Planning for job transition and relocation

In Rio de Janeiro, this has become an increasingly scenario for expats:

A few months ago, you had a secure expat assignment in an oil or mining company, with a generous package including accommodation in a luxury apartment, school fees for your kids at an international school and family health plans with access to top quality private medical care.

Given the oil price decline and challenging economic circumstances in Brazil, you may be facing less job security or redundancy, which will have a huge impact on you and your family’s cash flow and emotional well-being.  To add to the stress, your work visa may be expiring soon and you may be forced to relocate or repatriate to your home country.  Even the alternative of being switched from an expat to a local contract may force significant financial sacrifices to be made.

As several decisions have to be made at once, we offer transition advice on financial, tax and health cover planning to remove some of the headache for our clients.

Considerations include how to select assets to liquidate to cover a period without income; which private health plans are available for a family with children; how to transfer your savings to another country at a competitive rate and deciding on the right phasing schedule given the volatility of the Real.

Do you have enough savings to keep you going through periods of unemployment or to cover the costs of relocation which you may have to absorb.  If transition is likely to cover several months, are your medium/long term investments being managed in accordance to keep a portion available in near-cash?

Expats are advised to structure their personal finances to ensure they benefit from favourable tax treatment in both, their countries of domicile and residence.  In our reviews with clients, we develop a solid ‘Plan B’ strategy to ensure a smoother transition in the event of redundancy.

Proactive communication with your financial advisor is important to maintain the fact find updated.  The fact find is a dynamic process which should document changing possible outcomes with an accompanying spreadsheet showing income and costs (and tax!).