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Best Caribbean or Central America location to retire? (Now with South America!)


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Best Caribbean or Central America location to retire? (Now with South America!)

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  #201 (permalink)
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How much spanish do you need to know to function in society?

Real estate costs?

Number of Americans living there?

I'm still researching this with the help of google, but like to have direct opinions too.

Mike

The Spanish depends on the area. In the metropolitan area I'd generalize that everyone understands English. I have a friend who's lived here for over 10 years who speaks very little Spanish. Real estate costs vary on location, farther out from the metropolitan area the cheaper the real estate. The real estate market suffered big time after the 2008 crash, things are still priced below what they were then. A walk-up 3 bedroom apartment in the metropolitan area, maybe around 1,500s.f. could go from around $200,000 to $300k. A high-rise building the same size apartment maybe starts around $400,000. These are apartments with nice finishes, granite tops, etc, "mid range". Around the coast in the metropolitan area the prices would be 2x up, around the coast outside the metro area the prices would not jump up. It's hard to give an accurate number, depends what one is looking for (location). Number of people from the states has to be pretty low, there are a lot in Rincon and the Virgin Islands. In the Isla Verde area, that's the in the Carolina municipality, right next to the airport, there are tons of apartment buildings next to the beach. I think a lot of people from the states have second homes or live there. It's a nice area, dense population, lots of places to eat, nightlife, hotels, beach, etc.

Isla Verde

Here are two heavily used real estate websites, unfortunately did not see a button for an English version of the sites:
Puerto Rico Real Estate, Bienes Raices en Puerto Rico en Clasificados Online.

Compra o Alquila

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  #202 (permalink)
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rmejia View Post
I live in PR. Would not recommend living here, lol. If you have any questions about here I can throw in some opinions.

If I were looking to go someplace it would probably be Florida.

How about why you wouldn't recommend living there? lol, always greener on the other side.

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  #203 (permalink)
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How about why you wouldn't recommend living there? lol, always greener on the other side.

My girlfriend's parents grew up there and her grandparents still live there (along with some other extended family). They have said the crime has gotten worse, especially since the economy isn't doing as good, so you should stay near the tourist areas if you are an American that doesn't speak Spanish. If you have to deal with crime, its better to have to deal with it here, in the states, than with it in PR.

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  #204 (permalink)
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My main concern against recommending PR is crime. Don't know how it is in other areas and it seems all the tv news and newspapers like to publish is crime so sometimes it feels as though it's all there is. I don't go around strolling in dark alleys at night, though I would not do that anywhere on earth. Most of the crime is attributed to the drug trade. Unfortunately innocent bystanders get hurt when these clowns start playing with guns in public areas. A lot of kids playing with guns trying to live out Hollywood movies of mansions and exotic cars. As an island we're all coast, so ships with drugs can enter anywhere around the island making it hard to prevent. I've never been mugged or seen people firing up guns, but I don't go out much at night anymore though, lol. PR is a small place so anything that happens immediately gets reported by the news and so it kind of gets felt by everyone and unfortunately it's enough to make me uncomfortable. The crime rate has risen as the economy has worsened, last year was pretty bad, it's going down again but still probably averages out 1.5 persons getting killed every day, last year was 3 (around 1,024 murders total) I think. For the most part it's criminals killing themselves. This is all mostly in the metropolitan area, in the rest of the island not a whole lot happens.

Tried to look for some stats, couldn't find for PR:
United States cities by crime rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The median household income here is about 1/2 of the lowest from the states, https://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/acsbr11-02.pdf , so it's probably not the best place to move looking for work.

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rmejia View Post
I've never been mugged or seen people firing up guns

I live in an expensive part of Houston... I've seen people firing guns illegally.... so I guess it all depends...

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rmejia View Post
My main concern against recommending PR is crime. Don't know how it is in other areas and it seems all the tv news and newspapers like to publish is crime so sometimes it feels as though it's all there is. I don't go around strolling in dark alleys at night, though I would not do that anywhere on earth.

So you live there, have never seen a crime except on the news, but recommend not living there because of crime? lol IMO, that's a terrible reason, and there are lots of good reasons to live in PR. FYI, there is crime in Florida too, check out some Miami news. Crime is everywhere.

I admit, our family also recommended not going out in in PR to quiet areas alone at night, but that is probably good advice for anywhere you go that is unfamiliar. Just do your part, be safe and smart, protect yourself and your family, and don't worry so much, as there's nothing else you can do.

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  #207 (permalink)
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So you live there, have never seen a crime except on the news, but recommend not living there because of crime? lol IMO, that's a terrible reason, and there are lots of good reasons to live in PR. FYI, there is crime in Florida too, check out some Miami news. Crime is everywhere.

I admit, our family also recommended not going out in in PR to quiet areas alone at night, but that is probably good advice for anywhere you go that is unfamiliar. Just do your part, be safe and smart, protect yourself and your family, and don't worry so much, as there's nothing else you can do.

You are absolutely right, lol. I was thinking about it and came to your same conclusion before reading your post while driving back from Costco this morning. I don't see the crime, ever, I only read about it. The crime was a quick mindless comment. In a perfect world or in a place with a population of 500 there would be 1 or 2 murders... put in 2 to 4 million more people and you will increase the probability of having stupid people running around.

After thinking about it my main issue is with living and WORKING here, working being the main problem. For some reason the average pay over here for the most part is well below the US average, we have the same minimum wage law though. Nonetheless the cost of living is the same. We have the same stores, Costco, Sams, Starbucks, Sears, Macys, CompUSA.... same fast food places, same restaurants, etc... it pretty much is USA in that regards. I just got back from Costco, everything cost the same as in the US but we earn 1/2 (not sure if it's that much less, but it's less) as much so thats not that great. Now a days a lot of stuff gets ordered online, Ebay, Amazon, in the US its free shipping, over here the shipping costs vary and can get quite expensive and a lot of places don't ship to "US Protectorates or Territories". Around 1/2 of the stores don't ship to PR and we pretty much don't buy anything from other countries so it limits the things we can do. Apple does not ship to PR, neither does the Google Store. There are no official stores over here, but there are "representatives". We have the same cars with a higher price tag because of the shipping. So in summary we buy all the same stuff, having less capital to do so. If one is successful in the stock market and has no need for an 8 to 5 job... well then there is no issue with work so, life is a lot better. Don't know how common $75k and over salaries are in the states. Over here probably around 18k - 22k is the salary for the vast majority of the island. College graduates 32k up to around 50k. There are of course also a lot of people around the 12k - 14k range (construction workers, etc.) and not so many people over 100k -250k.

Taking the 8 to 5 job out of the equation and living trading the stock market making enough money PR gets a lot better. It's not a South American country were people earn $5 dollars a day cheap though, if that is what one is looking for. It's kind of the US in an island in the Caribbean. If what one is looking for is a place to have a nice boat and be able to sail to nearby islands practically all year round, PR is a place for that. I've been here my entire life and the boating trips to the Virgin Islands (USVI & BVI) never gets old. If I could get away from the 8 to 5, buy a nice boat and take monthly trips down to the islands I would be incredibly happy. Lots of reefs for scuba diving and many small beaches scattered all around. During the non vacation days you could have these small beaches in the islands all to yourself. Completely get away from everything and sit under the sun sipping whatever you like to drink till the sun starts to set, then take the boat to one of the shallow protected areas for sleeping. At night there are no city lights so you can see the entire night sky. Next day wake up and go island hopping again. If that is what we are talking about retiring then 100% yes, you can do that here. If we are looking to do this cheaply... then no, not PR. Don't have to be a millionaire though, 100k a year would more than suffice.

In maps.google.com turn on photos (panoramio), go to the east side of the island and keep moving east. First is the island Culebra, then St. Thomas & St. Johns. After that Tortola and the easy sailing ends in Virgin Gorda (means Fat Virgin in Spanish). In Virgin Gorda there is a beach called "The Baths"; that place is stunning. It's on the lower west coast on the tip.

If we are going to be taking trips down these islands quite often then PR is awesome, lol, if we are staying inside the metro area, San Juan, yuck.

Here's a nice little patch of sand called Palominito next to the island Palomino, it's where Jack Sparrow left Blackbeards daughter at the end of the last Pirates of the Caribbean.


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My plan is to purchase a sailboat (Catamaran) and actually live on the boat for a bit while deciding on a permanent island based home (hopefully with a dock yet high enough to avoid a hurricane tidal surge.

