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Sweden’s best city for study

The SFS jury explained that the city was chosen because it is “forward-thinking and pro-active”. SFS chairman Caroline Sundberg praised the city for prioritising students and making sure they are well accommodated by increasing student housing and the influence of students in the city. “This brings hope and trust to the students of Gävle,” Sundberg said. The city also has a positive outlook for the future, with plans for further development.

The city’s largest educational institution, The University of Gävle, has a strong focus on creating sustainable living environments through research and higher education. It offers international courses on topics such as electronics/automation, geomatics, and energy systems and has around 17,000 students currently studying there.

What other cities in Sweden are great for study?

Though it may have nabbed the crown this time around, Gävle isn’t the only place in Sweden that ranks highly for higher education. Here is just a small selection of other notable Universities that grace the Nordic country:

  • University of Stockholm – Over 70,000 students at four different faculties make Stockholm University one of the largest in Scandinavia. It offers many different courses in English.
  • Uppsala University – Founded in 1477, this is the oldest Nordic university. Located very close to Stockholm, it ranks in the top 100 in the QS World University Ranking 2016-2017 and is a previous winner of the SFS’s award for Student City of the Year.
  • University of Gothenburg – As Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg is also home to one of the country’s largest universities. It has eight faculties, including Creative Arts, Social Sciences, and Information Technology, and it offers around 70 undergraduate courses in English.

With a high quality of living, an excellent network of efficient public transport services, and no pressing requirement to learn the language (Sweden ranks as one of the top countries in the world when it comes to citizens’ English skills), Sweden is an ideal country to move for study. What’s more, if you’re a citizen of an EU, Nordic, or EEA country, then you do not have to pay tuition fees.

Ensuring your finances are in order

However, the cost of living in Sweden is high and, therefore, it’s important to get all the help you can with wealth management. After all, the future is unpredictable, so it’s advisable to make sure you’re using your money as wisely as you can.

Blacktower has expat financial advisers in Sweden to help you manage your money so you’re better equipped to reach all your financial goals. Get in touch today.

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Other News

The Blacktower Group obtains Cyprus licence

Blacktower Financial ManagementCyprus, June 2020 – In the latest stage of its global growth plans, the Blacktower Group has announced today the complete licencing of its Cyprus entity, Blacktower Financial Management (Cyprus) Limited.

Previously, Blacktower’s EU operations have been based solely from Gibraltar, however following the vote for the UK to leave the EU back in 2016, the business sought to gain regulatory approval and licencing for both IDD and MiFID business in Cyprus.

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Final salary pensions – why now is a good time to cash in

Juicy lottery-sized sums are being offered to savers to tempt them out of gold-plated workplace pension schemes and into personal plans. We’ve explored whether you should consider taking a final salary pension, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of withdrawing.

What is a final salary pension?

A final salary pension, sometimes referred to as a gold-plated pension, is a special style of retirement fund that is based on your final or average salary.

The main difference between this and a defined contribution pension is that a final salary scheme gives you a guaranteed sum annually for the rest of your life when you retire.

To work out the value of your final salary scheme, consider a few factors: 

  1. Your final or average salary at your place of employment (confirm this with your employer)
  2. Your length of service
  3. The final salary scheme’s accrual rate (this is often 1/80th)

Your final salary pension will take each factor into account, and the resulting figure will be the guaranteed annual sum you are entitled to.

For instance, if you worked somewhere for ten years, and leave on a salary of £100,000, with an accrual rate of 1/80th, you will have a guaranteed retired annual income of £12,500.

It is possible to undertake a final salary pension transfer. Depending upon how long you expect to enjoy retirement, this could be a favourable choice. However, it’s important to consult a financial advisor to make your final salary pension transfer values work harder.

What are the benefits of transferring a final salary pension?

Assessing your final salary pension transfer value, you might consider it worthwhile to withdraw. We’ve outlined the main benefits of taking your final salary pension:

Receive the cash value of your final salary pension

Withdrawing from a final salary scheme allows you to receive a cash lump sum in return for forfeiting your guaranteed income in retirement. This final salary pension transfer value is the main reason to withdraw from a scheme, as it offers you financial freedom.

Remove ties with your employer

This is an especially important point if you’re concerned that your employer may not exist throughout your full retirement. For most, the pension protection fund (PPF) will cover your pension, but, for especially high earners, there is a PPF ceiling of £41,461 (as of April 2020).

Enjoy a flexible income in your retirement

A final salary scheme entitles you to a guaranteed annual income when you retire, but if you go down the route of transferring your final salary pension you will be able to enjoy a little more flexibility in how you receive your income. Usefully, by withdrawing from your final salary scheme, you can choose to take more out in your younger years.

Choose how you want to invest your pension

A final salary scheme is controlled tightly to accommodate all employees and their interests. When withdrawing from the scheme, however, you can take complete control over how your pension fund is invested.

The considerations you should make before transferring your final salary pension

While there are certainly benefits of going down the route of transferring final salary pension funds into various other pots, it’s important to consider what you’ll be giving up:

  • Entitlement to a fixed annual income for the rest of your life
  • A safe income that doesn’t fluctuate with volatile markets and share prices
  • Spousal and family benefits that come with a final salary scheme

 Example: Should I cash in my final salary pension?

An example is Mrs Dee (not her real name), 4 years ago she asked for her final salary transfer values, which came in at £250,000 – a nice sum, you may think. After reviewing all the facts and figures available, however, I advised Mrs Dee to leave her final salary pension where it was, which she duly did.

Towards the end of last year, because of favourable market conditions, I applied again to see the value of transferring her final salary . This one came in at just under £600,000.

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