Should We Stay Or Should We Go


The question of staying stateside or going overseas is one that many people pose to themselves as they think about and plan for retirement.

Many American retirees do pack up and relocate to foreign countries. In fact, as of April 2019, the Social Security Administration was sending 685,000 payments to beneficiaries overseas. That’s a 40% increase over the past 10 years and is considered to be just the tip of the iceberg, according to the Social Security Administration, due largely to the fact that many Americans who are living abroad still have their Social Security checks deposited into their banks in the states.

Financial Planning For Life Overseas

One of the major draws for Americans to retire overseas is the cost of living. Living on a fixed income in some foreign destinations will allow many Americans to live like royalty or at least richer than they can in the U.S.

If you truly do dream of retiring in another country, your financial planner will need to take that into account. There will be many laws that must be understood and other financial considerations depending on the country of your dreams. And, if you currently have an estate and asset protection plan in place, that too will certainly need to be geared toward the laws of whatever country you set your sights upon.

Important Things To Know Before You Decide To Go

I recently read an interesting article that every aspiring expat should read at As the article points out, “To manage your money, you will need to understand how the U.S. tax laws interact with taxes in your new overseas home. You also must figure out how you will handle your banking and investments, including your IRA, while you’re abroad.” The article recommends, “One of your first steps is to establish online access to your investments, bank accounts and other financial resources in the U.S.”

Simplifying your financial life as much as possible well before you leave so that you can easily perform all of your transactions online is a great idea. Some Baby Boomers and others approaching retirement age are simply not comfortable using the computer for financial transactions. However, now is the time to get comfortable. You don’t want to wait until you’re overseas to learn how to interact online with your financial institutions.

You’ll also want to identify a well-qualified estate planning attorney in the country you are targeting for retirement. This really needs to be done at least a year or more before you relocate. This does not mean that you have to abandon your U.S. based estate planning legal counsel. It simply means you’ll want to coordinate between the two countries where there may be estate tax and inheritance claims of jurisdiction over assets and beneficiaries.

Uncle Sam Will Be Right There With You

It’s true, your obligation to pay U.S. taxes does not go away just because you do. “Whether you retire in Panama or Paris,” says the article, “Uncle Sam will be your traveling companion.” Very likely you will have to file a tax return in the country where you decide to retire and one in the U.S. Many retirees are not aware that they could be subject to double taxation, depending on your individual financial situation and the tax rules of your new home.

Awareness Is Key

Good planning is important for a comfortable retirement no matter where you retire. But it’s especially important when going to a foreign country that your financial plan, estate plans, asset protection plans, and wills, are going to be appropriately administered in your new place of residence. Awareness of the laws that affect you financially, and otherwise, is always the key to good planning whether you stay on American soil when you retire or go elsewhere.

Investment Advice offered through William Joseph Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm headquartered in the State of CT and registered in CT, NC, GA, TX, and FL. Additional services offered through non-affiliated companies. | Lower fees for comparable services may be available from other sources. | PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE OR RESULTS | NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NO BANK GUARANTEE |NOT A SOLICITATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY SPECIFIC INVESTMENT, STRATEGY, OR SECURITIES. 
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Investment Advice offered through William Joseph Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisory Firm (RIA) registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Lower fees for comparable services may be available from other sources. Sabrina Scott is an Investment Advisor representative of William Joseph Capital Management, LLC. Red Feather Financial and its representatives provide insurance services separate from William Joseph Capital Management LLC. Red Feather Financial is not affiliated with William Joseph Capital Management LLC.