5. Purge your belongings. If you’re moving to, say, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, or coastal Mexico, chances are your belongings are arriving by sea in a giant shipping container. You don’t want to pay to send more than you need, also keeping in mind what’s right for the climate you’re moving to.
6. Research the job market. Ask locals how important it is to have a job lined up before you move. “Unless you’re starting your own business and following a passion, I wouldn’t come to Hawaii without a job,” says Christie Cash, who moved from L.A. to the Big Island to open Puakea guest ranch. “Most work here is in the tourism industry, though doctors are very welcome!” If you’re currently self-employed, feel out clients to see if they’d stick with you if you made a move.
7. If you’re starting a business, expect to have more than six months worth of savings. “Know how much money it’s going to take to pull it off,” says Christie. “On the Big Island, no VC firm is going to fund your boutique business. We put all our savings into the ranch, but my husband kept his job and commutes to L.A., which pays for our life here.” When Suzanne Haddon, an artist with her own graphic design business, moved from Seattle to the Whitsundays, Australia, she had a year’s worth of living expenses saved. “It took that long to get my design business going, and I didn’t want to have to take another job.”