New immigrant with complicated situation

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hojatb
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New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by hojatb » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:37 am

Hi
We have immigrated to the US in January 2018. I tried to sell f my property in my origin country and move them here. I am married and have a 23 years child study in the university in the USA. I have a long history of work experience in my country (27 years) but not here in the US. I am 52 years and can not find a job with my experience and background yet. I have not worked in the USA, and then I don't have any retirement account. I have to pay my daughter expense and my family, and it will be for coming year around 150k include my daughter university tuition fee. unfortunately, my wife diagnosed with breast cancer three months ago, and she had a surgery and nowadays under chemotherapy. Because we have not had any insurance and income at that time, we have used Medicaid for covering our medical expenses, and it has continued yet.
We brought 1.5m USD and this is for living expense and also the investment.
we don't own any house in the USA and live in a rental apartment in NYC with 3500 USD per month.
our insurance is Medicaid.
I am seeking for a job and not found yet.
I read bogelheads' guide to investing and many other internet sources for investment.

1. is that better to buy a house or stay in the rental apartment until stable with a job?
2. I don't have any income then covered with Medicaid ? is that better not have any income to continue with Medicaid coverage until the end of my wife treatment. it will be last for a year with chemotherapy and more surgery.
3. if it is better to invest my money which type of investment is good for me especially with tax efficiency . I don't have any IRA or other tax-efficient accounts.
thank you very much

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HueyLD
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by HueyLD » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:12 pm

I am puzzled by your receiving Medicaid within the first year of immigrating to the U.S. How did the NY state decide to waive the customary 5-year waiting period?

Do keep in mind that the Department of Homeland Security has put out a draft regulation for public comments that will very likely deny green cards to legal immigrants who have received public assistance. See this link
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/09/22/dhs ... motes-self

Please proceed with care.

ExitStageLeft
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by ExitStageLeft » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:31 pm

Welcome to the US and welcome to the forum! I am sorry to hear about your wife's medical condition. I hope that the treatment is effective and you both enjoy a long healthy life together.

NYC is among the most expensive locations to live in the US. You might consider relocating to somewhere with a lower cost of living, if that otherwise suits your goals. Employment opportunities elsewhere may make a move worthwhile.

Typical advice on this forum is to have approximately 6 months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund, to carry you through a time of unexpected unemployment. In your case, you may want to hold at least a year or two of living expenses in a savings account earning at least 2% interest.

Furthermore, money needed to support your daughter's education should not be placed in the stock market. You'll want those funds to be available when needed and not subject to, say a 30% market downturn.

I would probably invest/save my money in the following ways:

$25k or less in a checking account

$250k in online savings account or certificates of deposit

Invest the rest in a taxable account set up with a brokerage that offers low-cost no-load indexed funds. I would consider a three-fund portfolio with about a 40% bond portion and about 33% of stocks invested in international markets. If you went with Vanguard, that would be

40% Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTSAX)
20% Vanguard Total International Market (VTIAX)
40% Vanguard Total Bond Market (VBTLX)

While you have no employment income, the tax-efficiency of the VBTLX bond fund should not be of much concern. You may however want to think long-term and consider other bond funds that are more tax efficient, or even a tax-exempt bond fund.

aqan
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by aqan » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:39 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:12 pm
I am puzzled by your receiving Medicaid within the first year of immigrating to the U.S. How did the NY state decide to waive the customary 5-year waiting period?

Do keep in mind that the Department of Homeland Security has put out a draft regulation for public comments that will very likely deny green cards to legal immigrants who have received public assistance. See this link
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/09/22/dhs ... motes-self

Please proceed with care.
I'd be concerned about above as well. in addition I'd do something about the rent and living expenses too if I didn't have a stable source of income.

TedSwippet
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by TedSwippet » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:00 pm

Welcome.
hojatb wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:37 am
We have immigrated to the US in January 2018. I tried to sell f my property in my origin country and move them here. ...
To be clear, did you already sell your previous home outside the US, or have you yet to sell it?

If you have not yet sold, you need to be very aware that when you do sell the US may make you pay federal capital gains taxes on the entire gain in your home's value from the date you bought it, including any phantom currency gains, even if most or all of those gains occurred before you even set foot in the US. You can exclude up to $250k of gains or $500k if filing jointly, but only if you lived in this house for two of the past five years. That may mean you need to sell before January 2020, if not sooner. (Either that, or do not sell at all and emigrate back out of the US before selling.)

