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Articles > Financial


Foreign property investment - understanding opportunity cost

Posted on Saturday December 03, 2011 (09:13:27)
by Alan Forsyth

Understanding the Opportunity Cost of any decision you make is critical - to ensure you make the best choices to maximise your profits, long term earnings.

While most investors have got involved in property investing because they understand the opportunities to make money through leverage and capital growth or high yields, I still see and hear of many who do not fully understand opportunity cost.

Remember anyone that gets into property is usually in it to generate money or income - how many deals/properties you own is insignificant.

So what does opportunity cost mean?   more ...

Articles > Financial


The Trailing Spouse Learns Banking

Posted on Saturday December 03, 2011 (09:11:40)
Submitted by an Expat Focus reader

Early on in our relationship, I decided to impress my would-be husband. I enrolled in a course on financial issues - learning all about bull markets, bear markets and share prices. I spent 12 weeks sitting in the hall of the Australian Stock Exchange learning about dividends and options. I am not sure whether or not it impressed him when I casually mentioned that the market seemed a bit 'bullish' but, at any rate, I learned some of the jargon. After we were married though, my lack of knowledge as far as financial issues are concerned became glaringly apparent. I think it is one of those left brain /right brain things. He was the financial whiz. I was the literate one. He used a calculator. I picked up a book.

When we had children the division continued. He helps with maths homework; I help with English homework.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Expat Budgeting and Cost Of Living

Posted on Saturday December 03, 2011 (09:10:33)
Most of us would love to be able not to worry about our monthly finances or the cost of living. Assuming for a moment that you’re not one of the super-rich, it’s probably a fair bet that you’ve researched the cost of living in your new home country or the country you’re thinking about moving to.

If you’ve not been in your new country for that long, then you may also have experienced the bafflement of checking your monthly outgoings and thinking “that can’t be right based on what I read back in the UK.”

In either situation, you’ve probably read a pile of statistics from numerous sources and had lots of conversations with other expats. All this told you that the cost of living in your new country should be massively cheaper than ‘back home’ and you’ll be able to get by on a pittance.

So, why is the reality so often different?   more ...

Articles > Financial


Spanish Capital Gains Tax

Posted on Saturday December 03, 2011 (09:08:48)
by Lucy Peacock from Home Espana

Spanish tax laws are often confusing for Spaniards and non-Spaniards alike. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) - the tax which you must pay on the profits from selling your home in Spain - is no exception. The following is a brief overview of the rules, which we hope will allow you to work out very roughly how much you would have to pay if you sold your property. You should consult a lawyer for complete advice.

CGT is payable on the profits you make from any property sale. That is, it is payable on the difference between the purchase price (as stated on the original "escritura") and the sale price, less the buying and selling costs. The CGT tax rate for Spanish residents is 15%, calculated as part of income tax. Non-residents pay a flat rate of 35%. If you purchase a property from a non-resident, you are required to withhold 5% of the total purchase price and pay it directly to the tax authorities.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Expat Bank Accounts Overseas – A Basic Guide

Posted on Saturday December 03, 2011 (09:06:28)
One of the most common answers given when expats are asked why they’re moving overseas is that they want to change their way of life and experience the culture of another country.

It’s always a little odd therefore, to find that many seem very reluctant to change their bank as part of their international relocation.

In a sense this is understandable. Foreign banking can seem intimidating, formal and very complicated – particularly to those who have become cosseted by ‘on demand’ banking as it exists in much of the English-speaking world today.   more ...