Consult with your Canadian financial institution on your available RRSP options prior to your move down to the United States. “The Border Guide” by Robert Keats is a useful starting resource – see article “U.S.-Canada Cross-Border Resources”.
For working individuals, keeping your existing RRSPs in a Canadian financial institution may be the easier route in the short and long term while living in the U.S. If you have a self-directed or traded RRSP account, then selling your current positions and transferring the funds into a regular RRSP account may also simplify things. The process of transferring funds from one RRSP account to another within the same Canadian financial institution is relatively quick (2-5 business days, depending on the bank), but transferring funds between two different institutions can take 2-4 weeks. Please check with your financial institution on their specifics.
Keep your RRSP account statement records, including the dates accounts were opened and/or closed. These details are needed when completing your Canadian income taxes, U.S. income taxes and U.S. Department of Treasury foreign bank account declaration forms (e.g. TDF 90.22-1).
For RRSP accounts that are newly open, currently active or recently closed, ensure that the bank has your new mailing address so end-of-year RRSP tax slips (t-slips) will be mailed to you accordingly. T-slips will be needed for your Canadian income tax return.
A global wealth advisor may also be able to outline your financial options, and clarify handling complicated wealth arrangements while living abroad. Seeking the services of a cross-border tax accountant may be helpful in completing your Canadian and U.S. income taxes, and ensuring the necessary foreign income declaration forms are completed in a timely manner while living abroad.
As always, please conduct your own thorough research as every situation is unique. The content mentioned is only a piece of our experience, and should only be used as a tidbit of information, not for financial advice.
All the best!