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Articles > Financial


Expat Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:39:15)
This FAQ has been kindly provided by April Medibroker

Q: Who can buy Expatriate Health plans?
A: Expatriates of all nationalities can purchase international Health Plans

Q: Is there an age limit at joining International Health Plans?
A: The maximum age when joining International Health Plans varies from company to company. Some companies allow entry to healthcare plans to people of between 70 and 80 years.

Q: What is the payment excess on an International Health Policy?
A: The standard excess is the amount of each claim that you have to pay out of your pocket. You may sometimes reduce your premium by increasing your voluntary excess.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Commercial Mortgages For Expats

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:37:11)
A commonly held and mistaken belief amongst new or potential expats is that overseas one cannot secure a commercial mortgage. A commercial mortgage can be many things but here for simplicity’s sake let’s call it a mortgage to secure a commercial property such as a shop or warehouse etc.

Excluding a few countries in the world where religious beliefs prohibit it, Bankers everywhere share one objective if nothing else – they want to make money! They are always looking for promising ideas and deals that help them achieve that. If their clients and the local economy also benefit then they’re doubly happy. As such they may well be predisposed towards saying ‘yes’ so don’t be afraid to ask.

It’s not always easy to differentiate between a commercial or residential mortgage, but let’s consider how a given bank MAY see it.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Financial Planning Issues for Expats Moving to the USA

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:34:30)
There are numerous issues that need to be addressed when moving to a new country and it seems the more “developed” your new country of residence, the more important it is to understand and follow regulations.

Individual Asset Management provides financial planning services to non-US citizens living and preparing to live in the United States, and I have identified seven topics that anyone moving to the US should consider:

1. Visa / citizenship issues
2. Reporting and taxation of non-US financial accounts
3. Obtaining loans / credit history
4. Pension transfer
5. Investment management
6. Estate tax
7. Education and retirement savings plans   more ...

Articles > Financial


Interview with Simon Hilton, foreign exchange consultant

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:27:55)
Simon Hilton
Simon Hilton is a senior foreign exchange consultant at World First specialising in assisting private clients and companies with their foreign exchange transactions. Simon is authorised by the FSA to offer foreign currency options.

To contact Simon directly for currency transfer information or a no-obligation quote please click here.

Expat Focus: Simon, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to work for World First?

I have a BA hons degree from the University of Reading in History and Politics and joined the company in 2006. I have since undertaken regulatory exams and obtained FSA approval to advise our clients on hedging their foreign exchange risk.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) – Examples

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:21:52)
In the first three articles of this brief series we examined what QROPS is, how it could benefit some expats (and others) and briefly how the system works.

In the final analysis though, words can be confusing and there is no substitute for examples when it comes to showing how things work.


In all these articles we have made the point that you should not make decisions about what to do with your pension funds based upon advertisements and articles however well written and attractive they appear. You must get professional advice that is specific to your circumstances and only from a registered professional adviser. Please note that the examples below are illustrative and hypothetical – they may well not apply to your given circumstances.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Review of Expatriate Medical Insurance Plans Worldwide

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:19:39)
courtesy of April Medibroker


Following the rapid rise in “Global based companies” over the past decade, coupled to vast improvements in telecommunications and expansion of Internet services world-wide, the availability of private healthcare insurance services to the expatriate community, has never been better. However, of the 30-40 million estimated expats living or working globally, less than half of these individuals and families hold valid healthcare insurance plans. As this market for expat cover is growing at over 10% annually, globally, several new plan providers and new insurers have launched new plans over recent years, offering clients increased choices. I have listed a number of these with websites and contact phone numbers at the end of this article. Additionally, some of these insurer benefits and premiums are compared in the attached matrix sheet for review purposes.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Overseas Property Investment for Expats

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:15:48)
Unless you’ve been on Mars since mid 2007, you’ll have seen that the global property and financial markets have been in something of a mess – and that’s putting it mildly!

Just about everything that can be said on this subject, has now been said. It’s been analysed and debated to infinity with the TV and newspapers finding vast numbers of experts who have all suddenly had massive attacks of ‘20/20 hindsight vision’ and claiming, of course, to have seen all this coming long ago.

This article does not go down that road again or rehash tired explanations, allocate blame or make forecasts. It is not at all clear what 2009/2010/2011 holds for the various markets and this article does not pretend to have any clearer vision than the many experts, real or self-appointed, than one can find in the newspapers.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Overseas Banking for Expats – Getting a Personal Bank Loan

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:13:35)
At first glance it may look like the title here must be a joke. Many new expats, and even some seasoned veterans, think that getting bank loans from foreign banks is just about impossible if one is a foreigner.

There’s no doubt that in turbulent times it can be tricky, and perhaps even more so for expats. Nevertheless, it is a myth that it can’t be done.

One of the reasons any bank exists, whether at home or abroad, is to provide its customers with loans under certain circumstances. The basic types of loan do not vary much in anywhere in the world – broadly speaking they are categorised as personal or business, asset based (e.g. car purchase) or not, and so on. Banks want to sell these loans and make money on them.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) – Qualification

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:11:39)
In previous articles we examined the principles of QROPS, and why QROPS could be advantageous to expats in certain circumstances.

In this brief discussion, we’ll look at some of the ‘qualification’ and related issues that apply to those trying to move their pension savings out of the UK to a QROPS.

QROPS – A ‘not entirely clear’ situation

The general package of legislation and other changes now referred to as ‘QROPS’ was introduced into the UK in 2006.

Some have described this as being driven by EU ‘fair play’ legislation though others attribute it to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) trying to close loopholes in pension laws that were being abused by expats.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Currency transfer - Top tips to avoid losing out on exchange rates

Posted on Saturday December 03, 2011 (05:05:32)
By Elisabeth Dobson, Head of Private Clients at World First

Small shifts in foreign currency exchange rates are common and happen in short spaces of time. However, over the past few days (article written September 17, 2009) sterling has dropped off steadily by over 2%.

If you have entered into a contract to buy your property abroad and before you’ve paid for it the exchange rate shifts to go against you like this, it effectively increases the sterling cost to you.

For example, last August a house on the market for €250,000 would have cost you £194,850. But at the moment it would cost you about £222,301 – an increase of £27,451 in a matter of weeks.   more ...

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna International

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.