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Old 25-06-2019, 04:55 PM   #1271
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 2
Yes, a couple ideas come to mind. Either/both of you should continue contributing to 401(k) plans if your employers offer them. You and your S.O. can also contribute to IRAs if either of you has earned income that isn’t excluded via the U.S. Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (IRS Form 2555), and assuming you file a joint tax return. (If you don’t file jointly then you each must qualify individually.) There’s something called a “backdoor Roth IRA” if your income is too high.
These for the most part are already done or in progress - we "front-loaded" our 401(k)s before we left while we were still both earning USDs and are doing the backdoor Roth conversion later this year. Same on HSAs but those too are not available going forward now that we have Singapore-based insurance.

As U.S. persons you can both contribute to 529 plans if you wish. Last I checked New York has a very good one, but there might be a better choice if you’re still treated as a resident of a particular state.
We're actually invested in the Utah 529 plan, on account of its history of good Vanguard options and very low fees. I noted you've suggested California and New York in the past - I have heard a lot of good press for Nevada and am quite satisfied with Utah if you'd consider other options for recommendations.

SRS = hassle, got it. That's a shame really; we tried to take advantage of as many tax-beneficial options as we could prior to relocation but it would be nice to have further options going forward. First World problems, I suppose.

Definitely the latter.
What Singapore-based investment choices would you like to nominate for consideration? SSBs are mildly interesting as variable CD-like instruments for holding some Singapore dollars in reserve, so I think those are OK as a buffer pool during your time in Singapore. The interest is U.S. taxable, of course, and your CDP account is U.S. reportable. Beyond that the list gets very short, I think. Sometimes there’s something slightly interesting and U.S. compatible (and taxable), such as the 2.7% Temasek general obligation bond that popped up in 2018, that bars U.S. persons completely. (Not for any genuine regulatory or legal reason that I can discern.)
I didn't have specific options in mind other than potentially SSBs. We already have Singapore exposure through VSS (1% Sing), VTIAX (0.9% Sing), and VTABX (0.5% Sing) but I guess I was hoping for unique opportunities that we wouldn't otherwise have in the US. It sounds like there may be plenty of these opportunities but they're all expensive and/or tax-disadvantaged. For the moment, I think we're able to maximize our DBS Multiplier upwards of 2-3% on salary and I'll just plan on periodic transfers to Vanguard.

I've been using TransferWise occasionally which has done the trick when needed. Do you think Interactive Brokers or another option would be preferable for regular foreign currency transfers back to the US?

Just that the “all-risks” variant is much better than “insured perils.” Last I checked AXA had a pretty good deal on that type of insurance. The bundled liability insurance is somewhat interesting but doesn’t seem to cover U.S. risks. It’s usually local only or worldwide excluding North America.
We're still wrestling with State Farm on our US liability umbrella but that's a different ball of yarn. I'll take a look at the AXA all-risks policy. Any thoughts on Chubb's myHome? I only ask because that's the coverage offered through DBS, which would help our Multiplier interest
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