Financial Planning Challenges Facing Foreign-Born Individuals

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This is part one of a two-part series. Part two will appear next week.

I’m one of the 45 million foreign-born individuals who now call the U.S. home. I moved to this country over 25 years ago to pursue a degree in computer science. I knew enough about budgeting, but struggled with financial decisions from day one, as this was a completely new system to me.

There were simple questions, ranging from banking to credit history to car loans. Like any newly arrived immigrant, I relied on the network of friends that I was making (mainly fellow immigrants), to figure things out.

A big challenge revolved around the language, specifically the financial terminology, used in the U.S. versus my home country.

After my first degree, I got a job in the high-tech space on a work visa. I moved into a higher income bracket, but it raised more personal finance questions as practiced in the U.S.

My group of first-generation Americans are typically mass affluent based on their income. The other characteristics common to this population includes those who are: