Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0
Hi there,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm an expat in Australia trying to get a more solid understanding of where to place the bulk of my investments and how that will affect my taxes. I'm in Australia for the forseeable future, and I've already paid Australian tax on the $ that I'd be investing, but if I'm going to keep investing I figure I might as well do it in a way that is tax advantaged.I pay for an expat tax specialist to help me with my taxes each year, but they don't give financial advise. I'd like to either find someone I can speak to to help me navigate this, or educate myself on where I should (and shouldn't) be stashing my investments.

The question that I've been told I should be able to answer if I speak to a financial adviser is where I'd like to retire, but the truth is I'm not sure.

My current situation: is that I have three 'buckets' of money:
+ Australian pension fund
+ Savings (cash)
+ Vanguard index funds invested through Stake (Australia's equivalent to Robinhood)

My (potential) plan as it currently stands is to:
+ Continue my mandatory contributions to my Australian pension fund (tax advantaged)
+ Set up a Roth IRA & max it every year so that I can accrue some of my earnings tax free (and be able to take out contributions without penalty if I need/ want to)
+ Use any money leftover after my pension fund contributions and maxing out my Roth IRA to invest the rest of my earnings in (taxable) index funds (either through Stake or similar)

In the past I've used the FEIE (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion) to exclude my overseas earnings from my U.S. taxes, so I don't think I could have contributed to a 401K or a Roth. But, I do believe it is possible to use the Foreign Tax Credit instead of the FEIE, which would mean I could keep unexcluded income on my U.S. tax filing and still be able to contribute to an IRA. My questions are:

1) Can I / should I open a 401K and / or a Roth IRA if I'm living and earning overseas?
2) Is there any advantage to keeping my index fund investments in Stake vs investing directly through Vanguard? (Or is this a totally silly question and are they exactly the same thing for tax purposes)
Thanks in advance!
Print the post  


In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use the contents of any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.