Expats have some unique requirements when it comes to a financial plan. Here are four dilemmas which expats face, and how to solve them.
Problem 1: Currency fluctuations
Expat finances can be complicated by the fact that you might earn income in one currency, live in a country which has a different one and make payments such as a mortgage in another. If your salary or pension needs to be transferred to a different currency even relatively small changes to the rate of exchange can play havoc with your finances. In addition, as an expat, you are more likely to travel for both work and leisure and you may relocate relatively frequently from one country to another.
The solution: A multi-currency offshore account
A multi-currency offshore account could simplify your situation by having one centralised account that you can use wherever in the world you are. These kind of accounts offer flexibility and having to deal with just one financial institution can be a huge benefit by simplifying your life.
Problem 2: Accessing quality healthcare wherever you are in the world
In our home countries many of us have access to free or subsidised and affordable healthcare but this is usually not the case when we move to a different country. In Asia the first class hospitals and healthcare options come with a first class price tag but leaving yourself and your family at the mercy of state healthcare may be inadvisable. In addition, none of us can predict the twists and turns that life is going to throw at us so protection against serious accident or long term illness is important.
The solution: Medical insurance that is truly international
Expats living abroad absolutely need comprehensive medical insurance to guarantee access to the best healthcare when living abroad as well as to cover repatriation to your home country should it ever be required. There are a wealth of policies to choose from – one of our professional financial advisers can discuss the options with you and find one that suits your own unique situation.
Problem 3: Pension complications
Retirement planning is more of a challenge for expats who may have pension savings in more than one jurisdiction. This can make it more difficult to work out whether you have sufficient savings to retire at the time and income level you would like and may also mean that your savings are not working as efficiently as they could for you.
The solution: Professional advice from an expert in expat retirement planning
This is one area where professional financial advice is a must. An adviser who has experience of working with expats can assess your situation and explain the options available to you. A QROPS may be a possibility but these are not advantageous for everyone so you really need advice tailored to your own personal situation. It goes without saying that you should choose an adviser that you trust and who adheres to strict working practices. Have a look here to see why we think our Infinity advisers fit the bill.
Problem 4: International university fees
The cost of further education weighs heavily on the minds of many a parent but even more so for expats who are usually subject to more onerous international fees. Recent figures from the UK put the cost of a university education for international students at upwards of £14,000 per annum, and that’s for fees alone, not allowing for living expenses.
The solution: An education plan
Saving regularly into an education plan is the smart way to save up for those eye-watering fees. Starting as early as possible means that compound interest has longer to work its magic. Infinity has expertise in this specialised area and can talk you through the range of regular savings products which can help you achieve your financial goals and give your children the best start in life.