Retirement as a British expat (and why you have to plan it)

The expat lifestyle can be great. Sunny climates, beautiful scenery…but it can also be expensive.

If you are of working age, you need to maximise the numerous tax advantages of your international career. Will your residency be changing every couple of years? Do you intend to buy property abroad? Have you considered making a will and the effect of potential inheritance tax liabilities on your estate (which sadly is something that should be born in mind at all ages)?

International IFA’s can help you with these questions, and together they can leverage the maximum financial benefits from your time as an expat.

Advice about pensions is often aimed at people who are approaching retirement age, or those who have already retired. But the truth is that the earlier you start to think about pensions, and do something about building one, the better.

Once you have already retired and have stopped making contributions to your UK scheme, it may be tempting to view it as a “done deal”. But did you know that your pension assets could be eligible for a transfer into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)? These foreign arrangements have been authorised by HMRC to accept transfers of UK pension funds without any tax charge to the British taxman. They are typically available to people who are resident outside of the United Kingdom, and are prevalent in countries with established investment communities like the Isle of Man, or emerging ones such as Malta.

International IFA’s have the global reach to help you find the right location for your pension, which you may be surprised to learn does not have to be in the same jurisdiction as you. There are considerable tax advantages to getting your pension in the right place, and there may be penalties for making a mistake.