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salmonella 11-11-2018 07:50 AM

Thanks. I think it would be DC, but might not have time to go hunting for a bank.

I do have Google Voice, and perhaps the hotel address in Vegas for a week. Wonder if they would mail subsequent cards to SG (BoA did mail the new card to my SG address upon expiry of my old card)...

Saw the Motiv Money app reviews at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...y.android.bank ... and they aren't exactly confidence inspiring...


Are there any good options apart from Motiv?

BBCWatcher 11-11-2018 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salmonella (Post 117526857)
I do have Google Voice....

No, it has to be a real U.S. mobile number for Motiv Money, not a virtual one. There are some very low cost prepaid SIM cards available in the U.S., so that problem can be solved without too much expense.

I doubt Motiv Money will ship replacement cards (at normal expiration) outside of the U.S., but that particular problem could be solved with a virtual street address (albeit with some cost). The popular shipment forwarders can probably handle that, for example.

Youíve looked at Payoneer and the Transferwise Borderless Account, right?

Any chance you could stop in New York City long enough to get a New York City ID card (ďIDNYCĒ)? To get an IDNYC you would need your passport and almost any piece of official or semi-official postal mail sent to your (temporary) New York City address. (Itís a long list of acceptable postal mail pieces for proof of address.) Then youíd head over to Amalgamated Bank, just to pick a random example (with decent or better value accounts), which accepts IDNYC for account opening. Many other financial institutions in New York City do, too.

FYI, you can get an ITIN if youíve had any improper tax withholding, even if itís within the past couple years. (You have up to 3 years from the original filing deadline to request a refund.) By any chance has your broker (assuming you have one) over-withheld tax, even a dollar? For example, if youíve held a U.S. Treasury, but the broker mistakenly withheld U.S. tax on the interest, then you could file a 1040NR (along with a W-7) to claim a refund. Another exception is if Bank of America (your present financial institution) has ever asked for an ITIN. If youíve got a letter from BofA with those magic words, thatíd be helpful.

Some rainy day Iím going to try to figure out a reasonable way to trigger a legitimate need for an ITIN, but I havenít found a reasonable way yet. You might still get an ITIN from a casino if you have large enough gambling winnings (and if you ask), but there are also some reports that casinos are no longer issuing ITINs. Residents of Singapore are at a real disadvantage here because thereís no tax treaty, so that severely cuts down on the need for an ITIN.

Wells Fargo has branches in Las Vegas, and they might let you open an account even without an ITIN. Citibank might as well, particularly if youíve got a good relationship with Citibank in Singapore. Neither offers terrific accounts, though. Theyíve both got minimum balance requirements.

You could hunt for credit unions and smaller banks in Las Vegas that are known to be ďundocumented immigrant friendly.Ē Iím not coming up with any obvious candidates online, though. Iíd give Amalgamated a call since they have a branch in Las Vegas and have a reputation for good customer service.

Itís somewhat easier to open a business bank account if you have a U.S. LLC, but thatís a different animal.

This is a difficult nut to crack. :(

opt1m4l 11-11-2018 11:13 AM

Just going to leave one of my old posts here, not sure if it still works.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/1...-post6374.html

Quote:

1) You'll probably want to grab these 2 forms:
- http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/im..._A417R1214.pdf
- http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/im...les/fw8ben.pdf

2) Fill 'em out, taking care to check the very last box for Membership Eligibility - the CU will donate to Foster Care for Success for you, rendering you eligible for CU membership.

You'll probably want to open a checking account as well, and grab that Visa Debit - useful if you ever travel Stateside; comes with ATM rebates. Good stuff.

3) Post out completed forms together with a photocopy of your NRIC, Passport and possibly credit card or utility bill statement showing your address. Not sure if they needed it, but I sure as heck didn't want to wind up waiting another 2 weeks (and spending more $ on mail) for my application to go through.

4) Sit back, relax and enjoy the wait.

5) When your membership package comes you may not be able to enrol in internet banking. That, or you may not be able to activate your Visa debit. Can't remember which one exactly, but it's one that requires SSN or post code of some sort. Call the CU up, and they'll give you a code to enter I believe.

6) All done! Enjoy your new US CU account w/ a US debit card!

P.S. Would be great if anyone who does this can let me know how to get DBS Remit funds over there - due to the fact that they are a CU they do not have SWIFT facilities. Best bet is to use Transferwise*. Or since we're in this thread... IB?

