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

June 29, 2014  

-First, on the lighter side: many gringos and expats find watching a bit of Latin TV every day helps them improve their conversational Spanish skills (sure it’s mind-numbing, but that what gods invented tequila for). Do note that as your Spanish improves you will notice strange gaps and odd discrepancies in the way most familiar English programs(ones you have up grown with) have been dubbed. True to form the Latins in charge of TV production often can’t even get the storyline or translations right. Thy even screw up simple childish cartoons like the “Flintstones”. In fact, gringos who know their Spanish well swear the morons doing the translating/dubbing don’t know enough English to get it right so they just   invent storylines as they go along.     


-Part 2 of a recorded interview with a recent Expat Wisdom seminar attendee who has been going through the residency/passport process in Paraguay. For now, Paraguay offers one of two or three least expensive and easiest routes to residency, citizenship and ultimately a passport for gringos. Hear him explain some little known facts about Paraguay, how gringos are regarded, and what it’s like for expats who choose to live there. And hear about the necessary step by step process for gringos who choose Paraguay as their country to live, play, retire and /or do business.   

-This same expat traveler from California with quite a lot of Central American “boots on the ground” experience “off the gringo tourist trail” reports on his own experiences with crime and security issues. An adventurous type, he’s traveled multiple times through Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador and is not afraid to trek alone through even the dodgy parts of big Latin cities. Hear about crime and security from a guy who’s been in the thick of things.        

-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.  

-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult 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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June 29, 2014  

-First, on the lighter side: many gringos and expats find watching a bit of Latin TV every day helps them improve their conversational Spanish skills (sure it’s mind-numbing, but that what gods invented tequila for). Do note that as your Spanish improves you will notice strange gaps and odd discrepancies in the way most familiar English programs(ones you have up grown with) have been dubbed. True to form the Latins in charge of TV production often can’t even get the storyline or translations right. Thy even screw up simple childish cartoons like the “Flintstones”. In fact, gringos who know their Spanish well swear the morons doing the translating/dubbing don’t know enough English to get it right so they just   invent storylines as they go along.     


-Part 2 of a recorded interview with a recent Expat Wisdom seminar attendee who has been going through the residency/passport process in Paraguay. For now, Paraguay offers one of two or three least expensive and easiest routes to residency, citizenship and ultimately a passport for gringos. Hear him explain some little known facts about Paraguay, how gringos are regarded, and what it’s like for expats who choose to live there. And hear about the necessary step by step process for gringos who choose Paraguay as their country to live, play, retire and /or do business.   

-This same expat traveler from California with quite a lot of Central American “boots on the ground” experience “off the gringo tourist trail” reports on his own experiences with crime and security issues. An adventurous type, he’s traveled multiple times through Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador and is not afraid to trek alone through even the dodgy parts of big Latin cities. Hear about crime and security from a guy who’s been in the thick of things.        

-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.  

-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult 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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June 27, 2014  
-Last show’s email on chem-trails in Latin America (OR NOT) has prompted a small flood of emails. Have a listen and see what all the hubbub is about..

-A short primer on the meaning of the 5 flags concept and why you need to diversify yourself internationally very soon (like now) or forever hold your peace when your abusive-restrictive govt makes it impossibly difficult to do so.
 
-Note that stepping beyond the borders to a brand new destination always involves some risk of getting swindled, gouged, screwed or taken (not just by locals but by first world expats too!) When you're up against lawyers, deal makers, fixers and facilitators its buyer beware. Today we discuss a recent breaking fraudulent paperwork scam and how a number of gringos were swindled in a Paraguay residency and passport operation. Turns out they hooked up with the wrong facilitator “residency broker“.
 
-Part 1 of a recorded interview with a recent Expat Wisdom seminar attendee who has been through that very same residency/passport process in Paraguay. Hear how he avoided the scam artists by having a good BS detector of his own and choosing the right fixer/facilitator. Don’t fool yourself. Even with good Spanish, you can’t really do it all by yourself. You will need one of these “facilitator” guys. But how to find an honest one? That's the question...  
 
