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infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
5/24/22 7:19 a.m.

So the wife and I talked it over yesterday after work. She's dead set on being a surrogate mother, so once she does that, we're going to take the money from that and she'll apply for college up there and we'll work on getting her a student visa. I *should* be able to get a spousal open work visa and a job reasonably quickly so we'll be financially sound, but in case that takes a while we'll have a pile of cash to sit on and stay safe.

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
5/24/22 8:33 a.m.

In reply to pheller :

Arenal Costa Rica. Aka heaven on earth. If I could choose one place to live outside of the states, it would be there. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/24/22 9:50 a.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

Seems like the best way to become a Canadian is to apply for a Canadian job first. If you find an American employer with Canadian interests they will take care of the E visa for you. It's a good time to be looking for work, so now is about the best shot you will ever have. And once you are here you can start building relationships and networking and branch out. I do know two Americans who are now Canadians. They both came up as employees of American companies. Both are now Canadian citizens, but I note neither actually cut the cord and revoked their American citizenship.  That seems like a big scary thing for expat Americans, despite telling everyone they know on both sides of the border how superior Canada is. 

I'm not sure there's any benefit from revoking your US citizenship. It makes getting into the US more difficult so you definitely don't want to do it if you cross back and forth at all. Canada is cool with dual citizenship so there's no requirement to do so. Only about 4000 people a year renounce their US citizenship and it's primarily for tax reasons. So don't read too much into that.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/24/22 9:55 a.m.
infinitenexus said:

The job offer is one of the big issues, and becomes a sort of barrier for someone old and undereducated like me. In order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program, I need 67 points on their chart. I had always assumed I would be able to get a work visa and a job, so I included the extra points for that and scored 71 points so I thought I was okay. Now I've learned how hard it is to get an LMIA, so I have to be realistic and total up my points without a job offer. That puts me at 61 points, meaning I do not qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program in Express Entry. The NAFTA thing won't work because I didn't see my job on there or anything like it, and pretty much everything on there required a bachelor's. So basically, I am not qualified enough to immigrate to Canada. My wife, however, might be able to. If we got her a student visa she would be able to go to college there, and then I could apply for and hopefully get a spousal open work permit. That would at least get our feet in the door, and then we'd just have to do whatever was needed to qualify for permanent residency. The issue, of course, is that I'm still at a fairly entry-level job and I would need something to pay for rent, my wife's college, and childcare while she was in school. That could be tough, but doable. We tried looking up colleges in Windsor to see what programs they had, and nothing really appealed to my wife. A larger city would have better colleges and better programs, as well as more IT jobs (something Windsor doesn't have many of) but then it would be way more expensive. So I dunno. 

We still kinda want to go up to Canada for Avi's birthday in 3 months and we're thinking of maybe trying to visit Montreal. However, it's a 9-hour drive so we'll have to break that up, probably drive to Niagara-on-the-lake, stay the night, then drive to Montreal. Spend a few days there, enjoy some food, speak some French, sounds great. My fear is that it'll wind up being super expensive, and this is a time when we're trying to save all the money we can. So I dunno. I'm just in a bit of a down and worrying mood right now, that's all.

Keep in mind that colleges and universities are different in Canada. Colleges are closer to what you'd consider a trade school in the US. The University of Windsor may be closer to what you're thinking of when you use the US definition of a college. Ontario universities and colleges are public so there's less variation between different ones than you'll see in the US as well.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/24/22 10:34 a.m.
pheller said:
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm a summer kinda guy.  It's just what I do.  I spent 15 years living in the awesome climates like L.A., New Orleans, Florida, and Austin and I would spend the summers in Ontario.  I'm always chasing 80 degrees and 70% humidity.  Now that I'm back in PA I try to get time in the south during the winter because I get really cranky with the cold.

Honestly, high elevation in southern latitudes seems like it'd be your jam. 

My parents friend's have moved to the Lake Arenal area of Costa Rica and love the climate down there. It's almost always between 70-90 degrees with 90% humidity, but a nice steady breeze. 

If Mexico had the political climate of Canada without the near constant drug wars and corruption, I'd be down there in a heartbeat.  

I do love CR.  I have spent a bit of time on the Pacific coast down there and loved it.  Higher in the mountains would be fine with me.  The coast was absolutely lovely but the constant heat and 100% humidity does get a bit oppressive.  One morning it was 100 degrees and foggy, and when you are sleeping in a hammock, waking up hot and wet isn't always good.

As an added bonus, elevation + turbo everything = fun

I'm pretty much a west coast kinda guy... and that goes for any continent due to the weather that happens when the predominant ocean currents flow from cold to warm.  If I became a Canadian citizen, I would definitely not winter there.  I would probably keep a similar schedule that I do as a US citizen and follow the best weather.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/24/22 6:28 p.m.

I dunno. Crime and violence is out of control. It's the other sickness, the one that there's no vaccine for:

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/texas-elementary-school-shooting-robb-elementary-uvalde/

Let's not go into a gun control discussion. But this is horrendous. And what's more horrendous is that it's likely to have a very short news cycle, whereas if the event had occurred when I was a kid, it would have prompted national outrage and introspection. Now it's just another one.

