One of the benefits of having a business focused on complex clients, is that I get to meet interesting people with interesting life stories that I can help. Our international focused business model allows us to carry out Financial Planning for Expats no matter where they live, helping to turn their complexity into clarity and opportunity in a cost-effective manner.

No two clients are the same and I have decided to share some of these client scenarios that I have dealt with as I know it will be of interest to some of you.

I started working with Jack & Jill, a US couple in their 50’s a few years ago. They had recently moved to Ireland for work and lifestyle. They were looking for a new experience outside the US and work opportunities led to Ireland. They loved Ireland but were planning to buy a property in Spain and retire there in 3-5 years. Their assets were held mainly in US trusts and retirement accounts, but they were quickly building cash and pension savings in Ireland due to solid employment income.

They wanted to achieve a few things:

  • Find answers to the complex issues that arise from being US citizen living in Ireland/Europe from a US and Irish perspective.
  • One solution, they were frustrated with the piecemeal solutions they were being offered in both the US and Ireland.
  • Ensure they were tax compliant and they did not pay any unnecessary taxes, which in practice is very likely.
  • Review their investments/pensions/insurance plans/trusts, given their change of circumstances.
  • Understand when they could retire and live the life they wanted.
  • Consider the tax implications of purchasing a property in Spain and the longer-term tax implications of moving to Spain.
  • Examine the financing options for the property, cash v debt.
  • Review their estate planning as all had changed.
  • Outsource the investment management of their portfolios.

In practice when you move to a new country it requires a complete rethink of your financial affairs as it did for Jack & Jill. There can be many opportunities as well as threats that needed to be considered and addressed. Using an international team of professionals in Ireland, US, Spain and offshore, from various specialisation, we were able to develop a tailored solution for Jack & Jill. 

The process required a restructuring of some of their affairs and making a number of challenging decisions, but, the outcome meant they had optimised their situation; obtained clarity and could focus on enjoying their lives.

Jack & Jill continue to live and work in Ireland and are planning with confidence going forward.


Author; Frank Mulcahy Principal & Personal Financial Manager at Trinity Financial Management

At TFM we work with Expatriates to help them navigate their complex financial affairs covering cross-border investment, pensions, estate planning and tax planning. Contact Frank on to discuss your needs.

This article is provided on the strict understanding that it is for the reader’s general consideration only. Accordingly, no action must be taken or refrained from based on its contests alone.