P.P.S.: DBS said this before, but wasn't too game to try it.
1. SWIFT Code: CNORUS33XXX
2. Recipient’s Name: Northern Trust
3. Recipient’s Address: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, IL 60603
4. Clearing Code: <Leave it Blank>
5. Recipient’s Account Number: ABA# 071000152
6. Payment Details for Recipient (1st line): Further Credit to Alliant Credit Union and 35101804
7. Payment Details for Recipient (2nd line): 11545 W. Touhy Avenue, Chicago, IL 60666
8. Payment Details for Recipient (3rd line): For final credit to <Input your name, complete address, contact number>
9. Payment Details for Recipient (4th line): <Checking account number XXXXXX>, <Purpose of transfer>

PM if you need a Referral Link for TW that nabs you a free transfer up to 500GBP.
(Disclaimer: I do get 50GBP if 3 people sign up with this link and perform a transfer >200GBP)

BBCWatcher 11-11-2018 12:01 PM

Alliant might still work, and they provide some very good accounts. However, you've linked to an old version of the enrollment form. Here's the latest one: https://www.alliantcreditunion.org/i...Enrollment.pdf.

Yes, you can wire funds to an Alliant Credit Union account, and Alliant doesn't charge anything on their end (except that Northern Trust, their intermediary, will presumably charge something for currency conversion if they don't receive U.S. dollars). The Northern Trust-based instructions are correct. The original source's instructions are available here.

It's worth a try. They do seem to be at least open to the concept of (well vetted) non-U.S. residents opening accounts.

Alliant is the credit union for United Airlines employees (in particular), so they're familiar with highly globally mobile employees, I guess.

highsulphur 13-11-2018 09:18 AM

What's a decent etf to represent technology?

BBCWatcher 13-11-2018 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by highsulphur (Post 117563724)
What's a decent etf to represent technology?

You could try IUIT, Irish domiciled and traded in London, which holds a basket of 66 U.S. listed technology stocks. IUIT includes Visa and Mastercard among the 66 (and among the top 10 holdings), which is a little unexpected perhaps but makes definitional sense. The management fee is quite reasonable, it's an accumulating fund (a plus), and it's tax appropriate for non-U.S. persons. Liquidity and trading volume should be decent enough.

I do not recommend overweighting particular sectors.

highsulphur 13-11-2018 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBCWatcher (Post 117564178)
You could try IUIT, Irish domiciled and traded in London, which holds a basket of 66 U.S. listed technology stocks. IUIT includes Visa and Mastercard among the 66 (and among the top 10 holdings), which is a little unexpected perhaps but makes definitional sense. The management fee is quite reasonable, it's an accumulating fund (a plus), and it's tax appropriate for non-U.S. persons. Liquidity and trading volume should be decent enough.

I do not recommend overweighting particular sectors.

Thank you....

salmonella 13-11-2018 04:25 PM

Thanks opt1m4l and BBCW. Alliance CU looks worth a try!


On a separate note, I've found that my dad has almost nil balance in CPF OA, SA and RA, and his MA is about 1/2 of BHS. He's about 72 years old now, and healthy. He has:

- NTUC classic annuity (the details of which I'm trying to get from the agent, but I think it is likely to be annuity of $600/mth for lifetime)
- Aviva MyCare disability insurance (also don't have the details, but I'm guessing that it would be the lifetime premium terms, lifetime pyaout duration for the minimal benefit of $600 with 3 ADLs)
- Medical care is taken care of by CCS pension scheme
- I'm also sending him an amount monthly, and he says he is living comfortable within his combined income today
- For the foreseeable future, I expect to be able to make up any shortfalls if they should arise

Since he's comfortable, I could continue with the status quo indefinitely, but I'm also wondering if things can be made more efficient. Such as

- should I send him money via CPF top-up, to take advantage up to of $7k tax relief? If so, should I top up his MA, RA, or something else?

- how should he make use of it efficiently? Just withdraw from CPF directly? Leave it inside to earn interest? Or use the $7k to buy a small CPF Life annuity each year? According to https://www.cpf.gov.sg/eSvc/Web/Sche...ayoutEstimator, $7000 will give a payout of $40-50 depending on the plan. Which plan would be good, and can he buy another small annuity with $7k every year?

BBCWatcher 21-11-2018 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salmonella (Post 117571429)
- should I send him money via CPF top-up, to take advantage up to of $7k tax relief? If so, should I top up his MA, RA, or something else?

If his RA is below the Full Retirement Sum, then yes, a $7,000 RA top-up is an excellent tax relief opportunity. There's no tax relief for other top-ups to his accounts.

Quote:

- how should he make use of it efficiently? Just withdraw from CPF directly? Leave it inside to earn interest? Or use the $7k to buy a small CPF Life annuity each year? According to https://www.cpf.gov.sg/eSvc/Web/Sche...ayoutEstimator, $7000 will give a payout of $40-50 depending on the plan. Which plan would be good, and can he buy another small annuity with $7k every year?
If he's looking to boost lifetime income then a CPF LIFE payout would be an excellent choice. I prefer the Escalating Plan simply because it's the only available CPF LIFE choice to combat inflation (which really does exist).

