There is a fairly high probability that I move from Switzerland to a country that has capital gains tax on non-real estate assets. Due to some new career opportunities, this may occur sooner rather than later (although I am not feeling excited about the prospect of leaving Switzerland as I love it here). How should one manage assets knowing such a move is possible?
One consideration is that in the countries I could move to, real estate is king and buying a home would make sense there as real estate capital gains are tax-free (on primary residence) and my time horizon for selling the house would be 10+ years (I should add here, it is not the USA). In Switzerland, buying a home doesn’t really make sense for me in the medium-term if I stay so I don’t consider it in my asset allocation.
I try to think in probabilistic, risk-management terms, so let’s say there’s a 33% chance I leave CH next year to a place where I will buy a house. At the moment, my instinct is to ramp down the risk and hold more cash/bonds than I normally would (or, e.g., switch main ETF holding from VWRL to VMVL), but this could be detrimental in the long term. Normally, I aim for 5/25/70 (cash/bonds/stocks), including 2nd and 3rd pillar.
How would you plan in this situation?
Other considerations are more specific:
- How do brokers deal with change of residency?
- Does it make sense to move ETF/stock holdings to a brokerage that operates in both Switzerland and the destination country?
- Would I need to sell everything, transfer cash, then repurchase ETFs with new account?
- Cashing out Pillar 3a and Pillar 2 (if non-EU destination): Ideally, how should one time this to only pay the (small) Swiss taxes on the amounts?
- In which cases would it make sense to simply leave Pillar 3a and 2 in Switzerland for the long-term?