Lisa Smith, Editor and Writer

Expat for over 15 years with my wonderful two children. A teacher and a writer and in my spare time (which is very little) a surfer. You can usually find me at the beach or in a cafe reading or writing. Currently doing a great deal of research and reading in to expat pension and retirement plans such as QROPS and QNUPS. I would love to hear your comments on any article I write, it really does fuel my passion for journalism :)

GAD rates to disappear with pension reforms

GAD rates to disappear with pension reforms

The fall-out from the government’s new pension rules taking place in April 2015 includes the abolition of the notorious GAD rate that caps how much income retirement savers can take from their pensions. The GAD rate is set by the Government Actuary Department (GAD) and reflects standard annuity rates and limits how much pension cash

World’s Wealthiest Are Giving Away Their Fortunes

World’s Wealthiest Are Giving Away Their Fortunes

The world’s richest people give away more money than most average workers can ever dream of earning in their lifetime, according to new research. Profiling wealthy philanthropists, the report reveals these rich do-gooders hand out an average $25 million, are aged around 64 years old and have an average net worth of $240 million. The

British Expats Still In Love With Australia

British Expats Still In Love With Australia

British expats still rate Australia as the best place to live in the world – but other destinations in the Asia Pacific are seeing a surge in expat popularity as well. Australia was voted top by 90% of British expats who have moved out there. They told researchers for the NatWest International Personal Banking Quality

Ebola Could Spread To Europe Within Weeks

Ebola Could Spread To Europe Within Weeks

Scientists are predicting the deadly Ebola virus that has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa this year could jump continents into Europe before the end of the year. The epidemic has spread quickly across West Africa since March, affecting thousands and killing many of those infected. World Health Organisation (WHO) scientists working to

Pension Fraudsters Cash In On New Rules Confusion

Pension Fraudsters Cash In On New Rules Confusion

Pension liberation fraudsters are ruthlessly targeting retirement savers in their 50s, according to new research. The scammers are exploiting a lack of knowledge about the age when the over 50s can access their pension cash as the study by financial firm Fidelity shows two-thirds are confused about when they can take their pensions. One in

Expats in Qatar: Pensions & QROPS

Expats in Qatar Pensions & QROPS

Qatar has emerged as a destination of real attraction for British expats, keen to take advantage of the high tax-free salaries and luxurious lifestyle offered by relocation to the wealthiest country in the world. Sectors such as oil, construction and IT in particular are flourishing in the oil-rich state, and with Doha now arguably soon

QROPS Tracker – October 1, 2014

QROPS Tracker

Only 30 Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) have delisted or been suspended in the past year as the offshore pensions market stabilises for retirement savers. QROPS started in April 6, 2006, and the early years saw significant tussles between HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and providers as clever lawyers and tax experts tried to

New Pension Rules Open Back Door To Avoid IHT

New Pension Rules Open Back Door To Avoid IHT

Scrapping the 55% death tax on unspent pension cash has opened the door on a new way to avoid inheritance tax for the wealthy. Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement should be welcomed by anyone stuck in a tax trap because their estate is valued over the £325,000 inheritance tax threshold. Instead of elaborate estate planning or

Wish We Were Back Home, Say One In Five Expats

Wish We Were Back Home, Say One In Five Expats

Sun, sea and a more relaxing lifestyle may be a big draw for expats moving overseas – but they still miss home. The miserable weather quickly changing from wind and rain to a bright day is a joke for many, but one of the main things they miss about home to many. This was the

A Look at QROPS for the USA

A Look at QROPS for the USA

It’s only really in the last two years that US residents holding British pensions have been able to benefit from transferring their scheme into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme (QROPS). Although HMRC have always approved the use of QROPS by those residing Stateside, and for providers to operate within the country, the IRS don’t

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, also known as the SEIS or the Seed EIS, offers fantastic tax efficient benefits to investors while simultaneously encouraging investment in early stage start-ups in the UK. This invaluable sector is regarded as being integral to the economic growth of the UK. Initially introduced as a concept in 2011 by

Over 55s Underestimate Retirement Financial Needs

Over 55s Underestimate Retirement Financial Needs

Blowing retirement cash on luxuries when new easy access pension rules come into force next April may leave retirees short of money to pay the bills. The warning comes from financial firm Partnership, which claims most people approaching retirement do not have the cash to cover their day-to-day spending without the lure of the new

Referendum Fall-Out Leaves Investors In Limbo

Referendum Fall-Out Leaves Investors In Limb

The fall-out from the Scottish referendum no vote will continue to affect businesses and investors on both sides of the border. The ramifications of the no vote are not as simple as burying the call for independence. The Conservatives, labour and the Lib-Dems have all put forward proposals to devolve more power to Edinburgh –

QROPS, the USA and FATCA

QROPS, the USA and FATCA…. It has to be Specialist Advice

For a large majority of the ever-increasing number of British expatriates with pensions which remain in the UK, a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) provides a viable and sometimes integral role in retirement planning. This counts for those now residing in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, however arguments still persist over just how

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme Reinvestment Relief

SEIS Reinvestment Relief Keeping the Tax Man at Bay

Investors get many notable tax incentives when partaking in the ever popular Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), and one of the most attractive is the prolonged relief on Capital Gains Tax when reinvested. Initially this reinvestment relief was only available for the first year after a return was realised, however since April 2013, it has

Gold Loses Shine As Investors Turn To Property

Gold Loses Shine As Investors Turn To Property

Property has taken over from gold as the most popular investment for United Arab Emirates (UAE) investors. In an unexpected switch, 53% of UAE investors confirmed they owned property in their portfolios compared to 43% holding gold. But the investors distrust the local property market, which has had problems with lack of regulation and developers

Carney Still Sitting Astride Rate Rise Fence

Carney Still Sitting Astride Rate Rise Fence

The time to raise the Bank of England’s official interest rate is not far away, according to Bank of England governor Mark Carney. The questions on everyone’s lips are when will rates rise and by how much. In his speech to a conference of actuaries, he hinted a rate rise is on the way but

QROPS Pensions – New Rules Explained

QROPS Pensions – New Rules Explained

The tax man has announced Budget reforms for onshore British pensions are to be extended to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) – but what does this mean to expat retirement savers? The first point to make is although HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is agreeing to apply the new rules to QROPS, the finer

Week in Expat Money Matters 29th September – 6th October 2014

Below are the articles from last week, documenting events from the world of expatriate finance, as reported on iExpats and from other places across the web: From iExpats.com: QROPS For Expats In Countries With No Providers If you need to get your pension fund out of the UK but you live in a country with

How Much Investment Risk Are You Ready To Take?

How Much Investment Risk Are You Ready To Take

Yielding a healthy income from your investments is not so much about luck but the ability to manage risk. If you are about to take a punt on an investment, have you considered the risk of what happens should the deal go wrong? Risk is one of those unquantifiable things. Some risks are obvious –