-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on thewww.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult 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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June 22, 2014  

-Ever wonder about those nasty chemtrails that people seem to be arguing about? Do they show up in Latin American skies too? Here’s a Latin sky-watcher’s eyewitness report.  


-And now, from the “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” department: Some newbee expats and gringos come charging down to Latin America armed with enough good info to make a great start, yet they still prefer to ignore some basic advice and do things “their way”. That’s a good recipe for some unnecessary later suffering.    

-Part #2 of crime and violence in Latin America. How to avoid trouble, bad guys, dirty deeds and violence. As it happens, most gringos that come to Latin America and make a go of it are self-starters and chance takers. Mistakes are often made by so called “clueless gringos”. Ever wonder where that “clueless gringo” phrase came from? Well then, why not learn from the “clueless” ones and start your expat journey with a calm and uneventful life in Latin America?     

-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is on track and set to go. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.   

-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult 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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June 20, 2014  
Mariachi-It doesn't make sense to us, but seriously, why do Latins of all classes still believe that the so-called “American Dream” is alive and well? Why do the under-educated, lower classes continue to flood over the Rio Grande in record numbers- including the latest phenomena where more than 1000 unaccompanied illegal children are smuggled into Texas each week? While some of it’s certainly due to stupid, imbecilic US politicians and their “amnesty” rhetoric that’s been filtering down to the poor sweaty masses and seen lately splashed around in the Latin press, but there are more subtle reasons as well..
 
-Did you know that the #1 source of foreign income for the country of Mexico is not Tequila or Corona beer, Narco money or even money earned as one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters? Surprisingly enough, Mexico’s #1 source of foreign income is the sum total of accumulated monthly “remissa” checks coming in from relatives and friends living illegally in the states. Well, so much for first-world press dolts who lately have been touting Mexico as the “economic powerhouse” of Latin America.  
 
Part #1 of crime and violence in Latin America. How to avoid trouble, bad guys, dirty deeds and violence. Some great pointers and info from long term expats including the do’s and don’ts for living a calm and uneventful life in Latin America   
 
-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult 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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June 15, 2014  

-Do to popular demand we're back on that popular subject of buying land and property in Latin America: Long time “Expat Files” listeners know by now that there is a big real estate bubble throughout Latin America that's soon to pop. But if you folks are so well informed, then why do I still get so many emails asking about how to get cheap real estate deals in certain popular Latin American hot spots (fashionable with gringos that is). Seems expat wannabees and gonnabees are itching to get in on a piece of some Latin American ground floor action- wherever it's fashionable-  despite of the bubble warning. For example, the latest place that’s been getting a lot of press is Nicaragua. Now get this straight- in a bubble there are no ground floor real estate opportunities. So why do people keep thinking there are? Well for two reasons; (#1) certain popular expat sites and newsletters are way behind the curve, They have no substantial  “boots on the ground” experience or ears to the ground at the street level can’t get a grip on what’s unfolding...not to mention  they need constant upbeat news items and stories…#2- these expat news and info sites must continuously pump gringo development projects and such because that’s where the commissions are and some do have a piece of the action either directly or indirectly. Bottom line – Don’t believe real estate brokers, even gringo brokers… especially gringo brokers!!! Selling is how they make their dough.  

-More on buying or renting land and property out in the boonies.. far from the maddening crowds   -My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.  

-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult 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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June 13, 2014  
-Part 2 concerning the predatory FATCA banking laws that are forcing foreign banks to reveal complete details of US citizen bank accounts to the IRS. This odiferous law will be phasing in starting July 1, 2014. And now more details on some immediate and long term steps you might want to take…
 
-Are expats unpatriotic? Some stateside folks seem to think that leaving the US for good is not only unpatriotic but somehow bordering on being turncoat. On the other hand, just ask long term expats down here in Latin America what there is to be patriotic about and you’ll get a sigh and a long pregnant pause. We've had our serious expat discussions... so really, what’s there to be patriotic or proud about? The Motor City? Miami? Our drones? The Congress? The incredible shrinking dollar? Homeland Security? The wonderful schools? Personally, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Yes,  expats know the facts … the US we grew all up in no longer exists.
 
