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

October 28, 2012  
-MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Go to www.ExpatWisdom.com to get complete details. There may be one or two spots left, so don’t miss out.
-Some distressing news coming from the US Passport division. You’d better act fast and get a new PP (like now) while its still easy or you may not get another chance. There are many reasons why.
Can you answer the questions below, even some of them?
-(1) Name any and all schools, daycare centers and/or developmental programs you attended from birth to age 18, and provide the exact dates of attendance.
(2) List all the homes and places you lived from birth to the present day and provide the exact street addresses and the dates you lived there.
Well, those are just some of the easier questions you will be asked on the new proposed US Passport application forms. And you can’t take a stab at answering them either. That’s not allowed. You must be precise or your passport may not be issued or could be blocked or revoked at any time in the future.
Bottom line; time to get a new Passport before those new proposed Big Brother guidelines kick in.
-We talk a lot about living the expat life ‘off the tourist trail” but what about expats who really do want to live in gringo satuirated places like Panama and Coasta Rica? Many folks think they need to have a certain gringo comradary in a transplanted gringoized environment. If that’s the case, what will the real estate picture like for them? Are there any deals to be had on the tourist trail, or are you stuck with those first world prices you’ve heard so much about?
-Some tricks when buying Latin American real estate that can save you countless thousands, and some real life examples of savvy expats who recently made terrific real estate purchases.
-I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-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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October 26, 2012  
-Some more distressing news coming from the US Passport division. You’d better act fast and get a new PP (like now) while its still easy or you may not get another chance. It's obvious the new app forms were designed to restrict your freedom to travel.
-Can you answer the questions below, even some of them?
(1) Name any and all schools, daycare centers and/or developmental programs you attended from birth to age 18, and provide the exact dates of attendance.
(2) List all the homes and places you lived from birth to the present day and provide the exact street addresses and the dates you lived there.
Well, those are just some of the easier questions you will be asked on the newly proposed US Passport application forms. And you can’t guess or make a decent stab at answering them either. That’s not allowed. You must be precise or your passport may not be issued or could later be blocked or revoked at any time in the future.
Bottom line; time to get a new Passport before the new( impossible to complete) application supersedes the old simple standard form. The new one is in the pipeline so you'd better act fast.
-We talk a lot about living the expat life ‘off the tourist trail” but what about expats who really do prefer to live in gringo saturated places like Panama and Costa Rica? Many would-be expats seem to want,or need, a certain gringo comradary and prefer a transplanted gringoized environment (or think they do). Ok...whatever floats your boat. But what will the real estate picture like for them? Are there any deals on the tourist trail? Or are you forever stuck with those inflated  first world prices you’ve heard so much about?
-Some tricks when buying Latin American real estate that can save you countless thousands. Some real life examples of savvy expats who recently made terrific real estate purchases, and how they did it.
-I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-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.
-MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS SOLD OUT. But you can get on the waiting list. Since people's schedules change and emergencies come up(like with the last seminar), there will probably be one or two spots left as we get nearer the launch date. Don’t miss out.To get on the waiting list just send me an email at TheExpatFiles@gmail.com, or Johnny@ExpatWisdom.com, then visit www.ExpatWisdom.com to get complete seminar details.
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October 21, 2012  
-MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Folks who are interested in my Expat Wisdom “immersion” seminar should go to www.ExpatWisdom.com to get complete details. Its very close to sold out, but there are a few spots left.
-Thinking about starting a small business in Latin America? One big mistake expat wanabees often make is they use hard and fast first world business assumptions and projections that don’t necessarily apply to doing business in Latin America. Once you get started down here there’s really no need to stress out on first world numbers or profits- and here are some examples why…
-A word to wannabees about another very profitable business idea that might be of interest to those looking for a neat-green, high profit/growth concept.
