Financial Wellbeing

What to look for in a financial coach when living abroad

Abroaden Insights Team February 07 2024 · 6 min read

If you’re an expat or person living abroad and are looking for a financial coach, you’re likely doing so because: 

  • You’re moving to or just moved to a new country and are having a hard time understanding what that means for your money or investments. 
  • You have an idea or a plan, but want to get it validated by a financial expert who knows what it’s like to live abroad.
  • You’re struggling to reach a financial goal and need the support of someone who can brainstorm with you and create a plan for success. 

A financial coach can do all of those for you and more. However, not all coaches are suited to work with people with international profiles, or even provide financial coaching at all. To help you understand what to look for in a coach and avoid potential problems later on, we sat down with our co-founder and head financial coach Elliott Locke, ACSI. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What to look for in an expat financial coach for people living abroad
  • How abroaden’s 1:1 financial coaching works
  • Why choose abroaden for your financial coaching

Are you ready to get coached? Sign up for your 1:1 coaching session with abroaden now, and take your first step to financial wellbeing.

What to look for in an expat financial coach for people living abroad

When looking for a financial coach, you’ve probably noticed that there are tons of coaches to choose from. Unfortunately, not all are created equal or even able to meet your unique needs as a person living abroad. These are the factors you should look for during your search.

They’re qualified in wealth management, investments and financial planning

Financial services is a vast industry, encompassing everything from banking, to investments, and corporate finance. Many financial coaches out there have experience in at least one sector in the field. The problem though, is that not all domains in the field translate to helping individuals like you. 

Investment banking, for example, is about helping established companies borrow huge sums of money. Corporate finance professionals are adept at managing cash flows and hedging away risks on the balance sheet. When it comes to understanding how stocks, investment funds, and even individual bank accounts work? Not so much. 

We see the same thing with coaches who use their university degrees in economics or finance as their qualifications to guide people through their financial needs.  While these degrees empower, schools fail to teach financial basics, leaving graduates poorly prepared to make money decisions, let alone coach them to others. 

If you want the best chance to reach your goals or solve your problems, you’ll need the support of a coach who has experience in wealth management, retail investments and financial planning. 

They have a deep understanding of different financial systems, products, and cultures around the world

Some coaches have profound knowledge on the local financial system and money culture. That’s fantastic for someone who will never leave that country or region. For those of us living abroad who happen to move periodically or even plan on returning home one day, it leaves a lot to be desired. Your coach should be an expert in the different financial rules and customs between countries. Their guidance will navigate you through tricky subjects like pensions across borders, or how to move your investments whenever you relocate.

They aren’t self-taught or self-certified

Many financial coaches we see have little to no formal training in investments, financial planning, or money management. Usually, they’ve collected knowhow from different self-help books, YouTube videos, forums, and social media. Armed with this information, they put together courses without validating their knowledge or the underlying material. Sometimes, they’ll even create certifications for themselves.

There’s nothing wrong with going down this route for your own betterment. However, these books and online resources can only go so far.  Your coach needs to be able to look under the hood of tricky financial assets and lingo and know exactly what’s going on. This sort of expertise comes in part from recognized qualifications and in part through years of experience that self-learning or certification just can’t match. Without this background, your coach might provide missing or faulty information,  leading to costly mistakes.

They have experience coaching and mentoring 

It might seem like a no-brainer, but your coach should know how to coach. Enabling people to grow is an underrated talent. The best coaches are the ones who know how to listen first, ask questions second, and only then provide guidance and relevant information. This skill set can’t be taught in schools. Instead, it requires practice and an open mind. Your coach should have prior experience in coaching and mentoring which in turn gives you the best value for your money.

The coach understands what it’s like to live abroad

As a person living abroad, you know too well the anxiety we feel when we have to do anything administrative or technical outside of native language or culture. Money is no different. In fact, when it comes to making financial decisions the stress is even greater due to the subject being both intimate and intimidating. Your financial coach should know exactly what that sensation feels like.

Even better, he or she should have experience successfully overcoming those fears and hurdles when making money decisions. If not, it’s likely that the information they give you won’t resonate with you.  Worse, their guidance could fail to take into account your international profile and needs, creating the potential for unpleasant surprises whenever you move to another country.

The coach should focus on information and not a sales pitch

Some coaches work for a company that offers other financial services. Depending on those services being offered, your coaching session could be a front for a slick sales pitch for an overpriced investment fund or insurance policy. Your coach shouldn’t come in with recommendations for specific financial products that they keep insisting will solve your problems. Instead, your coach should start by listening to your situation, asking questions, and then suggesting the most compatible product or service for your needs.

How abroaden’s 1:1 financial coaching works

abroaden is the financial wellbeing platform for people living abroad.  We help expats, remote workers and people with international lifestyles solve their pressing financial questions, regardless of where they call home.  As part of this mission, we offer one-on-one coaching packages with a qualified professional. Here’s how you can get coached by one of our experts. 

  • Book your coaching package. The first step to receiving coaching is to reserve your place with one of our coaches. It only takes a couple of minutes, and will start you on your journey for a better financial future. 
    Click here to book yours now
  • Your coach contacts you to introduce themselves and to learn more about the problem you’re trying to solve. Shortly after you book your package, your coach will contact you to gather more information about you and the problems you want to solve.
  • Your coach gets to work doing research. After you reply, your coach will get to work finding different solutions. These could be a list of different financial products or providers that meet your needs, or a particular budgeting or savings technique that can help you reach your goals faster. 
  • You have a 45-minute 1:1 session with your coach. You’ll meet with your coach online for your main session. In it, they’ll listen to you explain your situation and will ask questions to get to the core of the issue. They’ll then go over different solutions, explaining complex financial concepts in ways you’ll understand and building an action plan that covers all angles of the problem.
  • Your coach sends you a summary email. Once your session ends, your coach will write up a detailed summary email. This message can contain a recap of the action plan, links to products and services discussed for you to research further, and follow ups for both you and your coach.
  • You have a 15-minute 1:1 follow up session. After your initial coaching session, your coach will invite you to book a follow up call. This brief session enables your coach to check in on your progress and you to ask any questions you might have. The goal is to ensure you’re on track, so you can reach financial objectives successfully. 

