There’s a lot of talk in the offshore investment niche of being an expatriate or Expat. But what exactly is an Expat? And what does it have to do with offshore investing? There are many types of Expats, from globetrotting retirees to people working overseas for their employer. Expats can be people who’ve fled a high-tax country and taken their business when they left. There are economic Expats who are seeking wealth and fortune in other countries. But the one thing all Expats share in common, though, is they now have to live and work in a foreign country, often not knowing the language. It isn’t easy and if you plan on working, earning a living and protecting what money you’ve earned it gets even more difficult, difficult but not impossible.
People have many reasons for expatriating. Financial reasons are one; so is a general disagreement or displeasure with governing policies in the home country. Being an Expat does have its advantages, among them the ability to save money from less-strict overseas taxation and investment laws. If you are seriously considering becoming an Expat, look long and hard at opening an offshore bank account. Tax efficient and discrete, an offshore account is ideal for depositing your salary and there are many types of accounts available (including instant access debit/credit accounts) depending on what you want and need. Set up an account in an International Financial Center (IFC) country and another, local account and have your salary divided between the two.
Investment funds are ideal for Expats since, basically, the sky is the limit. As with all investments, you can be ultra safe with your investments or ultra aggressive. It’s all about how strong a stomach you have. One plus is that the mutual fund is managed, maintained and administered by a Fund Manager – all done for you to maximize your return on investment. But if you aren’t interested in investing, just in keeping your money safe while you’re overseas, what options do you have? Regulator Asset Protection Structure with a bank account is what we recommend for expats. This type of structure favors asset protection with concern to taxes; whereas in an offshore trust, you transfer control of you assets to a trustee who manages those assets in your best interests. Different asset protection structures exist, for different purposes, so be sure to seek professional advice before committing to anything. We offer a free consultation to learn more.
And, if you plan on moving around a lot from country to country, the internet is your new best friend. The globalization of world markets opened a doorway for shrewd online services. And by shrewd I mean far-sighted since many offshore banks offer online banking just like onshore institutions. Advanced encryption techniques and coding keep your private information safe while you buy and sell using an offshore investment platform, or simply check up on your latest account balance. The number of offshore investment platforms is increasing exponentially, all of them giving you the option of managing your portfolio from wherever in the world you and your computer are.
Being an Expat isn’t for everyone. It takes no small amount of courage and preparation to protect yourself and your assets if you plan on living overseas for any amount of time. Fortunately, if you do your homework and know what you want, you’ll enjoy the benefits of offshore banking and investment – and maybe get in some sightseeing, too.