We all work hard and when the time comes to enjoy retirement, we'd like to be financially comfortable enough to enjoy it!
David moved to the Netherlands from England one year ago. The 30-year-old works in IT and earns approximately EUR 4000 per month. He is planning to work in the Netherlands for another five or six years and then he thinks he may move on to another country before probably ending up back in the UK.
He feels that he would like to have the option to retire before the company pension age of 65. He has built up some cash savings as his "emergency fund", and this can be used in the event that he loses his job or something else unforeseen happens. He thinks it is sensible to set aside an extra EUR 500 per month for the longer-term, but wants to know how he can do this best.
Retirement planning for internationals
It is becoming abundantly clear that, as individuals, we have to take more responsibility for our own retirement planning. It will not be enough to rely on employer pension schemes (where many people are only making minimum contributions and most final salary schemes are closed to new entrants) or, indeed, government support.
If you move back home, or work in a different country, you can take the plan with you and you can continue to contribute to it. This is a major advantage of using an International Savings Plan, as you cannot do this with most other pension schemes. Instead, expats are often left with a number of small pension schemes scattered across different countries.
Most International Savings Plans will take into account the uncertainties of working internationally and allow you to control how and when you make contributions, as well as how much you contribute and in what currency. Plans can be started from around EUR 150 per month.
It is a private plan, which you can control. For example it doesn't need to tie you to a specific retirement age and doesn't require you to take an annuity (exchanging capital for a lifetime income). You can choose when and how you use the money you have saved, and retain control of the capital.
Most International Savings Plans give you cost-efficient access to an excellent range of funds, to suit most risk profiles. You can switch these funds at any time. This is important, of course, as you get closer to the point when you actually need to use the money; for example, it is not advisable to be fully invested in shares with only a year or two left until you take the money. Regular reviews are important!
Savings are usually based in a tax-efficient environment, where they can grow tax-free. Contributions are generally not tax-deductable.
This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes information on business hierarchy, negotiations, and etiquette.
A listing of organizations in the Paris area that cater primarily to Americans living in France. Updated April 2011.
Our handy guide to the British community in Paris, from cricket clubs to Scottish country dancing lessons to where to find a jar of Marmite.
Here's a short introduction to our Banking section for those living in France, from how to open a bank account to Islamic banking and investments.