kind of bank accounts do I need when living and working
Should I get an
international ATM card?
Rule #1 -
Keep it simple - don't go chasing after "offshore"
accounts and other fancy banking schemes that will cost
you a small fortune in fees. They are really only
interested in you if you have several hundred thousand
dollars, at a minimum.
Get a bank
account in your home country with free "Bill Pay"
service that is totally accessible via the Internet.
Even your local credit union can do this nowadays. Find
a bank or credit union that also offers other financial
services such as life insurance, bill payments via "EFT",
and/or investment accounts. All easy to do in this
modern interconnected world.
Set up your
Accounts Before You Go
these accounts BEFORE you leave your home country. Some
are quite difficult to set up from overseas. Once they
are set up, it is easy to attend to your financial
affairs, even financial planning, from anywhere in the
International ATM Card
you get an international ATM card to go with your
account. It should belong to one of the international
systems such as Cirrus or Maestro. Traveller's Cheques
are old hat these days - good international ATM cards
work almost everywhere. I've never had a problem with
mine. ATM cards are far more useful than Traveler's
Checks (the other spelling!) - as you can withdraw funds
whenever you need them - wherever you are - whatever
time of day.
bank account on line and a related ATM card, you will
find your finances greatly simplified. Wire money home
to your account, withdraw it as needed via your ATM card,
pay your bills with the Bill Pay service, and even move
money in and out of your brokerage account, to and from
your bank. All online, from the comfort of your living
room. All of this is can even be interconnected with
your PayPal account if you don't like to use your credit
cards on the Internet.
fear identity theft or other security issues when
managing their finances online. Ideally, you should use
your home computer. Get one. If you use an Internet
Cafe, be sure you carefully close all windows and sign
out of each account. Open them again before you leave
to make sure that you did. They should open to the
log-in page - not directly to your account.
believe how many people's accounts I have had access to
when using public computers at airports. They simply
forgot to log off! Pay attention - it's your money!