Financial planning for diplomats in China
Written by Joseph Regan on March 31, 2016.
A diplomat must possess a whole host of abilities including fluency in several languages, patience, tact and interpersonal skills. With some of the brightest people I know landing jobs in embassies and consulates, it’s utterly surprising that several diplomats I recently met lacked any kind of financial plan for the future. Retirement, education funds and even life insurance… my jaw hit the floor when I discovered this shortfall.
One of the problems is they assume the embassy will take care of them under any circumstance. While some embassies do indeed cover their employees from head to toe, the overwhelming majority don’t. Based off my estimate from the dozens of embassies and consulates I’ve met with in recent months, I reckon only around 25% of the nations represented offer their employees basic health insurance, while much less set up any kind of pension scheme.
To complicate matters, diplomats certainly have some particular financial planning challenges – the main being they move countries every few years. But burying your head in the sand is not a viable financial plan. If you are a diplomat in China – or indeed anywhere in Asia – without a financial plan, I strongly urge you to take steps to rectify the situation immediately before it’s too late.
Here are just some of the ways I can help.
I work with dozens of international clients living throughout Asia and even further afield. The majority move around and never stay put in one city or country for too long. Obviously, this makes financial planning difficult, but I can give you continuity wherever you are in the world. Infinity offers international plans that actually travel with you, meaning your long term investments and pensions don’t need to be switched just because you relocate to a different country. Modern technology makes it easy to personally stay in touch wherever you go, and 24/7 online support doesn’t hurt either.
2. International insurance policies
Health and life insurance, income protection and critical illness cover are key elements to any financial plan; they protect you and your family’s wealth whenever your health is threatened. You may not be James Bond putting your life in danger at every turn, but nomadic diplomats certainly don’t want the hassle of changing all these insurances every time they move. With the right choice of policy you will be fully covered against all eventualities, no matter which country you’re stationed in.
3. Currency transfers
It is very likely that your situation requires you to deal in two, three or even more currencies. For small transactions between different currencies the FX rate won’t hurt too much, but scale this up to larger amounts and minor differences between rates of exchange can equate to big sums. You will always get a better rate by using a specialist currency broker, and I can get you the best deals when you need to make larger transfers to send money home, pay a mortgage, cover school fees, transfer your salary, and so on.
4. Offshore banking
For exactly the same reason above, an offshore bank account also makes sense for you. Offshore banking will give you easy access to your money from anywhere in the world, along with the option of dealing in different currencies. Having an offshore account has the added advantages of protecting your deposits against local, political or financial stability if you are living in a country with a fragile economy.
5. Tax efficient Investment choices
Here at Infinity we are experts at working out the most tax efficient way for you to invest. By using offshore jurisdictions specifically tailored to help international expats constantly on the move, diplomats are in the perfect position to make these kinds of tax-efficient investments. We also comply with the most stringent regulatory criteria in the business and offer you the protection you would expect from a fully authorised, regulated financial company.
I’d be delighted to hear from you and help you put a financial plan in place which makes sense for your itinerant life as a diplomat. You can contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me on +86 152 2182 4499.