BBCWatcher 21-11-2018 03:02 PM

Stocks, preferably in the form of low cost and broadly diversified index funds, are appropriate for long-term investing. It's hardly fair to look at an arbitrary ~11 months of stock market performance....

....But let's do it anyway, using a back-of-the-envelope check, just for fun. I'll look at the U.S. S&P 500 index, which had these closing values:

December 29, 2017 (last trading day of 2017): 2,673.61
November 20, 2018 (yesterday as I write this): 2,641.89 (-1.19%)

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Well, no. ;)

OK, now let's adjust for currency to cast this into Singapore dollar terms, which is the relevant currency if you're planning to retire in Singapore and do most of your far future spending in Singapore dollars. Here are the midpoint rates on those dates (according to oanda.com):

December 29, 2017: 1.3382
November 20, 2018: 1.3724

Multiplying the index values by the exchange rates we get:

December 29, 2017: 3,577.82
November 20, 2018: 3,625.73 (+1.34%)

We're not quite done, though. The current S&P 500 dividend yield is estimated at 1.98%, so about 1.7% net of the Irish 15% dividend withholding treaty tax rate. Let's call it about 1.6% for these 11 months. So in Singapore dollar terms the U.S. S&P 500 is up about 3% for the year to date, including dividends.

We've then got to deduct the fund manager's expenses, so let's shave 0.2 percentage points off for that. So we're at about +2.8% for the year. That's the total approximate nominal "paper" return in Singapore dollar terms, year to date, if you placed one buy order for a low cost S&P 500 stock index fund on December 29, 2017, then held it to date.

That's not quite the full story either, because that's probably not what you did in your prudent stock investing (if you're prudent). You're working and earning an income, and you're making periodic buys from that income stream -- monthly buys, for example. That's called (Singapore) dollar cost averaging (DCA), which means that you tend to buy more fund shares when the Singapore dollar price is comparatively low and fewer fund shares when its price is comparatively high. So you should have beaten +2.8% with DCA, although you have to take out some broker commissions, presumably, to arrive at a final number. Also, you didn't only buy the S&P 500 since you (prudently) diversified globally in your stock investing using VWRD or IWDA. But I'm picking the S&P 500 just to illustrate the U.S. part of the picture.

Anyway, supposedly we've had a "bad" year in the stock market. But this bad year, so far, is still doing better for Singaporeans than fixed deposits and Singapore Savings Bonds. That's not what I would have expected before running these back-of-the-envelope numbers given all the breathless "reporting."

Defying_Gravity 22-11-2018 09:31 AM

Thabks BBCW for the assurance. :)

wannabelazy 22-11-2018 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBCWatcher (Post 116690502)
I agreed with you up until this last bit, but this last bit doesn't seem quite right to me. In particular, you don't really want to measure CPF LIFE in terms of bequest value even for portfolio allocation decisions at age 65+, since that'll probably steer you in the wrong direction in terms of making a payout plan decision. But let me ponder that one and see if I have any better ideas.

Hi BBCW, wondering if you had any further thoughts on this. :) Still wondering how CPF life payouts fit into portfolio allocation decisions if not valued at bequest value.

Another question, if I remember correctly your prescribed portfolio allocation for equities based on Vanguard's target fund model is 70%, of which 20% would be local (e.g. ES3) and 80% global (e.g. IWDA). For the bonds bucket would it also be a similar local-global split? E.g. 20% MBH and 80% CORP.

Thank you for your insights as always!

vegavega25 26-11-2018 08:20 AM

BBC, what is a good way to transfer own funds in US$ sitting in a US bank account to own Singapore bank account into S$?

I know you strongly recommend holding S$ in Singapore and we had a back and forth about that a few months ago. But I don't think the question of the actual means got answered. Plus of course this time I am asking about converting to S$ along with transferring the money in.

JuniorLion 26-11-2018 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vegavega25 (Post 117798479)
BBC, what is a good way to transfer own funds in US$ sitting in a US bank account to own Singapore bank account into S$?

I know you strongly recommend holding S$ in Singapore and we had a back and forth about that a few months ago. But I don't think the question of the actual means got answered. Plus of course this time I am asking about converting to S$ along with transferring the money in.

Use Interactive Brokers to do your currency conversion

vegavega25 26-11-2018 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuniorLion (Post 117798669)
Use Interactive Brokers to do your currency conversion

Ok.

And alternatives if I don't have an account with them?


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