Money Management Advice for Expat Retirees

Kiplinger (March 6, 2020)

Money Management Advice for Expat Retirees 

By Lisa Gerstner

'Steer clear of roadblocks. You may run into difficulties in both finding a bank account abroad and maintaining one in the U.S. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which went into effect in 2014, requires overseas banks to report to the IRS foreign assets held by U.S. taxpayers or face a stiff penalty. Some foreign banks refuse American customers because of the hassle, but 'that’s been alleviated somewhat' as banks have become more familiar with the law, says Marylouise Serrato, executive director of advocacy organization American Citizens Abroad (ACA).'

'One solution is to open a checking account that the State Department Federal Credit Union provides in partnership with American Citizens Abroad. Accustomed to serving employees of the U.S. Department of State, who work all over the world, the credit union offers the account to other Americans living abroad who have no domestic address. You must be a member of ACA to use the account (annual fee: $70, or $55 if you’re 65 or older).'

'Given the complexity of taxation for expats, enlisting help is almost imperative. 'You need a good accountant in the U.S. and one in your new country of residence,' says Reilly. Your U.S. accountant should be familiar with taxation for expats, and the tax pro you use in your new country should work regularly with U.S. citizens. The ACA offers a directory of tax services for expats.'