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AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 23 Feb 2016 4:47 am

By the way, it's not free to terminate (renounce or document relinquishment of) U.S. citizenship or long-term U.S. permanent residence. There's a US$2350 fee to obtain a U.S. Certificate of Loss of Nationality. There is also potentially an Expatriation Tax. You must have a global net worth of $2 million or more on the date of renunciation/relinquishment in order to stand a chance of owing any U.S. Expatriation Tax. If you are a "covered expatriate" (subject to the Expatriation Tax) then one unfortunate side effect is that any U.S. citizen heirs (who might be your own children) become subject to an inheritance tax on any assets you leave to them. The U.S. doesn't actually have an inheritance tax otherwise; there's only an estate tax, and only on quite large estates (above about $5.4 million now, adjusted for inflation annually). But the U.S. estate tax flips to a tougher U.S. inheritance tax if you're a covered expatriate and if your heirs are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

Former citizens (covered expatriates or not) also lose certain U.S. tax benefits on any/all U.S. source income. In particular, they tend to get pushed into 30% tax rates (and mandatory 30% withholding) unless a tax treaty says otherwise, and only a few do. The U.S. and Singapore don't have an income tax treaty, so Singaporeans zoom up to 30% effective tax rates on their U.S. source income. If you try to avoid this problem by shifting assets before renunciation/relinquishment then, if they're U.S. tax advantaged retirement assets, you typically pay early withdrawal penalties. And of course shifting assets means there's an asset sale, and capital gains taxes get triggered. (Although the 30% rate is higher than even the top marginal U.S. capital gains rate U.S. citizens/permanent residents enjoy.) On top of all that, U.S. financial markets are extremely efficient, so it generally costs quite a bit more to hold assets elsewhere in terms of broker commissions, management fees, etc., and it's certainly not free to move assets.

In summary, yes, there's a cost that members of the "Six Percent Club" (like me!) pay, typically some single digit percentage (usually low single digit) of their total non-U.S. source income. There are also rights and privileges, contingent and/or actual, associated with U.S. citizenship. And there's a cost to end your U.S. citizenship: minimum $2350, sometimes much more. It's an interesting mixture.

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Tue, 23 Feb 2016 1:08 pm

The United States is the country where the most pilots get trained, and it's the largest and most affordable place to fly, including recreationally. Citizenship has privileges that are helpful, notably the fact you can stay in the United States as long as you want and fly wherever you want, for employment or pleasure, and pick up whatever additional licensing you want (such as a new type rating) more affordably than anywhere else. It's a wonderful citizenship for aviators. A few years ago I met some Germans who took an airline flight to the U.S. a couple times a year in order to pilot their recreational aircraft they bought and kept in the U.S. Even with the airline flight and hotels, it was still cheaper for them to enjoy their hobby in the U.S. -- much, much cheaper. I'm highly confident they would retire in the U.S. if they could and continue flying their pleasure airplanes if they had that option, when the time comes. (See below.) But they can't. There is no retirement visa into the United States.

Flying as a hobby is one thing. Flying for money and a career is another thing. May I know what industry do you work in? You sound pretty insightful about the flying industry in the states. My husband is now working for one of the top 2 best paying airlines in the world. Returning to the states would mean a 1/3 pay cut. And US airlines often furlough their employees after years of hard work!

You also mentioned retirement visa, yes depends where in the States you want to retire in. Nice towns usually come with a heavy price tag and lots of tax. Great sunshine and outdoor space, Cali there you go. Unless you have racked up lots of money for retirement. property tax, tax this tax that, by the way have you heard of a healthy tax you need to contribute to waiters when you dine out in San Fran? Go figure.

Oh just to add, USA does NOT recognise my husband's company (sorry i meant the whole country's) retiring fund, similar to the CPF you get. Note, we live in an advanced developed top 1 tier country, I can't figure how this makes sense. So basically every month, the money that is supposed to go into our so called "CPF" gets cashed out along with our monthly paycheck. Tell me how the USA made everything easier? Good thing is we could use part of this on stocks investing, but then USA taxes my husband's hard earned stocks money too, if the account is under his name.


Paying a CPA is a choice, not a requirement. Most Americans use circa $20 tax preparation software to get their annual ritual done, and some even use free software. (H&R Block has a free online edition this tax year.)

Thank you, we have just used Turbo Tax last week.
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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Tue, 23 Feb 2016 1:30 pm

Could you please share with me how your US citizenship benefited you as an expat working outside of the States?

