Navigating Life as an Expat Investor?

June 6, 2019

As an Expat you may be an experienced worker whose skills are in demand around the World or in a specialist niche in the Oil, Gas and Energy industry or have started working straight from University and embarked on a career with a multi-national firm.

Either way, your first posting abroad has been the start of an exciting journey and one you embarked on with enthusiasm, if not with a tiny bit of trepidation.

Challenges of moving abroad

But there have been the challenges of getting organised to move abroad, a million and one things ‘To Do’ and to remember, from finding accommodation to working out what to pack, or leave behind in storage.

Settling into a foreign country

Once in situ, it is has been reassuring to be able to connect with other Expats and like-minded individuals who have been able to give some useful pointers on making the most of your new local life.

Investing as an Expat AbroadIt is great having more disposable income than you used to have because of the lower taxes, higher salary and accommodation expenses covered. You can spend more leisure time really enjoying yourself with new friends and colleagues in the bars, restaurants and outdoor spaces. And afford some interesting travel or holidays in the region.

But then….

This is great at first, but then you find you are spending a bit too much of your disposable income in the here-and-now and realise that you might need to plan a bit further ahead.

There was a reason for some of those taxes, counting towards a State Pension or other health benefit you might not have in your new life. You realise this life might not be forever and that you don’t have the same kind of safety net as you did when based in your native country.

What if you have a family or might be planning one? Or if at some stage you go back ‘home’? Or indeed you remain a lifelong Expat?

What should you be doing to cater for and plan for, your later life?

Plenty of Investment opportunities abound

There are plenty of things you could be investing in and there’s no end to firms that are happy to help you invest. But the Financial Services sector and investment landscape is not the same you are used to. The Regulation is different and some of the products or investment vehicles which were considered outdated at home, are being readily promoted and offered. Investment fees and expenses might be a lot higher than you were expecting and the fund performance may not outpace the burden of fund expenses. You may not realise this until 5, 10 years’ or more down the line, when it is getting late to rectify the situation.

You might start to look for alternative ways of building your wealth and planning for yours and your family’s future and financial security.

And then you think about Property

Investing in property, good old fashioned Bricks and Mortar, seems like a great way forwards. You’re not sure you want to invest in your Expatriate country because you may only be there a few years more, or the local rules and regulations around foreign investment are prohibitive.

But yet you feel a sense of urgency. Not being on the property ladder has its dangers, not least of which are being ‘locked-out’ of the market as prices rise, or not benefiting from that capital appreciation, to use as part of a retirement nest egg in your native country.

You may even get a Bonus, once a year and want to do something with that, but you need to be in a fully-researched situation before you do anything

So decision made…..but wait….what’s the strategy?

But then you realise there are a myriad ways of doing it

The traditional way has been to do buy-to-let, single unit homes let out to families and singletons, either in flats or houses.

And there might be places you want to invest in buy-to-let, but in some places you may have to put a lot of money in or find a big deposit, so that you can then start the challenging process of getting a mortgage. And nowadays there are also PDR (Permitted Development Rights) opportunities.

Should you consider Rent-2-Rent as part of your journey? As a way of building up cash for a deposit on a property you can then own as your asset?

What is Rent-2-Rent even?

Or should you go down the Serviced Accommodation route, which seems more tax-efficient? Or do both?

Or HMOs, Houses in Multiple Occupation, where more than one ‘family unit’ reside at the same property? But what about regulation?

All seems a bit perplexing? These different forms of property investing will be the context for subsequent separate blog posts.

At times like this it is good to be able to have a conversation with someone to clarify what the best next step might be. What is your Strategy, or how do you arrive at one? How will you execute it? What support on the ground do you need? How could you build up a portfolio?

I work with time-strapped Expats and Entrepreneurs who don’t have the time, local presence or gaps in their know-how to build property portfolios in the right way for them. (Or who are simply stuck with little progress). This means they can carry on their day-to-day lives without spending disproportionate time getting sucked into investing.

If you want to talk through your plans and get clarity then please get in contact by telephone +44 (0)1932 849 536 or contact us

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Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist and sits on the Advisory Board of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

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