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Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Old Mar 23rd 2019, 4:29 pm
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Default Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Hi Everyone,

I wonder if you can share your knowledge with me? Our story is that, in my late 60's I have actually found the love of my life and we are planning to get married at the end of this year in the US. My wife to be is a US citizen.

Financially, I have a state pension in the UK and a work pension too. Are these transferable to be paid in the States, and if so would I keep a bank account over here for that or is there a method to have them paid into a US bank.


Thanks everyone.

Last edited by BEVS; Mar 24th 2019 at 5:03 am. Reason: I apologise. I have snipped the post , rather than copy it.
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 4:43 pm
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Hello and welcome to the forum. What an exciting and interesting story I
I cannot help with any health insurance or pension knowledge, but I am in Florida via marriage to a US citizen 15 years ago. Where in FL are you headed?
I will recommend keeping a UK bank account, I did not, and regretted it a few times for various reasons.
I know there are a few posters here that will be better placed to help you, and I am sure they will be along shortly.
All the best.
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 4:49 pm
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Hi Rich, and thankyou for the reply. We are thinking of the Gulf Coast side of Florida which we have visited several times on holiday and love. Thanks for your helo
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 6:32 pm
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Originally Posted by springchicken View Post

Financially, I have a state pension in the UK and a work pension too. Are these transferable to be paid in the States, and if so would I keep a bank account over here for that or is there a method to have them paid into a US bank.

You cannot transfer them. Don't believe anyone who says you can do this. There may be companies that claim they can but they will charge you fees and you'd end up in dodgy schemes that would cause a lot of tax trouble for you.

If you do chat with any company and they mention QROPS. Run away. (On the face of it QROPS sounds reasonable enough but when it comes to the US it's untenable.)

Depending on your pensions you can get them paid to your US bank account directly.
Or, you can have them paid into your UK account, if you're still allowed to maintain it.

Last edited by Hotscot; Mar 23rd 2019 at 6:35 pm.
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 8:13 pm
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Originally Posted by springchicken View Post
.... Financially, I have a state pension in the UK and a work pension too. Are these transferable to be paid in the States, and if so would I keep a bank account over here for that or is there a method to have them paid into a US bank. ....
It is perfectly possible to have your British pensions paid directly into a US bank account, others keep their British bank account and have their pension paid there. Either is possible, and in both cases you will need to let the pension company/DWP know that you have left the country and are not liable for UK taxes (assuming your pension is for the civil service, armed forces or similar government employment.

Assuming that you are retired and not planning to work/work much, then your situation appears to be a slam-dunk for a K-1 fiance visa, as most of the issues relate to not being able to work for a while after you arrive.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 23rd 2019 at 9:40 pm.
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 8:37 pm
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Originally Posted by springchicken View Post
Hi Rich, and thankyou for the reply. We are thinking of the Gulf Coast side of Florida which we have visited several times on holiday and love. Thanks for your helo
Sarasota is lovely and yes, it is a great place for well heeled retirees. My sister and brother-in-law live in Ft. Myers (not the city proper) and while homes there are in the $300K and $400K price range, mortgages for "elderly" buyers is easier to get. I'm 70, and my sis is 69. They purchased their home in Ft. Myers when BIL was 68 and sis was 63 with a substantial mortgage as they didn't want to take money from their retirement accounts.
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 8:38 pm
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Well, I was interested to find out background on the thread. Hope spingchicken comes back and adds more! An older immigrant is not something we see here often.
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 3:28 am
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

From the AARP website:
This implies that you will be eligible for medicare one year after you become a legal permanent resident

Q. I recently married a Canadian who has applied to become a permanent U.S. resident. Will he be able to get Medicare on my work record and pay the same rate as I pay, or will he have to buy into Medicare?

A. If your work record makes you eligible for full Medicare benefits, then your husband—whatever his nationality—will also be entitled to the same benefits at the same cost, provided he meets all the following conditions:

he is a legal permanent resident of the United States;

he has been married to you for at least one year;

he is age 65 or older.

But for people in other circumstances, the answer could be different.

If you do not qualify for Medicare on your own work record

To be eligible for Medicare at age 65 or older, you need at least 40 Social Security work credits. This generally means about 10 years of work. If you don’t have sufficient credits, your foreign spouse could obtain Medicare only if he or she becomes an American citizen or has lived as a legal resident in the United States for at least five years. Once those conditions are met, your spouse could then buy into Medicare by paying a premium for Part A hospital insurance—which people with enough work credits get for free—and paying the usual premium for Part B, which covers doctor visits and other outpatient services. In 2011, people buying into Medicare pay up to $450 a month for Part A coverage.

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Old Mar 24th 2019, 3:57 am
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Default re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Keep you UK checking account and maybe a savings account as it will likely be useful (and impossible to open one once you leave).

