Offshore Banking, Savings and Investment News
News and information for expatriate and international investors and savers.
How an expat went from earning a schoolteacher’s salary to investing his way to millions.
Would you accept personal style tips from the scruffiest person you know? Would you accept sobriety tips from the heaviest drinker you know? So why would you accept investment tips from anyone other than a self-made millionaire? And as an expat, why would you take tips from someone who has no idea about your lifestyle – and the opportunities and challenges it brings?
The good news for expats is that a fellow expat, who started his professional life as a modest teacher in an international school, and who invested his teacher’s salary so carefully he turned it into millions, has written a book explaining how anyone can follow in his fortunate footsteps.
If you’re an expat and you have ambitions of becoming wealthy, Andrew Hallam’s book ‘The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat’ will make essential reading. It’s a humorously written informative guide, complete with case studies. And it contains some exceptionally brilliant tips!
Many expats can’t afford the retirement of their dreams because they just can’t save enough.
Since 2005 HSBC has been producing an annual report entitled The Future of Retirement, in which it publishes findings of research conducted amongst international citizens relating to their plans for retirement. According to HSBC the report: “provides authoritative insights into the key issues associated with ageing populations and increasing life expectancy around the world.”
The 2015 report has recently been published, and it has been given the subtitle ‘a balancing act’ because seemingly far too many of us are finding it increasingly difficult to balance the cost of living abroad versus saving for our retirement. The findings are quite striking, if largely unsurprising.
For example, the cost of living abroad eats far too much into any income we earn, making our dreams for retirement an unlikely ambition at best - according to large swathes of the 16,000 expats surveyed by HSBC in 15 different countries. This won’t come as a major surprise to many expats, particularly those living in hotspots like Dubai where the cost of living and the general lifestyle can wipe out any high-salary and tax advantages for example.
Where can you find work in the banking and financial sectors in 2015?
If you’re working in the City and looking to move abroad and take your career with you, or you’re already an expat and you want to move on or move up, where are the banking and financial service sector jobs in 2015? According to research by eFinancialCareers there is money to be made and jobs to be found in the Asia Pacific region.
But be warned, whilst you might be swapping grey skies for blue, and you might be upsizing your career, you could be downsizing your salary. To learn where there are expat jobs in finance and banking in some of the most beautiful Asia Pacific countries, read on.
Whilst Singapore and Hong Kong already offer salaries to match even the biggest lifestyle ambitions for senior bankers and finance professionals, the likes of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Jakarta in Indonesia, where eFinancialCareers claim there are plenty of job opportunities in 2015, can’t necessarily match the remuneration packages of their wealthy regional neighbours…
Ecuador is apparently the best country in the world for expats to retire to.
No one can beat International Living (IL) when it comes to compiling excellent indices on the cheapest places to live abroad. But at this time of the year they often present us with good food for thought in the form of a retirement abroad index for the coming year. So if you’re approaching retirement, or you just want to plan ahead and start thinking about where you can put your feet up in perpetual sunshine and luxury, IL is here to help.
Whilst the publication is North American facing, it can open the eyes of us Brits by making us consider countries way outside our usual perspective as a good place to live abroad when we retire. For example, in this year’s Best Places to Retire Index the top three nations are Ecuador, Panama and Mexico. Certainly not hot on the majority of Brits’ agendas when looking for somewhere to retire abroad to…
Taking our inspiration from International Living’s findings therefore, here is why Ecuador is the best place to retire abroad – and why it actually deserves at least a second, much closer look as potential retirement abroad destination by more Britons.
Rules relating to the payment of CGT by non-resident UK property owners will change in April and expats will be affected.
Significantly sneaky draft legislation was published last week that will affect the way capital gains tax (CGT) is charged on the sale of UK property assets owed by expats. It is due to come into effect from April 6th 2015, and it is expected that the vast majority of expat property owners could be affected. The worst-case scenario is that expat property owners will lose up to 28% of their property profits.
From April 2015 capital gains tax will be payable by all expats and non-UK residents on any gains made from sales of British residential property. Obviously buy-to-let property and holiday homes, which are rented out, will fall within this new CGT regime. It will also affect British expats who hold an empty British property that they were hoping to sell at some point to perhaps fund an overseas home purchase.
