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Viewing posts from: November 2000

Do I need to declare my UK bank accounts?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: France, UK bank accounts
This article is published on: 10th March 2020

10.03.20

Yes, you do. In a drive to reduce tax evasion and ensure transparency as to where money comes from, banks are now required to share details of overseas accounts, if asked by another country’s tax authorities.

All UK bank and savings accounts need to be declared on your French Tax return. You also need to declare if you have opened or closed any accounts during the last tax year.

Any interest that you have received on these accounts must also be declared. The penalties if you are found to have not declared accounts are very stiff, at up to €1500 per account.

In France, there are tax efficient savings accounts called Livret A and you can save up to €22,950 per person. The interest is not subject to French income tax or social charges and it is a perfect account for an emergency fund because you have access to this savings account without a notice period. For money that you can put aside for a longer period, it is worth getting in touch with me to discuss whether an Assurance Vie would be suitable for your needs.

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below & I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.

Moving to France – When should I take financial advice?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: France, Moving to France
This article is published on: 20th February 2020

20.02.20

For the majority of those who move to a France, speaking to a qualified financial adviser, who is regulated where you plan to live, is something which happens after you have made the move. But, talking to one before you embark on the journey can help avoid some issues which expatriates can find themselves encountering:

Many UK based advisers are not fully regulated to offer advice for France and may not be aware of the most current regulations or tax efficient solutions for your needs.

A French regulated adviser can ensure you are financially prepared for your move, in terms of any investments, savings and taxes which can become due on both income and windfalls you may be expecting after your move.

Many people come to France with plans of using their new French property to run a business. A French regulated adviser can compare your anticipated return on investment to that from tax efficient, financial investments available.

For those planning on using the property as the main source of income, how you buy your property can have different benefits in terms of French tax rules.

A regulated adviser has no vested interest in which property you buy, yet has often a long history of experience of the path you are undertaking.

Investing an hour of two of your time before you make the move to France can provide peace of mind and financial comfort when planning a new adventure.

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below & I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.

Why should I review my finances

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: Financial Review, France
This article is published on: 14th January 2020

14.01.20

Very little has changed in my life during the last 12-18 months; why should I review my finances?

When and how often you should review your financial position is a question I often get asked by people attending my financial surgeries. There are several questions which I feel are important to consider when looking at whether you are due for a financial review:

When did you last sit down and fully review your finances?
If you have not had a review for 12 months or more, you may not be aware of legislation changes or new opportunities which may be open to you.

Have your personal plans and aspirations changed since your last review?
Are you now looking at retirement closer or wish to look in more detail at inheritance planning? Perhaps you are looking at downsizing and want to make any surplus monies work efficiently for you?

How are any investments or savings you hold performing against your expectations?
When you took out an investment or savings plan, it is likely you looked at how they had performed, and this past performance made a sizable contribution to your choices. That information is now out of date and replaced by more recent information. Reviewing this new data is vital in ensuring your money is still working for you to its best ability.

Just because your last year feels standard, you should not underestimate how external factors can influence your financial security and your ability to make the best use of any money you have worked hard to earn.

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below & I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.

Why is it important to have regular financial reviews?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: Financial Planning, Financial Review, France
This article is published on: 15th March 2019

15.03.19

Finding time in our busy schedules for reviewing our financial position is not always easy; however, here are some reasons why it is worth the effort and considerations in choosing who you should see.

1/ Living in France, it is important to check that you are both tax compliant and tax efficient, through proper use of savings allowances and being up to date on current tax rules.

2/ Using a company that is regulated here in France means that your advice is specifically relevant to France.

3/ Choosing a financial adviser who is also an expatriate means there are no language barriers and you both understand the experience of what it is like to have moved countries.

4/ Personal circumstances can change and regular reviews will make sure your finances are in line with your current needs. For example, you may have recently retired, be experiencing a change in your income or have just become a French resident.

Le Tour de Finance – Saumur 49400

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: France, Le Tour de Finance
This article is published on: 13th September 2018

13.09.18

The Le Tour de Finance roadshows give those either living in France, or in the process of moving here, a great opportunity to speak directly to industry experts who are not normally in direct contact with the public.

