The new UK tax year began a fortnight ago on 6th April 2019. So how will the new tax year affect your pension? Well it’s good news. If you receive a state pension or pension credits, you will get more. And, if you are auto-enrolled with a work pension in the UK, you and your employee will be making bigger contributions every month to swell your pension pot.
As of April 6th 2019, the UK state pension went up by 2.6%.
If you receive the new State Pension, you will now receive £168.60 a week. That’s a weekly increase of £4.25. …
Expats have plenty of spending options to enjoy — thanks to their earnings being free of taxation from their country of origin. (Except for US expats, notably.)
But expats also generally know that there’s a bit of a trap in play with tax-free income. It goes like this:
You leave your country of origin to take advantage of earnings that are not taxed by your home authorities. You end up with far more money than you would have if you had stayed at home. Your idea is to save enough abroad in a shortish spell to retire at home in comfort. But there are many spending temptations abroad. There are travel opportunities, there’s the brilliant weather — there’s a million reasons to put off investing in your family’s financial future. …
In the UK, the clocks have gone forward and the season of Spring has begun. It’s time for a financial Spring clean. And why not take some celebrity tidying-up tips from Japanese “organising consultant” Marie Kondo?
“Tidy your space, transform your life.” Says Kondo on the website for her KonMari brand. She’s talking about household items, like clothes, books and furniture. But her principles apply to personal finances too!
“First, put your hands on everything you own, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it. …
Off-plan investment is an exciting and flexible option for private investors that is gaining in respectability worldwide. Both the UAE and the UK offer established sectors where private investors can gain excellent, long-term returns (in exchange for some risk, of course).
And, in South Asia (particularly Vietnam), there are emerging markets that offer great opportunities to get in at the bottom right now in 2019.
What is off-plan investment?
Investing off-plan means buying a property before it is actually built — and, when it is built — rather than living in it, the investor will either sell, or hold the property and rent it out. Many off-plan formats exist. But always the priority is to clarify with an independent, qualified professional exactly what risks are involved, even if you are dealing with a respectable developer. …
Looking to become an expat? Holborn Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) in your new country of residence can help you out. All international Holborn offices offer a no-obligation financial review to new expats.
Financially, there’s so much to get sorted out when become an expat. Not only do you need to review all aspects of your big financial picture, which can be overwhelming, but you can’t just do this by simply following a checklist you’ve found online. …
The 1.3m British expats living in the EU face a nail-biting wait as the UK hovers, until the 31st March, on the brink of the Brexit cliff edge.
Whether we get a No Deal or another deal, a key worry is freedom of movement.
Even if we get a Brexit deal, Brits living and working in the EU will, after the 31st December 2020, no longer enjoy automatic freedom of movement in other EU states.
British expats in the EU will likely be considered to be Third Country Nationals — like US visitors to the EU.
Living and working in any of the EU states will still theoretically be possible — but likely to involve yet more uncertainty and bureaucracy. …
Dubai skyscrapers could be safer from fire as from 2020, thanks to new tech from the UAE authorities. Meanwhile home contents insurance in Dubai remains great value, whether you are worried about fire, theft or any other threat to your possessions.
You can pick up no-frills coverage for a minimum level of home valuables for as little as 50dh per annum with Noor Takaful (for example). With many UAE home insurers, reasonable coverage can be obtained for roughly a dirham a day. Cost depends largely on the value of the possessions you want to insure.
Be assured: contents insurance is designed to reimburse you for your belongings if your apartment goes up in flames. …
Is it a good time to buy a house in the UK? Is Brexit opening up opportunities, or closing down the whole market?
Should you hang on and see where we are after the March 2019 Brexit deadline passes?
With conflicting figures flying around in the press every week, here’s a simple way of looking at the effect of house prices in the UK:
Prices in the UK housing sector have continued to rise — despite the Brexit effect. But the rate at which prices have risen has dropped. The market is slowing down. But it certainly isn’t falling apart.
In June 2016, at the time of the Brexit Referendum, the average house price in the UK was £213,000. …
Does your IFA sometimes lose you when they are explaining stuff? It’s their job to explain your financial affairs simply. But there’s a lot of jargon in personal finance. You can only get so far by knowing nothing! Get a head-start on your next meeting with your IFA, as we get to the bottom of what some really useful personal finance terms mean.
We bust some key jargon across all five of Holborn’s specialist service areas:
AER: Annual Equivalent Rate
AER is a % figure. It commonly shows what savings rate you will get over the course of a year with a particular bank account. AER is a useful figure because it shows you the annual gain, regardless of whether the interest is paid monthly or annually. …
Do you go abroad without travel insurance? 20% of Brits in the UK do. Over 50% of UAE-based travellers do.
It’s legal. But is it wise?
The good news is that travel insurance certainly pays out. If you have a legitimate claim, you stand every chance of receiving a payout. Hot off the press this month, the influential Association of British Insurers (ABI) reports that, in 2017, over half a million claims were made on travel insurance by people based in the UK. A total of £400m was paid out in UK travel insurance payouts.
You have to make your own risk calculation. The risk of you on your travels getting ill or injured or delayed or stranded or losing your bags might be small. But, if it does happen, surely you’re going to kick yourself if you’re not covered? …