How Do You Know If You're An Orphan Client? And What You NEED To Do If You Are.
What is an orphan client?
Did you take out an investment or insurance plan in a country where you lived on a temporary basis and have now moved away?
Have you worked outside of your home country for a period of time and during that time were provided a pension which is now frozen?
Have you moved away from your country of birth or the country which passport you hold and left pensions, insurance or investments in your home country?
The above are all examples of what we describe as ‘Orphan Clients’
Many people don’t realize they are ‘Orphan Clients’ and potentially what issues this may cause which can result in significant financial stress & lost profit.
Let’s assume perhaps you lived or worked for a period of time in somewhere like the UAE, Singapore or Hong Kong. During that time you took out a local policy to perhaps cover the mortgage on a property you bought or to protect your family.
These policies are geared to covering you during your time in that particular country and are unlikely to cover you once you move away. The provider will not write to you to tell you this even if you provide a change of address which could lead you to suffering as the policy could well not pay when you might need it.
You may have worked for a period of time in one country which could even be your country of birth and have built up significant pension benefits. When you move abroad many of us assume that these pension funds will continue to be actively managed and that the provider will recommend changes as and when necessary so you benefit.
Sadly this is far from reality and most of these monies will be with large companies which do not provide any advice and only hold your money. In the current times that we live the world changes so fast unless these monies are actively managed and discussed with you the reality is that these monies will not perform.
With technology and improved transportation many of us believe we live in a ‘global village’ where it does not matter where you live. Sadly financial products and companies are rarely able to offer ‘multi-jurisdictional advice’. This will mean each country where you live will likely offer you a local product which when you move again will not be suitable for you.
A significant reason for a lack of ‘cross border advice’ is regulation and countries wanting to protect their own business’s by not allowing cross selling of products like Investments and Insurance
Here's what you need to do..
For those of you who move from country to country for work it is extremely important you review all your financial affairs every time you move.
I would also recommend reviewing your finances every two years even if you remain in the same place as things constantly change.
Look for advisors who have the skills, knowledge and ability to continue to act as an advisor wherever you move as this will provide you with continuity of advice and enable you to build trust in your advisor.
If you work with an advisor who can continue to offer advice wherever you are, you will end up with products that are suitable for you not only now but wherever you move or retire too in the future.
Why you need to take action and how..
As an orphan client, you are on your own and very unlikely to meet the expectations you have for previous investments or policies you have taken out. Often as a client of a well known multi national, we expect the company to look after our needs and provide us with the best deal; the reality which has been proven time and time again is that this never happens and new customers are prioritized over existing clients.
In a worse case scenario you could end up with a pension belonging to a company which has rapidly declined and likely to go bankrupt involving potentially total loss of your pension benefits.
If you believe that we live in a constantly changing world it is easy to understand the logic of constantly reviewing any plans you have. Personal financial planning can be a complex area especially when it involves different locations and work experiences.
The answer is to find an advisor or coach who understands your situation and where you want to end up with regard to retirement and financial expectations. Like with most things in life having a partner or trusted confidant to discuss your goals from time to time could be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Reach out to me now to experience how I can help you take the next best steps.