OK, here are some examples:

1. Tax advantages in certain countries. For example, Japan and the U.S. have a social security treaty, so if you're on a work assignment in Japan then quite often/typically you would remain in the U.S. Social Security system. The U.S. Social Security system is much better than Japan's demographically challenged social security system -- lower contribution rates, higher benefits. A comparably situated Singapore citizen would be required to contribute to the Japanese system since there is no social security treaty between those countries. Indeed, Singapore has no social security treaties at all as far as I know. The U.S. has social security treaties with most developed countries -- and even a few developing countries. The treaties also mean that, even if you do end up contributing into a treaty country's system, you can qualify for future retirement benefits from that system. I really hope Singapore signs at least a few social security treaties in the near future, but sadly that hasn't happened yet.

There you go. We don't get "future retirement benefits from that system". Our so called "CFP" gets cashed out monthly. WHEREAS, our other non-american colleagues don't have to go through this ordeal.


2. The U.S. allows excess foreign tax credits, and this works quite well in a higher tax jurisdiction like Japan, France, Belgium, Denmark, etc. When you work in Japan (or in any other comparatively high income tax country) you pay Japanese income tax at fairly high rates. The U.S. tax rate is lower, so you end up accumulating some or all of the difference as excess (unspent) foreign tax credits. The higher the income you have in that country, the more excess credits you accumulate. Then if, for example, you go work in the U.S. you can "spend down" those accumulated excess credits. In effect the U.S. pays down the higher income tax you had to pay to Japan. You have up to 10 years to spend down a previously accumulated excess credit, so this really is quite generous. Singapore doesn't do that -- you get no excess credit when you return to Singapore after a stint working overseas in a higher tax country. Actually I don't know of any other country that does this; it seems to be unique to the U.S.

Never heard of that but thanks for educating. Not working in and no plans to work in the aforementioned countries.


3. On occasion there are some visa benefits associated with U.S. citizenship. To pick a couple examples, U.S. citizens can enter Kuwait free of charge but almost nobody else can. U.S. citizens can also frequently get 5 year visas to Saudi Arabia, with 90 days allowed per visit, whereas practically everybody else gets 180 day (maximum) visas with 30 days allowed per visit. Canada gives U.S. citizens the greatest preference among all non-Canadians, so much so that many professionals can relocate to Canada very quickly with minimum red tape. Moreover, U.S. citizenship is compatible with possession of other citizenships, unlike Singapore citizenship. U.S. citizens who are also citizens of another country can "visa shop" across their citizenships. That also means they can apply for a visa in one passport while traveling on another, which is very convenient for frequent business travelers.

Well, my Singapore passport works just as fine too. From my memory for the past 5 years of constantly traveling for leisure (since my husband is a pilot), I remember a couple of instance (more than I did) where he had to get visa for his American passport, or visa on arrival. The only time I remember I had to do mine was to India. Oh I had to pay like $80USD (correct me if I'm wrong) to REGISTER TO WAIVE MY VISA to go to the US. Yes, the US charged me to waive my visa.


4. In my experience certain customers in certain countries give some advantage to U.S. citizen business visitors. That tends to be in "Western" defense and national security related industries, although not exclusively. But that citizenship does have certain advantages with certain customers. Maybe it has something to do with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Yes, I know, there is a certain cohort of U.S. citizens that complains about the FCPA, but many customers view the FCPA as a helpful, distinguishing characteristic of doing business with U.S. citizens.

Please share with me. So do they look at your nationality or your bank account?


5. The United States is the world's largest economy, and unfettered access to that country can be quite useful when conducting international business affairs. You can do things like speak at a conference in New York, and even accept a speaking fee, without any visa restrictions. Certain industries like entertainment, Internet, and finance are quite heavily dominated or influenced by U.S. based entities, conferences, etc.

Yes no doubt the US has created lots of good/bad influence across the world. But in reality the China economy is going to take over officially within the next few decades. Its degree of influence to society doesn't and shouldn't determine where I reside and work.


6. The United States has by far the lowest cost, most efficient financial services. For example, low cost U.S. credit cards and ATM/debit cards are extremely cost-effective for globe hoppers, and I make heavy use of them wherever I go. It's actually much cheaper for me to spend money or withdraw cash using U.S. cards in every country except Singapore -- and occasionally even in Singapore (e.g. Uber right now) -- even when the income I'm spending from is received in Singapore in Singapore dollars. Singapore-issued cards are terrible in comparison to U.S. cards. Such U.S. financial instruments are at least quite difficult to obtain (and maintain) unless you're a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident, especially the best U.S. cards.

