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Old 02-14-2015, 11:27 AM   #141
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"One question I have is do expats buy a car, lease one or long term rental?"

Well that depends on several factors. How long they intend to stay being the most obvious. Buying will over the long term be cheaper but not necessarily if you only end up staying 1 year. Buying and then selling after a year means you will take a hit on depreciation, have had to pay for any maintenance, pay for insurance, etc. Renting long term might work out cheaper in that case.

I don't know about Ireland but in the UK, it is common to rent directly from a car dealership like Arnold Clark for example. Personal Contract Hire - Arnold Clark Note, the also hire used cars which obviously will be cheaper.

It does seem that renting as separate from leasing does exist in Ireland as well. I found this: Long Term Car Rental Ireland | Dan-Dooley

Don't forget, you do not have to change your license for that first year either, you can drive on your US license. It might make sense to rent for a year and then re-assess your plans.

I found your comments re Italy amusing DFA. "We looked at Italy, but earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, and flooding over the last couple of years changed our mind. Language is another issue."

Other than volcanoes (and including language) you could be talking about California.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:29 AM   #142
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We were writing at the same time Alan.

For your 6-7 month visit to the UK you may want to look at renting rather than leasing as I have just written.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:40 AM   #143
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We were writing at the same time Alan.

For your 6-7 month visit to the UK you may want to look at renting rather than leasing as I have just written.
Thanks for posting the link to the car hire. As I say I haven't decided yet on a long term rental or car purchase. The difference this next time is that if we bought then the car would winter over in England, being looked after by my sister and BIL. While on travels this last 5 years our son looks after our car in the USA, using it every month for a few days to go to work.

If we were not setting up a permanent residence then I doubt we would consider buying a car and selling it before we return, but for the 12 month stay that DFA is considering then I would definitely think about buying and then selling at the end.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:18 PM   #144
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On what basis can you retire in Ireland? I can see you getting an extended "leave to remain" with enough income and insurance, but that's not very permanent. Would you intend to stay a long time or just be a long term visitor?
One can retire anywhere, but more to your point, if we decide to stay in Ireland long term we would fulfill the requirements for citizenship which I have read and the requirements are not very difficult to meet. The retirement plan has a separate spreadsheet for Ireland including a budget that meets our needs and the requirement to remain in Ireland and not become a burden to the state. If we decide not to stay the world is our buffet to try something else.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:25 PM   #145
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Other than volcanoes (and including language) you could be talking about California.

Been there many times for work too, would never consider living there for the same reason and more.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:25 PM   #146
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You can pay Road Tax and insure in the UK for 6 months Alan. You can then park it in a garage with no Road Tax paid and 'out of use' insurance. If your sister drives it then obviously you(or she) will have to pay the Road Tax and insurance.

Besides the depreciation if DFA bought for a year and then sold, the insurance for that first year with 'no driving history' in Ireland will probably be a signifigant number. There are also other factors that come into play.

Residence is one. DFA may be OK on that one since they plan to rent for a year but might find they have to be there a couple of months before they can get car insurance. Read some comments here (not all are correct obviously since they differ): Ireland Expat Forum ~ Car Insurance help needed PLEASE


Car insurance varies greatly in the UK (and perhaps similarly in Ireland) depending on your postal code and just where you park the car. If the postal code of where you register the car to is in what is considered a high risk area you will pay signifigantly more for insurance. The same applies if you park on the street, in a driveway or in a garage. In a garage might cost the most! 10 secret ways to slash the cost of your car cover | Moneywise
For your 6 months in the UK Alan you will also have a residence issue if you buy. You can give your Sister's address obviously and might get to buy insurance doing that. BUT, buying insurance does not mean you have coverage! For example, have a major accident with you at fault and someone seriously injured and the insurance company starts taking a serious look because there is a serious claim. Suddenly, they discover you are not in fact a 'residen't and therefore you are not covered. It does happen.

