Canadian living in US with RRSPs. Has anybody transferred RRSPs to Questrade?

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CanadianinNY
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Canadian living in US with RRSPs. Has anybody transferred RRSPs to Questrade?

Post by CanadianinNY » 22 Aug 2017 12:57

Hi,

I'm a Canadian citizen living in the US as a permanent resident for the past 3 years. 47 years old, planning on semi-retirement back in Canada in about 8-9 years. I currently have fairly substantial RRSPs through two brokers in Canada, but they're both costing me almost 2% for basically nothing. I saved for my RRSPs in Canada for more than 20 years before I moved to the US. I've had the same proportion of assets invested for several years now, focusing on ETFs. I've been looking into transferring my RRSPs from my current brokers to Questrade instead - I understand they're sort of the Vanguard of Canada for these kinds of RRSP savings. I will only do this if there is no taxation cost in Canada or the US to me doing this. I have been faithfully filing my RRSP assets in my US income taxes and my FBARs.

Has anybody here rolled over their RRSPs in Canada to another broker, while still being a resident of the US? Have you had any problems with this? Did you have to pay any penalties or fees? Any insights would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you!

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Mordko
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Re: Canadian living in US with RRSPs. Has anybody transferred RRSPs to Questrade?

Post by Mordko » 23 Aug 2017 07:12

My wife transferred her RRSP from RBC to Questrade a few years ago. The most painful thing was telling RBC to move the money. Their "advisor" got visibly pissed off and told my wife that she would no longer receive her "valuable advice". In reality it wasn't "advice" at all but sales, sales and more sales. Then again, you don't really need to talk to your current brokers when transferring the funds.

Things to watch are the charges for leaving whatever scheme you are in. Questrade will compensate - up to a limit - assuming you are transferring a decent amount of money to them.

Generally the process is straighforward and well worth your time.

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AltaRed
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Re: Canadian living in US with RRSPs. Has anybody transferred RRSPs to Questrade?

Post by AltaRed » 23 Aug 2017 11:06

Ask Questrade first. Some brokerages will not deal with those with US postal addresses.
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Re: Canadian living in US with RRSPs. Has anybody transferred RRSPs to Questrade?

Post by Peculiar_Investor » 23 Aug 2017 11:23

CanadianinNY wrote:
22 Aug 2017 12:57
Hi,

I'm a Canadian citizen living in the US as a permanent resident for the past 3 years. 47 years old, planning on semi-retirement back in Canada in about 8-9 years. I currently have fairly substantial RRSPs through two brokers in Canada, but they're both costing me almost 2% for basically nothing.
Are the brokers charging this fee, or is it the management expenses on the investments within your RRSPs? Depending on the answer, it may be possible to maintain your existing broker relationship and just change the investments to low-cost, broad-based ETFs to reduce your costs.
I've been looking into transferring my RRSPs from my current brokers to Questrade instead - I understand they're sort of the Vanguard of Canada for these kinds of RRSP savings.
I'm not sure I understand the comparison. Unlike Vanguard in the US, Vanguard Canada doesn't provide index mutual funds, or ETFs that trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and can be purchased from any Discount brokerage - finiki, the Canadian financial wiki.
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queerasmoi
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Re: Canadian living in US with RRSPs. Has anybody transferred RRSPs to Questrade?

Post by queerasmoi » 25 Aug 2017 08:29

The "Vanguard of Canada" is "does not exist". We don't have a mutual fund broker, unaffiliated with a major bank, that sells you ultra-low-fee no-trailer index mutual funds. TD e-Funds are low-ish fee but not really comparable either. Vanguard itself sells ETFs in Canada through the stock exchange.

The absence of Vanguard-like providers is why ETFs figure so prominently in index investing on this side of the border.

CanadianinNY
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Re: Canadian living in US with RRSPs. Has anybody transferred RRSPs to Questrade?

Post by CanadianinNY » 25 Aug 2017 15:00

Thanks all for your wise words. When I was mentioning the Vanguard comparison, it was really to talk about the costs associated with my RRSPs and the kinds of funds I could purchase - I should have said index mutual funds instead of ETFs. TD told me that they couldn't open an account for me as a non-resident, but Questrade said they could. Mordko, your wife didn't have any tax issues in Canada or the US once she switched over to Questrade? It's really my broker who has been telling me that I can't do this as easily as I think, that there are particular challenges to being in a Canadian in the US with RRSP holdings, that I need an expert like him to make sure I don't run afoul of tax laws etc. Just want to feel confident about all of this before I take a plunge and find out there's something I didn't know that will end up costing me.

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