For most people caught up in the busy reality of living, exploring their bucket list only becomes a possibility once they are retired. However, South African expats who have moved abroad have a unique opportunity to cash in their South African retirement annuities, even before the age of 55, and they can use this money for absolutely anything – including making their bucket lists a reality today!
5 epic trips to tick off on your travel bucket list
1. See the Northern Lights in Iceland or Norway
The Northern Lights are on most travellers’ bucket lists and there are many incredible destinations from Norway to Iceland where you can see this phenomenal lighting up of the sky at night.
2. Walk along the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is such a magnificent structure that it can be viewed from space. Located just outside Beijing, it means you can visit this impressive UNESCO World Heritage site and walk along its top while also enjoying all the sights of busy Beijing.
3. Visit the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Here you can marvel at rock formations that date back billions of years!
4. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate destination for snorkelers and divers and is the largest living thing on Earth. The 23 000km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral.
5. Visit the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are probably the most famous wildlife-watching destination in the world. This remote archipelago is a land of lava formations, cactus forests, lush green highlands and tropical beaches and it’s overflowing with wildlife at every turn. Within minutes of landing, you will be face-to-face with some of the most strangely fearless and curious animals you have ever seen.
Access your retirement annuity before you turn 55
If you are a South African expat living abroad, you are able to access your retirement annuity abroad – even before you turn the age of 55 – due to a change in tax legislation that came into effect in 2008. In most cases, the only proviso is that you have financially emigrated from South Africa.
Financial emigration does not change your status as a South African. You and your partner will still have South African citizenship and passports. What’s more, financial emigration can take place at any time – on your exit from South Africa or many years after you have chosen to live abroad.
Cashing in your retirement annuity and moving your funds abroad affords you with many financial opportunities:
- You can use your retirement annuity funds for any purpose – whether you wish to make your bucket list dreams come true or invest in a new home.
- If are living abroad, withdrawing your retirement annuity means you can utilise it in the currency of your new home, which simplifies life because it allows for the better matching of assets to liabilities when calculated in the same currency.
- You can withdraw all your funds without incurring any early withdrawal product penalties as long as you pay the withdrawals tax liability
- Withdrawing your funds helps protect them from the volatile effects of the rand – and if you withdraw your funds at a time when the rand is trading strongly against your new currency, you will benefit even further.
At FinGlobal we have simplified the financial emigration process for thousands of South Africans living abroad and have helped them cash in their South African retirement annuities early, so they can use them for whatever purpose they desire. To find out more about how we can assist you with this process, contact us today.