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How to save money in Spain

How to save money in Spain, and how to find ways to save money online. Saving money is something that we are all a bit interested in. Find out how you can stop losing money on foreign exchage and currency rates and save money on foreign exchange rates instead. Find out how you can save money by an expat financial review. Learn more about expat health insurance and how you can save money on every day living expenses in Spain. You may even be able to save money on tax, and make the most out of your UK pension

Pensions Advice for Expats: Retirement Investments
28 April 2017

If investing in a pension plan is not your sort of “thing”, it would be a good idea to check out the alternatives on how you could best invest for your retire income. Many of us are now beginning to think that actual pensions plans are not such good investments when it comes to retirement planning. Part of the problem is that politicians have messed around with pension rules a lot, and now the entire market is beginning to look less attractive to investors ans savers. Also, are young people going to be able to afford to invest in both a pension and a home? Buying a new home is expensive enough these days, and many young people are not going to be able to buy a home and invest in a pension plan. So, what are the alternatives?

Foreign Exchange Rates

If you are interested in investing part of your income on the foreign exchange rate market, it may be a good idea to look into offshore banking. Not only do offshore banks offer better rates of interests, but many of them are also very flexible when it comes to allow you to trade in different currencies. You may be able to move your money around different currencies much quicker when you have an off shore bank account. You may not want to move your money more than once a year, but is always a good idea to keep your eyes in the foreign exchange rate market.

Stock and Shares

Do you want to invest in the stock market? The stock market can be a very risky place, but at the same time, you can make a really good profit by investing in the stock market. Hiring a stock broker is one way of doing it, but you could learn how to trade yourself as well. There are a number on sites online which can help you, and point you in the right direction. It is called self investing and has made a lot of people a lot of money. Just make sure that you do not risk all of your capital when making your investments. There are plenty of online sites where you can receive good advice and you may even want to check out Youtube.

Property Market

The first thing you want to do is to pay off your own mortgage. Once you have done that, there is no reason why you cannot look into buy to let. It is a good idea, but make sure you invest in a good area. Buying a buy to let property abroad may not be the best investment. It would be better to invest in a country like the United Kingdom to make sure you get a good return on your investment.

We do tend to be a little bit worried about investing on our own without using a financial adviser, but it is one of the best way to make the most out of your money once you have learned how. That knowledge is not going to come over night, and you may have to study a bit. Above all, don't be frighten of offshore banking and foreign currency exchange rates. You will be pleasantly surprised when you discover how easy it is to be your investment adviser, and invest on your own. Remember to start with small amounts, and never invest more than you can afford. More than anything, learn the importance of saving money. 



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How to Maximize Your Retirement Income: Top 10 Tips on How to Make the Most out Of Your Pension
24 April 2017

Once you retire, you are more than likely to want to worry a bit less, and enjoy life to the fullest. For some, that is not very easy to do as they have not looked after their retirement capital and may see a lower return on their pension pot than they would have thought. This is really the time of life when you want to make sure that you have spare cash, and a good retirement income, will ensure that you can enjoy life.

1 Be An Active Pension Planner

Don't sit back on your laurels and assume that you are going to have enough money to live on in your retirement. Things change all of the time in the world of finance, and it is a good idea to complete your own pensions review. It is worth remembering that investments go up as well as down, and you need to stay on top of things to make sure that your retirement investments are in the right places.

2 Don't Rely On One Source

You should not rely on one source, or income revenue stream, when it comes to your pension. Today, the financial markets are much more volatile, outside changes such as new governments taking over, may influence your pension investment. Investing in stocks and shares is not a bad idea at all, but income from stocks and shares should never be your only income when it comes to your pension.

3 State Pension

If you are fortunate enough to be able to access a State Pension, you should by all means do so. But, in the years leading up to your retirement, you should check on your State Pension. Are you going to receive your entire entitlement, and have you paid in enough to your State Pension? If you have not paid in enough to receive your entire State Pension, it might be a good idea to check if you can top it up. Make sure that it is a cost effective option, and that your entire pension investment planning will benefit from your decision.

