Your summer trip to France was fantastic (even if you lost a bag or two at Charles de Gaulle) and now that you’re back, you want to find a way to spend more time there.
Whether you’re considering the digital nomad lifestyle or buying that €1 villa, this article is for you.
As advisors, we tend to draw on our personal experience as we help to develop strategies and plans with our clients. My personal life straddles multiple countries (most directly France and the US) and I’ve come to more fully appreciate the complications and rewards of living a cross-border life.
Our role is to help you (regardless of how many locations you touch) navigate any issues with the right team of experts and ensure effective coordination and execution of all the various moving parts. This becomes even more critical as you cross borders with different legal/ tax systems and add in the complexities of different procedures, deadlines, languages, etc.
To start the brainstorming exercise around spending more time abroad, we’ve posed a few questions to help guide your thinking (and also included some notes of caution about where your answers may take you!)
If you’re committed to developing a plan for spending more time abroad, we also offer a few words of caution:
It’s not better to act now and ask questions later: the penalties for non-compliance with various laws/ procedures can be particularly severe with cross-border issues.
Be careful about making assumptions about the process (literally any assumptions): Just because it works one way in one area or country does not mean it works that way anywhere else.
Get the right advice: We believe it’s critical to work with advisors who are experienced working with cross-border issues. It’s important that any such advisor is not afraid to ask even basic questions (given potential fundamental differences between jurisdictions – such as the legal code or inheritance laws). When we are involved in these situations, our aim is not only to get the right advisors on the team (immigration, tax, estate, accounting, etc.), but also to ensure that these advisors are communicating and executing in lock step on a coordinated plan.
Be patient and open-minded: You should expect increased costs, complications and delays when you add a cross-border element to your life. But for many (including me personally), the reward is well worth it!
To learn more about Michelle H. Soufan, CFP®, Senior Wealth Advisor, click here.
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