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

August 30, 2013  
-“AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”, That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. As usual, this project grew into something much more extensive than I anticipated (85+ pages) and it took much more time then allotted. But as you will see its just jam packed with real life “boots on the ground” info that you certainly haven’t heard about before. And there are plenty of surprises too. Not only is it up to the minute but I promise there’s nothing quite like it around, so do grab a copy. Then compare what it says to what your own Healthcare dollar buys up in the states. Read it and weep! Remember, the report’s free(at least for now).
 
-I still get occasional emails from expat wanabees and gonnabees asking me if they need to get shots or vaccinations before coming down. And lately, the most frequent question I get in that regard is about “dengue fever” since its been reported in the first world news as something of an epidemic here. Should you worry? Well, here’s the real story..  
 
-By popular demand, I’ve been asked how one should handle the situation when a Latin person tries to hit you up for a personal loan(us gringos get hit up all the time, because Latins think we're flush). The fact is, its an absolute certainty that as you meet more and more Latin folks, you will get hit up for personal loans. When that happens it can put you in kind of a delicate spot. But the question still remains: how can one diplomatically handle such a request-especially if it’s coming from a good friend or a present or future Latin “something in-law”.      
 
-When a single, middle-aged (or younger) American gringa moves to a place well on the tourist trail like Costa Rica, it won’t take long before some smooth, young Antonio Banderas type surfer dude or hard-body fitness beach boy (naturally- without a pot to pee in) tries to sweep her off her feet. In fact it’s not only young gringas that are in great demand. In some places, Lonely gringas of a more established age are in even greater demand(i.e., considered more financially secure). That said, I’ve seen American ladies who should know better fall for these types of free-spirited parasites(for a while anyway). And here is one such story…
  
-If you’re interested in getting in the waiting list for an Expat Wisdom Seminar (it may be in January) just send an email (theexpatfiles@gmail.com) and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop
 
 -For all of you curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down…  two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground” Just go to www.ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link.   
 
   -Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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.
 
-And while you’re at www.ExpatWisdom.com don’t forget to pick up your free reports! 
00:0000:00
August 25, 2013  

-By popular demand, once again we delve deep into gringo and Latin love connections. We’ll talk matches, mismatches, the mysteries, truths, lies and misconceptions too…. along with some really sticky situations and potholes that clueless gringos can get themselves into.    

 
-What about all those Latin internet matchmaking sites? There are dozens of them out there but are they legit? Well bud, before you cash out your plastic here are a few things you really must know…  
 
-Expats heed this: if you don’t have a certain “heart to heart’ talk with your brand new Latina girlfriend or boyfriend(and right away too) you’ll be in for some bumpy times ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!!  
 
Be prepared to to get hit up for short term loans by your new Latin friends; even your Latin significant other’s family members and shirt-tail relatives. And some will just pester the living crap out of you. If you have the dough and the person’s really in need, you’re better to just give the cash as gift because 90% of the time you won’t get anything back. Now  we know  old Ben Franklin said, “Neither a lender or a borrower be”.. but he didn’t live in Latin America, or he'd have blown his brains out!    
  
-If you’re interested in getting in the waiting list for an Expat Wisdom Seminar (I'm thinking it might be in January) just send an email (theexpatfiles@gmail.com) and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop
 
 -For all of you who are curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down…  two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground” Just go to ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link.   
 
   -Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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.
 
-And while you’re at www.ExpatWisdom.com don’t forget to pick up your free reports! 
 
 

00:0000:00
August 23, 2013  
-Here’s a bit of an update on future Expat Wisdom seminars
 
-Did you know that in a worldwide occupational safety study, chicken bus drivers in Latin America have one of the top 5 most dangerous jobs in the world? Here’s why.. 
 
-Everything is much cheaper at the local central outdoor market, but how safe is it for gringos and expats to shop, browse and loiter? After all, in the bigger cities these places can be huge, chaotic wild and crazy with some pretty seedy looking characters hanging around...     
 
-A few real life small-town delinquency stories and how locals dealt with the problem   
 
 -Now for Part #2 of the trip to the Salvador central market story with Expat Eddie and his girlfriend. Part of the story is that she wouldn’t even get out of the car. She gladly let us two gringos go check it out instead. She didn’t want anyone to recognize her at a “low class” place like that (even though she was a regular a few years ago). The fact is that she’s a rarity with her girlfriends and age group - a Latina with a gringo boyfriend- and has thus moved up a notch in the world (her friends are jealous). Yup, its perfectly fine for Eddie to hang out at the central market, because gringos are strangely open-minded. But not her. She’s feels embarrassed to be seen there. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But there's more to it than that…     
       
 -For all of you curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down…  two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground” Just go to ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link.   
 
