Healthy Body, Healthy Finances: Is Your Pension in Order?

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With the Great British summer in full swing and plenty of hot weather to bask in, it’s easy to make healthier choices for your body. Regularly applying sun cream, drinking plenty of water and choosing fresh salads instead of the stodgy comfort foods that get us through the winter all contribute to the maintenance of a healthy body.

But could you truthfully say that your finances are just as healthy? It’s easy to let things like your pension provision fall by the wayside when there are barbecues to attend and sunrays to soak up.

This year we’re sponsoring triathlete Richard Westover during his most challenging race season yet. Athletics and finance may seem worlds apart, but we recognised a synergy with Richard from the moment we met him. Both require patience, dedication and a methodical approach. Reaching your financial goals, just like getting over the finish line before your competitors, requires a collaborative effort from you and a supportive team of experts.

This summer, like Richard Westover, we urge you to take on a challenge. Don’t just focus on your physical health, take some time to look at your financial health too. Whether you need to apply for a new mortgage after emigrating, take on QROPS advice or arrange your finances before moving overseas, address it now, even if it pulls you away from the poolside for a couple of hours!

What Does Healthy Finance Look Like?

While still living in the UK, healthy finance, or financial stability, means feeling confident about your finances and not losing sleep over money worries. People who are financially stable are in control of their debts (if they have any at all), have job security and regularly contribute a significant percentage of their pay to a pension in order to support themselves during retirement.

This final point is especially important. If you were born after 1951 (as a man) or after 1953 (as a woman) you’ll be entitled to the new State Pension when you reach retirement age. This amounts to £159.55 per week. This is significantly below what many people feel is a comfortable figure to live on.

Regularly paying into a personal or workplace pension  can help supplement this figure and allow you to maintain your standard of living upon retirement. Contributions paid into UK pensions benefit from tax relief— further boosting the amount you have for retirement.

What Happens if I Move Abroad?

If you’ve followed all the best advice and become financially stable enough to follow your dreams of swapping the unpredictable UK weather for unending sunshine in Australia, for example, you’ll no doubt be wondering what to do with your pension funds.

In order to transfer your funds to your new country of residence, you’ll need to use a QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) to receive the transfer. HMRC have a list of approved QROPS that have strict criteria. This list is subject to change, and new rules for transferring are regularly drafted to prevent people misusing the current system.

As such, transferring pensions is a complicated endeavour which even the most financially prudent person can struggle to wrap their head around. In light of this, it’s recommended that you seek professional advice from pensions’ experts.

The financial advisers at bdhSterling have years of experience dealing with overseas pension transfers and would be happy to address any questions you have regarding pensions or any other aspect of your financial management.

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