Retire in Finland Blog

How to? Read other's experiences. Find useful advice on shipping, immigration, residence permits, visas and more.
Upphew
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by Upphew » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:35 pm

justaguy wrote:
Chaapa wrote:Getting ready to make the move to Finland and I've found an apartment I want to buy. Don't know if this is relevant, but it's a new apartment. The sales office told me what I need to pay and the schedule for payments. No big deal. But here's the catch: I can't just transfer money from the USA via some international funds transfer. I've been told the money has to come from a Finnish bank account. I don't live in Finland yet and don't have a Finnish bank account. I have looked and looked online at various banks to find one that will allow me to open an account online. No deal. I called Osuuspankki this morning and I was told I have to appear in person at the bank with documents to prove my identity and once I've don't that, opening the account is no big deal. Transfers will be no big deal . I just have to fly to Finland first. I wish I had known this earlier, I might have opened an account when I was there in December...Sheesh!
Seriously what banks actually allow you to open an account online? :roll: None that I have ever heard of. The only thing you can open online is a Bitcoin wallet.

There might be some banks in the canary islands or whatever that you can open an account online with, or other banks that only the richest of the rich can use. Still I've never ever heard of it.
Estonian banks are headed that way: http://www.tivi.fi/Kaikki_uutiset/nain- ... ea-6547859 In fact according to that story, they already should have implemented that. For their e-citizens only though.


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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

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DMC
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by DMC » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:26 pm

justaguy wrote:Seriously what banks actually allow you to open an account online? :roll: None that I have ever heard of.
I think the co-operative bank in the UK still allows you to open an account online. I don't know of anything similar in Finland, although these things do change. Back in 2004 or 2005 my wife opened a Finnish account for me, in my name, over the phone. Even at the time that would not have been possible in the UK where I am from, but it was not a problem here. That doesn't mean it would (or should) be possible now of course.


Chaapa
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by Chaapa » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:54 pm

I just checked and there are many options in the US for opening accounts online, including Bank of America and many others. I suppose that the lesson in all of this was that when planning to move to Finland, plan to go over there and open a bank account before you arrive.

In my case it was the builder of my new apartment who insisted that money for the deposit must come from a Finnish bank. There was no option for international wire transfer of any kind. It seems to be it should be possible to send money from my account at Bank of America to their account at OP. I have sent money internationally several times in the past.

I don't know if this is other people's experience. Have other people bought apartments before arriving in Finland?

(Do I sound disgruntled? I'm not. I'm getting an extra trip to Finland, hopefully get to see my new home and see my dear daughter-in-law, however briefly).


AldenG
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by AldenG » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:50 am

The entire undertaking will be an exercise in inhabiting zen mind.

Flow like water over uneven ground, bend with the willingness of a reed where you must, and you just might thrive, stay in Finland, and stay married, all at once.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


Upphew
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by Upphew » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:35 pm

Chaapa wrote:I just checked and there are many options in the US for opening accounts online, including Bank of America and many others. I suppose that the lesson in all of this was that when planning to move to Finland, plan to go over there and open a bank account before you arrive.

In my case it was the builder of my new apartment who insisted that money for the deposit must come from a Finnish bank. There was no option for international wire transfer of any kind. It seems to be it should be possible to send money from my account at Bank of America to their account at OP. I have sent money internationally several times in the past.

I don't know if this is other people's experience. Have other people bought apartments before arriving in Finland?

(Do I sound disgruntled? I'm not. I'm getting an extra trip to Finland, hopefully get to see my new home and see my dear daughter-in-law, however briefly).
You transfer your money from Finnish bank to their account in Finnish bank. No problem. You transfer your money from your account in BoA to their account in Finnish bank and the money will be in limbo until money laundering stuff is done. Basically they try to minimize their hassle.
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betelgeuse
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by betelgeuse » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:21 pm

Upphew wrote:You transfer your money from Finnish bank to their account in Finnish bank. No problem. You transfer your money from your account in BoA to their account in Finnish bank and the money will be in limbo until money laundering stuff is done. Basically they try to minimize their hassle.
Regular Finnish transfers are Finnish SEPA transfers and so are cleared abroad any way. For regular transfers the recipient does not know who sent it so any SEPA account should do for the wire transfer. I am not sure if they would be able to notice a SWIFT transfer either if there's enough time for it to clear. I would put my money on the builder taking the easy route when asked and not to investigate the issue.