-Many an expat couple’s dream is to take early retirement and move down to a Latin paradise and start a nice low-stress business- to keep them occupied in their golden years. Unfortunately most couples try to fulfill this dream in gringo tourist areas like Costa Rica and Panama. They find that with all the gringo competition around, often their businesses do little more than break even. But even so, many of the owners keep plugging away it... indefinitely. But strangely enough, many of these expats don’t care if the numbers don’t work because (#1) they’ve made it to their paradise (#2) they’ve got a nest egg already, (#3) they collect a monthly social security or pension check, and (#3)the business gives them something to do!
-Some talk about certain first world franchises and expat small businesses that can target the Latin masses
-Lately, I’ve been getting emails from single ladies who are on the fence about coming down to my next Latin American Seminar. They wonder if it’s safe for a single woman to join the next adventure. So to answer that, here is a letter from one of our last seminar attendees- a single female- with her astute observations on the experience.
-I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wannabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-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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October 19, 2012  
-Unlike first world big city newspapers that are crashing and burning daily, Latin dailies are still the undisputed marketing and advertising kings of the region. Old fashioned newsprint hasn’t been killed by the internet yet- only because of such low internet penetration (between 15-20% and slowly rising) in the home. That’s another great example of the “lag time effect” and it also spells great opportunities for us expats.
-As you page through the Latin daily newspapers you can’t help but notices full page ads for supersized 50 grand and up SUV’s on steroids like Ford Suburbans, Yukons and Chevy Tahoes. For many reasons, they’re beyond  ridiculous to have down here. So, if dealers place full page ads there must be a nice market for them, right?. But who’s stupid enough to throw good money away like that? (Hint; it’s not expats or even rich narcos)
- Some excellent first steps expats and wanabees might want to take on the road to becoming anonymous, nearly anonymous or just basically unobtrusive (it’s all part of the universal expat code)
-Even smart, educated, Latins have a terrible ego problems combined with self esteem issues. They want to keep up with the Jones so badly that nothing will stop them (if they have the dough or the credit) from making outright stupid purchases like SUV’s, Rolexes, blackberries and smart phones. Not even the occasional robbery and assault will stop feckless Latins from displaying that they can afford to have the latest first world things. Even so, being Latins, they are never quite up to speed with our US trends. For example, they haven’t yet figured out that Blackberries are actually passé.
- I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-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.
-MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Folks who are interested in my Expat Wisdom “immersion” seminar should go to www.ExpatWisdom.com to get complete details.
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October 14, 2012  
MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Folks who are interested in my Expat Wisdom “immersion” seminar should go to www.ExpatWisdom.com to get complete details.
As you know I always recommend expat wanabees download a Spanish language newspaper or two (they’re free). That’s the best way to investigate your preliminary picks of cities and/or Latin countries before coming down and testing the waters. But just a reminder; unlike first world big city newspapers, the first few pages of Latin the dailies can have such startling news that it might scare the feces out of you. But not to worry (too much), and we’ll explain why….
How can the top hundred or so Latin politicians along with their extended families, friends and their cronies, live like virtual Saudi princes; with caravans of luxury SUV’s, multiple million dollar homes, bodyguards, Rolexes, custom made suits, buying trips around the world, etc? How is all that luxury possible when the Latin countries that they represent; Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Salvador, etc, etc, have such very low taxes and meager tax collections in general? Unlike in the US, the simple fact is that there’s just not enough slop in the public trough for those Latin scumbags to pig out! And they can’t print money like the FED. So how can they possibly afford that lifestyle? Well, here’s how…..
Why do so many first world scumbag politicians come down to convention centers at 5 star luxury hotels –off the tourist track- in Latin America? Of course I’m talking about places the US State Dept website advise us normal US citizens strictly avoid or to visit at our own peril? By the way; did you even know there are hundreds of 5 star luxury hotels and convention centers off the tourist trail?
Guess what happens when high level Latin politicians get caught stealing millions and actually do jail time? When they get out they become sought after local celebrities. From then on, everyone they meet wants to shake their hands and have a photo op! Here are a few actual cases……
I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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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October 12, 2012  
-MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Folks who are interested in my Expat Wisdom “immersion” seminar should go to www.ExpatWisdom.com to get complete details.