If I'm lucky enough, traveling in a Catamaran sailboat would be ideal for me. These boats have a lot more room and are a lot more stable than single hull.

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Puerto Rico for me is about retirement, not work. I personally like the idea of having some Americanized-retail establishments available in the city as needed, but I'd also like to be a bit separated from them. In Panama or Costa Rica, I was looking at living in the mountains to get the better climate and put some distance between me and the main cities.

Not sure if Puerto Rico has a "mountain" region But climate is definitely at the top of my list. Air conditioning is a requirement for me, but I like the idea of having a range of 60F - 80F. I don't want to live right on the beach where humidity and inclimate weather are worse. I will have a big pool in the back yard anyway and prefer privacy over beach.

I still need to find some good realtors and get a better idea of the Puerto Rico real estate cost vs Panama and Costa Rica.

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  #210 (permalink)
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The central part of the island is a mountain range. It's cooler in the mountains, not sure how much though. Right now it's 87F in San Juan, though the Weather Channel app says it feels like 95F, lol... it does feel hot. PR is VERY humid, it rains here over half the year during which time it is 100% humidity. I have my a/c on... cannot live without it. Air conditioning everywhere. 60F to 80F sounds nice... I think it stays above 80F here for the most part. Might get down to the high 70's in "winter". In the mountains it will be lower.

The central mountainous regions is rural. People in that region will not speak a lot of English if any. The infrastructure will be limited. Internet would probably have to be by antenna, for a slower more expensive internet. The sanitary system might be septic tanks. Roads might get narrow. This is deep in the mountains though. The higher up and farther away. It gets to that level progressively the farther away from the coast which is where most people reside.

PR is quite small, around 100x35 miles so the mountain area is small. Costa Rica has a much bigger mountainous region. Comparing the size, PR is 3,515 sq mi, CR is 19,653 sq. mi.

This wikipedia article talks a bit about the Climate & Topography:
Geography of Puerto Rico - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Big Mike View Post
Puerto Rico for me is about retirement, not work. I personally like the idea of having some Americanized-retail establishments available in the city as needed, but I'd also like to be a bit separated from them. In Panama or Costa Rica, I was looking at living in the mountains to get the better climate and put some distance between me and the main cities.

Not sure if Puerto Rico has a "mountain" region But climate is definitely at the top of my list. Air conditioning is a requirement for me, but I like the idea of having a range of 60F - 80F. I don't want to live right on the beach where humidity and inclimate weather are worse. I will have a big pool in the back yard anyway and prefer privacy over beach.

I still need to find some good realtors and get a better idea of the Puerto Rico real estate cost vs Panama and Costa Rica.

Mike

I'm from Central America and lived in Panama for three years when I was younger. It is beatiful in the mountains there as well as the carribean type beaches on the atlantic coast. There is a lot of opportunity down there, and the first world countries would not allow things get out of control due to the importance of the canal.

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More steroid-fueled sleepless nights here, another week on this stuff... but found some good info on regions in Panama









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I really love this home:

For Sale Real Estate - Mountain View Home, Boquete, Panama | Live Invest Panama Real Estate



Price is less than I was looking at in Costa Rica. I will continue to do some more research on Panama...

On a side note, the videos are produced by the same media company, but for multiple different realtors and developers. Fine by me

There is some good info here as well:
Panama Information & Facts | Live Invest Panama Real Estate

Panama Community Information & Facts | Live Invest Panama Real Estate

Within each section above, there is 'more info' links. Boquete looks attractive.

Boquete, Panama Information & Map | Live Invest Panama Real Estate

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Mike ,

I have used myself this realtor in Samara (Costa Rica) so you could check again the housing market on his website.

Samara and Carrillo Property - Real Estate Samara Costa Rica

You can search per location ( beach , mountain etc ) ... https://mprealtycr.com/tierraMax.php

Happy house hunting

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Xav1029 View Post
I'm from Central America and lived in Panama for three years when I was younger. It is beatiful in the mountains there as well as the carribean type beaches on the atlantic coast. There is a lot of opportunity down there, and the first world countries would not allow things get out of control due to the importance of the canal.

@Xav1029, what can you tell me of Boquete? Rainfall and temp ranges? How many expats? I assume since I am far outside Panama City, and even David, that it will be Spanish-speaking only. Adequate retail shopping, markets, places to have dinner in Boquete? Or would you need to drive to David? (not that that would be a bad thing)

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Mike ,

I have used myself this realtor in Samara (Costa Rica) so you could check again the housing market on his website.

Thank you. And if anyone has a local non-Americanized non-ripoff realtor for Panama, please share that info as well

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@Xav1029, what can you tell me of Boquete? Rainfall and temp ranges? How many expats? I assume since I am far outside Panama City, and even David, that it will be Spanish-speaking only. Adequate retail shopping, markets, places to have dinner in Boquete? Or would you need to drive to David? (not that that would be a bad thing)

Mike

Chiriqui is a beautiful area. I think there is decent tourism there, so that might help you out if your spanish is limited. The local indians out there don't speak spanish either. Latin America is a different world when it comes to retail and dining areas. It depends on what you mean by "decent" place to have dinner. For me a decent place to have dinner is the shacks on the side of the road in El Salvador that have the best food. When I lived there in the 90's, the only westernized city was Panama City. The luxuries of these locations are that they are secluded and don't have your western retail stores. Money seems to not matter while you are there. The locals are very simple people, and when I go to places like that in Latin America I feel at peace(except for the crime in other countries). The infrastructure in Panama is much better than other countries, so you could easily get around without fear of being ran off the roads by crazy bus drivers.

Being from the area, I would recommend for you to take a couple week trip to each of your candidates. My main concern that most tourists seem oblivious to is crime. This is why my eye has been on Panama for years now.

It is always hot in Panama, but cools down a little in the mountains. There are 2 seasons- dry and wet. During dry season there is no rainfall. During wet season there are torrential downpours every day. Your main concern down there is mosquitoes.

I haven't been there in years, so I would recommend taking a trip down there.

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DavidHP View Post

My plan is to purchase a sailboat (Catamaran) and actually live on the boat for a bit while deciding on a permanent island based home (hopefully with a dock yet high enough to avoid a hurricane tidal surge.


MrYou View Post
If I'm lucky enough, traveling in a Catamaran sailboat would be ideal for me. These boats have a lot more room and are a lot more stable than single hull.


Just remember .... a catamaran is the most stable when it is floating upside down .... a sailboat is most stable when it is laying on the ocean floor...

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From wikipedia

Boquete, Chiriquí - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Demographics

The district of Boquete has approximately 19,000 inhabitants (2008).

More recently, Boquete has become the second home to many North American and European retirees. Some 14% of its population are of foreign origin, according to La Prensa, a national newspaper. Ex-pats are attracted by the comfortable climate, excellent potable water, and clean air, by the tranquility, and by Panama's relatively low cost of living.

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From wikipedia

Boquete, Chiriquí - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Demographics

The district of Boquete has approximately 19,000 inhabitants (2008).

More recently, Boquete has become the second home to many North American and European retirees. Some 14% of its population are of foreign origin, according to La Prensa, a national newspaper. Ex-pats are attracted by the comfortable climate, excellent potable water, and clean air, by the tranquility, and by Panama's relatively low cost of living.

Mike

Tranquility is the big one for me. Also, as a side note Panama used to have great tax incentives some years back. Not sure if this is still true, but it was something like 20 years no real estate tax if you built a home over $30k or $40k.

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Tranquility is the big one for me. Also, as a side note Panama used to have great tax incentives some years back. Not sure if this is still true, but it was something like 20 years no real estate tax if you built a home over $30k or $40k.

Yup, still exists based on what I researched

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@Xav1029, why Miama instead of Panama? Desire to return to Panama? Goal?

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  #223 (permalink)
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@Xav1029, why Miama instead of Panama? Desire to return to Panama? Goal?

Mike

I want to return to Panama because of the opportunity that exists down there right now. I am from Central America, and Panama is the only country I would move my family to(if I had one). With the widening of the Canal, they are expecting Panama City to become the New York of Central and South America. Too much world interest to allow anything crazy to happen there(I was in El Salvador during the Civil War there). I am in the construction industry, and know that residential construction in other parts of America further behind than it should be. I am fluent in Spanish and English, so I would not be in culture shock. Dream is to build custom homes to American standards in Panama.