4 Work Out How Much You Need

Something that a lot of pensioners forget about is to work out how much they need. It is easy to presume that you are going to have enough money to cover your daily living expenses, and to go on on all of those holidays that you would like to take. Could it be a good idea to angle your investments to your personal needs? You may for instance want to have one particular investment which will cover your daily living expenses, and then another one which will cover the fun stuff such as going on cruises.

5 Keep Paying Into Your Pensions

If you do have a personal pension plan, you should try to keep paying into it as much as you can afford. Private pension plans are based on the idea that you will be buying an annuity at the end of the plan. There are other options now, but for most people pension annuities are still the best way to ensure they have enough income in their retirement. Most pension annuities are easy to contract, and you will find a good range of them out there. The amount of money which you have been able to save in your pension plan, will set the limit for the pension annuity that you can afford to buy.

6 Pay Off Your Debts

If you have debts nearing retirement, you should be absolutely honest with yourself about them. Hopefully you will have paid off the mortgage, but you may have credit cards or loans outstanding. Make sure that you know how much you owe, and then sit down and think about how you can pay it off. Don't be tempted into things like loan consolidation. It sounds great, but most of the time it works out very expensive. Stop spending on your credit cards if you have a balance at the end of every month, and settle your loans. You can even ask for a loan settlement.

7 Switching Your Pension

Should you have been involved with several workplace pensions schemes during your working life, it is a good idea to take a look at them. Most people tend to ignore their workplace pensions once they have left the company, but they are doing so at their peril. Of course, most companies don't want you to remove your pension, but it is a good idea to switch if you are not getting the best return on your pension. Modern pensions are often cheaper to run thanks to new technology, and you should really find out if you can put your all of your workplace pensions in the same pot. It is one way of boosting your retirement income for when you finally retire.

8 Investing in Bricks and Mortar

Investing in bricks and mortar is always a good idea but it should not be the sole capital for your pension investment. Remember that the housing market can crash as well as the stock market, and only invest in bricks and mortar after having checked out the additional costs. You may have to borrow the money to purchase the investment, and then you will also have maintenance. But, this could be a good route to go down if you like to rent out a property. Allow the rental income to build up, and use it towards your pension. You may even be able to pay it into a pension scheme, or put the money into a trust. When you are approaching your retirement, consider selling your bricks and mortar investment, and put additional income in a special scheme. This could be your cruise budget!

9 Private Health Plans

Is it a good idea to invest in a private health plan? It could be a good idea to invest in a private health plan. When you get older, you are likely to suffer a few health problems, and it is often cheaper to start to pay into a private health plan when you are younger. Many of them offer excellent terms, and with so many national health services around the world in crisis, private health plans could be a worthwhile investment.

10 Save On Tax

Smart tax planning is an essential part of good financial retirement planning. It is all too easy to assume that the tax man is going to be nice to you when your retire, but he may not be nice to you at all. Seek the advice of professional financial advisers and make sure that the company you use, are qualified to hand out advice. Many companies are only after earning commission, and may not have the best ideas. If you are not comfortable with your financial adviser, you should immediately step away.

Finally, are you accessing all of your benefits? Check if you are entitled to any special benefits. It could be that if you are looking after the grandchildren, you may even be entitled to Grandparents Credit, or discount on your council tax. Remember that if you don't ask, you don't get. Asking questions and staying on top of your pension planning, is what is going to make your retirement more enjoyable. Being able to afford to do the things that you would like to do, is after all what a retirement should be all about. A good place to get advice if you are British, is to contact the Government's Pension Wise service by calling 0800 134 3944. You can also learn more about this service by taking a look at  

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Don't Ignore Your Pension Because You Work in Spain: The Importance of Expat Pensions and Expat Pensions Reviews
17 April 2017

Many people who work in Spain still do not plan for their retirement. Planning for your pension when you work in Spain is just as important as planning for your pension when yo work in the UK. Spanish banks are keen to help you, but the problem is that you may be in a unique position. Just like me, you may have a private pension and state pension in the UK. You may have other investments in the UK as well. Asking a Spanish bank to help you to invest for the future may not be your best option as I have personally found out.