This is not a simple issue. Another factor is 'no claims bonus' and 'driving history'. Both the UK and Ireland have similar systems I believe. So first thing is to have a letter on letterhead from your current insurance company in the US, stating that you have '5 years with no claims'. A UK insurer may accept that letter from a US insurer or may not. Read here: 70% No claim discount for 5 or more claim free years

They say, "We will accept a renewal invitation, or a letter of proof from a previous UK, Channel Island or Isle of Man insurer." Their highlighting, not mine, which indicates to me that is ALL they will accept. Look at the discount - 70%! If you cannot get that discount, you can see how much higher your insurance cost will be, ie. $300 with discount or $1000 without the discount. When I bought a car in the UK, I had to pay the $1000 rather than the $300 (example numbers only) and build up that 5 year history.

I had the opposite problem when coming to Canada from the UK. I had a letter stating '5 years no claims'. The Canadian insurers refused that letter because in the UK, you can BUY continuing 5 years no claims bonuses by paying an additional premium. Canadian insurers know that and so insisted that I had to get a letter stating, '5 years no ACCIDENTS'. It took me several months, a dozen phone calls or so and several letters before I could get it sorted out.

What postal code you register the car to can result in higher insurance cost if it is considered a higher risk area. Parking on the street, in a driveway or in a garage can result in higher or lower costs. In some cases parking in a garage increases the cost!
10 secret ways to slash the cost of your car cover | Moneywise

I drove a classic car in the UK. It was cheaper to insure. So can a campervan be. My point is that understanding the insurance market in another country is not simple. Assuming it is similar to 'home' is never a good idea, just like assuming any other factor of living in another country is similar to home.

I did an edit and somehow some things here got mixed up. Sorry for that, I'm not going to try and correct it, the info is here but some in incorrect order.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:47 PM   #147
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Having a car limits the places you can stay, doesn't it?

Probably expensive to park in old city centers.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:52 PM   #148
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Umm, was that a serious question explanade? Having a car is no more limiting than not having a car. Try living in the countryside without a car.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:00 PM   #149
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Yeah it is a serious question.

It's one thing if you're living in a village or a small town (although a lot of smaller towns in Italy and elsewhere either limits or prohibits car traffic in the center except to residents with permits) and have detached homes with plenty of space to park.

Try to park in the center of London or Paris. Or even smaller cities like Florence or Nice.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:42 PM   #150
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How is that more limiting than not having a car? If we agreed a car limits you in a city and a not having car limits you outside of a city, do you not see that as equal? Everything limits something one way or another.

Another though on cars for you Alan and DFA. I've owned several classic cars in my life. One reason is resale value. If you buy a new or near new car, it depreciates. If you buy the right classic car it appreciates. I've never lost money on one yet.

Here's the 'trick' though. NEVER restore one. You will never get back out the money you put into it. Always buy one that has been fully restored by someone else. The 1980 TR7 I had in the UK was originally from Texas (no rust). A guy in the Lake District of England who was an engineer, had it shipped over and then did a complete body off restoration. Besides everything else, he replaced every single piece of rubber on the car. When you closed the doors they 'clunked' like a new car, not 'clanged' like loose doors on an old car if you know what I mean. When I bought it, you could have eaten dinner of the underside (as the saying goes). I drove it for 6 years without any repairs. Only costs, a new battery and normal service.

What's more, as it was left hand drive being from Texas and he didn't convert it to right hand drive, that meant the price in the UK was lower as it was less desireable for UK drivers. But no problem for me. It also meant it was better for taking to Europe by ferrry and driving in mainland Europe.

I'm comfortable driving on either side of the road and refer to it as being ambiroadius (as in ambidextrious). The only problem was when passing in the UK. Since you are driving from the left side of the car and on the left side of the road, you cannot see around the vehicle in front of you to pass.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:09 PM   #151
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Another though on cars for you Alan..... If you buy the right classic car it appreciates. I've never lost money on one yet.
I know we're not going to discuss tax, but since you've brought it up, owning a classic car abroad is one area that has annoyed me. I came close to buying a spotless classic Aston Martin from a friend at an exceptionally good price.

