Some thoughts for International Women’s Day…

Did you know that women typically live longer than men? The difference in life expectancy is almost 4 years in the UK.

In addition, women are much more likely to live alone when they are older. Statistics show that only 18% of women age 85 or older are still married while 58% of men over age 85 still have a partner who is living. Continue reading “Some thoughts for International Women’s Day…”

The danger of keeping all of your eggs (or beans) in the same basket

Shares in baked bean purveyor Kraft Heinz fell 27% in a day last week as markets reacted to an update in which the company took a USD15 billion write-down in the value of their assets.

They also disclosed that they were being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission due to their accounting policies.

This is quite a fall from grace; it was only few months ago that Kraft Heinz were seriously looking to acquire Unilever.

You can read more about the background to the story here.

However, the key takeaway here is that holding a large percentage of your portfolio in the shares of a single company is risky because things like this can and do happen.

The risk is doubly so, when the shares in question are those of your employer because now you are relying on said company for your financial future as well as your monthly paycheck.

3 simple yet effective solutions that expats can use to mitigate the negative implications of inheritance tax

It is expected that by 2021, the UK taxman will collect GBP5.7 billion from inheritance tax (IHT) per annum.

You shouldn’t think that, because you are an expat, this doesn’t concern you.

Domicility is not the same as residency

If you, or your father, were born or raised in the UK, then you are likely to be deemed domiciled in the UK and this means that your worldwide assets are of interest to HMRC when it comes to IHT.

UK inheritance tax for expats explained:

UK inheritance tax for expats is chargeable on their worldwide assets, at a rate of 40% of the amount by which the total value of their worldwide estate exceeds the nil rate band, which is GBP325,000 in the current tax year for individuals or GBP650,000 per married couple.

There is also a residence nil rate band which can be applied to property. Currently this is GBP125,000 per person, rising to GBP175,000 per person in tax year 2020/2021.


3 ways to mitigate inheritance tax

1. Give assets away while you are still alive

You can gift assets to anyone and as long as you survive for 7 years afterwards, your gift will be free of inheritance tax.

If you do not survive 7 years, then, depending on whether your nil rate band has been used up, there could be inheritance tax due on the gift.

2. Use your pension

A pension fund is considered to be outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes.

Therefore, if you are in a position where you can live of other assets, you can pass your pension on, free of UK inheritance tax.

3. Life insurance policy in trust

You could set up a whole of life insurance policy with a sum assured equivalent to the expected IHT on your estate.

If you put the policy in trust with your executors as beneficiaries, then the payment on death will not be subject to IHT.

In addition, as the payout does not form part of your estate, it will not have to go through probate, meaning that it can be used to pay the IHT due without delay.

Want to know more? Book a free 15 minute discovery call.

Can you transfer a UK pension to Poland?

For many Poles who have returned home after living in the UK, one of the big questions involves what to do with any UK pension benefits that have been accumulated while away.

This dilemma is even more pertinent in the light of Brexit and the additional uncertainty that it brings to the table. Continue reading “Can you transfer a UK pension to Poland?”

The power of diversification

“Holding a diversified portfolio of asset classes and investments means you don’t have to try to pick and choose the best performing section each year (which is impossible to do anyways).” – Ben Carlson @awealthofcommonsense

This chart is one of my favourite ways of demonstrating the importance of diversification for those who are thinking about retirement or who have already hung up their spurs.

Continue reading “The power of diversification”