Transferring money to foreign bank acct

Can we do this?

I’m American. My husband is Australia. We live in the U.S., but we’re planning on moving to Australia within a few (2-3) years. (I feel like I’ve typed those lines on this message board a million times.)

We just received a decent amount of money back from the IRS. The Australian dollar just dipped below US$.50. My husband has an active savings account set up in Oz. Is it legal/smart for us to electronically transfer our refund to that account? It would more than double our money, the Australian dollar will probably be worth more by the time we actually live there, and we’re going to need a nest egg when we do move. Also, when it comes time to move, we don’t want to get caught up in the legal mess of having to take large sums of money into the country. This way, we figure we’re paying a small fee now (and small fees every time we transfer money into the Australian account) instead of one large fee at the end.

Is this a stupid idea?

A good idea, but there are cheaper ways than wiring. I’m American living in England. Until recently, I was paid in dollars into a US checking account. I have a UK checking/savings account. Whenever the exchange rate was good, I’d just go into my UK bank, write a check using my US checkbook, making it payable to me, and signing the back, and use a UK deposit slip to deposit it. The UK bank would take care of all the processing, and charge me a fee based on the amount. IIRC, the last time I moved $10,000 and was charged £20. I used to use the wire service, but the US bank charged about $50 and the UK bank about the same for each transfer.