This is my first time ever hearing from an American about this view. Thanks for sharing. But more often the following is what I hear about> http://www.ibtimes.com/americans-abroad ... ay-1517032


7. U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible for enrollment in U.S. Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI. These programs provide extremely rapid clearance through U.S. immigration, but they also provide reciprocal privileges in certain other countries, e.g. South Korea. I've found Global Entry to be sometimes useful, in making a tight flight or ground connection in the United States for example. But even if you're not enrolled in one of those programs you still get to use the shorter "citizen" lines. And, as I mentioned, U.S. citizenship is compatible with possession of other citizenships, so some U.S. citizens are eligible to use shorter immigration lines and trusted traveler programs based in their other home countries. U.S. citizens are also now eligible for APEC Business Travel Card immigration line privileges (although not visa waiver privileges where applicable).

From my experience, depends how lucky you are lining up at the Immigration Control. I could end up going through faster than my husband in the Global Entry line. Also, you mentioned - U.S. citizenship is compatible with possession of other citizenships - then please explain Record Numbers Renounce Their U.S. Citizenship: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/ ... 040ea1a6e6


8. U.S. citizens have the option to retire in the United States. Most of us don't plan to work until we're dead, at least not in the same job or at the same pace. The U.S. is among the most attractive countries for retirement.

Refer to my earlier response to this.


9. U.S. citizens enjoy access to perhaps the world's largest network of consulates and embassies, and occasionally I've taken advantage of consular services abroad. The U.S. consular network also provides a great deal of support to American businesses and citizens, even in some very odd places. Singapore just doesn't offer such a large consular network.

To net it out, the rights and privileges associated with U.S. citizenship have value, contingent and/or realized. How much value is situational, of course, but "fairly substantial" is my answer in my situation, even as a non-U.S. resident.

Disclaimer: Thank you for your views BBC, I am just sharing my experience holding a SG passport vs my husband's USA passport. And I felt like I have less trouble dealing with financial stuff, applying for visas and so on. I feel privileged to be a Singaporean! We are not businessmen nor entrepreneurs so many business policies don't affect us. We just want a well-to-do simple life and greater ease and opportunities at raising kids in a safe and happy environment, and bringing our hard-earned salary home rather than contributing to additional US tax. I understand that you might think your US citizenship is favouring your circumstances, but for us, its really not. At least to me, I feel that Singapore is a better place to raise families! Would enjoy your discussion on this! :) By the way, are you married? Do you have kids? Because my husband's company pays for our kids' schooling but guess what, the US WILL BE TAXING THAT TOO. TAXING THE SUBSIDIZED SCHOOL FEES THE COMPANY IS PAYING ON BEHALF OF US.

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Tue, 23 Feb 2016 2:06 pm

One more thing BBC, since the US doesn't recognise my husband's retirement account abroad (in the top 1 tier country we are living in now), he has to pay income tax on that which normally doesn't get taxed on. To make it simpler, its like your "CPF" has to be cashed out (in our case) and we need to pay tax on it.

Second, since flying over International Waters is not considered as foreign-earned income, flying to the States from where we live now - would meant being taxed on the number of hours in a plane over international waters! This applies to ALL and ANY FLIGHTS over international waters - for example flying from Japan to Canada and forth, Australia to South Africa, France to America, Hong Kong to New Zealand and so on. For example, a flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles is about 12 hours, and 9 hours of which will be taxed by the United States - if you are a US citizen flight crew.

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 24 Feb 2016 2:04 am

I'll reply to a few points, but bear in mind I don't know your husband's situation fully.

1. There is no such thing as an internationally tax advantaged retirement savings account, for you or for him. However, your husband undoubtedly could now make contributions to a U.S. tax advantaged retirement savings account. The U.S. has tax treaties with several countries -- many more than Singapore has -- that often shield such accounts from foreign taxation (or at least defer taxation). Specifically, your husband should take a look at making nondeductible U.S. Traditional IRA contributions and then also consider whether to convert/rollover his Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. In fact, he has until April 15, 2016, to make a 2015 nondeductible Traditional IRA contribution. (I'm assuming his income is too high to make a deductible Traditional IRA contribution, but that's OK.)