I also miss mountains, but hate cold weather. I kind of want to be secluded from western society, but not give up the luxuries

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widening of the Canal, they are expecting Panama City to become the New York of Central and South America

Panama Canal expansion project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Expansion Program - PanCanal.com

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  #225 (permalink)
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Anekdoten had chosen Uruguay, in Punta del Este.
He said he had done his homework to choose a decent SA country to live in.

I made a quick excerpt from his chatroom (2008) that explains why.

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  #226 (permalink)
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Hi mike,
Central America is a great place to retire! Cheap, interesting culture and friendly people.
I have been living in Bocas Del Toro, Panama for the last 3 years. Its a small archipeligo on the caribbean side.
Theres a few islands to chose from and a main island where you can eat out and get supplies and what not. It is a 30 min boat ride from the mainland to get out there.
The place is beautiful with plenty of amazing beaches and some decent diving and surfing to go along with them!
It is a little more expensive compared to the rest of central america but it just depends on what you are after..
There is a big ex-pat community with plenty of events and live music.
If you want to know more you can let me know.
Also been around most of the countries surrounding Panama.
The cheapest and most beautiful as far as scenery and culture I would say is Guatemala.
Nicaragua is also a beautiful country and is probably even a little cheaper than Guatemala..
If you want some info about places in Guatemala or Nicaragua that are worth checking out or any other info feel free to let me know.
Sam

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Guatemala is beautiful, however, the crime right now is unbearable. I have family that lives in Guatemala, and even though we experienced the civil war in El Salvador, they are still afraid to go out and socialize during the night in Guatemala City. The cartels are pulling Scarface moves and opening fire in public places with no regard for human life. That being said, Antigua is still one of my favorite places in the world.

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True.. Good idea just to stay away from the city.. Always spent as little time as possible there.. Agree that the crime rate in the city is out of control.. Outside of the city however I felt very safe and there are plenty of places that you can go out and feel safe. Been there 3 times in the last 3 years and have had no problem with crime personally and have always felt safe walking around at night.. In the city is a different story!

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  #229 (permalink)
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Skinchin View Post
Hi mike,
Central America is a great place to retire! Cheap, interesting culture and friendly people.
I have been living in Bocas Del Toro, Panama for the last 3 years. Its a small archipeligo on the caribbean side.
Theres a few islands to chose from and a main island where you can eat out and get supplies and what not. It is a 30 min boat ride from the mainland to get out there.
The place is beautiful with plenty of amazing beaches and some decent diving and surfing to go along with them!
It is a little more expensive compared to the rest of central america but it just depends on what you are after..
There is a big ex-pat community with plenty of events and live music.
If you want to know more you can let me know.
Also been around most of the countries surrounding Panama.
The cheapest and most beautiful as far as scenery and culture I would say is Guatemala.
Nicaragua is also a beautiful country and is probably even a little cheaper than Guatemala..
If you want some info about places in Guatemala or Nicaragua that are worth checking out or any other info feel free to let me know.
Sam

sssssssssssssssshhhhhh. 1st rule of bocas is that we don't talk about bocas

my profile pict is from our dock on Carenaro. Haven't jumped to full time yet but suspect someday we will.

some area info
FAQ's about Surfing Fishing and Bocas Del Toro Panama
picts from the net
The World's Best Photos of bocasdeltoro and water - Flickr Hive Mind

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  #230 (permalink)
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sssssssssssssssshhhhhh. 1st rule of bocas is that we don't talk about bocas

my profile pict is from our dock on Carenaro. Haven't jumped to full time yet but suspect someday we will.

some area info
FAQ's about Surfing Fishing and Bocas Del Toro Panama
picts from the net
The World's Best Photos of bocasdeltoro and water - Flickr Hive Mind

Hey Chris, beautiful flickr pics there. Are you in 'bama right now or Bocas? You maintain it as a 'summer home' (or 'winter home')?

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  #231 (permalink)
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haha small world!
Unfortunately Bocas is not much of a secret anymore. Can be a good and bad thing just depends which way you look at it.
Also recognise your dock.. Love Carenero except for the fact that the chitras seem to bother me over there and for some reason dont want anything to do with me on Colon!

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  #232 (permalink)
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I'm in bama now. Kids in schooooooool - but we have family down there on and off year round....no real bad time to be there.

in-laws there now for last 3 months or so.

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I'm in bama now. Kids in schooooooool - but we have family down there on and off year round....no real bad time to be there.

in-laws there now for last 3 months or so.

How much rain does Bocas see? One concern I have with Panama region is rainfall, a long wet season (April - November) described as "daily rains". I am not sure if that means it rains for 5 minutes each day, or 5 hours...

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@Skinchin is there more than me....so chime in

we've never felt rained out even on short trips. Rains hard but passes quickly.
this was on youtube for you


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  #235 (permalink)
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RE Bocas rain.. Weather here is very tropical and its common for the weather to go from sunshine to rain to sunshine to cloud to sunshine to rain in a day!!
When it rains its generally no longer than 2 - 3 hours.
I find we receive the most rain during november - febuary.
Can be considered a downfall to Bocas but believe the pros definately outweigh the cons.
Also as I mentioned when it does rain its usually just for a short time and gives you ample time to enjoy the rest of the day when the rain subsides!

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  #236 (permalink)
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Hey Mike.. been watching this thread of yours over time with great interest and I cannot help but wonder if I have made a false assumption along the way. Was one of your requirements that you still have access to reliable broadband Internet in order to continue day trading, or is that just a false assumption on my part?

The reason I ask is that a number of the locations being discussed recently are unlikely to meet that requirement, sometimes due to spotty Internet performance, if broadband or even the Internet are available and other times due to unexpected but somewhat regular power outages, even in larger cities in many of those locations, in addition to Internet issues.

Thus, I was wondering if the discussion was just getting a little far afield from your requirements or if I am personally just making an assumption, based on my own individual location requirements, that perhaps has never been one of your key considerations for your retirement location.

Thanks for your time and also for having the only truly decent trading forum to be found anywhere.

As always.. Happy Trading to you,
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randyjb View Post
Hey Mike.. been watching this thread of yours over time with great interest and I cannot help but wonder if I have made a false assumption along the way. Was one of your requirements that you still have access to reliable broadband Internet in order to continue day trading, or is that just a false assumption on my part?

The reason I ask is that a number of the locations being discussed recently are unlikely to meet that requirement, sometimes due to spotty Internet performance, if broadband or even the Internet are available and other times due to unexpected but somewhat regular power outages, even in larger cities in many of those locations, in addition to Internet issues.

Thus, I was wondering if the discussion was just getting a little far afield from your requirements or if I am personally just making an assumption, based on my own individual location requirements, that perhaps has never been one of your key considerations for your retirement location.

Thanks for your time and also for having the only truly decent trading forum to be found anywhere.

As always.. Happy Trading to you,
Randy

Hi Randy,

Yes, absolutely reliable internet is a requirement.

I was thinking that Boquete Panama would still have reliable internet. I am waiting to hear back from some realtors in the area, so I will be sure to ask them directly and carefully about this.

I would also set up my infrastructure to use 3g as a backup, so assuming there is cellular service I would have a backup to any land based internet. Satellite is also an option.

I would absolutely prefer having FiOS if possible But I am willing to trade somewhat slower internet for the desired lifestyle. But absolutely, if it is totally unreliable, that is a deal breaker.

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  #238 (permalink)
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Any info or price for satellite internet in the caribbean ?

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More info on Boquete Panama






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  #240 (permalink)
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That vloggers pet peeve videos were very enlightening. I still find traveling/living on a sailboat more appealing.

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That vloggers pet peeve videos were very enlightening.

Yes I thought so too, I will dig for more of these later.

Lots of gringos and expats speaking English it seems Much more than I thought. But I still think that it is relatively "undiscovered", which is appealing.

I wish I could get some email addresses of people in that video, so I could ask them how it is going, how long they've been there, what they like/dislike, how the internet reliability is, etc.

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I wish I could get some email addresses of people in that video, so I could ask them how it is going, how long they've been there, what they like/dislike, how the internet reliability is, etc.

Mike

Just googled and found some, will look at this later:

Expat: Boquete,, Panama forum. Panama expat info

Living In Boquete, Panama: A Day In Boquete ~ by Kent McNaughton

Boquete and Chiriquí Province

Expat Meetings Boquete | Boquete Panama Guide

Panama Forum ~ Boquete, Panama

Panama

Living in Panama: Everything you need to know in one place

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Purchased this book, will comment later after I have a chance to read it.

