Here at Smart Currency Exchange, we talk a lot about protecting your money when you decide to buy a property abroad. However, once you’re settled in your new home and enjoying life in the sunshine, there’s likely to be a constant flow of money between countries.
It’s easy to forget about the ongoing payments and income that might be affected by fluctuations in the currency market.
Your income and pension
It’s likely that, once you move, you’ll receive income or your pension from back home. Like any money coming from overseas, this will be exposed to fluctuations in the currency market. You’ll still be entitled to your pension, and it’s likely that it’ll go a lot further abroad. However, you still need to ensure that you’re maximising the amount you get. It’ll also be useful to know what you can expect to receive in your bank account on a regular basis.
Payments back home
As well as receiving money from home, you may need to regularly send money overseas for loved ones, such as school or university fees. You may still have a property back home or something that you still contribute money towards on a regular basis. You, therefore, need to ensure that you are protecting this money from the risks of foreign exchange.
Although you’ll probably be paying less than the UK, council tax still exists abroad, and it needs to be factored into your annual running costs. Your estate agent should be able to give you an indication of what it is for each property you view.
Utilities and household costs
Water and electricity usage in your property abroad are charged in a similar way to the UK. Unlike the UK, however, bills at the end of the summer quarter are typically higher, due to air conditioning usage and power used by the pump of your pool, if you have one. Don’t forget to include annual buildings and contents insurance in your budgeting.
It’s common for properties to have communal areas and facilities, including gardens, pools, parking areas and gyms, all of which require maintaining. To pay for this, homeowners will have monthly community fees, which are pooled and overseen by a designated committee of owners. The larger and more elaborate the facilities and grounds, the more expensive the monthly fees. Note, these are different to council tax.
How can I protect my regular transfers and payments?
Luckily, it’s easy to protect these regular transfers by setting up a Regular Payment Plan with Smart. Using a Regular Payments Plan saves the time, trouble and expense of making each transfer individually and manually. It also takes away the risk of missing a payment. Even better, if the exchange rate is locked in with a Forward Contract, an RPP means that your payments will be the same every time. Then if the pound should weaken, your payments won’t be affected.
You can fix the exchange rate for these payments for up to a year with a forward contract, which means you’re protected and it’s not something you need to constantly worry about. You’ll then have plenty of time to concentrate on enjoying your new, exciting life abroad.