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

May 28, 2012  
-Be sure to sign up for my Saturday am, June 2nd teleconference call. Do this by going to www.expatwisdom.com and signing up for my free report- “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”. By signing up you will automatically get an email with the details on how to participate on the phone or skype.
-Some advice about changing US dollars to local Latin currencies and vice versa, and how to avoid getting gouged when doing so. The truth about buy/sell (compra/venta) rates, and how to work them in your favor.
-In places that accept both dollars and the local currency, every so often the exchange rates will actually favor the dollar over the local funny money. Here’s how savvy expats can take advantage of that discrepancy. For example; when off the tourist trail, and making a purchase of over $20 in any Latin American store, always ask if they take dollars (acepta dolares?). Many that do take dollars will actually give a much better exchange rate than the banks do (don’t ask why) just take advantage of it.
-The changing face of Latin American airport security. Are they tightening up? Are they getting stricter? Yes, but this is the third world so their version is always a much more lax and imperfect copy.
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May 25, 2012  
-One spot may have opened up in my Latin Insider’s seminar that will be taking place in late June. If you want to attend please email me ASAP attheexpatfiles@gmail.com put the word “Seminar” in the subject line and reserve your place.
-Announcing a "call-in" teleconference and Q and A session on Saturday June 2nd with Johnny discussing the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America. Now we can talk about it on a teleconference call. Just go to www.expatwisdom.com for details.
-Lost in Translation: some of the strange quirks and funny idiosyncrasies observant expats eventually discover on their way to becoming passable Spanish speakers
-Why certain English common slang terms make the translation to Latin America and some don’t (You’ll run into scant few “awesome dudes” down here.)
-The mild language of even the poorest Latins far exceeds the first world when it comes to good manners in mixed company.
-Our English curse and swear words don’t mean a thing to Spanish speakers. It’s very amusing when expats see this phenomena in practice.
-If Latins don’t use the English “F#@%” word, what do they use in its place? Every culture has its own equivalent and their crude fornication word is “joder”.
-Reason #32456 not to travel to Venezuela!
-Some great pointers if you ever get pulled over at a police road block
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May 21, 2012  
-Be sure to follow me on www.expatwisdom.com to get more new audios, blogs, stories and expat info as well as the big personal report, “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”
-Now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, you and I can talk about your situation one on one.
-Some folks -who aren’t in the know- think that the only lush, plush Latin American eco system and rainforest expanse worth seeing is in Costa Rica (with Panama running  a distant second). That mistaken impression was created by marketers and travel agencies. Who people don’t know is that there are many other Latin countries lusher, plusher and with greater bio and eco-diversity than CR… but they’re off the radar (which is great news for us!)
-Truth in advertizing just does NOT exist in Latin America. You can advertize your product does everything from kill tapeworms to raise the dead and you can make infomercials, sell it and make million. Yes, there are consumer protection laws but with no staff (or gas for their cars) and zero enforcement. There’s really no one watching out for the consumer and a strict case of “buyer beware”.
-More examples showing the indefatigable gullibility of Latin Americans (rich and poor) and how certain first world gringos are starting to take advantage of it.
-Expat Eddie shares some personal examples as to why Latins much prefer to work for gringo/gringa bosses (the gringo advantage rides again!)
Even the most humble of Latins have great pride in their meager possessions, and expats should realize that.
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May 18, 2012  
-Be sure to follow me on www.expatwisdom.com and get more new audios, blogs, stories and the big personal report “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”.
-Now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, now you and I can talk about your situation one on one.
-A bit about expat wanabees that never get off the couch; the ones that know deep down that they will never take that step and become true expats.
-Labor unions in Latin America; why they aren’t making much progress at all but do exist. They occasionally stage walkouts and go on strike (called “huegas”) but they really don't improve the labor situation much. And in places where unions actually have a foothold, they are pretty much a joke compared to their first world counterparts(even though up North most unions have been weakened too).
-The very high cost of electricity in Latin America, and a truly amazing irony about that fact. DYK that so called “progressive” little Costa Rica has switched over to completely renewable hydro and geothermal electric power for the whole country? They are 100% self sufficient! And guess what? Prices not only DID NOT drop as you would logically expect, but they actually doubled! Whats up with that?
-Here’s another terrific, simple, extremely low startup cost business idea for expats and wanabees that’ll make you wonder why you didn’t think of it first!
-Latin American governments always subsidize cheap electric power rates for the poor (a traditional vote-getting measure aimed at the unwashed masses). But it’s a stupid regressive idea that always backfires and here’s why…
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May 14, 2012  
SHOW #153 - Mon, May 14, 2012
-My Latin American Insider’s seminar is all booked up but if you’re interested in getting on the waiting list for the Guatemala event, email me attheexpatfiles@gmail.com with the word WAITING LIST in the subject line or better yet, go to www.expatwisdom.com and sign in with your email to get full details and updates as well as any info on last minute cancellations.
