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

July 30, 2012  
Sexist macho guy social activities like government employee beauty pageants are actually organized and supported by local Latin governments, where govt women workers are encouraged to show how "hot" they are. Events like this pervade all countries south of the boarder and in macho societies no one complains about the kind of stuff that would cause quite a stir up in Cleveland.
-I’ll bet you a shot of tequila you never knew that if you date a middle-class Latin American woman, and she really really ikes you, you'll not get invited to her house to meet the folks (or for a sometimes revolting dinner) for some weeks or more. Don’t even try to guess why- it’s not at all what you might think.
-Why are there so many beautiful Latin women wandering around Wal-Marts and the big shopping centers; all dressed in skimpy skin-tight clothing and handing out everything from free Pepsi Cola to Doritos (even shots of Jack Daniels)? Its because the pay’s good and other perks! Sure, being born middle-class and beautiful anywhere is often a winning ticket to a higher social class (if that beautiful he or she plays their cards right), and nowhere is that more evident than in Latin America. But unfortunately most of the pretty ladies in that position have a few great years but just DON’T play their cards right and lose the lottery in the end
-The continuing saga of Expat Eddie; he’s between a rock and a hard place again and this time he wants me to supply the Vaseline.
-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.
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July 27, 2012  

-Expat driving license problems and questions. Can you use your Ohio or New Jersey, etc., license in Latin America? If so, what happens after your first world one expires, do they toss you in the slammer with the Latin skinheads and the neck-tattoo boys?

