- International Mortgages
- General Insurance
- Estate Planning
- Education Fee Planning
- Critical Illness Cover
- Corporate Employee Benefits
- Medical Insurance
- Offshore Banking Services
- Life Insurance
- Offshore Pensions
- Onshore Pensions
- Personal Insurance
Globaleye’s International Mortgage Services
What is an International Mortgage? Put simply, it’s a mortgage from any worldwide lender who is prepared to loan money to you in the country you are based. However, an international mortgage can also mean different things to different people.
You might want to:
Buy a property to live in, in the country where you have moved to
Raise capital on a home that you own in a former country you’ve lived in that you intend to keep
Raise money on a home you own in your country of origin
Purchase or remortgage a buy-to-let property in any country
Purchase a commercial property for your business to expand into a new country
As an expatriate or an international investor, the world of investments, funds and portfolios can be complicated. Deciding both how to invest and what to invest in are certainly challenges in today’s economic environment. However, it is important to cut through the jargon and understand the intricacies of managing your money in order to meet investment objectives.
Whether you are a high net worth individual or just starting out on the road to investing, securing the right advice and placing your hard-earned money in the best possible funds for the highest returns available is key. A Globaleye investments advisor can translate the jargon and simplify the intricacies for you.
Insuring anything other than human life is referred to as General Insurance and covers property such as your home, your business and belongings against fire and theft, or vehicles against accidental damage or theft. Personal liability as a result of any accident can also be insured and this type of insurance is compulsory in some cases.
Commercial lines products are usually designed for relatively small legal entities. These would include workers’ compensation (employer’s liability), public liability, product liability, commercial fleet and other general insurance products.
Personal lines products are designed to be sold in large quantities. This would include autos (private car), homeowners (household), pet insurance, creditor insurance and others.
When we talk about Estate Planning, what we are really doing is talking about the certainty that we will eventually die. Our inevitable mortality is an issue that we don’t like to think about too often, but it is a subject that we must visit for the simple fact that it will affect those whom we love and want to protect. The tendency to put off organising our estate is great, as we imagine it’s hopefully a ‘long way off’. Yet what if it’s not?
Globaleye can help put your mind at ease and guide you through all aspects of Estate Planning, leaving you feeling informed and protected from all eventualities.
Most people have the good intention of saving some money while working overseas. A foreign appointment usually entails improved employment conditions and pay, so the prudent investor will take advantage of this opportunity to save some money.
Many expatriates will try to save, whether the money is to be used for future property purchase, clear debts, buy a car, supplement future school fees or to top-up a pension. The important issue is to employ some discipline from the outset so the saving becomes a natural habit. You will be surprised how quickly your funds will start to grow and, with some careful financial planning, Globaleye can make it grow further.
Typically we save money in banks that are fine for your short-term money and we can supply you with an array of banking solutions. However, over the medium to long term your funds would be better served elsewhere, where a carefully constructed savings plan could yield more interest on your hard earned money. Depending on your attitude to risk, we can use secure guaranteed funds, tracker funds, bond funds, managed equity funds and property funds, amongst others.
WHAT ARE SIPPs?
A SIPP is a do-it-yourself method of investing towards your retirement. The need for SIPPs came about when many pension holders became disgruntled with the poor returns and no longer wanted their pension pots being handled by others.
The desire for control over where and how to invest your pension savings was the driving force behind the creation of SIPPs, which offer a lot more flexibility than conventional pension plans. Their investment breadth is far higher than just an insurance company managed fund, this can range from direct ETF’s to thematic funds to some structured products.
The main advantage a SIPP holds over more conventional pension plans is the freedom to invest. Not only can you invest in your regional market, but SIPPs allow you to purchase stocks and shares from the international market also. Furthermore, you can invest in unit-linked funds, investment trusts and even commercial property.
If you are unsatisfied with the returns, you can quickly and easily change your investment options to take advantage of recent trends. SIPPs generally cost less in fees and charges than conventional pensions when switching from one provider to another.
Although SIPPs can be advantageous to many, it does have its fair share of pitfalls and may not be the best pension option for all.
Firstly there are the costs involved in creating a SIPP. The majority of SIPP providers will charge a flat fee of the total amount invested and will also charge an annual fee to keep the policy running. If the pension pot is small then these costs can be comparatively high. Additionally you are charged each time you purchase or sell an investment and on any income you make.
