you in learning the local customs and other ways that can help you blend in. It is also important to research the area in order to get a grasp of how to find your way around, such as learning major roads, landmarks, etc.

2. Don’t Over-Drink

Drinking too much alcohol can slow your reaction time and dull your senses. This can cause you to have a lapse in judgment that can put you in a really compromising situation. 

3. Dress like the Locals 

Depending where you are traveling to, there may be customary wardrobes for women. It’s important to blend in, and not draw too much attention to yourself.

4. Don’t Wear Expensive Jewelry

Wearing a lot of jewelry can make you a target, especially in unfamiliar places. 

5. Register with the U.S. Department of State 

Registering with the U.S. Department of State is one of the easiest and quickest tasks you can complete to help keep you safe when traveling. It only takes minutes to fill out a form, and the department will contact you if there is any news relating to your destination.

6. Make Copies of All Important Documents 

Make copies of all important documents such as passports, tickets, reservations, boarding passes, etc. Keep them in a safe place in case the originals are lost. Also, you can take pictures of them and keep digital copies in your email, or in an online storage like Google Drive. This will allow you access to them as long as you have computer or mobile access. 

7. Consider a Money Belt

Theft can happen anywhere, but the last place you want to be stolen from is when you are away from home. Look into getting a money belt to carry cash in. If someone steals your purse, you won’t be left completely stranded. It’s also important to mention that if your purse is taken from you, let it go and do not put up a fight. 

8. Keep in Touch

Give someone back home a copy of your itinerary. Keep in touch with them by checking in regularly and letting them know you are okay. Also, keep them updated with any changes you are making to your itinerary. 

9. Spend on Safety 

Traveling on a budget is always a good idea, however there should be no budget when it comes to your safety. If you do not feel comfortable walking home at night, call a cab. If you are flying into a rough area, plan your transportation ahead of time from a trustworthy source. 

10. Get Travel Insurance! 

No matter how many precautions you take, accidents happen. There is no better preparation than getting the proper medical coverage no matter where you are in the world.

For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you and/or your family for the best value.

10 Safety Tips for Travelers

retireDoesn’t it seem like whenever you visit some beautiful place, you never want to leave. Well, depending on the terms. I’m pretty sure that Tom Hanks couldn’t wait to get off that island in Cast Away. But if you are on holiday somewhere in the Caribbean, it’s not too hard to envision yourself calling that place “home” and truly “living the life.” That may be why it is becoming more and more popular for people to retire, and move to their dream destination to live out their golden years. But before you jump on that plane, there are some things you need to get squared away. 

 

Social Security and Other Retirement Funds 

If you lived and worked in the United States and are looking to retire abroad, your Social Security should follow you wherever you go. Also, your 401k, IRA, or any other retirement savings plan you may have administered during your working career should be available to you. However, you may have to get an account at a bank in your new country, or an international one. 

Government Sponsored Health Care 

Unlike your Social Security, Medicare (or your countries equivalent) will not follow you to your new country. However, the good news is that in many cases, being a resident in your new country can make you eligible for its government sponsored health care plan. Also, most of the developed countries around the world have Universal Health Care systems, which can be better than what is offered in the U.S. The only con is that it can take a long time to get an appointment or see a doctor. 

Insurance Options Local Health Insurance: Domestic health insurance won’t follow you to another country. And if it does, it will only offer a fraction of the coverage that it would have offered back home. So it would only make sense to keep your domestic plan if you planned on traveling back and forth to receive any medical services. In most countries, the local health insurance that is available is much like the one you may have had back home. Including a provider network that lets you know which doctors or hospitals the carrier will provide coverage for. One drawback to having a local plan is that in some cases, they will not write a new policy for you after the age of 63. 

No Health Insurance: You have the option of having no insurance coverage at all. Thus meaning you would have to pay cash for everything. If you live in the Unites States, this may seem like a crazy idea given the fact that health care costs can be more than twice as much as other countries. But, even with costs in other countries being lower, this still may not be the smartest option. 

International Health Insurance: International health insurance, also known as expatriate insurance, is essentially the same as your domestic health insurance, with coverage all around the world. So you would have coverage whether you are in your new home, or visiting your old one. This may be the best option of health insurance for most people that are retiring abroad. Especially for those who are over the age of 63 and cannot purchase a new local health insurance. 

Moving to a new country, no matter what stage in life can be an exhilarating experience. With so many tasks to complete in order to prepare yourself, it can be easy to forget some items. Read our previous blog, “Expat Checklist Before the Big Move,” for help when preparing for re-location. If you are interested in purchasing an international medical insurance plan, also known as expatriate insurance, please contact our insurance specialists at 1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. We have an office full of expats, and others who have re-located, who can assist you and advise you about all the necessary steps to take when selecting the proper insurance for you or your family.

Want to Retire Overseas? What You Need to Know

travel kidsJust picture it. Looking out the window of a plane, on your way to see some of the most breathtaking sites from 20,000 feet up. You then glance at your significant other to see if they are as excited as you to finally get away from the rat race, and begin planning what you guys will do next. Then, one of you finally remember that this isn’t exactly a honeymoon, the kids are tagging along! Family vacations create some of our most cherished memories. Ones that we will one day try to create with our own children. From driving across the border, to flying across an ocean, traveling the world is one of life’s most exhilarating activities. Maybe even more so when traveling with children. Follow these do’s and don’ts when traveling with kids in order to make the trip as smooth and stress-free as possible.  

 

Do’s

  • Do take your time. Don’t stress out about trying to see and visit everything. Children can get tired quickly, and may not be cut out to be on their feet all day.
  • Do keep track of your kids. If traveling with more than one child, regularly count them. Traveling can be very tiring, and easy for a child to run off without you paying attention. Especially if you are rushing to make a connecting flight. It may also be a good idea to “brand” them by writing your phone number on their arm.
  • Do ask if the hotel is full. If not, try to reserve a room that doesn’t have any other rooms occupied on either side. This can allow your children to be themselves, and you won’t have to continue telling them to be quiet.
  • Do plan for extended downtime. There could be lengthy layovers or delayed flights. Kids can get restless when sitting for an extended period of time. Bring snacks and be prepared to keep them busy with games, books, or other activities.
  • Do ask for help. Many hotels and airlines are quite accommodating when it comes to making children comfortable. This can help make your trip more enjoyable, cutting your stress level.
  • Do check your travel documents. Make sure your passport is still valid, you have the necessary visas, and that all of your booked dates for flights and hotels are aligned.

Don’ts

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. Waiting until the last minute can raise the chances of you forgetting something, or even missing your flight. Also, be prepared for the weather. Pack jackets if it is expected to be cold, raincoats and umbrellas for stormy weather, etc.
  • Don’t forget to pack medicine. Getting sick with no relief in sight is a sure way to ruin a trip. Also, check with your pediatrician regarding inoculation and vaccination requirements.
  • Don’t let your child roam the hallway of the hotel unattended. Being away from home can multiply the chances your child gets lost.
  • Don’t pay for your kids to stay at a hotel. Try to find a hotel that doesn’t charge for kids that are under the age of 12.
  • Don’t lose it. If your child has a security blanket, or a favorite stuffed animal, it is a good idea to leave it at home. Don’t risk it getting lost, unless it can be easily replaced.
  • Don’t forget travel insurance! Having the proper coverage while on your travels can be the difference between having a great trip, and a major headache. Not only will you not have to worry about medical coverage if something happens to you or your children, but you will have a 24/7 assistance hotline to call in case you get lost, or need help with any other travel arrangements.
For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

 

Top Do’s and Don’ts for Traveling with Kids