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I have been living in Canada since the Summer of 2006. I came over when my partner got a job in Toronto, and we have both gotten our permanent resident cards by now. We like Canada quite a bit, but due to professional concerns we are not sure yet whether we will stay here long-term or not, so we want to make our investments flexible in case we end up back in the US at some point. Because of that, I have been hesitant to lock up any considerable portion of assets in RRSPs, despite the fact that I know it makes sense to begin to take advantage of tax-sheltered compound interest as soon as possible. We have accumulated substantial savings, but it is almost all in cash or cash equivalents. That has served us well during the recent financial crisis, but long-term I would like to own more productive assets.

Does anyone here have experiences that they would be willing to share about investing as a US citizen living in Canada? I think there is a good chance (about 50/50) that we will stay here long term and that I would get Canadian citizenship (and thus have dual US/Canadian citizenship). Any concerns about contributing the maximum to RRSPs? What would happen if we went back to the US, but left the assets in the RRSP until retirement age? How would accessing the assets from the US work?

Also, any pointers to web resources or books that bear on these issues would be most appreciated.

I have been filing my US taxes (I still do them on paper!) but that process has been relatively simple since our investments are as mentioned mostly cash.

I have found a number of good Canadian personal finance blogs (Canadian Capitalist and Million Dollar Journey being two standout examples) which can help a new resident navigate Canada-specific personal finance issues. However, they don't often have advice for people in my (dual US/Canada) situation.

Thanks in advance (and sorry for the post length).
 

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For what it is worth, you can now shelter $5000 per year in an account, that is not RRSP and the interest is not taxed on withdrawal. It can contain stocks mutual funds or cash & bonds. the 5K accumulates annually once the account is opened so if you miss a year you can put in 10K the next year & so on. A bank can set it up
 

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The TFSA is not good for US citizens because the IRS has not ruled on them yet (and probably will not allow them). So, I would not have to pay the Canadian government, but I would probably have to pay the US government (and would certainly have to report it on my tax return).
 

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i read about one good book:

"Terry Ritchie He is co-author of The Canadian in America, The Canadian Snowbird in America and The American in Canada, all published by ECW Press Canada. "

To read the chat that this guy hold on globe and mail, do a google on: "Terry Ritchie globe and mail". there were too many good tips
 

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Thanks, that's a great series of links.

I just bought a copy of his book too, though I have not had a chance to read it yet.
 
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