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money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-20-2006, 12:53 PM   #1
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money matters for overseas retirees

Are there any folks out there who've retired outside of the US. If so how did you organize
your finances. What %age of your money do you keep locally rather than in the US and
where do you keep it, banks vs investment houses.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-20-2006, 04:30 PM   #2
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

I am semi retired and live in Panama. We kept all of our assets to include bank accounts in the US. With the internet and ATMs there is no real need for us to go through the hassle of opening a bank account here. Although most creditors would prefer if you had local credit established there are some that will use your FICO score for instance when purchasing a house. These banks tend to be foreign banks themselves like Scotia Bank, HSBC, etc.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-21-2006, 03:22 AM   #3
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Arif,

I have met many retirees from Panama, Costa Rica, Belize and say it is the greatest retirement ever. Do you have an old posts or advice on safety, locals, making the move, etc?

Escape Artist seems to be the big reference but they seem more like a marketing webiste?
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-21-2006, 09:50 AM   #4
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Psy,

Here are a couple of websites for Panama relocation services with useful and interesting information.

http://www.panoramicpanama.com/
Panoramic Panama has a very good reputation. If/when we visit Panama, I would use Tammy Liu's services.

Also see
http://www.panamaretire.net/
I do not know the reputation of this one, but the web site is very good. ESPECIALLY go to the page Living in Panama and read "8 days in Panama"!

Yahoo groups have several groups on Panama. Beware, however. At least one wonderful group was hijacked by a promoter. [EDIT: I gave the wrong board! The one I meant is The Panama Forum.] Over 18,000 posts(!) and lots of good information.

The Panama News has an interesting perspective on Panama:
http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_12...frontpage.html
Run by a VERY independent investigative reporter and former lawyer. I have to meet Erik one day.

You want maybe pictures? Here are tons on Dino Barkema's photo site:
http://www.chagres.com/
Dino and his wife are good people.

Panama ain't perfect, but it looks pretty good to me.

[Edited to correct a stupid mistake.]
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-21-2006, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

PsyopR,

Like Ed said it ain't perfect but I am enjoying myself immensly. For us the decision was one of seeing my son grow up vs. the constant deployments of the Army. We chose to get out and head to Panama.
Just do a search with my name and Panama on this site and you'll get some info on the move, budgets, and my experiences. We've been here since last December and have no regrets. We are in the process of purchasing land by the beach and it has been a very interesting journey. Many speculators in the condo market and beach areas.

Just like any place else I stay out of the ghettos or places that look shady. Not looking for any of those types of adventures. The local people are very friendly (Disclaimer: I am Panamanian although I moved to the US when I was 5 and returned 28 years later) and always willing to help overcome the language barrier. I had a friend I met on this site that came to visit last week. We did a little experiment on how locals treat you if they know you're not from here. In the tourist areas he was constantly being asked to buy something from vendors, taxi drivers, etc. He did not like the city at all but really enjoyed the interior (beaches and countryside). Hopefully he will post his experience once he gets back online.

If you have any specific questions let me know.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-23-2006, 02:32 PM   #6
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif
I am semi retired and live in Panama. We kept all of our assets to include bank accounts in the US. With the internet and ATMs there is no real need for us to go through the hassle of opening a bank account here. Although most creditors would prefer if you had local credit established there are some that will use your FICO score for instance when purchasing a house. These banks tend to be foreign banks themselves like Scotia Bank, HSBC, etc.
Is it any different for someone planning on retiring to Europe?
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-23-2006, 03:32 PM   #7
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

I don't know anyone who retired to Europe but I think it depends greatly on where in Europe you settle down at. I am sure the eastern block countries are less developed than Germany, Britain, Spain, etc. So if you narrow it down to a specific country then you might get a more difinite answer.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-23-2006, 08:27 PM   #8
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by nun
Are there any folks out there who've retired outside of the US. If so how did you organize
your finances. What %age of your money do you keep locally rather than in the US and
where do you keep it, banks vs investment houses.
I'm not retired, but have taken up permanent residence in Japan. We keep about 80% of our assets in Japan, basically everything except for some mutual funds which are in the US for tax reasons, and also as event-risk backup (e.g., if North Korea dropped the big one, we could flee to the US and have a bit of seed money to start new lives). Money is mostly in Japanese banks and brokerage accounts, plus the chunk of our net worth which is tied up in our house.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-23-2006, 10:36 PM   #9
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

I shot myself in the foot.

I said...
Quote:
Yahoo groups have several groups on Panama. Beware, however. At least one wonderful group was hijacked by a promoter. The good folks moved to RETIREnPANAMA. I trust only RETIREnPANAMA. Over 18,000 posts(!) and lots of good information.
Wrong Board!!!

The board i was thinking of is The Panama Forum!!!.

I have not been over there for a long while. My bad.

Maybe y'all should take a look at both and make up your own mind.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-24-2006, 12:08 AM   #10
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

I plan to retire in Canada and keep about 70 percent of my assets in C$ securities. Bad climate, good people, free health care.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-24-2006, 08:23 AM   #11
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by kumquat
I plan to retire in Canada and keep about 70 percent of my assets in C$ securities.* Bad climate, good people, free health care.
Two out of three. Healh insurance costs about $600/year per person. It just seems to be free compared to the US costs! Dental and meds extra.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-24-2006, 12:54 PM   #12
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif

We are in the process of purchasing land by the beach and it has been a very interesting journey.
Are you dealing with a bank there for the mortgage? If not, how does an American bank deal with foreign property purchases? Or maybe it so much cheaper you are paying outright!
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-24-2006, 05:38 PM   #13
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Question that occured to me for Americans retiring out-of-country. I note some folks have their investments with firms in the country of residence and some keep/have their investments with firms in the USA.

