Expats often find their wealth suspended between two cultures, two homes, two countries. This can make their finances quite complex and result in the loss of opportunities to expand their funds. This can become even trickier as your family ages and your assets grow. In this scenario, consulting a wealth manager on expat's challenges such as taxation, retirement, and repatriation, can be a wise decision.
If you are an expat considering looking for professional advice to manage your wealth, this article might help you. It will explain the basics of financial planning and wealth management for expats. In addition, you will be able to start the search for the ideal wealth manager for you, thanks to the list of the best professionals in by the end of the article.
What is a Wealth Manager?
Before understanding the importance of wealth management for expats, it is interesting to fully comprehend what wealth management is. Wealth managers are a category of financial advisors who work with a broader approach to your financial life. For example, while some financial advisors only give investment advice, wealth managers also offer legal and state planning, accounting, tax services, and retirement planning. Many wealth managers can provide services for any facet of the financial field, but some specialize in particular fields.
Usually, wealth managers in work with either one set fee or on commission. Those who charge one set fee can do it annually, hourly, or a flat fee. Those that charge a commission, are paid through the investments they sell. Then, fee-based advisors work on a combination of both fees and commissions on investment products sold. On average, for $1 million of assets under management, the advisory fee is 1%. However, smaller account balances tend to be charged a higher percentage. Generally, the more you have under the care of your wealth manager, the lower the fee is going to be.
It is also important to consider the minimum asset requirement to open an account with a wealth manager. This value can go from $250,000 to over $10 million, depending on the firm and professional you choose to hire in .
What Can a Wealth Manager Do for Expats?
Now that you know how wealth management works in general, it is time to understand more specifically how wealth managers can help an expat. Those who live abroad can experience the richness of another culture, make memorable memories, and meet great people. Last but not least, life abroad can be economically advantageous. All this taken into consideration, life abroad can also be complicated. The components of asset management and protection when overseas are sometimes considerably different from those at home.
Expat familie's financial goals typically revolve around two things: increasing wealth in order to be able to return home, and maintaining wealth in order to sustain their new, international lifestyle. However, there is a slew of roadblocks in the way of accomplishing financial planning goals.
Nowadays, the financial system is still not very accommodating for the more mobile expats and regulations can drastically change from country to country. Thus the importance of finding professional help that can organize this messy dynamic of being an expat. These are the main instances a wealth manager can assist an expat in with:
The extra dimension of tax preparation while overseas may be mind-boggling - particularly for US citizens who must continue submitting tax returns at home. These tax concerns are also influenced by an employer's tax equalization policy. Taxation regulations that are sometimes restrictive and constantly changing make short- and long-term financial planning a convoluted endeavor. A wealth manager can simplify this intricate issue for you. A financial expert can not only organize your taxes but also look for opportunities to reduce them.
The investment scenario from one country to another might be very different. For example, an expat might come from a country where real estate is not a risky investment, but stocks are high-risk and not always worth it. Then, they might move to a country where the situation is the exact opposite. This means that a lot of research and understanding of the investment scenario of the new country would be necessary to make the right investing decisions.
This is when a wealth manager can come in hand. These experts already know which types of investments fit better their clients’ investing profile. Thus, instead of taking time to research and still risk making a hasty decision, you can take advantage of the knowledge of wealth managers in .
Eligibility for retirement plans in the host or home country is often not clear. If your job situation does not permit either, you will need a plan B. It is occasionally feasible to take advantage of tax-deferred retirement options without the employer. Knowing when and where an expat family will retire is not always predictable. This makes retirement planning even more challenging.
Thankfully, a wealth manager might help with this issue. The professional can present you with investing strategies that will guarantee your retirement wherever you are. They can also work some probable scenarios to better prepare your finances for your future retirement.
Accounting is already a challenging task. Add more than one currency, international transfers, taxes to more than one nation, and assets around the globe, and you will have a lot of work on your hands. Wealth managers can deal with your very global accounting for you, letting you invest your time in other priorities.
Many trailing spouses experience an overall sense of powerlessness. This is due to a variety of factors, including the inability to maintain a personally or financially satisfying profession, the dread of a marriage split, or the complexity of managing a home in the host nation.
While these are not directly connected to financial planning for a family, they are concerns that should be addressed in a wealth management strategy. This helps to ensure that your financial resources alleviate rather than exacerbate these difficulties.
Financial Planning for Repatriation
Returning home may be just as difficult as moving overseas, if not more so. The financial expense, reverse cultural shock, and difficulties re-establishing one's identity might be more challenging than migrating overseas. If you find yourself in this situation, having a wealth manager to facilitate the bureaucracy and financial impact of this process is often a smart move.
How to Choose a Wealth Manager for Expats in
If identified that a wealth manager can do a lot for you as an expat, the next thing to do is to choose the firm, professional or online service you want. There is no perfect answer on how to make this decision, but here are some main points you can take into consideration.
First, the more generic factors that weigh in this decision. The minimum asset requirement and the fees are important aspects to take into consideration. These should fit your financial needs and overall net worth. Another factor that usually counts when making this decision is the wealth management’s investment performance and strategy. Again, what works for some cannot work for others and you should look for a wealth advisor that best accommodates your demands.
For traditional wealth advisors, the relationship with the individual also plays a strong role in the decision, since hiring a wealth manager will involve trust. It is also always beneficial to verify the professional’s credentials (if the person is a Certified Financial Planner) and track record with previous clients.
When it comes to the more specific factors of finding a wealth manager to work with an expat, it can be beneficial to look for someone prepared for the demands of your lifestyle. Not every wealth manager will know how to assist you with the financial challenges of being an expat. However, there are some wealth managers that specifically focus on this field. These might be a great option to make sure you are getting the best assistance.
Best Wealth Managers for Expats in
Ultimately, the decision will be made based on what you are looking for and which firm or company offers you the best match to your expat needs. This will be an important decision for your financial future, be that future in your host you home country. Don’t let these challenges stop you from exploring new opportunities and experiences abroad. You can count on a wealth manager to take care of the financial challenging factors. This will leave you more time to take advantage of everything this experience can bring to you, your family, and your future.
The supply of wealth managers who have a complete understanding of the expatriate financial experience is thin. But it is a fast-growing sector in the financial planning industry. To help you find the ideal professional, here are the best wealth management companies for expats in :