As international advisers, it goes without saying that we work with people who are used to being globally mobile.
Once clients face up to the trepidation of waving goodbye to family and friends, and handle all the emotional upheaval that comes with packing up and shipping out, it seems on the whole, they get a taste for it.
According to a UN report last year, more than five million people born in the UK have emigrated, this is up 23% from 4.1 million in 1990.
There are numerous different reasons for people to ditch old Blighty for far away (and not so far away) shores, but many will have links to their finances.
"More than anything else though, it’s about support"
It may be it that it is cheaper to live elsewhere or, there is the pull of higher earnings and greater tax relief.
It’s not so much our business the why, but the ‘what next’.
Once clients move offshore, many will stay offshore.
Some will return home, which is remarkably straightforward and easy to manage, so we don’t have to worry about them too much; it’s what we can do to keep those clients happy and confident with their finances when the world continues to be their oyster.
Know your territory
It is important for us to stay ahead of the game; of course we are financial advisers, not mind readers, so we can’t know each individual’s decision before they do, but we can keep our eye on the next boom area, or the next big thing in the industry.
As we did with Dubai and its neighbouring Qatar, we can familiarise ourselves with the laws and legislations of potential expat haunts and, in that respect, we may give ourselves a slight head start on proceedings.
Driven by employment opportunities, tax efficient earnings and all-round higher wages, clients may find themselves setting up home in the more remote parts of the world.
Should this happen, staying in touch is key.
We need to ensure that we are best preparing their finances for the new jurisdiction and this has to cover dual taxation agreements, legislations, regulations and adapting financial products to fit accordingly.
Granted, it’s tough enough wrapping our heads around our own political system, but we also need a decent grasp of foreign politics in the areas where our client’s relocate.
In no way am I meaning to teach granny to suck eggs, but foreign currency is also our responsibility.
We need to ascertain whether investments ought to be held in that currency, and in some instances we should even question whether their cash should.
Then there are some occasions, of-course, when the currency of a country is pinned to another for security and this can have an effect on long term savings plans.
Again, it’s our job to look beneath the bonnet and provide a solution.