Superwomen … a little planning can reap major wealth rewards. Put simply, if you plan now, you'll have more cash to spend when you're working less later in life.
Sasha, Lucy and Kat were enjoying their first gym session together for quite some time. What with visiting Abby in hospital, they'd let their exercise routines slip, so this session was heavy on both weights and conversation.
"Do you know, I grew up absolutely believing that there was going to be a man to take care of me," said Kat. The two other women looked at each other and laughed.
"Seriously. My father was extremely wealthy and his only money advice to me was, 'Don't worry about money, darling'. Fine, it was great counsel at the time - the last thing I wanted to worry about was money. I just wanted to spend it," Kat said.
Truth was, Kat's attitude seriously changed when she moved abroad. She watched many of her friends make and lose millions in Dubai. When Kat lived in England, she was the editor of a women's health magazine. She had a sizeable pension and assets in the UK and, thanks to Daddy, a potentially large inheritance.
Her father had got smart too, and, instead of simply brushing away any talk of finances, he started to support Kat as she moved her wealth out of the UK as much as possible, potentially saving herself and her beneficiaries thousands of pounds in inheritance tax.
"You may not believe it now, but one day you'll be seriously thinking you wished you had planned more," Kat said. "Most women don't even think about managing money, let alone get serious about it, until they hit a crisis." Kat wasn't going to fall into that trap. She'd spent the past week doing her research into pension transfers.
Wealth Diva SMS
Are you aware that by transferring your existing UK or European pension into offshore and onshore platforms, you'll be able to access a variety of additional benefits? Some of the options available to British and European expats are:
Ÿ QROPS - Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme
Ÿ QNUPS - Qualifying Non UK Pension Scheme
Ÿ SIPPS - Self Invested Personal Pension Scheme
"But why would you want to transfer your pension?" asked Lucy, push-ups completed. "After all, the main reason I contributed to a pension back home was for the tax relief. I reckon it's only got about £100,000 [Dh556,551] and I am going to need way more than that to retire."
Be well prepared
Thanks to her research, Kat was well prepared. "Well, the reason you would take control of it is because if you leave your pension plan in the UK, it is unlikely to grow much in the current economy," she said. "So many baby boomers are retiring and requiring access to their cash. That means that the pension funds are not bothered about investing existing capital for growth, preferring instead to preserve what they have. Consequently, your fund is likely to be sitting flat and not going anywhere fast," she said.
"By taking control of your own pension fund, investing it elsewhere where, hopefully, you could achieve 10 per cent annual growth, in 20 years' time, that could have swelled to more than £600,000."
"Wow, that's brilliant!" said Lucy.
Wealth Diva SMS
How do you want to retire? If you …
Ÿ Have high net worth?
Ÿ Enjoy considerable earnings during your lifetime?
Ÿ Have accrued sizeable assets, property and pension?
Ÿ Have a shortfall of retirement income?
Ÿ Have exceeded your allowance in UK pension funds?
Ÿ Have assets?
Ÿ Require additional pension provision?
Ÿ Want to invest in a broader range of asset classes?
Ÿ Want to retire with a high level of income?
… then inheritance tax planning is worth exploring.
Cooler heads prevail
The girls were cooling down and exhausted from their training.
Sasha hadn't said much throughout the session, but she'd certainly been listening. She looked at Lucy. "You know something, Lucy? What Kat told you today would put you in Jimmy Choo shoes for the rest of your life."
"What? Jimmy Choos forever? Now you're talking my language!"
Ladies, please note this is simply an example, with fictitious characters, of how offshore pensions can work to good effect.
They are not suitable for everyone, so make sure you seek out an adviser you trust, preferably one referred to you by a satisfied customer, and be sure to check the fees and charges.
Janelle Malone is a writer, blogger and commentator on personal finance. You can contact her at www.womenmoneyandstylecom.