Take Your Entire Pensions Pot Into Consideration

The first thing you need to do is to establish your pensions pot. You may want to take into consideration private pensions as well state pension. If you are living in Spain, it is unlikely that you are still contributing to them, but there are people who still contribute to UK based pensions. For instance, you may even be topping up your state pension once a year.

Property Abroad As Part of Your Pensions Pot

Some of us still have UK property we may be renting out, and we consider that property part of our expat pension pot. Spanish pension providers would find that very hard to handle, and it certainly presents a challenge with Brexit coming up. It would be better to complete a full expat pensions review to make sure that all of what I like to call “pensionable” assets are taken into consideration when planning for your retirement.

A Flexible Expat Pension

Are you going to be staying in Spain when you retire? As people have become more and more “transitional” in recent years, it could mean that you will be spending your working life in Spain, but retiring in a different country. In that case, it means your pension needs to be as flexible as you are. Of course, if you have worked in Spain, paid tax and Social Security, you will be entitled to the Spanish National State Pension. At the moment it is easy to claim the Spanish State Pension for UK expats, and should hopefully continue to be so. Bear it in mind when you plan your pension as it may form part of your total pension income one day.

Still, you really do need to think ahead and find a flexible pension solution for you. It is best to speak to a company that specialise in dealing with expats pensions and understands expat pensions reviews. If you can the balance right, it may even be worth it for you to pay into a private pension here in Spain. After all, contributions towards a private pension here in Spain can be used to offset against tax, and as we all know, every little bit helps when it comes to retirement and pensions.

Also, don't forget about expat health insurance. At the moment you are probably covered by the national system, but what will happen when your retire. You may find that you are covered in Spain, but if you move to another country, what happens then. Expat health insurance is a very specialist subject, and it could be a good idea to start making some provisions now.




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How to Save Money on Energy and Electricity in Spain
13 April 2017

Almost 51% of your Spanish electricity bill goes towards taxes and other government charges. This is a staggering amount and you can't avoid paying it. Spanish VAT on electricity costs is a 21% which seems to be a bit unfair for a service that you cannot live without. Many think that they are going to save money by moving to Spain, but in fact, sometimes the opposite is true. When it comes to daily living expenses in Spain, it is just as expensive living in Spain as it is living in the UK. But, there are ways you can save money on electricity costs and energy costs in Spain.

How I Have Saved Money on Energy and Electricity Costs in Spain

There are several ways in which you can save money on electricity and energy costs in Spain. I started to identifying the most expensive areas of my home. There are some areas of your home where you spend more money than others, and if you find out what they are, you can start to address cost issues.

It may not be the areas that you spend most of your time. It is the areas where you use the most energy that you want to take a look at.

Top Energy and Electricity Tips in Spain

You need to come at this problem from all angles if you are serious about reducing your electricity and energy costs in Spain. There is not just one solution to this problem, so it is best to make sure that you look at all aspects.

Getting the Right Deal on Electricity

It is important to get the right deal on electricity in Spain. The main electricity supplier, has got all different deals going on. Their main deal is Night and Day, and allows you to use electricity at a cheaper rate during certain hours of the day. Of course, there are other suppliers in Spain as well, but I have not found them to be any cheaper than Iberdrola. You have to be careful with their peak charges and maintenance fees. Their customer service skills are not that great, and the sales staff are a bit too pushy for my liking. Despite everything, I think that Iberdrola is still the best supplier.

How Do You Cook Your Food?

The kitchen is one of the most costly places in the home when it comes to energy and electricity charges. It is really important to make sure that you have appliances which are rated with the best electricity rating that you can afford. However, that is not the end of it. If you want to save a lot of money on food preparation, you should look into some of the alternative cooking methods.

Save Money by Steaming Your Food

Steaming your food is not only better for you, but a steamer uses virtually no energy. I have long ago stopped boiling my vegetables, and I now steam them instead. It is not only vegetables which benefit from being cooked in a steamer. Stop boiling your potatoes and steam them instead. As a matter of fact, you can prepare a complete meal in a steamer in about half an hour.

