Money Matters - Simplified

Why offshore savings accounts are popular with expats

The terms offshore savings and expats for many of us are words we are familiar with but know very little about. An Expat or Expatriate is a term that, in its broadest sense, is used to describe an individual who is residing in a different country from where he or she is a citizen, or that is different from their country of origin or domicile.

The term is often used in the context of professionals who are working overseas at their company's behest; however it is also commonly used in reference to individuals who have retired abroad. Therefore an Expat could be somebody that is temporarily working outside of their usual country of residence for a few years, or indeed somebody who has decided to permanently live in a different country to that of their origin.

Why become an Expat?

There are many reasons why individuals choose to work and live overseas and these mainly centre on lifestyle benefits.

For individuals who are moving overseas to work, the main attraction is often a greatly enhanced benefits package including increased remuneration, free travel, improved and low cost accommodation, medical care, child education fees, and incentive bonuses, to name but a few.

Those people who choose to live permanently abroad, or emigrate, are usually looking for better employment prospects, higher standards of living, and better weather, for example British Expats moving to the Mediterranean. Property prices can also be more favorable than in their home country and the cost of living lower. Add the better climate to this and the lure of overseas living can be quite irresistible.

With these benefits on offer it is easy to understand why a great number of people actually choose to ultimately retire abroad.

From a financial planning perspective Expats are able to hold an offshore savings account which can assist them greatly in their tax planning while they are working overseas. In this regard, an offshore bank account can offer:

• Multi-currency accounts to allow savings to be held with one Provider, but in various currencies. Individuals may wish to hold an account in the currency of their country of origin but also have an account in the base currency of the country where they are presently residing.

• Currency exchange services.

• Flexibility to operate offshore bank accounts by telephone, post or internet

• Competitive offshore interest rates for savings are common in the offshore market

• Deferred interest options are available to help with an individuals tax planning