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Financial Planning Advice - Beijing

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by momentofclarity, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. momentofclarity

    momentofclarity New commenter

    Hey all,

    Just a quick question about financial services and/or planning arrangements. I am heading to Beijing in the summer, decent salary and a generous pension matching scheme provided.
    Just wondering if anyone has experience with any of the multiple offshore banks, investment groups etc out there. I have been dealing a little bit with SCI who seem very reputable and with a good range of experience with international teachers, but was hoping for some independent advice to help counter their sales pitch.
    Specifically looking for a company that will allow for investment/retirement/savings as well as arranging regular transfers to my home country - all for the lowest fees possible, while guaranteeing me at least 25% growth annually of course! (okay that last part is a little unrealistic I suppose...)
    And on a slightly unrelated note - I was also hoping for some ideas on a travel rewards scheme that people use and like. There seems to be a lot of them out there, but wondering if anyone currently using Star Alliance, Air Miles, or a credit card linked one can comment on how useful they actually are? Do you use your points? What is the greatest benefits so far etc?
    Many thanks in advance,
  2. Mr robinson

    Mr robinson New commenter

    I have my pension with SCI and they are very reliable nice people to work with. However you should always decide yourself on an appropriate savings strategy and not rely too much on them. Your school should arrange for some of your income to be transferred back home- I know mine does and I am based in Shanghai. You get stuffed twice on exchange rates as it is RMB to $ then into pounds sterling. You may want to set up a $ account if you can. I haven't just coz I can't be bothered!
    Clearly there is a trade off between risk/reward in terms of returns on investments. If you are young and know that you don't need the money for 10yrs+ you may want to go for the high risk/high return strategy, but I am getting on so I am happy if I get 5% return pa. 25%-if you find something.... let me know.
    I used to use star alliance a lot when I lived in Thailand, but now not as much. They were great then, but so much depends on the routes you are flying.
    Good luck with the move
  3. momentofclarity

    momentofclarity New commenter

    Thank for all of that! The school only pays in RMB with no option to send home. It has been explained that the Chinese banks won't deal with dollars (from Canada) so it is necessary to have a local bank account for salary payment, and then an offshore and/or multinational to set up the monthly transfers. Not too concerned about it really, the biggest thing is just getting a cost effective and reliable system established early, really don't want to make mistakes that would cost me money if I had only known better.

    Thanks again,
  4. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Not a problem. I used to be paid in RMB into an ANZ account, transferred a regular amount into a Bank of China account (as they were the only ones who issued a local debit card) and had a standing order set up to transfer the rest back to the UK. Colleagues used the same system to transfer money to Canada. Took a couple of months to set up,and given the continued strength of the RMB it's possibly a good punt on forex to boot - we had an unexpected bonus when the GBP went from 14 RMB to 10 in the space of a month or so.
  5. You have mail!
  6. All frequent flyer schemes are w@nk.
  7. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Dear Oldgit, in the summer I shall be travelling from my home in the Orient to the UK and back, a distance of 11838 miles as a freebee from my frequent flyer scheme.
    My wife and daughter will also be joining me ( a total of 35, 514 miles), free, gratis and for nothing. When we are en route in Abu Dhabi we will be resting in the Business Class lounge, partaking of free everything, as we will be at Heathrow and at Suvarnabhumi.
    Next year we will get a free flight from school and the year after we will have accrued enough miles to travel free again.
    Why therefore this downer on frequent flyer schemes? As with all things, teaching especially, one gets out of them what one puts in.
    It certainly beats an SE 5
  8. momentofclarity

    momentofclarity New commenter

    Perce - what scheme are you on? Just curious as it seems to work for you and the distances my wife and I will be travelling seem comparable. Thanks!

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