Escape To Paradise: Living & Retiring In Panama: Richard Detrich: 9781453851449: Amazon.com: Books

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Some basic info on Internet speeds and availability in Boquete Panama

Boquete Internet Service Providers | Panama Broadband Internet Connection Access

https://www.cwpanama.com/?id=Internet&prod=pinternet

5 mb connection ~ 30/mo

https://www.cableonda.com/residencial/internet/cable-modem-xtreme

50 mb connection ~ 150/mo

Chiriqui is listed, which includes Boquete



The currency (Panamanian balboa) is basically a 1:1 for USD.

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I did a Google search for "boquete speedtest" and came across these results:

Net Index by Ookla for Boquete, Panama indicates average(?) Speedtest.net result over the past 30 days was 2.4Mbps from 1,572 unique IPs have been taken in this city and of 11,227 total tests, 343 are being used for the current Index.


A post from Dec 2011:


Quoting 
I presently have Planet Telecom after trying and quitting all the others available in Boquete. I pay $85/month for 1 meg... right now I'm getting .94 upload, .46 download, 152 ping (to San Jose, CA). Service speeds vary HUGELY with all the ISP's available here... and you can expect hours (if not days) of NO SERVICE. No one but Planet Telecom will reply to emails. If you have slower service and call, the others will tell you that you have a virus and, for a fee, they will come check out your computer. Or that something else needs to be checked. I believe that the problems are 99.9% with the ISP. The only one which will send out notices (in English and Spanish) that something WAS wrong and now is fixed is Planet Telecom. They even occasionally send out advance notice that slowed or down service can be expected at a specific time due to repairs or parts replacements.
The contracts that I signed (before Planet Telecom) all stipulated that they were obligated to supply only 75% of the agreed-upon speed. That might have changed by now. But, in my experience with those companies, slowed or down service was never acknowledged or credited to my account.
ISP service is much better here than it was in 2006, and seems to be improving, probably due to competition. But it is far from completely reliable. And you better have a really good battery backup for your computers.... the electricity fluctuations and outages are frequent!


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  #246 (permalink)
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I'd wonder about the reliability of the internet provider. Cable internet speeds are an advertised "possible max speed" of for example 5mb, but the service can be 1mb since it's not dedicated like DSL. I like to search for Facebook pages for comments about people who use the service. I had problems with my cable before switching to DSL, found a lot of people complaining about the same problem in facebook. Now I distrust cable companies, , although maybe it's just the one where I live that is the worst...

The Panama Cable Onda website looks like a big company. Some people on the facebook page complaining that they have been waiting for 2 months for the installation, others complaining about speed saying it's well below the advertised speed. Hopefully these are isolated incidences:

https://www.facebook.com/CableOnda

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boquete-Panama/6996898054

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Guy says don't need to speak any spanish in Boquete, interesting. Also pretty cool on the discounts for retirees. I need to check to see if I would be considered a retiree, since I won't be collecting social security for another 30 years and don't have a pension, if there is another means which I can prove income through.

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• 50% off entertainment including movies, concerts, theater etc. (a regular movie ticket costs $4 - the retiree price is $2.)
• 25% off restaurants
• 50% off hotel accommodations from Monday-Thursday
• 30% off bus, boat and train fares
• 25% off domestic and international airline tickets
• 10% off prescription medicines (much cheaper than US prices to begin with)
• 15% off dental and eye exams
• 50% off closing costs for home loans

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I know I'm hung up on Boquete but I like it

This guy has some good information in his videos, so I keep finding more





This guy has a lot of anger issues lol..

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  #250 (permalink)
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Some good information on staying safe in rural Latin America

If you are confronted, don't fight back -- give up your valuables. If mugged, cooperate with the assailant and voice your willingess to comply by saying, "You can have anything you want. Do you want me to get it or do you want to get it?" Avoid eye contact. Keep $25 - $100 in your pocket as insurance. If hostile, offer additional money or possessions that the robber may have overlooked.

Is it safe to travel to Boquete, Panama? | Travel Saftey & Security Info

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  #251 (permalink)
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Looks like it's LDS friendly as well...

In 1952 Central America Mission, and in 1961 Elder Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited the country, offering a copy of the Book of Mormon to its president. When Panama granted the Church official recognition four years later, mission president Ted E. Brewerton began full-time missionary work there. Nelson L. Altamirano became president of the country’s first stake in 1979, and ten years later the Panama Panama City Mission in 1988, the Saints in this country were strengthened by the additional leadership opportunities. In 1997 about 3,000 gathered in Panama City to hear President City Mission was organized. Although North American missionaries were required to leave Gordon B. Hinckley. By the beginning of the year 2000 there were 35,257 members of the Church in Panama with seven stakes and 110 wards and branches.

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  #252 (permalink)
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  #253 (permalink)
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@BigMike...

Here is a link from the guy down there as regards the real skinny on those Pensionado retirement "savings" in Panama.

Panama’s Pensionado Program | RichardDetrich.com

Happy Trading.

Randy
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  #254 (permalink)
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@Big Mike

I have not read the whole thread so this may be redundant . . . if so, I apologize . . .

These are resources I have followed for years . . . I have purchased some of their country info packages but have never dealt with any of their "Experts" (Atty's, Real Estate People, Accountants, etc) . . .

Best Places to Retire, Live and Invest Overseas - International living

Live and Invest Overseas showcases the best deals for living, investing and retiring overseas

EFAM | Escape From America Magazine | Live where you want to live… Live how you want to live… And make money doing it!

Escape From America Magazine & The Expat Daily News

Home - International Man

Panama’s Permanent Residency Visas

Panama's Permanent Residency Visas - EscapeArtist Asset Protection

I lived on St Thomas, USVI back in late 70's & early 80's . . . have always want to get back to the Caribbean someday . . .

cya there or wherever someday . . . .

ciao, rick

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  #255 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
[yt] I need to check to see if I would be considered a retiree, since I won't be collecting social security for another 30 years and don't have a pension, if there is another means which I can prove income through.

In one of his videos he said you just need to be able to prove that you don't need to work in Panama to live there. I'm sure bank statements or checks from your trading would be sufficient.

But also keep in mind that he said most gringos don't use their retiree discount at places they like because the business is essentially taking a hit from the discount. The example he gave is that most retirees will use it at a place like McDonalds, but not their favorite restaurant.

I would definitely look into qualifying for the discounts even if I were just going to be spending a lot of time there off and on.

EDIT: After reading more about it, one does wonder if it is more of a joke among the natives than any real benefit to anyone.

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  #256 (permalink)
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Slightly related. Hotel "fake-out" photos.

Hotel Fake-Out Photos : Top Hotels : Travel Channel

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  #257 (permalink)
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In many countries it is much easier when you own your home.
You can find some in FurtherRealEstate website.
They helped me to find mine in Anguilla.

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Big Mike View Post
I'm planning to retire to the Caribbean.

Since futures.io (formerly BMT) has a lot of people from all over, I thought I could ask input from you guys on the advantages/disadvantages of certain locations (specifically if you live there or near by you could give some feedback)



What I'm looking for:
- Warm climate
- High speed reliable internet
- Reliable power for most part (I can get a generator)
- English spoken is a big plus
- Low taxes on income from trading
- Stable currency as much as possible
- Easy Citizenship requirements, home ownership, etc
- People are happy and friendly

It would also be helpful if I could afford to live there

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Mike

Hi Mike,


Brazil
I have been living in Brazil since 2005 back and forth. Excellent Internet access comparing to rest of Latin America, good infrastructure, and beutiful women . In the main cities such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro where you want to live are quite expensive, more expensive to live here (currently live in Rio de Janeiro) comparing to New York/Miami. You should have a steady income of at least 5000USD per month to live OK here.
If you have this budget I should recommend Brazil, there is a visa issue, but if you are singel you will hook up with a girl in notime and that it is solved!

Colombia
My wife is from Colombia, so I have been there a couple of times, our wedding was held in Cartagena. Cartagena I think could be a good option for you. Very good Internet access and living standard to a good price. I really like Colombia so we have decide to spend March and April in Bogota now.


Cuba
Have been there, beautiful, but Internet access is super slow and 6USD per hr as it is controlled by the government.. Not an option at this moment for an active trader.

Mexico
I just came back from Mexico City and I loved the country, food and people! Very good infrastructure, no beach in Mexico City, but 3-4 hrs drive and you have a couple of them, I have been in Cancun, loads of american resorts. that that is not my taste, many retirees there. I have heard there are loads of Americans at Los Cabos which I have heard is very nice. Very good internet access and service in general there.
Half the living cost compare to Brazil.