We do not like to pause on the issues of death and discussing Wills is a sensitive area. Establishing a Will passes fleetingly through the minds of most people at some stage in their lives. However, the truth is that the majority never bothers making a Will, and the perceived wisdom appears to be that people would rather trust the Government to distribute their estate, than spend a short amount of time making their own arrangements.
Unless you make a Will, you cannot guarantee that your belongings, when you die, will be distributed as you wish. Many unnecessary complications arise, adding to the grief of the bereaved and the expense of winding up the estate. If you die without a Will (`intestate`) the law decides who will receive your possessions.
If you are married, but die intestate, it is a common misconception that your surviving spouse inherits everything. This is usually not the case, and depends on the size of the estate, and whom you leave behind. If you are not married but living with your partner and die intestate, your partner will receive nothing. Leaving things to chance is not just a selfish act, it can be a certain way of ensuring that large sums of money are wasted on lawyers and court fees, whilst gifting the Inland Revenue a large proportion of everything you worked to accumulate in your lifetime.
The area of Wills, Codicils, Enduring Powers of Attorney or the relatively new topic of “Living Wills” can be complex. Hopefully we have raised the subject and turned a “fleeting thought” into a positive action.
Education Fee Planning
Most parents want the best start in life for their child. Of all the benefits you can provide, none has a more lasting value than a good education at a school or university where your son or daughter will be happy and successful. And in today’s increasingly competitive world, where higher education is seen as the key to success, it is natural that we should want our children to make the most of their learning opportunities.
However, school and university fees have steadily risen over the years and the cost of good education can now be a major expense. Therefore, planning in advance to make sure you have adequate funds to meet these costs makes economic sense, especially if you have more than one child. Making the right financial arrangements today will mean that the decision whether to go on to higher education can be decided on ability, not financial standing.
Similarly, your future net disposable income could be significantly diminished by a heavy school fee commitment and you may have to compromise your own financial goals or lifestyle. However, planning in advance can mean financial freedom for yourself whilst at the same time providing an excellent start in life for your child.
The sooner you realise the inevitability of school and higher education fees, the sooner you can start planning for them financially!
Critical Illness Cover
This form of cover is frequently overlooked and in most instances is under insured. Most of us have some form of Life Insurance, but fail to obtain critical cover too when this is possibly more important. Critical Illness protects us from the illnesses that do not always kill us due to the advances in medical technology, but nonetheless have a massive impact on our lives.
You are four times more likely to suffer a Critical Illness than actually die before your age of retirement.
Critical Illnesses Include (but are not limited to):
- Kidney Failure
Even though you may survive one of the above illnesses, how would it impact on your ability to do your job and earn sufficiently to pay the bills? Moreover, how long would your employer pay you while you were absent from work on long periods of care and recuperation?
Critical Illness is there to protect you, whether it is to get the best treatment available, pay bills, on-going care, gaining skills for a new career – or all of the above.
The cost is miniscule compared to the peace of mind and security you can offer your family.
Corporate Employee Benefits
The most important resource for any Company has always been the human one, and the Company that adopts a well-structured Corporate Employee Benefit package will not only retain, but also attract, the best calibre of staff available. This ultimately reflects positively in the performance of the Company and hence improves the bottom line.
Whether we are consulting on a Provident Scheme or some form of Gratuity Replacement programme, you are assured that our independence ensures our Clients receive an unbiased appraisal of their requirements. Typically we are asked to provide solutions on corporate medical cover, group life and pension (Gratuity Replacement) schemes.
Globaleye are specialists in providing corporate financial solutions and have developed strategic relationships with several leading independent actuarial and employee benefit consulting firms around the world. Drawing on the strengths of our strategic partners and the specialist industry expertise, we are able to offer our clients innovative solutions on a local, regional and global basis.
Globaleye, along with our specialist associates, are very familiar with specific employee benefit needs. Moreover, we can provide an individual service and administration system to your specific needs (online if required) with the added benefit of being locally placed. We can demonstrate that the administration for such benefits is straightforward and in some cases we can alleviate demands on existing arrangements.
Most people view Medical Insurance as a cost and forget the importance it plays in protecting your wealth not to mention your health. It should be one of the standard essentials for any expatriate, just like you treat Vehicle Insurance as a standard cover. Moreover, if you have not made a claim that should be viewed as a good thing. There are those however, who feel they have not got their money’s worth if no claim has been made. If there was such a thing as a no-claims bonus for Medical Insurance the majority would definitely like to have 100%!
