Expat pensions versus straightforward interest rate-linked savings

Published:  25 Jun at 6 PM
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If you’re planning to live your working life as an expat, making financial provision for retirement is the sensible option.

Given the huge number of horror storied about dodgy IFAs leaving their unfortunate clients with worthless investments or, even worse, scamming them into losing the lot, it’s a surprise that potential expats are even thinking about retirement income! If you’ve not yet won the lottery, thinking a about the long-distant future may sound strange, but much can go wrong if this aspect of emigration is ignored.

If you’re intending to stay for ever in your new country of residence, investigating whether its government provides a pension plan for all employees, not just those who’re citizens, is an idea. The UAE isn’t one of them, but it does pay an end-of-service gratuity after years on the job, and the home country will still have a number of suitable and somewhat bomb-proof pension schemes for overseas-based professionals. International pension laws have changed considerably over the past decade, causing even more confusion amongst expatriates determined to provide for their old age.

Tragic tales of malpractice in the IFA sector have put off many would-be investors due to fears they’d be ripped off on an offshore deal or left penniless when the latest crock of gold turns out to be a trap for the unwary. Until recently, one popular way to save and earn was the most straightforward and safe – simply finding an international bank offering a decent rate of interest to long-term savers and nothing else!

Unless a worldwide financial crash happens, regularly increased savings can allow interest payments to add up to a tidy sum over the average expat's working life. Unless a world recession far worse than the upcoming Covid-19 version occurs, expats’ cash is therefore safe until it’s needed.
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