Chile and Argentina
Just have been in both capitals. Liked both places, but no beach and it is cold weather half the year. I should vote for Buenos Aires if you want to retiree. Much better food and wine. Inflation/government pressure is a bit crazy so you should hold you money in an International account.

Uruguay
This is an excellent option! Easy to get visa, stable economy and less corruption in whole Latin America), cheap, nice beaches, good food and people. Very convenient taxing rules there for traders, therefor many investments firms have there offices there. You should go to Punta Del Este, Jet set life for half the price comparing Europe.

If you have more questions about regarding these countries just PM me and I will try to help.

"insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
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  #259 (permalink)
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Interesting ..... Costa Rica ranked amongst top 5 retirement havens - Inside Costa Rica | Inside Costa Rica

About Costa Rica , not sure that the low cost of living is true with min 5% of inflation rate per year since long time

https://insidecostarica.com/2013/01/22/inflation-in-costa-rica-amongst-the-highest-in-latin-america/

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My new private beach, T-6 days... gated hood..


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  #261 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
Denounce citizenship... Of course, then you can only come into the country for so many days a year. To some that is extreme, but I am considering it once the kids get through Uni.

My wife and I are considering this also. We are thinking Belize or Costa Rica, But if we move it will be with in a few years. we don't like the way we are loosing our freedoms in America. We will also change our Citizenship if we do this.

Thanks very much,
JCW I'd rather be
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  #262 (permalink)
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March 7th, 2013 . Costa Rica will begin a new tax information sharing system for both companies and individuals based in the country. The information will be shared with the United States and scores of other countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and France......

The full story -->>
Costa Rica to exchange tax data with United States, scores of other countries in order to exit list of ?tax havens? - Inside Costa Rica | Inside Costa Rica … ax-havens/

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  #263 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
Please remember that as an American Citizen you pay taxes wherever you go! That COULD BE on-top of the local taxes as well, but that is typically deducted from your overall tax hit from the FED's. Think of it more like a 'state' tax in that it is allowed for deduction but could make your combined taxes go up!

Texas is one of the better foreign countries for this! haha...

Yes, this is the case, Americans pay tax on offshore sourced income if they live outside the country. You will in most cases get a credit for foreign tax paid so you don't pay twice.

For those that qualify there is a foreign earned income exclusion of $97,600 (for the 2013 year) if you meet the requirements.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion - Requirements

I'm not sure how the IRS would view trading income if you trade US domiciled instruments. It could be classed as "working in the US". It could be different if you are a plumber living in the the Bahamas doing plumbing work in the Bahamas as it is clear the income is sourced in the Bahamas

In any case it's essential to speak with a qualified US tax attorney prior to departure not an overseas based tax attorney.

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  #264 (permalink)
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With John Paulson (NY hedge-fund manager) in the news about moving to Puerto Rico, I decided to see what it was all about.

Here's a blurb from Bloomberg:

By moving to Puerto Rico, wealthy Americans can transform potential U.S. capital gains income taxed at up to 23.8 percent into untaxed Puerto Rican income. They must meet residency tests, including spending 183 days a year in Puerto Rico and having social and personal connections on the island.

Hard to say what other requirements they may have. And Paulson has stated that he is not relocating.

Thats a pretty attractive offer though if you want to live in the Caribbean in the winter months.

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Big Mike View Post
I'm planning to retire to the Caribbean.

Since futures.io (formerly BMT) has a lot of people from all over, I thought I could ask input from you guys on the advantages/disadvantages of certain locations (specifically if you live there or near by you could give some feedback)

I'm definitely going back to Tokyo after retirement. Good healthcare, high life expectancy, good education system for the kids, a big city so you can do anything you're interested in, the kindest people and service, and an attention to detail in everything (food and technology especially). [edit]

Tokyo Roppongi Gigapixel

[edit]

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  #266 (permalink)
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Top 5 Countries for Day Traders to Live - JetSet Travel by Day Trading Emini Futures for Financial Freedom

I would add that Andorra is not that expensive especially if comparing to Monaco like they do, it's in line with Barcelona it is 200 km from and from the Med sea. Big bonus is to qualify as a tax resident you don't need to live 183 days like in most countries, just 60 AFAIK. Another location is Canary Islands, European Hawaii, no tax on capital gain, no VAT (tax free zone), eternal spring and nice sailing route to Caribbean. Malta is also and option, not tax free but just 10% tax and next to Sicily, nice climes.

I also lived for 2 years in Dominican Republic, and all that talk about being a very dangerous place is nonsense. You are in much higher danger in any large city in any western country.

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Guys, anyone considered to live aboard a decent yacht? Mobility, safety (of getting stuck in any country with rapidly deteriorating regime) and tax free, ability to live a bit in many countries around the globe..

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  #268 (permalink)
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Mike, Anguilla has all you look for, even more.
Also easy access through St-Maarten, wonderful beaches, very good restaurants, 4G network to work on the beach...
Some useful info here AnguillaIslands.com

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  #269 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
I know I'm hung up on Boquete but I like it

you and me both bro! not sure what boquete means in espanol, but in portuguese it means blowjob

as a gringo living in a foreign country for a year now i can truly say it was a blessing to grow up in the US. Life sure is a lot harder (and unnecessarily so) in lesser/non-developed countries.

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  #270 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post

I would add that Andorra is not that expensive especially if comparing to Monaco like they do, it's in line with Barcelona it is 200 km from and from the Med sea. Big bonus is to qualify as a tax resident you don't need to live 183 days like in most countries, just 60 AFAIK.

90 days indeed. No tax on capital gains. As a sole trader, you'd pay about 140 EUR taxes a year (60 for 1 car, 80 for a nice big rented flat) and that's it. Living standards are far from the hype of Monaco ! Atmosphere is closer to a village. Costs are cheaper than neighboring France, especially flat rentals since a lot of buildings are still empty from the crisis, food to some extent, insurances a bit. Lots of foreigners. You'll be introduced to traders easily as everyone knows everyone. 99% of territory is covered by fiber optic.

However now it's toughter to get in... you have to invest 13 times more than 1 year ago : 400k !
They indeed intended to meet Monaco like standards which appears a big joke. Actually they are already backing off and immigration laws are bound to change again in the coming months. The government reacts very quickly which is an advantage of being such a miniature country.
Anyway, right now I'd suggest that you run a small (internet) business parallel to trading and then residency is yours for 'free' (corporate gains will be taxed 2% if they come from oversea activity then no bond/financial/real estate investment required)

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  #271 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post
Guys, anyone considered to live aboard a decent yacht? Mobility, safety (of getting stuck in any country with rapidly deteriorating regime) and tax free, ability to live a bit in many countries around the globe..

I've thought about it a lot. If I could afford it I would seriously consider it, but these are the main issues:
  • You'll want a ~40-~50 ft catamaran ($250k-$500k+) and its a depreciating asset.
  • You'll need to perform regular maintenance, have insurance, etc.
  • You'll have extended-stay slip rental fees which will range from $500-$1000/month for certain areas.
  • More than likely you'll plan your travel to avoid harsh winter/summer areas.
  • Internet access is either going to be spotty or EXTREMELY expensive ($1000/month).

You could do all of this far cheaper, but you're going to be less comfortable living aboard and U.S. citizens can never escape taxes unless they reside in Puerto Rico and qualify for special status. My currently favorite single-handed capable catamaran is the Chris White Atlantic 47 Mastfoil.

In a lot of cases it may make more sense to travel by plane and get weekly/monthly rate studio-sized apartment rentals. Or travel by RV or camper van and stay for free in/near national parks or cheap in RV parks.

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  #272 (permalink)
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SARdynamite View Post
90 days indeed. No tax on capital gains. As a sole trader, you'd pay about 140 EUR taxes a year (60 for 1 car, 80 for a nice big rented flat) and that's it. Living standards are far from the hype of Monaco ! Atmosphere is closer to a village. Costs are cheaper than neighboring France, especially flat rentals since a lot of buildings are still empty from the crisis, food to some extent, insurances a bit. Lots of foreigners. You'll be introduced to traders easily as everyone knows everyone. 99% of territory is covered by fiber optic.