Where – Château Gratien Meyer, Route de Monstsoreau, Saumur 49400 (www.gratienmeyer.com/en/ )
When – 14th November, 2018

The event starts at 10.00am and ends at 1.30pm after a free buffet lunch.

It will offer practical guidance on a range of topics including tax efficient investments, pension transfers, estate planning, currency exchange and much more.

Register for this free event or for further information about it by sending an email with your full contact details to: seminars@ltdf.eu, register online on www.ltdf.eu or call +33(0)1 44 83 64 64
Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below and I will be glad to help. We do not charge for our financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations.

How do you choose a financial adviser?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: Financial Planning, Financial Review, France
This article is published on: 12th February 2018

12.02.18
Amanda Johnson

Question: Can you offer me any tips in choosing a financial adviser?
When you move to France, you are moving to Country with many different laws and rules to the one you are leaving and this is unlikely to change in the future, so choosing a financial partner which is right for you is very important for your financial peace of mind.

Here are several things I would suggest expatriates consider when looking for a Financial Adviser:

Is the Company regulated in France?
With nothing yet becoming clear on how the UK will be trading with France after Brexit, using a company which is based and regulated in France reduces any need for a sudden change, should regulations change, post Brexit.

Is my adviser able to sit down with me and review my finances on regular basis?
Your Financial Adviser is not just someone to see once and then forget about. As your needs and circumstances change and with different investments growing at varying rates, being able to sit down and review your situation regularly is very important.

What are the costs involved for any appointments, reports or ongoing support?
It is important to know what costs will be involved throughout the life of any arrangement with your Financial Adviser.

How does my adviser get remunerated?
A clear understanding of how your adviser gets paid and a client charter outlining how the relationship is set up helps clarity and ensures you have no surprises down the line.

Can your Adviser offer any references from existing clients?
Being able to speak to existing customers is a great way to measure a Financial Adviser. You can hear first hand, how the process and relationship has worked for someone in the same boat as you?

Does the company own, or do its Directors/Partners have financial interests in the investments being offered, or are they truly independent?
You should be comfortable that your Adviser is not promoting any “own brand products”, without making this clear to you in advance of any commitment. If the company does have its own products be sure that you can view performance, move to another product or change Adviser without additional penalties.

Can I work with this person?
Your Financial Adviser is someone you need to be able to work with. You will likely see them on a regular basis and be comfortable speaking about your future with. In life we sometimes meet people we just cannot seem to warm to, so do not be afraid to seek alternative advice if you find yourself in this scenario.

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below and I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for our financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations.

How often should I have a financial review?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: Financial Planning, Financial Review, France
This article is published on: 12th January 2018

12.01.18

There are no hard and fast rules regarding the frequency of a financial review. I believe, however, that there are several questions you can ask yourself, which may indicate that now is a good time to review your own situation:

Have my personal circumstances changed since my last review?
This can include firming up on plans for retirement, changes in your family situation, emerging health issues, a change in jobs or an inheritance. Any of these things could change what you need your money to do for you.

Do I know how the investments I hold are performing?
Have you received a recent statement and are you aware of how your investments are performing compared to others? Reviewing your finances can reassure you that you are on track.

Do I know the position of my current private pensions?
There are options available to expats which are not open to British residents. These are not right for everyone and a professionally prepared analysis is required.

The answers to of these questions may indicate that now is a good time to arrange a financial review.

Sitting down with your adviser will enable them to ensure that any investments held are appropriate for your current situation and risk profile and that you are not over exposed in certain areas.

Your adviser can also tell you how your investments are performing against other types of investment available in the market. Couple this with an ability to advise you of any changes in rules and regulations and you can see that a financial review can provide tremendous peace of mind.

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me with the contacts below and I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for our financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations.

