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Retirement planning tips for immigrants and American expats with disabilities

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Whether you’ve immigrated to the United States or you’ve lived in the U.S. your entire life, you may wish to divide your time between two countries after retiring from the workforce. Perhaps you have a family you wish to visit back home in India — or maybe you’re eager to see the world after living and working in America for so many years.

Whatever the case may be, your disability shouldn’t hold you back from achieving your retirement goals of splitting residency between two countries. These tips from Disability Insider will help to make it possible!

Top Considerations for Retirees With Disabilities

About 13 percent of Americans aspire to divide their time between two countries in retirement, whether they wish to enjoy a lower cost of living or see attractions in India. On the other hand, immigrants may choose to travel back and forth between their home countries and America if they wish to spend more time with the loved ones they left behind.

While retirement can be a great time for Americans to see the world and for immigrants to maintain physical contact with loved ones back home, there are several things to consider before dividing time between two countries. These considerations include:

  • Your monthly income. How much money is coming in each month, and how much can you afford to spend? SmartAsset explains how to create a budget in retirement.
  • Traveling with a disability. The Department of State offers tips and resources for travelers with disabilities. You can locate disability organizations overseas, learn about traveling with a service animal, and find medical insurance plans for travelers.
  • Purchasing health coverage. If you receive medical coverage under Medicare or Medicaid, your health plan will not cover you when you’re outside of the U.S. You’ll either need to purchase an overseas health insurance policy or have plenty of money saved for a medical emergency.
  • Local tax regulations. As you plan your retirement travels, connect with expat groups and tax advisors in the area you wish to live in to make sure you understand the country’s tax rules.
  • Foreign banking. American expats and immigrants should keep their U.S. bank accounts while residing in another country, but it’s also important to open a foreign bank account before leaving the U.S. You’ll need to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) when opening one.
  • Social security payments. When living in certain countries, you may not receive your Social Security payments. Review the SSA’s booklet to learn more about how living outside of the U.S. could affect these payments.

Special Financial Considerations for Immigrants

Depending on where you immigrated from and how long you’ve lived and worked in America,  you may qualify for Social Security benefits in both the U.S. and back home — even if you’re returning to your home country during retirement. Make sure you’re keeping track of the money that’s coming in and going out, including the funds you’re sending to loved ones back home. Some of the best finance websites for immigrants to organize and track their finances include investment platforms like Finhabits, MoneyLion mobile banking, and money transfer services such as Remitly.

As one example, Remitly money transfer services can be used to safely and affordably send funds to your loved ones back home in India and other parts of the world. When sending money to India, for instance, fees are just $3.99 for transfers of less than $1,000 — while transfers of $1,000 or more are free. Additionally, express and economy transfers are available depending on how quickly you’d like the money to be sent to your loved ones back home.

Start Preparing for Retirement Today

Your retirement years are meant to be enjoyed, whether that means living in the U.S., traveling to your home country, seeing the world, or dividing your time between two countries. But don’t wait to prepare for your retirement travels: The earlier you start, the more enjoyable and financially secure your Golden Years will be.

About the Author

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Rob Woods

Rob Woods is a dad from Philadelphia, USA. He is passionate about raising his two children and enjoys working on DIY projects. Rob is the co-creator of Fix It Dads which offers tips for home improvements.