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 :)

QROPS – Back To Basics FAQ

QROPS – Back To Basics FAQ

The latest research shows that many over 50s approaching retirement do not understand their pension options. The government study comes in the wake of far-reaching pension reforms in Britain that also affect the retirement fortunes of expats. Pensions and retirement planning are complicated enough for most normal workers – but adding the complexities of offshore […]

Risks Of Crowdfunded Investments

Risks Of Crowdfunded Investments

Crowdfunding is one of the new buzz words for adventurous investors – but lending to entrepreneur start-ups does not come without risks. Crowdfunding platforms quote the success of projects like Pebble smart watches and Oculus Rift, a technology start-up specialising in virtual reality headsets. Both firms raised millions from investors pledging cash, but for every […]

Week in Expat Money Matters July 20 – July 27 2014

Below is what happened in a week in Expats Finances, as reported on iExpats and from other places across the web. From iExpats.com: Pension Cash Boost for Car and Holiday Sales Figures show that one in five retirement savers plan to spend their entire pension on a luxury item if they are able to withdraw […]

Looking After Your Stake In A SEIS Company

Looking-After-Your-Stake-In-A-SEIS-Company

You want to invest in a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) because of the generous tax breaks, but finding the right start-up is a little like walking through a minefield. SEIS is government-backed investment scheme that lets investors pump up to £100,000 in cash into a new company in a tax year. In return, the […]

Funding Options For Start-Up Businesses

Funding-Options-For-Start-Up-Businesses

Entrepreneurs looking to finance their ideas and set up a new business can check out their funding options in a new guide. Published by the government-backed British Business Bank and Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW), the guide walks entrepreneurs step-by-step through their options from start-up to listing on the stock exchange. […]

Expats Not Exempt From UK Pension Tax

Filling the Tax Form

Expats with pensions from the UK who are under the assumption that they will be able to cash them in tax free as soon as next April comes along, are sadly deluded according to pension analysts. While it is true that at first glance, the new rules announced in the April Budget2014 appear to offer […]

QROPS Tracker – July 15, 2014

QROPS Tracker

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) providers have added new offshore pensions at the rate of at least two every day for the past year despite the third ever largest mass suspension hitting the industry. Although 118 QROPS were delisted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the publication of the last list on July […]

Central Banks May Undermine Long Term Investment

Central Banks May Undermine Long Term Investment

Central bank policies in developed economies are failing to inspire investors who are looking to emerging markets for more robust long-term returns, says an industry expert. Jan Dehn, head of research at investment firm Ashmore cites US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen stating she would not raise interest rates to control bubbles and the European […]

Alternative Investments – Options For Collectors

Alternative Investments – Options For Collectors

Low interest rates and poor returns on traditional investments are spurring some investors with a taste for risk to put their cash into alternative investments. Alternative investments is a term covering a multitude of assets – but the most popular are classic cars, stamps, wine and coins. However, alternative investments come with risk because they […]

Online Shopping Tricks To Make You Buy Revealed

Online Shopping Tricks To Make You Buy Revealed

Expats shopping online may be shocked to know that some price comparison web sites tempt them to buy with some shady tactics. Most online shoppers believe price comparison sites help them find the best priced deal to suit their personal circumstances, but this is not always the case. Popular financial products expats buy online include […]

Expat Drivers Costing UK Millions In Lost Road Tax

Expat Drivers Costing UK Millions In Lost Road Tax

Millions of pounds of road tax is going uncollected because expat and foreign drivers are failing to register with the Driving Vehicle Licensing Centre, claims a motoring organisation. The RAC also argues that many vehicles coming into the country from abroad could be unsafe because they are not subject to the same stringent MoT checks […]

Pension Cash Boost For Car And Holiday Sales

Pension Cash Boost For Car And Holiday Sales

Car dealers and travel agents can expect a boost in sales next year as one in five retirement savers plan to spend their pension cash on life’s luxuries. Holidays and cars top the wish-lists of many retirement savers who will be able to unlock their pension savings from the age of 55 from April 2015 […]

Expat State Pensions Take A Pounding

Expat State Pensions Take A Pounding

Expat state pensioners on a fixed income are at the mercy of the ebbs and flows of fluctuating foreign currency exchange rates. As the pound rises and falls against other major currencies, the spending power of retirement savers can suddenly shrink or grow, making financial planning a real headache. Meanwhile, many of the 550,000 British […]

EU mobile roaming charges explained for expats

EU mobile roaming charges explained for expats

New European Union rules mean the costs of making calls or accessing the internet from a mobile phone have fallen. But many expats and travellers remain confused about which countries are in the pact – and those that are not. Here is a quick guide to the new rules and what they mean for mobile […]

Seven-Day Loophole That Boosts A Company Pension

Seven-Day Loophole That Boosts A Company Pension

Paying a bonus into a company pension fund to take advantage of the proposed new drawdown rules is not a problem – providing the timing’s right. Chancellor George Osborne’s proposals to open up the money locked in defined contribution pensions from April 15, 2015 is an attractive proposition for many retirement savers – especially directors […]

Fund Managers Tear Up Interest Rate Predictions

Fund Managers Tear Up Interest Rate Predictions.

Fund managers are tearing up the rule books and looking afresh at how to predict investment returns in the US economy. Leading funds work out likely interest rates with complicated computer modelling. According to Keith Wade, chief economist and strategist at Schroders, the models say US interest rates should already be on an upward path […]

SEIS Helps Entrepreneurs Take Vision To Market

SEIS Helps Entrepreneurs Take Vision To Market

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is so important to new businesses because offering equity finance is much less risk for the business and investors than taking on debt. SEIS directors are also more likely to get someone to work with who understands their financial return depends on the financial success of the business and […]

QROPS & Safety; Keeping your Money Secure

QROPS SafetyKeeping your Money Secure

When devising a retirement strategy, British expats are now looking to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) as an integral aspect of any future planning. Perhaps one of the biggest fears amongst expats in terms of financial scenarios must surely be the threat of falling victim to a scam. While a QROPS is no […]

Financial Considerations for Expats in Shanghai

Financial Considerations for Expats in Shanghai

Shanghai has an expat population of over 175,000 – a figure which is currently rising by seven percent annually – and is perhaps the most metropolitan city in China. The municipality has quickly become a major financial centre, and is extremely influential on a global scale within industries such as e-commerce, media, technology, transport, fashion, […]

Funding Problems Stifle Small Business Growth

Funding Problems Stifle Small Business Growth

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is still a vital fund raising tool as business experts and the government identify finding growth finance as an ongoing major problem for small companies. Despite pumping funds into the British Business Bank, a state-backed lender that has raised more than £660 million and underwriting commercial bank loans to […]