Invest in a Slow Cooker

Slow cookers, or crock pots, are very popular in the United States. You can buy them in Spain as well, and they have become more popular in recent years even with the Spanish population. Since discovering my slow cooker, many of my Spanish friends have invested in slow cookers.

Of course, you can prepare an entire meal in a slow cooker, and the food tastes delicious. Not only can you go out and leave your slow cooker to it, but while you are out, your slow cooker saves you a small fortune in electricity costs.

Mini Ovens

Many ex-pats wonder why the Spanish are so fond of their mini ovens. Mini ovens are a great way to save on electricity costs. They heat up fast and cook the food that little bit quicker. If you enjoy simple meals such a jacket potatoes, they are the ideal way to prepare a quick meal. Yet another way to save money in Spain.

Do You Need the Dishwasher?

If there are only a few of you, you should not really need a dishwasher. Not only are you buying another detergent, but you are also using up a lot of water and electricity. Most hand washing up liquids are very environmental friendly, so you can use the dish water to water your plants in the garden or in the home. Another advantage of doing the dishes by hand.

Take it Off Stand By

Televisions and modern sound systems are often left on stand by. Do they really need to be? Take them off stand by and you will soon notice that your electricity costs will go down. It is a quick and easy solution to a very common and over looked electricity cost which many forget about.

You can also save water costs by using low flow water appliances. They are becoming more and more popular, and plumbers now recommend them. Also, don't forget to do the laundry at a lower temperature using a quality detergent and softener. There are other reasons why you should use a quality detergent and softener, but more about that later.

Start looking around your home and see what ways that you can come up with when it comes to saving money on energy and electricity costs. This savings tip is not all down to saving money on foreign exchange rates.

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How Do I Know if I Should Sell my Spanish Villa Before Brexit
31 March 2017

Brexit is causing problems for many expats. It does not matter if you live in Spain or Portugal, you are just as likely to have some financial concerns. Future foreign exchange rates are a major concerned for many expats. How do you know that you are going to have enough money to live on, and how much is your UK pension going to be worth.

Should I sell My Villa in Spain

Property owners in Spain are worried about the property they own. Are they going to be able to keep up the maintenance of your villa on a lower income if your pension is affected by a Brexit? If, you rent your villa in Spain out, are you going to have to pay higher rates of tax? Will people want to pay as much for renting your villa in Spain? There are many things to consider, and there is really very little guidance available.

Property Prices in Spain After Brexit

What is going to happen to property prices in Spain after a Brexit? No one really knows, but it is likely that property prices will slump as Sterling will be lower than it is today. It will be less tempting to buy a villa in Spain because of worsening exchange rates.Most large European banks are betting that the Sterling will slump even further. It goes without saying that a poor exchange rate will lower the price that you get for your villa in Spain, should you want to move back to the UK.

Foreign Exchange Rates for Expats in Spain

Also, if there are more properties on the market, there is a likelihood that many UK property owners in Spain, will lower their prices to get their villas sold off so that they can return to the UK or perhaps go into rented accommodation in Spain. Once again, foreign exchange rates are going to have huge effect on any profit that you may get from your villa. You are likely to make considerably less profit on your villa in Spain.

The Final Outcome – Should I Sell my Villa in Spain?

So, what should you do? Some people say that a Brexit will not effect property values in Spain. The problem is that so many other markets have opened up, and many more markets will open up once the UK complete the Brexit negotiations. There is a surplus in the US housing market, and flights are cheap to the US now. President Trump is keen to increase foreign investment, and the Americans do speak English. It is likely that a lot of Brits will choose to invest in other parts of the world, or even make foreign property purchases a thing of the past. After all, holidays to foreign destinations are cheaper today, and you are spoiled for choice.











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The Importance of an Expat Financial Review Before Brexit
26 March 2017

A final Brexit deal may come up sooner than we expect, and it is important to make sure that you review your own personal financial situation. Not only that, but you may want to check out where you stand on health as well. Will you need a Expat Health Insurance to stay in the country that you are in?

None of us really know what is going to happen after a final Brexit, so it could be a good idea to be prepared. After all, you do not want to end up out of pocket and not being able to afford your expat lifestyle which you have come to love. But, what factors should you take a look at?

