Financial advice for US to Canada move.
September 25, 2007 3:06 PM   Subscribe

How do I find a financial adviser to help me best plan for a move from the US to Canada?

I will soon (next 3-4 months) be moving from the US to Canada (Montreal). I would like to consult with someone on how best to financially prepare for this move (I might or might not want to retain them to do my taxes). The kinds of questions that I would like answered include things like:

(1) I have stocks that I would like to sell for a significant profit within the next year or so. Should I do this while I live and work in the US or after I move to Canada (I assume the former b/c of the lower tax rate in the US)?

(2) I have the possibility of being paid either in Canada or in the US for consulting work. What is the best strategy for me?

I haven't had any luck finding financial planners in my area who are well versed in Canadian tax law. Web searching hasn't turned up anything either, though I suspect that my search strategy might be flawed.

Any ideas on where I should look for someone to help me out with this?
posted by googly to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We have used big firms with international lawyers/accountants. The benefit is that they're all under one umbrella and can handle somewhat complicated circumstances. We used PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Canada and they have generally been very good and able to advise us on timing and decisions of the sort to which you allude.

I'll be following this thread though, to see if there are individual suggestions for second opinions or friends who don't need super in-depth help.

I think PWC can do simple individual stuff like yours too; worth a call to see. If you ever go back to the States, the benefit is they might be able to transfer your files to another office and some of the paperwork and headache on your end might be somewhat alleviated.
posted by barnone at 4:04 PM on September 25, 2007

Could you not be paid partially in one currency, partially in another? Worth exploring, at any event, depending on your needs. If you must choose, well, these days, the Looney is rising on the back of the commodities boom and the greenback is declining on all our backs. All else being equal, you might want to stress the Canadian dollar.

Not that I know much about finance, mind you.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:01 PM on September 25, 2007

Thanks barnone, that's a good suggestion. I had assumed that companies of that sort would not be interested in small fry like myself.
posted by googly at 5:02 PM on September 25, 2007

I used Rick Bennett Tax and Accounting for the years I was filing Canadian and US tax returns. I had no assets to transfer so I didn't need real big financial advice. Gary Gauvin also comes highly recommended for tax services.

You can ask them about cross border financial planning as well. I think Gary is better versed on those matters than the guys at Rick Bennett.

Re: being paid in Canada or the US - in addition to consulting a tax pro, you should consult an immigration attorney to help you with potential visa and border crossing issues. Unfortunately I am not familiar with attorneys for people moving to Canada.
posted by crazycanuck at 5:10 PM on September 25, 2007

USAA (what? it's been days since I've mentioned them) has financial advisors, and they're accustomed to working with people who move from country to country. I believe that you don't have to be eligible for full USAA membership to do their financial advising program.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:14 PM on September 25, 2007

I would think you'd have more luck finding the kind of adviser you seek in Canada rather than in the USA. Lots of Americans living in Canada who have to deal with this kind of thing, and Canadians are pretty used to having their big neighbor to the south in the back of their mind all the time (as compared to Americans, who don't really have any reason to think about Canada).

You might also try American border cities that have a close connection with a twin city accross the border (E.g. Buffalo or Detroit).
posted by Emanuel at 8:58 PM on September 25, 2007

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