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UK/US early retirees - advice wanted
Old 07-06-2011, 04:55 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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UK/US early retirees - advice wanted

Hello folks,

I am specifically looking for early retirees who are currently splitting their time between the US and the UK. I want to hear about their experiences and any advice they can give me (I want to do the same kind of split when FIRE). btw, I moved to California about 11 years ago from the UK. (UK & US passport holder)

Some thoughts on these would be great:
- health insurance, how did you manage this? NHS, private coverage etc
- splitting time, how do you do it?
- UK National insurance. (I have only worked one year in the UK, should I do additional NI contributions, is it worth it?).
- Anything else I should know to prepare for my FIRE? 17 years away, hopefully

Cheers.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:47 PM   #2
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Bump..any responses?
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patela6 View Post
Hello folks,

I am specifically looking for early retirees who are currently splitting their time between the US and the UK. I want to hear about their experiences and any advice they can give me (I want to do the same kind of split when FIRE). btw, I moved to California about 11 years ago from the UK. (UK & US passport holder)

Some thoughts on these would be great:
- health insurance, how did you manage this? NHS, private coverage etc
- splitting time, how do you do it?
- UK National insurance. (I have only worked one year in the UK, should I do additional NI contributions, is it worth it?).
- Anything else I should know to prepare for my FIRE? 17 years away, hopefully

Cheers.
We are recently RE'ed and hold UK and US passports. Our children live in the USA and we intend to remain in the US, but spend lots of time visiting in the UK. We are currently half way through a 7 month stay here (split between 2 UK tax years). Last year we spent 10 weeks over the summer, and it is the summer months we intend to spend over here from time to time.

Some thoughts on these would be great:
- health insurance, how did you manage this? NHS, private coverage etc. Our BC/BS HI covers us in the UK. We have been fortunate not to use it yet. They have provided a number to call for assistance but I would expect to go to a PCP and pay, then claim it back. There is a private hospital in their plan close to where we are at present. (Their website is good for looking up in-plan hospitals over here). You may look at travel companies including Amex for health insurance for a trip here, it's quite cheap I believe.
- splitting time, how do you do it? We only visit during the summer months.
- UK National insurance. (I have only worked one year in the UK, should I do additional NI contributions, is it worth it?). I would say not. I do have 18 years worth of credits from when I worked here so will get UK pension (SS)
- Anything else I should know to prepare for my FIRE? 17 years away, hopefully We have a UK bank account which is extremely useful to have. Not sure how easy it is to open from here as we have had it since long before we emigrated, but they handle us as ex-pats very well. (HSBC). Note that you if spend over 183 days in any one tax year or an average of 90 days/year over the previous 4 years then you are liable for UK taxes so you must keep careful records.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:52 PM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks for your post Alan...
What is BC/BS HI?
I have my old HSBC account still open...
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
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Blue Cross / Blue Shield Health Insurance.

Hang onto your bank account, after 9/11 it became extremely difficult to open new accounts.

You may know this, but if you receive interest on any savings account, you can file a form that you get from the bank to have them stop withholding taxes, but you have to remember to pay US taxes on it. (Interest rates are at historic lows so it is probably irrelevant for you at present)
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:11 PM   #6
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Blue Cross / Blue Shield Health Insurance.

Hang onto your bank account, after 9/11 it became extremely difficult to open new accounts.

You may know this, but if you receive interest on any savings account, you can file a form that you get from the bank to have them stop withholding taxes, but you have to remember to pay US taxes on it. (Interest rates are at historic lows so it is probably irrelevant for you at present)
I hardly have a few hundred in that HSBC account so should not be a problem...
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #7
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I hardly have a few hundred in that HSBC account so should not be a problem...
Absolutely, just file that fact away and remember it in 17 years when you start moving cash over to have your long stays there. Changes in exchange rates swamp any interest rates you may get, and since we visit the UK very regularly now I monitor the exchange rates and try to move money over in advance when the rates are favorable so that we are not totally at the mercy of day to day rates.

PS
I'm not usually very good at the timing of exchange rates
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