Higher education costs – the facts & how you can plan

The days of most expats having their children’s school fees paid for them are gone and even if you have an education allowance as part of your salary package it will stop on finishing secondary school. If they then want to go on to tertiary education, whether that is university, college, or vocational study someone has to pay and the burden is likely to fall on to parents.

Have you thought about how much may be required, or how to fund the additional study that you children may want, or indeed may need, in order to do what they want in life and be successful?

Statistics show that over their working life someone with a bachelor’s degree in the USA will earn, on average, almost twice as much as workers with a high school diploma. Source: US Census Bureau

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Why investing can be more than just money

For a significant number of investors, investing in shares and funds can feel like a dance with the devil as they have to compromise personal values to achieve a return. With the growing awareness of the environmental impact of modern life, interest in ethical and environmental funds is increasing, and you can get a good return on your investment without troubling your conscience.

There has been a substantial increase in interest in this area, and accompanying press coverage, in the past year but there has also been a lot of ‘jumping on a band wagon’ and there is more to this kind of investing than picking a fund with a name that seems to fit.

In this article I aim to give you an overview of what these funds are, why cryptocurrencies do not fit in this sector, and how you can invest and feel good about it.

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UK Budget March 2021 – the facts for expats

There is no question that this will not have been an easy Budget to put together. There are still uncertainties in respect of Covid19 and the UK economy has problems, for more than one reason. With so many people on a reduced income and many businesses suffering,  tax hikes right now would be even more unwelcome than usual.

At this point in time, the UK is in more debt than it has been at any point in the past 50 years, at some £2.13 trillion which equates to 99% of GDP. Over the past 12 months the UK economy has shrunk by 10%, and some 700,000 people have lost jobs. UK unemployment is expected to peak at 6.5% in the 2021/22 tax year.

What is required now is to stimulate growth in the economy but I don’t think there is any immediate fix. The two main issues are to reduce debt and to support people and businesses who have been hardest hit – somewhat opposing issues.

No one knows quite how many people on furlough will actually have jobs to go back to and latest figures indicate that there are currently 6 million people on furlough in the UK at the moment.

This article is a brief overview of some of the main points with particular reference to any changes that have relevance to those living outside of the UK. The UK press will cover many points in detail but much of this is not directly relevant to expats so this article focuses on the main issues, highlighting any of relevance to expats.

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The future of investing is… flexible

We all know that we need to invest our money to make it grow but the options for expats in the UAE have been a little limited, until now.  Following changes in legislation, I am now delighted to offer fully flexible investment options, with negligible penalties, and a very wide range of fund options.

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Family matters: some things never change

Winston Churchill is a towering figure in British political history but was also an orator and writer. What I want to focus on is a quote that is relevant to most of our lives, even now, over 100 years after he said them:

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New Year, new financial you? 10 tips for getting on track in 2021

Many of us make New Year resolutions, but how many of those are about our finances? 2020 was a tough year for large numbers of people, and we aren’t out of the woods yet, but knowing you have taken all the right steps will give you some peace of mind.

Invariably we could all spend less and save more and a little focus rarely goes amiss.

With that in mind here’s a list of 10 steps you can take to get yourself financially fitter in 2020.

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UAE Public Holidays for 2021

These are the official dates of public holidays for the UAE for the coming year, as well as notable dates, so you can make a note in your diary now and plan ahead. Actual days of holiday for both the public and private sector should be the same and these are the dates announced by the UAE Government.

This article will be updated throughout the year as any changes are announced so you can bookmark it in the knowledge that it will always be correct

As usual, dates of Islamic holidays will be subject to slight variation, dependent on moon sighting, and others may also change.

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Where there’s a will, there’s a way to protect your family (November 2020)

I have published articles on this topic before but in light of the recent changes to the personal status laws in the UAE, this has been updated to cover the new rules.

If you have assets, and more importantly, if you have children, then you need a Will. This is a subject that many people are reluctant to address but there are many misconceptions and an all too common reluctance to talk about the relevant issues. In this article I want to set out a few facts and answer the most popular questions that I am asked.

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New personal laws in the UAE but what do they really mean for you?

I am sure most people have seen the articles about some significant legislative changes in the UAE with changes to the penal code and personal status laws and these are very positive in all respects. In this article, I want to explain what this actually means in relation to the financial issues, as headlines are not always quite what they seem and there are subjects that still need to be considered and addressed by expats, especially in terms of the distribution of assets in death.

Let’s address the various points in turn.

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