Retirement Income - More than Love and Air



Retirement Income Provides Your Deserved Security

Your retirement income and your capital must be available and protected respectively. When you retire, particularly to a foreign country, you must secure your capital and establish easy access to your earnings. Whatever the source of your remuneration you must establish how and to where the paying authority will remit funds. You must also ensure the safety of your capital. This means that you must deal with banks. No bank is likely be waiting eagerly to take you on as a customer. You must investigate all that are available and work to satisfy the requirements of those that seem to suit your purpose.

Not all monies can be sent to all countries. Some paying organizations will pay only within their own country, possibly your current (or former) country of origin. Your capital needs to be protected from all who may think that they have a claim to some (or all) of it. Governments especially must be included in any group of creditors because they can take peremptory action to attach your funds without prior notice or legal process. Flexibility is necessary with respect to access to earnings because conditions can change in the country in which you reside and immediate diversion may be needed.

This page and the links from it define and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various forms of income. Also dealt with is simple (first stage) capital protection available to most which should be adopted. Not all banks conduct all kinds of business. This site will guide you with regard to bank selection depending upon your needs.

With care and knowledge you will be able to secure your retirement financially and achieve flexibility. After this a happy and comfortable retirement for the long term will be possible. Not all of the information and links here will be needed by all. Cherry pick passages and pages according to you needs.

You Need Income

At any stage in life money is essential and in retirement and it is no different. No-one can live on love and air alone. Securing income is vital. Having it in cash and keeping it in a strong box or under guard are not practical solutions. Just how this is done depends almost entirely upon the source of your earnings. Remuneration can come in many forms whether or not you are a retiree. In fact your sources of income are likely to increase as you progress through your career and retirement can add to the list.

How is Your Living Derived?

  1. From an annuity
  2. From stock markets
  3. From property
  4. From local employment
  5. From offshore work
  6. From a pension

All have different characteristics. All have some aspects in common. All can and must be protected. From whom? From every person, organization and government that can be thought of as a potential threat. This includes them all and possibly even yourself or your family.

The links below each section will take you pages where the relevant subject is explored in more depth. Follow the links as necessary or just for interest. 

Whatever your income

Definitions and Descriptions

The origin of annuities goes back to Roman times and the concept has changed little. An annuity is a stream of income paid over period or for the rest of life in exchange for a lump sum. It may derive from a sum paid to an insurance company which after a set period is paid back to the "depositor" (the insured) as an income stream on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. The income may be paid for a set period or for the life of the beneficiary. Such income could also be derived by exchanging a lump sum paid from a pension scheme for a periodic payment.

keep it safe

For many reasons that are not important here an annuity may enjoy better tax treatment for the recipient than might be the case if the capital is invested in any other way. There may also be benefits for the provider.

The important point is that a regular periodic income results from an annuity. This must be protected and it should be done in a way that is consistent with the terms of the payments. The organization and place of origin of the funds providing the annuity, the place of payment of the annuity and the financial situation of the beneficiary will determine the legal structures that may be necessary for protection purposes.


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Safe Delivery

Investments in stock markets can provide earnings in a number of ways. Most retirees would favor a majority of funds being in the shares of blue chip companies. These provide certain, safe and regular returns although these are probably lower than those that would be obtained from speculative and high risk investments. Enhance wealth can also be derived from the capital appreciation of companies via successful trading vis-a-vis competitors or fortuitous increases in company value. The latter can occur when a mining company discovers increased assets in pegged tenements. For the retiree the outcome is the same, an income stream that needs to be protected from company failure and tax impositions.


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Investment in property produces some of the same problems as stock market investments. In this case the property is the capital investment and the returns are rent or lease fees. Protection of the physical assets is as important with property investment as is care in preserving the income. The tax regime current in the place where the property is built and that where funds received will have a bearing on the protection available.


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Local employment is a simple concept but it may not be open to a retiree who is a resident but not a citizen of a country. Usually where local employment is possible local income tax is payable but there may be complications depending upon a retiree's citizenship. Legal residency can also be a complex matter. Protection for such income may depend upon concessions from governments and the integrity of local banks.

Many countries which are popular choices with retirees impose no penalties by way of tax on income earned offshore. The risk with such income depends on the taxation regime of the retiree's country of citizenship. The United States of America imposes its income taxes on a citizenship and residential basis. The worldwide income of all citizens and residents is taxable in the U.S.A. Protection comes from government concessions and legal company structures in offshore jurisdictions.


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By far the most common sources of income for retirees are pensions. The receipt and protection of this depends on the source of the pension. The big division is between government and private pensions. Unfortunately there are differences in the pensions paid within each of these broad divisions. Governments will often make payments to most countries in the world. Private companies may only pay in the country in which they operate. Not a lot can be done so far as the sources of the income are concerned but protection can be afforded once the funds are in the recipients' possession. The situation is easier for those with British (non-government) pensions owing to the QROPS facilities.


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Accessing Income

Run on Unsafe Bank

As important as protecting income is the ability to access it when needed. It must be possible to obtain funds and to be able do so cheaply. Close and immediate control must remain in the hands of the retiree. There is no point in sending funds to a country which has become an economic disaster and has galloping inflation. Equally it would not be good to remit funds to a bank in a country which has imposed a capital tax on bank deposits. Converting income to precious metal holdings may not be a good idea if the possession of such assets is suddenly disallowed. If anyone thinks that these situations are unlikely then examples within recent and living memory will be recalled if Zimbabwe, Cyprus and the U.S.A. respectively are mentioned.

An offshore bank Account

How far offshore?

The first degree of protection and access is the establishment of an offshore bank account in a stable political and economic centre. Such accounts are no longer associated with anonymous numbered accounts held by those sailing close to the wind legally. Those with American connections may experience some difficulties with overseas banks (see FATCA) In general offshore bank accounts are perfectly legal and easy to open. This should be the first step for every retiree with income to protect and to access as required.

Beware that there are many organizations that will charge high fees for doing what you can do yourself. The examples in the links below  are for companies best suited for arranging more complex company structures. Their fees are high. Your assets must warrant the level protection offered.


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The links below between the blue lines will take you to external sites which cover the subjects in more detail.


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The links below between the red lines will take you to other pages which go into greater about the subjects mentioned. Cherry pick. Not everyone will need all of this. Take as you find necessary or interesting.


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