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What should we do with our U.S. based pensions?


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"If the readers of this forum don't want to take my advice and get their assetts out of the U.S., well c'est la vie."

This is a quote from a posting by William Cody.

 

My husband and I are nervous and not just from the points Mr. Cody has made. The problems and uncertainty with the U.S. Dollar and the economy, the housing market etc. etc.....Our only source of income is a small pension check that is electronically deposited into a U.S. bank each month from a U.S. based pension fund. We then wire transfer to our Bank here in Costa Rica. I have some money in an IRA I can't touch for another 4.5 years and that too is in a U.S. bank. Any suggestions from Mr. Cody would be appreciated. I don't even know that the Pension Fund will allow us to move the money, lock stock and barrel! Where could I move my IRA to without a major early withdrawal penalty?

Desperate for peace of mind. Don't want anything to happen that we couldn't stay in Costa Rica. We just finished building our home and our life is amazing here. We are not high rollers with lots of gringo dollars and investments. We live simply and don't know alot about money. We have made some good decisions though that have allowed us to retire at 55 rather than most our friends who will still be working til they are 65-70.

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"If the readers of this forum don't want to take my advice and get their assetts out of the U.S., well c'est la vie."

This is a quote from a posting by William Cody.

 

My husband and I are nervous and not just from the points Mr. Cody has made. The problems and uncertainty with the U.S. Dollar and the economy, the housing market etc. etc.....Our only source of income is a small pension check that is electronically deposited into a U.S. bank each month from a U.S. based pension fund. We then wire transfer to our Bank here in Costa Rica. I have some money in an IRA I can't touch for another 4.5 years and that too is in a U.S. bank. Any suggestions from Mr. Cody would be appreciated. I don't even know that the Pension Fund will allow us to move the money, lock stock and barrel! Where could I move my IRA to without a major early withdrawal penalty?

Desperate for peace of mind. Don't want anything to happen that we couldn't stay in Costa Rica. We just finished building our home and our life is amazing here. We are not high rollers with lots of gringo dollars and investments. We live simply and don't know alot about money. We have made some good decisions though that have allowed us to retire at 55 rather than most our friends who will still be working til they are 65-70.

I have a savings account in dollars at Banco Nacional! Every month I write a check on my account in the states, where my pension check is deposited automatically every month (SS as well), and deposit it in my Banco Nacional account!! Each month I transfer from my savings account into a debit acount (debit card that I can use anywhere in the country) at Banco Nacional!! For the last 5 years I have never had a problem. Everyone in the bank knows me, and call me byh name!! I would advise that you DO NOT put any substantial amount of money into any bank in Costa Rica. Also, I'd stay away from credit cards! The amount I keep in my account is minimal, the system works very well, and I'm not hit with the exchange rate differential until I actually buy Colones!! I'm sure others have suggestions for you?? Respectfully

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GT, please don't let that man's dire warnings lead you to make a big mistake. Talk to your banks, both in the states, and in CR, and see what they can tell you. But keep in mind, as you said, you cannot move your pension money, and you don't want to mess with that IRA.....CR banks are not all that safe, but they are not all that risky, either.....I would suggest that you look into having your pension check sent directly to your CR bank, however, so you can save the cost of those wire transfers.

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I would suggest that you look into having your pension check sent directly to your CR bank, however, so you can save the cost of those wire transfers.

 

My SS check goes directly into my U.S. bank account. Each month I take my ATM card into Banco Nacional and ask to transfer money down here to my BN account. For this I get charged 1% by my U.S. bank, and $1.00 by BN (for a $700 transfer). I'm not sure why it is so low, but I had a friend check my receipts and my online bank statement, and that's the only charge we could find. We went back to previous transfers and this was consistent.

 

Don't tell anyone, okay? I don't want the bank to get wise and start charging me more.

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