“It’s a misconception that you have to be a wealthy expat in France to benefit from talking to a financial advisor” says Jennie Poate, financial manager of Beacon Global Wealth. “Often people think that if they don’t have a lot of assets, then a financial planner can’t help them. But, they could be really missing out on making the most of the assets they do have and how to plan for their future.”
Do you have to be wealthy to benefit from talking to a financial advisor?
Philip and Julie were a typical British couple who planned to move to France for a less stressful life. They wanted to achieve semi-retirement whilst running their B&B near Le Mans in the Pays de la Loire.
They had never used a Financial Adviser in the UK but had accumulated personal pensions and an amount of money left over from their UK house sale. They asked Jennie how she could help them and we followed their story.
Did you consider that you weren’t wealthy enough to warrant the services of a financial advisor?
We really didn’t know what our assets were worth. We had an ISA here, a pension there, savings accounts dotted about that we hadn’t touched for some time, and the funds from our house sale. Moving to France was a big step and it did cross our minds that we might need advice. We didn’t have a known financial advisor to turn to because we didn’t consider ourselves rich enough quite frankly!
How did you end up using a financial adviser in France?
The concerns we had about our finances came to a head when we actually made the move to France. Experiencing a new tax environment, unsure of whether our assets would have to remain in Sterling or be converted to Euros – it was confusing, and we needed advice!
We were lucky enough to be introduced to Jennie by a contact we made shortly after we arrived in France who had highly recommended her services. We met with her in our new house. Jennie could tell that we needed to feel comfortable with her and worked with us at our pace. This was so important to us, we needed to be completely confident that our advisor had our best interests at heart, we have worked really hard to be in this position and we felt that Jennie understood that.
There’s no point in giving it away…
We began to realise how important it was to have sound financial advice, we are not rich by any means but there’s no point in giving it away we thought. Our approach in the past was just to leave things as they were. Jennie helped us to pull together all our savings, pensions and investments and consolidate them so that we were able to easily see the overall value of our assets. We were then able to invest appropriately based on how we felt about risk.
In our case Jennie found us a practical investment solution that had a choice of currency and was easy to understand. Adding our funds into an Assurance Vie policy meant the funds can sit there growing tax free until we need them so that it’s working for us in the meantime. She explained the tax advantages for withdrawals and is always on hand to answer questions. The biggest peace of mind is the inheritance advantages; having no children means that it is important to us to pass on what we haven’t spent to other family members and that can attract high inheritance tax charges.
She amalgamated our personal pensions so that we have a ‘pot’ each. And we have a choice as to when we take the funds and how much. Two years down the line, we know we have made the right choices.
Jennie could tell that we needed to really trust her as an individual, not just talk to a company representative holding a stack of leaflets and forms. The support we’ve had has made us feel much more secure and to understand our finances better. We’re still not rich but we know exactly where we stand financially and we’re able to plan for the future in a much more knowledgeable way. And we’re loving the good life in France!
If you would like expert advice, contact Jennie Poate or a free, no obligation consultation: email@example.com or via the Beacon Global Wealth website
This communication is for informational purposes only based on our understanding of current legislation and practices which is subject to change and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice form a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.