Keep Calm and Carry On: Brexit Beating Financial and Currency Solutions for Expats
In the bright sunshine across Southern Europe these days you can’t help but notice a familiar stiff upper lip and a cheery resolve to keep calm. That’s the unmistakable sign that underneath a brave sun tanned face, there’s a worried Brit. These can be trying times for scores of expats as Brexit uncertainty hangs thicker than any fog you might have moved away from, back in old Blighty. Pensioners transferring their pounds into euros, or any other currency, have been at the mercy of the fluctuating exchange rate since the referendum vote on 23 June.
There’s no getting away from it all for those who live in the UK and have holiday homes, either. When you’re making regular transfers to maintain your property abroad and spending more due to a poor exchange rate, there’s less in your budget to spend enjoying your property investment.
This financial strain today comes on top of any additional expenses you might face in the future, like having to spend more for medical care you’d otherwise get for free with your EHIC card. Although the negotiators have promised to begin with agreements addressing expats and EU citizens living in the UK, it’s impossible to say when the new rules will be clear. Until then, expats have their fingers crossed, in hopes that the changes to come won’t be costly.
Experts make it easier and you save money, too.
Gone are the days when expats could get by on a DIY approach to their finances. Brexit makes it absolutely essential that Brits living abroad use currency specialists to transfer their money from their UK bank accounts. Given the pound’s fall in value, you simply can’t afford to pay the high fees banks charge to transfer your money.
And, as if that weren’t enough, you aren’t getting the insight and service a currency expert can provide you with. You want to ask a dealer who understands your specific predicament what tools you can use to protect your money in the future. Most people don’t have a clue what their options are when it comes to moving their money, so it-quite literally-pays for them to have the services of a friendly expert currency exchange dealer.
What’s the ideal deal?
• You want a real person to register you for a currency company, not just an online platform where you can transfer money any time night or day. You can’t ask a platform if a fixed forward would help you lock in a good exchange rate, can you?
• You want the ability to be able to also trade on the spot once you’ve registered. Have we mentioned we’ve got an online trading platform that lets you swap Sterling with other major currencies in the wee hours of the night if you happen to fancy transferring while owls are on the prowl?
• You’re unique, but you’re not the only one in your situation. Your dedicated dealer gets to know you and many other clients they’ve helped over the years. They can share insights and trends, lending you experience that helps put your mind at ease when you’re on unfamiliar territory.
• The perfect match for personal and business currency exchange is a mid-sized company that puts a premium on service. You can tell a company cares about their clients when you read reviews on sites like Trustpilot. You won’t find the same glowing words of appreciation written by customers of the biggest global currency companies. You’re not going to save more by going to a bigger company, and you’ll get bespoke solutions to your currency needs with a company that gives you your own dedicated dealer, too.
• A good company has to be careful when making transfers, so expect to answer a few questions which UK regulations require. Sometimes, people are surprised to discover that there are strict regulations in place to ensure that fraudsters, money launderers and other criminals are blocked from using transfer services. The best firms are the ones with sharp-eyed compliance officers making sure each transfer is legal and above board.
5 ways to adapt to financial changes
Once you’ve registered with a currency company, you’re well on your way to Brexit-proofing your finances. Here are 5 more ways to make sure your money is working hard to look after you today and tomorrow, never mind what Brexit brings.
1. Give your financial situation a spring cleaning, asking yourself what new goals you have for the next 3 years. Are you considering buying property or moving? Will your priorities be changing? If so, should you diversify your assets to help you achieve this?
2. Brexit means that expats are in uncharted waters as never before. The key to navigating the terms of free movement is to keep flexible, to have a contingency plan or two up your sleeve, just as the Bank of England has insisted that City financial firms should do.
3. Be clear about your appetite for risk, especially if you’re planning to retire sooner rather than later. Begin with a look at your daily budget requirements and work from this calculation to get an idea of what you should be saving each month. Be certain you’re adequately insured if you’re living, or spending long period of time abroad.
4. Have a chat with your financial advisor, once you’ve established what your immediate and long term goals are. They should be able to provide you with investments and solutions that cater to your goals and help you reach your dreams, no matter how choppy the waters immediately ahead of us may become!
5. As they say on the tube of sun cream: reapply frequently when exposed to the sun. You’re looking after yourself in the same way as you avoid getting burned by being unprepared for Brexit consequences. Don’t let yourself stress over Brexit, but do give your financial strategy a review at least twice a year as the UK’s ship sails ahead into Brexit and the ports beyond.
Calmly focus on your financial future, and you might find yourself making fiscal improvements you might never otherwise have considered. There’s no telling what lies ahead for the Sterling to euro exchange rate. Brexit means Brexit. It also means you should see to it that your financial future is protected by expert advice so your money’s not in danger of being blown away by these mighty winds of change!