Daniel Butcher, an expert financial adviser to expats, offers crucial money-saving advice for retirees living in France

What is the best way to bring lump sums from the UK into France? DTB Wealth Management – a Conseil en Gestion de Patrimoine (CGP), which is qualified in family law, accountancy, real estate and wealth management – recommends Assurance Vie.

“Assurance Vie, an insurance-based investment scheme, is an excellent product for those with assets such as ISAs, General Investment Accounts, liquidations assets or property sale proceeds,” said Daniel Butcher, Founder of DTB Wealth Management and Assurance Vie specialist. “English advisers are not allowed to give advice in the EU, so, as French advisers with a British background, we are perfectly positioned to give British expats the best investment advice possible.”

Assurance Vie investment products are an optimal choice for expats who want to generate a low tax income, plan their succession, reduce their overall tax burden and create capital growth.

Take this example of Anne (69) and Alistair Craig (70), who arrived in France in December 2021 and are now French tax residents. They approached DTB Wealth Management with the main objective of being able to cover future healthcare and residential care home requirements (known as EHPAD in France) by using £900,000-worth of shares.

It is of the utmost importance that expats choose a knowledgeable and qualified advisor who will match them with the right Assurance Vie product

Mr and Mrs Craig knew they would be heavily taxed at around 30% and were concerned that should they decide to regularly withdraw €10,000 they would find themselves paying 30% on that amount every time (depending on how the portfolio was being managed).

“To avoid paying ridiculous amounts of tax, we explained to Mr and Mrs Craig that Assurance Vie was the answer,” said Daniel. “If €1 million is invested and the total withdrawn is €201,926 (over 20 years, gross, to generate €10,000 per year or €200,000 net), the average annual yield would be 2%, the yearly fees 1.6% and the total tax over 20 years just €627.”

Daniel added: “Finally, social charges would be €1,299 over 20 years and Alistair and Anne would, happily, still have €872,585 invested after 21 years.”

Expats currently navigating the Assurance Vie sector should know that advisors in France are required by law to provide at least two investment proposals for which fees must also be disclosed. An engagement letter must also be signed in advance.

It is of the utmost importance that expats choose a knowledgeable and qualified advisor who will match them with the right Assurance Vie product,” said Daniel. “We excel at this and are always thanked by our clients for not sitting on the fence and for giving them detailed calculations, along with straightforward advice and reliable predictions about how their money will perform.”

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