I get why people want to leave the country. Canada looks pretty good just now. 

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
5/24/22 8:18 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

Very sad. America has always been a very violent place since the beginning. For some more than others. That isn't okay at all but I still love it here though. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
5/25/22 7:44 a.m.

I think the saddest part of that tragedy is that it'll be forgotten in a week, probably because there will be another school shooting somewhere. I can't begin to fathom what possesses a person and causes them to think "I'm going to go shoot a bunch of kids at school."

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
5/25/22 8:02 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

Seems like the best way to become a Canadian is to apply for a Canadian job first. If you find an American employer with Canadian interests they will take care of the E visa for you. It's a good time to be looking for work, so now is about the best shot you will ever have. And once you are here you can start building relationships and networking and branch out. I do know two Americans who are now Canadians. They both came up as employees of American companies. Both are now Canadian citizens, but I note neither actually cut the cord and revoked their American citizenship.  That seems like a big scary thing for expat Americans, despite telling everyone they know on both sides of the border how superior Canada is. 

I'm not sure there's any benefit from revoking your US citizenship. It makes getting into the US more difficult so you definitely don't want to do it if you cross back and forth at all. Canada is cool with dual citizenship so there's no requirement to do so. Only about 4000 people a year renounce their US citizenship and it's primarily for tax reasons. So don't read too much into that.

Not really germane to this thread, but there is actually a two year waiting list to give up the US citizen thing. Financial benefits can be considerable expecially for the higher tax brackets where investments are a thing.    The US had to raise the price to $2400 to try and keep the line short.  

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UberDork
5/25/22 10:28 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The benefit is if you earn over 110K a year and live in a tax friendly place and have no desire to move back to the US. So if I got my citizenship by investment in Montenegro then I could then renounce my US citizenship if I wanted to. The tax difference for a high net worth person is at a minimum 11% for Capital Gains only or can be in the 30% range if we are looking at an income situation. 

 

The sad thing is, Uncle Sam always has his hand out to collect the tax money regardless of where you live in the world. Yeah there is the approximately $110K exemption but the 4K people that are applying are probably saving 10s to 100s of thousands of dollars a year. 

Not applicable in this situation but there is a definite desire among the high wealth.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
5/25/22 1:29 p.m.

I'm fairly convinced living in the us is a pyramid scheme at this point.   But like hell if my wife will move.  
 

ugh. Shoulda taken that job in Luxembourg years ago.  

slantvaliant (Forum Supporter)
slantvaliant (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/25/22 3:04 p.m.

If you go, say "Hi!" to the Queen for us.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
5/25/22 3:40 p.m.
bmw88rider said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The benefit is if you earn over 110K a year and live in a tax friendly place and have no desire to move back to the US. So if I got my citizenship by investment in Montenegro then I could then renounce my US citizenship if I wanted to. The tax difference for a high net worth person is at a minimum 11% for Capital Gains only or can be in the 30% range if we are looking at an income situation. 

 

The sad thing is, Uncle Sam always has his hand out to collect the tax money regardless of where you live in the world. Yeah there is the approximately $110K exemption but the 4K people that are applying are probably saving 10s to 100s of thousands of dollars a year. 

Not applicable in this situation but there is a definite desire among the high wealth.

I think that's a pretty lousy way to beat taxes.  The reason many high wealth people are high wealth is because of the opportunity just living in the USA provides.  To turn your back on it after the fact, is a dick move.

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
5/26/22 8:06 a.m.

If you became wealthy and paid your taxes while living there you've fulfilled your obligation. Expecting you to pay taxes if you're not actually living in the country is the real dick move.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
6/7/22 12:07 p.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I'm fairly convinced living in the us is a pyramid scheme at this point.   But like hell if my wife will move.  
 

ugh. Shoulda taken that job in Luxembourg years ago.  

Good point.  I hadn't thought of it as a pyramid scheme but that seems spot on.

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
6/7/22 12:34 p.m.

"Living in the US is a pyramid scheme."
 

That statement pisses me off because it's true. 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/7/22 12:57 p.m.

I'm still confused on the tax thing with giving  up US Citizenship (not happening, it took me a long to get it).  I thought that even if you did renounce it, you were still liable for US taxes, or is that's what's being refered too?  I"m confused.  Anyone got some simple words to explain the renounced citizenship tax law?

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/7/22 1:21 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm still confused on the tax thing with giving  up US Citizenship (not happening, it took me a long to get it).  I thought that even if you did renounce it, you were still liable for US taxes, or is that's what's being refered too?  I"m confused.  Anyone got some simple words to explain the renounced citizenship tax law?

Three reasons people renounce.

1- Its gotten to be kinda embarrassing lately.

2- Even if you don't have a lot of $$$, you still have to do your taxes twice and the US stuff is complicated and expensive. A minimum of  $500/year. Plus you have to report all your assets to the Feds under the FBAR rules.

