Americans and green card holders living outside the U.S. face unique challenges. The global taxation that is applied to income, assets, and estates creates complexity and confusion. Even worse, many Americans find themselves with very limited resources to get the advice and services they need. Many international institutions have concluded that advising Americans is too difficult, while many U.S. based firms refused to take on clients who live outside the U.S., leaving families with limited options for support.
Families that intend to send their children to U.S. universities for higher education face significant and rapidly increasing costs. The U.S. remains one of the most expensive education markets in the world, where the parents of a child born today can expect to spend more than $500,000 USD for four years of private undergraduate education. In addition to high costs today, the cost of tuition in the U.S. has increased nearly twice the pace of inflation. We recommend parents assume a 4-6% rate of inflation or more each year. Fortunately, there are some tax advantaged options for saving towards this goal.
If you are a US person living abroad or have a US spouse, have a green card or even invest within the US, there are considerable tax and cross border planning issues to consider. All cross-border families need to have a strategic investment plan, properly arranged and synced with a custom-tailored cross-border estate plan to protect their assets.
Planning for your eventual financial freedom – where you live off your assets rather than your income – is one of the crucial tasks that many investors undergo in their careers. While there is no “one size fits all” solution to retirement planning, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid along the way.