TOP TIPS - Review Your Finances for 2020
The start of a new decade, and with it the beginning of a new era for Britain and its citizens in the form of Brexit, represents the perfect time to review your wealth management plans. From taking a look at the suitability of your asset allocation and your pension savings to reviewing your tax and estate planning, now is an especially pertinent time to develop a clear path into the future.
While Brexit is not quite a done deal yet, there is at least some clarity and although Boris Johnson might have been unable to get Brexit ‘done' immediately, one thing is pretty clear: as of 31 January, the UK really will begin the process of leaving the EU.
This means that although British expats are not yet likely to experience any material difference to their lives, they soon might. So, now is the time to begin making plans to ensure that you are able to confidently negotiate whatever it is the future might hold.
Here are out Top Tips for getting 2020 started on a strong financial footing:
Review your goals
A change of decade frequently brings with it a period of reflection. Given that we are also entering a new chapter in Britain's history, you may wish to consider whether your goals remain the same as they did at the point you last sought expat financial advice.
A wealth manager can help you decide whether your financial plans adequately account for any change in objectives you might have had.
Check your asset allocation
No new decade in recent memory has begun at a time of such seismic global changes. Whether we are talking about new political paradigms in the English-speaking world, climate events in Australia or geopolitical events involving the Middle East, there is so much for the world, and investors to digest.
Given the uncertain nature of global politics right now, it is important to ensure that your asset allocation is sufficiently diversified; for example, you do not wish to be overinvested in any one volatile area of the world right now or in one industry or asset class. Your financial adviser can ensure a suitable balance of investments that will best suite your growth and/or protection needs.
Make sure your pensions are fit for purpose
Could the 2020s finally be the decade in which we witness the total demise of the once impregnable seeming defined benefit and final salary pension schemes? There have been rumblings for a number of years that this could be the case, but even if it is not, it is now worth acknowledging that this decade begins with many pension choices for British expats.
Whether you are looking to transfer your fund into a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or a Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS), there is much think about, and that is even before you consider what might happen once the UK leaves the EU.
If you are considering an expat pension transfer, it is vitally important that you seek independent, regulated financial advice before signing on the dotted line. Depending on your personal circumstances, leaving your pension where it is could be the right option for you and a reputable financial adviser will not recommend a pension transfer unless it is in your best interests.
Get your tax and estate planning in order
Is this the decade that you become resident in another country in order to better manage your tax affairs? Could it be the time in your life when you restructure your wealth to make the most of the global opportunities available for your money?
Whatever the case, this is the first decade to begin with the Common Reporting Standard in place, with all the automatic exchange of information that the instrument enables. This may make cross-border tax planning more complex, so there are even more reasons to seek specialist advice to ensure you are reporting your wealth correctly, you don't incur any penalties and, hopefully, take benefit from any tax advantages in play for your jurisdiction.
If you are thinking of moving, have children or grandchildren you want to benefit fully from your estate on your death, or you are simply considering how best to apply Brussels IV, now is the perfect time to take steps to ensure that EU succession laws work for you.
Expat financial advice for a new decade
Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd. provides qualified and regulated advice to help our clients move confidently towards their financial and retirement futures.
We have been serving clients for more than three decades and have offices across Europe, as well as in the UK. For more information about how we can help you protect and grow your wealth, talk to your local office today.
Disclaimer: Blacktower Financial Management is not a tax adviser and independent tax advice should be sought. The above does not constitute advice and Blacktower makes no recommendation as to the suitability of any products or transactions mentioned.