How should an American expat plan for retirement?

Like Social Security in the US, many countries have mandatory retirement savings programs that you must pay into as an employee. This is an area where you will need to plan ahead. Investing in the currency in which you plan to retire is advisable. If you plan on retiring in the United States, you may wish to keep paying into Social Security and open US-based retirement accounts. If you plan on retiring abroad, you may want to open a retirement savings account in that country, but be aware of filing requirements for financial accounts abroad – including the FBAR and FATCA/Form 8938. US taxes can have a seriously detrimental impact on your retirement savings, especially if investing overseas, as some local country savings plans are not treated as retirement plans by the IRS. We recommend that you speak to an expat tax adviser regarding your specific retirement planning options and how your US expat taxes will be impacted.