If you have any savings that are in anything other than a straightforward cash account, a bond or individual shares then liquidate them before you become a legal permanent resident and subject to US taxes. This means an ISA (cash or otherwise) and any form of investment fund (Unit Trust, OEIC, Investment Trust). These types of investment are subject to onerous reporting requirements and taxation. Best to cash them in and reinvest in US based funds before this becomes an issue. If you keep them you will be subject to gains accumulated before you even got to the US. Bonds are ok as are shares directly owned in individual companies.

If any gains on your house will be less than $250,000 ($500,00 if married) and it was your residence then you should have no tax consequences on selling your home, but if you make more than that then you will want to sell that as well before you become a legal permanent resident or you may face an unwelcome bill. If you have a mortgage to pay off it is possible that you could be liable to assumed foreign currency gains made when you pay off your mortgage. This applies even though you probably took your mortgage out years ago.

I would contact a financial advisor that deals in US taxes as soon as you can and review your situation. I believe there are quite a few over in the UK. I do not know of any personally, perhaps others can help. An hour or two with someone could help you avoid some very unfortunate tax consequences. Many people who have moved over here find out about all of this too late.

Anyway, congratulations on your upcoming marriage and new adventure.
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Moving to Florida

Hi there SpringChicken and welcome to the wonderful world of British Expats. I'm of a certain vintage myself but we are forever SpringChickens from 40 - 100 at least.

I think it is so wonderful that you have found the love of your life. That is a bit special and does not come along every decade as many of us know.

As you will see I accidentally deleted some of your post. Call that a senior moment. I was trying to see the wood for the trees among all the helpful replies offered. Please do repeat what you wrote. I promise not to get wiping with the blackboard rubber again. Ihave PMd and emailed about this and hopefully to help.

Please do ask on here about anything and everything regarding a new life in Florida with your soon to be wife.

For anything about visas PLEASE CLICK HERE - MARRIAGE VISA HELP. That takes you to the USA Immigration and visa forum which is where those that can help and advise on this will be. Honestly and truly , it will be really very helpful.

For all other sorts of stuff like health, pensions, favourite cereal, comfy flip flops and the like , you can ask in here just as you have done. You did the exact right thing which many do not.

I wish you all the luck in the world and beyond SpringChicken. It is rare in life to find true love and so worth hanging on to. I didn't myself marry until I was 40 odd.

All the best of.....
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Sarasota is lovely and yes, it is a great place for well heeled retirees. My sister and brother-in-law live in Ft. Myers (not the city proper) and while homes there are in the $300K and $400K price range, mortgages for "elderly" buyers is easier to get. I'm 70, and my sis is 69. They purchased their home in Ft. Myers when BIL was 68 and sis was 63 with a substantial mortgage as they didn't want to take money from their retirement accounts.
Just curious - what were the circumstances under which they'd rather borrow money than use their retirement accounts to buy? I assume they were getting consistently above 5% return on their retirement, and thus felt it was better to use mortgage money? I'm semi-retired myself and just bought a place with cash, assuming it's not worth borrowing any longer since the tax breaks are no longer as relevant. Just wondering if I'm missing something obvious here!
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Just curious - what were the circumstances under which they'd rather borrow money than use their retirement accounts to buy? I assume they were getting consistently above 5% return on their retirement, and thus felt it was better to use mortgage money? I'm semi-retired myself and just bought a place with cash, assuming it's not worth borrowing any longer since the tax breaks are no longer as relevant. Just wondering if I'm missing something obvious here!
High risk investments are producing much more than mortgage rates.

Currently.

Well my assumption.
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Just curious - what were the circumstances under which they'd rather borrow money than use their retirement accounts to buy? I assume they were getting consistently above 5% return on their retirement, and thus felt it was better to use mortgage money? I'm semi-retired myself and just bought a place with cash, assuming it's not worth borrowing any longer since the tax breaks are no longer as relevant. Just wondering if I'm missing something obvious here!
Their mortgage was under 4 percent. Made more I'm their ML investment account.
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Yep comparing apples and oranges.
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Florida - all sorts of assorted questions but not visas.

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Just curious - what were the circumstances under which they'd rather borrow money than use their retirement accounts to buy? I assume they were getting consistently above 5% return on their retirement, and thus felt it was better to use mortgage money? I'm semi-retired myself and just bought a place with cash, assuming it's not worth borrowing any longer since the tax breaks are no longer as relevant. Just wondering if I'm missing something obvious here!
Even though SALT taxes are no longer deductible, last year our daughter in LA still decided that a mortgage of $500k at 4.5% was worth having even though she could afford to pay it off. However, she is in one the highest tax brackets so the returns on a lower taxable income are good for her. (Under the new tax laws interest is now only tax deductible on mortgages up to $500k).
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