Book your coaching session now

Why choose abroaden for your financial coaching

People choose abroaden for 1:1 financial coaching for numerous reasons. These are the top ones our customers tell made the choice a no-brainer for them. 

Get coaching from qualified experts.

Our coaches aren't just experienced, they're certified financial planning, investment, and wealth management experts, holding qualifications from top industry bodies like the CISI and EFPA. These bodies train and educate financial services professionals on a wide range of topics, including wealth management and financial planning. Each coach is required to take classes each month to keep their certifications current.

Unlike with other services, when you get coaching from abroaden, you’ll know that you’re working with a professional-caliber coach.  You can rest assured they understand your questions and can confidently explain complex financial concepts to you. They can dig deep into the technical side of how money and financial products work giving you clear information that alleviates your doubts.

For example you want a coach to examine a new service you came across that lets you spend money from your investment portfolio on a payment card. An untrained coach might suggest it’s a great idea because there’s a tax benefit and calls it “free” money. Our coaches will look under the hood at how the product works, showing that it costs you money since you deprive yourself from the powers of compound interest.

Learn from coaches who understand financial products across borders.

Our coaches are fascinated by different money and financial cultures across the globe. This fascination goes everywhere from how countries spend and save money, to the technical details between financial regulations. They spend countless hours seeing how different systems and products work with each other and how some financial tactics and products cross borders well, while others don’t. 

If you get coached by abroaden, you get direct access to our coaches’ deep understanding of money and finance across borders. They’ll look at your money questions as an expat or person living abroad and immediately start visualizing solutions from an international perspective. This approach ensures that you won’t run into any nasty surprises later on like extra reporting, stuck investments, or even having your plans derailed when you move countries.  

Suppose you’re confused about retirement savings with an upcoming move abroad.  A self-trained coach might stumble on complex cross-border regulations and pension plan nuances. Our qualified coaches confidently navigate these details and clearly explain the key differences. That way, you can make informed decisions about your retirement, even with an international move.

Create a realistic plan to successfully reach your financial goals.

Lots of self-trained coaches talk a big game about side hustles, generating passive income, and financial freedom. Those sound great on paper and in our mind, but all too often, they’re too lofty or not at all feasible for your needs and profile.  Our coaches live in reality and want you to, too. Whenever you book a coaching session with abroaden, your coach will first ask you what you want to achieve and then help you define realistic goals you can reach.

After all, the most successful financial goals are the ones that are realistic.  With your abroaden coach, you’ll have the greatest chance to solve your nagging problems and hit the milestones that bring you closer to financial wellbeing. 

Work with a coach who knows exactly what it’s like to live abroad.

All of our coaches are living abroad - many of them for decades. We’ve experienced that same feeling of being in a foreign country and struggling to understand local customs, systems, and languages as we build our lives. Our coaches take that experience and use it as context when answering your financial questions and coming up with a plan for you.

This expertise is a massive difference-maker for people living abroad and needing guidance with their financial questions. Our coaches can see how your ideas will carry over years living abroad, helping you to avoid pitfalls and create a framework for success that less experienced coaches will miss. 

Imagine you come across a financial coach on your LinkedIn feed. The person talks about investing tips for expats along with a catchy selfie. Unfortunately, when you see their profile, they haven’t really lived abroad, or at least for not very long. They’ll give information that might not see the full international picture because they haven’t experienced it yet themselves. With abroaden, you don’t have to worry about getting a partial picture as our coaches leverage their decades of experience living abroad when mentoring you through a financial decision. 

Receive unbiased help from someone who wants you to succeed, not to buy something

You’re looking for a coach because you need help with a perplexing money problem. What you’re not searching for is someone to sell a financial product to you that you don’t even need. Our coaches aren’t salespeople, they’re problem solvers.  Before, during and after your session, they’ll find products, services, and possibilities that can meet your needs. 

They’ll then propose them to you and explain what they are so you make an informed decision. If there’s a commission involved, your coach will disclose that and offer alternatives that might also suit your needs so you can reach your goals.

A bank in your city might have someone who speaks a language you’re more comfortable in and you want to ask them how you can save for retirement. They’ll listen to your questions but more often-than-not, recommend one of their in-house funds, savings accounts, or insurance products. Depending on the banker, you might wind up putting your money into a product you never wanted or were comfortable in the first place. That doesn’t happen with abroaden since our coaches look for solutions that are right for you, not good for us. 

abroaden: the 1:1 financial coach for people living abroad

A financial coach can be the resource you need to tackle your pressing financial challenges and reach the goals you envision for yourself. However, not every coach is qualified to help you — either because they lack expertise, training, experience living abroad, or a combination of all three. Depending on which coaching service you choose could make the difference between hitting your objectives and continuing to fall short. abroaden’s 1:1 financial coaching for expats and other people living abroad help set you up for financial success today, tomorrow, and beyond, and wherever you call home. Book your coaching package now, and take the first step to hitting your goals.  


Abroaden is a provider of financial wellbeing services primarily for people living abroad. This information is for educational purposes only and is not financial or investment advice.