-You may know that no doctor’s prescription is needed for medicine in most Latin American pharmacies. But did you know that you can walk into a Latin pharmacy and buy just ONE Band-Aid or ONE Ampicillin, ONE Tetracycline tab,ONE throat lozenge, or even ONE cigarette, etc.? Because of that, many average Latins buy less than the required dosage and do not finish their course of medication properly. What are the consequences of that? The answers will surprise you.  
 
-In case you’ve been wondering: now for some stuff you never knew about midwives, home-births and caesarian deliveries in Latin America   
 
-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult 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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June 8, 2014  

As predicted, the predatory FATCA banking laws that force foreign banks to reveal complete details of US citizen bank accounts to the IRS will be phasing in starting July 1, 2014. And just now we have learned that the 2nd largest bank in Mexico is sending letters to US clients announcing that they will drop or close out all of their existing US client accounts in 30 days, that's June 30th. Remember, there are 1 million US citizens living at least part time in Mexico. Meaning tens of thousands of these unlucky folks must scramble to find other foreign banks to transfer their accounts. But guess what? Other foreign banks won’t open new accounts for US clients either! What to do? Well here are some immediate and long term solutions; no joke, it's really a conundrum for Expats and gonnabees.    

- Oddly enough, down here in Latin America about 95 percent of retail businesses do not accept checks. You see signs to that effect everywhere. Though nearly all establishments that are “on the books” (registered and pay taxes) do take VISA, MasterCard and American Express and credit cards issued from foreign banks. Still everyone prefers cash. So then, if most retail businesses do not accept checks at all, why do Latin banks offer them? Why not go skip it altogether and save the rainforest? Here’s the scoop on that.          

-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.  

-Do 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.

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June 6, 2014  
-Lately there have been some frantic emails coming in from expat wannabees and gonnabees who own gold up in the states. They are quite concerned about things up there and hope to move their physical metal to their Latin country of choice. In this episode we discuss some of the right and the wrong ways of going about it. 

-Now on the subject of transporting gold, we sadly relate a sorry tale of an unprepared, non-Spanish speaking, somewhat clueless gringo who got himself in some big trouble while carrying his gold through the airport in Mexico City. For his troubles, he did get his gold back but it cost him two weeks in jail and $60K.     
 
-What about gringos and Latin jails and prisons? You may have heard rumors that in Latin America gringos are sometimes arrested on trumped-up charges and some end up in medieval prisons for years before even getting a trial… like in that TV show “Locked up Abroad”. Well the fact is that statistically, gringos and expats living abroad are about 50 times LESS likely to end up in jail or prison than the average Latin person. So ironically, any unlucky gringo that ends up in a bad spot like that will be such a rarity that he’ll have a solid “gringo advantage” behind bars. Not much to look forward to, but just thought you’d like to know.        
 
-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.
 
-Do 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.
 
 
 

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June 1, 2014  

-When stateside folks hear about $300 a month live-in maids, cleaning ladies, full time gardeners, even nurses and LPN’s at first they don’t believe it’s possible. Most gringos have to see it for themselves. But even after you land down here, suppose you are looking for a maid or an extend-care  live-in nurse. How do you go about it? And what if your Spanish sucks?  


-The virtues of having a secure lockup room in your house: some cheap and easy tips on how to set one up and other suggestions for peace of mind when you’re out of the house, on vacation or your new cleaning lady is roaming around and she’s still on “probation”   

-Some more talk about easy, very low cost, expat business opportunities that seem to pop up so often when you’re down here in Latin America   

-Gypsies tramps and thieves: some life lessons and hard-learned gringo guidelines for giving change over to Latin street beggars. Yes it’s your dough and you can do what you want with it but try not to reward the beggars who are actually putting you on.                               

-My upcoming JULY, 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is set to go so. The dates will be Saturday, July 12 thru Thursday, July 17. The agenda and complete signup details are on the www.ExpatWisdom.com website main page. Just click the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the main page and check it out.   

-Do 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.  
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