What does good expat financial advice look like?

Have you ever wondered what proper financial planning for retirement looks like?

Before answering that question, let’s start with another.

What we will cover in this post

Do you actually need a financial adviser?

A strange question to see on a financial adviser’s blog, right? You could be forgiven for thinking that my answer may be ever-so-slightly conflicted.

Robin Powell in his excellent blog, The Evidence-Based Investor, does a good job of answering it in this post and in particular, nails it with this line:

“The simple answer is no, you don’t need a financial adviser. That said, there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t benefit from good advice.”

He also makes the valid point that time spent managing one’s own finances could be spent following other, dare I say more enjoyable, pursuits.

A perfect illustration of this came from one of my clients. He is a partner in a private equity firm and is more than capable of looking after his own affairs.

However, he also works long hours and has 3 young children. Something he said to me in the early stages of our work together has stuck with me:

“Ross, the time I free up  to spend with my children when I would otherwise be managing my finances is worth far more to me than the fee that I pay you to do it for me.”
What you should expect from good expat financial advice

Now, assuming that the answer to the question above is yes, then these are some of the things that you should demand from a good financial adviser.

  • Review and prioritisation of your goals and objectives
  • A summary of your current financial situation, including a net worth statement and income/expenditure analysis
  • Analysis of current insurance provision
  • A review of your current investment portfolio, including risk/diversification analysis and a deep dive into the costs that are being incurred
  • Development of a suitable asset management strategy
  • Analysis of pension arrangements. Both private and employer (current and previous employer)
  • Overseas property purchase considerations
  • Analysis of leverage opportunities. E.g. mortgage optimisation
  • Completing a retirement planning assessment, including financial projections of assets required at estimated retirement date
  • Identifying tax planning strategies to optimise your financial position
  • Full cash flow modelling using specialist financial planning software
  • Cross border tax-planning and implications of your home country and your current country
  • Estate and inheritance tax planning
  • Legacy and trust planning
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