Gain residency in one of the world’s strongest economies.
Switzerland is home to an incredibly strong economy with various investment opportunities, safe banking, and a high quality of life. There’s no question why some of the world’s wealthiest investors flock to this country for a second residency or even citizenship.
Expatriating offers many benefits to investors that are both good for your finances and can offer an invaluable cultural experience. Expatriation may involve relocating to a jurisdiction like Switzerland, Monaco, Dubai, or Singapore. These jurisdictions are usually preferred for their low tax rates, safety, and investor-friendly environments.
In terms of financial planning, expatriating can be a lucrative step in a fiscally responsible retirement. Cost of living, tax benefits, and quality of life are all reasons to spend your retirement years abroad. At Alpen Partners, we are well versed in the financial planning that goes into retirement. A good retirement plan takes years of careful saving and sound investing in order to live a carefree life after paid work. By spending your retirement abroad, you are allowing yourself to obtain the most out of all the work you put into saving.
One of the biggest draws to Switzerland is the country’s strong economic system with controlled requirements and slight growth. The small country has an equally small population that takes advantage of its natural resources. There are limited investments required for production and agriculture that support the strong economy.
The economy is so strong that there is no national deficit. The Swiss income exceeds its expenses, so the currency is fully backed by a self-reliant economy. The country also boasts low unemployment, high per capita income, and a popular banking destination utilized worldwide.
Like Monaco, the high cost of living in the country attracts wealthy retirees and expats who enjoy a comfortable life in a beautiful country. As one of the most sought-after countries to live in, many are happy to hear there is a residency-by-investment program. With Swiss residency, investors are offered visa-free travel within Europe, privacy and freedom, and a picturesque destination for wealthy retirees and families.
Banks play an important role in the Swiss economy. They are well known for sophisticated and discreet banking services. In 2017, it was reported that $7.5 trillion in assets are held in Swiss banks almost 51% of that is generated from clients outside of the country. Privacy is a leading factor for those looking to bank offshore. Swiss laws forbid bankers to disclose that someone even holds a bank account or any information about it without the consent of the account holder.
Residency by Investment
To qualify an investor must prove they have at least USD 1 million at their disposal before applying. The investor can gain the residency permit by either creating a Swiss company or paying a lump sum taxation (LST) fee that can be as low as USD 170,000 or CHF 150,000.
If you want to change your citizenship completely, Switzerland has a route for those with permanent residency, through naturalization, though it will take some time. Whether you earn your residency through investment, or otherwise, the permanent resident must reside in the country for twelve continuous years.
Once this requirement is met, a naturalization application should be filed with the Swiss Federal Office of Migration. The office will evaluate whether or not the applicant has integrated his or herself into the local culture.
After the applicant passes this step, they must then apply for citizenship at the canton and community levels. Some will require applicants to pass a test.
Buying Swiss Real Estate
If you’ve chosen Switzerland as your new home, it will be important to understand the real estate market as a non-citizen.
Being an incredibly small but wealthy nation, Switzerland is an optimal place to purchase real estate. The small size of the country puts a higher premium on real estate than would exist in a more sprawling nation. In addition, the relatively high wealth of the citizenry means that it will not be hard to find clients to rent out one’s Swiss real estate.
For most hopeful buyers, the Swiss housing prices are simply out of reach, even with current low interest rates. With the combination of high prices and strict mortgage requirements, the low interest rates mean nothing.
Foreign buyers come from all over to take advantage of Swiss real estate, from such places as other European Union countries or the United States, Canada, and Russia. Though there are many buyers from outside countries, 85% of home buyers are Swiss.
There are no restrictions for EU citizens to buy property, but a non-EU citizen must obtain a permanent residence status permit to real estate, with some exceptions.
Alpen Partners and Expatriation
Together, with respected law firms in various regions of the world, Alpen Partners is advising its clients on expatriation issues. In a world of increasing tax pressure and professional mobility, expatriation has become one of the most efficient tools for asset protection and estate planning. Moving abroad can come along with an abundance of benefits that can affect your taxes, your investment portfolio, cost of living, and your lifestyle completely. As the cost of traveling becomes cheaper, the benefits of expatriation for financial reasons are more easily obtained.
Taking the leap and leaving your home country can be a big decision with tons of personal and legal steps. The hassle of navigating the legal process of expatriation can be reduced with the guidance of Alpen Partners. Each step requires assistance, including getting the passport, making sure everything is completed correctly regarding taxes, acquiring work permits, making investments, and more. No matter what expatriation route is chosen, it can be a powerful tactic to allow clients to gain better control of their financial and personal lives.