Expat Income and Foreign Currency Exchange rate

Do you currently have income from overseas? If you currently have income from an overseas country like UK, you may want to remember that foreign exchange rates are likely to have an effect on your income. In fact, this week it was predicted that Pound Sterling would fall during and after the Brexit process. Many expats around the world have already been effected by the fall of Sterling. It could be a good idea to check out Currency Transfer Companies to see if they can offer you a better exchange rate.

In Trust or a Limited Company

If you have assets in the UK and abroad, you may want to speak to your independent financial adviser. It is very likely that cross border tax agreements will change in the near future. You want to make sure that you will not lose access to your assets, or end up paying too much income tax. There are several ways in which to deal with the situation. Considering open an offshore company, or setting up a trust may be the best way forward if you plan to spend your future in more than one country.


What will happen to UK State Pensions? Those on just UK State Pensions may end up suffering the most. The problem is that the UK government could perhaps even make a decision that you cannot have any pension increases in line with the any new agreement. At first you may think that it will not matter a lot, but if the value of Sterling drops as well, you may find that it can cost your dearly.

Set Up Some Savings

At the moment, you may not be getting much interest on your savings, but it is still a good idea to save money. You can think about it as your own personal little slush fund that you can go to when you need some money. If health agreements change, you may find that you will have to pay for some or all of the costs of your medication even though you have transferred your rights.

Expat Health Insurance

If you are an expat living in Spain, it could be a good idea to take a look at expat health insurance. Generally, the age you join a company, is the age that you stay. Companies such as ASSA have easy to understand policies and ASSA agents are often based locally. It is one of the better companies in the health insurance market place today, and you should perhaps ask for a quote.

Will Brexit make life easier for expats? Some say that nothing will change, but other financial advisers find that hard to believe. When it all comes down to it, it is better to be prepared and make sure that you are happy with your own financial situation. Complete your own expat review. It is better to know what areas may cause of concern. If so, you can do something about them, speak to a financial adviser or follow your gut instinct.

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How to Save Money On Your Holiday
18 March 2017

Most of us presume that it is cheaper to book your holiday online with sites such as, but that may not be true. If you are planning a holiday or vacation, you should certainly check out the rates online, but don't presume that it is cheaper to book your holiday online. Some of the so called discount booking sites are very tempting, but do they always give the best deal? I am not sure about that at all.

I have just booked my annual vacation, and going to be traveling in a couple of months time. Needless to say, I checked out all of the online sites, but I ended up booking directly with the hotel by phone instead. To my surprise I saved just under 200 Euros and got a better room as well. So, what is the secret to saving money on your holiday.

Booking to be Clever

Hotels may put some of their offers online, but far from all of the offers go online. Today, when I booked my holiday, I got a 10% early booking discount for booking with the hotel directly. The young lady who took my booking, also asked me if I had stayed at the hotel previously. No, I said and that entitled me to a special rate. None of these offers were available online or at sites such as

On top of that, I was upgraded to a better room. I simply asked the girl if they had any better room available and she said yes they did. As it was my first time with the hotel, and I was staying for two weeks, she would make sure that I got one of those room. When the booking confirmation came through, I found that I had been upgraded and a free bottle of Cava would be waiting for me as well.

How to Save Money on Your Holiday

Don't be frighten to pick up the phone. It is not the first time I have saved a serious amount of my money by booking by phone. Last year, I managed to get a drinks package included in our MSC cruise. That was not mentioned on the website, but was a special offer for phone bookings. In other words, pick up the phone and give them a call.

Ask questions. There is not harm in asking questions at all. Tell the company it is your first time booking with them, and ask if they have any better deals or rooms for first time bookers. Most of them will tell you if they do. Sometimes you do pay a little bit extra but it could be worth it.

It is not only rooms and booking deals that you want to check out. Don't forget to check out things like meal plans and excursion packages as well. Meal deals are great when it comes to hotels, and they are often more than happy to include breakfast if you book on the day.

Excursion packages can save you a lot of money. Cruise lines tend to offer a lot of excursion packages and two years ago, I got three free excursions when I booked a cruise around the Mediterranean. It sounded like they were anxious to book the last couple of cabins, and I asked what I would get if I booked today. The answer was an excursion package which included Rome.