However now it's toughter to get in... you have to invest 13 times more than 1 year ago : 400k !
They indeed intended to meet Monaco like standards which appears a big joke. Actually they are already backing off and immigration laws are bound to change again in the coming months. The government reacts very quickly which is an advantage of being such a miniature country.
Anyway, right now I'd suggest that you run a small (internet) business parallel to trading and then residency is yours for 'free' (corporate gains will be taxed 2% if they come from oversea activity then no bond/financial/real estate investment required)

Do you mean immigration via company? Active residence? Nobody is doing it, the new law is very controversial they have said. I was thinking that if you can put 400k in capital, some of it might be borrowed and maybe it can be considered "investment" so you don't have to actually invest but use it for trading. However this is also this immigration via Company.

I currently consider Malta.

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  #273 (permalink)
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MrYou View Post
I've thought about it a lot. If I could afford it I would seriously consider it, but these are the main issues:
  • You'll want a ~40-~50 ft catamaran ($250k-$500k+) and its a depreciating asset.
  • You'll need to perform regular maintenance, have insurance, etc.
  • You'll have extended-stay slip rental fees which will range from $500-$1000/month for certain areas.
  • More than likely you'll plan your travel to avoid harsh winter/summer areas.
  • Internet access is either going to be spotty or EXTREMELY expensive ($1000/month).

You could do all of this far cheaper, but you're going to be less comfortable living aboard and U.S. citizens can never escape taxes unless they reside in Puerto Rico and qualify for special status. My currently favorite single-handed capable catamaran is the Chris White Atlantic 47 Mastfoil.

In a lot of cases it may make more sense to travel by plane and get weekly/monthly rate studio-sized apartment rentals. Or travel by RV or camper van and stay for free in/near national parks or cheap in RV parks.

Well it all depends, first of all boats are not cars, mostly they are better when 3-5 years old at least, not new. Since they are not produced by robots, most have issues that first owners care about. So smart buy is to buy something up to 10 years old and well-maintained. Easy under 200-250k.
I like cats but I would argue it's best option is you want to sails the oceans or go around the world. If you plan to mostly live aboard in a well-protected marina and just go out on weekends or sail for few days distance maybe one a month or on vacations, you are better off with motor monohull. Lots more space than in a sail boat, huge cabins, more luxurious than on a comparable sail yacht, and cheaper than a sail yacht with similar qualities.

I am considering Malta as a home base and option to live aboard and travel around Med and to Caribbean for a winter. Atlantic crossing is doable on most of motor boats ocean class, not necessarily very expensieve Norhavns, dutch Elling E3-E4 is awesome too, and can be bought even new for 350k euro. Good used one probably 200k.

It's stretching a bit for a motor yacht, but then again, depends on the main purpose.

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  #274 (permalink)
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Yes active residency as "self-employed". I have visited 3 lawyers for a friend that wants to move in with family. None expressed a single concern. You can actually meet lawyers that are part of the governement and who vote the immigration laws for foreigners, so you cannot be fooled when they acknowledge your project.
I believe that now active residency is a smarter choice than passive one since the change of laws in july 2012. Actually you can consider any forced investment as disguised taxes...
Out of the 400k passive investment, just the 50k government bond alone that pays no interest rate can equal a loss, that is if you plan not to leave the country, then you can consider it like paying years of taxes in advance Even if you leave, it deteriorates as sleeping money, just like the other investment types will have limitations as well. Within any type of structure, no bank would let you trade borrowed money if they knew, guaranteed.
Anyway, we're opposite of the carribean

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  #275 (permalink)
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SARdynamite View Post
Yes active residency as "self-employed". I have visited 3 lawyers for a friend that wants to move in with family. None expressed a single concern. You can actually meet lawyers that are part of the governement and who vote the immigration laws for foreigners, so you cannot be fooled when they acknowledge your project.
I believe that now active residency is a smarter choice than passive one since the change of laws in july 2012. Actually you can consider any forced investment as disguised taxes...
Out of the 400k passive investment, just the 50k government bond alone that pays no interest rate can equal a loss, that is if you plan not to leave the country, then you can consider it like paying years of taxes in advance Even if you leave, it deteriorates as sleeping money, just like the other investment types will have limitations as well. Within any type of structure, no bank would let you trade borrowed money if they knew, guaranteed.
Anyway, we're opposite of the carribean

That's a valuable info, thanks. So far it doesn't look to good. But let's see if they make changes again. In regards to borrowed money I was thinking more of investments, not loans from the bank. A structure like a partnership or just a regular company with shares allocated to investors. Depends what they consider as "investment". Can I ask you, are you a native Andorran or came there some time ago?

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  #276 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post
That's a valuable info, thanks. So far it doesn't look to good. But let's see if they make changes again. In regards to borrowed money I was thinking more of investments, not loans from the bank. A structure like a partnership or just a regular company with shares allocated to investors. Depends what they consider as "investment". Can I ask you, are you a native Andorran or came there some time ago?

I'm half french/swiss, moved to Andorra early 2012. Always loved the mountains (lived in Chamonix before) more than the dreamy beaches (spent part of my youth in french polynesia) and Andorra felt a lot better choice to pursue a long term trading carreer (and/or remote business) than France and even Switzerland. Was feeling a lot insecure trading there with constant regulations evolutions & blur and shrinking financial perspectives in the long run. In fact I was trading under a corporate before but got tired of feeling like a UFO towards most official organisations.
In Andorra, which I chose over other options (Antigua was second but never appealed to me), I don't even fill an annual declaration... It's tiny but does not lack anything. Peaceful, very secured, and a melting pot of people (maybe to the despair of the andorrans who are only a third in their own country).
I think what is the most enjoyable is the "easiness" of everyday life. No administration (felt), same day health appointments with specialists (as opposed to 6-9 months in France), no distances (traffic jams), spanish hours spirit (living later at night, shops opened 7/7 till 8pm non-stop), very nice people within a family space bubble, you always hit / is redirected to the good persons. I remember having a financial project query and the lawyer offered me to contact the prime minister next day, which she did ! lol ...As opposed to France, I would have spent 3 hours hanging on the phone just to reach some totally ignorant administration officer. I think that their strenght relies on some ability to not overly complexify stuff, but its mostly due to their size and a little will too.

Investment to my knowledge is either government bond (pays no return but is fully refunded if/when leaving), real estate purchase which you can fill partly with bank loans at good conditions, or private banking products which are about the same as elsewhere. Banks have their own desks with poor conditions (high fees because they rely on intermediaries, mostly phone rather than platform trading except for stocks and high minimums, 200k/500k for a local futures account ! they do not take risks lightly! lol) which I'm not sure you could get authority on as investment.
As per your request, I know they have a certification for "foreign investments under a company" but it usually goes along with active residency requests indeed. I don't think it could count for the passive requirement, maybe some form of it ?. Something to ask.

I own a passive 30k residency (under old scheme) that I eventually plan to trade for an active residency. The business conditions are very good : tax/costs= little, year-round paperwork=more than ok

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  #277 (permalink)
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Awesome stuff, thanks! Could you maybe tell about options for active residence with the company? It doesn't require 400k investment but requires hiring some locals, etc? Right? And still nobody know how it really should work.

PS I love skiing too! And mountains.

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xelaar View Post
Awesome stuff, thanks! Could you maybe tell about options for active residence with the company? It doesn't require 400k investment but requires hiring some locals, etc? Right? And still nobody know how it really should work.

PS I love skiing too! And mountains.

As a joking note, I think what strikes me the most as opposed to France is that some morning you do hear actually good news. Sometimes you open the newspaper and you read "governement has cut car importation taxes by half" without reason or "doctors have lowered their rates" and as a french guy you just go "WTF ?! that would have never happened on the other border". What I noticed is that they are quite flexible. They do not fear to go backwards when decisions were poorly done, that's why they are revising part of the active residency laws only a couple weeks after they were voted... they figured out it was not clear, too complex.

If you love skiing then it's the largest resort of the pyrenees mountains The slopes are rather easy (compared to some french alps resorts) but the infrastructures are awesome (excellent freestyle modules, lifts to free areas with no borders, etc, excellent fields for speedriding) and you can end the day on one of the spas!

OK so with active residency then once accepted it prevents you from any additional investment...
On a sidenote, as a resident you are then free to trade on your own (no capital gain taxes, no declaration) which appears to be the most simple plan, or manage your business' capital within your 'corporate's accounts (tax should then be 2% but at worse it might be 10%, I'm not 100% sure, will explain later)

You or/and your partners do not have to be locals to obtain active residency. If investors/partners are foreign, this leads to an additional procedure towards the government (that averages about 2 months) but it's possible and welcomed. Your project just needs to be accepted. They are quite open towards immigration plans as long as you don't take work away from the locals (that's mainly the rule of thumb if I try to sum it up).

