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Financial

Investment Account Considerations for US Expats

Posted on Monday June 22, 2015 (10:23:28)
Tom Zachystal
Contact Tom for a free, no-obligation discussion of your financial situation if you are a US citizen living abroad or a foreign national living in the USA.

Dealing with financial matters has become increasingly difficult for US citizens living outside the USA over the last few years as a result of what is called FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), which has led to both US and non-US financial institutions being reluctant to deal with American expats. In our financial planning practice we receive many enquiries from US expats regarding how best to deal with banking and investment accounts, especially US retirement accounts, and whether offshore or non-US investment accounts are a good idea for US expats.   more ...

Financial

Expat Money: Euro Rallies, Dollar Hit and Sterling Stable...For Now

Posted on Wednesday May 13, 2015 (16:44:53)
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

[Expat Focus editor’s note: This article was written before the recent UK election]

In the run up to the UK general election, sterling has been paying no attention to the polls. At the time of writing (the day before the general election), while we’re no closer to knowing which personalities or which parties will form the next government, sterling is acting as if everything is plain sailing, and has remained stable.

At the start of the year, the pound was at 1.2824 against the euro. Back then, £100,000 was worth €128,240. By March 12th, the rate had jumped to 1.4136, with that same amount of money worth €141,360, which equates to €13,120 more than at the start of the year.   more ...

Financial

How Will The Pension Reforms Affect You?

Posted on Tuesday April 07, 2015 (19:56:33)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

The new rules on pensions kick in next month, promising to give savers more freedom over what they do with their money. But what does it mean to you, what will change, and what do you need to do?

The way it is now

During the first few years of your retirement, you’d probably use the money that you’d saved during your working life to buy an annuity from an insurance company. While you’re currently able to take 25% of your pension in a tax-free lump sum, the rest of the money goes into that annuity whether you like it or not.   more ...

Financial

Quality Of Life Is Biggest Reason To Leave UK, But Family Ties Make Us Stay

Posted on Thursday March 12, 2015 (20:33:36)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

Spring has sprung and we’ve had a taste of sunshine. But merely a ‘taste’ may not be enough – you may be tempted by something a little more, well, permanent.

Ask yourself this - what would make you want to pack your bags and go more than anything else? If you said a better a quality of life, you’re not alone.   more ...

Financial

EU/Greek Deal Done, But More Heartache Ahead For Euro

Posted on Thursday March 12, 2015 (20:22:55)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

The big news in Europe in the last month is the deal done between the EU and Greece which has given the latter a four-month extension of its financial rescue package.

This will allow Greece time to negotiate and formulate a plan to deal with its ongoing debt burden in a manner that it feels is fairer than the current deal. But with time comes the opportunity to allow things to fester and rot, and reports from Greece that the Syriza party is fracturing over the terms of the four month extension are not to be overlooked.

Anyway, with all of this going on in the background, the euro’s woes have continued in the last month.   more ...

Financial

UK SMEs Eye Euro Weakness, While USD Stays Strong

Posted on Monday February 16, 2015 (09:16:12)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

One month into 2015, and we’ve already seen enough volatility in the currency markets to last a year. However, though the first month of the New Year has been a turbulent one, it may have worked in your favour - especially if your business is involved in importing goods from Europe – as the pound has hit fresh highs against the euro.

The European Central Bank’s long awaited decision to announce a plan worth around EUR1.1trn to purchase assets in a bid to create inflation and stimulate demand in the Eurozone is long overdue, and it was the expectation of the announcement that caused a broad sell-off in the European single currency. At the time of writing, the euro is down 6% through 2015 already.   more ...

Financial

New Year Cheer For The Pound Versus The Euro

Posted on Friday February 13, 2015 (23:23:14)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

In the first month of 2015, we’ve seen the rise and rise of the pound against the euro, with GBPEUR hitting its highest level since March 2008. At the start of February, the rate was at 1.334; at the start of January it was down at 1.2824. In just a month, the euro has lost over 4% against the pound.

But why? Well, part of the reason is that while the European economy continues to grapple with extreme levels of unemployment and fears over deflation, the UK economy had become one of the fastest growing in the G10. Euro uncertainty around the Greek election, and fears of a possible Greek exit from the single currency hardly helped matters either.   more ...

Financial

Positivity In European Property Market, But Still Some Way To Go

Posted on Tuesday October 07, 2014 (21:02:04)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

Let’s start with a stat. Two thirds of Europeans say house prices are too expensive. That’s according to a survey of over 12,000 European consumers by ING Bank.

It’s very possible that you’re reading this in the UK, and wondering whether that 66% have ever taken a look a property prices in the UK, and if they know how lucky they are!   more ...

Financial

Buying Property Abroad This Summer? Make The Most of the Foreign Exchange Rates

Posted on Wednesday August 13, 2014 (08:36:47)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

It’s that time of the year when many people are heading away on their summer holidays, and such breaks away usually involve three stages; the anticipation in the build-up before you go, the sheer enjoyment of being there, and the disappointment but inevitability of having to leave a week or two later. Just imagine if you didn’t have to go home. Imagine if you moved abroad to start a whole new adventure.   more ...

Financial

British Sporting Disappointment But UK Economy Gives Reason For Expat Cheer

Posted on Saturday July 12, 2014 (10:35:07)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

Britain has suffered a disappointing summer of sport, with the recent failure of England’s football team in the World Cup, a whitewash for England’s rugby players in a three test series against New Zealand and defeat in the cricket versus Sri Lanka, who won their first ever test series in England. Add in Andy Murray’s worst Wimbledon performance since 2005, and that caps a pretty miserable month or so for those of a sporting persuasion. Thankfully, the UK economy isn’t suffering in quite the same way; in fact the opposite is true – it continues to flourish.   more ...

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Expat Health Insurance Partners


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

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.