Author Topic: Saving for retirement as an expat  (Read 1829 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Saving for retirement as an expat
« on: March 31, 2017, 11:59:12 PM »
Hi, I'm a US expat living in Europe.  We are able to live easily on one salary (partner's), but I'm about to get a job.  I would love to stache this in a 401(k), but I have no idea if that is possible.  I imagine I could set up an IRA, but really want to stache at least 75% of it if I can.  Also, will there be any issues with transferring $$ to a US bank or retirement account if I get paid in my bank account here?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks.

ROF Expat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
Re: Saving for retirement as an expat
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 07:52:13 AM »
I recommend that you speak to a specialist tax accountant(s) who understands your specific circumstances in the U.S. and in Europe. 

I think your eligibility to participate in an IRA in the U.S. will depend on how much money you earn and where it comes from.  If you live overseas but work for the U.S. Government and your income is taxable by the U.S., you can have an IRA.  If you are paid overseas and your income is below the Foreign Income Exclusion ($85,000, I think), you will pay no U.S. tax and you won't be able to participate.  I think that if you have income that is taxable (over the $85k), you can participate in an IRA.  Whether participating in the IRA will make financial sense is a question for a specialist.  If you're going to be liable for tax in both your country of residence and the U.S., figuring out the relevance of an IRA could be tricky.  I think it is beyond the advice you'll get on the internet. 


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
Re: Saving for retirement as an expat
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 09:31:50 AM »
The key here is not using the foreign income exclusion, but the foreign tax credit, so that you have income per ira rules.

Not sure about the details, i was actually planning to write up a case study asking a very similar question.


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!