Moving Overseas? 4 Good Questions to Ask About Your Pension

Good advice and financial security often go hand-in-hand. 

If you’ve moved abroad, now might be a good time to think about transferring your UK pension. You could gain a lot. Knowing your options is the first step. Finding good advice is the second.

What Can You Gain by Transferring Your Pension?

If you’re an expat and you’re currently living abroad, a pension transfer might be worth considering. If you’re a non-UK citizen who has contributed to a UK pension but you’re no longer living in the UK, you too may want to consider a transfer. You certainly don’t want to miss out on these possible benefits:

  • If you choose a lump sum, you may be able to receive more of that lump sum tax-free.
  • If your funds total more than £1m, it’s possible to avoid the Lifetime Allowance Tax levied by the UK. That’s a considerable advantage since that tax is 55%.
  • Once you transfer your pension, it may be free from taxation by UK authorities.
  • Gain freedom from UK pension rules.
  • Gain the freedom to find the solution that benefits you the most.
  • Gain the freedom to invest and improve your nest egg.
  • You may have the option to pass your pension fund to your beneficiaries…tax free.

How do You Find Good Financial Advice?

You should always feel comfortable when making investment choices. With investments come risk, so if you’re not sure about your options or the risk involved, you should consider getting some financial advice.

Financial advisers should be licensed, and they should put your best interests ahead of their own. In a best-case scenario, they should not be pushing their clients to invest in products for which they get a commission.

Advisers who work independently from financial institutions are in a better position to offer objective advice that puts your interests before their own or those of their shareholders.

What Should You Do First?

Buying a home. Deciding when to retire. Funding a college tuition account for your grandchildren. Like any life decision that has financial consequences, transferring your pension takes careful consideration. Before you make any moves, it might be a good idea to have someone review your situation.

A pension review could be a smart first step toward maximising your pension benefits. For overseas pensioners in the United States, finding a specialist who knows the US financial system as well as current pension transfer regulations is essential.

What Should You Look For in a Pension Review?

A pension review should be free of charge, and it should be offered without any strings attached. So-called ‘advisers’ who use pressure tactics and who make overblown claims can cause confusion with misleading statements and double-speak.

What you need is someone who will put time and effort into researching your unique financial status. Tim Carroll has a long career in British pensions and offers free UK pension reviews. As a licensed Investment Adviser in the State of Georgia, he knows the system and has the experience to offer knowledgeable advice to US-resident UK pensioners.

Want a free pension review? Call Tim Carroll or fill out the handy review form you see on this page. And remember: Tim offers a free review, well-informed advice, and the assurance of working with a licensed, regulated investment adviser with years of experience in the US.

The Most Important Mistake to Avoid When Transferring Your Pension in 2018

British expats who move overseas can reap quite the mountain of benefits when they transfer their pensions. Given the right circumstances and some good financial advice, the tax savings alone can be enormous. But, like everything financial, there are pitfalls that can derail even the best-laid plans.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from advising expat clients over the years, it’s that there are always sand traps to be avoided. That’s because for every sound investment choice to be made, there are also a few mistakes to stay well away from.

Case in point: Here we explain one of the top mistakes that pensioners should avoid in 2018.

The Big Mistake: Taking Advice From an Unregulated Adviser

The financial adviser you choose to work with should be putting your best interests above their own.

One very obvious reason for this is that you don’t want to be investing in the wrong funds. Back in the UK, a Milton Keynes man found this out the hard way. His pension savings were put into unsuitable funds by an adviser who was not authorised to handle pension transfers or give advice about them.

His £415,000 in savings went into two separate overseas pension schemes. Both of them were completely unsuitable for a retail investor like himself. He also found out that most of his money went to a fund that was managed by the same people who transferred his pension money.

Once he discovered the truth, the company offered him £6,000 to keep quiet about it and not to report the incident to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud.

Lesson Learned: Always Do Your Homework

Financial advisers can come from a range of different professional backgrounds. Some went to university for accounting or business, while others have a different kind of education.

