Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Introducing Expat family finance week

This week at Expat Explorer we are focusing on all things family finance, to mark the launch of HSBC Bank International’s latest Expat Guide in association with the Guardian.

As an expat, one of biggest worries can be how to manage your families’ finances, and make sure that you are prepared for the future. Amid the excitement that relocating brings, it is also important to put in some solid planning to make sure everything runs smoothly.

So with that in mind we wanted to discuss two major considerations to mull over when planning your families expat living

The House

The first thing to ponder when moving abroad is to make sure that your family feel secure and happy in the place they are living. A common recommendation for this is to rent before you buy, so you get to know the “lay of the land”. This will give you and your family a chance to get to know the culture and environment before making any financial decisions.

Managing Multiple Currencies

Managing multiple currencies can be a major challenge, as currency fluctuations can have a severe impact on the buying power of your income. Chris Saint, a currency analyst with Hargreaves London, says it’s important not to leave foreign exchange until the last minute as currency markets can move very quickly, resulting in wide variations as to how far your home currency will stretch.

It’s worth exploring whether fixing an exchange rate for a period of time to overcome fluctuations, as arrange by currency exchange companies and international banks, could be beneficial to you.

Bridgewater’s Wicks suggest that if you’re leaving your home country for good “it might also be worth considering moving your pension to a qualified recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS) for great flexibility once you have been working abroad for five or more years”

So there you have it, Expat Explorer’s top two considerations! Whatever part of the world you are relocating to, find a financial adviser who understands the challenges of living in a particular location and can give you regular advice!

As always we’re keen to hear your thoughts and experiences. If you’ve any family finance tips then we’d love to hear them.....

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