The Social Security program is misunderstood by most people...and this can lead to claiming mistakes that commonly cost single people tens of thousands of dollars in cumulative lifetime benefits.
Millions of baby boomers qualify for valuable Social Security claiming options that can provide tens of thousands of dollars in additional benefits. Yet most will never receive these benefits, even though they qualify for them. How can this be so? It’s because there are so many rules, they are complicated, and people don’t understand how they work.
Millions of baby boomers qualify for a valuable Social Security claiming option that can provide them as much as $63,336 in extra benefits...yet they don’t know it. In fact, the great majority of working couples, where one or both spouses reached age 62 on or before January 1, 2016, can still make use of this unusual strategy.
The New York winters were getting too cold for Terry and Sue Jones. Apart from that first, pristine snowfall of the year, it just wasn't fun anymore. Their friends started retiring to Florida, sending them Christmas cards of white-sand beaches and palm trees. The Jones’ were considering moving there, but they discovered International Living and decided to look for their new home overseas.
When I talk to International Living readers, I usually focus on sharing how you can minimize your U.S. taxes and stay out of trouble with the IRS. But today, I’m going to do something a little different. I'm going to share with you what I do. I live part of the year in Jaco, Costa Rica. When I bought my condo, I kept the owning and renting of this foreign real estate simple: I bought it in my own name. That’s pretty unusual; Jaco is one of the few remaining areas that allow Americans to own beachfront property in their own name. This keeps my U.S. tax reporting of the rental income reportable—just like a U.S. property—and I do not have to make a foreign corporation disclosure.
As a U.S. citizen, no matter where in the world you live, the IRS requires you to report your income, file your tax return, and pay your taxes. There are many common misconceptions about Americans living overseas, a common one being that once you move overseas, you are no longer required to file a tax return.
Despite all the rhetoric out of Washington these days, you can bet we will see tax hikes this year. They might not be overt. Instead, we could see stealth taxes go up first…parking fees, garbage collection, vehicle registrations and the like.
Because my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I have been living and working abroad for 15 years, we're sometimes interviewed by other writers and reporters about being expats. I spoke with a reporter from Canada a few days ago, and I was reminded of one of the most powerful economic principles of expat life.
Genevieve from Atlanta married a prince from Monaco. She moved all her belongings to her new home to live there with him. As a U.S. citizen abroad, she files her annual tax return with a status of Married Filing Separate. All assets are in her husband’s name and nothing is titled jointly.
FATCA, officially known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is probably the worst law that most Americans don’t know about…especially if you’re a U.S. citizen thinking of investing outside the U.S. It basically requires you to tell the U.S. government a yearly breakdown of all financial accounts you hold outside the country—from bank accounts to companies to rent-producing real estate.