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I am a Canadian citizen working in the United States on a TN-1 visa. I've been working for over 3 years now and have amassed money that I should start some retirement savings with. The popular options seem to be 401k and Roth IRA. I don't have plans for moving back to Canada but with layoffs and general uncertainty about the job market nowadays, that just might happen whether I plan it or not. :-(

If you are on a TN-1 status (not a visa - there's a difference) then you do need to plan for a return as these do not provide permanent residency and if you lose the job and do not get another very quickly then you will be required to leave the US.

As a Canadian, a Roth IRA is not a very good idea at all. Canada and apparently other countries do not recognize the tax status of these. At first Canada was not allowing the gains inside of these accounts to be deferred. Now the gains are deferred but when withdrawals occur they are taxed at regular income tax levels. Not a very good place to put your money for retirement - taxed on the way in and taxed on the way out. For Canadians, a 401k and a regular IRA can both work out fine.

If you want to discuss these issues on a board with many others in the same situation then go to -

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