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Case Study: Family Living in the GCC - Bahrain, UAE, Saudi, Qatar

Male works and earns £15k per month [UK Passport]

Housewife plus 2 kids 15 & 12 [Wife EU passport & Kids dual citizens]

Male Package - Salary £15k per month paid into UK account.

Benefits - Medical Insurance plus yearly family air tickets.

Property Europe.

Apt CV €300k with €200k mortgage

Apartment rented out and rent just covers capital & interest mortgage.

Mortgage expires at age 60.

Bank have insurance that would pay off the mortgage if either of them die before the mortgage matures.

Husband responsible for paying for - School fees, Villa rent, Hols, food, cars, bills - after all costs can save £3,500 per month.


Approximately £500k in multi-national banks in the GCC.

Man and woman have small pensions in Europe and the UK [Not significant]

Husband has also contributed to government pensions in the UK.


Happy to continue to work in the GCC for as long as possible and happy.

Kids likely to go University in Europe or the UK as attend British Curriculum schools.

Not sure where will retire at the moment.


Need to reduce exposure to cash where they are losing money due to inflation.

Diversify into equities and funds as have almost no exposure so missing out on potentially higher returns over the long term.

Look at regular savings while remain expat to use up surplus cash and build up funds for retirement or kids university fees or house purchase.

Need Life Insurance as not provided by the company.

They also do not have a Will


Life Insurance.

The priority was to quickly implement a Life Insurance policy for the Husband who was not provided cover by his employer in the Middle east.

Due to the wife not working and the kids still being young the recommendation was to select an amount of Life Insurance equivalent to ten times the Husbands annual salary.

The policy was also put into trust so that the monies would be paid out without the need for a Will or waiting for probate.

It was also recommended that a Life Insurance policy was taken out by the wife until the kids had passed University and that this would also be put in trust.

Cash & Investments:

An offshore platform was proposed for the £500,000 the clients held in cash in different banks both in the Gulf and Europe.

The proposal included holding cash of around £90,000 [6 months salary] in daily money market funds which would earn between 4 to 5% PA currently. [Suggest holding 50/50 £ & $]

The balance, £410,000, to be invested into a diversified balanced portfolio with a view to generating an annual return of around 6% PA.

The clients could also add funds to the platform on either a regular or ad hoc basis depending on their circumstances.


A UK Mirror Will was recommended to the clients as the husband is a UK passport holder and domiciled in the UK.

The UK Will would cover assets anywhere in the world including Europe and would be easy to change and update as the clients needs changed.

There would be no need for a Will in the Middle East as the clients do not own property or significant assets there once the investment changes have been made.

Summary & Observations:

Like many couples who work in the Gulf often the stress of the job and the pressure of work takes over before proper financial planning has been done.

In this case, the client was unaware that his company did not provide Life Insurance coverage putting his family at significant risk.

A Will was also a necessity and this was also arranged to provide the family peace of mind.

Initially the clients had significant assets in cash which was earning a minimal return and the interest in Europe and the UK was also liable to tax. By moving the cash into an offshore platform there were no issues with regards to tax in the UK or Europe and the return was significantly higher.

A US platform was proposed due to the confidentiality US platforms offer non-US passport holders. The US platform would also potentially protect the client if he ran into issues in the Middle East with regard to creditors or issues with his Employer.

During the review, the coach also discussed the option of paying into the UK state pension while the clients worked abroad. This was discussed along with future pension provisions for the clients and the need to put aside funds for potential education/university costs.

The clients also had an investment property in Europe with a mortgage which was rented out. They were however not sure where they might retire so a key consideration with regard to their financial plans was flexibility.


In this case study the use of a ‘financial coach’ provided many significant benefits to the client which more than justified any initial fees and ongoing fees.

Protected the family with suitable Life Insurance for both the Husband and Wife which was set up in trusts.

Help in writing an appropriate Will

Better management of the client's cash which should result in a difference of 2% PA in additional growth for the client which would equate to £10,000 extra growth.

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