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Retirees embracing life in new ways

In fact, a recent piece of research found that nearly half of all new retirees (45.9%) actually have greater outgoings in the two years immediately following retirement than they did before stopping work. Even six years later 33.4% are still spending more than they were during their working years. Interestingly, this is a trend that is not only confined to individuals of high net worth; it seems that no matter how much money you have, your chances of increased retirement spending are roughly the same.

As those expats with a QROPS in France and elsewhere can probably attest, it may be that QROPS pensions are one of the reasons that so many retirees feel comfortable enough to increase spending once they have given up work; flexible pensions give people freedom and allow for the kind of outlays – whether second homes, campervans or holidays – that are synonymous with a long and enjoyable retirement.

In fact, around one third of people between 55 and 75 say that they hope to be able to withdraw between £2,000 and £5,000 so that they can take an extended trip away, while 20% of pensioners say that they would like to withdraw from their pension so that they can make improvements or adaptations to the home.

Perhaps the biggest indicator of the shift in attitudes to retirement is to be found in the fact that many plan to access their pensions to start a business or move into a consultancy role. Finally, with younger generations struggling to buy a home, many pension aged people, including expats in France, are using their QROPS to help their children and grandchildren buy homes in an otherwise inaccessible property market.

Other News

Pension Transfers – the need for advice

Island in the shape of the euro signThe UK government has admitted there are not enough pension transfer specialist advisers to deal with demand, particularly in the case of more complex transfers into overseas pensions. This was the government’s response in March to a consultation launched two years ago, on whether the need to take financial advice, introduced with pension freedoms, created difficulties for overseas residents – residents such as those living in Cyprus wishing to transfer their pension savings from the UK to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS).

According to data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), there were just short of 10,000 transfers to a QROPS in the 2016/2017 tax year. However, from these, only transfers of more than £30,000 would be subject to the advice requirement.

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What is ‘non-dom status’ and ‘residency status’?

Your des-res might be a gorgeous sea-front apartment overlooking the med, or a rural stone cottage nestled amongst the vineyards of Burgundy, but wherever you live, once you are settled, understanding whether you are domiciled, non-domiciled or resident can be a bit confusing. However, clarity is essential: the amount of tax you pay hinges on knowing the difference and the relevance of each non-dom status versus residency status.

Firstly, don’t just guess your residency or non-dom status, because if you get it wrong, you could pay too much tax or pay it in the wrong place, and failure to pay can lead to large fines and penalties. Sadly, mis-payments are not tolerated; your tax planning may be well-intentioned, but if you don’t pay the correct amount of tax in the appropriate jurisdiction, you could be in hot water, so it is vital to get it right.

Generally, we recommend that you speak to a financial adviser working in your local region who will understand the jurisdictional rules applicable to your location and personal situation, but as a brief guide, read on and we will explain the fundamentals.

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