In addition, there are scores of different professional designations — well over 100, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). But regardless of whether your adviser is a CPA, an ARPC, a CISP, or a CPRS, you’ll need to know they’re investing in products that are above-the-board and right for you.

Always check the credentials of your adviser before making any investment decisions based on their advice. In the U.S., you can check the background and experience of the adviser, broker, or firm that you’re working with on your retirement or other financial plans. BrokerCheck is maintained by FINRA and can help you make better decisions about the professionals you choose to work with.

Check Tim Carroll on BrokerCheck

Here at UK Pension Transfer LLC, we’re always above board and we always put the client’s best interests ahead of our own. Founder Tim Carroll has been registered as an Investment Adviser in the State of Georgia since 2012. His CRD# is 60099950, and you can use it to look up his records on the FINRA website (or just use his name, although there are multiple “Timothy Carrolls” listed).

You can also find detailed information about Mr. Carroll’s professional background and conduct here. This is a U.S. Government website called “Adviser Info,” and it’s run by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In short, Tim Carroll won’t be putting his own interests above yours when you come to UK Pension Transfer LLC for advice. Call anytime for a free pension review or just to talk. Tim will be happy to answer any pension transfer questions that you may have.

3 Secrets to Living a Happy Life in Retirement

Retirement should be one of the happiest phases of your life. You can plan long vacations, discover new hobbies, and start enjoying life on your terms. For nine out of ten retirees, all these things are true, according to a report from Merrill Lynch.¹

How can you join the 93 percent of retirees who say life is better (or just as good as) than before they retired? Of course, financial security and good health help. Aside from those obvious answers, there are a few other, less apparent things you can do to make your retirement as happy as possible. Here are three of them.

1. Pick up Some Part-Time Work

Survey after survey shows that retirees are happiest when they continue to work a little. Of course, if you have no choice but to work, it’s a different story altogether. For those who volunteer to work a part-time or temporary job, happiness levels tend to shoot skywards. Here’s why.

Physical activity. One thing a part-time job can do for you, besides making you a little wealthier, is keep you moving. Even a desk job gets you up and out of the house.

Social connections. One of the most significant downsides to retiring is the loss of a social network. Working enables social interaction and helps ward off loneliness.

Health. Everyone knows a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous for your health. Researchers who study retirees with part-time jobs have found they have fewer instances of significant diseases.² Working can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

2. Make Room for Hobbies

Being busy makes retirees happier, but it doesn’t have to be an actual job that occupies your time. Retirement is a great time to pick up some new hobbies or finally devote yourself wholeheartedly to pastimes you never had time for when you were working.

One suggestion is to develop three or four hobbies, so your days are not just busy but well-rounded and exciting. People who choose social hobbies tend to report higher happiness scores. Activities like volunteering or golfing, which let you mingle with other people and occasionally make new friends, are good choices.

Writing and fishing make good hobbies, but they may not increase happiness in the long run because of the solidarity.

3. Make Time for Your Children & Grandchildren

Retirement specialists report a trend among the happiest retirees: they find ways to be with their families. Your family may be very busy, and you may live far away, but making an effort pays off on the happiness scale. Even if all you can manage is a once-a-year trip to see them, you’ll probably find that it’s worth every minute and every dime spent.

Interestingly, living close to family members doesn’t result in retirement bliss. At least that’s what researcher Michael S. Finke reports in his 2017 paper “Spending, Relationship Quality, and Life Satisfaction in Retirement”.³ In fact, his research indicates that living within 10 miles of your kids will detract from retirement happiness! He doesn’t explain why, but it could have something to do with all that free babysitting you’re expected to do when you’re a grandparent and you live just down the street.

Conclusion

Finally, there’s one bit of good news to all this, even if you can’t follow through on all these tips. The very act of retiring has an immediate, positive impact on your state of mind. You’ll probably see a definite upwards tick on the life satisfaction scale when you retire. If you’ve already retired, chances are those effects will be long-lasting. Here’s to your happiness!

References

1 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-extraordinary-happiness-of-retirees/
2 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105332.htm
3 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3041761