Traditional/ Roth IRA for Non-US Citizens

Hello brother,
I hope everything is good with you. Just a quick question and I hope if any of the PFC members are non-US Citizens and planning to temporarily stay in this country this may add some value to them as well… I am a non-US Citizen and I would eventually move back to my country in a couple of years but definitely way before I turn 59 and a half years old. So, in this situation do you suggest opening an IRA (either ROTH or traditional) account as a better option to invest and save money? Please let me know your thoughts…

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I am also a non US citizen, not sure what my plans will be for the future but from the research I did online it is not a problem to open an IRA as non us citizens. I am planning to open an IRA in january, I don’t know where my future will be but I can’t sit and wait to see how things develop it means loosing precious years of compound interest.

The biggest concern (which is also valid if you would open a brokerage account) is the tax situation. Right now I reside here so I get taxed here, but if I would move back to my country I may be also taxed there due to foreign income. In most cases there are tax treaties in place, so you may want to find out first what would be your situation.



Thanks for your thoughts. Exactly, I have the same concern and I do not want to miss all these years… But, I heard that if you move out of the country permanently you can only access the brokerage account but, can not invest any more into it (unless if you have an active US bank account- which might be illegal (not sure though)).

Following that, I am concerned if we will be able to keep our US bank account active even if we move out of the country permanently. And I see you are planning to open an IRA in January (THANKS for sharing) and I would try to open one as well- Just waiting to get some clarification on the US bank account (if I can still have it active once I leave this country).

I would like to add another key concern to this discussion and your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. # Let’s say, I am opening an IRA account and moving back to my home country in a couple of years. For any IRA accounts, I would be able to cash out only after 59 and a half years old (without any penalties or taxes). In that case, if I do not have an active US bank account- How will I get the money back to me after I turn 59 and a half years old?

Thanks for all your thoughts and I am really happy to have this discussion here. Since I strongly believe that this will be of some help to all the non-US citizens out in this community…

Hi, I found this article online very useful.

Anyway I do not believe it is illegal to have US bank account if you do not live here anymore, I had one while I left for a period of one year and I have never heard of this practice to be illegal. You can’t open a new bank account if you do not live here but I am sure it is not illegal to keep a US bank account open once you leave,

IRA and similar accounts behave as normal bank accounts. If you send funds into your IRA and do not press the invest button, your money will sit in the account like in a normal checking. IRA accounts as well as a 401k can have money transferred to another account including to a foreign one.

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Thanks, Cristina. The link is a good source and has really good information. But, I believe having an account in Vanguard is not flexible enough when compared to Fidelity. I have attached a forum’s link that has information on that. What do you suggest Vanguard or Fidelity- Considering our case as a primary scenario.

Fidelity may be more flexible. From the information I was able to gathere online is pretty normal that if you do not reside in the us you can’t keep investing in a us brokerage/retirement account. If you leave the country and reside somewhere else most likely your accounts will be frozen. Meaning you are free to keep the money where they are but you can’t invest more, and you should be able to take them out of course.

I have not started to reaearch well into which broker is my next step. Will keep you posted.

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I have heard of a few brokerage firm that are friendlier towards foreigners: TD ameritrade, Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers.

As of now you are a resident therefore you can open an account, what is up to understand is what happens when you leave and tax traties.

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