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Financial

Articles > Financial

Financial

British Sporting Disappointment But UK Economy Gives Reason For Expat Cheer

Posted on Saturday July 12, 2014 (15:35:07)
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 ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

Rocketing House Prices At Home Make Overseas Property A Real Option For Expats

Posted on Wednesday June 04, 2014 (14:30:01)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

In what appears to be a symptom of rocketing property prices in the capital, a garage in Kensington was recently put up for sale at £300,000. That’s more than the UK’s average house price, which I’m sure you’ll agree is absolutely remarkable.

Foxtons, the estate agent marketing the garage, speaks of its generous proportions – with room for two cars – and the fact that it’s “located in a highly sought-after area.” Plus, it has “easy access to Kensington High Street.” But it’s still only a garage.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

A Strong Pound Means Expat Money Goes Further

Posted on Wednesday May 07, 2014 (01:08:55)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

We’re already a third of the way through 2014 – clichéd I know, but seriously, where has the time gone? – and so far, it’s been a good year for sterling. A succession of strong data has kept the pound on top of most other currencies, and what a difference a year makes - at the beginning of last year, sterling was weak, data was poor and the UK economy had been downgraded.

Expats looking to buy a property in Europe will be pleased to hear that this strong pound will enable them to get more for their money. Whereas just over a year ago, a pound will have got you €1.15, it will now get you €1.21.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

Spring Has Sprung – Time To Spring Into Action With A Property Abroad?

Posted on Saturday April 05, 2014 (03:42:10)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

After what has seemed like a never-ending winter, spring appears finally to have sprung. We’ve tasted a little sunshine and experienced some warmth and maybe, it’s just injected a little more positivity into our lives.

However, you never know when the warm sunshine will be replaced by cold rain. British summers are well known for being anything but, well, summery, and promises of barbeque summers (remember that classic) have turned out to be nothing more than a damp squib.

Maybe you’ve decided enough is enough, and are contemplating a move away to warmer climes, where the way of life is more relaxed and the weather is slightly more dependable.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

How The 2014 UK Budget Affects British Expats Living Abroad

Posted on Saturday March 22, 2014 (16:31:33)
Oliver Heslop
Expatriate tax director of Global Expatriate Tax Services Ltd and official Expat Focus UK tax partner Oliver Heslop discusses the recent UK budget and its impact on British expats

Budget Day in the UK was 19 March 2014, when the UK Chancellor George Osborne announced the UK economy to be very much back on track.

We consider the reforms that he has announced to UK pension annuity rules to be seismic changes.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

Sterling Strength and Fall In French Housing Prices Provide Perfect Expat Opportunity

Posted on Wednesday March 05, 2014 (19:14:20)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

If you’re thinking of moving abroad, one of the main considerations is what kind of house you’ll be able to get for your money. This is determined obviously by the value of the house you’re buying, but also by the exchange rates, which can have a significant impact on what kind of property you’ll end up in.

If, for example, the pound is strong against the euro, you’ll get more for your money, and you may be able to afford more than you thought. The exchange rates can fluctuate dramatically in the space of just a few weeks or even days, so it’s always worth keeping your eye on the markets.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

Good News For UK Expats Moving Abroad As Sterling Continues To Strengthen

Posted on Wednesday February 05, 2014 (21:34:05)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

When a new year arrives, it can be tempting to set ourselves goals that we want to achieve in the coming 12 months. These could range from small things like keeping fit, learning a language or eating more healthily, to big ambitions like moving abroad, buying a house or getting a job overseas.

For those with such goals in mind, or people already living or working abroad, the exchange rate is all important, as it determines how far their money will go when buying a property or sending money home, for example.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

Cigna Individual Health Plans Go Multilingual

Posted on Thursday January 30, 2014 (18:08:34)
Cigna, a leading international health insurer, has announced the launch of local language sales and service capabilities for their expatriate individual health insurance product range.

This move is a milestone in the company’s commitment towards expanding its reach globally, particularly towards European and Latin American brokers supporting expatriates moving abroad.

This coincides with the combining of forces between Cigna Global Health Options and Cigna expatplus, bringing the strength of a single individual proposition for expatriate healthcare to the broker market.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

How the US Shutdown Affects Currency Exchange Rates for Expats

Posted on Saturday October 19, 2013 (17:44:51)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

In the past few months, we’ve seen the strength of the US dollar take a bit of a tumble. At the start of July, USD was up at 0.671 against GBP, but in recent weeks, we’ve seen it fall below 0.61. And it’s not just the pound against which we’ve seen the US dollar struggle, having also lost ground to the Euro and Australian dollar (AUD), amongst others.

Add to that the political deadlock which brought about a US government shutdown, and it’s certainly been an unsettled picture. About 800,000 federal workers in America were told not to go to work while museums, national parks, services and government buildings remained shut in the wake of a lack of consensus over the US budget and the debt ceiling.   more ...

Articles > Financial

Financial

New UK Non-Residence Tax Rules And Their Implications For Expats

Posted on Monday September 23, 2013 (17:00:51)
Oliver Heslop
As the expatriate tax director of Global Expatriate Tax Services Ltd and the official UK expat tax partner here at Expat Focus, I advise a large number of UK nationals based in the Middle East. I often first meet these clients by email and they ask “What is UK tax non-residence and does it matter?” Answer – Yes, it is vital! If you work abroad and you fail the UK non-residence tests, the UK tax can tax your total global earnings (including Middle East salary). A major tax advantage is lost. Our typical client in the Middle East does not expect to pay UK income tax on earnings. Also, the income tax due in their new country is also typically zero. So, it becomes critical that these Britons in the Middle East are no longer UK tax resident.

Before 2013, the residence rules were fairly straightforward. In April 2013, the UK residence rules were reformed significantly and HM Government introduced a statutory residence test. Mr Osborne promised to simplify the laws, but with the best intentions, this is easier said than done. These new laws are extensive and detailed. I will not attach an 80 page document to explain the new laws. Instead, let’s take a live case to show the impact on UK nationals.   more ...