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Since the 1840s, Hong Kong has been a magnet for entrepreneurs from all over the world. It is a true bastion of capitalism which has attracted free-market adventurers and business people for many decades. Even after reverting to Chinese rule in 1997, it remains, in many people’s eyes, ‘the most capitalist place on earth’; a place where fortunes can be made.
Arguably the freest economy in the world, expat entrepreneurs are attracted to Hong Kong for its low taxes, liberal regulatory regime and its top-notch infrastructure supported by a highly skilled workforce. The Hong Kong government makes it easy for expats to do business as entry requirements for people wanting to start a business are far less strict than in most countries. A 2012 World Bank report placed Hong Kong in second place in the ease of doing business index.
Entrepreneurs take risks; it is the nature of their calling. To be prepared to risk everything on their talent and knowledge is an attribute that most people do not share. While many people eschew risk in favour of the financial security of a steady job, entrepreneurs embrace it to make their own way in the world. However this characteristic, often vital for business success, can often result in entrepreneurs putting their retirement at risk by neglecting to make sensible provision for their old age.
In many ways, it is understandable why so many entrepreneurs fail to prepare for their retirement. Money is often tight when someone is trying to build a successful business and the initial instinct is to invest everything is securing the success of their venture. Often they invest every dollar in their dream. However this can have serious repercussions for their wellbeing in retirement.
With the best will in the world, there is no absolute guarantee that even a successful business will be sustainable in the long term. As a result, it is prudent for people with their own businesses to put something away for their retirement. It is essential that expat entrepreneurs separate personal financial plans from their business goals. The consequence of not doing so could be catastrophic at the end of working life.
At Infinity, we admire the character of entrepreneurs who come to Hong Kong to build their own businesses. Working with entrepreneurial clients has given us an understanding of the pressures they face and the difficulty of separating their business and personal finances. We can help with the process of differentiating between personal and business goals and help put in place arrangements to ensure a comfortable retirement. Get in touch to find out more.