Should I keep my savings safe in a low risk savings account or should I invest it to see how much it grows?
This depends entirely on your own personal situation and your financial goals. Ideally you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket so it’s best to spread all your savings across different financial vehicles such as savings accounts, bonds, property and stocks and shares. As a general rule, the younger you are, the riskier you can afford to be whereas if you are likely to need to capital soon, in order to retire for example, it is best to play it safe and avoid any high-risk savings and investments.
Can I open a savings account in the UAE?
Yes – you can easily set up a savings account with the same or a different bank as your current account. A savings account is often harder to access so a good idea if you find it difficult to curb your spending.
What is IBAN?
IBAN is an acronym for International Bank Account Number. It is a unique customer account number, which can be used confidently in making or receiving payments, both within the UAE as well as abroad.
How do I choose the best offshore account for me?
Offshore accounts vary dramatically so it pays to scout around before choosing.
- How stable is the legal framework of the offshore country in which your account will be based?
- Do they offer free international transfers between euro, sterling and / or dollar accounts?
- Do you have 24/7 worldwide access to your money through internet and phone banking?
- Can you pay your mortgage or local bills using your offshore account?
- What are the costs involved when making payments?
- Will you have a relationship manager, a direct point of contact rather than a call centre?
- What are the minimum balance requirements and the maintenance costs?
- Are there any additional benefits such as travel insurance or personal concierge membership?
- Is there an interest-free overdraft facility?
Why might offshore banking benefit me?
There are a number of benefits to be had from sending your savings to an offshore account such as:
- To avoid difficulties in opening or maintaining accounts in your home country if you are no longer classed as a resident
- If you have a lack of faith or distrust in the local banking system
- To simplify transactions, if you live outside your home country, frequently move between countries, are planning to buy a property or thinking of retiring abroad
- For ease when make international payments
- To avoid being subject to local Sharia law, which can make people feel vulnerable. If, for example, you have a car accident and are arrested for injuries to someone, if you work for a company and become responsible for damages, if you default on credit agreements, if you lose your employment, or if you die, your UAE bank account will be frozen and inaccessible to yourself and your family. Off shore accounts therefore bring a sense of security
- To better diversify your savings
- For safety and confidentiality
- For potential tax efficiencies
- For protection against any political and financial risks in their own country
What exactly is offshore banking and is it just for the rich?
Offshore banking is simply banking in a jurisdiction other than the one in which you live.
You don’t need to be super rich… they are simply an excellent financial option for those wishing to save, protect themselves from currency fluctuations, avoid currency exchange costs and have the option of banking in dual currencies.
How do I choose a financial advisor?
You are best to work with an IFA, of Independent Financial Advisor. This means that the individual in question does not work for a specific financial institution and will offer you a much wider range of options than an adviser who is tied to a specific company. When you bring in an outside party to help with your personal finance matters you need to make sure that the IFA is trustworthy and provides high quality advice as standard.
Who can advise me on how and where to safeguard my savings?
You should work with a trusted independent financial advisor who will carry out a comprehensive financial review, identify your savings goals and advise you on where best to save.
How do I save when I have nearly nothing left at the end of each month?
Start monitoring your spending and you’ll probably find you can easily make cut backs. Coffees, lunches and brunches all add up. Avoid impulse purchases and consider anyway you can cut your household budget from saving on bills to groceries
How much of my UAE salary should I try to save?
Given the relative high earnings in the UAE combined with the country being free of income tax, you should try and save at least 10-20% of your salary each month. It’s also considered a good idea to keep two to three months salary in a deposit account in case unforeseen circumstances arise.