Most people who have emigrated from South Africa are a bit strapped for cash when they set up shop on foreign shores. The cost of emigration alone is rather exorbitant, and now you have to scrape together cash for essentials. In fact, most people take a bit of a financial knock when first arriving in a new country.
But this doesn’t need to be the case. If you play your cards right, there are ways of improving your financial situation – by harnessing the benefits of retirement or policy transfers from South Africa.
Why you should consider policy and retirement transfer
Of course, cashing in your retirement savings before retirement age is not a decision to be taken lightly. Most financial planners will advise you to leave your retirement funds untouched until the actual date of your retirement. And this is certainly true for people still living in South Africa, but the rules change when you emigrate. There are significant benefits to transferring your retirement savings offshore.
Benefit 1: earning in foreign currency
The current state of the Rand is probably a great indicator that it’s a good idea to move your money offshore. By cashing in your retirement annuity, pension or preservation fund, you stand to earn significantly higher returns if you reinvest this money in an offshore account.
Benefit 2: pension incentives
By transferring your SA pension offshore, you can benefit from pension incentives elsewhere. In the UK, for instance, you stand to significantly increase the value of your pension fund if you reinvest it in a UK pension.
A case study for a South African emigrant, John Smith, revealed that he was able to increase the value of his South African source pension by 26% in 182 by moving it to the UK.
Benefit 3: lifestyle enhancement
One of the greatest struggles for South African expats abroad is maintaining their South African lifestyles abroad. Transferring your savings offshore will ensure that you have money left to afford your family the lifestyle they deserve – whether for groceries, transport, travel or simple social events.
Benefit 4: education
Education can cost an arm and a leg, irrespective of where you find yourself in the world. And depending on your type of visa, you may not be able to benefit from government incentives that offer free education for you or your children. Education alone is a good enough reason to transfer your retirement funds offshore – investing in the future of your children.
Quite often, South Africans who emigrate arrive on foreign shores without having taken care of permanent accommodation in their new countries.
It may sound quite absurd, but with all the administrative hassles and financial constraints of moving abroad, immigrants don’t necessarily have the resources to research or purchase property halfway across the world. This means you may arrive in your new country and need money to secure a long-term lease or buy a new home. And this is where your pension or retirement annuity transfer comes in – these funds can be used to invest in real estate or as a deposit to secure a permanent residence for you and your family abroad.
Need help transferring your retirement savings abroad?
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