The Expat Files: Living in Latin America A guide to moving to Latin America, finding work, and settling in.

August 4, 2015  
-When cars are stopped at Latin American traffic blockades the cops will only ask for 3 things: license, registration and proof of payment of the car’s yearly circulation sticker. Nothing else is important to them; not the broken windshields, lack of seat belts, burned out brake-lights, black smoke belching from tailpipes or even the 5 kids sitting up front on daddy’s lap.
 
-Any traffic violations you might accumulate will never account or appear against you personally, only against the owner of the car. Tickets for moving violations are rare and cheap so it doesn’t pay to fight them. You’re better off paying the 40 bucks than waste your time going to a court hearing that might be postponed/delayed any number of times and for any reason. BYW: those hearings almost always take place in a crappy part of town.    
 
-Expats need a lawyer of course but as your Spanish improves you’ll start to use him less and less, especially for the small stuff. But note: however adept you become at the language there will be certain times to just let him take over or you’ll be forever wasting time and effort. Sometimes when you think you’ve got it under control, you don’t.
 
-Ask any long time gringo, one of the most persistent general problems they see with Latin American workers is their lack of an eye for detail. That said, most times when Latin governments try to “gringoize” (i.e., modernize) a government department or service- for example by “computerizing” a chronically inefficient system- a larger disaster often follows. Today we have a recent true story proving that very point. 
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
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July 31, 2015  
-A few words about those strange and sometimes wonderful middle-class Latin yard parties and celebrations because you’ll be invited to attend these events now and again(maybe way too often).
 
-Prepare and get your earplugs ready for the rockets and fireworks when your neighbors have their weekend events and parties. Sometimes those things can get very loud and go well into night. Tip: lock your guns in the cabinet... unloaded.
 
-Today Expat Eddie graces us with another bizarre, "it can only happen in Latin America" story. This time he relates how when stuck at a party somewhere in El Salvador the subject at hand was Donald Trump. This time Eddie was in the spotlight. Everyone wanted to hear his take on Trump, who they see as the evil devil/destroyer of the "American dream".         
 
-DYK: in so-called Latin “man on the street” interviews the top #3 America names that come up in the minds of the Latin public areObama, Trump and Kim Kardashian (and they say the US public is dumbed down!)   
 
-First world “lag time effect” is alive and well. Even though 90% of the time that effect adds to our “Gringo advantage”, sometimes it can backfire badly when Latin "gringo wannabees" try to embrace it.
 
-Just like up in the states, some upscale Latin mothers are convinced their pre-school and grade school kids are gifted "geniuses" so they stupidly post every new word and burp on Facebook for posterity (sound familiar?)   
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
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July 26, 2015  
-If you come down to Latin America with only a few suitcases and bags(highly recommended), you’ll eventually need a whole lot of stuff to fill up that house or apartment. So today we have some great tips on how to find the best deals and best selection of any and all new and used stuff you might need once you get down to Latin America.
 
-Some tips on advertising your specific “gringo” services and skills to the Latin public
 
-More breaking news on Latin rentista, pensionado and permanent residency programs
 
-Gringos and upscale Latins are beginning to use Amazon.com quite a lot. They need it for that odd 1% of items they can’t get when down here like for example certain vitamins and supplements. So far so good. You can order stuff online no problem but then how does it get down to Latin America and how cheap/expensive is the shipping? Here's the scoop on that.
 
-Ecuador has just passed some heavy import taxes hitting gringos and expats who order online and have things shipped things down from eBay or Amazon.com. But since this is Latin America there are always a few ways around it. 
 
-Argentina now has 50% year over year real inflation. It's on the edge of another economic collapse. Here’s the latest news….
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


July 24, 2015  
-Today we have a report on my recent Latin American “Expat Wisdom” seminar that ended just a few days ago. How did go? We'll discuss an email from a married couple to see what they made of it.    
 
-Don't be hasty when seeking out short-term rentals. Due diligence is necessary and that takes some time. Its a renter's market and you must be prepared to low ball them and walk away. There are hundreds of rentals available and owners know it. So if you can pull it off, always have a local negociate without you present to avoid "gringo prices".    
 
-More details on achieving temporary and permanent residency. The rules are always changing and are slightly different from country to country.
 
-The two simplest and least expensive Latin residency programs as of July 2015
 
-A discussion regarding gringos and expats who decide to skip out of the USA leaving a trail of unpaid debts. Sometimes that’s actually part of the plan. True, a good percentage of expats do occasionally leave some dirty laundry behind and on purpose - out of sight out of mind. But be careful. What happens if for some reason one has to return to the states if even for a funeral or a short business trip? Will that dirty laundary come back to haunt you? Depends. What about skipping out on federal debts like taxes and school loans?
 
-How the Uncle Sam can block your passport and get you deported back to Cleveland   
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


July 19, 2015  
-The so called “Lag Time” effect is alive and well here in Latin America. 
Example: now for the first time there's an "all new" great gringo expat business idea that's flourishing. Only thing is, I spoke about this exact opportunity on a show over 4 years ago. Yes, it took 4 years to get here and looks like whoever’s doing it is set to make a killing. Which only proves once again that Expat wannabees and gonnabees can follow some simple formulas and do much the same thing. 
 
-Panama just enacted price controls on 28 basic food items. Any pinhead knows price controls never ever work in the long run and only tend to distort the economy. Price controls are the best way to create black and grey markets and guaranteed shortages.  Alas, who ever said govt decision makers rate any higher than pinheads.   
 