How often should I review my financial situation?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: Financial Planning, France
This article is published on: 8th September 2017

08.09.17

How often should I review my financial situation?
This is a good question. Whilst there are no hard and fast rules as to when is a good time for a financial review, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you decide if the time is right now:

Have my circumstances changed since you last spoke to a financial adviser?
These could include a change in health, new jobs, reduction in income, bereavement or simply a change in personal goals since you last reviewed your finances.

Have any recent articles or programmes caused you concern?
The internet provides us with a wealth of information, through news programmes and social media which is sometimes difficult to decipher.

Do you know how any investments you have are performing?
Financial performance on different investments is based on many factors and knowing how your money is invested can ensure that it matches your outlook.

How much tax are you paying on your investment?
To encourage people to invest, the French government allow for certain tax efficient investments which can reduce your annual tax bill.

When did I last review my finances or speak to an independent financial adviser?
If not in the last year or so, now may be the time to check that you are making the most of many straightforward investment and tax planning opportunities that are often overlooked.

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below and I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for our financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations.

Tips on choosing a Financial Adviser?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: France, Residency, Spectrum-IFA Group
This article is published on: 11th July 2017

11.07.17

This is a very important question and one raised many times in forums and during seminars. I think there are six key factors in choosing a financial adviser who will be right for you:

Can I work with the adviser?
A financial adviser is someone who is not just here for your needs today, but someone who will be around for the long term. As your needs change, your adviser needs to be able to go through these changes and tell you when the French or UK government make changes that can impact your financial position.

Who do they work for?
It is important that you get an understanding of the company your adviser works for. Google them, or look for forum threads, to see how other expatriates have found dealing with them. It is important to know not just that they have a good reputation, but that they are quick to act in the event of any issues which may arise.

Are they regulated within the country you live?
Whilst the UK can still “passport” financial products to the EU, there is no guarantee that this will continue seamlessly after Brexit. One way you can ensure whatever happens that you face the least amount of change is to deal with a company regulated in the country where you live.

What is the advisers experience and history with their company?
Has your financial adviser a history of financial advice and not just a background in financial services? You want to ensure that the knowledge they have is relevant to your financial needs. It can also provide comfort if you know your adviser has been with their current company for some time.

Can they provide testimonials from recent customers?
There are few better ways of putting your mind at rest than asking your adviser if you could speak over the phone to one of two of their existing customers. It provides great peace of mind, when looking at a new financial partner.

Are they open and transparent, regarding any costs and fees involved in using them?
When you first meet your adviser, ask them for any terms of business and how working with them would progress. Be sure to ask whether there are any upfront costs involved and what the ongoing fee structure will be. You should know in advance of any commitment how they will deal with you and your estate.

 

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below & I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.

What can I do to minimise any potential impacts of a tough Brexit process?

By Amanda Johnson - Topics: Article 50, Assurance Vie, BREXIT, Company Pension Schemes, Defined benefit pension scheme, Final Salary Pension, final salary schemes, France, QROPS, Retirement, United Kingdom
This article is published on: 11th May 2017

11.05.17

This is a question many expatriates are mulling over, now positioning for the upcoming negotiations has started. First and foremost, I remind my customers that the process to leave the EU is widely anticipated to take the full two years set out in article 50, so the only immediate areas people should focus on are changes in the U.K. and French budgets.

As the negotiations progress however, there are steps you can take which will ensure that any effects to you are minimised:

  1. Does your adviser work for a French registered company, regulated in France?

Working with adviser who operates and is regulated already under French finance laws means that any change in the UK’s ability for financial passporting will not affect you.

  1. Is your Assurance Vie held in an EU country, not part of the U.K.?

Again, any issues the U.K. may have to solve regarding passporting are negated by ensuring your Assurance Vie is already domiciled in another EU country.

  1. Have you reviewed any U.K. Company pension schemes you hold, which are due to mature in the future?

The recent U.K. Budget saw the government levy a new tax on people moving their pensions to countries outside the EU. There is no certainly that this tax will not be extended to EU countries once the U.K. has left the union.

The process of leaving the EU is very much unchartered waters and whilst I certainly do not recommend anyone acts hastily, a review of your financial position in the next few months may avoid future headaches.

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below & I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.