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The numerous local and international banks offer all the usual banking services with some offering offshore banking. There are no government restrictions on the international transfer of funds into or out of the country. (more…)

expat-star-awards-2014-bronzeThe team at Expat Echo Dubai are thrilled to be the bronze winners of MyCurrencyTransfer.com  Expat Star Awards 2014.

This prestigious awards recognises, celebrates and rewards the sheer hard work, effort and creativity that goes into making an expat blog invaluable to its expat community. The award is a true appreciation and admiration for the people or teams who put everything into ensuring expats have the information and insights they need for a smooth and enjoyable transition to another country or a peak at life in another country.

There were 10 categories throughout the world covering all variety and diversity of expat blogs, portals and websites available today.  Each category had a Gold, Silver & Bronze award.

Thank you MyCurrencyTransfer.com

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pensionsAre you an expat in a UK public sector defined benefit pension scheme? If so you have less than 10 months if you wish to transfer it.

Why?

The government is removing the right to transfer from public sector Defined Benefit schemes to Defined contribution arrangements.

Experts say the move is designed to prevent large numbers of public sector workers ditching their DB scheme in favour of a defined contribution arrangement after Osborne announced a radical overhaul of the UK pensions framework earlier this year. The reforms, which will take effect from April 2015, will allow anyone who is aged 55 or over to take their entire pension fund as cash. Read more

imagesWhen you move back to your home country, you will have to put some of the things you did before you moved to the Middle East in reverse. Try and plan well ahead of time, particularly if there are considerable assets both here in the UAE and/ or offshore. From a financial point of view be aware that moving back home can affect your tax situation, your savings and your investments – so you should talk to a financial expert.

Closing and opening bank accounts
Try to open a bank account in your home country before you move if you did not keep it open when you became an expat. If you closed your bank account in your home country, you may no longer have a credit history – so it may be worth keeping an offshore account open until you arrange a new account back home.

Be aware that, if you did not keep a bank account open in your home country while you lived overseas you may not be entitled to any credit (including a mortgage) on your return. Read more

debtDebt accumulating amongst expats in the UAE seems to be, yet again on the increase.

Moving to a new location can be an expensive process and it can be all too easy to start spending beyond your means. All too often expats live like they are on a constant holiday. Be warned – if you aren’t wary the bubble will burst, leaving you borrowing into a vicious debt trap.

The debt owed by expats in the UAE is for a whole manner of things from car loans, to boat purchases, to credit card debt and the banks seem quite happy to grant relatively large loans and credit cards to customers with limited income. This coupled with a high level of consumerism and often poor financial literacy can be a recipe for disaster. Read more

FATCA-logoAnd so the time has come…. FATCA

If you are from the US then you’ve probably heard of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), but are you aware of how it could affect you? The legislation came into full effect on the 1st of July 2014 and has many implications, particularly for US expatriates.

FATCA is a U.S. tax avoidance measure that requires foreign (non- U.S.) financial institutions (FFIs) to identify, report on and, in some circumstances, withhold on payments to account holders.

The premise behind FATCA is intended to increase transparency for the IRS with respect to U.S. persons that may be investing and earning income through non-U.S. institutions. Read more

plane_sunsetGoing home. Back to family, friends and all those little things you missed while you’ve been away. It’s an exciting time. But there are a lot of things you need to organise – including your finances.

To help you move back home, and make the most of the opportunities available to you, we’ve listed some of the main things you should think about below – and explained how we can help. We’ve also provided a range of tools, videos and articles to help you find out more about repatriation – and how it affects you.

  • Moving back home can affect your tax situation, your savings and your investments – so you should talk to a financial expert.

  • Your retirement planning and pension arrangements could be affected too, so you’ll need to think about whether you want to continue paying into these – or make new arrangements back home.

  • If you closed your bank account in your home country, you may no longer have a credit history – so it may be worth keeping an offshore account open until you arrange a new account back home.

  • If you’ve been earning in a different currency from your home currency, and you’re planning to repatriate some or all of your wealth, you may not be aware of the foreign exchange solutions available to you. Read more

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