Friday, March 05, 2010 | Posted by: Fiona Cullinan
Categories: Personal | Tags: links, tax planning, tax havens, retirement, Richard Branson, wealth management, Lewis Hamilton, submarine, tax exiles, offshore banking
Find out why racing driver Lewis Hamilton (left) and other non-UK residents should be worried about the latest HMRC’s crackdown. Plus, see the latest millionaire’s plaything – a luxury submersible. These wealth-related stories and more rounded up monthly on the Bespoke blog.
Time spent retired has risen sharply (infographic): Rising life expectancy and early retirement in rich OECD countries means that we are now spending an average of 19 years in retirement – nearly double that of those retiring 30 years ago – making wealth planning for retirement more important than ever.
Millionaire gives away fortune that made him miserable: One of the most popular stories on the web in the past month, this is the story of Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder, who is giving away his £3 million fortune (to charity) to live in a bedsit in Innsbruck. Rabeder is said to have owned a £1.4 million lakeside Alpine villa, a Provence farmhouse, six gliders and an Audi A8. But he first realised his five-star lifestyle was making him unhappy during a luxurious spendathon in Hawaii with his wife in 2004. And how did his wife take the decision? Well, we assume she helped him achieve his dream of a penniless but happy existence in the ensuing divorce.
The Learjet of the seas: The WSJ’s Wealth Report notes that the new luxury object of desire for the jet set is a super-agile submarine! The lux subs apparently resemble underwater jets in that they can “swoop, dive and surge to keep up with the fastest underwater life.” The DeepFlight SuperFalcon, made by Hawkes Ocean Technologies, launched last year. Now, billionaire Richard Branson has ordered himself a new type of open-cockpit winged sub from HOT – called the DeepFlight Merlin. Being a billionaire, though, the newly named Necker Nymph will be a mere sidecar, docked to Branson’s yacht, Necker Belle. Price ranges from $673,000 for a standard three-person DeepFlight Merlin up to $5 million for a custom sub. Why? Because you’re worth it.
Crackdown on tax avoidance by wealthy nets £373m: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had a bumper year last year, with a crackdown on wealthy taxpayers resulting in an extra £373 million being recouped – up 21% on the previous tax year. For more on the global crackdown on tax havens, read our Protecting Your Wealth posts by Dave Jennings.
Are offshore tax shelters dead?: Over the past 18 months, G20 governments have been chasing revenue from offshore tax avoiders. So is offshore banking now a “relic of the wealth-management past”? The WSJ’s Wealth Report thinks not. “One thing history teaches us is that tax shelters are like balloons – squeeze them in one place, and they inflate in another. Switzerland and Liechtenstein may lose their status as the world leaders in tax shelters. But other countries, such as Singapore or the Cook Islands, are quickly drawing lots of rich deposits.”
Labour plans crackdown on 90-day tax exiles: So the likes of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger and Formula One drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton (pictured) may have to cut their ties with Britain completely if they are to comply with HMRC rules on residency and avoid a huge backdated tax bill. According to The Guardian, Gordon Brown’s government will demand that super-rich tax exiles submit to a “statutory residency test” to prove they have truly cut their ties to Britain.
Image: © Mark McArdle, 2008
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