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debt free 150k savings expat, what next?
Old 04-09-2014, 05:00 AM   #1
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debt free 150k savings expat, what next?

Hi, i am 29 years old and live debt free in the tax free UAE and fall under the US tax exempt category since my earned income abroad is roughly 50k. (Housing, transportation, and 'fun' money are apart of my non us citizen husband's job package) So basically, I am just saving 50k a year and since I have been here 3 years I have 150k+ sitting in my savings account here in UAE.
Meanwhile my husband earns roughly 100k+ and has about 270k also sitting in a UAE savings account. (I tax file married/ filing separating)
We both recognize this is a dangerous situation for reasons not needing explaining on this forum, we also recognize we could be using our large savings to generate more money
ie investing in stocks and bonds indexes. But are open to other suggestions.
I'm familiar with stock and bond allocations based on age (so 30% us bond index and 70% us stock index) and the 'couch potato method' of re-balancing annually. Whats the best way for me to go about starting doing this?
How would you allocate what lump sums to invest and where to put the rest of my savings?
I am seeking advice for 'what next'? I don't want to make a huge mistake based on my ignorance of US tax laws (which are very complicated for expats, and i would like to take advantage of my husbands non-us citizen status). We have no immediate plans to move back to the USA and plan on retiring in 2034 both at 50 years old.
Thank you!

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Old 04-09-2014, 08:03 AM   #2
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Hi Alotofgirl,

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you are in great shape to get started toward FIRE. The most important part of achieving FI is living below your means and savings. You have that covered nicely. The decision on how to diversify your investments becomes more important as you accumulate saving. For the first few years, your savings contributions will be the largest component to accumulating wealth so you are not in a bad situation. Now that you are starting to think about moving money into investments that provide better appreciation opportunity, you need to think about how you feel about the prospect of seeing some of your money suddenly disappear as it did for a lot of folks 2008 and 2009. If you are comfortable that you would not panic and pull your money out at the bottom, then moving directly to an allocation such as the couch potato is an option. If you have not experienced a major downturn, you may want to go a little slower and start an automatic purchase of an index fund with your future savings until you reach your allocation goals. In theory, just moving your money to your allocation works best, but it can be hard to maintain if a major downturn happens shortly after.

Keep up the research both on this forum and other places on the web. The Boggleheads forum is also a good place for investment support and information. Good luck!

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Old 04-09-2014, 08:25 AM   #3
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Congrats on doing so well so far! Being an Expat with a non-US spouse can provide you some great tax advantages. You may want to consider Real estate with YOUR savings as currently there are no reporting requirements such as FBARS for property ownership. If you want to get involved with US Bonds or Equities, have your Spouse open a brokerage account in someplace like the Isle of Man which can provide your spouse access to US markets while protecting your money from some negative middle east event.
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