-And now we have the dark side of that very popular theme: expats, mating, dating, love and romance.
-Why Expat women should be on their guard when approached by suave Latin suitors. Don’t be taken in by every Antonio Banderes clone. Instead, be suspicious of motives believe 10% of what they say and if you can, thoroughly check out the back-story.
-Ever wonder what happens when a Latina discovers her boyfriend, husband or significant other has been cheating on her? Find out when you hear this story from Expat Eddie's files.
-If, like Johnny claims, 90% of Latin guys cheat on their wives and girlfriends, and(as Johnny claims again) a good 80% of Latin ladies (off the tourist trail) are nice, loyal, devoted mothers/girlfriends with hearts of gold…. who then are these Latin guys cheating with? The numbers don’t exactly jive.
-You think you’ve seen jealousy? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
In Cleveland, Boston and Milwaukee, jealousy is considered a negative trait. In Latin America, it’s considered a virtue. To Latins, jealousy equals love. That’s a difficult concept for us expats to grasp.
-“Bowing Shirt and Pink Bathrobe”, a true life middle-age expat parable.
- I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-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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October 7, 2012  
-MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Folks who are interested in my Expat Wisdom “IMMERSION” seminar should go to www.ExpatWisdom.com to get complete details.
-A continuation of last show’s very popular theme: expats, mating, dating, love and romance.
-What happens if you end up in court facing an ex who’s out for blood? If you let your lawyer handle it, you’ll probably never step foot in the courtroom.
-What is by far the most popular elective surgery for expat males? If you said implants (penile) you’d be wrong… but close- and the answer is… cheap vasectomies.
-The truth about the rumor that Latinas are out to try to trap gringos by getting pregnant.
-On the tourist trail, there are tons of stupid gringo surfer dudes and college aged gringos on spring vacation with the sole purpose to party and hook up with young sexy Latinas. Does that really happen? What’s going on with that?
-Latin governments (always trying to be first world) actually have social security systems for their old age, and disabled people. And true to form their systems are bankrupt, corrupt and permanently broken(ours isn't?). For example, the average monthly payout is about $150, and most recipients get their checks up to 6 months late!
-Here’s a few good ways for expats to determine if a Latin lady is loyal and true blue or just a gold-digger putting on a good act.
-More on Latin men and the typical lies they use to pick up ladies (and that includes picking up expat gringas of course)
- I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-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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October 5, 2012  
-More details on expat love and romance in Latin America….
Do note that if I were to answer every email concerning questions about expat “dating and mating” I wouldn’t have time to talk about anything else. And since there’s been such overwhelming interest (though I’m no Dr. Drew), I actually wrote a 300 page book on the subject. As you might imagine, the whole subject is quite complex, explosive and very un-PC and I’m not surprised that some folks are a bit rattled when they hear the facts. But like so many other things down here, in some ways love and romance “Latin style” is a completely different ball game. It has a lot to do with that “gringo advantage” working full time for you…. So, like the man said, “why fight it”?
-Yup its so very true, Latin Ladies do have a definite soft spot for Gringos and expats (even dead average looking dudes like expat Eddie and me). But don’t be fooled. Whether you’re off or on the tourist trail (those US dollar saturated places like Costa Rica and Panama) makes a huge difference in the love and romance department. You really must consider the facts before jumping into any serious relationship.
Bottom line- listen to these words of wisdom or regret it.
-People are always asking me why I do this show… why give out all this good, practical info for nothing. Folks ask me if I’m not somehow worried that I’m single handedly killing the goose that laid the golden egg; that is to say, slowly killing the “gringo advantage” by advising people to come down to the altiplano and the like.
My answer is; guilty as charged, but with extenuating circumstances….
- I’ve put together a brand new, six 6 hour long, mixed-media presentation specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to ExpatWisdom.com and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-NEWS ABOUT MY UPCOMING SEMINAR:
Folks who are interested in my next seminar should send a very short email to theexpatfiles@gmail.com and I’ll put you on my private mailing list for updates.
-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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