Planning for the long-term future isn’t always a priority, but according to Brigitte Bernard, tax consultant and managing director of Fiduciaire Interrégionale, it should be.
“Many people don’t think about things like retirement until it’s there,” she says, and for this reason she often asks even her youngest clients whether they are keeping records over the course of their entire career, not just their career in Luxembourg. She explains: “Those who have migrated and have made their legal or voluntary social security contributions in several countries should document their personal pension over the course of their career and check whether it contains any gaps, whether enough has been paid in and if there are any rights that are not--or not yet--covered.”
Inheritance tax is another area which expats should keep an eye on, given that legislation can vary substantially from country to country. “It’s a good idea to be informed about wealth planning so that heirs are spared massive subsequent taxation,” she says. Bernard started her business in Rippweiler, west Luxembourg, in 1995, and at the core of her business philosophy is trust.
But she is also a firm believer that individuals should empower themselves with knowledge and never be afraid to get a second professional opinion, be it about a haphazard contract or tax savings. “As an employee, I have certain rights to which I am entitled, and this requires being proactive… as citizens, we have to do more in the future to understand laws and, above all, make sure that we use them.”