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Where to invest when you are living abroad

(16 Posts)
Poppyshouse Sun 30-Nov-14 12:13:30

Hi

DH and I are living in Germany and considering selling our house in the UK after which we will have around 300k. The problem is that we do not know what to do with the money as we are not sure when/whether we will be going back to the UK. We have thought about re-investing into a suitable buy-to-let property, but are not sure whether this would be a bit silly due to uncertainties in the property market and the new expat 'unfriendly' CGT rules that are coming into place this April. On the other hand leaving the money in a bank account seems crazy as it earns zero interest and we do not want to play the stock market as we are very risk adverse and cannot afford to lose the money. Any suggestions?

TIA

butterfliesinmytummy Sun 30-Nov-14 12:52:52

I always think that property is one of the safer investments you can have. Why are you selling if you don't need the capital for something else? Could you rent it out?

Poppyshouse Sun 30-Nov-14 14:40:36

Thanks for your reply butterflies.

The property in question does not give a good rental return as it was never bought with the intention to let out. Any other thoughts on this?

TheDogsMissingBollock Sun 30-Nov-14 14:43:34

Well balance rental return against stamp dity etc alrady paid... Might make sense to keep for while. Could you renovate/convert it in someway to maximise return?

Forestdew Sun 30-Nov-14 14:49:30

We are in a similar situation but with a smaller sum of money. We currently rent out the house but I'm really not sure it's worth the hassle nor the expense as the rent we receive isn't very high. One of the reasons we haven't sold yet is because I don't know what we should with the money. Is buying a property in germany a possibility for you?

Poppyshouse Sun 30-Nov-14 15:37:27

TheDogs Rental of current house is really not a long term option as there is simply no demand for this type of property in the area and there is no scope for value increasing alterations.

Forestdew Buying in Germany really not an option as job not guaranteed long term and property purchasing costs very high compared to UK. Have also read that sterling is likely to outperform euro in the next few years?!

castlesintheair Sun 30-Nov-14 19:38:09

I'd buy a 1/2 bed flat as close to London/another big city or as near to family and friends as possible, maybe an up and coming area if there are any left and sit tight. Rent it if you wish but it can be a pita and good to have somewhere to stay when you visit imo. I have money in a few different things but this is what I wish I had done.

bitofanoddone Mon 01-Dec-14 03:01:35

I'd put it into a 2 bed flat near Kingston. (If you can get 150- 200k mortgage). Then rent it out for more than the mortgage repayments. We've done that twice and are now about to use one as a UK base and stop renting it out after 12 years as it is nearly paid for.

Poppyshouse Mon 01-Dec-14 18:33:44

Thanks posters.

Seems that everyone agrees that a longterm property investment is still a good option. Will certainly look into this in more detail.

Forestdew Tue 02-Dec-14 11:50:20

I think property is the safest way to go. Renting somewhere out can be a hassle though so I'd think very carefully about what you buy. We have an older house and there is almost continuous maintenance to be done, and I'm always waiting for the next thing to go wrong.

Forestdew Tue 02-Dec-14 11:55:14

Also, there is tax to think about. I find it a slight pita that I have to complete a uk tax return every year when I wouldn't have to if we didn't have a rental property. The tax we pay is relatively small but it does make a difference.

specialsubject Tue 02-Dec-14 17:12:35

FWIW (and I know no more than anyone else without a working crystal ball) it might be worth changing to a more rental friendly property. This also stops the CGT clock, as that is only going to get worse.

obviously buy and sell costs, but it keeps you a UK foothold. You never know.

what is your pension and healthcare situation if you stay in Germany?

Poppyshouse Tue 02-Dec-14 19:43:08

Pension unfortunately non-existent, but healthcare in Germany excellent.

I have just got the bog-standard public insurance, but have been able to see gp and consultants, have blood test with results and x-Rays/CT scans all within one day (the longest wait of 3 weeks has been for a MRI scan). It's one of the reasons we are considering not going back to the UK as I have some potentially serious health issues.

DuchessDisaster Fri 26-Dec-14 09:36:48

If you are in Germany can you talk to a Steuerberater? It might be possible to invest in a buy to let in Germany, a lot of locals do as they get tax breaks.
You probably know that the housing market is nothing like the UK, so you wouldn't expect a massive increase in the capital value of any property you buy, but good rental returns are around 8%, which is better than anything you can get at a bank currently.

Cerisier Fri 26-Dec-14 15:35:56

I know you said you are risk averse and don't want to put money into shares but I would recommend you read up on how investing works and the checks and balances you can use.

Andrew Hallam's book Millionaire Teacher here is easy to read and very thought provoking. Another good book is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Andrew Hallam's new book The Global Expatriate's Guide to Investing here has just come out.

Whatever you do, don't rush into anything. Do lots of research.

Rosa Fri 26-Dec-14 16:17:18

This is very helpful. I have a lump sum am looking to invest but i don't have enough to buy without a mortgage. i am a citizen but non resident and my money sits there and does nothing.......

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