Pensions: Protecting Your Future – Have you noticed how time seems to fly by nowadays ? When we were kids the summer seemed to last forever. As you get older, work eats up a big slice of ever day. If you then have kids, you know all too well how those years quickly go by. The internet, smartphones, social media are great thieves of time too. No one really likes to dwell on getting old, but it happens every day. It’s just part of life !
One of the most boring subjects ever, starts to become more and more interesting as you get older – Pensions. When you are in your 20s, no one wants to think too hard about getting old, but that is just the time to start your pension pot. Some people wait and wait and wait. Maybe FOGO (Fear Of Growing Old) prevents you from doing more. Maybe your employer doesn’t have a great scheme or worse still has a massive pension black hole. As you get older having made provisions for your retirement is the one thing that will help you sleep soundly at night.
Pension schemes or approximations of them go back a long way in history. In the Middle East of the 7th century, money was paid forward to the sick, the elderly, orphans, etc. The Romans under Julius Cesar had a similar scheme, though it must be said a lot of the central pot went to fund far off military campaigns…
Keeping on top of your pension is important, so we asked an expert about that. Patrick Donders from Expat Pensions Holland has over 20 years experience in helping expats with the pensions. So this Q+A with him about pensions will be of interest for those of you who have been wondering about just that topic. Pensions: Protecting Your Future – Q+A
Q1 Patrick, please tell us the main trends you see expats and internationals face with their pensions when they come to live in the Netherlands.
Expats in general often have the risk of losing oversight. This can result in not using all tax benefits, paying too many costs, not having the best investments and not having a fitting risk coverage.
Q2. It’s a very complicated issue. How do you help expats achieve clarity and order in their pension matters ?
My craft is to present a correct, complete and especially an easy to understand overview of the complete situation and present the best options for the expat. It is important to try to keep it simple and for each topic to just go step by step. So, in the end it is about knowing what you are talking about, striving for perfection and presenting it in a simple manner.
Q3. On your site, you have a 7 step approach which readers can view. It makes it sound very clear and clarity is important. Does the 7 step approach cover most of the cases you meet with expats ?
Yes. It describes the process in a correct manner. In the end, my company and how I work has only one focus: High quality and long-lasting client contact.
Q4. How do you see the future of pensions. What should we all be thinking about for the future ?
Pensions will on a global scale become more and more investment based due to the extremely low interest rate. For your own pension planning always start with: 1] Use all tax benefits 2] Carefully check your Personal Risk Profile and invest accordingly 3] Go for cost minimization 4] Strive for the highest (pay-out) flexibility.
Q5. So we now know that Brexit will certainly happen. How will that effect pensions of British expats living in NL ?
Most relevant is if Borris will change UK pension related tax legislation and if existing Double Tax Treaties will be changed.
Q6 As a pensions expert, what would you one defining piece of advice be to all expats and internationals about their pensions ?
Beware of your own advisor. Be highly critical. The right advisor will not mind and actually will appreciate this attitude!
Thank you Patrick for these insights into Pensions: Protecting Your Future. If you would like more information, please see Patrick’s site which is very complete.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone : 06 26 01 41 12