-Be sure to follow me on www.expatwisdom.com to get more new audios, blogs, stories and expat info as well as the big personal report, “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”
-And now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, now you and I can talk about your situation one on one.
-We always talk about first world expats who start successful businesses down here. But what about successful expats who came to Latin America with much greater handicaps than we have? Those folks who come from other third world countries like China, India and the Middle East? These guys have cultural and language barriers that are not just small inconveniences but extremely difficult to overcome. But somehow they do it.
-Expat Orientals, Middle Easterners and people from India who come to Latin America DO NOT have the beloved “Gringo Advantage” as we know it- yet they do quite well as a rule and do much better in business then the local Latins ever do.
-How to get cheap repairs on your household items, or find specialty parts for all manner of home and industrial stuff like air compressors, washer/dryers, electric generators, weed whackers, chainsaws, espresso machines, pizza ovens, etc.
-More on Latin men, their infidelities and their mistresses, and why it’s obvious to us expats that Latin guys are some of the world’s best liars and criers. So, why do Latin women tolerate this twisted behavior? What choice do they have? (The gringo advantage rides again!)
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May 11, 2012  
-Be sure to go to www.expatwisdom.com and get more new audios, blogs, stories and my big personal report “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”
This report came about after so many requests came in from folks asking me to list some of my own personal “off the radar” picks. These are places that any expat could live, work, play do business and/or retire in style for less than half of what it would take in the first world. And sure, there are hundreds more to choose from, but I had to start somewhere!
-No matter what you have heard to the contrary, there’s some very bad news coming down the pike about the future of the Argentina economy and their precarious peso. Don’t believe all the good economic news that you hear, there’s a lot being swept under the carpet. And DON’T transfer major money into a peso account no matter what rate of interest you can get. The real yearly rate of inflation (double the govt reported rate) is around 20% and you’ll eventually get ruined if you invest in anything denominated in their peso.
-The real truth about Argentina’s move to nationalize their largest oil company (which just happens to be the country’s largest US dollar revenue earner)
-The exploding waistlines of middle and lower class Latins, and the future health consequences as expressed by local medical doctors (nearly all of whom are also overweight)
-Whether you know it or not, you have a very personal Argentine connection: now for some not-so-nice revelations about the second biggest meat exporter in the world
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May 7, 2012  
-My Latin American Insider’s seminar is all booked up but if you’re interested in getting on the waiting list for the Guatemala event, email me attheexpatfiles@gmail.com with the word WAITING LIST in the subject line or better yet, go to www.expatwisdom.com and sign in with your email to get full details and updates as well as any info on last minute cancellations.
-Be sure to go to www.expatwisdom.com and get more new audios, blogs, stories and expat info as well as my big personal report, “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises” This report came about after so many requests came in from folks asking me to list some of my own personal “off the radar” picks. These are places that any expat could live, work, play do business and/or retire in style for less than half of what it would take in the first world. And sure, there are hundreds more to choose from, but I had to start somewhere!
-What about transferring money down to Latin America as an expat, or if you’re just going down on an extended vacation? What mix of cash and credit cards should you carry, and what about banking?
-Securing your ID documents and credit/debit cards.
-Travel safely, with more piece of mind, using certified passport and driver’s license copies
-Opening your Latin American bank account(s)
-What do you do when a Latin bank asks for a co-signer before they’ll give you a credit or debit card? How do you finagle that?
-Some facts about the buy/sell spread when converting dollars into local currency and vice versa.
-Airport customs, gold coins and reporting requirements.
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May 4, 2012  
-My Latin American Insider’s seminar is all booked up but if you’re interested in getting on the waiting list for the Guatemala event, email me attheexpatfiles@gmail.com with the word WAITING LIST in the subject line or better yet, go to www.expatwisdom.com and sign in with your email to get full details and updates as well as any info on last minute openings.
-Be sure to go to www.expatwisdom.com and get my big free report “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”
This report came about after so many requests by folks asking me to list some of my own personal “off the radar” picks. So here they are- places that any expat could live, work, play do business and/or retire, in style, for less than half of what it would take in the first world. And sure, there are hundreds more to choose from, but I had to start somewhere!
-There are the whole range of and spectrum of successful expats in Latin America. Some of them are absolutely brilliant in all things and some are stand-up drunks that can’t tie their shoes correctly. Yet the huge majority seems to do quite nicely once they get acclimated and learn the ropes. So, what does it take to be a so-called “expert expat”? Do you need to have that little extra spark or ethereal substance to really kick butt down here? In a word, no, since you have something even better going for you; the thing I call the “gringo advantage”.
-Those unavoidable “gringo” prices. Sometimes they prevail- even off the tourist trail.
-How to get around in Latin America if you don’t have a car and don’t want to ride those rickety, stinky “chicken buses” (which I don’t recommend even though the guide books do)
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