Buy the car abroad, pay for it with funds from abroad, sell it abroad, and make a profit. It will be a capital gain for a US person, plus, if it's a real classic, there's the chance of NIIT if your gains for the year go above the threshold with no offsetting foreign tax, as well as the currency gain being included in the capital gain calculation. A real problem for Alan in the UK (no capital gain tax on the profitable sale of a motor vehicle to use as foreign tax credits).

As I said, I really find this aspect annoying, but at least you get the enjoyment of driving it on good scenic roads. Since you've made a profit on the classics you've owned, don't you agree?
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:02 PM   #152
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One can retire anywhere, but more to your point, if we decide to stay in Ireland long term we would fulfill the requirements for citizenship which I have read and the requirements are not very difficult to meet. The retirement plan has a separate spreadsheet for Ireland including a budget that meets our needs and the requirement to remain in Ireland and not become a burden to the state. If we decide not to stay the world is our buffet to try something else.
There are some places where it's relatively easy to get residence as long as you have enough money and others where it's a lot more difficult. Ireland is fairly liberal. You'd find it almost impossible to retire to the UK or Germany without an EU passport.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:01 AM   #153
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You'd find it almost impossible to retire to the UK or Germany without an EU passport.
I was under the impression for the UK that if you are willing to park 2 million Sterling in UK gilts you are good to go?


UK Investor Visa for Migration to the United Kingdom € VISA.UK.COM
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:32 AM   #154
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LARS, to retire to the UK at age 60 or over, you need only show you have income of 25k GBP per year without working AND demonstrate a tie to the UK. It may seem as if that 'tie to the UK' would make it difficult but in fact, it's a very loose 'tie'.
UK Immigration and Visa Services - Retirement Basically, you just have to have the money and say you are a 'student of British history' or something.

TheOAP, why on earth would you tell the IRS you had bought and sold a car in Europe? Do you look for ways to pay them more tax? Here is how I look at it, the law must not only be fair, it must be seen to be fair. Whenever the law is not seen by ME to be fair, I ask myself the moral question, is what I am doing morally OK or not? If the answer is yes it is, I carry on and ignore the law. Buy a car in the UK or Ireland, sell it there eventually and tell no one. No one is going to rush out and tell the IRS other than YOU.

Driving a nice little classic sports car top down, over some alpine passes, is indeed enjoyable theOAP.Classic Car Tours International : French tours: SWITZERLAND/ALPS/STELVIO PASS TOUR 2013


Quite frankly theOAP, the more I read about the paranoia of Americans here, with the IRS and worldwide income, the happier I am that I am not an American. I'm just about at the point that I would advise anyone who is and plans to retire overseas, that they do everything they can to get another passport and renounce US citizenship. It ain't good for much other than living in the USA. Given that someone has chosen to retire and live in another country and assuming they 'stick', I'd say after a few years, dump the US citizenship and move on with life. Move all money, all investments out of the US. Leave only a government pension for them to tax you on as a foreign national. Stand up and show them that US retirees are not all wimps who think the IRS is omnipotent and omniscient.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:43 AM   #155
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LARS, to retire to the UK at age 60 or over, you need only show you have income of 25k GBP per year without working AND demonstrate a tie to the UK. It may seem as if that 'tie to the UK' would make it difficult but in fact, it's a very loose 'tie'.
UK Immigration and Visa Services - Retirement Basically, you just have to have the money and say you are a 'student of British history' or something.


