Where to start?

Where to start? So much to say. Maybe just start by mentioning Brexit as it is so important to all our lives. I am so concerned that when a report is produced by professionals, pointing out the downside, it seems to carry no importance with the press and no time taken for any discussions. There are always two sides to any negotiations and I don´t feel that the UK is facing up to the reality of trying to replace a structure that has been in place for over 40 years, and pretty successfully. I understand that one of the most important issues is the customs and single market. Although this appears to be one of the UKs demands, how can this be granted, as Norway, for a start, would be very hostile, as they have to pay to be in this club and accept immigration. Then of course, there is Ireland, and indeed, Gibraltar, which has just been put on hold. We shall see, but I and many others are feeling very uncomfortable at what is happening and the time taken to not come to any conclusions. As Expats, we have no certainty of our position at the end of all this. I am very aware that a large number of Expats, myself included, would like the option of remaining European, as I feel so distant from my country now, which is very sad.

It would appear, at long last, that the housing market seems to be recovering rather well and many people are still following their dream of living in Spain. I launched Expat Services some time ago, but because of the housing market having taken a dip for quite some time, the need for the services I offer was limited. Over the Christmas and New Year period I watched quite a number of programmes where people were following their dreams of living in Spain and I became more concerned as time went on. The reality of purchasing a property in Spain is far removed from their expectations and priorities. Having bought and sold apartments just recently, the process is far from easy, very expensive and the paperwork and costs change depending on the area. How buyers manage to steer themselves through this formidable process, which I found to be daunting, I don´t know. So many obstacles can trip you up and unless you get experienced, independent and regulated help, mistakes can and do happen. In response to this situation and other services required by the Expats, including wills, taxation, finances, pensions and money exchange, etc. from the middle of February, I will be offering a very good service, Jennifer’s Sound Advice Surgeries, initially from my Javea office. Once a week, the associates that I work alongside with, will be doing a surgery where the first consultation will be free of charge. The professionals, who are all fully regulated, will be a solicitor, structural engineer and currency exchange advisor. You can either drop in and take a chance, or book an appointment by calling 96 579 5372 or email info@expatservicesspain.net.

For those planning to become Residents in Spain, if you are not entitled to the national health service, unlike the UK the government encourage and make it mandatory for you will be required to obtain private health insurance for your application. We can help you here also, as ASSSA Health Insurance supply a certificate that is accepted by the police, on full payment of the policy. It is an excellent policy with a comprehensive list of doctors, consultants and hospitals, and you have a first class back up service in English to assist you.

I understand the banks are yet again encroaching on the insurance business. This time by offering health insurance, which is completely ridiculous. Please do not be tempted to go this route as it will be a nightmare for you. The product that ASSSA offer is an expat policy, designed especially for your needs.

I mention Expat policies quite often but I am not sure if people really understand what I am talking about. An insurance company who invests in setting up a completely different department and policies for the ExPat market, meaning separating what is on offer to the Spanish market place in order to meet the requirements that the Expats expect and often at a more affordable price, due to many reasons but one of the most important is the lower level of car claims from the Expats in comparison, is to be applauded. It also has the knock on benefit of far lower increases on renewal premiums, and of course, documentation and support in English.

Do your research with regard to your own policies and if in doubt, call one of my offices, and one of my Sales Consultants will be able to help you. We sell Liberty Seguros insurance policies, dedicated to the Expats. This also applies to the ASSSA insurance health policy. Why not make it easier for yourself?
When selecting a financial company to deal with your very precious money and pensions, do your due diligence and don´t be persuaded unless you are very comfortable with the regulatory bodies. If you need any advice on this subject, call one of my offices as the two companies I have selected to work with are regulated and secure and carry indemnity insurance.

For further information, contact one of my offices, visit my website www.jennifercunningham.net or email info@jennifercunningham.net.