3-You made a lot of $$$ and this is going to save you more. Part of leaving involves a tax audit to make sure you are not skipping out on Uncle Greed, and that on top of the $2400 and two year waiting list works like the Berlin wall.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/7/22 2:25 p.m.

So this $2,400 application is what confuses me.  Who, that would actually benefit from losing their citizenship for tax reasons, will find $2,400 a stumbling block?  If you can't come up with $2,400 as part of your tax, inheritance, retirement, business, strategy, then the chances are you are probably in one of the lower tax brackets where overall US tax burden is quite low.  To the people who may actually benefit from it, this probably doesn't count as belly button lint.  

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/7/22 2:26 p.m.

And PS, what happens to Social Security (lose it?), 401K, IRA, Roth IRA etc.?

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/7/22 7:03 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:

So this $2,400 application is what confuses me.  Who, that would actually benefit from losing their citizenship for tax reasons, will find $2,400 a stumbling block?  If you can't come up with $2,400 as part of your tax, inheritance, retirement, business, strategy, then the chances are you are probably in one of the lower tax brackets where overall US tax burden is quite low.  To the people who may actually benefit from it, this probably doesn't count as belly button lint.  

The reason for the $2400 fee is to cover the embassy expenses. A few years back, it was unheard of to renounce a US citizenship. It was literally like a lottery ticket for most people. But times change and it has become a financial burden for the lower earners who for some reason reside overseas. ( Over one million n Canada alone)  The lines were getting long and staff had to be hired just to deal with this line item.  

 Its the wage earners like me who benefit from not having to deal with the endless threats from Uncle Sam anymore.  Rich people don't care  as they can afford to hide their $$$ somewhere so no need to renounce. My guestimate for if I completed a renunciation is around $10k all in. Plus my time. 

Another reason to renounce is that it can be a career limiter. If, as an american, you have any control or check signing privileges in your organization, even a car club or a volunteer organization,  I believe you have to submit their tax returns, or at least FBAR declarations,  along with yours. Not really something an employer wants to get embroiled in.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/8/22 8:52 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Interesting, I had no idea.  The funny thing is we are always told 'If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free', implying the tax burden will kill us.  Which is hilarious since our health care is 3-4 times higher cost than any other developed country yet the quality doesn't even get in the to 10.

I'd be interested in the facts behind the tax burden you are talking about, but that's too far off topic for poor Infinitenexus's thread, and probably veering too far into political patio territory.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
6/8/22 9:02 a.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

The healthcare thing is my number one reason for wanting to leave the us.  Save your whole life. Make a good wage. Expect a good retirement and boom. One health issue and you're in the poor house for life.    Private health insurance in most euro contries is like <$100 month and nearly covers all costs of health care completely?   
 

 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/8/22 9:16 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:

So this $2,400 application is what confuses me.  Who, that would actually benefit from losing their citizenship for tax reasons, will find $2,400 a stumbling block?  If you can't come up with $2,400 as part of your tax, inheritance, retirement, business, strategy, then the chances are you are probably in one of the lower tax brackets where overall US tax burden is quite low.  To the people who may actually benefit from it, this probably doesn't count as belly button lint.  

It's not only $2400 - that's just the fee for the application. If it is granted, you then have to pay an exit tax that tends to be quite substantial if you're not at church mouse levels of wealth.

People who have trouble scraping the $2400 together may be looking to renounce US citizenship for other reasons - for example, they may be an "accidental US citizen" (yes, those exist) who has just found out that they owe the US government a tax return and potentially taxes for the rest of their lives despite never having even live there or planning to live here, unless they renounce their citizenship. This is actually less uncommon than people think, and a not too untypical scenario is if one of the parents is a US citizen living abroad, for example[1].

Another typical scenario is if you're an immigrant into the US from a country that doesn't allow or put very high hurdles in front of dual citizenship (like Germany), and you lose/have to give up your original citizenship if you want to become a US citizen. Let's say in old age you want to go back to the country you emigrated from and want the citizenship back - you may have to give up the US citizenship in order to be able to do that. 

[1] Yes, there's the whole argument about "well, the parents should've known". Yeah, they should've, but they don't always. I've heard of a case or two where someone got yelled at why they were trying to enter the US on a foreign passport despite being a citizen, and that's because they simply didn't know.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/8/22 11:08 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

The healthcare thing is my number one reason for wanting to leave the us.  Save your whole life. Make a good wage. Expect a good retirement and boom. One health issue and you're in the poor house for life.    Private health insurance in most euro contries is like <$100 month and nearly covers all costs of health care completely?   
 

 

Living through one of those health crisis in our house at the moment.  Thankfully I live in Canada. While it looks like things will work out, it would have been a thousand times worse if we had had to chose levels and avenues  of treatment based on what we could afford or what our personal healthcare insurance provided. Financially it has been a non-event. In the US, it could have been a bankruptcy at age 63 during retirement.

In no country is healthcare "Free".  The difference is that in most countries healthcare's main focus is aimed at making people healthier rather than shareholders wealthier. As such, it reduces the overhead cost.

If you want a training ground for moving to Canada, go live in Minnesota for a while. Canada's flavour is a lot like one big Minnesota until you get to the coast.

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