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Congrats on your decision to retire abroad! What country are you looking to live in?
First things first, I would never travel with a large amount of cash. If it's lost or stolen, it's gone forever. Plus, various countries may require you to declare the cash to customs, which may cause customs delays.
With a certified check or bank check, you need to check with the bank that you will use abroad and see if they accept foreign checks. Please note that it may take several days or weeks for the check to be processed and clear.
Same with money orders - you will need to ensure that your financial institution will accept them.
Traveler's checks are like cash, and if you lose them you can get them replaced. You'll need to make sure that the bank you choose accepts these as well.
If you want a foreign bank account, I would definitely open an account abroad, and then simply wire yourself money.
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Sorry for the delay, but I went to bed for the night. My concerns are about either penalties or IRS problems regarding having foreign bank accounts. If the foreign country has limitations re. the amount you can bring in, does this include not only how much you bring in in one-fell-swoop, or also how much you bring in over time by merely transferring from the US bank to the foreign bank. Philippines is our destination, so could you make your answers as relevant as possible to the Philippines. Thanks
What if you have two or more bank accounts with 9999 in each of them. Is the TDF 90.22-1 still required?
Is there a time span during which you cannot have transferred over 9999? i.e. If I transferred 9999 then spend it in a day, and I transfer another 9999 and spend it in a day, ad nauseum, but never have shown a balance of 10000 or more in the account: Is this ok?