Bear in mind that there are at least two different things here. Many countries (not Singapore) have social security systems that offer defined benefits. The U.S. is one of those countries, and the U.S. also has social security treaties with many countries. Such treaties are sometimes advantageous (and certainly have been for me). Then there are tax advantaged savings accounts (some of which are compulsory) that are defined contribution programs. Examples include CPF and Australia's superannuation funds. Those are very different than defined benefit programs. The U.S. also has tax advantaged defined contribution options, particularly IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) but also 401(k)s and even 529s (for college savings). (In fairness CPF has certain aspects of a defined benefit program, but by and large it's a defined contribution program.)

2. Yes, the Singapore passport is well respected around the world. I did not argue otherwise. But I provided specific examples when the U.S. passport is more respected, more privileged. And if you've got a U.S. passport plus another passport that is also well respected, as U.S. citizenship allows you to do, then you've got a really great situation.

3. Yes, there are several press articles about U.S. citizens renouncing their citizenships. It's a rather easy story to write, and journalists like easy stories. The press reports news, and news is by definition something odd, something unusual -- a surprise. "Dog bites man" is not news, but "man bites dog" is. Such is the case with renunciation of U.S. citizenship. Approximately 4,000 U.S. citizens renounce their U.S. citizenships each year among approximately 7 million U.S. citizens living outside the United States and also with about 800,000 individuals each year naturalizing as U.S. citizens. (Exact statistics are not available, but these numbers are at least roughly correct.) Renunciation is a very rare event, quite simply. U.S. citizenship is a valuable citizenship that (for about 6% of Americans living overseas) costs something to maintain but also costs something else to terminate (at least $2350, sometimes quite a bit more). Only about 4,000 per year actually do it. (Interesting question: how does that compare to the number of Singaporeans who lose/terminate Singaporean citizenship each year?)

4. Some customers/clients, particularly in certain industries (e.g. defense, national security), look at nationality, yes. I can vouch for this personally. You asked, I answered.

5. It is entirely reasonable to consider a country's degree of influence in particular sectors and industries, especially if you participate in those sectors/industries. And no, with due respect it is not reasonable to assume that China will overtake the United States in all the sectors that the United States currently dominates. I don't make value judgments here -- I just look at reasonable, rational predictions. The United States is #1 and will be #1 across several sectors even in the most wildly optimistic forecasts for China's future. And, moreover, maintaining a #1 position isn't even a requirement. If you were choosing between acquiring Chinese citizenship and U.S. citizenship (or maintaining one or the other), maybe that would be relevant. But that's not the question. The question is how valuable U.S. citizenship is, and in particular professions it is extremely valuable and has a high likelihood of being extremely valuable over our lifetimes. The entertainment industry is one of several examples. I love Singapore, truly, but it simply isn't the first citizenship you would choose (if you have a choice and/or if you're forced to make a choice) if you're planning to conquer the entertainment world and make tons of money in that sector. (Interesting question: who is the highest paid Singapore citizen entertainer, and how much is he/she paid?) There's just no question whatsoever that there are many Americans who are extremely successful in their fields (and globally so), and for whom their U.S. citizenship was/is an absolute prerequisite to their success.

I really don't think this is a controversial point.

6. I think you've completely mischaracterized the retirement attributes of the United States. For example, criticizing San Francisco because it has a certain tax unique to San Francisco -- a lovely place, by the way -- is not a valid criticism of the United States as a retirement destination. (It's probably not even a valid criticism of San Francisco as a retirement destination. So what that there's a restaurant tax of some kind. Who cares? Is the food good, and does it provide value for money? Yes, and typically yes.) The #1 retirement state in the U.S. is Florida, and you didn't even mention Florida. Florida has a low cost of living, at least among developed countries. But OK, let's suppose you don't like Florida as a retirement destination. No problem, there are 49 other states, and some of those states are huge. Singapore is very small. Again, this isn't a controversial point. The United States is a big country with more diversity of experiences for retirees (and others). If you like to ski every day when you retire, no problem, the U.S. has scores of world class places to ski. Singapore doesn't. That's not to say that Singapore is bad as such. But it is a very bad place to retire if you like skiing. It's also a very bad place to retire if you would like to continue enjoying aviation, owning and flying a private airplane for pleasure. As many professional pilots do.

