Investing in ETFs as German citizen while in the US on Visa, planning to return to Germany/EU

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Vanadate
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:37 pm

Investing in ETFs as German citizen while in the US on Visa, planning to return to Germany/EU

Post by Vanadate » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:44 pm

I am working since more than 2 years in the US on a Visa (resident alien for tax purpose). I have accumulated a lot of cash (>100,000) and thus would love to finally start investing in ETFs. However, in the near future (1-3 years), I would like to go back to Germany or, even better, move to Switzerland. I tried to do some research on how to invest in my situation, but it feels overwhelmingly complicated.

Is there a reasonable way to start ETF investing while I am in the US or should I wait until I am back in the EU?

typical.investor
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:17 am

Re: Investing in ETFs as German citizen while in the US on Visa, planning to return to Germany/EU

Post by typical.investor » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:05 pm

Vanadate wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:44 pm
I am working since more than 2 years in the US on a Visa (resident alien for tax purpose). I have accumulated a lot of cash (>100,000) and thus would love to finally start investing in ETFs. However, in the near future (1-3 years), I would like to go back to Germany or, even better, move to Switzerland. I tried to do some research on how to invest in my situation, but it feels overwhelmingly complicated.

Is there a reasonable way to start ETF investing while I am in the US or should I wait until I am back in the EU?
Overwhelmingly complicated?

To be honest, your situation is easy peasy compared to a US person trying to invest from Europe.

Use Interactive Brokers. When you move back, you can keep your holdings. If desired, you can sell them and invest in EU domiciled funds.

If you are looking at tax sheltered US accounts now, things get a little more complicated. Still, it'd be worthwhile to just invest in a taxable account if a tax sheltered US account seems too complicated knowing you are going to move back.

There are many threads on this board dealing with this case. Have you searched for them. See Ted Swippet's posts in particular. He had a great understanding of tax issues due to moving back to the UK while holding US retirement accounts I believe.

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