Account Options

The list below gives a very high level overview of the different investment options available to US citizens in the UK. I’ll write a more detailed blog post about each one and link it here as I do. The Flowchart gives a quick overview of how these can work together to help you save and invest.

  • Typically Recommended Investment Accounts (in rough priority order):
    • UK Employer Pension: US & UK tax advantaged, free money from the match, relatively high limits, can get index funds
    • US Roth IRA: US & UK tax advantaged, can get index funds
    • UK Self-Invested Personal Pension: UK tax advantaged (maybe US), relatively high limit, probably can get index funds without PFIC pain
    • UK Stocks & Shares ISA: UK tax advantaged, high limit, but individual stocks only (or deal with PFIC headaches)
    • UK Lifetime ISA: UK tax advantaged, 25% bonus but locked away until 60 except for first house purchase, low limit, individual stocks (or PFIC pain)
  • Social Security/Government Pensions
    • UK New State Pension: you mostly don’t have a choice and have to contribute. Relatively low typical and maximum benefits compared to US Social Security
    • US Social Security: still eligible if you’re eligible from previous working in the US. May be able to contribute from the UK. Higher typical and max benefits than UK State Pension
  • Other Accounts with Specific/Niche Applications
  • US Employer Accounts
  • Typically Not Recommended

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