Please, let's not be silly about this. There are many wonderful countries, and the U.S. is one of them, truly. It has a great deal to offer to many. Including the ability to -- more affordably than anywhere else -- have a retirement home with an attached airplane hangar for your private 4 seat airplane that you taxi onto the runway of the airport that you live next to. (Many retired pilots do this, living in "aero estates/aero parks." Much like living next to a golf course -- and maybe there is a golf course, too -- you're living next to an airport with a private taxiway to your own private airplane hangar.) Does any retired pilot in Singapore do this? Does that opportunity even exist? Can you buy a house and taxi your plane onto the runway at Changi Airport or Seletar? ;) I suppose, theoretically, at some price you could do this, but it would be a heck of a lot more expensive to say the least.

Is your husband going to move to an aero estate when he's 62 or 65 or whatever? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. However, that might be my plan for my future. ;)

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Thu, 25 Feb 2016 1:10 pm

BBC, my husband, 27, just started his career 5 years ago and is now earning >$200K. So if you were in our situation, would you want to worry about paying additional US taxes for the next 30 years with no desire of returning to the States? I'm also curious what industry do you work in, BBC. Aviation is quite a niche and its very different from any form of Business Management where anyone can apply, study and get a degree in.

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 25 Feb 2016 1:38 pm

ricedoll wrote:BBC, my husband, 27, just started his career 5 years ago and is now earning >$200K. So if you were in our situation, would you want to worry about paying additional US taxes for the next 30 years with no desire of returning to the States?

I don't know. I'm not your husband. Nor are you. It's his citizenship, and only he has the power to change his citizenship status. You're not the one who chooses (or not) to stop by the U.S. Embassy on Napier Road. How would you feel if your husband started complaining about the national service obligations your male children together will have, or the MediShield Life premiums (taxes) you must still pay even if you move together to another country, and how you really need to find another citizenship, pressuring you to naturalize? I certainly wouldn't blame you for being quite offended at the suggestion. Your citizenship status is yours, your personal identity. Not his.

You apparently place a great deal of emphasis on your husband's take home pay in the moment. (Maybe he does as well.) That's not a criticism, but I would point out that some people -- including our spouses -- may see the world differently. Let them, if they wish.

Now, hypothetically if I were inclined to renounce my U.S. citizenship, then I would want to know my spouse's views since my renunciation could negatively impact her future. And I would respect her views. If she vetoed the idea, I'd almost certainly follow her veto. She married an American, so that (the status quo) was part of the deal. She didn't marry a non-American, so if that's what I'm thinking about then I need to make sure she's OK with it. Perhaps she would like to move to the United States, retire in the United States, live with our child (and/or future children) in the United States...whatever. She cannot do any of that if she doesn't have an American husband, or at least it would be highly implausible that she could. (And her/our future children wouldn't be U.S. citizens if I were not.) So respecting our spouse's personal decisions is important, but then so is respecting the impact of those personal decisions on our partner. This is what marriage is about, I think.

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Thu, 25 Feb 2016 3:32 pm

Well, BBC, my husband and I discuss about citizenships and our future (re)location frequently. So we are very open about it. Plus, if Trump or Hilary every gets elected, we will be more uncertain about the future of the country. Did you read an article titled something like Canada is the New America?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/opini ... .html?_r=0

Of course you might think America is better in many ways. My husband's company pays for our kids' International Schooling so this to us is very good. At least I don't have to worry about the safety of my kids studying in the States or their friends bringing fire arms to the class. To be honest, this is a very worrying problem to us. Then of course you would also say that kids in the States can access wide beaches and surf in oceans, do things that city kids can't do. Like I mentioned since my husband is a pilot, we get cheap/almost free travel to anywhere we want. In addition to his time off from work (which is quite standard 2 weeks or more per month), we can easily bring our kids to surf in Bali, whale-watch in Vancouver, ski in Switzerland. So I don't think being in the US or not is the main factor for us. The salary and lifestyle is more important, to us.

You also mentioned about retiring in the States. I have been to Florida plenty of times. My in-laws live there, on a resort / retirement-like island in fact. However, the lifestyle is too laid-back to us. I might also alarm the locals as being one of the only few Asians around town. Being in FL would also mean far and long travel back to Asia and anywhere else in the world. To get from Asia to FL, we had to take at least 2 flights! Very long ones. Is Florida where you want to retire? I guess at least for my husband, after so many years of flying, he wouldn't want to deal with another plane after he retires. A private runway wouldn't be top of our desire-list.

