Open book

Learning the language of your country - some top tips

When moving overseas, one of the biggest concerns for prospective expats is likely to be how easy it will be to fit in with the locals. Moving to a foreign country can be intimidating, especially when travelling to a place with a culture which is vastly different from home.

So, it's understandable to want to make a good impression in the community, and there are several ways this can be achieved. One of the most effective ways is to learn the native tongue.

Work and Calculator on Bench

Investments

A few weeks ago I wrote an article called Tips on Investing. Since then, in light of what has happened to investments with Continental Wealth Management, I have been asked to explain as simply as possible what structured notes are and why some are so risky. So here goes.

Birds nest filled with cash

Final Salary Pensions – To transfer or not to transfer, that is the question?

Recent pension transfers I have been involved with include British Airways and BT, amongst others, and these have prompted me to consider their perceived “gold-plated” image and whether clients may be better off transferring out to a Self-Invested Pension Plan (SIPP), perhaps, or a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

If you are contemplating your pension planning, ask your pension trustees to send you a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) and you may be shocked by the size of the sum involved. The British Airways Scheme recently offered over £500,000 transfer value to a member whose pension entitlement would be £20833 at retirement. That’s 24 times the income.

Stockholm Waterfront

Sweden offering expats one of the best work-life balances worldwide

In the UK, the first week of October is National Work-Life Week, which encourages employers and employees to look at how they can improve their well-being at work and strike a healthier balance between family life and their job. The aim is to help reduce stress among a company's workforce by offering more flexible ways of working, allowing workers to have time for other priorities in their life.

Of course, it's not just in the UK where this is an important issue. Many workforces worldwide could do with a better work-life balance, and if you are soon to be moving to another country for work, it's likely you'll be wondering what the work culture is like. After all, spending long hours at your workplace without much else to do in your free time may mean you miss out on some of the best aspects of moving to a new country, such as forming a new circle of friends. And too much neglect of your personal life may end up affecting your emotional well-being and this is often one of the main stress factors expats have to deal with.

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