Expats can easily find themselves having financial links with multiple countries and currencies. This is something that can brings its own challenges when it comes to financial planning. They will have day to day currency needs where they live. They could also have sterling obligations if, as UK expats, they have left a mortgage behind when they went abroad to work. Those who have become well established abroad may have a holiday property in a third location, i.e. neither where they are working nor in the UK.
Efficient systems will be needed to cover off day to day costs and move funds around between these locations in the short term – money may need to be sent to cover repairs, for example, if the UK house is let, or local spending money where the holiday home is.
When it comes to considering longer term financial planning and retirement, the expatriate needs to begin to form a view as to where they might retire and therefore what their future base currency will be. Long term savings should be biased towards the base currency, but many expatriates do not know how to go about setting up longer term appropriate multi-currency investments. Offshore bonds, which offer significant tax advantages and a wide range of investment choice, can mean that the expat could have his cake and eat it, as he may not need to commit to one base currency. Correctly structured, such bonds can be a very effective and tax efficient way of structuring long term financial investments across several difference currencies.