We hear about an ever increasing number of expats looking to start new lives in a foreign country, finally realizing that the worldwide economic crisis has resulted in a sky-rocketing cost of living, shortage of employment and various other issues.
The story of a couple from the UK, moving into the South of France, and facing problems while being unable to sell the house, owing to a land dispute, is a clear example of some of the challenges that British expats might face all over the world. When the couple were desperate to move back to the UK, the price of houses in their home country was too high and the value of their property in Spain had almost become half of the original.
Common issues faced by British expats
One of the reasons why British seek to move out of the country is to escape the extreme cold in the UK. David Reed from Oscar Winson says that there is a common realization among majority of the British expats that when they shift to another location, they often face a cultural shock. Many of them discover that nobody has an inclination to discuss life as it was before the 1974 revolution. There is simply a lack of connection. British expats might find it hard to find a decent football game to watch in a foreign land and even if they do, it might be very different from their regular Everton versus Arsenal match.
Another common issue faced by British expats is the language barrier. Shifting to a country where the primary language is not English could sometimes create problems in communication.
As far as the cost of living is concerned, a British expat, living in Japan, talking about his experience, says that different shops in Japan might be selling the same product at a different price. According to the financial advisory company, Oscar Winson, in the absence of any base reference, it is difficult to actually gauge if something is expensive or not and what is decent value for money. It takes time for British expats to learn about handling money and buying in the foreign market. But gradually, they learn the ways of life in the new place and the cost of living gets decreased.
We all invest our money in a lot of things. However, we cannot control how these investments grow. Nevertheless, that does not mean that we just invest our hard earned money and let it go unsupervised. We need to manage our wealth in the right way.
Unfortunately, we may not be able to do so because of our tight schedules and what not. That’s why we have wealth management professionals to help us out with this important task.
But, how well our wealth is managed depends a lot on how good the wealth management advisor is. Oscar Winson’s David Reed lists out a set of important factors that you need to look at before you hire a wealth management advisor, especially if you are an expat in China.
Billing and charges
David Reed considers this to be the most important question to ask while hiring a wealth management advisor. The point is to make sure that your long-term returns are worth it. Therefore, advisors who work on a commission basis need to be avoided. These types of advisors usually have the task of forcing you to buy a life insurance policy or a mutual fund and they’re getting a percentage of the revenue for doing so. The problem is that these products are not great in terms of savings.
What you need is a fee-based wealth management advisor. They charge a fixed fee for their services, either monthly or annually. Above all, they tend to be better in terms of providing valuable wealth management advice. This is because their fees depend on how well your investments perform.
However, make sure you get a breakdown of the fees involved. If the fees involved go beyond 1.5% per year, then the advisor might be charging a bit too much.
An obvious concern should be the educational background of your advisor. Do a little research about what qualifications a wealth management advisor in China must have. Find out if your advisor is qualified accordingly. Also, make sure that they possess the necessary certifications. Many wealth management advisors in China lie about their educational qualifications. The certifications can provide some sort of guarantee in case you can’t get information about their education.
Take a look at the advisor’s portfolio and see how they have performed in the past. Do they have a good list of clients? Ask them to provide you with proof such as audited statements or client references. If you get client references, make sure you follow up on it. A good advisor will, generally, have good feedback from his/her clients.
Moving to another country brings its own fair share of challenges and one of those challenges is the confusion involved in handling currency fluctuations. These currency fluctuations cause a lot of confusion. You could often end up in situations that involve juggling multiple currencies. Added to that, there is the rate of exchange that you have to deal with. If you aren’t too careful, you could actually end up losing a substantial sum of money.
That’s why David Reed, Oscar Winson Financial Services, suggests that you open a multi-currency offshore account as a way to manage your finances as an expat.
What is a multi-currency offshore account?
A multi-currency offshore account is a type of centralized account offered by some financial institutions. It is a centralized account that helps you handle finances from any part of the world and in any currency. It offers a ton of flexibility and simplifies your transactions. Plus, you have the extra benefit of dealing with a single financial institution for managing your transactions.
The advantages of a multi-currency offshore account
There are a plenty of benefits you gain from operating a multi-currency offshore account. For starters, you can carry out transactions using major currencies without any complications or confusion. You can also deposit or withdraw money from this account directly.
The process of carrying out transactions across multiple countries using more than one type of currency is simplified. Plus, it happens without delay and at no added cost.
You won’t have to run between different financial institutions to manage your finances, which can produce long-term financial benefits of its own. Most of all, it helps you save time and reduces your effort, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life.
Multi-currency offshore accounts provide you with a safe and secure avenue for accessing your money globally. Exchange conversion fees are reduced significantly, which can help you enjoy more savings.
You also gain protection from frequent currency fluctuations. For example, you can shift holdings from one particular currency to another without having to pay extra fees or any fees at all for that matter. In fact, you can even book forward currency exchange in advance.
Above all, you can keep your money protected in a safe offshore location and allow it to grow without worries.
Things to watch out for
Nevertheless, there are some things to keep an eye on with multi-currency offshore accounts. For instance, look at all the fee-free services. There may be conditions attached. David Reed suggests that you look at multiple multi-currency offshore accounts before settling for one.
Being an expat can be quite a challenge. There is the whole “adjusting to the new culture” thing and it only gets even more complicated when you have to help your family settle in to a strange environment. But, one of the most difficult things you face as an expat is handling your finances. David Reed of Oscar Winson points out some of the most common financial problems you might face as an expat and provides you with the respective solutions for those problems.