-The truth about bugs, bats, wasps, snakes and other things that creep along in the night. Its true that rainforest creatures get cold and damp too. They're near, at hand, and forever trying to find a way to co-exist with us. Be prepared for the occasional/inevitable) encounter so ladies, now might be time to think about growing a thicker skin.  
 
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July 17, 2015  
-Venezuela’s economy and currency, the Bolivar, are so out of control that the grey-market street exchange rate for dollars is now 50 times the official bank rate. With the “official” yearly inflation rate now pegged at 68%, the real number for basic goods is more like 500%. Meanwhile Chinese “saviors” have shown up. They are stealthily buying up everything they can (for dollars of course), picking up dying businesses, land and buildings at the ultra-fire sale of a lifetime.     
 
- All Latin American countries have quite a diversity of foreign ethnic groups. That said, what are the numbers, demographics, economic and social status of minority immigrant groups like Muslims, Asians, and Jews? Do they assimilate or stick out? Do they get along? The facts will surprise you.
 
-Bitcoin is on the rise again. It seems every time a country’s economy takes a sudden dump like Greece just did, BC takes a jump. While every time a government tries to regulate or ban BC it predictably takes a dive. Nevertheless, BC still remains one of the few slick ways to move your money around anonymously… provided you take the right steps and plan ahead.       
 
-We finish off today with some irate and wickedly clever emails      
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans

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July 12, 2015  
-More of the latest updates on certain Latin permanent residency programs for Expats. Note that very soon residency application requirements will be getting tougher. That means you’d better get on the stick and start making plans.     
 
-Today we have another absolutely true, but very sad story, coming from a disjointed middle-class Latin American family with some members living up in the USA illegally. These situations non-Spanish speaking gringos rarely get a chance to see, much less experience or understand. Get ready for some weighty messages…
 
-Now some facts that single gringas looking for love and romance in Latin America should know, including a scathing morality tale or two…           
 
-Lately Donald Trump seems to show up in every Latin news outlet on the hour. While Latins continuously dump on him, Latin media hacks are showing they are blatant hypocrites with one track minds. It’s not as much about Trump bruising the collective Mexican ego as much as the fact that Latins see Trump as a threat and a barrier to their easy and unrestricted entry into the US. They want an open border to grab their piece of the (non-existent) “American Dream” and are absolutely terrified what Trump will do if he gets into office (he hasn’t a chance anyhow)       
 
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July 10, 2015  
-Gringos, gringas and new Expats beware. If you’re driving through Latin America and find the need to stop at a hotel for the night don’t get fooled when you see very inviting hotel signs saying ”Auto- Hotel”. Even if they look nice, new, safe and secure, these places are NOT the Latin equivalent of a Budgetel or a Motel 6. Here’s the scoop.....  
 
-Looking in the Latin Yellow Pages, classifieds and on the internet, you’ll always see an ad or two promoting the services of a Latin P.I.- a so called Latin Private Investigator. Note these guys usually make their living doing two things; polygraph testing and chasing down upper middle-class male infidelities.
 
-In the past we’ve discussed mandated yellow fever vaccinations indicated for travelers to South America. We’ve seen that the written laws seem strict yet there seems to be very spotty enforcement. So today we have more on yellow fever vaccines from two clever Expats who just traveled through many of those questionable countries. We also have some very surprising and confounding yellow fever infection stats.
 
-Latin America and gun violence often seem to appear in the same sentence. Today we bring you some amazing statistics coming out of Latin police departments and hospital emergency rooms and show how wildly misleading they can be.  
 
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July 5, 2015  
-What’s the story on property taxes in Latin America? Maybe you’ve heard they’re ridiculously low- and they are. Note that by Latin standards, even when property taxes are considered quite high, you can bet they’d be 4 times as much up in the first world. Remember, nothing is standard down here. Things are infinitely flexible- including property valuations for tax purposes. So today we have a detailed guide to property taxes and how local Latins and expats use certain tricks to drive down land and home evaluations (and thus their property taxes) often to the point of embarrassment.
 
-Tips on property hunting. The proper use and abuse of Latin real estate agents
 
-Things you should know about the VAT sales taxes (called IVA) in Latin America and why they vary so much between Latin countries.
 
-Latin Americans and personal loans:
Latins think we all are rich gringos. Since most middle and lower class Latins can’t qualify for bank loans they often reach out to any friendly gringo they know for some cash. It’s happened to me dozens of times. If you are like me, you will test the wters by making a few small loans. Guaranteed you will be greatly disappointed as payments arrive late or never at all. THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU…guaranteed. So today we have some tips in dealing with that eventuality.    
 
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


July 3, 2015  
-What’s the real cost of first-world living in Latin America? Everyone wants to know exact figures and how to make a plan and formulate a proper budget. So today I’m providing a breakdown of my own personal monthly expenses “off the gringo tourist trail”.
 
-A word on the sometimes confusing issue of domestic water service in Latin America. Home and business owners are generally allotted what is called a “paja” of water or some fraction (or multiple) of a paja. One paja is about 8000 gallons per month, enough for a family of four gringos if properly cognizant of water conservation- whereas the same amount of water will serve a middle-class Latin family of 10 or more people. Californian’s are about to learn some difficult water lessons the Latins have been dealing with for decades.       
 
-Some Latin American swimming pool tips you'll want to know.
 
-Want to get off many(perhaps all) of your prescription meds? Here’s one listener’s plan on how she’s going about it once she moves down.
 
-A few more words, and another pointed story, on vaccines in Latin America.
 
  
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


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