-Why are there are about six times as many Latins with driving licenses as there are actual vehicles on the roads down there? (in the USA it’s about one to one)
-How the “Gringo Advantage” works when you get pulled over by the cops and flash your USA driver’s license (expired or not!)
-The real truth about those international driving licenses as advertised on the internet and elsewhere (like the ones they sell at AAA club in the USA). Should you get one? Are they a scam? The art and practice of using one, as well as the best place to get one (if you want).
-Expat Eddie’s twisted insight on Latin cops
-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.
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July 23, 2012  
-The 2nd most difficult thing about becoming a permanent expat is keeping a low profile- since generally, gringos have so much more disposable dough than the average Latin and can really afford to splurge on an extravagant lifestyle.
-The MOST difficult thing becoming an expat is just getting off the couch and making a decision to come down.
-Some tricks on how to fly way under the radar by using Latin S.A. anonymous corporations
-Expat Eddie’s tips on using and abusing ATM machines, both in Latin America and the rest of the world!
-A report on a person who just might be the only incorruptible country president in recent world history
-A very new libertarian development in Uruguay that is already starting to shake up the rest of the world
-Some email questions about Cartagena, Columbia. It’s on the tourist trail- kinda- but I still recommend it.
-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.
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July 20, 2012  
-All Latin American medium and large cities have all the same big international hotels we have up in the first world- including the usual convention centers for big events. But who in their right mind would hold an international convention in Bogotá Columbia or San Pedro Sula Honduras? You’ll be surprised (well maybe not). Either way, the chances are… you are paying the bill!
-More depressing news on the US financed war on drugs; the war that we lost a long time ago.
-Some interesting facts from the court testimony of a Mexican hit man/killer with 39 murders to his credit
-Many part time expats only visit their Latin American homes a few months or weeks a year. What should they do about security when they are NOT there?
-What if you live in Latin America permanently but have to leave for just a few days, weeks, or a month at a time? How do you handle security then? What if you have dogs or pets to feed?
-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.
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July 16, 2012  
-The three things all new expats and expat wanabees worry about most; money, money and money. Newbees are always calculating how long their nest egg or savings will last thinking they might fail to get a job or start a successful business. But they almost always find (when they’re off the tourist trail) that they vastly underestimate how far their dollars will go. Its something they have to figure out for themselves.
-A few thoughts on adjusting your own spending habits once you get down here
-If you think you’ll never make it on $15k a year down here just remember that tens of thousands of first world teachers are down here right now teaching English and working at the unheard of salary of between $300- $400 a month ($4000 to $5000 a year). And many love the life so much they stay on for years! Ever wonder how they do it?
-There are signs that the economies and currencies of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Venezuela are about to take a dive. That means a real estate blowout too. Should you buy in when the dust settles? Maybe not.
-What’s up with all those first world Christian do-gooders flying down and trying to make an impact on the poor in two whole weeks? I guess its ok… as long as they feel good about it and have good photos to take back to the congregation back home.
-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.
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July 13, 2012  
-Bottled water, ice machines and water cooler issues in the first and the third world. Water quality and water purifier questions addressed.
-What H2O filter units do I personally use and/or recommend in the home/office and on the road?
-When in Latin America, always drink out of bottles- use ice cubes and pour your beverages into (apparently) clean glasses and cups at your own risk.
-Ingenious scams; how Latin lawyers skin certain gringo clients in gringo saturated areas. And how those expats keep getting milked over and over again, yet they keep coming back for more!
-Corporate taxes: how the local Latin govts will tax your business (i.e.,very, very lightly).
-DYK that in Latin America you can write off ALL of your expenses? Not just the legit business deductions but all of the personal ones too. Unlike the IRS, down here there is no such thing as a disallowed deduction! As long as you have a receipt (called a factura) you can write it off!
-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.
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July 9, 2012  
-Johnny’s seminar ended a few days ago. It’s over and now here’s some dirt on just what went down in that dangerous, blacklisted, backwater (according to the US State Department website) known as Guatemala.
-Third world airport stories. Walking through an airport down here is like pre- 9/11: no scanners, no pat-downs, no shoes-off, no dogs, no pompous feces-headed TSA bureaucrats anywhere to be seen in Latin America (they’re only your privates where YOU live!)
-Why are there so many short, dark, indigenous people hanging around third world airports? 95% of them aren’t selling anything, so who are they waiting there for? You’ll be surprised!
-The big city Latin American real estate bubble; it’s got all the signs of a peak and is just looking for a pin to pop it. I’ll give it another year or so and then we’ll be able to pick off the penthouses and beach houses at 25 cents on the dollar.
-Guatemala has just been rated by an international committee in Europe as having the fifth happiest people in the entire world (out of 190+ countries). I wonder why the US State Department website doesn’t warn us about THAT revolting development.
-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.
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July 6, 2012  
- Is there anti-Semitism in Latin America? What’s the story on the Latin orthodox Jewish Community?
-Latin America has its own terrific rhythm. In every little town and village there are unbelievably talented musicians that would be stars in Cleveland, yet they’re playing in dives just for drinks in Peru. Consequently, 99.99% have day jobs, live at home with mom and dad or are starving.
-Can first world doctors who are sick of the red tape, the insurance companies, the frivolous lawsuits and oppressive Big Brother government, chuck it in and set up a medical practice in Latin America? How easy or hard is it to do/
-The ins and outs of getting permanent residency in Latin countries. When you have it, you can work any job in that country without a permit. But the fact is, most expats own their own businesses- and you DO NOT need residency at all to do that. You only need residency if you want to work for a company (er, legally and on the books that is)
-Many expats are down here to be free from certain unpleasant entities like court judgments, and the IRS for example. But once you’ve attained the free and easy life down here, should you worry about running afoul of their 77,000 pages of mind-numbing IRS double-speak (and just how long are those tentacles if you do)?
Speaking of running afoul of the IRS… what about extradition?
-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.
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July 2, 2012  
-Expat Eddie talks shares some new business ideas for expats
-Mistakes Green expats often make when starting their first businesses in Latin America
-Examples of expat businesses that failed because they landed just a bit before their time, and some lessons on how not to fall in that same trap.
-When it comes to business, let first world movies and cable TV do your product marketing for you. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
-Latin American medium and large cities do have their animal activist groups, but their goals are much different their first world counterparts
-Don’t trust pet pedigrees. After all- Latin America is the land of forgeries and pirating they’re experts at it!
-The reasons why frivolous lawsuits are almost nonexistent in Latin America in L.A.
-Having exotic animals as pets is fairly common down in Latin America. They may be exotic to YOU- but right now there are a few right outside my door!
-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.
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