Never a favourite subject and often classified as a necessary evil.
For immigrants with a capital debt, family responsibilities and a need to protect income it is imperative to review your life assurance and disability cover arrangements when immigrating to a new country.
This is particularly relevant when immigrating to South Africa as there is little in the way of a social net in the event of disability or loss of life.
There are a number of considerations that have to be looked at
- Any existing arrangements these can be worth keeping as rates and benefits may be superior to any new option. However, care must be taken as certain exclusions maybe within the terms and conditions such as if you move abroad certain benefits not being payable (this is particularly the case on disability and income protector benefits).
- Rates it may be cheaper to put South African based cover into place.
- Exchange rates the rand fluctuates immensely and in the event of it weakening any foreign denominated cover would increase in price.
- Feasibility of making payments outside of South Africa for clients wishing to retain life cover and other style protection policies abroad arrangements need to be made to ensure sufficient funds are in place to pay for these policies. The practicalities of having to arrange for regular transfers, often smallish ones, from South Africa to your home country can be tiresome and expensive.
- Claims in the unfortunate event you or your dependants need to make claim legalities such as probates and wills, along with geographical constraints of actually submitting and processing such can mean delays, causing immediate cash shortages.
- Ongoing advice having your protection arrangements in place in another country makes the job of regular reviews and service very difficult. Not only will your personal situation change regularly requiring updates, but new options and rates are often prevalent in this particular market.
- Differing Tax Treatment what may be tax free or tax attractive abroad may well be the opposite in South Africa.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
The main course of action here is review your existing arrangements and needs with a South African based financial advisor.
The advisor should undertake a financial needs analysis for you. Most advisors will do this free and on a non-obligatory basis.
The needs analysis will uncover any of the above issues and the advisor will be able to provide you with a range of options should any remedial action need to be taken.
WHAT ADVISOR SHOULD I SPEAK TO?
Integrates sister company Incompass Financial Solutions provide tailored and expert advice to immigrants and expatriates.
They specialise in this complex area of financial planning, however in general the things you should be looking for are:
- Ensure they are an independent financial advisor so they may offer you the full range of products available not just one companies.
- Use a registered Financial Advisor and ask for proof of this via their FSB registration.
- Check their background, experience and qualifications – are they able to provide advice on the areas you look for. Ideally you should deal with an advisor with a law or accountancy qualification and experience.
- Do they have any knowledge of international financial planning? For example, for UK clients, check they are aware of UK financial planning instruments.
- What is the size of their organisation? Although there can be benefits to dealing with small one man bands in terms of service levels, there are some inherent risks.
- What area does the advisor specialise in? As an immigrant or expatriate worker your situation is unique and very different to that of a South African citizen. Be sure the advisor is experienced and aware of the issues you face.
Contact us if you want learn more about Life Assurance South Africa.
At Incompass Financial Services we believe that quality service starts from your very point of contact with us. To this end we endeavour to answer all enquiries and e-mails within 24 hours.
In the event your enquiry is of an urgent nature please feel free to telephone us.
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