How to Manage Your Holiday Money

If you are concerned about foreign exchange rates when you travel, you may just want to get yourself a prepaid debit card. There are many different companies which offer prepaid debit cards for overseas travel. Not only do many offer really good exchange rates, but it makes it easier for you to budget when you are on holiday. I have been using them for a few years now, and I think that they are great.

Check out them out online, and you will be surprised how convenient it is to use prepaid debit cards to save money on exchange rates.

So, by all means check out,the site does have some good deals, but remember to give the hotel a call as well. Be friendly and nice, and you may be pleasantly surprised. There is after all no harm in comparing prices. I normally check out first of all, then I give the hotel a call.


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How to Save Money in Spain: How to Save Money On Food
11 March 2017

No matter where you are in the world, food is very expensive. Needless to say, we are all trying to save money on food and make the most out of the food that we buy. Most of the time we end up throwing away a lot of food, but we really should try to avoid to do so if we can. If you are serious about saving money on food, one of the first things that you should try to do is to make sure that you use and eat all of the food that you buy. But, sometimes that is easier said than done.

Top Tip One On How to Save Money on Food

The first thing that you should do, is to make sure that you are making the most of any available discounts on food, or bulk buy deasl. It is often cheaper to buy one kilo of carrots or any food, than it is to buy just half of kilo. However, when you only have so much in your wallet, it is all too easy to forget that. Getting value for money is the key, and often you will find that you will have to be at least a little bit savvy to get the best deal. Don't leave your coupons at home.

Top Tip Two On How to Save Money on Food

Planning ahead is one of the best ways to save money on food. Instead of buying your meat requirements every week, you may want to consider buying your basic meat products once a month. That will allow you to make the most out of deals and discounts available in store. For this to work, you want to make sure that you know what you are going to be cooking. There is no point in going out to buy two kilos of chicken breast if you don't know what to deal with them.

When you come home, make sure that you have enough containers or freezer bags available to store your purchases. You need a freezer pen to be able to write on the bag, and perhaps even some sticky labels you can stick on plastic containers before you put them in the fridge. Divide them up in meal size, or consider cooking them all at once.

Top Tip Three On How to Save Money on Food

Cooking ahead, or bulk cooking, is another cook idea. This can work out really well for you if you are a busy person who does not have too much time to spend in the kitchen. Once you have got your ground beef, or minced beef home, make sure that you have all the ingredients to cook your food. Buying store cupboard basic when they are on special offer can save you a small fortune.

Simple family recipes such as Chili con carne and Spaghetti Bolognese are great when cooked a head. You can simply freeze them and defrost them quickly when you fancy either one of them. If you have invested in a slow cooker, you don't need to stand over the food while it cooks. Simply prepare it and put in the slow cooker.

If you enjoy eating chicken, and love to cook Asian recipes such as curries, you can cook that in your slow cooker as well. Don't be afraid to add things like raisins and sultanas to chicken dishes. They really bring out the flavor of chicken.

Still, we do sometimes end up with something in the fridge which seems to be leftover no matter how well we plan our meals. It tends to be snack and breakfast foods, and perhaps even fresh vegetables. So, what do you with that last left over yogurt? Well, why not add it to a cake recipe and treat the family to some home made raspberry yogurt cake. All you do is to replace any water with the yogurt and you will have a delicious cake for you and your family.


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How to Save Money On Foreign Currency Transfers
05 March 2017

When I was enjoying Sunday dinner today, I happened to over hear a conversation about transferring from and to Spain and other countries. The gent was complaining about the cost of foreign currency transfers using his Spanish bank and Paypal. Well, unless you have a very special arrangement with your bank, you are likely to receive poor deals on exchange rates and costs. Paypal is also not really a viable option as it is expensive and the exchange rates are frankly lousy. If you want to transfer money without hassle, and without occurring access charges plus suffer poor deals on exchange rates, you are better of using a company specialising in foreign currency transfers. But, what are the basics of making the most out of foreign currency transfers.

