Photo: Happy Haggis
British expats are failing to save, new research warns, despite them being more cautious about spending.
Two thirds (67 per cent) of British expats now worry they will not have enough for retirement or that they are spending too much, according to a study by AES International. While those living overseas are being more cautious, though, more than half (52 per cent) have no increased the amount they are saving.
The research from AES International also found, despite more than 60 per cent of respondents saying they feel better off since moving abroad and more than 50 per cent saying they feel financial planning is now more complicated, that 68 per cent do not have a financial adviser.
Sam Instone, chief executive of AES International, says: “Most people tend to move away from their home country for a combination of reasons, but high on the list is usually an increased salary. However, once people find themselves in what can feel like a holiday atmosphere, original aspirations to save can become clouded by the temptations of the here and now. People are also prone to procrastination and this is well demonstrated by their saving habits.
“We are not suggesting everybody needs a financial adviser – in fact far from it, we think there are much simpler and cheaper ways to save than going through an adviser – but we would urge people to consider at least setting up an offshore bank account. In this way, expats will be able to save in a tax efficient manner and, with some discipline, reach the goals they originally had in mind.”
Offshore banks were found to be the most popular savings vehicles among respondents to the survey, with just under half (48 per cent) of expatriates saying they have one. This compares with 22 per cent who had a long term savings plan and 8% with an offshore bond.
“People could use these summer months, when perhaps they are waiting to join family on holiday, or are otherwise a little less busy, to put their finances in order and begin building the future they want,” adds Instone.