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The beginning of the year is the ideal time to create a plan for your finances. Whether you have recently relocated or are planning to do so in the future, financial planning and financial stability are essential elements to your long-term success. Here are 7 essential steps to ensuring you are financially comfortable and ready to make the most of 2018!

Step one: Create a monthly budget

There is no way around it – if you are going to be financially successful, you need a plan. Create a monthly budget based on your living expenses and stick to it. Don’t’ just estimate what your expenses are, refer to statements and keep track of your day-to-day spending so you can create a realistic budget. Draw up budgets for both savings and monthly entertainment. If your expenses outbalance your income, you’ll need to reduce or eliminate them until your budget balances itself. It’s far easier to stop worrying about money when you can see on paper that your monthly income covers your monthly expenses

Step two: Consolidate your assets

Take stock of all your assets and investments and look at their current value and what portion of them is liquid. Consider if your investments are working as hard for you as they could be and whether you are making maximum use of tax-advantage investments or tax-free savings accounts.

Step three: Establish your tax status

Are you aware of what your expat tax status is? Taxes for expats depend on a variety of circumstances including your country of origin and its tax system and laws, your residence for fiscal purposes, your marital status and your number of children as well as your individual finances.

Every country has different laws when it comes to international tax and South Africa has recently revised its laws when it comes to South African citizens living abroad. As a South African expat, you might qualify for double taxation relief. You may also be eligible for tax-relief on your South African pensions and annuity incomes.

At FinGlobal our tax specialists have extensive knowledge of SARS and SARB regulations and are able to discover if you are eligible for a tax refund. Our investigations can require a substantial investment of time and effort, but our clients are only charged if we successfully obtain a refund.

Step four: Re-look your RAs

If you’re a South African living overseas, you can now turn your retirement annuity into cash and transfer your funds to your new home before the age of 55. The funds can be used for any purpose, wherever you choose – you don’t even have to reinvest into a local pension. To make this happen FinGlobal offers a complete solution which thousands of South Africans living in over 105 countries have taken advantage. For a free, no-obligation assessment of how much you can transfer, how long it will take and how much it will cost, before you make a decision, contact us today.

Step five: Update your last will and testament

As the saying goes: “nothing is certain except death and taxes”. Prepare yourself for the inevitable and draft a will. If you already have one drafted, re-look it every year to ensure it includes your latest assets. A will brings clarity and certainty and allows you to determine who will benefit from your estate – giving you the opportunity to dispose of your assets according to your wishes and ensure your family is well cared for.

Step six: Maximise your currency transfers

To ensure you are financially secure in your new country, it’s important to maximise your foreign exchange transfers out of South Africa. All foreign exchange transactions in South Africa are subject to exchange control regulations, which are governed by the South African Reserve Bank.

As a foreign exchange intermediary approved by the South African Reserve Bank, FinGlobal is able to offer you a totally compliant solution that provides you with excellent exchange rates, low fees, unrivalled personal service, free exchange control advice, signature-ready documentation and secure processing.

Step seven: Explore financial emigration

Financial emigration is the process where a South African resident changes their status with the Reserve Bank from resident to non-resident. It does not affect your citizenship or your right to retain your South African passport.

Financial emigration does not necessarily need to happen when you leave your home country – it is also a process that you can choose to undertake when you are settled abroad. Financial emigration brings with a number of financial benefits allowing you to transfer a variety of funds and assets abroad.

For more information about how to financially emigrate, transfer retirement savings, claim tax refunds and access foreign exchange at highly competitive rates, contact us today.