Consequently, Andorra the past months has opened to 100% foreign investments on most activities (there are still quotas) which means you can run your own business without the need to share command with a local andorran like in the past.
(some fields like internet business were open to full foreign ownership since quite some time but now they expanded the possibilities a lot. In fact, they lack professionals and seeks to mature in a lot of sectors besides banking, tourism, etc that they keep for themselves)


The business category as "self employed" is the one being revised now and the amendments should be made public in the next days/weeks (I'm tracking the news as well)
They call it "autonom". Your responsabilities are then unlimited, as opposed to companies (limited responsabilities). You are obligated to pay for the local "security" system called CASS, which includes health coverage, retirement plan and some invalidity insurance (the health system matches the french one = very good, you can touch your retirement plan as a capital instead of pension if you have only paid for CASS not long enough, that's more freedom than France which requires 40 soon 43/44 years of work to touch full pensions)
CASS cost 300 EUR / month if your business earns less than 150k a year, and 400/month if you earn more than 150k/y (not talking about trading revenues here, which is appart, only business)
Extra health insurance to reach 100% coverage (with limits) depending on your age will cost 30 to 40 EUR/month.
All other insurances (property, care, etc) are slightly less expensive than neighboring countries.

For a comparison, as a pure passive resident, you would suscribe a fully private health insurance for about 100/130 EUR / month depending on your age (and as a single). The coverage is less good (more limits) and does not include a retirement plan that you can suscribe aside (or not)

On the other hand, you can choose a limited liability corporate called SL. It requires at least 2 partners and a minimum capital of 3000 EUR.
There are also SA corporates (3 partners, 50k) but that should not apply to you. SL and SA are required if you plan on providing financial services as your core business (like investment services but that's another story that would lead to deal with local financial authorities and might be tough to achieve. their banking system is well protected)
You can split shares as equal (50/50) or unbalanced (50+/50-). The main difference will be that as a 50+ partner you will rely on the CASS the same way than the "autonom" workers (fixed payment) as opposed to a minor shareholder which will only pay for social security costs up to 20% of its salary, if you give yourself a salary...
Instead you could pay yourself only in dividends and dividends are tax FREE ! You pay the corporate taxes (10% for business carried within Andorra, 2% for business carried internationally following an agreement with the governement, or 6% if you plan a mix of both) and then nothing on dividends...
If you plan to have lots of income, then choosing major shareholder is the way to go as 400 EUR fixed CASS fees equals to a 2000 EUR salary for a minor shareholder. Basically, you could be the next Bill Gates and pay social fees of a 2000 EUR salary equivalent maximum.
If you're going minor shareholder, the best case is to have some money left ahead of you to be able to pass the year without the need to give yourself a salary or so little of it. Then you can pay the minimum or no social fees and take the dividends for free after a 2% to 10% corporate tax.
When creating the SL, fees will be about 900 EUR for government, 2000 EUR for lawyer/accountant, 250 for notary(?). Then each year, 700 EUR for government, 300 EUR for the town, then accounting fees (could range from 350 to 1800 depending on your level of activity)

The fees for "self employed / autonom" should be obviously lower to carry and that must be the status more suited to you... Let's just wait a little to clarify that.

I skipped a lot of useful and uncommon info but then I would continue all night long I have it all on files but it's in french wordings so I cannot copy and paste unfortunately.

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  #279 (permalink)
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My appologies to the carribean lovers for getting them a cold watching these pictures



(some nearby Costa Brava seacost shots)


Sorry for the awful langage (nah just teasing )



Now the beautiful one (talking about the langage, still!) (on the street, a lot more different languages are heard than the official one)



'Some' people (3 schooling systems : andorran, spanish, french + some international english driven institute)


Finally to relieve stress as a trader, you ave either this


...or this, when things went bad and you have the need for a "break"


Only a snapshot. There's only so much more...

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  #280 (permalink)
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Absolutely awesome reply, many thanks for this level of detail! Looking forward to any updates on active residence. I think I can wait another year or even two before making a big move, as my daughter will need to go to pre-school somewhere and I will need to decide where and in what language. I am ok with both Spanish and English (Malta), I don't think Catalan would be a big problem, I know Spanish only so-so but understand most of what it is written in Catalan in Barcelona.

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  #281 (permalink)
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Even the ones who critic Andorra admit on a thing : it is the best for raising kids. I was talking wth a youngster the other day who was telling me that what he liked about his country is that kids here could be seen hanging around at midnight at 13yo given the fact it has no crime.

I have a trader friend who had chosen Costa Rica to settle : his boys would come back beaten up from school... although he was in a nice area, came back to Europe.

Sometimes they have 2 teachers in class, one who'd speak catalan, the other one spanish, etc. French schooling system is favored since it's free and slightly higher education than the spanish/catalan ones but I guess all fit.
Anyway, raised here, she'd probably grow fluent in catalan,spanish and eventually french (most locals do). Then remains the international school if english is favored which has pre-school included, she would cross more flavors of people and maybe quite a few russian. For higher education, they usually continue either in Toulouse (FR) or Barcelona.

Oh, for adults, free lessons of catala are given by the officials several sessions a year ! You can find also discussion groups offered by locals.

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Awesome! My other concern is I have heard they are giving very hard time documents-wise to people coming from Eastern and Central Europe, ex-Sovbloc, including CZ, SK, HU.

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I know where you read that. I'm afraid that site is likely up to date. Bear in mind that you should not need any introduction service. Passive residency paperwork was dead easy and everything can be done on your own (I can redirect to all the people recommended by those services) in 1-2 days. For active residency maybe you need more help (lawyer or some fiduciary) but I discourage you for that one service in particular (I can explain in private )

Anyway, there are so many russians that a lot of shops/restaurants have now their signs in russian...
What I mean is that the extra paperwork for those nationals surely is overcomed on a frequent basis... as long as you have the patience to translate and legalise the documents required, you should not fear that to be a discouraging issue.

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Certainly good news, it appears the only right step in order to make some kind of decision what path to follow would be to visit Andorra and to speak actually to a lawyer who can help with a company formation and get their opinion on paperwork required.

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  #285 (permalink)
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There are way more things to life than just avoiding paying taxes or living cheap. And what are the chances that a place what is good for a trader is also good for you as a person or for your family?
If one doesn't mind traveling, why not just keep changing places and only stay in a country as long as a tourist visa allows it? 6 months here, 3 months there, rinse and repeat.

But here is an interesting idea: Assuming the trader doesn't mind to share and like to teach, why not live with wealthy people who want to be traders and want to learn? They have the board and room, the knowledge of the locality, the internet access,etc. Once the teaching is over the trader can move on, or stay if both parties like the arrangement. There are lots of retired and well to do people who want to spend their time a little bit more effectively than just watching the grandkids. Websites like this one are a good place to make friendships...

Anyway, just an idea for profitable and adventurous people...

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  #286 (permalink)
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I would love that, but now with a kid onboard I must think of a place where my kid will grow up and what educational system will be used, so gypsy style of living is not that easy. I guess it is just fine for younger folks and those eternal bachelors.

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I would love that, but now with a kid onboard I must think of a place where my kid will grow up

Well, you still have 6 years of gypsyhood left before she goes to school!

(and wealthy people can arrange for private kindergarten (or they might have a nanny), not to mention she could pick up different languages very easily)

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I have visited many places in past years and my favorite in Antigua, incredibly beautiful, good heath services great people and food with affordable housing...Boat moorage very in expensive and minimal hurricane impact.
My least favorite and downright dangerous is St Lucia (I will never return there!).
Belize is ok in the Cays (islands(mostly sand) but travel out in the "country" is dangerous. From Belize city to Capital of Belmopan is quite a dangerous trip due to highway men/robbers. Two times there shadowed by paramilitary and not allowed outside of town without clearance.
I also quite like Roatan Island, but have since met some exresidents who say quite potentially dangerous due to political unrest.
Hawaii is pretty nice all year. Big island of Hawaii is quite affordable with world class (read very expensive) resorts and golf courses. good food and marginal shopping. Good airports and flight schedules. There is all of this due to tourism and minimum wages jobs. Work very hard to find for non-locals. Great place for tele commuters and internet gurus! I'd have a look here and not too heavily taxed. Cost of living for food and consumables is high..ie gas/food/building materials etc. TIME DIFFERENCE East time +5 or 6 hours, makes trading an early morning thing to consider.
I'm seriously considering Ecuador as everything there is affordable 2 international airports and bartering is encouraged and not taxed. property still cheap and democratic government that still works. Tax advantages given to expats.
That's my 2cents

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  #289 (permalink)
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US Virgin Islands, hands down!, and/or Puerto Rico!