SEC presumably imposes some fairly strict rules regarding what residents versus non-residents can buy in US equity markets. If you were to retire out-of-country, are you still able to open an investment account in USA with say, Vanguard or Fidelity and be an active trader? Or can you only do that if you had the investment account before leaving the USA to begin with?

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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-24-2006, 05:47 PM   #14
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

I'm in the US with large retirement accounts at Vanguard; planning to retire in Canada (already have Permanent Resident status).

I believe Vanguard told me that once I change my accounts to a Canadian mailing address, I won't be able to make any new purchases or trades, since Vanguard is not a registered investment entity in Canada. All I can do is sell things and distribute cash.

My current plan to circumvent this restriction is to change the mailing address on the account to a PO box associated with a US-based mail forwarding service.

I can't even think of moving the IRA money to an RRSP because of the huge tax hit I would take. But I'm not giving up my ability to trade and rebalance unless I can help it.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-24-2006, 06:06 PM   #15
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaRed
If you were to retire out-of-country, are you still able to open an investment account in USA with say, Vanguard or Fidelity and be an active trader?* Or can you only do that if you had the investment account before leaving the USA to begin with?
Most US firms won't do business with you unless you have a US address. TD Ameritrade and Schwab are exceptions. I think mikew reported that Fidelity told him they would have no objection if he opened an account with a borrowed US address and then filed a change-of-address with them to an overseas address. That trick may work with other brokerages as well.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-24-2006, 09:24 PM   #16
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

I expect to be able to maintain a US address in any case, so I will be immune. If I am a nice boy.

Recent discovery with Vanguard:

Their 800 number does not work outside of the USA.

They DO have anumber by which they may be reached (from Canada, for example), but they do not post it on their web site--or inside my personal area). I registered a complaint with a very nice lady by being suave and debonaire but policy is policy.

Ed
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-25-2006, 08:46 AM   #17
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Ed, it may be a function of your phone network/service?

Sounds odd, but I say this because I used to never be able to call US 800-numbers. Then one day out of the blue I tried again and got a message saying something to the effect that "this will not be a toll-free call and you will be subject to the normal rate for int'l. calls".. then after a few seconds.. rrring, rrring.. and I made the call as normal but on my dime. At least I was able to get through!

Or maybe it is the company supporting the 800-# that stopped blocking int'l. calls cold.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-25-2006, 09:58 AM   #18
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
I expect to be able to maintain a US address in any case, so I will be immune. If I am a nice boy.

Recent discovery with Vanguard:

Their 800 number does not work outside of the USA.

They DO have anumber by which they may be reached (from Canada, for example), but they do not post it on their web site--or inside my personal area). I registered a complaint with a very nice lady by being suave and debonaire but policy is policy.

Ed
I asked my original question as I'm a UK/US dual citizen and I've learned that its a very bad idea for US citizens to invest in foreign mutual funds, nasty tax consequences. I'm not sure if its the same for individual stocks. Anyway I was planning of leaving most of my money with Vanguard and maybe having a couple of years expenses in a UK saving account. I asked Vanguard about this and they said that as a US citizen it was ok for me to invest with them even if I had a foreign address.

FYI here is a quote from the Fidelity website on this topic

Q.

I am currently living overseas. Can I still invest in Fidelity mutual funds?
A. That depends.
If you are a U.S. citizen living overseas, but using a U.S. address, you may purchase shares of any Fidelity mutual fund (with a few exceptions), and obtain most information and services through fidelity.com.
If you are a U.S. citizen using a foreign or APO address, you will need to make your mutual fund purchase with a Fidelity representative, not through fidelity.com. Due to Blue Sky Restrictions, Fidelity's system attempts to verify that the mutual fund is eligible to be purchased in your state. Our system does not currently recognize foreign or APO addresses as eligible.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, Fidelity generally cannot make its U.S. mutual funds available to you outside the country. The U.S. taxes on these funds may be enough to discourage you from investing in them even if you could.
However, Fidelity has a range of stock, bond, and money market funds designed especially for non-U.S. citizens (which are not open to investors who are U.S. citizens). See International Sites for more information for both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens living abroad, including the addresses and telephone numbers of Fidelity offices around the world.
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-25-2006, 01:56 PM   #19
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

I'm planning to retire to Australia. I have most of my investments in US brokerage accounts/401K and a house here. In order to prepare for retirement down in Australia, I've purchased a house already and have set up bank accounts and one investment account to get things started.

I'm not planning to move my US investments to Australia in one fell swoop, but to set up CD Ladders, both in the US and Australia to offset any overt currency fluctuations.

I may also do a little work here and there .... but more to get to know people and stay connected than anything else.

I deal with my brokerage house here via the internet and email primarily so I'm hoping not to have too many difficulties in continuing that from Australia. I'm also planning to consult with an International Tax Attorney closer to my retirement date so I don't run into any major US/Aust tax issues. So far all the research I've done points to things being relatively easy to manage - I would continue to US taxes on my taxable investments as I sell them off. I would pay Australian taxes on any income generated in Australia, and would have to declare that on my US tax form, but would not be dinged twice. At least that's what I've been told so far!


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Re: money matters for overseas retirees
Old 07-25-2006, 02:30 PM   #20
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Re: money matters for overseas retirees

Are you a US citizen or greencard holder? If you are be careful with foreign investments, particularly mutual funds, as the IRS taxes them at nasty rates and there are severe penalties for missing tax
payments. I'm looking into the issues in me moving to the UK, I think the place to start is to
determin your residence status once you are out of the US. In my it can get complicated fast
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