50 year old British expat starting to think about “what next?”

The Situation

Relatively new to America and at a critical financial stage in life.

John has lived in the US with his family for 5 years. He came over on an internal transfer with his employer and still works for the same company. He has one child in college in the US and the other will be attending soon. He is currently on a Green Card and considering whether to obtain US citizenship. Having spent most of his career in the UK, he accumulated assets (rental property, pensions, investments) there that have been neglected since moving to the US.

The Challenge

Complicated cross-border affairs, no advice, anxiety and confusion.

Initially John’s wanted to find someone to help him with his UK pensions. He met with multiple US advisers who couldn’t help him. Furthermore, John realised he was moving towards a different phase of his life. His cross-border affairs were now complicated and he wasn’t entirely sure where he would retire (US or UK – a lot depends on where their children settle) and he was looking for a trusted partner to wrestle control over everything and provide clarity and a mechanism for making informed decisions (as opposed to guessing and hoping). Finally, whilst John’s US employment package is much more generous than it was in the UK, his current expenses are substantially higher and he has concerns over the cost of a predominantly US retirement, especially if someone were to get sick and/or need long term care.

The Result

Single plan incorporating global affairs, consolidated and coordinated asset managed across US & UK investments, peace of mind and security.

John found Plan First Wealth and engaged us. We started the long process of consolidating his various UK pensions into a SIPP with GBP/USD functionality and building out their financial plan that mapped out decades into the future, incorporating all aspects of their global balance sheet and other US/UK idiosyncrasies (UK state pension pensions, WEP etc). We established a US brokerage account to manage their “mission critical” assets along the same strategy and towards the same objectives as their SIPP and we performed a “Roth analysis”.

We also helped them understand the value of obtaining US citizenship in their situation while alerting them to some of the difficulties. This included an review of their tax returns where we cited some potential deficiencies that we worked with their tax adviser to rectify and bring them into compliance. We helped John understand the importance of having a valid will and powers of attorney in place – and introduced them to an attorney to get these documents established. Finally, John is now confident that he can rely on us to assist his wife and the rest of his family in preparing for their financial future.


SIPP Client of Another Firm

The Challenge

Unsatisfactory Services and Lack of Comprehensive Planning

One of our clients, let’s call him Graham, had been previously associated with another financial advisor. As a British expat living in America, he was not receiving the level of service he deserved, leading to high stress and uncertainty about his financial future.

Communication with his previous advisor was intermittent and often unproductive, which resulted in tension and misaligned expectations. The advisor’s limited knowledge of the financial regulations and opportunities unique to British expats residing in America resulted in unoptimized wealth management.

Despite having a substantial pensions overseas, Graham was only receiving investment advice with no holistic financial planning, leaving significant areas of his financial life overlooked. Moreover, the absence of a comprehensive retirement plan amplified his anxieties about the prospect of running out of money in his later years.

Our Solution

Cross-Border Financial Planning.

Recognising Graham’s concerns, we conducted an in-depth review of his financial situation, his life and his future goals. Our team then worked closely with Graham to devise a comprehensive financial plan designed to support a stress-free retirement for him.

Our strategy extended beyond managing Graham’s overseas investments. We examined the full spectrum of his financial life, taking into consideration his UK State Pension and how to maximize it. We navigated him through the complexities of US Social Security and Medicare, ensuring he understood the implications and could make informed decisions.

Furthermore, we implemented regular and transparent communication, offering Graham a clear view of his financial future. We were not just there to provide technical knowledge, but to educate and support him in all aspects of his US & UK financial planning, thus relieving him of the stress he had previously experienced.

The Result

Confident and Stress-Free Retirement.

Through our holistic approach and commitment to understanding Graham’s specific needs, we provided him with a comprehensive, cross-border financial plan. This provided him the reassurance that his financial future was well-managed and his retirement adequately secured.

Graham now enjoys peace of mind, knowing he has a sustainable income plan during his retirement. Our ongoing relationship ensures that his financial plans remain up-to-date and adjusted for any life changes or regulatory shifts in the UK or US financial landscapes.

This case study exemplifies our commitment to delivering a superior level of service and expertise to our British clients living in America. Our goal is to provide them with comprehensive cross-border financial plan, managing their US & UK wealth effectively and ensuring a comfortable, worry-free retirement.


Advice – Get started working with PFW

The Challenge

Seeking advice but has been turned down by other advisors.

Ian is a British expat living in the States. So far he feels like he’s okay for retirement – he has accumulated a large 401k at his current job and manages a smaller US brokerage account. Recently he has started to wonder if he’s doing enough, and moreover, if he might be missing some important impacts of his US/UK cross-border ties. He feels that now is the time to get organised to secure his and his family’s financial future, but he’s been told by multiple US advisors that he falls below their minimum investment requirement. He’s frustrated at the lack of options and not sure how to get the advice he needs.

Our Solution

Get started working with PFW today via our ADVICE proposition.

Ian’s situation is not uncommon – his largest asset is his 401k and he’s still actively contributing. He’s been told that his brokerage account of several hundred thousand dollars isn’t enough to get advice from a financial advisor.

Ian found Plan First Wealth and learned that he had more than enough under our ADVICE proposition. With lower minimum asset requirements, this is a viable path for those earlier in their careers, or perhaps those who feel they are too far away from ‘retirement’ to pursue the full Planning offering.

The Result

Cross-border investment advice when he needed it to work towards a successful retirement

Ian starts working with us a decade before he retires. With our guidance and advice, he takes advantage of unique opportunities he has an expat, and maybe even more critically, avoids the most disastrous landmines along the way.

As he approaches retirement, Ian will work closely with his advisor to implement an investment strategy that can be implemented in his brokerage and later his 401k to support his retirement income.


Dovetailing – PFW works alongside client’s US adviser

The Challenge

Long Standing US Advisor With No UK Advice.

Our client, whom we’ll call Jane, is a British expat living in America who has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with her US-based financial advisor. This advisor, deeply familiar with Jane’s financial circumstances and family dynamics, has been effectively managing all her US investments and her financial plan.

However, Jane also held UK pensions. Her US advisor wasn’t proficient in UK pensions due to the regulations and differences between UK and US financial landscapes. Jane was left with a fragmented financial plan, with her UK pensions unoptimised and causing her a measure of worry.

Our Solution

Integrate US & UK Financial Plans.

Recognising Jane’s predicament, we stepped in to offer our expertise on UK pensions. Working closely with Jane and her US advisor, we conducted a thorough analysis of her UK assets and income.

We recommended that Jane consolidate her UK pensions into a SIPP. We then built a portfolio that dovetailed seamlessly with her existing US-based financial plan and advisor, creating a truly integrated cross-border financial strategy.

To ensure ongoing alignment, we established annual meetings with Jane and her US advisor. We discussed the performance of the SIPP, suggestions for modifications based on changes in Jane’s life or shifts in regulatory environments, and maintaining sync with any updates in the US financial plan.

The Result

Harmonised US/UK Financial Planning and Increased Peace of Mind.

Our collaboration resulted in a well-coordinated, efficient, and holistic financial plan for Jane. By dovetailing our efforts with her US advisor, Jane’s UK pensions are now professionally managed in USD, supporting her overall financial plan.

She now enjoys the reassurance of having a single integrated financial plan catering to her investments in both the UK and the US. This dual advisory approach gives her the peace of mind she was seeking, knowing that both advisors are working in unison to safeguard her financial future.