Packages tailor-made for expats

Here at Jennifer Cunningham insurance we work closely with two legal companies, one in the south and one in the north with many years of experience working in Spain. They have tailor made packages specifically designed for expats needs, with Brexit on the horizon the consulate is advising that you seek residencia, signing onto the padron and seeking advice on your taxation needs. Here at Jennifer Cunningham insurance this is where we can help you. Below are a few services mentioned starting with conveyancing, before you start to even look for a property to purchase you need a solicitor straight away to help you through the minefield of a different language and culture.

Inheritance tax in Spain can be quite daunting and expensive and you need to understand that you will need to find the funds very quickly.  If you consider the assets you owned in Spain as a surprise box that no one can open until you are gone, you are placing your family in a difficult situation. Independently of the size of your estate, there is a variety of reason to contemplate having an Inheritance plan. The associates have developed  a complete service which interconnects all the legal, fiscal and practical matters  in dealing with the inheritance process, making things simple for your beneficiaries and family.

Making a Spanish will can help ensure that your wishes are carried out in the way you intend. If you are due to inherit assets in Spain the process can be difficult, long and very expensive if you don’t have it and you make it far simpler and quicker for your loved ones to reside in a different country and have no wills in place it doesn’t make sense.

Taxes rules that operate can be difficult to understand and if you don’t follow them correctly you can be subject to fines and interest payments. Unfortunately we all have to pay taxes and with Brexit its even more important to understand in which country you must pay the taxes. Their is also module 720 which is your worldwide assets which if they are in access of 50,000 they have to be declared. Our trusted teams are there to help you and assist you getting it right in finding the correct solution for you.


Please do not hesitate to contact the team for  further information by emailing info@expatservicesspain.net

Currency Exchange

THE COST savings of using a specialist currency company are attractive but I have been put off as I understand there could be extra work involved. I also have concerns regarding the safety of my money – am I being over cautious?

Specialist currency providers are becoming popular choices for British ex-pats living in Spain or, indeed, those returning to the UK. Opening a trading facility is much easier and quicker than you may think but is necessary to comply with European KYC anti-money laundering legislation.

Our associates offers the option for customers to apply for registration on-line, via our website, which is a short and straight forward process. Alternatively, customers can simply complete a paper registration form. Additional documentation such as proof of identity and proof of address may be required in some cases.

For the small amount of effort to apply for an account, there are many potential benefits available. These include potential cost savings and the advantage of having a range of currency services that are not always offered by traditional financial institutions, such as high street banks. Trading is also straightforward and is normally conducted over the telephone.

Put simply, you can have access to great rates along with ‘real time’ information on the market which can help you to trade your currency at an advantageous time. Using a specialist currency company means you can arrange to have the rate monitored on your behalf, to help you make the most of market movements and potentially avoid trading when the market is not favourable for you.

Purchasing a Forward Contract, means that you can fix the prevailing rate of exchange to buy currency now, to be settled at a determined date in the future, thus avoiding any potential impact from subsequent market fluctuations. A deposit of 10% of the total amount is required for this service.

The question of security is completely understandable and one that any client needs to be comfortable with.

There are certain questions that will allow you to choose a currency provider with confidence and should be addressed if you have any doubts:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many staff do you have?
  • What is your turnover?
  • How many clients do you deal with each year?
  • Do you have any other divisions as part of the company?
  • Do you speculate with the funds?
  • How do you handle client funds?
  • Do you have audited accounts at Companies House?
  • Where are your offices?
  • Are you Financial Conduct Authority regulated?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many staff do you have? (Over 760 last year)
  • What is your turnover?
  • How many clients do you deal with each year? (We executed over 7 million client transactions in 2016)
  • Do you have any other divisions as part of the company? (Yes. Retail, Wholesale, Commercial including an award-winning on line trading platform)
  • Do you speculate with the funds?
  • How do you handle client funds? (All client funds are safeguarded in segregated client bank accounts.)
  • Do you have audited accounts at Companies House?
  • Where are your offices?
  • Are you regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?