Retirement doesn't limit to where you are from or what passports you hold anymore. Plenty of pilot colleagues commute to other countries when they are off work. Some in Phuket, Bali, there's even one in Bahamas! That doesn't mean you need to be the citizens there to live. With the pilots flying at least a few times a month, i don't think there will be an issue of over-staying or being an illegal immigrant. Do you have pilot friends? One captain I know, pay >20KUSD PER YEAR in US taxes. I don't know how you would feel about it. I could have paid for my kid's university every year with that.

In addition, if your kids are scattered across the world. Say one in Aussie, one in the UK, one in the US. I'm sure as parents you are more than welcome to stay with them a few months a year or as long as you want (just don't violate the law) after you retire. They might even help you apply for residency! I think retirement is not at the top of our worry-list for now either. With less taxes and more savings, one can almost buy and live anywhere they want! If I need to have my healthcare covered, the company provides that after my husband retires too. Just a short flight back here.

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Thu, 25 Feb 2016 3:41 pm

You also mentioned about marriage being about to respect and embrace each other's nationality and benefits from their countries. I really adore NZ and would very much to live there. But that doesn't mean I go around hunting for a kiwi guy. :D

Marriage to us is more about creating a future together. :oops:
To have a good stable job, yielding good salary and savings. Creating a good lifestyle for my kids, good education. Save enough for where they want to study in the future!

I want to mention I have friends born and raise in the States, after a good degree and still jobless! Whereas I also have friends from Asia, studied in Asia. Topped up with a US master degree and now working in Amazon, Facebook etc. Where you are from, or what passport you hold doesn't really limit to where you go from here anymore. Of course my kids will hold both US and SG passports for their early lives but who knows I might encourage them to keep their SG passport instead to avoid filing and paying US taxes for the rest of their lives. The world is huge, I'm sure they could go future than being in just the US or SG. I want to make lives easier for them =D>

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 25 Feb 2016 8:47 pm

ricedoll wrote:Of course you might think America is better in many ways.

I'm highly confident the United States is a better place to live than Singapore if, as a couple examples among many, you often enjoy recreational flying or skiing. There are many lovely countries -- scores of them at least -- and the United States is one of them. This fact should not be controversial.

I don't have to worry about the safety of my kids studying in the States or their friends bringing fire arms to the class.

OK, that's nice, but U.S. citizens are not required to live in the United States at every or any point in time. Or specifically in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for that matter. (I just picked that as a random example.)

To be honest, this is a very worrying problem to us.

Why? You don't live anywhere in the United States.

Like I mentioned since my husband is a pilot, we get cheap/almost free travel to anywhere we want.

While he's an airline pilot, yes. In a few cases in retirement as well, but ask former Pan Am pilots how that's working out. ;)

The salary and lifestyle is more important, to us.

So your husband has nobody he cares about in the United States?

I guess at least for my husband, after so many years of flying, he wouldn't want to deal with another plane after he retires.

Are you assuming that, or did he tell you that? Many, even most, professional pilots I've met have a keen passion for flying. Many retired pilots wish to continue flying, and many do. In the United States.

Retirement doesn't limit to where you are from or what passports you hold anymore....That doesn't mean you need to be the citizens there to live.

Perhaps, but other countries are not the United States. The United States does not offer a retirement visa.

Do you have pilot friends?

I do.

One captain I know, pay >20KUSD PER YEAR in US taxes. I don't know how you would feel about it.

You're extremely concerned about your husband's immediate take home pay, aren't you? ;)

I pay U.S. tax on non-U.S. source income and do not reside in the United States. I am quite familiar with the concept. Naturally I would prefer not to pay U.S. tax or for that matter any other taxes -- that'd be lovely. Or have children be subject to compulsory military service for that matter. But I'll let you in on a little secret: there's a bit more to life than what's immediately in my bank account. Moreover, I don't presume to know how that captain feels or should feel. It's his business, his personal identity. And I certainly don't question my wife's citizenship, even though I wish she weren't subject to inheritance tax.
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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 25 Feb 2016 8:55 pm

ricedoll wrote:You also mentioned about marriage being about to respect and embrace each other's nationality and benefits from their countries. I really adore NZ and would very much to live there. But that doesn't mean I go around hunting for a kiwi guy. :D

No, but you married an American. His citizenship is part of the package, and your citizenship is part of the package, too.

What are you trying to do here? Are you trying to find reasons to bend him to your will? I don't get it.

