IFAs in the Gulf States complaining about lack of expat interest in their products

IFAs in the Gulf States complaining about lack of expat interest in their products

IFAs in the Gulf States complaining about lack of expat interest in their products

In spite of the Middle East’s reputation for massive salaries, it seems some 66 per cent of expatriate professionals leave with less cash than when they arrived.

According to a well-known Middle East IFA firm, almost all expatriates working in the region aren’t setting by any money against their retirement needs. Almost half of expats surveyed said they were unable to put by savings for the future, resulting in a high number returning home with less than their original stash. It’s also possible that a number are putting their savings elsewhere and not disclosing them to commission-hungry IFAs in the region, or are using their high salaries to pay off debts such as mortgages on their homes or on investment properties in their home countries.

Expats are now being urged to take savings plans seriously, even although long-term lock-ups of their funds aren’t popular with present-day younger expatriate professionals. IFAs claim the plans aren’t ‘exciting’ enough, but those who’ve been caught by optimistic forecasts and usurious withdrawal and maintenance charges may be dissuading millennials from getting sucked in. The survey also states a large number of well-paid executive expats don’t understand or appreciate the financial options created by working overseas but, given the boom in buy-to-let properties, many seem to have a realistic grasp of alternative investments giving equally long term returns as well as strong capital appreciation. Bricks and mortar don’t spur Ponzi schemes, nor are they especially vulnerable to the vagaries of the stock market.

Living the high life as a spur for spending rather than saving in an obvious reason why many expats come to the end of their contracts without much in the bank to show for their efforts but, especially for younger expatriates, enjoying their lives and taking advantage of all the new experiences the Middle East offers is reason enough to spend as much as is necessary to create positive memories as well as a better understanding of the region’s unique culture. Added to this, it has to be said that many long-term savings products have a bad reputation for being inflexible if payments cannot be kept up due to job losses or other emergencies.

In these troubled times, especially in a region not seen as being especially friendly towards Westerners, job security is no longer guaranteed due to local politicians’ preference for local labour, whether or not it can do the job as well as an experienced expatriate professional. Basically, it’s no surprise that not making long-term financial commitments in what is fast becoming a short-term world is totally understandable for the new generation of highly-qualified and experienced expats.

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