Pre-move Spanish wealth management
More than four in ten retired British expats choose to live in Spain. This could be for various reasons, including Spain's financial opportunities, family tradition, historical ties between the two countries, and, of course, the Spanish culture and climate.
However, it is little use making the most of Spain's wealth management opportunities if your UK-based financial situation is not organised before making the move.
For example, nowadays the UK has various regulations and agreements in place with the European Union which mean that unless you pay off, or legally attend to, your UK debts before moving you could be served with a European Enforcement Order (EEO) – hardly the welcome card expats want when taking up residence in their new Spanish address.
Get Your (Old) House in Order
Moving is stressful even at the best of times, but the difficulties can be compounded when you are relocating across borders with all the administrative tasks involved. It can be tempting to bury your head in the sand and ignore legal obligations to liaise with your creditors, particularly as your UK credit score bears no relevance on your capacity to receive credit in Spain.
However, whether it's regarding store card or mortgage debt, by letting all creditors know that you are moving and arranging a payment plan, you should have peace of mind and, importantly, the time and mental space you need to pay your debts.
It can be useful to remember that – the initial capital expenses of a move aside – the cost of living in Spain is significantly cheaper than that of the UK, which may give you more freedom and flexibility when it comes to structuring your finances, including the amount of taxes you will need to pay in Spain.
Also, it's worthwhile remembering that you may one day choose, or need, to return to the UK. Whether you do this because you are missing the British Isles and the rain-soaked lifestyle or because of unavoidable family circumstances, you do not want to be returning unnecessarily to a queue of creditors, all eager for you to settle your debts. Such a situation would also result in you receiving a low credit score, which, if you have any pressing financial needs, could prove disastrous.
Spanish Wealth Tax
The Spanish Wealth Tax requires all residents in Spain (those who live in the country for 183 days a year or more), including expats, to declare and pay tax on overseas assets worth more than €50,000. Failure to disclose assets can result in a €10,000 fine as well as further sanctions, so it is worth being clear about this from the very start – expert financial advice can help in this regard as there may be ways you can structure your wealth to reduce liability.
Contact Blacktower Today
At Blacktower, we aim to make your transition to expat life as financially advantageous as possible. We provide bespoke financial advice on all matters including, Spain's wealth management options, tax planning, international pension and education planning. Many of our team are expats themselves, so we know what we're talking about!
Download our Spain Tax Guide below.