More here from the IRS. There may also be NY state and local tax issues on top of this. I don't know enough about NY state taxes to comment further on that aspect of things.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:10 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:12 pm
I am puzzled by your receiving Medicaid within the first year of immigrating to the U.S. How did the NY state decide to waive the customary 5-year waiting period?
...
New York State, in part because of a decision by its Court of Appeals, the highest state court, provides a Medicaid equivalent for many, but not all, immigrants who haven't yet met the 5-year residency period, funded by its own revenues.

PJW

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HueyLD
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by HueyLD » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:35 pm

Thanks for the links.

TravelGeek
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:00 pm

Welcome to the US, and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery for your wife.

I would not buy a house until you have found a permanent job. If you buy before you have employment, you either limit your choice of job opportunities geographically or you risk having to move shortly after buying a place, which is usually costly. Also, not sure what the likelihood of a mortgage is without employment, so you might have to pay cash, thus having a significant portion of your net worth tied up in one property.

Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everyone in the US needs to own a home. There are many good reasons for people to rent even if they could in theory afford to buy.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hojatb
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:15 pm

Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by hojatb » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:41 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:12 pm
I am puzzled by your receiving Medicaid within the first year of immigrating to the U.S. How did the NY state decide to waive the customary 5-year waiting period?

Do keep in mind that the Department of Homeland Security has put out a draft regulation for public comments that will very likely deny green cards to legal immigrants who have received public assistance. See this link
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/09/22/dhs ... motes-self

Please proceed with care.
thank you for your all wishes and helps. I am sorry that I don't clarify. We settled in jersey city near Manhattan to be near my daughter. And apply for Medicaid in NJ, and they accept that. Maybe because of the unique situation of my wife. And also I got my PR several years ago but recently relocated utterly. I have some more property that I have to sell, but because of I am new immigrant it does not affect any tax issue.
Any idea about buying an affordable insurance policy for our situation?

hojatb
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:15 pm

Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by hojatb » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:57 pm

ExitStageLeft wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:31 pm
Welcome to the US and welcome to the forum! I am sorry to hear about your wife's medical condition. I hope that the treatment is effective and you both enjoy a long healthy life together.

NYC is among the most expensive locations to live in the US. You might consider relocating to somewhere with a lower cost of living, if that otherwise suits your goals. Employment opportunities elsewhere may make a move worthwhile.

Typical advice on this forum is to have approximately 6 months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund, to carry you through a time of unexpected unemployment. In your case, you may want to hold at least a year or two of living expenses in a savings account earning at least 2% interest.

Furthermore, money needed to support your daughter's education should not be placed in the stock market. You'll want those funds to be available when needed and not subject to, say a 30% market downturn.

I would probably invest/save my money in the following ways:

$25k or less in a checking account

$250k in online savings account or certificates of deposit

Invest the rest in a taxable account set up with a brokerage that offers low-cost no-load indexed funds. I would consider a three-fund portfolio with about a 40% bond portion and about 33% of stocks invested in international markets. If you went with Vanguard, that would be

40% Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTSAX)
20% Vanguard Total International Market (VTIAX)
40% Vanguard Total Bond Market (VBTLX)

While you have no employment income, the tax-efficiency of the VBTLX bond fund should not be of much concern. You may however want to think long-term and consider other bond funds that are more tax efficient, or even a tax-exempt bond fund.
is there any suggestion for reliable saving account bank with over 2% APY? I saw many bad reviews with 2.25 APY banks about the restriction on transactions or reducing rate suddenly.

ExitStageLeft
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by ExitStageLeft » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:53 pm

Ally Bank is one that gets mentioned often. I'm still a brick and mortar person, so no firsthand experience. You can search the Bogleheads web site using the search function at the top right of the web banner. I would try "ally bank" or "online bank" to get a good sense of people's impressions.

Caduceus
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by Caduceus » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:23 am

Is there any reason you have to live in NYC (do you have relatives there), or you intend to get a job there? Or your wife's medical treatment has to take place around there?

