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I’ve been giving financial advice to English speaking clients who live outside of their home country now for the last 23 years (of which the last 13 years in France) and they certainly are a varied bunch of folks

Some have settled into their new country and new lifestyle very well, others not-so-well and a few of these not-so-well people have now returned back to their home country.

Over the years I have looked in depth why this was the case, and there was a constant thread running through the settled ones. They planned their finances (and then sat back and enjoyed retirement). I’m talking about people who have now retired to another country (as opposed to moving abroad for work) and are relying on their pensions and investments to pay their bills, as 95% of my clients tend to fit into this category.

Understandably so, retiring to another country is more often than not a decision made purely on emotions, after a long working life the desire for less work, the desire for a new lifestyle and climate etc., but to make a success of retiring abroad then facts as well as emotions have to enter into this retirement equation as well.

I equate financial planning to visiting the dentist, you tend to visit the dentist for two main reasons, either you have a horrendous toothache now, or you don’t want a horrendous toothache in the future. Those who have planned in advance have visited their dentist regularly and the dentist has put a plan in place to look after their teeth and to avoid future toothache. Those that didn’t visit their dentist regularly turned up at their dentist’s door with a swollen face and the horrendous toothache and ended up leaving the dentists with less teeth in their mouth.

Good regulated Financial Planning is essential to avoid Financial Toothache.

So how do you make sure your bills and other expenses are paid for, as tax-efficiently as possible, when you have retired in France?

If you have moved (or are thinking of moving) to France from the UK, compared to the UK, France has a completely different tax system, a completely different currency and completely different inheritance rules. So, to get the right advice it is essential that you talk to an International Financial Adviser who understands the rules and regulations of both the UK and France.

For example, some people living in France are happy to keep their investments in UK deposit accounts, which make little or no interest, and hardly ever does this low interest rate beat the inflation rate, so in real terms their investment is now moving backwards. Also, some people living in France are still happy to keep their investments in UK ISA’s and Premium Bonds (as they were tax-free for them in the UK), but living in France and in a new tax regime the capital gains made on these are now taxable at 30%! and declarable every year if withdrawn or not.

Nowadays, because of historically low interest-rates, to make any sort of return you do need to take a measured amount of risk within your risk profile, whilst at the same time remaining as tax-efficient as possible in France.

Have you spoken to your International Financial Adviser about the options available for your Savings and Investments as a French tax resident?

For example, the UK pension freedom act (2015) now presents you with lots of options for your pension retirement savings, you are no longer forced to purchase an annuity at historical low rates, in fact UK annuities look like they may be the next version of the PPI scandal with the Prudential and Standard Life both receiving big fines recently.

Have you spoken to your International Financial Adviser about the best options available for your UK Pension savings as a French tax resident?

Make the first step now, talk to your International Financial Adviser or visit our website:  https://beaconglobalwealth.com where you can download our free booklet “A stress-free retirement in France”.

Paul Flintham is an International Financial Adviser with Beacon Global Wealth Management in France and can be emailed direct via: paul@bgwealthmanagement.net

Beacon Global Wealth Management’s Central Administration Office address is: 250 High Street, Guildford GU1 3JG, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 333 241 6966

Email: enquiries@bgwealthmanagement.net Web: https://beaconglobalwealth.com 

Beacon Global Wealth Management are members of FEIFA (the) Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers: https://feifa.eu/