For some, there remains a little mystery surrounding the use of offshore bank accounts. There are also misconceptions about the legality and ethics behind owning these type of accounts. Banking and offshore investing are more than many people think.
Who compiles these accounts and why would they do it instead of compiling more national accounts? The short answer is that a variety of people create offshore accounts for several reasons. Here are a few examples to consider.
Almost everyone who has heard of offshore accounts equates them to rich depositors. Without a doubt, people of considerable means will resort to this type of banking option. They do this because of the benefits they get.
Many offshore accounts offer higher interest rates on balances greater than specific amounts. This makes it easy to park a large sum in a term account and earn higher returns than that same balance would earn in a national account. It’s just a way to make the resources you already have better returns.
Some insist that any type of offshore bank account is only suitable for those who have millions on hand. Several offshore banks have ideal accounts for those with modest incomes. In other words, it’s not just the rich who can have an offshore checking or savings account: those who would be considered middle-class wage earners also have access to these kinds of accounts.
The banking laws of some countries allow foreign depositors to open accounts with minimum opening balances. By increasing these balances over time, the accounts begin to earn interest. In terms of building assets for the future, this is a great approach for low-income earners who want to grow their account balances over an extended period of time.
Offshore real estate investors
Real estate remains one of the most stable investments. It is not surprising that the laws of some countries make it easier to buy developed properties or buy properties ripe for development. The path to ownership is much easier if the investor has an offshore bank account in that same country.
Your plan may be to secure a developed property that can be rented or leased. This would create a source of additional income. Perhaps the goal is to use the property yourself, possibly as a home for part of the year. Depending on the country, the purchase price, taxes, and general maintenance costs may be more attractive than using a similar strategy in your home country.
Setting up an offshore investment account is popular for investors who want to add more diversity to their portfolios. Why do this if there is already a domestic account in place? It has to do with the type and scope of investments offered outside of your home country.
There may be some opportunities that are not traded on home exchanges. They range from offering stocks to real estate through FOREX deals that work best when trading in a currency other than the one used at home. As with everything investment strategy, the objective is to maximize your position to obtain the best returns while keeping the risk within reasonable limits. Offshore investing has the potential to do just that.
Retirement is something most of us aspire to after years of hard work. The last thing you want to do is spend the last part of your life working at the same pace instead of enjoying your golden years. Most people are eager to travel and engage in activities that were not possible when they were in the workforce.
Offshore bank accounts allow you to build up funds and other assets for your retirement years. It is not just the possibility of earning higher interest rates. You may be able to acquire other assets now that you can sell for a nice profit as your retirement date approaches. This will ensure you have a secure financial future that will allow you to live the way you want after you stop pointing the proverbial clock.
Those planning to retire in another country
Some want to live the life of an expat and retire to a foreign country. Some want a lower cost of living that allows assets to last longer and provide a better quality of life. Others wish to live in a climate more conducive to their way of life. Whatever your reason, it’s good to have some hidden cash that’s readily available no matter where you live.
Make sure that the banking laws of the country where you are retiring allow you to use any offshore accounts you open. Laws vary from country to country, so you want to operate in compliance. This allows you to get the most out of the assets that you have accumulated over time without any complications.
Founders of financial legacies
People who wish to leave a financial legacy for their children, grandchildren and other loved ones often turn to banking services and offshore investments. Many offshore banks have the option of establishing trusts and different types of accounts left to designated recipients after you pass away.
You determine what assets are held in the trust and when they can be withdrawn. Designate a single beneficiary or include multiple beneficiaries who receive assets on a schedule and based on the income generated by the trust.
An administrator manages the trust based on your preferences for the account structure. Best of all, these assets are often protected from inheritance and other state taxes, meaning more money remains in the control of the trust and, ultimately, each beneficiary.
International business owners
It’s not just individuals who use offshore bank accounts. Many business owners do the same for their operations. It could be a multinational corporation or a small business that provides a service rather than goods. The aim is to place the assets in a framework where the tax burden is legally minimized and the assets have the possibility of producing more returns.
If you are a business owner looking to operate in more than one country, this may be right for you. It might help in terms of managing the cost of the goods and services you need. These offshore accounts can also help manage receipts from your international clients. A professional from a reputable offshore bank can help you determine how to use the accounts for the best result.
Get started with banking services abroad
The Caye International Bank team has helped all types of people with their offshore banking needs, and we’re ready to help. From private bank accounts to global investment options, we have banking solutions to maximize your financial portfolio.
Contact us today and let’s start putting together the types of accounts that will help you meet and exceed your financial goals.
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Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President and Chief Private Banking Officer of Belize-based International Bank Caye, a FinTech School Instructor and the published author of The Digital Banking Revolution – now in its third edition.
You can follow his posts on the trends shaping the banking and financial services industry on Twitter: @luigiwewege