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Moving Financially

Moving Financially

Old Oct 8th 2019, 11:22 am
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Default Moving Financially

Hi everyone!

I've just heard some good news regarding my application and things are beginning to progress finally. As a result I'm putting more attention into the logistics of the actual move. It would be really helpful to speak to a financial adviser regarding bringing my savings with me, but I'm not sure how to go about finding an appropriate professional who can assist me with it. Are there financial advisers out there that specialise in this sort of thing? Can anyone offer me a lead for this? Any advice regarding american banks would also be appreciated.
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Old Oct 8th 2019, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving Financially

For others reading, the OP is getting a K-1 fiance visa.

Rene
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Old Oct 8th 2019, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving Financially

Is investments or the actual process of moving the money, the later is pretty easy.
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Old Oct 8th 2019, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Moving Financially

What Boiler said, if it's just funds you're referring to then that's pretty easy.

Investments etc? You'd probably be better off speaking to your broker.
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Old Oct 8th 2019, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving Financially

If your savings are invested in Unit Trusts, OEICs or Investment Trusts sell them BEFORE you move. It does not matter how bad the exchange rate is or whether your funds are up or down. You will will be significantly better off selling, transferring the cash over and reinvesting in US based mutual funds. The taxation on these type of UK investments (identified as PFICs by the IRS) is punitive, complex and involves endless paperwork. Google PFIC taxation and you will get the picture. As others have said it is easy to transfer cash.

If you need help with making US based investments there are numerous financial companies with web sites that provide excellent research tools. Charles Schwab, Kiplinger, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are some that come to mind but there are many more out there.

Last edited by Glasgow Girl; Oct 8th 2019 at 7:10 pm.
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Old Oct 8th 2019, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Moving Financially

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl View Post
If your savings are invested in Unit Trusts, OEICs or Investment Trusts sell them BEFORE you move. It does not matter how bad the exchange rate is or whether your funds are up or down. You will will be significantly better off selling, transferring the cash over and reinvesting in US based mutual funds. The taxation on these type of UK investments (identified as PFICs by the IRS) is punitive, complex and involves endless paperwork. Google PFIC taxation and you will get the picture. As others have said it is easy to transfer cash.

If you need help with making US based investments there are numerous financial companies with web sites that provide excellent research tools. Charles Schwab, Kiplinger, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are some that come to mind but there are many more out there.
Excellent advice.

I would recommend investing in ETF’s rather than Mutual Funds. They are very similar to Mutual Funds but if you ever go back to the UK they are likely to be recognized by HMRC and not treated as PFIC’s for tax purposes.
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Old Nov 28th 2019, 7:43 am
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Default Re: Moving Financially

Thanks all! Although currently my money is all invested in ISAs, so is it good to move it or better to leave it where it is until I need it to avoid additional taxation?

Also when moving money from one country to another, do you do so through a particular service or just transfer straight into an account in the USA? I am a complete neophyte in this area 😳
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Old Nov 30th 2019, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Moving Financially

Originally Posted by Dotterelly View Post
Thanks all! Although currently my money is all invested in ISAs, so is it good to move it or better to leave it where it is until I need it to avoid additional taxation?

Also when moving money from one country to another, do you do so through a particular service or just transfer straight into an account in the USA? I am a complete neophyte in this area 😳
What sort of ISA, and what does it actually hold? Cash or stocks and shares, or unit trusts?

US taxation (the IRS) doesn't recognise ISAs as tax-free. It ignores the ISA wrapper and taxes the underlying investments. This means that if you just have cash there, it's treated like a bank account. If you have individual stocks and shares, they are taxed as such. If you have unit trusts or anything else that might be treated as a PFIC, sell as quickly as you can, the reporting costs will likely eat up much more than any profits.

There are also reporting requirements for US taxpayers for money and investments held outside the US from the FBAR and FATCA regulations:
- The FBAR (form FinCEN 114) minimum is "Aggregate value of financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year."
- The FATCA (form 8938) minimum depends on tax filing status, but I'm guessing yours is "Married individual filing jointly: Total value of assets was more than $100,000 on the last day of the tax year, or more than $150,000 at any time during the year."
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/compa...r-requirements
These are not difficult forms to fill in at tax reporting time, but it's still easier to avoid them.

Personally, I don't think it makes sense to keep an ISA open of any type if you are moving to the USA permanently, though it's not a big deal. The best interest rates on cash ISAs are slightly lower than the best rates on online savings accounts in the USA. Barclays US are currently at 1.8%, we use Marcus by Goldman Sachs at the moment, just dropped down to 1.7%. There are plenty of others that pay well, and some better than that, though these may be short-term promotional rates. More info here:
https://www.depositaccounts.com/savings/

Make sure you use a good money transfer service when you move the money to the US. The banks often use poor rates. Transferwise gets recommended here a lot, though there are others.
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Old Dec 4th 2019, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving Financially

Many people use transfer services like Transferwise or XE.com. Others just connect bank accounts i.e. HSBC UK and HSBC USA accounts. For the vast majority of my transactions (Hong Kong -> USA) I find the bank rate beats the third-party exchange rates, but for a more common currency swap (GBP->USD) you'll probably find better on the third party sites. You can transfer from say Standard and Chartered UK to say Citibank USA but it will have many fees and a very poor transfer exchange rate.

I would recommend keeping one bank account 'active' in the UK, even if it only has £5 in it or something like that. Can be useful should you ever come into some GBP from someone back home and need an outlet for it. It can be a real pain in the butt to reopen a UK bank account once you are settled in the USA, so best to keep one active if possible (maybe change the mailing address to your family or friend's address)

note: As a US 'person' in the eyes of US tax laws, you need to be aware of the FBAR and FATCA reporting requirements. These are US laws that say if you have >$10,000 USD in a foreign bank account, you need to file a report. FATCA is if you have more than $50,000 (roughly). It's slightly complicated, but I would recommend looking into the filing requirements for both of these once you get settled.
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