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Financial advice is a broad sector, with a huge contrast between the quality, costs, reliability and nature of guidance offered.

Finding an adviser you trust to steer you through your wealth management options can be further complicated as an expat, balancing the need for local knowledge with planning around residual assets or tax filing obligations back home.

From our regulated European headquarters, Chase Buchanan supports clients worldwide, making sound, informed financial choices to support their expat lifestyle. In this article we collate tips from our Canada office to help you determine the questions to ask your financial adviser and ensure you appoint a specialist with a comprehensive understanding of the UK markets and tax regimes.

The Benefits of Financial Advice as an Expat

Investment and asset management can be complicated, and advice can be invaluable to:

  • Assess your existing situation and identify priorities.
  • Determine your key needs, goals and expectations.
  • Advise on products or strategies to meet those requirements.
  • Review and adjust your investments or products regularly.
  • Monitor performance, results, and new opportunities.

For many expats, one of the challenges is the need to take steps towards a new financial future in their country of residence without failing to recognise tax liabilities in the UK, particularly for scenarios as below.

Making UK Pension Transfers to Canada

International pension transfers may be one of the most meaningful financial decisions you make. The right pension structure can protect your wealth, help you dynamically grow your fund, offset risk exposure and minimise tax deductions levied against your lifetime savings. Poor choices may quickly erode your pension fund, opening up a myriad of deductions, penalties, taxes and charges.

There are several options, and even if you are certain you wish to transfer a UK pension to Canada, the risks and rewards between approved pension products allowable per HMRC regulations and alternative private schemes are material.

The best action is to consult an adept financial adviser in Canada to explain what each pension transfer scheme offers, how it will impact your overseas retirement, and how the rules about global pension fund transfers apply.

Please request your copy of our SIPPs v ROPS Guide for further information about some of the prevalent forms of international pension transfers.

Understanding Taxes on a British Pension in Canada

When relocating to Canada as part of your retirement plan, financial advice becomes all the more relevant, with the need to carefully compare the pros and cons of receiving a British pension in Canada as a foreign income stream or choosing to transfer your wealth.

There are also many different investment opportunities outside of a pension transfer, with customised advice important to ensure the decisions you make support your retirement. As a precursor to receiving independent advice, we recommend downloading our complimentary guide to Transferring a Pension Overseas to overview the tax considerations involved.

The Impact of Dual Tax Treaties on Expat Taxation

Double tax treaties are a unique piece of taxation law that becomes very important for expats with obligations in both their country of citizenship and abroad.

Applying correctly may mean you have the right to offset tax liabilities, claim a credit to reduce your payments owing, and determine your taxpayer status in Canada and the UK with clarity.

Note that international tax treaties are not part of the everyday financial advice sector in Canada, so an expat adviser is recommended.

Different Types of Financial Advisers in Canada

Before signing a contract or paying a fee, it is important to apprehend what sort of adviser you are considering working with and the scope of the services that they can provide. For example, a financial planner, financial adviser and wealth manager are all different disciplines.

Any adviser representing a particular bank, lender, brand or institution is highly unlikely to be independent. Rather than providing customised advice, they are limited to selling from a defined range of products.

If you have a high net worth or assets that require long-term management, a wealth manager can provide financial advice to help you develop a personal strategy to protect your future.

Questions to Ask A Prospective Financial Adviser in Canada

Every country has a unique ecosystem, so on-the-ground knowledge is essential to grasp the opportunities to invest, maximise tax efficiencies and plan effectively.

Before committing to any financial advice service, some of the key questions to ask are:

What Are the Prices or Payment Systems for the Financial Advice I Need?

Advice from a financial adviser will carry a fee – and you should ensure you know what that fee will be and how it is calculated.

For example, your adviser might be compensated through commissions, flat fees, hourly rates, percentages of returns or the fund value, or through a fixed rate for a particular service.

How Much Experience Do You Have in Providing Financial or Investment Guidance?

Industry knowledge matters, along with designations, qualifications and testimonials from previous or current expat clients.

Chase Buchanan is delighted to provide full team member bios, available to download and look into the background and skill set of each member of our Canada team.

What Ranges of Products or Services Can You Offer?

Financial products vary enormously, from investment products to mutual funds, insurance policies to proprietary structures – if you aren’t sure which types of wealth management strategies are best for you, an independent financial adviser is advisable.

That ensures that your financial professional will not be limited to certain investment types and can cut across every area of your life, from tax to retirement, estate planning to investment.

Do You Work With a Range of Clients?

Ideally, your Canadian financial adviser should work predominantly with expats, to have the requisite skill level to advise on complex scenarios.

Global Expat Wealth Management for a Global Expat Community

We appreciate that getting to grips with tax changes, investment rules, and varying regulations can make it difficult to make important decisions around managing your wealth following a global relocation.

Chase Buchanan aims to make portfolio management a streamlined process, with international advice to look after your best interests. As a private organisation, we offer absolute independence, enabling our consultants to create bespoke financial plans or improve existing strategies to achieve your lifestyle aspirations.

Please get in touch with our Canada team directly, or visit our Meet the Team page for contact details and information about the backgrounds of our accomplished expat experts.

*Information correct as at February 2022