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I was just wondering what you have to do to transfer your savings if you decide to relocate to another country? Lets say I had a bank account at one of the major US banks, and I decided to relocate to Thailand and didn't plan on returning to the US. I'm assuming it would be expensive and risky to keep your money in the US bank (withdrawl fees and service issues etc.), so how would I transfer my entire nestegg to a bank in my new country of residence? And would I lose a chunk of it due to either taxes or fees?
Are there better options for this situation than picking a local bank in the new country?
Thanks in advance!
It depends on the country and bank. In some banks and countries, you can open an account as a tourist just using your USA passport. A couple of examples where this is probably still possible are Kasikorn Bank in Thailand or certain branches of Bank of Communications in China. You can opt to open just a local currency account or also have a USD account to.
Once the account is set-up, you just need to wire funds from your US bank using wiring details for your new account from you new bank. I believe with many US banks, you can transact the wire transfer by faxing them a signed form from overseas. You can choose to either have the money route to your US$ account in the foreign bank (if u set one up) or have it directly exchanged to local currency and deposited in your local currency account at prevailing exchange rates the moment it arrives.
You will pay a charge for the wire transfer and perhaps some minimal other fees with the total running from around US$25-50 per transaction.
If you have foreign account which ever total over US$10,000 in aggregate, you need to file FBAR forms for them to US Treasury by June 30 the following year. If the aggregate ever exceeds US$50,000, you will also need to provide detailed information (Form 8938 as part of FATCA initiative) for each account when you file your US taxes. If you are a bona-fide foreign resident, your first tax deadline gets automatically extended to end of June.
Thanks Rock!! Great information, and much appreciated sir.
Out of curiosity, what do you think of HSBC (the "World's Bank")? Would starting an account with them and just saving up my nestegg there be an easier or better way to do it? From what I understand it's cheap and easy to access your funds from anywhere in the world. Maybe it would be worth it if I could avoid paperwork hassles with the US treasury, and avoid having to transfer funds to a local bank in-country altogether.