If you sell before April the 6th 2015 the old rules still apply. What’s worth mentioning is the fact that Principal Private Residence (PPR) relief could still be available or partially available for some. Under Principal Private Residence relief UK residents living in the property in question who then sold it would be exempt from paying any CGT, as it is not payable on one’s main home. (Unless you’re Boris Johnson and have duel UK/US citizenship…) So affected expats could choose to return to the UK, reside in the home and then sell it. However, it’s not quite that simple.
The expat personal tax allowance in the UK has been protected and extended, and other Autumn Statement tax changes could see expat Brits even better off.
Earlier this year we reported that the Chancellor was considering scrapping the personal tax allowance for expats and that this potentially signalled the start of a tax attack on non-resident Britons. The good news is that following the consultation period the Chancellor has announced that things will stay as they are for Brits abroad…for now.
The Autumn Statement last week actually extended the personal tax allowance to £10,600 – this will come into effect from April 6th 2015. Many who commented on the consultation and the proposals advised that far from bringing Britain’s tax regime in line with those of other nations such as the US, Canada and some countries in Europe, scrapping the personal allowance for anyone who didn’t have “strong economic ties with Britain” would actually make the entire tax system in the UK unworkable.
It seems that the government has accepted this argument for the time being, and also agreed that the current system is internationally-competitive for non-residents. There was further good news for some expats in the Autumn Statement too…
If you’re hankering after a new life abroad home schooling your child could be key to your freedom.
I recently bumped into an old friend whose daughter is the same age as mine. We had a quick catch up which included a conversation about preschool options locally. She informed me that she and her husband, who’s an expat from the Netherlands, have decided to home school their daughter because they both want the option of living part-time in the UK and part-time in the Netherlands.
This led me to have a think about my many expat friends around the world and how many of them home school their children. The majority do. The ones who have the most internationalised lives and who have relationships with expats from different nations for example, they all home school. And their children all seem to benefit significantly from this approach to their education for multiple reasons.
A round-robin email later and I can bring you the findings of my albeit limited survey, which shows that the main reasons for choosing home schooling include distrusting the local education options, and discovering how easy an approach it is nowadays thanks to the internet! There are some cons to be aware of however, and in the interests of balanced reporting I’m going to mention these too!
The qualification rules for the British state pension are changing in 2016: will you still qualify?
In April 2016 the rules relating to who can qualify for the British state pension are changing quite significantly, and among those likely to be affected by the new rules are expats. Currently you have to have made 30 years National Insurance contributions (NICs) to qualify for the full state pension, and have been contributing for at least a year to have any entitlement at all.
From April 6th 2016 the rules change as follows: anyone retiring on or after that date will have to have made 35 years of National Insurance contributions to be entitled for the full state pension. What’s more, anyone wishing to claim any of the entitlement at all will need to have been paying in for at least 10 years.
Whilst this will come as music to the ears of some who are well aware of unfairness in the British social payment system currently, it may concern those expats who have missed some years of National Insurance contributions. However, there is a way to play catch up with your NICs to ensure you will still qualify for the full state pension.
2 new reports highlight the very real risk that all expatriates face when it comes to the security of their money
Two reports have been published in the last week that really draw attention to the fact that if you’re an expat you’re outside any pre-prescribed financial box; and that as a result, your financial position may be being compromised.
The first report looks at how expats themselves often lose track of what accounts they have open and where, what these cost and the value of each one to the expat in question. Additionally it touches upon the fact that too many expats falsely believe they can only manage their financial affairs as they did before becoming internationalised.
The second report touches upon how almost anyone and everyone in the business of looking after an expat’s money is seemingly coming at the issue from entirely the wrong angle. It explains that thinking in the financial industry has to change entirely – and importantly this needs to happen sooner rather than later to stop expats being in such a vulnerable financial position.
Where in the world do citizens get the very best pension provision?
If you’re thinking about retiring abroad it’s critical that you learn all about the nations in the world where they give their retirees the best pension. After all, you may be able to benefit! If you’re still in employment perhaps you could relocate to the best nation and take up residence and qualify for their pension scheme?
Alternatively, if you want to retire abroad it will be important to know where in the world pension provision is very poor, so that if you really want to live there anyway you can ensure you have enough in your own private pension pot to afford yourself a decent standard of living throughout your retirement.
Thanks to a comprehensive survey undertaken by Mercer we can reveal the top 10 nations in the world for pension provision, and explain to you why they rank as they do, and any pitfalls you may need to watch out for if you’re hoping to relocate and benefit from a given country’s pension scheme. What’s more, it’s worth noting that some countries in the top 10 are in the British frozen pension list…