The one life skill most people wish they were taught at school is practical financial knowledge, from how to budget and the importance of savings to how taxes work and through to pensions.
This knowledge gap can be compounded when you are an expat or international living outside your home country. Much of what you may have learned might be different, or not applicable when you move to a different country. There may be different laws, rules, restrictions, taxes, investment structures and opportunities. Then there are the compounding effects of culture and language that can make it difficult to know where to start.
In this article, we are discussing the importance of financial literacy to help you to make good decisions and where to get it. If you didn’t receive financial education as part of your schooling, as most people did not, the workplace can be a useful place to learn about the financial world where you are living and working.
Getting good financial information relevant for expats is not easy. It has to be appropriate for you and your circumstances, in the context of where you are living, and where you are from. Finding that advice from someone that is qualified, and experienced can make the difference between being able to live the life you want to live or just the one you can afford.
Getting bad advice though can leave you worse off than when you started. We have written before about the dangers of getting advice from unqualified and unregulated sources such as on social media and how governments and regulators are cracking down on the ‘finfluencer’. You can read about that here.
Financial education through a company financial wellness programme can add real value for expat employees and can remove some obstacles like where to get relevant financial information.
At Black Swan Capital, we work with companies to provide financial education and individualised financial advice and planning for their staff. For the expat employee, this can make sure their financial goals are not put on hold just because they are living in a new country. It can help them to ensure they are setting up the best way for where they are living taking into account all the factors that can make managing life as an expat complex.
It can also be good for businesses. Research has shown that financial stress is one of the most common stresses affecting people and that it can impact quality of life, workplace productivity, employee health and wellbeing, and can increase absenteeism. A financial wellness programme is good for staff, and because they can feel more in control of their financial lives, it is good for the company.
If you are heading up HR, people and culture, or if you are a company director, implementing a service to provide financial education and access to specialised advice for your staff can be a real and material value add for your staff. It can give your staff confidence that the people they are speaking with are qualified, licensed, experienced and specialists in working with people like them. It can give them information and educate them so they can make good decisions for themselves, and offer additional support when needed.
A company financial wellness programme can be relevant for new international staff that have just arrived, for those employees that have been there for longer and are integrated into their environment, and for those that are about to move on to a new county, or back home.
If you would like to implement a staff financial wellness programme at your company, run some educational events, or make financial support accessible for your staff, contact us today at: [email protected]