Assurance Vie - In English

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Assurance Vie - In English


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Old 10th June 2019, 02:17 PM
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Default Assurance Vie - In English

Hello ExpatForum world.

I wonder if anyone knows of a Assurance Vie service that:

1. Allows everything to be done on-line, including euro funds and managed investments.

2. Has an English language web site option.

I know that I can use Google Translate to achieve #2 (at a push). And I'm currently at A2 in French, so I'll get there eventually, but it'd be useful to get a head start.

Thanks

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Old 10th June 2019, 02:58 PM
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If you have had a French "bricks and mortar" bank account for a while, you might want to look into getting an online French bank account. They generally have assurance vie available to the online customers - though I don't know of any of the online banks here that have their websites available in English.

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Old 10th June 2019, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinDe View Post

I wonder if anyone knows of a Assurance Vie service that:

1. Allows everything to be done on-line, including euro funds and managed investments.

2. Has an English language web site option.

I know that I can use Google Translate to achieve #2 (at a push). And I'm currently at A2 in French, so I'll get there eventually, but it'd be useful to get a head start.

I have an online .. virtually fee-free .. assurance-vie with Fortuneo .. within that wrapper I have a part that is somewhat akin to a cash ISA and a part where I have investments chosen by myself.

Fortuneo advisers apparently speak English .. though I have not used this service.

Also I have not looked to see if they offer managed investments as I prefer to make my own choices. Fortuneo do offer risk advice and all the usual info on the investments they offer.

They are also a highly regarded online Bank.


Last edited by suein56; 10th June 2019 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 10th June 2019, 04:36 PM
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I've no experience with assurance vie with fortuneo, but I have used their share dealing service which was very professional and with low fees.

DejW

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Old 11th June 2019, 06:58 AM
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Merci a vous

Feeling slightly dopey, I have an existing account with HSBC and they do have a multi-lingual site and they offer assurance vie. Still... I'd prefer something better.

I'll have a look at what Fortuneo offer. Could be exactly what I need.

Many thanks.

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Old 11th June 2019, 02:57 PM
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SEB...see:-
https://seb.ie/sebweb/index.jsf

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Old 13th June 2019, 08:57 AM
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I'm curious what assurance vie is -- I've never quite been clear on the concept. Could anyone point to succinct description of how they function, what the benefits and drawbacks might be? English preferred but French would be OK.

Thanks!

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Old 13th June 2019, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloysius_ View Post
I'm curious what assurance vie is -- I've never quite been clear on the concept. Could anyone point to succinct description of how they function, what the benefits and drawbacks might be? English preferred but French would be OK.

Thanks!
Found this definition online (and it is similar to something I saw once in one of those tax guides here in France):
Quote:
L'assurance-vie est un placement financier qui permet au souscripteur d'épargner de l'argent dans l'objectif de le transmettre à un bénéficiaire lorsque survient un événement lié à l'assuré : son décès ou sa survie.
It is basically an investment vehicle rather than "insurance" as we Yanks know it.

And very often the "event linked to the insured" involves retirement rather than the death of the insured (though not always).

The main thing is that, for taxes, there are big advantages. Generally speaking, you can withdraw funds from the assurance vie after a length of time (8 years is common) at a preferential tax rate. (You don't pay tax on the gains and losses in the fund until you withdraw money.) The last time I looked into it, the rate for withdrawals was 7% (after at least 8 years).

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Old 13th June 2019, 02:43 PM
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Ass vie is also helpful in succession tax planning .. as you can leave specific investments within the package to whom you like : unlike the main bulk of your estate which follows Napoleonic law unless you specify otherwise by using the option to adopt a foreign will.
EverHopeful likes this.

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Old 13th June 2019, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloysius_ View Post
I'm curious what assurance vie is -- I've never quite been clear on the concept. Could anyone point to succinct description of how they function, what the benefits and drawbacks might be? English preferred but French would be OK.

Thanks!
The biggest drawback with assurance vie is the US tax system. The US does NOT recognize any of the tax advantages. If you are a US citizen, you have to declare an assurance vie contract - as an investment account (for your FBARs) and they are generally considered to be PFICs for tax purposes (Passive Foreign Investment Company) which mean a whole bunch of additional reporting on each and every tax return you file.

Many companies offering assurance vie will NOT accept American persons (i.e. potentially subject to US taxation) as clients, and those that do have to report clients with "US indices" under the FATCA rules.

Plus, because the US doesn't recognize them as "tax deferred retirement plans" you wind up having to report the policy results each year on your US returns - and pay tax to the US on those results (supposedly the "advantage" of investing in assurance vie, since you only pay French tax as you withdraw funds from the investment).

Many financial and tax advisers tell US clients to avoid assurance vie at all costs simply due to the "double taxation" aspect.

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