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.

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

New Spanish Will Laws from 17th of August

Blacktower Financial Management

Many of our clients will have beside their property and / or bank accounts here in Spain still assets abroad.  This could be a property in the “home” country, a share portfolio in Luxembourg, an offshore bank account etc.

Most would have a Will covering these assets in their home country and without specific mention of the asset will have laid out their wishes in the form of for example “spouse to spouse on first death and on second death to the children” which would apply to all their assets.  

Should the person have not bothered taking on a Spanish Will then the heirs would have to go through the extra work and costs involved in relying on a UK or foreign will for the disposal of the Spanish assets.  The Will would have to be translated and apostiled adding delays and extra costs at a difficult time for the heirs.

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Hide and seek was a great game many decades ago!

Estate PlanningRemember saying “Ready or not here I come”?

Well, a substantial number of my generation have forgotten the rules.

I was quietly having a cappuccino in Starbucks in Cascais, minding my own business and reading the weekend Financial Times, but I couldn’t help myself from listening to the people on the table next to me, a loud elderly crowd speaking in English.

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