Currency changes can be one of the most common issues you might face as an expat. You’ll probably be seeing yourself in a scenario where you earn in one currency, live in a place with another, and make important payments in a third currency. It can seem extremely confusing. Also, with the exchange rates constantly fluctuating, there is always a risk of losing money. This can lead to a financial chaos of sorts. The situation could turn for the worse if your job involves further shifting to newer locations.
As a solution, David Reed suggests opening up a multi-currency offshore account. This type of account will serve your need for a centralized account and keep all the confusion to a bare minimum. You can handle your money from any geographical location and have the convenience of working with a single financial institution.
Planning for retirement can become complicated for expats, especially if their savings are distributed across multiple locations. This can lead to confusion regarding whether there are enough savings to manage post-retirement expenses and also, the savings might fail to actually offer any real benefits.
David Reed’s solution to this is to talk to a professional financial advisor, especially one that has considerable experience working with expats in the past. A professional advisor can tell you about the many options available and explain to you about which ones work the best for your situation.
Also, the advisor must be trustworthy and reliable. For instance, Oscar Winson has been providing financial advice to expats for years, which has earned us plenty of credibility and trust.
Expats do not have the benefits of subsidized or free healthcare in the countries they work in. Even if the healthcare were to be affordable, the reliability of state sponsored healthcare can become an issue.
As a solution, David Reed suggests that expats get themselves some comprehensive medical insurance in order to get the best healthcare possible. There are plenty of options in this arena and talking to a financial services advisor such as Oscar Winson can be quite helpful.
As a British expat living in a foreign country, it is natural for you to have concerns about your finances, the right way to invest them and safeguard them effectively. Given that you are in a country that is not your own, there may be a number of aspects in the prevailing financial environment that you are not aware of. Even those British expats who have lived for a number of years in the country may be unfamiliar with all the nuances of the marketplace. This can prove to be a costly lapse if you invest your money in the wrong assets or even if you time your investment wrong. However, it is easy to eliminate this risk simply by partnering with a reputed, expert financial advisor like David Reed from the Oscar Winson Group.
Backed by the extensive marketplace experience of Director David Reed, Oscar Winson has helped several expats manage their finances most efficiently, multiply their savings and enjoy the unique advantages of the foreign country’s special financial market advantages without increasing exposure to risk.
Addressing the tax question
Tax planning is very important irrespective of whether you are living in your home country or you are an expat. It is critical to take the right action at the right time to ensure that your hard earned money does not unnecessarily go into the taxman’s pockets instead of helping you live a quality life. This is relatively easy when you are in your home country and you have access to information about the latest tax rules. Since you have filed your tax returns for years on end here, you are likely to be quite familiar with what is to be done and how and when. This allows you to plan ahead to cut down your tax bill to the maximum without circumventing the law in any way.
However, you definitely cannot have this ease with the tax rules in your adopted country. Owing to this, you may end up not knowing how to plan ahead and invest in tax saving instruments that can trim your total payables. You may be unaware of tax limits and constraints and this means you fail to take full advantage of all available tax rebates. In effect, without an experienced tax advisor guiding you, you could be practically giving away your hard earned money in tax.
Protecting your interests and safeguarding your investments
You have worked hard all your life and built up a nest egg that is your financial cushion for your retirement years. You want to safeguard this nest egg at all costs because your future quality of life depends upon it. If you have substantial assets built up over the years, you also want to ensure that you can pass them on to your heirs. All of this is possible in the most efficient way only when you have comprehensive knowledge about the various laws and regulations that pertain to these assets. While this kind of familiarity may be impossible for you to achieve, we make it our business to know everything about these aspects at Oscar Winson. This is exactly why our British expat clients call in Oscar Winson’s dynamic helmsman whenever they have a decision to make that is connected to asset and wealth management.
Managing wealth can be difficult as it is, and it even more difficult when you’re an expat. There are so many things that you must think about when you are managing your finances, and there are even more things that you must think about when you are managing your finances as an expat. It is not easy being an expat, since it requires many things. Here are just some of the things that you might learn from living in a foreign country as an expat.
Being An Expat
Living as an expat requires a lot of patience to learn new things and of course the willingness to learn all these things. Also, it requires being able to change and adapt to new situations. When it comes to your finances, you will have to learn a great deal about how to manage them in a foreign country. There will be so many things that you will have to learn and master just to be able to live normally in your new home country. If you want to learn more about managing your finances in a foreign country make sure that you read the following tips.
So, Here’s How To Manage Your Finances In A Foreign Country
1. Hire A Financial Adviser
Perhaps you will feel unable to manage your finances on your own, or you may feel like you need some help to do so successfully. If you want to manage your finances successfully while living as an expat, make sure that you hire a financial adviser. A financial adviser is the most competent person will definitely help you get your finances in order and learn how to function in a foreign country and how to manage your finances successfully. Also, if you have any questions, your financial adviser will be there for you. Getting a financial adviser again not just improve your quality of life and the quality of how your managing your finances, but it will also make your life less stressful and you want have to worry about your finances as long as you have a financial advisor on your side.
2. Control Your Finances
Being able to control your finances is one of the best qualities an adult can have, especially if you want to be a functional member of society. However, not all people have the ability to control their finances equally successful. If you’re unable to hire a financial adviser, but still wanted to be able to manage your finances and get a firm grip over them, make sure that you learn more about controlling your finances in the new environment that you found yourself in. Also, do not despair you don’t manage to manage your finances from the get go, since it requires work, commitment and knowledge.
3. Know When To Invest
Also, it is important to learn how to recognize the opportunity to invest. You will probably find yourself in a situation where are you will be able to invest in property you which is located in a foreign country, and might even find yourself questioning whether you should do it. Make sure that you consider each opportunity carefully and think about it carefully before committing to it and investing.