Offshore Banking, Savings and Investment News

News and information for expatriate and international investors and savers.

How to Buy Property Abroad Safely: The Definitive Guide

Putting sense back into buying property abroad!

buy property abroad safely

At Shelter Offshore we’ve been writing about overseas property matters for 10 years…and in that time we’ve seen markets boom and markets bust.  We’ve seen property trends become trendy - and become seriously unfashionable – property in Albania anyone?  Thought not!

And throughout it all the same question is asked time and time again, irrespective of the country in question: ‘how can I buy a property abroad safely?’  Buyers need to know how to protect their position at all times.  Therefore we have decided to write a definitive guide to ensuring you do all you can to protect your property buying decisions.

If you’re contemplating embarking on a property purchase abroad please use our report to guide you: never rush in to a decision, and think through potential outcomes carefully.  You might not like some of the things we’re about to say, but please believe us they are based on the bitter experiences of many Britons who have attempted to make a property purchase overseas.

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What to Teach Overseas?  Everything You Need to Know!

Everything you need to know about finding a job teaching abroad at an international school.

Working Abroad as a Teacher

When you mention the concept of teaching overseas most people assume the only option open to anyone is Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).  However, for fully qualified and experienced teachers, there are many other opportunities too; 320,000 in fact!  That’s the number of jobs that are currently filled by teachers at international schools around the world.

International schools are usually schools that use English as the language of learning.  They are usually located in non-English-speaking countries, and their curricula range from international options such as the International Baccalaureate, to the National Curriculum of England - or an American curriculum.  Many international schools lead the world in terms of pedagogy and learning facilities.

There are currently over 7,000 international schools around the world, and that number is growing at a phenomenal rate.  The main reason for this growth is that they are popular with both expatriate families living in non-English-speaking countries who want a quality, English-speaking education for their children, and with local families who want the same in order to get their children into English-speaking universities for the best education and career prospects later in life.

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An Expat’s Guide to Italian Business in 2014

How to start and grow a business in Italy.

Italian Business for Expats

With its vibrant history and incomparable culture, expats need never explain the draw of Italy.  However, with a raucous political climate and complex fiscal and economic legislation, doing business in Italy can be daunting.  If you’re thinking about relocating to Italy and you’d like to start or buy a business, there’s a lot of preparation you need to do before you commit.

Part of that preparation is getting a good understanding of the business environment.  Thanks to Simon Ball, who founded his Italian company Tuscany Now over twenty years ago, we can bring you insight into the Italian business environment.  Simon’s company is an Italian villa company, and whilst based in London much of the time, Simon works in Italy to maintain relationships with his property homeowners, and retains strong links to the business environment locally.

With his unique perspective, we decided to ask him what makes an Italian business work for the benefits of expat or would-be expat readers contemplating relocation to Italy.

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Expats: Don’t be Fooled by the Chancellor’s Pension Reforms!

The chancellor’s pension reforms may mean bad news for any expat who leaves their pension in the UK

Expat Pension Reform

According to the British Chancellor, last week he announced the biggest reforms to pensions since the 1920s.  We would beg to differ.  What’s more, if you’re a British expat with a pension in the UK, his proposed changes definitely don’t add up for you.

The confusion created by his seemingly significant overhaul of British private pensions resulted in many financial professionals scratching their heads, and trying to work out the effects of the proposals on their clients.  But if you take any personal agenda out of the equation and look at the bare facts, here’s what we know…

Firstly his plans aren’t even firm plans!  They are for consultation only.  They are a long way from becoming law.  Secondly, whilst they may have a little to do with encouraging people to save for their own retirement, they have an awful lot more to do with an incredibly substantial tax grab that could see the real value of your retirement pot eroded over and over again.  The good news is that if you’re an expat you don’t have to worry…as long as you take action sooner rather than later.

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Expat with a Business Abroad? Want to be on TV?

Are you an expat with a restaurant or hotel in Europe? Gordon Ramsay wants to meet and work with you for a new TV series!

expat business gordon ramsay

One of the most commonly pursued dreams for would-be expats is moving abroad and setting up a brand new business.  In the recent past one of the most popular choices was to establish a bar, restaurant or hotel/B&B in a holiday hotspot, and live the dream of working and living in the sunshine, catering to a British tourist market.

However, the global financial market has had a negative impact on the dreams of many an expat setting up such a business abroad, and many who have tried have failed to make a go of their tourism business through no fault of their own.  In the likes of Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Italy where economies have been decimated, British expats have struggled perhaps even more than the local competition…

If you’re currently in the position of owning and attempting to run a restaurant or hotel business abroad then Gordon Ramsey and his production company want to hear from you.  As one of the world’s most famous and outspoken chef’s Gordon Ramsay is on a new mission to save the businesses of expat restaurateurs and hotel owners.  So, if you want his help to turn your business around, now is the time to reach out.

