Canadian moved to US: Investment Help

Asset allocation, risk, diversification and rebalancing. Pros/cons of hiring a financial advisor. Seeking advice on your portfolio?
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Joined: 04 Nov 2016 15:55

Canadian moved to US: Investment Help

Post by bolduc » 04 Nov 2016 16:49

Hi all,

I am a 24 year old Canadian citizen who just moved to the United States for work. I moved at the beginning of September and it was in a bit of a whirlwind (was finishing up my thesis, graduation, etc) so I didn't have much time to sort out my finances (stupidly, as I now realize).

Salary: $55k/yr, 6 month housing stipend at $500/month. Employee contributes 5% of yearly salary to 401(k) after 1000 hours of service, no match required.
State: CA from October-April. NY April-indefinite.
[*] $1.5k USD in Checking+Savings Account
[*] $1k CAD in Chequing Account
[*] $2k CAD in RRSP
[*] $37k CAD in TFSA. $24k of this is liquid, rest is tied up in GIC which matures March 2nd. ~$5k unused room IIRC.
Debt: None

General life comments/thoughts: I am here on a TN visa. I can definitely see myself moving back to Canada after my time here. I would go as far to say it's a given. I am not sure I will get sponsorship for a green card and I don't really have any interest in taking on the process to begin with. As far as living/raising a family goes, I'd much prefer to do it back home.

I've been doing some reading of previous posts from this forum, like viewtopic.php?t=116783 and viewtopic.php?f=32&t=116847&start=25 but I'm not entirely sure what to do right now.

I understand that the best course of action for me would be to move everything out of my TFSA (as I will be taxed on earnings), and I can leave the RRSP as is. I suppose my main question is what to do with the $24k I can move out of the TFSA right now. I would prefer to keep the CAD in CAD. I'd love to put it in a domestic investment account but I'm not sure this is an option (and if it is, I'm not sure if I will be taxed on earnings or not). Should I move this to some sort of international brokerage a la TDDI and invest there? Am I taxed on earnings then? This is all new to me, so sorry for my ignorance. Would I just be better off to bite the bullet, convert everything to USD, and invest it here?

Some other questions I have are what to do with US investment accounts. I'm not sure if I want to contribute to the company 401(k), as doing so wouldn't put me in a lower tax bracket (at least not enough to live comfortably in SF and NYC) and I'd be hit with recapture penalties when taking the money out. I have interest in maxing contributions to a Roth IRA, but I'm not sure where to go after that. Maybe this is a better question for the US sister forum.

Thank you in advance.

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