Chaapa
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by Chaapa » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:13 am

I have a question for any retired Americans living in Finland. How did you set your banking? Do you get your pensions/social security deposited directly into a Finnish account or do you keep an American account open and transfer funds as you need them? I'm finding resistance with both options. Bank of America Insists I keep an American address in order to keep my account open. That seems silly when I will actually not be living in the US. I don't particularly want to ask anyone in my family to get involved with my banking affairs. it's none of their business! So I opened a Finnish bank account but have no idea if I can have American retirement funds deposited directly into that account. The pensions are paid in dollars. At what point do they get converted to euros? The person at the bank did not know. Also I have always had a joint account with my husband in the US for paying household expenses. Is this common in Finland? Thanks in advance to sharing your
experiences here.


Upphew
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by Upphew » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:51 am

betelgeuse wrote:
Upphew wrote:You transfer your money from Finnish bank to their account in Finnish bank. No problem. You transfer your money from your account in BoA to their account in Finnish bank and the money will be in limbo until money laundering stuff is done. Basically they try to minimize their hassle.
Regular Finnish transfers are Finnish SEPA transfers and so are cleared abroad any way. For regular transfers the recipient does not know who sent it so any SEPA account should do for the wire transfer. I am not sure if they would be able to notice a SWIFT transfer either if there's enough time for it to clear. I would put my money on the builder taking the easy route when asked and not to investigate the issue.
The recipient won't care nor investigate, but banks do. Nordea got to the news recently, when they shifted dirty money.
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AldenG
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by AldenG » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:36 pm

Chaapa wrote:I have a question for any retired Americans living in Finland. How did you set your banking? Do you get your pensions/social security deposited directly into a Finnish account or do you keep an American account open and transfer funds as you need them? I'm finding resistance with both options. Bank of America Insists I keep an American address in order to keep my account open. That seems silly when I will actually not be living in the US. I don't particularly want to ask anyone in my family to get involved with my banking affairs. it's none of their business! So I opened a Finnish bank account but have no idea if I can have American retirement funds deposited directly into that account. The pensions are paid in dollars. At what point do they get converted to euros? The person at the bank did not know. Also I have always had a joint account with my husband in the US for paying household expenses. Is this common in Finland? Thanks in advance to sharing your
experiences here.
I believe the American address requirement is part of the Patriot Act or regulations of the same vintage. It's the same with credit cards nowadays. Neither used to be a problem.

Of course if you were a Saudi prince, other doors would be open.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


priki
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by priki » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:39 am

Joint account used to be quite common (and I believe still are among older people), e.g. me and my hb have a joint account. More common nowadays are separate accounts for salaries and one joint account to pay household expenses. Having only one joint account may cause problems if the other part dies. Then the account is freezed by the bank.


betelgeuse
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by betelgeuse » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:21 pm

Upphew wrote:The recipient won't care nor investigate, but banks do. Nordea got to the news recently, when they shifted dirty money.
Yes but I think it's a non issue. For a citizen with a valid purpose it would only be a delay. However, I think these things are done in the promised Swift timetable.
priki wrote:Having only one joint account may cause problems if the other part dies. Then the account is freezed by the bank.
It won't. It is only freezed if the other party has only usage rights. Still I agree that it's best to also have own account since it makes dealing with the estate easier as the account statement won't become more complex.
Chaapa wrote:The pensions are paid in dollars. At what point do they get converted to euros?
For Swift the sender can choose which bank does the conversion. I would take a guess that the payer of pensions would choose to wire dollars out and let the receiving bank do the conversion.
Chaapa wrote:Do you get your pensions/social security deposited directly into a Finnish account or do you keep an American account open and transfer funds as you need them?
Most likely you will get best currency exchange rates by having it deposited to an American bank and using a service like CurrencyFair. However, the best result depends on the fees and amounts involved.


Rosamunda
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by Rosamunda » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:34 pm

Agree.
Probably best not to lock yourself into a long-term arrangement. If you can leave your pension in a US account, then you can transfer money into Finland when the exchange rates are in your favour. You could even bring some cash back when you travel - there are limits on this, however.

Recently, if I've needed to exchange cash £/€ I use the post office in the UK. They are way more competitive than anything I have found in Finland. I used to use my bank (Nordea) for buying and selling (cash) currency but they don't do it anymore and Forex charges ridiculous fees. For electronic transfers, you kind of have to sit down and work it out: sometimes it's cheaper for the sender to pay the fees and sometimes it's cheaper at the receiving end: I never really understood it.


NukkuMatti
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Re: Retire in Finland Blog

Post by NukkuMatti » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:21 pm

priki wrote: Having only one joint account may cause problems if the other part dies. Then the account is freezed by the bank.
With a shared account this is not true, the account will not be frozen, with an account on the name of the deceased where the other partner had only user rights it is correct, this account will be frozen


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