retirement plan
Planning for retirement is a major financial objective in the life of every individual, however despite this, it is often overlooked or left until too late in life when the odds of accumulating enough capital to provide for a comfortable retirement are stacked against us.

Taking control of your destiny when planning for retirement has perhaps never been more important. Statistics are becoming ever more concerning. Guaranteed final salary schemes that once were the corporate man’s automatic right are fast closing to new and even existing members, while state pensions are coming under increasing pressure as we deal with ageing populations. There seldom seems to be a week that passes where there is not some doom mongering concerning pensions in the financial press.

For expatriates in particular this is an area of special consideration as often what can happen is that you can accumulate numerous pension pots from different countries. Because many expats have little or no knowledge of the various products available to them, or indeed how to go about finding them, they often end up neglecting this crucial need.

Accepting an international posting as an expat, can often mean earning a higher wage than might have been received in your home country. You may find that you now have more disposable income, but lack the knowledge of how best to utilise this money, either for retirement savings or other longer term savings needs.

First Equitable specialise in International Savings and Retirement Plans. Typically finding a solution that is both flexible and fully portable will be key for the international investor.

Typical features that you can expect with an International Retirement Savings Plan include:

    • Complete portability – An investment plan that follows you. Wherever you move to in the world during your career, you will be free to continue making contributions into your plan. No more opening and closing of accounts each time you move country and having to reorganise your affairs.
    • Ability to make payments using the major currencies. This can be useful if you are earning money in a currency that differs from your country of origin but want to maximise returns in that currency for now with the option of converting back to your preferred currency at a later date.
    • Flexibility of frequency of payments. Decide if you want to contribute on a monthly, quarterly, semi –annual or annual basis.
    • Freedom to increase or decrease payments or even stop paying in for a period if circumstances change.
    • Ability to make additional lump sum payments as and when desired. For example at the end of the year if you have additional surplus funds or perhaps you receive a work bonus and want to ensure its working hard for you.
    • The freedom to access your funds early. Unlike a typical retirement plan that locks your money in until the permitted retirement age, which will always be subject to potential rule changes, feel secure in the knowledge that your funds remain accessible in the event you need to get to them. A reassuring thought given how unpredictable life can often be.
    • Excellent choice of investments. Your plan can be tailored from a range of very top performing giving you access to the most highly respected Wealth Managers. This ensures you have every chance of getting the best returns from your money and ultimately meeting your financial objectives. No more being place on a default investment choice, as is the case with many schemes, and having little say or control over how things are invested.
    • Tax efficient. Benefit from tax free growth over the years of the plan, with the potential to be pay very minimal tax at retirement with careful planning (will be subject to jurisdiction).
    • Transparent fee structure and cost effective, ensures you receive the growth you deserve and returns are not eroded by high fees or inexplicit structures.
    • Internet access to view performance and policy details 24/7 no matter where you are in the world.
Portable Savings Plan Case Study

Carlos, 41, is originally from Spain and works for a large international company in Paris as an IT Consultant. He recently switched to being a freelance contractor for the company, as the remuneration package offered was significantly higher than if he remained as an employee on a fixed salary.

However as consequence, Carlos is no longer entitled to receive any contributions into his company’s pension fund. He already had concerns about being reliant on his company scheme and the limitations of any government pension he will receive; Carlos now accepts that to ensure he remains on track for a comfortable retirement he needs to take remedial action.

His bank was only able to offer limited savings schemes, with little choice of investments, and no consideration of future tax efficiency. Furthermore he did not want to tie his money up in a local retirement scheme that would see his money locked away until the retirement rules of yet another country permitted. Having worked in two different countries already, and likely to move again, finding a flexible and portable solution was key.

We presented Carlos with a portable solution that he is able to pay into from anywhere in the world. The plan ensures his money grows in a tax efficient manner, maximising the investment returns he achieves. Carlos only has limited experience of investing so chooses the plan to be managed by his Adviser and Carlos meets with his Adviser every six months to ensure everything remains on track.

The savings plan is also independent of any country’s retirement rules, and he has the option of accessing the fund early if desired. This might prove useful, as Carlos would also like to be able to help fund his children’s university education.

Contact us today to receive your own free report, showing you how you can start saving now to secure your financial future for your retirement years.

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