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Question about changing Brokerages
Old 07-22-2021, 09:08 AM   #1
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Question about changing Brokerages

I am currently an educator and have decided to live overseas when I retire early in 5 years.
I am currently with Vanguard with a tIRA, Roth IRA and 403b Roth account.
I discovered that Vanguard will close the account from further investment if living overseas.
I learned that Charles Schwab has an International version that is friendly to Expats living overseas and there seems to be benefits of being penalty-free when it comes to fees of withdrawals/debit transactions when done overseas.

So it would make sense to move my investments over to Schwab. It appears that while my 403B has a large variety of Brokerages available, C. Schwab is not one of them.

So, my question is, is it better to do transfer my funds NOW or wait until I retire here in the States and then move it over to Schwab if there's no difference?
If there are fees to move this over, are the fees bigger if your portfolio is $bigger$?

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-22-2021, 10:13 AM   #2
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I would just wait and continue contribution to your 403b and any other accounts through current Vanguard. Then at the time of retirement, you can just do an IRA rollover from the 403b to a regular traditional IRA account. Then you can switch brokers to whoever works best for your situation.
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:29 AM   #3
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5 yrs is a while. More could chg between now and then. Id wait until something forces your hand.
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:59 AM   #4
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1) Call Schwab and confirm what you think you know.

2) Consider moving assets soon if current 403b investment options and/or account fees are unacceptable.

3) Don't wait until the last minute if you need to move for logistical reasons. Maybe move a year early to make sure any surprises can be easily dealt with.

4) Fees to move account assets are usually nominal and fixed; typically under $100. Your 403b information should specify. Commonly the receiving brokerage will pay the fees.

5) Web pages and SGOTI are not your best sources for making decisions. Call the brokerage houses and get your education. Take detailed notes including date, time, name of agent and employee ID, and what you were told. If you get fuzzy answers ask for the call to be escalated.
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:08 AM   #5
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Schwab's international version has some odd funding mechanisms, when you want to put money into the account.
This probably applies more for putting in foreign currency , than USA currency.

I wanted to deposit CDN $, and they had wiring instructions that were not compatible with CDN banks, Schwab would not take a CDN check and deposit it as CDN funds. Even if I agreed to a LONG hold on the funds. They just were not set up that way.

So check carefully as it may not work how you want it to work, once you are in the foreign country.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:12 PM   #6
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Once you leave the employer you can rollover the 403(b) to a Schwab IRA. If the account is from a past employer you can rollover now.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:31 PM   #7
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Are you planning to move to the EU? You may have problems with all brokerages in that case due to new laws concerning investments that are meant to provide safety to investors; but which have caused US brokerages to drop them instead.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:07 PM   #8
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One thing I would do is make sure Schwab will allow your expat account in the country you are planning on moving to. Schwab indeed has an international account and they accept many expats but there are some countries they will not allow. I would call and ask them.

It wasn't clear to me from your post if that step had been taken yet.
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