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Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Old May 18th 2020, 12:46 am
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Default Moving back to the UK after 10 years

I have decided to move back to the UK after 10 years in the US - missing family and friends, job not looking good etc etc.

I have a few questions:

1 - I don’t plan on shipping furniture but have more than two suitcases of clothes and some other things that I want to bring back. What’s the best method to get them home? Is there such a thing as a mini shipping container rather than using mail. Speed is not an issue

2 - how easy is it to transfer money from US to UK, I am selling my house. Should I just use my US and UK banks ?

thanks in advance!

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Old May 18th 2020, 6:26 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Hi.

Have a look into movecube https://www.sevenseasworldwide.com/en-au/shipping/ - they move boxes (and other items) also. I know you may not have a flight as of yet, due to current restrictions, but also explore excess baggage with your airline depending on how much you have to move. Sometimes amazingly this can be less expensive than sending items separately with a moving/courier company. If you're a higher tier frequent flyer some airlines allow for excess baggage free of charge. Again with current restrictions this may have stopped - you'll need to check with your airline.

I use Transferwise https://transferwise.com twice a month for transferring funds (for about three years now). You'll need to have bank accounts in both the country you're leaving and UK.
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Old May 18th 2020, 7:42 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

I also use Transferwise very regularly. We live in the UK and I have US private pensions paid into my US bank account. Not all US banks allow overseas addresses for their customers so I would check up ahead of time. We had to change our US bank because of this and doing so if needed before leaving the USA is a must. Similarly with brokerages handling IRA or 401k. Make sure they support overseas customers before moving back.
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Old May 18th 2020, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by AnnaP10 View Post
I have decided to move back to the UK after 10 years in the US - missing family and friends, job not looking good etc etc.

I have a few questions:

1 - I don’t plan on shipping furniture but have more than two suitcases of clothes and some other things that I want to bring back. What’s the best method to get them home? Is there such a thing as a mini shipping container rather than using mail. Speed is not an issue

2 - how easy is it to transfer money from US to UK, I am selling my house. Should I just use my US and UK banks ?

thanks in advance!
https://upakweship.com/ - look at their ucrate service - worked well for me.

Transferwise

Also check you have the 40 credits in your SS statement so you will get a US state pension in the future - 40 credits is normally 10 years.
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Old May 19th 2020, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
Also check you have the 40 credits in your SS statement so you will get a US state pension in the future - 40 credits is normally 10 years.
If you have less than 40 credits you can apply for benefits based on the Totalization Agreement between the United States and United Kingdom. You qualify for U.S. Social Security benefits (not Medicare) based on combined credits from both countries.
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Old May 19th 2020, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by Still Game View Post
Hi.

Have a look into movecube https://www.sevenseasworldwide.com/en-au/shipping/ - they move boxes (and other items) also. I know you may not have a flight as of yet, due to current restrictions, but also explore excess baggage with your airline depending on how much you have to move. Sometimes amazingly this can be less expensive than sending items separately with a moving/courier company. If you're a higher tier frequent flyer some airlines allow for excess baggage free of charge. Again with current restrictions this may have stopped - you'll need to check with your airline.

I use Transferwise https://transferwise.com twice a month for transferring funds (for about three years now). You'll need to have bank accounts in both the country you're leaving and UK.
I was interested in this post as I live in the Cayman Islands and we send money home every month via Butterfield Bank to our Clydesdale account. We normally send in the region of £500/600 and it costs about £30/40 at a time. Is transferwise a better idea?
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Old May 19th 2020, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
I was interested in this post as I live in the Cayman Islands and we send money home every month via Butterfield Bank to our Clydesdale account. We normally send in the region of £500/600 and it costs about £30/40 at a time. Is transferwise a better idea?
it is not the fees that matter it is what you get in £ in your bank. I just looked at Transferwise now and if I were to send $1,000 from my US bank to my UK bank the fees are listed as $10.88 and I would receive £807.97. Whenever I do a transfer the figure shown in £s is exactly what I get in my UK bank. Yesterday I initiated a transfer of $10k at about 9am UK time and later that day £8,220.79 arrived in my UK bank.
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Old May 19th 2020, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by AnnaP10 View Post
I have decided to move back to the UK after 10 years in the US - missing family and friends, job not looking good etc etc.

I have a few questions:

1 - I don’t plan on shipping furniture but have more than two suitcases of clothes and some other things that I want to bring back. What’s the best method to get them home? Is there such a thing as a mini shipping container rather than using mail. Speed is not an issue

2 - how easy is it to transfer money from US to UK, I am selling my house. Should I just use my US and UK banks ?

