International Expats Seeking to Retire in the U.S. Face Challenges

From tax implications to pensions to investments, relocating to the U.S. poses some complex fiscal guidelines to navigate.

Whatever your reason for retiring to the U.S. or anywhere abroad – adventure, easier way of life, climate, family, or lower cost of living – it’s imperative to consider all financial implications before making that leap across the pond.

So, what financial issues should expats consider before moving to the United States?

-How long is your intended stay—is it a permanent one-way move or is there any possibility of returning to your home country? (eg. Citizenship vs Visa/Residency)

-Do you want to invest into the U.S. real estate market or are you going to rent?

-Are you relying on a fixed income from your retirement pension and, if so, will you be able to fully collect that while living abroad?

-Will you be double-taxed—will you have to pay taxes in your home country as well as the U.S.?

-How will you actually move your assets (large cash savings, bonds, stocks, bank accounts, cars, furniture and other real property) logistically? Consider shipping and Customs fees.

-How will inflation, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, and cost of living differences affect your bottom line?

-How much property/liquidity, if any, do you want to leave in your home country and how will you be able to access them?

-How do you manage transfers, payments, and transactions between dual bank accounts internationally?

-Will you work at all in the U.S. and how are you going to do that legally?

-How will you build your credit profile in the U.S. to obtain broader purchasing power in the future?

-What are the foreign tax compliance implications (eg. Fatca) to consider?

-What loopholes in the tax code might be advantageous to you when seeking financial services abroad?

It can be an overwhelming experience to move abroad so experts recommend the single most important step you can do is consult an international financial advisement firm, like Aisa Group, to explore all of your options for the easiest, most cost-effective, and most successful transition.


The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. You should contact a qualified and ideally regulated adviser in order to obtain up to date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. If you do not then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not accept any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.


Chris Lean

Chris is a Chartered Financial Planner who writes blogs and articles to simplify and explain some of the financial issues that affect UK expats. Subjects include; hot topics, regulation and the ever-changing world of finance.

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