About Us

The Expatri8 back-story

 

Welcome to my new website!

My background in exchange control administration (and past employment in non-resident banking services back in SA) uniquely enables me to assist expats in navigating the red tape associated with withdrawing their funds from South Africa. The red tape can be especially daunting when it comes to expatriating more complex investments like retirement policies (specifically Retirement Annuities).  

To date I mostly assisted ex-SA friends and acquaientances here in the UK, but I have started to field more and more calls for assistance from referrals further afield, including from Australia and New Zeeland, the US and even Canada – clearly the main destination countries for expat South Africans!

One or two friends-in-need suddenly became 5, and now I receive between 10 and 20 requests for assistance each month. Demand has increased to the point that I was compelled to design a more structured service to replace the e-mail-attachments-method that I employed before. And a proper website, with lots of useful information for the layman. What you see here is the result, together with a very professionally packaged and executed product that is customized for each client according to their needs.

Crafting a sensible, DIY solution

 

There is a cottage industry of financial intermediary companies that assist people to cash out their Retirement Annuities, but many Expats either refuse to pay a middleman, or simply cannot afford to pay in relation to the small value of their investments(the fees can make up to 50% or more of the value of the policy). This is especially true if no actual financial planning advice is required; most people just want their funds out, a simple decision that they do not require help with. There is no rocket science involved in the process. The high cost associated with having a full-service intermediary fill out and submit the paperwork to formally emigrate and cash out a policy simply does not make sense. 

It seems unfair that the process is so opague and red-tape ridden; it is your money, it should not cost a fortune to get it out. So how do I assist?

I make it easy for you to cash out your own policies, instead of paying a middleman to do it for you:

  • I provide a detailed, illustrated Roadmap that is customized for you personally, detailing the exact process that you need to follow to achieve your specific goal (Retirement Annuity cash-out).
  • This Roadmap is accompanied by all the current (correct & up-to-dateDocument Sets for each institution involved in your process: SARB, SARS, the bank and insurance company(s) you need to interact with.
  • Institutional forms are accompanied by Completion Guides that explains how to correctly fill out the non-obvious entries on each form (to prevent rejection of your application).
  • A Compilation Guide explains how your supporting documentation needs to be prepared (records, certified identity documents, etc) to prevent rejection of your application.
  • Each step in your personalized Roadmap contains the names and direct Contact Details for the relevant personnel at your institutions – your bank’s non-resident division, your insurer’s policy redemption department, etc.
  • On-line Support through-out: It is DIY, but I stand by to assist and to provide guidance if you get stuck along the way.

All of this is provided for a small admin fee – a tiny fraction of what full service intermediaries charge. I would have liked to continue to provide my services for free, but the overhead of keeping abreast with current legislation back in SA and keeping all the institutional documents up to date and liaising with all the banks and insurers unfortunately comes at a price.

On the other hand, there are no hidden costs, you remain fully in control of your own process. And, for peace of mind, if you do not succeed in completing the process due to poor guidance or an incorrect process, I will refund your fee. So there is no risk. (This is quite obviously not a money-making exercise!)    

What my service is not:

  • I do not give financial advice or offer any financial planning services. I provide an administrative service only: know-how, guidance, process, all the correct forms, contacts and support for you to cash out your own policies. This essentially remains a DIY service. The benefit of this approach – apart from avoiding massive unnecessary costs! – is that I only require very basic, non-personal financial information: what type of investment product you wish to extract, which bank you use(d) back in SA, which insurer(s) are involved. I do not require or record any value details, account numbers, signatures, addresses, investment details, etc, so you take on board no risk in going the DIY route. I also do not take kickbacks from service providers or institutions, e.g. on foreign exchange (rife in the industry), so there is no hidden or vested interest. 
  • I provide online support (e-mail), not telephonic or in-person consultation. This is a one-woman business; my partner and I divide our time between the UK, Europe and Durban, South Africa, mainly following his property-development and our property letting businesses. I am not consistently in the same time zone or on the same number, but I always have access to the internet. Employing office staff will take away the personal service and increase the costs – both aspects that I am careful to maintain.

Ready to cash out your RA’s?

What started out as a hobby became a full-time passion that marries my skill with my interests. I like to help people, and to use my expertise to find creative solutions. 

Thank you for spending some time on the Expatri8 website. There is, by design, much free information available on this site. Meanwhile, let me know which bank and what policies you have so that I can create a customized Roadmap for you: a sensible solution.

Ciao! Claire