There are many places around NYC (even in New Jersey) that are just an hour's commute. It might make sense to explore cheaper rental options. You could easily get an entire apartment for $1,500 - $2,000 monthly rent in pretty good areas. I don't think you should buy a house until things are more settled.

hojatb
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by hojatb » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:44 am

My daughter attends the University of Columbia, and we want to be near her for a while. Also, my wife treatment started four months ago through a perfect team, and I want to follow with them because of the continuity of her treatment.
Relocating is very tough for us because of her illness.

hojatb
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:15 pm

Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by hojatb » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:59 am

Thank you for all response, but I need more help.
1. I saw many online banking like Marcus by Goldman that they have a steady increase in saving account good rates and still A+ credit. I try to open an account there to take advantage of 1.9 saving account rate. On the other hand, I want to open a CD account for the midterm because of tempting Rates over there. But I need to know what is the difference to buy a CD through Vanguard investment and CDs directly through banks. I saw that vanguard offer perfect rates over cd's as well, and they sound better than going directly to a bank for that.
2. I have an account in Chase, and they give me the opportunity for investment as I can open broker account and personal managment. What is the difference between opening an account directly in Vanguard and investing through Chase broker account on vanguard Mutual funds and ETF's.
3. as I said I leave in jersey city near Manhattan and need low-cost CPA CFA that I can trust her/him for Tax purpose and also some advice for my daughter and myself for midterm financial things. do you know good one near to introduce me?
Thanks

ExitStageLeft
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by ExitStageLeft » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:45 am

The key concern wherever you buy a CD is that it is covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corportation. Beyond that, look for whichever rates and features match your needs.

Vanguard CD's are covered: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/vbscddisc.pdf

Banking with Chase may end up being more convenient. You should make sure you've identified all fees associated with any investment account you establish.

Nate79
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by Nate79 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:51 am

I would be very careful in your financial position. I would really try to get your expenses down. What happens if you can't afford your daughters tuition? Get a cheaper place to live, don't buy.

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wabbajack
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by wabbajack » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:08 pm

hojatb wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:41 pm
thank you for your all wishes and helps. I am sorry that I don't clarify. We settled in jersey city near Manhattan to be near my daughter. And apply for Medicaid in NJ, and they accept that. Maybe because of the unique situation of my wife. And also I got my PR several years ago but recently relocated utterly. I have some more property that I have to sell, but because of I am new immigrant it does not affect any tax issue.
Any idea about buying an affordable insurance policy for our situation?
Please be aware that you are considered a resident alien and should have filed a US tax return every year since your got your PR (green card). There's a whole mess of tax issues to think about with regards to owning and selling foreign property as well. I cannot advise on anything more beyond that, except that I am fearful that you may not have though about this.

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celia
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by celia » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:11 pm

Some of our answers would be different depending on if you plan to return to your country of origin some day or not. For example, if you might return, it could make financial sense to hold onto your house in the other country and rent it out to relatives or someone you know well. Get the rental agreement in writing and make sure it includes how long they may stay there and who pays for repairs when things break.

You cannot open an IRA until you have earned income (working for pay). (An IRA may not make sense for you either if you return to your country of origin.) And you usually cannot work unless you have a green card. Do you have one?

As far as getting your own medical insurance, you can call up any insurance company and get an individual policy. Blue Cross/Blue Shield/Anthem (goes by different names in different parts of the country) is probably the largest medical insurance company. Start with the doctor your wife uses the most and ask their business office what insurance plans they accept the most. (They will accept money from any insurance company who wants to pay your bills but the companies they name first are likely the largest carriers in your area.) Insurance companies are no longer allowed to ask about pre-existing conditions, so your wife's care is irrelevant to obtaining insurance. Expect to pay about $1,000 per month for each of you, less for any other dependent children you may have on the same policy. (This is a very rough estimate, and others may offer other suggested prices.)

Be aware that in the US, there are basically two kinds of medical insurance plans. An HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) is a plan in which you agree to go to a limited list of doctors in exchange for paying a smaller monthly premium. Make sure your wife's doctors and hospitals are in the plan you choose, if you go this route. The other kind of plan is a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) where you can pay less if you use a doctor who has agreed with the insurance company to accept fixed prices or you can go to any other doctor who is not contracted with the insurance company and you will pay part of the higher cost of services received and the insurance will pay part of the cost. If your wife's doctors and hospitals are in an HMO plan, you can safely go with that and pay much less for your care. (This is where you would start with asking the doctor and hospitals which HMOs they are part of.)

gotester2000
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by gotester2000 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:36 pm

Sorry about your situation. Why do you not shift to a LCOL and rent ? You can get an insurance in the open market.
I am pondering - Why would you immigrate at retirement age leaving your country where you have been so successful? You could have lived a life of a very wealthy man. 1.5M may not be enough to retire in USA.