   -Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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.
 
-And while you’re at www.ExpatWisdom.com don’t forget to pick up your free reports! 
00:0000:00
August 18, 2013  
- They say poverty breeds crime, but it also breeds a certain creativity.
I bet you haven’t heard of the latest, greatest creative low-end crime to hit Venezuela. Try “hair bandits”. Yes ladies, if you’re in a big city like Caracas and you have a nice thick head of hair… be on the lookout for guys bearing shears because you just might lose your locks. These days, a nice head full of hair is going for about $450 to $500 (I mean the hair without the head) and there’s a thriving market. So that bulge you see in that weaselly guy’s pants- might just be a scissors…just thought I’d give you a head’s up!

-And now for a few casual expat observations regarding Latin ladies and Latina fashion trends. Latinas have their own kind of style, and make their own kinds of personal fashion statements. As far as what they consider the pinnacle of personal beauty, they have very strong likes that might differ a bit from what you and I might imagine. 

-Now for Part #1 of another absolutely true Expat Eddie story…
You’ll never guess what happened on my recent trip with Eddie (and his runway model girlfriend). We went for a shopping trip to the massive San Salvador central market and as usual it was a real adventure. Just remember, what happens to us could happen to you too…

-For all of you curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down… two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground”
Just go to ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link. 

-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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. 

-And while you’re at www.ExpatWisdom.com don’t forget to pick up your free reports! 


00:0000:00
August 16, 2013  
August 13, 2013  
-For all of you curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down…  two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground”
Just go to ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link.   
 
-If you do a search on the net or read any of the hundreds of mags, rags, articles and blogs on the subject, it would seem that those Latin American “Pensionado” programs are all the rage… or are they? As it turns out, the actual number of 1st world foreigners who apply and sign on for such programs (basically aimed at retirees with 1st world pensions like SS) is pathetically small compared to all the articles and hype about it. And here’s the latest poop on the subject…  
 
-Speaking of those pensionado programs, many pensionados in Latin countries will agree that the so-called perks and discounts one is supposed to get with such a retirement-residency card are not what they’re cracked up to be, and here’s why…   
 
-You may have heard that Nicaragua is the latest greatest, cheapo, retirement darling in Latin America.. or so say the mags and rags like International Living and most other retirement letters too. Well, the place is heating up all right. But clueless investors and developers are coming out of the woodwork- yet another sign a real estate bubble is definitely taking shape there too.. 
 
Still more news on the Latin real estate bubble…. little by little, desperate sellers are starting to appear. You can spot their little ads occasionally in the big city Latin newspapers which is another sure sign the market is beginning to crack around the edges
 
-Here's the skinny on monthly maintenance charges for apartments, condos and townhouses in Latin America
 
   -Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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.
 
-And while you’re at www.ExpatWisdom.com don’t forget to pick up your free reports! 
 
00:0000:00
August 11, 2013  
August 4, 2013  

-It happened again, my car (almost) new car was hit in a parking lot… another hit and run... and no little note of apology on the windshield either (yeah right!) Now, I didn’t notice the damage till I came back from my errand, and when I asked the guard and the people hanging around the lot, no one saw at thing… naturally. But since this is Latin America, the story doesn’t end there… it never does.

-Keep in mind that any verbal agreements or handshake deals you make with Latins are flexible and nonenforceable and can even get out of hand. Yet, first worlder’s like us are used to doing a certain amount of casual business that way. So when you make a friendly deal, do go ahead and close it with firm handshake but always get the terms in writing too!
-I’ve had my light new car (a compact 2012 model) in the body shop four times already in just one year! So the question remains; how much parking lot “scratch and dent” stuff can, or should, we gringos take before we just throw in the towel and let our vehicles devolve into typical Latin American beaters? Well, here’s my rule of thumb on that…
-Normally when you have prepaid cellphone and you purchase additional minutes everything goes smoothly and without a problem. However there are some penny ante but annoying scams that you should be wise to. Note if you’re not paying attention when buying extra phone minutes, you could get ripped off and not even know you’ve been had-  not for a while anyway (and sometimes you’ll never find out!)
-Be sure to follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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.
-And while you’re at www.ExpatWisdom.com don’t forget to pick up your free reports!
00:0000:00
August 2, 2013