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BillyBobJoe View Post
.......
I'm seriously considering Ecuador as everything there is affordable 2 international airports and bartering is encouraged and not taxed. property still cheap and democratic government that still works. Tax advantages given to expats.
That's my 2cents

Hey @BillyBobJoe,

I recently started a thread looking for more information/feedback from anyone who is or has been to Ecuador and is a trader:
https://futures.io/traders-hideout/27794-traders-ecuador.html

No activity yet.

Gary

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  #291 (permalink)
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I have read on other forums about 2 places:

1. Capetown: cost of living is 1/4th of the US. Great timezone, English speaking people, good internet.

2. Paraguay: low taxes, 1 year residency is an address and 6K deposit in a bank...

Edit: More info on Paraguay, because it seems it is very easy to get a resident permit there and life sounds cheap too:

"Regarding citizenship, you don't need to become citizen in order to live in Paraguay. You can get resident permit: temporal for 1 year renewable up to 6 times or permanent. More info:
https://www.migraciones.gov.py/items-7-r … raria.html

on job: it is required some proof of income *contract as free lance/publisher? or local for resident permit. For permanent, it is required that or land ownership

regarding monthly expenses, you can live easily on 1,000 USD / month and with 2,000 USD very comfly. Banks can open accounts in Guarani, USD or EUR. For deposits (when you or anyone pays in) of more than 10,000 USD you need to sign a form every time for money laundry control.

You can possess (banks, property, etc) as much as you can. Currently, there is not personal income tax, but apparently will be enforced from 2013 onwards at 10% rate."

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  #292 (permalink)
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Capetown is great, I considered it, but not so easy to get there, must invest into a local company and hire 3 locals, tax is 40% there but if you have solely a capital gain, only 25% of it must be paid, effectively 10%. City is great but who goes to live to country everybody else fleeing? With AIDS infection rate 50%, practically highest crime rate on planet so you can't even stop on red light not to get killed during the robbery, must wear an automatic gun all the time, etc

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MrYou View Post
I've thought about it a lot. If I could afford it I would seriously consider it, but these are the main issues:
  • You'll want a ~40-~50 ft catamaran ($250k-$500k+) and its a depreciating asset.
  • You'll need to perform regular maintenance, have insurance, etc.
  • You'll have extended-stay slip rental fees which will range from $500-$1000/month for certain areas.
  • More than likely you'll plan your travel to avoid harsh winter/summer areas.
  • Internet access is either going to be spotty or EXTREMELY expensive ($1000/month).

You could do all of this far cheaper, but you're going to be less comfortable living aboard and U.S. citizens can never escape taxes unless they reside in Puerto Rico and qualify for special status. My currently favorite single-handed capable catamaran is the Chris White Atlantic 47 Mastfoil.

In a lot of cases it may make more sense to travel by plane and get weekly/monthly rate studio-sized apartment rentals. Or travel by RV or camper van and stay for free in/near national parks or cheap in RV parks.


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Would you like to keep discussion going? If so we can start a separate topic here. I would love that.

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  #294 (permalink)
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any popular place in Europe?

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  #295 (permalink)
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I am taking another look at Buzios Brazil. Anyone from there?

Mike

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  #296 (permalink)
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I am taking another look at Buzios Brazil. Anyone from there?

Mike

I live a few hours away and I have been there albeit 10 years ago. I encountered frequent power outages and many large cockroaches in my hotel. I dont know what you are looking for exactly and although my opinion of Brasil is pretty low overall from a living standpoint I would recommend it/Rio for a month long visit- it would be a nice getaway in a country with a very distinct culture. If you are looking to do a whole lot of nothing and sitting on the beach i really would recommend Rio as IMHO it is the best beach in the world. But opinions are like... Remember, this country is still third world with third world problems.

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Profiler View Post
I live a few hours away and I have been there albeit 10 years ago. I encountered frequent power outages and many large cockroaches in my hotel. I dont know what you are looking for exactly and although my opinion of Brasil is pretty low overall from a living standpoint I would recommend it/Rio for a month long visit- it would be a nice getaway in a country with a very distinct culture. If you are looking to do a whole lot of nothing and sitting on the beach i really would recommend Rio as IMHO it is the best beach in the world. But opinions are like... Remember, this country is still third world with third world problems.

Can you go into a bit more detail as to why you rate it "low overall from a living standpoint" ?

Are you an expat?

Can I ask, are you a gringo? I am just trying to find gringo expats to talk to about it.

Here is the type of property I am looking for:
Buzios Vacation Rental - VRBO 345767 - 4 BR Brazil House, Spectacular Ocean View Luxury Villa in Búzios, Brazil

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man where to begin....

first, i am a gringo, lived in US all my life until last year when i came down here since my wife is brasilian. quality of life is just way below the US. you cant drink the water out of the tap. what kind of country doesnt have potable drinking water in this day and age? we have a filter added on to our tap so we can but otherwise you see lots of people carrying gallons of water home from the store. this also means when you go out to restaurants you get dinged for paying for water at $3-4 which is a pet peeve of mine. the economy here is closed- 100% import taxes on everything. a $100k porsche costs 200k down here so you dont see many. worse, a toyota corolla cost 40k!!! can you imagine paying 40k for a corolla? end result is you have everything costing twice as much to favor the local brasilian products which are honestly complete crap. and you dont have many options to choose from. in the states go to a grocery store and there will literally be maybe 100 or more options for salad dressing-here you get 4 choices of generic. infrastructure is horrible. you arent supposed to flush toilet paper down the toilet because most pipes cant handle it. talk about safety, christ, we live in the best neighborhood in Rio literally across the street from the beach and my wife is afraid to walk on the street alone after 8pm. she got the windows tinted on her car not to block out the sun but so that people could not see that it was a single woman inside and give them the idea to rob her. you've seen the news about the protests lately im sure. these protests are legit- for what people pay and what they get this country is a joke! but like i said, these are factors more from a living standpoint than a visiting standpoint. ive visited way worse countries than here (india, thailand) and enjoyed them

as for that place- it looks freaking awesome!

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man where to begin....

first, i am a gringo, lived in US all my life until last year when i came down here since my wife is brasilian. quality of life is just way below the US. you cant drink the water out of the tap. what kind of country doesnt have potable drinking water in this day and age? we have a filter added on to our tap so we can but otherwise you see lots of people carrying gallons of water home from the store. this also means when you go out to restaurants you get dinged for paying for water at $3-4 which is a pet peeve of mine. the economy here is closed- 100% import taxes on everything. a $100k porsche costs 200k down here so you dont see many. worse, a toyota corolla cost 40k!!! can you imagine paying 40k for a corolla? end result is you have everything costing twice as much to favor the local brasilian products which are honestly complete crap. and you dont have many options to choose from. in the states go to a grocery store and there will literally be maybe 100 or more options for salad dressing-here you get 4 choices of generic. infrastructure is horrible. you arent supposed to flush toilet paper down the toilet because most pipes cant handle it. talk about safety, christ, we live in the best neighborhood in Rio literally across the street from the beach and my wife is afraid to walk on the street alone after 8pm. she got the windows tinted on her car not to block out the sun but so that people could not see that it was a single woman inside and give them the idea to rob her. you've seen the news about the protests lately im sure. these protests are legit- for what people pay and what they get this country is a joke! but like i said, these are factors more from a living standpoint than a visiting standpoint. ive visited way worse countries than here (india, thailand) and enjoyed them

as for that place- it looks freaking awesome!

Thank you for that. That is discouraging and is much worse than what I had read. One reason I had shied away from Boquete Panama was because of all the guns everywhere, armed military at shopping centers and such. It sounds like the opposite end of what you are seeing in Brazil.

Sao Paulo the same?

Have you traveled to Ecuador?

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  #300 (permalink)
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ive not been to ecuador nor sao paulo. SP is a concrete jungle though, i def would not classify that as a getaway. as its the business hub of brasil it actually has some nice things like buildings and restaurants though.

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futures io Trading Community Off-Topic > Best Caribbean or Central America location to retire? (Now with South America!)


Last Updated on August 20, 2017


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