niceguy7376
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by niceguy7376 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:49 pm

gotester2000 wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:36 pm
Sorry about your situation. Why do you not shift to a LCOL and rent ? You can get an insurance in the open market.
I am pondering - Why would you immigrate at retirement age leaving your country where you have been so successful? You could have lived a life of a very wealthy man. 1.5M may not be enough to retire in USA.
This was my thought as well.
OP said there arent many jobs with their skill set.
Moving to USA and then paying for daughter's college itself would have scared me and then the unfortunate medical issue of spouse (but you had the coverage through a state plan )

hojatb
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by hojatb » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:11 am

I Know our situation is very complicated. Nowadays in many parts of the world, there are other things than living wealthy. yes, we had very wealthy living with the best lifestyle in our country, but now it is challenging to live there any more. I will try my best to find a job at least at the lower levels, but with my age also it is difficult to find. My wife health situation affects everything especially relocation is tough for me at least for the next one years.
Is that possible to invest half of my money under my daughter name to make tax consequence better ? she fills her tax forms last year separately. and it can help to reduce our tax payment. but I am worried about transferring big amount to her account make another tax problem.
what do you think? Do you know any CFA CPA in jersey city our Manhattan that I can trust? I know many firms but they are very expensive.
I heard about new INVESTMENT services from CHASE bank "YOU INVEST" it is new and want to compete with Vanguard. anybody hear about that?

Thanks

hafjell
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by hafjell » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:25 am

hojatb wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:11 am
I Know our situation is very complicated. Nowadays in many parts of the world, there are other things than living wealthy. yes, we had very wealthy living with the best lifestyle in our country, but now it is challenging to live there any more. I will try my best to find a job at least at the lower levels, but with my age also it is difficult to find. My wife health situation affects everything especially relocation is tough for me at least for the next one years.
Is that possible to invest half of my money under my daughter name to make tax consequence better ? she fills her tax forms last year separately. and it can help to reduce our tax payment. but I am worried about transferring big amount to her account make another tax problem.
what do you think? Do you know any CFA CPA in jersey city our Manhattan that I can trust? I know many firms but they are very expensive.
I heard about new INVESTMENT services from CHASE bank "YOU INVEST" it is new and want to compete with Vanguard. anybody hear about that?

Thanks
Keep it simple and legal. You can each legally gift her $10,000 per year. I don't think you can give her $750,000 legally.

Also, what are the tax consequences of investing under your own name?

Don't buy a house until your wife is healthy and you have a job. Find the cheapest place to rent that is safe. Once your wife is healthy and your daughter has graduated, move to a cheaper cost of living area. Even then, you may be better off renting until you find work.

(Any chance there is a stable country that shares a language/religion/culture with your native country? Could that be a good choice for retirement?)

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HueyLD
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by HueyLD » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:52 am

Since the OP lives near NYC, there is very likely a community group populated by people from his native country. This may be a good starting point to ask for advice.

Asking for advice doesn’t mean you have to follow every advice. Sometimes you have to be careful about someone who speaks your language but is hired to separate you from your money.

Life is almost always difficult for a new immigrant, and it is much harder for older immigrants. The OP may never find a job in this country due to his age unless he is willing to do absolute bottom of the barrel jobs that nobody wants to do.

Please don’t rush into anything. You have enough money to take your time for a while. As the old saying goes, things will work out eventually.

BoglePablo
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by BoglePablo » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:12 pm

Keep it simple and legal. You can each legally gift her $10,000 per year. I don't think you can give her $750,000 legally.
Not to be pedantic, just accurate: there is nothing illegal about gifting money, regardless of the amount. There are federal and in some cases state requirements regarding taxes on gifts, based on the amount.

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BL
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Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Post by BL » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:52 pm

hojatb wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:59 am
Thank you for all response, but I need more help.
1. I saw many online banking like Marcus by Goldman that they have a steady increase in saving account good rates and still A+ credit. I try to open an account there to take advantage of 1.9 saving account rate. On the other hand, I want to open a CD account for the midterm because of tempting Rates over there. But I need to know what is the difference to buy a CD through Vanguard investment and CDs directly through banks. I saw that vanguard offer perfect rates over cd's as well, and they sound better than going directly to a bank for that.
2. I have an account in Chase, and they give me the opportunity for investment as I can open broker account and personal managment. What is the difference between opening an account directly in Vanguard and investing through Chase broker account on vanguard Mutual funds and ETF's.
3. as I said I leave in jersey city near Manhattan and need low-cost CPA CFA that I can trust her/him for Tax purpose and also some advice for my daughter and myself for midterm financial things. do you know good one near to introduce me?
Thanks
2.
A bank is fine for banking but generally expensive for investing. V does have PAS for management at 0.3%/year, if you need it.

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