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Author: jaroman Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 744731  
Subject: expatriate money management Date: 5/12/2002 8:32 AM
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galeno,
I am directing these questions to you because I know you live outside the US (Costa Rica?).
My family and I are considering a move to Costa Rica. How do you advise setting up our investments with the goal of max tax advantages, but RE safety!
Do you rec. maintaining US citizenship?
Also, since I know too, that you are a physician, how is the health care there?
Thank you for your help!
jaroman
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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66599 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/12/2002 4:18 PM
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What I recommend to EVERYBODY contemplating a move to Costa Rica or any other country is to NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. Never burn a bridge unless absolutely necessary.

Come to Costa Rica to see if you like it. Plan on staying for six months minimum. Budget $3,000 per month. Bring $9,000 in cash and $9,000 in a cashier's check.

Don't buy any real estate. Don't make any business transactions. Don't make any investments. Just come down. Rent a place. Live. Patience here will pay-off in spades.

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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66600 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/12/2002 4:23 PM
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The health care system is fine. I recommend buying "Caja" (socalized medical) insurance for major medical spending and for basic medications. You can also buy private medical insurance from "INS" or pay private medical care out of pocket (this is what I do).

I'd be very happy to meet with you and give you better advice when I know more about your personal circumbstances.

Why don't you come down by yourself first?

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Author: jaroman Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66602 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/12/2002 4:49 PM
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galeno,
Thank you for your replies. We are thinking of coming down in October,November. I would really like to get ahold of you and shall as the time draws near. Unfortunately, this will be a "vacation" as reality is still here in Texas (yuck!)
I am looking foward to it.
jaroman



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Author: ariechert Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66605 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/12/2002 7:21 PM
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"Just come down. Rent a place. Live. Patience here will pay-off in spades." - galeno

One year my wife and I went to Jamaica to the Reggae Sunsplash. We stayed at the Negril Beach Club Resort. When we got there the air conditioner was broken. I called the front desk and asked if they could get it fixed. They said, "Aye mon, No Problem!, we fix it soon." I called every day asking when it would be fixed. We stayed there a week and the air conditioner got fixed on day four. One other little fun fact is that my wife got shigella (raging diarrhea) while there; we think from eating at a Rasta restaurant. When we got back to Knoxville we went to the doctor and he treated both of us with Bactrim. I've never been to Costa Rica, but if it is anything like Mexico and Jamaica then I would say for sure that you'll need large amounts of patience, not to mention large amounts of anti-biotics also.
- Art

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Author: jaroman Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66609 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/12/2002 9:16 PM
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I had a great stay in Jamaica, but it was 30 years ago.
I have great hopes that Costa Rica will be great!!! Patience and no diarrhea.
jaroman

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Author: fietser Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66625 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/13/2002 8:33 AM
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From what I hear CR gets a bit too much PR, not to say that it isn't a good country to retire to, but there are other candidates as well.
So don't try to concentrate too much on Costa Rica. From what I hear, Nicaragua should be just as interesting (not to mention Ecuador) and a lot cheaper.

Fietser

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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66636 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/13/2002 12:16 PM
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From what I hear CR gets a bit too much PR, not to say that it isn't a good country to retire to, but there are other candidates as well.
So don't try to concentrate too much on Costa Rica. From what I hear, Nicaragua should be just as interesting (not to mention Ecuador) and a lot cheaper.

First, "patience" means patience in learning about a new place. Too many people from the USA come down here, fall in love with the place and want to buy a home and start investing right away. What's the rush? You want to see the warts too. There are warts everywhere.

I would say Nicaragua and Ecuador are not stable enough for most US retirees. Both places are very anti-Gringo. Mexico is a better choice than both right now. Honduras is a consideration if one is looking for cheap. Cuba is another consideration but in the future.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66640 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/13/2002 1:49 PM
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Here is a site with some info on Costa Rica.

http://www.RetirementHavens.com/livingbetter/chapt5.html

Someone provided the main link about a year ago. I stumbled across it while cleaning out my bookmarks and thought it a decent addition to the thread.

Inparadise

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Author: peplow Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66659 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/13/2002 9:34 PM
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My family and I are considering a move to Costa Rica. How do you advise setting up our investments with the goal of max tax advantages, but RE safety! ................................................................


I would suggest having one's money "live elsewhere". There is nothing that says your $$$$ has to reside in the same country that you do.





Pete


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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66660 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/13/2002 10:44 PM
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My family and I are considering a move to Costa Rica. How do you advise setting up our investments with the goal of max tax advantages, but RE safety! ................................................................

I would suggest having one's money "live elsewhere". There is nothing that says your $$$$ has to reside in the same country that you do.


The above is true and I subscribe to that philosophy. When my CDs come due in December, I anticipate getting an annual yield of about 21% on my cash in Costa Rica. That's a lot better than the 8% I'm getting on it in Panamanian CDs.

Right now 1/3d of my cash is in the 21% annual yield structure. The other 2/3 is grinding along at 8%. Presently, my cash yield is 12%.

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Author: pedorrero Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66698 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/14/2002 3:41 PM
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You are a brave soul if you are investing 1/3 of your retirement nest egg in anything paying 21% APR. What is it, the Argentine Peso? Most people (excluding drug dealers, etc), would never dream of keeping their money anyplace other than the USA (in our hemisphere).

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66950 of 744731
Subject: Re: expatriate money management Date: 5/17/2002 6:14 PM
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"I would say Nicaragua and Ecuador are not stable enough for most US retirees. Both places are very anti-Gringo. Mexico is a better choice than both right now. Honduras is a consideration if one is looking for cheap. Cuba is another consideration but in the future"

You'd be surprised how "pro-Gringo" they can be when you have solid currency (thats Dollars, folks) to spread around....

jb

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