Get Ready to Transfer

Most foreign currency exchange companies work by assessing your personal circumstances. In other words, you need to let them know why you are transferring money. Are you planning a property purchase, payment of an unexpected bill or topping up the funds in your local bank.

You also need to consider if you are going to be transferring funds as a regular activity. It could be that you are going to be living abroad and need to transfer income from a pension or investments on a more frequent basis. This will affect the cost and foreign currency exchange rates.

Are you going to need the funds right away? If you need the money quickly, you will need to have all of the details ready so the transfer can be set up quickly.

The Best Deal

Getting the best deal is important, and you can only get that by doing a little bit of research. Contact your bank and find out what deal they can get for you. Remember to get everything in writing with the banks stamp. Unfortunately banks are not always very good at sticking to their promised deals.

On line services can be great but less reliable. If you choose to go down this route, make sure that you have a contact telephone number and a name of a person. Also, make sure that the company is legal. Companies like Paypal are not really set up to deal with personal on a regular basis, or one off large transfers.

What Should You Do to Make the Most Out of Foreign Currency Transfers?

The best thing that you can do is to talk to a local foreign currency transfer company. Get a few references from other people and make sure that the company is okay. If they have a local office and you can actually speak to an expert, it is probably the best choice for you. Many foreign currency transfer companies have local offices, and the good ones have websites that you help you to set up the transfer. Once you have completed the first transfer, you may even be able to download an App to assist you with further transfers foreign currency transfers.  

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Pension: Are You An Expat with a Pension in the UK?
19 February 2017

Have you moved away from the UK on a permanent basis but left your pension behind? In that case, it could be that you are feeling a little bit out of control by now. Yes, your UK pension provider may be sending you regular updates on your UK pension, but could you be doing something to increase the value of your UK pension?

Pensioners in the UK have cashed in almost £10 billion since the new pension freedom was launched in 2015. It seems that many UK residents are taking control of their pensions, and you should as well. My personal situation is rather complicated as I worked in the US for a long time, but I also had a UK pension plan. The fact is that it felt rather “faraway”, and I was concerned how a Brexit would affect my pension.

My main concern was that I could not pay into my UK private pension, and I was considering options on how I could possible make the most of it by moving it to Spain. The question is, do you need a financial adviser to help you. As we know, they want a slice of the pie, and that may even reduce the value of your pension.

Savings Plan or Expat Pension

I looked at my UK pension as a savings plan, and I often thought that I would be better of controlling it. In fact, there are many approved pensions plan in various parts of the world which would allow you to transfer your pension directly into them. The good news is that it could have tax benefits if you are still below pension age like myself. It could mean that any future contributions would be looked at favorably by your local tax office. Speak to your local bank, and they may be able to help you without charging you a penny.

Offshore Expat Pension

Of course, there are expat offshore pensions plan which may benefit you. We often think of the banking giants as HSBC being the best ones but that many not be true for all of us. They were able to help me, but only because my private UK pension was with them in the first place.

We all have different financial circumstances, and it is important to acknowledge that. Find out the current value of your private UK pension, and then start looking around the Internet. There are a number of smaller offshore banks that might be able to help you. While you are on their sites, check out their savings rates as well. You may be pleasantly surprised.

What Are the Benefits of an Expat Pension Plan?

You may be able to receive your pension is another currency. We can all agree that the next ten years or so, will be a volatile time for foreign exchange rates when it comes to Sterling. It might be better to see if you can transfer your pensions pot to another major currency.

Lower Retirement Age

Lowering your retirement age to 55 + plus is something a lot of companies talk about. I am not sure that is a good idea. If you are already living abroad and managing your finances without having to resort to this measure, it is better to leave the money invested.

Tax Free Pension Deal

You may be able to get a tax free deal. Yes, that could sound tempting but it only really applies in the vast majority of cases if you want to claim on your pension.

How to Contribute to Your Pension

Something that a lot of financial advisers do not discuss with you, is the fact that you may want to carry on contributing. If you are working abroad and find the right home for your pension, there is no reason why you should not be able to do that.

Perhaps you should take control of your pension and make the most of your retirement income,

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