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PRESENTED BY BARCLAYS INTERNATIONAL BANKING

Living abroad: the key steps for managing your finances

Living an international lifestyle creates a whole world of new opportunities. Enhanced career prospects or better pay and benefits are among the main reasons for moving abroad.

Living abroad: the key steps for managing your finances
Photo: Getty

But new opportunities don’t come without challenges. Embracing your freedom to live abroad or across borders could make it harder to plan a path towards financial freedom.

While your language skills and cultural norms may inevitably become caught between places, personal finance is one area you can keep control of. The Local, in partnership with Barclays International Banking, presents the key steps to building a more secure future – no matter where you call home.

Start planning your future today: find out if you qualify for Barclays International Banking 

Digital banking: track your day-to-day outgoings

From same-day deliveries to social media, we live in an age of instant gratification. But when it comes to money, it makes sense to plan for the future.

You can start by ensuring you have a complete view of your finances right now. That may be easier said than done, however, if you use multiple accounts and cards issued in different countries.

Doing all your digital banking in one place could help you better understand your outgoings. If the cost of living in your new location is high, you want to avoid the trap of splurging all your income. If it’s lower than you’re used to, you could make that count by setting some of your salary aside in a savings or investment account.

Currency exchange: be flexible, move fast

You don’t have to be a forex trader to win or lose big on currency fluctuations. If you’re planning a life abroad, the question of how and when to transfer money deserves some serious thought.

This is especially true if transferring large sums because, for instance, you want to buy a property or perhaps close a savings account. Even with smaller transfers, you can make the money work for you by thinking ahead and being flexible about when you trade.

You may want to set an alert for your target exchange rate in a foreign exchange app so you don't miss a favourable market movement. Knowing exactly how you’ll make a transfer is also crucial. Barclays International Banking's foreign exchange service allows you to trade in multiple currencies – with rates that get better, the more you convert.

Savings & Investments: select your strategy

Living internationally requires you to grow as a person. But what if negotiating culture shock and red tape deprives you of the mental energy needed to grow your savings?

Try not to get overwhelmed by having money in more than one country. Think about what matters to you and select a strategy to match your goals. 

Start simple: for instance, save a fixed percentage of your income each month – and use automated transfers so it’s done before you can spend it!

If you’re investing, consider the risk-reward ratio and pick a strategy. Maximising long-term growth to fund an early retirement is very different from seeking safe, regular returns to support you and your family as you set up a new business.  

Find out today how Barclays International Banking can support your international lifestyle

Property & Family: trust matters 

Few decisions shape your life more than buying a home. If you’re discussing your future with a partner, you need to plan ahead wherever possible. Your dream home won’t come cheap. Nor will any kids!

Photo: Getty

In many countries, you still have the chance of securing a mortgage with a fixed, long-term low interest rate. But if you’re new to a place, take time to understand the local conditions – asking a few locals what they consider to be a good deal might offer valuable insights.

If your thoughts are turning to your legacy, you may want to take professional advice on estate planning and local inheritance laws. Trust is key when it comes to the more personal aspects of personal finance.

Tax & Pensions: pay attention not penalties

As an international resident, you’ve almost certainly attracted the attention of more than one tax authority. So, make sure you know exactly where you’re liable to pay tax.

If you’re an employee abroad, the hard work may be done for you with tax deducted from your salary each month. But if you’re self-employed, plan for the tax bills to come – and how they’ll differ from what you’d pay in your home country. 

Some workers, such as cross-border commuters or those on temporary postings, could be at risk of double taxation. Check any rules you’re not sure of with the relevant tax authority to avoid waking up at 3am in a cold sweat. 

You may also want to check the legal retirement age in your adopted country. Want to consolidate your pension? Look into official transfer schemes, such as the qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS) for people who want to move UK savings abroad.

Barclays has been managing clients’ money for more than 330 years and has regional expertise across the globe. Click here to find out how Barclays International Banking can help you move towards all your financial goals, wherever life takes you.

 

For members

RESIDENCY PERMITS

Can I gain Spanish residency through marriage or partnership?

Is it possible to gain Spanish residency through a marriage or partnership? Read on to find out more and discover if your situation makes you eligible.

Can I gain Spanish residency through marriage or partnership?

So, you’ve fallen in love and have decided to marry or enter into a civil union with your partner, the only problem is that your partner lives in Spain and you don’t have Spanish residency to be able to live with them. Is it possible to apply for Spanish residency through marriage?

The short answer is yes, it’s totally possible to gain Spanish residency through marriage or a civil union, but different situations will apply, depending on your particular circumstances.

In Spain, a civil union is known as a pareja de hecho and grants you many of the same benefits as marriage, however there are a few main differences. Read here to find out what the differences are and which is better. 

Residency through marriage to an EU citizen

If you are from a non-EU country and marry or enter into a civil partnership with someone from Spain or the EU, then gaining a Spanish residency permit is quite straightforward.

In this case, you will apply for a residence permit for Spain as a family member of an EU citizen or a tarjeta de residencia de familiar comunitario. This will enable you the right to come and live and work in Spain under the same conditions as those from the EU.

You must apply for the residence permit within a period of 90 days or three months after arriving in Spain and can do so by making an appointment at your local immigration office. Along with your ID documents, you will need to bring a completed Modelo EX-18 form found here.

The main requirements for this are:

  • Your spouse or partner must be from an EU country
  • They must have Spanish residency
  • They must be legally working, be a student or have sufficient economic funds to be able to support you
  • Your marriage must have been registered in an EU country, if not you will have to get your marriage certificate apostilled or might have to get your marriage re-registered in Spain.

If you and your partner meet all the requirements, you will be granted permission to live in Spain for five years and are able to renew it after this time.

READ ALSO – Q&A: Can EU nationals bring non-EU family members over to Spain?

What about if my partner/spouse is not an EU citizen?

If you marry or enter into a civil partnership with someone who is not Spanish or an EU citizen but has residency in Spain, the good news is that you’re able to join them and gain Spanish residency via the family reunification visa.

The main requirement is that your partner must have been living in Spain for a period of one year already and have already been granted a visa renewal for a further year or more.

If your partner has not already been living in Spain for one year, you will need to wait to be able to join them. The only way that you can join your partner immediately rather than waiting the rest of the time is if your partner has an EU long-term residency permit from another EU country, has an EU Blue Card or has a student visa.

The main requirement is that your partner has to prove that they have the financial means to support you. This means that they must demonstrate they earn an amount equivalent to or greater than 150 percent of the IPREM (Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator). For 2022 this equals €868.53 per month.

If your partner is not working, they will have to prove they have sufficient savings, as well as private health insurance.

READ ALSO: How can non-EU nationals bring family members to live in Spain?

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