What’s happening out there in the international financial markets? How will these changes affect you and your family? What new products are coming on the market? Are they any good? How do existing products really work?  Keep up with my financial advice based blog.

2014 British Budget in a Nutshell

What are the main changes to the UK’s budget for 2014-15 and how will they affect you?

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Living in the UAE? Why you should bank offshore..

As daunting as it may be, the prospect of opening up yet another bank account to add yet another card to your wallet, and remember yet another set of pin numbers this really should one of the very first things you do when you become an expatriate.

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The 5-Year Expat Master Plan

Aside from the lure of sunnier climes many individuals are drawn to live and work in other countries for increased pay, better benefits, even lower tax, and in some cases no tax at all.

Becoming an expatriate can carry with it many financial benefits and the notion that one could come back to their home country not only more tanned, but somewhat richer too.

And so…. the plan is hatched!  The usual time scale considered is 5 years and many expats will spend time conjuring up their 5 year plan master plan. A plan of accumulating as much wealth as possible before moving back to their country of domicile or moving to another location.

But how many expats actually stick to this 5-year plan?

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Top ten tips for living in the UAE

One of the wonderful things about living in the UAE is that it’s a cultural melting pot. The UAE provides exposure to new people, traditions and experiences on a daily basis. Although many of our backgrounds are different, it is fair to say that we expats experience many of the same benefits as well as culture shocks when we move to the Middle East.  Here are some top tips to bear in mind:

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Are you heading for a big tax bill on your pension? If so you need to act fast

Forthcoming changes to the taxation of pension savings could cost you dearly if you are amassing contributions through either a Defined Benefit or a Defined contribution scheme.

We all know people are working longer and retiring later but in contrast the lifetime allowance for pensions is decreasing. These factors contribute to concerns that more and more people will be growing their pension pots in excess of the allowance limit.

But what does this actually mean? Well, savers will pay tax on any excess savings above the Lifetime Allowance Limit (LTA). The rate of tax depends on how savers receive the excess. If it is in the form of a lump sum, then the rate of tax is an eye-watering 55 percent. If it is in the form of a regular pension, the excess is taxed at 25 percent.

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