Financial Aliyah Webinar with IsraTransfer & Olim Advisors

Updated: Jul 21

Tips on Making Financial Aliyah to Israel


Tune in to Rafi Shulman (Olim Advisors) and Daniel Engelsman (IsraTransfer) for an informative webinar on finances and aliyah. They touch on all the crucial points: from property purchase to the price of good meat (and where to find it!).



Reducing the Cost of Your Aliyah


Moving is expensive, especially when it's to another country across the ocean.

Listen now for a discussion on the following tips:

  • Thinking twice about what you’re shipping (car, furniture, clothes)​

  • Time your shipment so that you don’t have to pay for storage​

  • Negotiate shipping prices​

  • Learn Hebrew: Get 7500 NIS reimbursed for private ulpan​

  • Buy appliances from authorized importers​ - reasons to buy in Israel

  • Buy used cars, furniture, etc.

Living within your Means​


Salaries in Israel are lower, but so are many expenses. Working remotely will likely amount to a salary increase, but not necessarily. Exchange rates fluctuate. This also applies to living off a pension. Low exchange rates can lead to losing big for people depending on paychecks from overseas. Tune in to this topic here.


Breakdown of the Cost of Living in Israel


How much money will you spend on living expenses each month? This depends on the number of people in your household, where in the country you leave and many other factors. A family of six typically spends between 14,000 ILS and 35,000 ILS per month ($4,300 - $11,800​). For a couple over age 55 the range is between 10,000 ILS - 18,000 ILS ($3,050 - $5,500​).


Below is a sample budget from Nefesh b'Nefesh:


​More on budgeting for your life in Israel here.


How to Lower Expenses in Israel​

  • Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. In Israel, you can negotiate anywhere, for anything - and it's easier than you think.

  • Get used to buying used- cars, furniture, etc.

  • For shopping deals, loyalty cards are your friend.

  • If your child has special needs or is in special ed, make sure to claim your tax benefits.

  • If you have a baby within the first year of aliyah, get a subsidy from the Ministry of Absorption. Ask your local office.​

  • Take public transportation​. Gas is very expensive.

  • Enjoy free or discounted events and attractions. Purchase a "matmom card", get cards that give you free points

Listen for more tips on how to save​.


Buying a Home in Israel is Possible!


Owning a home doesn't have to stay in the realm of fantasy. Down payments are high, but Israeli's can get 75% mortgage vs 50% for foreigners. In Israel, mortgage payments are low compared to other countries. ​


You can save by:

  • Purchasing a home in the periphery instead of a major city​

  • Buy "on paper"​ instead of already built property

  • Purchasing with parents or family members​

  • Investing in a home with a rental unit​

  • Get the most shekels for your dollars when transferring money to Israel

Click here for the full discussion on saving when purchasing a home.


Transferring Money to Israel


Why is transferring money to Israel different from other countries? At IsraTransfer, we joke that Israel assumes you are a money-launder until proven innocent...and this isn't too far from the truth! After the banks were faced with lawsuits for being too easy on foreign money transfers, they tightened their restrictions to the point of driving everyone a little crazy! Now, anyone who wants to transfer a large amount of money needs to provide a source of funds.

Tune in for Daniel Engelsman's explanation of things to consider when transferring money to Israel and how to time your transfers for maximum savings.

Tune in for Daniel Engelsman's explanation of things to consider when transferring money to Israel and how to time your transfers for maximum savings.



Q&A from Listeners:


You asked, we answered! Check out listeners' questions and how our experts responded:


  • Is there a limit to bringing cash into Israel? 50:05

  • Can you open a bank account before you make aliyah? 53:10

  • What are the fees when sending money to Israel? 53:57

  • What websites can you use to compare prices in Israel? 55:50

  • Is there a monthly minimum balance you need to maintain in the banks in Israel? 56:56

  • Can you rent for a period as a visitor and then change your status to make Aliyah? 57:44

  • What is the cap on how much US dollars you can bring on the flight? 58:38

  • Will we need to open an Israeli bank account before buying an apartment or applying for a workplace pension? 59:28

  • Can a senior citizen get a mortgage? 1:00:29

  • Do you need to pay an annual fee on foreign credit cards? Why get a foreign credit card? 1:01:28

  • Does Israel subsidize aliyah? 1:02:41

  • Arnona - question about local property taxes: 1:03:51

  • Food prices: 1:04:28

  • Are there US debit or ATM cards that do not charge a foreign withdrawal fee? 1:05:17

  • How is Olim Advisors different than Nefesh B'Nefesh? 1:06:08


Resources Mentioned in this Video



Did you listen to the webinar? Which tip was your favorite?