News & Insights

QROPS planning essential in challenging times

Given that so many retirees receive their pensions in pounds rather than euros it should come as little surprise that a proportion are struggling to retain their previous level of spending power. For example, a pension worth 655 euros on June 23 is now worth just 555 euros.

As a result many expats in France have had to make the kinds of economical savings that pre-Brexit might have seemed unimaginable, with some even expressing concern about their ability to meet the costs of a comfortable expatriate life in the long-term.

The long view

It is worth remembering that many of the Brexit doom and gloom scenarios predicted by some sections of the Remain camp have not come to pass and that a difficult period of uncertainty and adjustment was always going to be inevitable.

And now that Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March 2017, it can only be a positive thing that the official two-year Brexit process will soon begin in earnest.

In the meantime there are, fortunately, steps that expats in France can take in order to be properly prepared for what the future may hold. One such step is to apply either for French nationality or a “carte de sejour” residency permit. The latter gives holders the right to remain in France even without the naturalisation status conferred by the former.

Of course, it is also vital that expats seek financial advice regarding their wealth management options, with the value of having effective QROPS arrangements in France never clearer than it is right now.

But perhaps, above all else, it is important that expats don’t become fodder for media scaremongering. Against this background it can be useful for expats to remember why they moved in the first place and to consider whether they are still enjoying the numerous benefits and lifestyle opportunities that are still afforded by residence in France.

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