Setting up an import export business abroad

11 Ways To Fund Your New Life Overseas

June 1, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Make money in retirement by setting up an import/export business abroad.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Years ago, when I had a satellite office in Quito, Ecuador, I flew into town for a visit one day to find the place full of stuff. Couldn't make my way through the room without moving boxes and baskets out of the way.

Embroidered table linens...colorful pashminas...carved wooden santos...musical instruments...handmade rocking chairs...silver bracelets...alpaca sweaters and shawls...tagua Christmas ornaments...leather duffle bags...

We'd been discussing the idea of launching a small import/export business, and the office was overflowing with the initial stock.

Our office manager at the time sold out that inventory (in some cases for four, five, or six times our cost), but then we moved on from the idea—not because we didn't think it viable but because other projects distracted us.


Property Purchase Process In Ecuador

Don’t Be The Last Guy Buying In Ecuador

May 30, 2014, Galapagos, Ecuador: When buying property in Ecuador, make sure the registered price is as close as possible to the actual sales price.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Years ago I bought a lot in a small development on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. This wasn't a commonplace real estate purchase. Only 3% of the land in the Galapagos can be owned privately. The rest is national park or preserve. And that 3% that can be owned by individuals comes with restrictions. I had to partner with a local Galapagan (that the developer found for me).

I'm in the process now of selling that lot, and the process is reminding me of some of the quirks associated with buying property in Ecuador.

When I bought my Galapagos lot, others I knew were buying into the same development. One other buyer wrote to ask about the price listed in the title document she had been sent to sign. Lots were selling for US$11,000, but the title in this case was being registered with a price of US$500. The buyer was concerned something was wrong with the deal.

No, nothing was wrong. Big differences between sales prices and title registration prices are the norm in Ecuador. Transfer and capital gains taxes are based on the registered price. Therefore, for decades, sellers have under-recorded sales prices; they register prices as low as they can get away with, as evidenced by the registered price of US$500 for a US$11,000 piece of land.


Ecuador’s National Healthcare Plan Available To Foreign Retirees

Expat Retiree Healthcare In Ecuador For US$70 Per Month

May 29, 2014, Cuenca, Ecuador: Ecuador has removed the age and pre-existing condition restrictions for those applying for membership, including foreign retirees.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The Ecuadorian government has made a decision that is very good news for would-be retirees overseas and one more reason Ecuador is one of the best places in the world to think about settling in for retirement. This country s national health care plan, managed by the country's Social Security administration, has removed age and pre-existing medical condition restrictions for those who want to join the system voluntarily. "Voluntary" membership is open to all citizens and legal residents at a cost of just US$70 a month.

Under the old rules, those over the age of 60 were not eligible for membership at all, and those with pre-existing medical conditions were either excluded or required to pay higher monthly fees.

The changes are intended primarily to benefit and will have the biggest impact for the hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians who have worked overseas, primarily in the United States and Spain, and who have not paid into the country's Social Security program. However, these changes are also very big and very good news for anyone considering retiring to this country.

The new health system provides full medical coverage, including doctors' visits with no co-pays or deductibles, dental care, and free or discounted prescription medicine. In case of emergency, members can go to any hospital in the country, and the government will pick up all expenses. Although most routine medical services are provided at Social Security hospitals and clinics, it is also possible to receive treatment at hundreds of private health care facilities under contract with the government. Many private pharmacies also have agreements with the government.


GringoTree Provides Reliable Coverage Of Expat And Retiree Life...

The Truth About Retiree Life In Cuenca

May 28, 2014, Cuenca, Ecuador: GringoTree is an invaluable resource for the expat and foreign retiree in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

One of the major challenges facing expats, especially those living in a country where the people speak a language other than the one the expats spoke back home, is communication. Finding reliable service providers can be difficult. And being able to keep up with local news and events, even with each other, is often the difference between a fulfilling life and chronic frustration.

In Ecuador, specifically in Cuenca, the answer is an e-letter service and website called GringoTree.

Created in 2008 by a small group of Cuenca expats, GringoTree began as an email subscriber service reporting local events and offering tips and recommendations about products and professional services to English-speaking residents. About a year ago, GringoTree added a website, providing even more information through searchable databases.

GringoTree partners with an online newspaper, Cuenca High Life, which offers hard news, features, and opinion columns.

According to Deke Castleman, managing editor of the project, GringoTree has about 5,500 subscribers, some expats living in Ecuador and some considering relocating to the country, mostly North Americans.


How To Make A Plan For Retiring Overseas

What Does Your Dream Retirement Look Like?

May 27, 2014
Panama City, Panama

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"I think you're just back from Argentina?" I asked my friend when we met for lunch in Baltimore recently.

"Yes, I was there two months," Bill replied. "And, I have to tell you...I have to admit...I was tempted not to come back.

"Down in Argentina, I was doing real work. I was out each day, all day, moving earth and building houses. I decided I was going to work right along with the ranch hands. But some of those guys, the young guys, they're picking up boulders all day, mixing cement, putting in fence posts. That's hard work. After my first day at it, I was afraid I might not make it back to the house. I didn't think I'd survive. But I stuck it out. And, after a week or so, my body grew accustomed to the labor. Plus, I learned to leave the boulders to the younger guys.

"And I realized something. That's not only hard's real work. At the end of the day...the end of the have something to show for your effort.

"I discovered that, in the local school in the region where our ranch is located, they've been operating without heat or running water. They've just never had it. And it gets cold down there.


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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.


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