Private medical insurance has become a must have for expatriates, however, the international healthcare market can be a minefield with a myriad of companies all offering a range of plans, most of which appear to be very similar. For the uninitiated, we suggest you review the points on our website and let Globaleye help you with the right solution. Do not buy cheap – what value do you put on your life and well-being. You probably do not know that many cheaper policies will not maintain cover in the event of you contracting a terminal illness like Cancer. Well, is that not when you need your cover the most!
Unfortunately, the only way to be certain that you have the right cover for you is to check the small print or plan agreement. These days however, insurers are producing more user-friendly terms and conditions that avoid legal jargon and vague explanations. If you do have a query, ensure that you have a detailed explanation in writing that can be relied upon later.
Offshore Banking Services
Choosing the right bank account can be a daunting process when placing your money offshore. The main reason for going offshore in the first instance is to enjoy the tax-free returns, the high level of investor protection and for some the most important key factor – confidentiality. However, with the news of the EU Savings Directive taking effect in July 2005, it is imperative you get your Offshore Banking solution done correctly. Onshore and Offshore Banks are fairly similar broadly speaking but it is their confidentiality that sets them apart from their onshore counterparts.
Confidentiality offers the international investor an environment where he can manage his affairs in the most efficient manner possible. It is likely that you require a local account in the country in which you live for day-to-day or business costs. However, the bulk of your capital is better served offshore. Most accounts have the same facilities like Visa, DD or standing orders etc. but you should be careful on your selection for business services. When you are an expatriate or you have overseas business interests it makes financial sense to place your funds offshore and finding the right bank or building society requires effort.
As the name suggests, Life Cover will pay in the event of your death. Most polices will pay the benefits once the death certificate has been received, but some will pay benefits upfront if a terminal illness is diagnosed.
The amount of life cover you require depends on where you are in your life cycle. A young single person does not have the same demand as that of a married couple with an expanding family. If it is the latter, a good question to ask yourself is “how long would my family survive on my savings if I died tomorrow?” You may be fortunate and not be fazed by such a question but 99% of the people we advise are insufficiently covered.
That said, although most of us have some form of Life Cover, it is generally not enough and your policy is worth reviewing. You may have started policies at home that are not valid while working overseas, and many of us may have some form of Life Cover to protect the mortgage/loan that we have taken from the Bank. If the life cover is linked to a property this does not leave much to the family to live on once the mortgage has been paid.
Leaving your future to chance is not a principle we endorse – we have known too many families suffer after the demise of their spouse when the financial trauma could have been so easily avoided.
Providing for your retirement is a major consideration in your financial planning. Determining when you can afford to retire and whether you can maintain your lifestyle requires careful planning – let us help!
By dint of their name, such pensions are not restricted by tax implications or retirement parameters you typically find in taxable jurisdictions. Contributions can be made into your offshore pension free of tax as long as you remain in a tax efficient jurisdiction. Moreover, the returns are virtually free of tax and hence the opportunity for growth is better offshore. With State and Corporate Pensions in many European countries in tatters, the onus is firmly on the individual to secure their retirement.
Onshore Pensions are fine for those who are resident for tax purposes in their home country. You are not allowed to continue contributions to an onshore private pension when resident overseas, so if you are doing so – stop now. This is because tax relief is applied to onshore pensions – if you are not paying it in the first instance, how you can qualify for tax relief!
Onshore Company Pension Schemes on the other hand are allowed some leeway by the Tax Authorities. You can remain part of your Company Scheme and continue contributions whether voluntary or not whilst overseas. You can also take advantage of your Annual Voluntary Contribution allowance too if you wish. Any non-contributory perk your Company provides whether in additional funds, bonuses, protection benefits or share options should be exploited to the fullest.
Globaleye’s pension planning and retirement planning services offer some of the best advice and planning options to ensure you retire without financial burdens and that your money outlives you.
The right insurance plan can take away all your future financial worries. Insuring yourself and your loved ones against the uncertainties of life will ensure you have financial security in event of setbacks like loss of income, accidental death, critical illness, or serious injury.
Globaleye offers a vast array of policies to cover all types of personal insurance though our partnership with the biggest International financial organizations in the world. Be it Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover, Medical Insurance, Accidental Death Protection, Disability Protection, Long-term Care or Family Income Protection, there can be a myriad of terms and conditions associated, and you would require some form of advice in finding the right policies that suit your needs.
Insurance planning is a long-term investment. Selecting the right plan at the onset will go a long way in making sure your policies perform for you as per your needs and expectations. Globaleye offers unbiased advice and assistance by comparing what’s available in the market against your requirements. We do the hard work so that you don’t have to.