6 practical ways we can help you with your retirement planning


If you’re a British expat in Hong Kong, it’s vital you get the right advice when it comes to your money.

Looking holistically at the wider issue of planning for your retirement can add real value. So, read on for some key issues you should be aware of, and how Charlton House can support you when it comes to your retirement planning.

1. What do we mean by “retirement”?

The concept of retirement has changed dramatically. The days of stopping work one day and starting retirement the next are long gone. Instead, you now have far more flexibility over how, and when, you can retire – or, indeed, if you actually want to retire at all.

You might feel that, while you’re ready to start enjoying a lifestyle involving partial retirement, you’re actually happy to carry on working in some capacity. This may be on a part-time basis as a consultant or in the role of a non-executive director for one or more companies.

Alternatively, you might simply want to stop work totally and start enjoying a life of leisure.

2. If you’re retiring to the UK

As well as helping you decide when you want to retire, we can also support your planning and decision-making process when you’ve deciding where you want to spend your retirement.

If you’re currently living and working in Hong Kong, you may well have decided on, or are toying with the idea of returning to the UK once you stop work.

It’s likely you could already have substantial pension funds, and other assets, in the UK.  You will want to maximise tax efficiency, and provide yourself with an income stream in the UK.

3. Pension planning for expats

Instead of returning to the UK, you may well be planning to live your retirement in Hong Kong, or elsewhere in Asia or Europe. Or you may want to split your retirement between the UK and Hong Kong.

You’ll therefore need to consider your assets, and how they should either be utilised or disposed of to support your lifestyle and provide you with an income.

With offices in both the UK and Hong Kong, and authorisation to provide financial planning and investment advice in both, we are ideally placed to support you with your retirement planning.

As well as ensuring your assets are secure and working hard for you, we are well-placed to help you with taxation and estate planning issues as we are regulated in the UK and Hong Kong, with offices in both.

For example, we can help with technical matters such as the recognised overseas transfer factor and the non-residence enhancement factor – both key issues for people working in Hong Kong with pension assets in the UK.

4. Structuring income in retirement

Wherever you decide to retire – Hong Kong, the UK, or a mix of the two – the accrued value of your pensions may form the bulk of your income.

However, you may well have other substantial assets such as stock market investments, property, and savings.

How you use these to provide income, or hold them so that they form part of your estate, will be driven by a range of factors – some of which we’ve covered here.

We have extensive experience of the challenges faced by internationally mobile individuals with assets in more than one country, and we can assist you with your planning process to ensure you are utilising these effectively.

5. The importance of cashflow forecasting

Cashflow forecasting has become an increasingly integral part of retirement income planning.

We work closely with you, using specialist software to produce a bespoke report, or series of reports, that will illustrate potential outcomes for you based on your personal finances and future plans.

It can give you a clear idea of what you need to do to meet your financial objectives, as well as provide you with a you a graphic representation of your situation and potential outcomes. Seeing in black and white that you have enough to retire on can be life-changing.

We can also factor in “internal” unexpected events, such as loss of income or moving back to the UK, as well as “external” ones such as a long period of high inflation or a stock market crash. We model how these could impact on your finances now and in the future.

This process of “war-gaming” is one of the most useful features of cashflow forecasting – especially for clients with complex financial arrangements.

6. Ultimately, it’s all about financial security

Ensuring our clients are financially secure is very much the bottom line of what we do as financial planners.

We see the overriding aim of retirement planning as ensuring you secure a comfortable retirement with the means to do the things you want to do.

We can also offer support when it comes to providing security within a wider context – ensuring your family are secure and will be able to manage should the worst happen.

Get in touch

We can help you with all aspects of financial planning, and are uniquely placed to support you, with offices in the UK and Hong Kong.

Please contact us by email or, if you prefer to speak to us, you can reach us in the UK on +44 (0) 208 0044900 or in Hong Kong on +852 39039004.

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