Financial planning for expats on the move



Moving overseas can provide opportunities to further your career and improve your lifestyle. The pull of a better climate, work-life balance and career progression can make the choice to move internationally irresistible.

However, for all the exciting opportunities moving abroad can offer, you will also be presented with challenges. There will be a new culture to assimilate with, different rules, paperwork and bureaucracy to contend with.

You may be earning in a different currency for the first time while retaining assets at home, valued in a different currency. Tax rules will be different, providing potential challenges to your financial planning but potentially offering different opportunities to be tax efficient. Expert advice from those who understand the local market provides a huge benefit.

Career opportunities, along with a healthy dose of the travel bug mean you may find yourself moving again. Ensuring your plans move with you can be a huge advantage.

Wherever your career takes you, you will need to continue to plan. This will include the cost of education for your children, as well as planning for a future where you achieve financial independence. This could be when you retire, or you may have moved overseas because it provides an opportunity to achieve financial independence sooner.

A higher salary may mean more disposable income available to save for these future goals and aspirations. It is important in this case, to find the right environment to allow your savings pot to grow towards financial independence.

Let us look at some specific examples:

Example 1

An international worker moves to France from the UK where they intend to live for the long-term. They have a lump sum of capital to invest and want to consider the most tax efficient solutions available.

They are concerned about the current weak exchange rate from GBP: EUR. 

We recommend a portable solution that allows investment in GBP, with EUR also available should the client wish to change the currency in the future. The solution is also portable to the UK, should the client return.

Example 2

An international worker spends 15 years working for various companies in the UK, where they contributed to UK pensions. They accept a promotion in the US where they plan on remaining for the long-term, most likely retiring there. 

They want to consolidate the multiple schemes into a single pension for ease of administration and to invest their assets in USD.

Based on the clients’ circumstances and objectives, we recommend a solution that allows them to hold and invest in USD. This scheme also retains the ability to invest in GBP and other major currencies, should their plans change.

Want to learn more? Download our expat financial planning guide

Finding the right solution for individual circumstances

Forth Capital specialise in finding solutions like these, specifically for international workers. We understand the excitement and opportunities of working internationally but we are also acutely aware of the challenges this poses. We understand the complexities of saving in CHF in Switzerland but paying EUR bills in France or earning in Hong Kong whilst planning for retirement in Australia.

We have local knowledge of the jurisdictions where we advise, ensuring you can save in a tax efficient way, if possible whilst always being focused on the needs of international professionals.

We understand the need for portable solutions that allow you to save in different currencies. We recommend platforms that give online access when you are living in Germany but also when you accept that promotion in Saudi Arabia. Reducing the stress of changing accounts every time you move, while maintaining a consistent financial plan.

We also understand that our clients generally have the same fundamental goals. They want to be financially independent and to ensure their families are secure.

Jamie Tulip

The Author

Jamie Tulip

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