Creating a good lifestyle for my kids, good education.

Don't you mean "our" kids? They're his kids too, right?

I want to mention I have friends born and raise in the States, after a good degree and still jobless!

That's interesting, but what has that got to do with your husband's possession of U.S. citizenship?

Where you are from, or what passport you hold doesn't really limit to where you go from here anymore.

Sure it does. If your hypothesis is correct, then why do so many people want to acquire other citizenships, including U.S. citizenship, Singaporean citizenship, and several others?

Of course my kids will hold both US and SG passports for their early lives but who knows I might encourage them to keep their SG passport instead to avoid filing and paying US taxes for the rest of their lives.

Right, they can pay Singaporean taxes for the rest of their lives. ;)

I want to make lives easier for them =D>

Here's an idea: why don't you let them decide what they want to do, of their own free will? That would certainly make their lives easier, not having somebody else trying to make their personal decisions about their personal identities for them.

ricedoll
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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Fri, 26 Feb 2016 12:33 am

Thanks for your contribution BBC. Well first and foremost, renunciation was mainly HIS idea and our discussion. I know that you are concerned about what's gonna happen to our family in the US. To be honest, we haven't thought about it that deep and far into it. Like I said, with a job that yields good days off, we can travel as and whenever we want back to the US to visit (is any) sick family members. 90 days visa free in the US with my SG passport if I am not wrong. Thats a long period of time!

I know, we know, many old-school pilots and ex-pilots would love to fly after retiring. Not my husband, of course I didn't assume that. He told me that! Trust me, we talk about everything openly. And if we ever want to fly again, now or in the future, regardless he is holding an US passport or not, we have plenty of pilot friends in the US. We can rent one through them. Doing that once or twice a year will be more than an adventure to us already! What airlines do your pilot friends work for? Different airlines have different contracts, different welfare. One thing, my husband earns at least 3X more than the local carrier.

Take-home salary is, of course, important! To both of us, not just me. My husband is very concerned too. For older pals who are nearing their retirement age, I assume Citizenship Based Taxation wouldn't affect them that much because 1-maybe they paid off their kids schooling? 2-maybe they have had a long time saving up for their kids? 3-maybe they only have less than 10 years to pay US taxes until they retire? 4-maybe they are very determined to live in the US after they retire?

For us, we are too young to have CBT stopping us from saving up for a better future for our kids. Most of your friends, I reckon, do not face this problem until these few years. They had their whole first half of their lives to earn and save. We actually want to have kids soon! But when you think about that - paying taxes on the company-subsidised schooling fees? How is that acceptable? What about my husband's retirement fund NOT recognised in the US? So it gets cashed out each month and he pays taxes on it too? Renouncing is not deserting your homeland, its deserting this discrimination against its citizens or rather wealthy citizens. Sometimes I wonder why the US is so obsessed with taxing. State income tax, property tax, candy tax (there is!! somewhere in the midwest), health tax (like I mentioned SFO)... And that aside, I really don't like the idea of tipping at a restaurant. Restaurant owners should pay their workers acceptable good wage, and not putting the responsibility and burden on diners. In most parts of the world, its included in the check, I think thats more reasonable.

Like you said, you think America is definitely better to live in than Singapore. Then why are you in SG? For your job and money, right? The same reason why my husband and I are not living in the US. Because we have better jobs and salary here. If you suggest that there is more to money, then why don't you return to work in the US now?

True that the US does not have a retirement visa. In fact many Americans are retiring outside the US. Part of them in the Caribbean! Do you notice too, there are many Chinese living in the US? They bring their parents in. And I don't think all of the parents hold a Green Card. You don't need a Green Card to have a "retired lifestyle" in the US. Maybe retiring to them means being near where your kids are, helping them with the grandkids, relaxing and not worrying a thing? Maybe they can simply travel across to Canada and go back to the US to keep their tourist visa active? If you are rich enough to pay for a private healthcare, then go ahead. Or you can always fly back your home country for healthcare.

Military Service, to me, is not a bad thing. True, it might take away 2 years of your time, but at least its spent on learning something. I am not an advocate of it either. But comparing this to my kid paying taxes for the rest of his life? Seeing all the stress my husband is going through with CBT... I think we know our choice. Who knows I might have a daughter! Statistically pilots do have higher chances at having daughters, something to do with exposure to radiation when flying. I know many who have at least 2 - 3 daughters!