thanks in advance!
Hi Anna. As others have said, Transferwise is popular and reliable with good rates. If you're moving a large amount of money such as the proceeds from the sale of your house, it would be worth your while to check the FX rates of a few companies. I use OFX but there are quite a few around. Even a small difference in the FX rate really adds up when you're transferring large sums. Best of luck with your return home.
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Old May 19th 2020, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
it is not the fees that matter it is what you get in £ in your bank. I just looked at Transferwise now and if I were to send $1,000 from my US bank to my UK bank the fees are listed as $10.88 and I would receive £807.97. Whenever I do a transfer the figure shown in £s is exactly what I get in my UK bank. Yesterday I initiated a transfer of $10k at about 9am UK time and later that day £8,220.79 arrived in my UK bank.
Wow! That is far better than the useless crowd at Butterfield. They are notoriously unreliable. We are likely returning home early next year with savings. Might have to have a look at transferwise instead of using the bank account.
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Old May 19th 2020, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
Wow! That is far better than the useless crowd at Butterfield. They are notoriously unreliable. We are likely returning home early next year with savings. Might have to have a look at transferwise instead of using the bank account.
I have an HSBC USA and UK account and they brag about their zero fees for an in-bank international transfer but Transferwise beats them every time by tens of pounds each time I compare. I did use HSBC for the transfer of our house funds which was very large and they gave me a good rate.
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Old May 20th 2020, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
I was interested in this post as I live in the Cayman Islands and we send money home every month via Butterfield Bank to our Clydesdale account. We normally send in the region of £500/600 and it costs about £30/40 at a time. Is transferwise a better idea?
You can carry out a comparison without having to actually go through with the transaction. Take a look apples and apples and compare. I just really like the easy of Transferwise and they're cheaper and faster than any bank I have personally used. I only send GBP or AUD to bank accounts in either Australia or UK. Takes literally one minute to make the transfer, is cheaper than the banks I have used and nine times out of ten it is there in my bank within seconds. It may be suitable for you but may not - just have a go at comparing and see what works out best.
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Old May 20th 2020, 7:41 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Originally Posted by Still Game View Post
You can carry out a comparison without having to actually go through with the transaction. Take a look apples and apples and compare. I just really like the easy of Transferwise and they're cheaper and faster than any bank I have personally used. I only send GBP or AUD to bank accounts in either Australia or UK. Takes literally one minute to make the transfer, is cheaper than the banks I have used and nine times out of ten it is there in my bank within seconds. It may be suitable for you but may not - just have a go at comparing and see what works out best.
That is exactly what I do when I compare my bank from time to time. Line up transactions in 2 windows to see the better deal then click cancel on one and submit on the other.
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Old Jun 13th 2020, 3:22 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK after 10 years

Transferwise offers "Borderless" US and UK banks accounts, no need to chase around the UK for a high street bank. You get a sort code and account number and can pay direct debits from your UK account. For your US account, you'll get a routing number and account number and you can accept direct deposits.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Jun 13th 2020 at 7:31 am. Reason: Sorry, not allowed on BE.
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Old Jun 19th 2020, 2:11 am
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Default Do I need a tax accountant to transfer monies ?

Hi everyone,

I have sold my house and am wondering if I need a tax accountant/advisor to help me transfer monies from my US bank to my UK bank (I know the limit is currently $10K but it’s more than this and am wondering if I will trigger any money laundering flags give the amount).
Is it just a case of notifying both banks or is it more complicated?

Thanks for the advice on moving and shipping, that’s now all sorted.
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Old Jun 19th 2020, 3:07 am
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Default Re: Do I need a tax accountant to transfer monies ?

Originally Posted by AnnaP10 View Post
Hi everyone,

I have sold my house and am wondering if I need a tax accountant/advisor to help me transfer monies from my US bank to my UK bank (I know the limit is currently $10K but it’s more than this and am wondering if I will trigger any money laundering flags give the amount).
Is it just a case of notifying both banks or is it more complicated?

Thanks for the advice on moving and shipping, that’s now all sorted.
No the limit is not $10k, there is no limit for wires (nor for cash for that matter either, but you've obviously heard something, but you only have a small part of the story, suffice to say the $10k doesn't apply to you and your situation) and the surest way to trigger flags for concerns about money laundering is trying to "manage" the transfer to avoid triggering money laundering flags. What you DO need to do is to contact your bank in the UK that will receive the money and tell them that you are sending it, tell them how much (roughly) and that it is the proceeds of the sale of your house, and (if you do this by phone) do your utmost to get the person you are speaking to confirm that they have noted that in your records, and if they won't, or try to blow you off and say that it isn't necessary, ask to speak to a supervisor, to try to make sure that they have documented your explanation of the source of the funds.

The wire will be reported by your bank in the US, but that is (i) required and unavoidable, (ii) entirely transparent to you, you don't need to do anything, the bank takes care of that automatically and (iii) absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

And to make the transfer you certainly don't need an accountant or tax advisor - either register with an on-line FX broker remitter such as Transferwise (there are others - oandx, ex.com, xoom, etc.), or if you prefer the more traditional approach of using your bank, tell your bank you need to "send a wire", and have your bank name and account details in the UK ready to give them as the destination of the wire. You will probably be expected to sign form or release, so you may need to visit a bank branch. Assuming that you have more that about $50k to transfer you should tell whoever at the bank is helping you with the transfer, whether on the phone or at a branch that you "need a dealing desk rate" (use those exact words) and the will give the market rate for the exchange of dollars to pounds, as they would for a commercial customer, not the crappy retail/ tourist rate which would cost you an additional 3%-5%. Again, if the person you're speaking to doesn't understand "deal desk rate" ask to speak to a supervisor.

Oh, and do not try to talk to anyone at your bank about anything to do with money laundering flags or reporting requirements, if there is one way to cause your bank to get concerned about your transfer, and start digging into your records and background, it is to start asking them about money laundering rules and reporting, so just don't go there.

So to recap, (i) just make sure that your bank in the UK knows the money is coming, and (ii) tell your bank inthe US that you want to sent a wire to your bank in the UK using the dealing desk rate - and they will tell you what they need, asking questions of you, so just follow their lead, they do this every day.

I think that covers everything you asked.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 19th 2020 at 3:26 am.
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