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Expats Say Dubai is Changing for the Better

Has Dubai become a green city? Expats living in Dubai say it has changed for the better.

Sustainable Dubai

A recent blog post by Annabel Kantaria, one my favourite expat writers, discussed the concept of sustainability in relation to Dubai.  I almost did a double take when I read the introduction to her piece about how the emirate is really embracing the concept of environmental friendliness.  Dubai?  Built out of energy intensive concrete?  Navigated by gas-guzzling, air-polluting mega cars?  Seriously?

In my opinion there is nothing sustainable about Dubai…certainly not its economic model, definitely not its approach to the environment.  However, Annabel Kantaria disagrees – at least in part.  She says Dubai really is changing for the better.  And from what I have now read, other expats living in Dubai agree with her…

Whilst Dubai continues to grow apace, with national developer Emaar having announced a new property project every single week so far this year, allegedly general attitudes in Dubai are changing.  A new green hue has descended upon the national psyche!  So much so that people are beginning to consider the impact that everything about Dubai has on the environment.

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How Safe is Your Expat Pension from New HMRC Tax Charge?

Avoid 55% tax on your pension by making yourself aware of all the options open to expats including QROPS.

Expat Pension Tax

On April the 6th the lifetime allowance threshold (LTA) for pensions is going to fall by a quarter of a million pounds.  You might think ‘so what’ but if you’re an expat with even just a modest pension you need to be very aware that this change could directly affect you – and see your pension face up to a 55% tax charge by HMRC in the future

You see, the LTA keeps falling.  The government keeps reducing the cap beyond which you will be taxed up to 55% on your pension holdings.  And even if you accrue a modest pension, move abroad and leave it alone in the UK to grow, it could reach the threshold allowance relatively quickly.  Especially if the government keeps reducing the threshold!  This means that without even realising it, you could be risking the exposure of your hard worked for pension to a 55% tax charge.

Expats should be more concerned about this problem than their onshore counterparts, because expats can take positive and decisive action that prevents their pension from being affected.  But you need to take action quickly if you’re close to the new £1.25m threshold which will come into effect on April the 6th 2014.  If you’re an expat and you have a pension in the UK you owe it to your retirement to look at your options…

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5 Main Reasons Why Brits Move Abroad

Discover the 5 main reasons Brits move abroad and become expats. It’s not all about the weather!

Why Brits Move Abroad

Are you thinking of making 2014 the year you become an expat?  Have you got plans to kiss the UK goodbye?  If so you’re not alone.  Despite a fall in the number of Britons emigrating in the last few years because of general economic conditions, the appetite to relocate remains acute among British residents.  Recent surveys by the likes of Internations and AXA PPP show that the desire to relocate is strong.

Such surveys also highlight the real reasons why Brits move abroad.  You might think it’s all about the weather, but that’s not necessarily the case for the majority!  What’s more, in recent years the reasons for Britons wanting to move abroad have subtly altered. 

In this report we’re going to highlight the 5 main reasons why Brits move abroad.  Take a look and see if you agree?  Are you wanting to change your life and become an expat for the same reasons as the majority?  Are your reasons realistic and realisable?

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Expat Euro Commuters Sought for TV Documentary

Do you have a cross border commute? Would you like to appear on TV?

euro commuters wanted for tv show

Do you have an extraordinary commute?  Perhaps you work on one side of the world and live on the other?  Maybe you’re British and you commute abroad to work…or you work in the UK and choose to reside with your family elsewhere?

If you have an extreme commute between your work life and your home life, a TV production company would like to hear from you.  They are looking for case studies to potentially take part in a brand new British documentary looking at the rising trend in the extreme commute.

We’ve focused on euro commuters in the past, and we’re well aware that some of our readers choose to live the life of their dreams on the continent with their family, whilst retaining employment or business opportunities in the UK.  So, if this sounds like you or someone you know, the question is would you like to be on TV?

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Expats With Property in UK to Face Capital Gains Tax

Expats non-resident in the UK who own British property will become liable for capital gains tax from next year.

Expat CGT on British Property

Many Britons who’ve moved overseas in recent years have opted to retain property in the UK.  After all, until just a few short months ago the British property market was stagnant at best, and finding a buyer willing to pay an asking price was difficult.

What’s more, many British expats choose to keep property in the UK because it’s a housing market they understand, it’s a market that attracts strong rental demand, and by owning a home you can potentially return to Britain at any point should the need arise.

Retaining owned property in the UK is something we’ve always promoted – alongside opting to rent in your new nation of residence for at least the first 6 months following relocation too.  It just keeps options open on all sides for expats.  However, new capital gains tax (CGT) rules due to come into effect next year may change the way expats need to think about property in the UK.

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