I'm just about at the point that I would advise anyone who is and plans to retire overseas, that they do everything they can to get another passport and renounce US citizenship. It ain't good for much other than living in the USA. Given that someone has chosen to retire and live in another country and assuming they 'stick', I'd say after a few years, dump the US citizenship and move on with life. Move all money, all investments out of the US. Leave only a government pension for them to tax you on as a foreign national. Stand up and show them that US retirees are not all wimps who think the IRS is omnipotent and omniscient.
Was not aware of the over 60 way in. Thanks. Certainly better than parking 2 mill sterling. Now I just have to get to 60

On the US passport front, and renouncing citizenship, won't that impact any SS you are entitled to as well as Medicare (should you ever return to US). Not small considerations for some...
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:12 AM   #156
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LARS, I'm having a bit of a rant obviously as I really find this paranoia about the 'rules' a bit over the top. I'm not an expert on US tax laws (thank goodness I don't have to be). I have no idea what your SS system has to say about paying your pension if you are no longer a citizen.

I can give you two other examples though to compare to. Canada will pay a government pension to you anywhere in the world. If you are 'non-resident for tax purposes', they will not tax you on it. They will just pay the full amount into any bank acccount in any country you tell them to and it is then up to you to do what you need to do about paying tax on it in that other country. The UK will pay their government pension anywhere, in the same way. Neither requires you to renounce citizenship for you to do that.

Someone else may know what would happen with your SS if you renounced citizenship. If they say you would lose your SS, that to me is just all the more reason to be thankful I'm not an American.

Re Medicare, no offense but frankly you wouldn't be losing much. The US is known for 2 things in terms of healthcare. It's crap unless you have money to pay for private insurance (I don't know if Obamacare has really impacted that or not) and the charges for a doctor or hospital visit are among, if not the highest, in the world. You can get the same care for far less money in many countries.

If you apply for travel insurance from another country, did you know that they ask this question, 'will you be travelling in countries not including the USA or including the USA? If you tick the box, 'including the USA', the price of travel insurance is higher. So an Australian for example, will pay more if they include the USA but less if they travel to Canada or the UK or France or Indonesia or anywhere else.

If you renounce citizenship, you would only be returing to visit obviously since you would no longer have the right to live there. I can go to the USA for 30 days as a tourist and pay $140 for medical insurance to cover that period of time. What does medicare cost you a month?
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:23 AM   #157
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...I'm having a bit of a rant obviously...
I find this discussion most intriguing!
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:33 AM   #158
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Sojourning.

Not currently at the age to get Medicare so I don't know premiums. Obviously others on the Forum will know from first hand experience.

I do know that SS will pay out even if you live (permanent) overseas. Just don't know what happens if you renounce: I can only assume you give up the right to collect.

For me personally, it is very hard to see a path that leads realistically to renunciation at this point in my life. For starters, DW would have none of it...

EDIT: Actually it does look like you can receive SS if you renounce. You are treated as a non-resident alien.

http://finance.zacks.com/can-former-...fits-7099.html
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:39 AM   #159
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LARS, to retire to the UK at age 60 or over, you need only show you have income of 25k GBP per year without working AND demonstrate a tie to the UK. It may seem as if that 'tie to the UK' would make it difficult but in fact, it's a very loose 'tie'.
UK Immigration and Visa Services - Retirement Basically, you just have to have the money and say you are a 'student of British history' or something.
The link doesn't point to an official UK government site. In fact, the independent means visa was discontinued in 2008. See the second page of this pdf, which is on an official UK government site:

http://tinyurl.com/mnbyo4y

The key quote is:

On 27 November 2008 the retired persons of independent means immigration category was closed to new entrants. This means people:
-cannot enter the UK in this category
-already here in a different category cannot switch into retired persons of independent means.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:40 AM   #160
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I'm having a bit of a rant obviously as I really find this paranoia about the 'rules' a bit over the top.
Sojourning, paranoia may sometimes be justified. Who are we to judge our American friends for their very real concerns? As an experienced traveller you may see reneging a citizenship as a practical benefit, but many people, myself included, would have emotional ties to their home country that could not be so easily severed. The tone of your posts suggests that you feel your knowledge and experience make you a superior authority. Your information is very helpful; your judgmental tone is less so. Please consider taking a less critical, less confrontational approach.

Meadbh (who has a bit of international experience herself)
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