Rest assured, I will make sure I explain the full obligation and liabilities that go with the US citizenship to my kids. Well, if you want to live in the US for the rest of your life, earn an average wage, its fine. But if you want to explore the world, work somewhere else other than in the US, or even make a very good wage, then I would suggest not keeping the US citizenship to my kid. What if they want to work in Europe and live there for the rest of their lives? Who knows?

Somehow I feel like the US is targeting the top 5%? or 1%? of its citizens. Its a punishment for living and working outside the States! Or do you think this FATCA, CBT thing is really targeting tax-evading cheaters out there?

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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby BBCWatcher » Fri, 26 Feb 2016 3:36 pm

ricedoll wrote:Like I said, with a job that yields good days off, we can travel as and whenever we want back to the US to visit (is any) sick family members. 90 days visa free in the US with my SG passport if I am not wrong.

There is no guarantee whatsoever that any particular foreigner can enter the United States. There have been periodic, specific proposals in Congress to ban renunciants from entry into the United States. Former U.S. citizens should assume that there is a possibility they will be denied all entry into the United States in the future.

Singapore also now has citizenship-based taxation (CBT). Singapore's CBT applies to a much, much greater percentage of its citizens and permanent residents living overseas than that of the United States.

... And that aside, I really don't like the idea of tipping at a restaurant.

What does tipping at a restaurant have to do with your husband's possession of U.S. citizenship?

Like you said, you think America is definitely better to live in than Singapore.

For many people it is. If, as another example, you are a professional baseball player, the United States is a better place to live than Singapore.

Then why are you in SG? For your job and money, right?

I live in Singapore, one of scores of lovely countries, for many reasons. I am not a professional baseball player, and skiing is not one of my favorite hobbies (as examples). I might change my mind in the future.

If you suggest that there is more to money, then why don't you return to work in the US now?

There is also more to life than now. (I certainly hope.)

Military Service, to me, is not a bad thing.... But comparing this to my kid paying taxes for the rest of his life?

Maybe your kid will have his own viewpoint? And if your kid has Singaporean citizenship, under present law your kid will almost certainly pay taxes for the rest of his life, too. (Whereas a U.S. citizen living overseas has about a 6% chance of owing any U.S. tax on non-U.S. source income.)

Statistically pilots do have higher chances at having daughters, something to do with exposure to radiation when flying.

Now you're just being completely silly, sorry to say.

Its a punishment for living and working outside the States!

U.S. citizens living and working overseas enjoy among the most generous tax breaks available in the U.S. tax code.

ricedoll
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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Fri, 26 Feb 2016 3:53 pm

I have absolutely NO PROBLEM paying MediShield Life. If I ever need medical care back in SG, I am the one benefiting from it. One wild thought, will your MSL contribution go up to >$20KUSD ever? SG healthcare benefits me if I ever need to be taken care of, but my husband see no benefit in paying US taxes every year. We don't have to go into this. Whether you feel that you have benefited from paying US taxes is highly subjective and debatable.

You mentioned being Hollywood celebrities, professional skier and baseball players. However, my husband is none of them. We enjoy our expat lifestyle outside of the US. And the career path is better here than in the US. So obviously, we don't need to go too deep into this as well.

I quote the following as I come across online:

Just completed my taxes for the year (at the end I hired the help of Taxes for Expats) because I could not take it anymore.
At the end:
- 2 weeks of work of preping and filing all the crazy FATCA forms myself
- 1 week for the tax preparer to get everything in order
- 50+ forms and pieces of paper bound together (when in envelope, it resembles a book)
- $900+ in tax prep fees (very complex filing)
- $38 to ship the forms
- $2 TAX DUE TO TREASURY!!!!!
This is as crazy as it gets!! But at the end, I am lucky (I guess) that I only have to send a check for $2!!!!


Filing for US taxes seems like a more daunting experience compared to paying MSL. Once again, I'd rather pay for MSL which would eventually or one day benefit myself.

ricedoll
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Re: AIRLINE PILOT!!! Chances for PR?

Postby ricedoll » Fri, 26 Feb 2016 3:57 pm

U.S. citizens living and working overseas enjoy among the most generous tax breaks available in the U.S. tax code.


Then why would anyone want to repeal FATCA?

https://renounceuscitizenship.wordpress ... eal-fatca/

http://www.greenbacktaxservices.com/blo ... us-expats/

http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?id ... ition-site


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