UK citizens who retire in the USA need to have their affairs in order and know their rights and obligations in each country. What will happen when you retire and what can you do to make sure you receive all of your entitlements when you retire abroad in the USA?
Plan Before You Go
When you move to the United States in your 20s, the last thing on your mind will be how much you will be earning from your Basic State Pension from Her Majesty’s Government. But moving abroad is a major undertaking that should not be taken lightly. Before you go, it pays to plan in advance so that you keep your options open and decide early on what you want from retirement and whether you want to receive a British, as well as an American, pension.
Take a look at your financial situation before you move abroad. Find out about your tax liability in the UK, along with National Insurance contributions and get a pension forecast before you leave. Useful sites for UK citizens about to move abroad to the United States include the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and Directgov (under the section ‘Britons living abroad’). Stop by your bank and think carefully before you decide to close your British bank account. Offshore banking may be a more viable option than closing your account.
Pass on Your Address
Your family and friends will obviously be at the top of your list of people to receive your new address when you move abroad, but if you plan to retire outside the UK you should also inform HM Revenue and Customs, National insurance and the Department for Work and Pensions so that the appropriate authorities can contact you about your pension rights, entitlements and what you need to do if you wish to receive a Basic State Pension, but have not paid enough National Insurance contributions to qualify.
Moving abroad to the United States as a UK citizen is a major step and one that you should carefully consider before you make any firm decisions. If you also wish to retire in the United States, make sure you plan well before you go. Find out about your tax liability, and receive a pension forecast before you leave home. Do not forget to inform all the appropriate authorities of your change of address so that they can keep in touch with you and let you know what you need to do as you near retirement age.
British Embassy Washington, UK in the USA, What happens when you retire.