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

February 24, 2013  
-Since roses, and exotic flowers like orchids and bird of paradise are in the top 5 of Latin exports to the first world, their sheer abundance makes them beyond dirt cheap down here. And with long-stem roses at $4 a dozen, Valentine’s Day (“Dia del Carino” in Spanish) is one huge event… and roses are only two bucks a dozen the other 364 days a year!
-A huge percentage of my emails are from expats wannabees who want to do business in Latin America… once they finally arrive of course. Though many of these folks put together some very good ideas while up there in Cleveland, after doing their long distance internet research, they come down here only to find some gaping holes and fundamental errors in what seemed like a great business plan on paper.
-You really need “boots on the ground” to determine what will and won’t work in the local Latin markets....and in today's show I have some good examples of why.  What might seem to be a business "no brainer" to a first worlder’s who sees a slam-dunk Latin American business opportunity from a distance (like from Boston or Cleveland) could easily be stillborn if you don't quite understand the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the Latin culture (that you don't read about on the internet) .
-You can have a great idea in Cleveland and crunch all the positive numbers you want, but do realize that expats who really expect to do gangbuster business here need to have at least a passing knowledge of the Latin psyche to make their ideas work. The “gringo advantage” is a godsend of course, but it won’t help a bit if Latins don’t think they need what you’re selling.
-Here’s an example of how sometimes, when Latin locals decide to take the the law into their own hands, it can be a beautiful thing(depending entirely on your point of view).
-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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February 22, 2013  
-More answers to your most common questions regarding Medical and Dental treatment in Latin America
-Is there a Latin American equivalent to the AMA or ADA? Do they have professional licensing and monitoring boards? If so, what are their roles and what kind of power do they have...
-Tips on how to find a very good first-world dentist in a sea of less than mediocre to just plain horrible hack dentistry
-What you need to know about getting orthodontic treatment in Latin America (both for adults and children)
-Some of the more important details on the quality and standards of Latin doctors and private hospitals and clinics
-Before you consider Belize as a permanent expat destination …here’s some news on that small unpopulated country that you surely have never heard before. You're not gonna like so you’d better take note.
-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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February 17, 2013  

-Based on the number of emails I get, here are the top three Latin American topics expat wanabees are concerned about:

#1- Starting, owning and operating a business
#2- Safety and security issues
#3- Healthcare and health insurance issues
-Botox invades Latin America. If Botox is your thing (and don't lie) here’s how to make sure you are getting the fresh, undiluted first-world stuff every time.
-What’s this big-butt implant thing all about? Down here its impossible not to notice the occasional gravity-defying backside…. especially when you're out and about at an upscale restaurant or high-end shopping mall. You can look, but don’t stare. So what up with that popular type of cosmetic surgery?
-In the last few years, laser hair removal clinics have taken Latin America by storm. And its so cheap that even middle class Latinas can get it done on a payment plan.
-More on dentistry in Latin America. Is it worth it to come down to get your mouth in shape? Will they do a decent job that will last a good long time? Well its like this….
-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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February 15, 2013  
-A very interesting comparison of murder and gun homicide rates in Latin America versus the closer to home murder stats up in Cleveland and other scary places in your neck of the woods
-With an estimated 30% annual inflation in the last year alone, Argentina is now on the brink of descending into an inflationary spiral. It is NOT a good place for any expat to consider and here are a few more reasons why…
-Almost everything you want to know about having a swimming pool in Latin America, including the high cost of owning one.
-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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February 10, 2013  
-Gambling, betting and games of chance in Latin America
-How certain astute expats, relying on solid betting odds, make consistent money by betting against gullible Latins in certain nationalistic sporting events, namely football(soccer). Why? Because so many Latin men are extreme in their nationalism and irrational faith in the home team (sound familiar you Cub fans?) no matter what the calculated Vegas odds
-Throughout Latin America there are gambling casinos everywhere. Many big international hotels have them on the premises. And though you may hear that gambling of this type is illegal in many Latin countries (and it is) still, casinos are ubiquitous and don’t get raided. Here’s why………
-Lottos, lottos, everywhere. In poor countries the two biggest games in town are the lotteries and religion. And both promise…. er, well we know what they promise. But the problem is that they’re both rigged.
-New car raffles are all the rage down here too. But are they legit? Here’s the scoop on that racket….  and it is a racket!
-Some more info from the horse’s mouth about cops and corruption in Mexico.This news just might get apologists for Mexico to stop drinking the Kool Aid.
-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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February 8, 2013  
-An update on inflation and the cost of living in Latin America.
-A report on which Latin countries are still ridiculously cheap: which ones aren’t such bargains any more and which places are cheap for now but won’t be much longer.
-Occasionally I get an email or two saying that the so-called“gringo advantage” is all about carpet-bagging first worlder's taking unfair advantage of poor uneducated Latins. I say they’re wrong. Its more about us expats providing more, better, cleaner and more consistent products and services. For example: expats create nice, hygienic restaurants we would like to eat in. Bottom line; if the locals can’t or won’t provide we want, some expat eventually will fill the niche and make a nice profit doing so.
-Would you like to know how to learn enough Spanish in just one month to get around quite nicely down here… and speak confidently in Spanish when you’re way off the tourist trail where practically no one speaks English at all? Well, there us a guaranteed learning method I personally developed and use myself. I dubbed it, “Johnny’s Spanish boot camp method”. and here's how it works..........
-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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February 3, 2013  
-People often send me email questions I just can’t answer. Here are a few examples and you’ll see why...
-Believe it or not, I get a lot of emails about guns, gun ownership, gun laws and enforcement (or not)in Latin America. So here’s a nice long answer for those of you who want to know the details.
-I also get a lot of questions from green gringos who’ve been down here just once or twice. They’re shocked by the number shotgun toting guards they see; guards posted at banks, hotdog stands, hardware stores.... even guards riding shotgun in Coca Cola trucks! (Hey, whats wrong with guys with shotguns riding shotgun? Err..that seems right, huh?)
-On street crime in Latin America: the three main ways common criminals and gang members make their hits, and why those three types of crimes rarely involve expats.
-The state of game and sport hunting in Latin America
-What happens if you actually shoot someone down here? Does the “Gringo Advantage” kick in somehow too, or are you going to be the star of the next episode of “Locked Up Abroad”?
-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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February 1, 2013  
-Some more words and info about that Decameron “all inclusive resort” membership deal that I outlined on two different shows about a month or so ago. Got a ton of emails on those two episodes and am getting more all of the time. But now I’m beginning to think some people believe I’m the Decameron answer man or some kind of Decam customer service rep. You wouldn’t believe the detailed and odd questions that have come in about it... questions I can’t possibly answer. Maybe it was a mistake to bring the Decam deal up. I should have just kept it to myself and Expat Eddie (and the Harley guys). Now Eddie, ever the good capitalist, says I should get an 800 number and make some dough from it. Fat chance.
-Some critical do’s and dont’s to consider when planning a business in Latin America
-Everything you wanted to know about abortions in  Latin America…well maybe not everything, but more than enough. (and don’t blame me for the touchy topic, I’m just answering my email’s all).
-Water damage is endemic to many Latin households and they just put up with the occasional (and easily preventable) floods. All you have to do is follow some simple rules to avoid some very messy, expensive problems.
-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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