Video Footage Of The Emerald Isle

New Video Shows The Best Of Irish Country Life
In Retirement

Oct. 5, 2014
Panama City, Panama

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

When I relocated to Ireland years ago, it wasn't as a retiree but as a businesswoman and a mom. My partners and I made application for and were accepted into the investor-incentive program the Irish Development Agency (IDA) was offering at the time. The group had targeted areas of the country for economic stimulation and gave us three choices for where to locate the business we planned to base in Ireland taking advantage of IDA corporate tax perks—Sligo, Galway, and Waterford. I chose Waterford and lived in that city, running a business and raising a family, for seven years.

My choice for where to base myself in Ireland was limited by the options the IDA put before me. However, now, knowing this country as I do, I'd recommend a different region altogether for someone interested in Ireland at a retirement stage of life—namely, the southeastern part of County Kilkenny, which, once we discovered it, became our favorite part of this country.

Longtime friend and Ireland correspondent Lynn Mulvihill shares my affinity for this corner of this country and reports in full on the pleasures and delightful lifestyle to be had in County Kilkenny in the most recent issue of my Overseas Retirement Letter.

As Lynn explains:

"Kilkenny Town itself could be a great retirement choice, but I'd say that the best retirement spot in all the Emerald Isle would be just outside that city, where you can embrace quintessential Irish country life while remaining in easy reach of the shopping, entertainment, festivals, and town amenities of Kilkenny proper. This is a region of Ireland wholly undressed for tourists, where, for every freshly painted cottage, you also find a dusty, downtrodden building that, on first glance, makes you wonder if it's shut forever...or just for lunch.

"In fact, this is a tale of two villages. The first is Graiguenamanagh (pronounced Graig-na-MAN-ah and known simply as "Graig" among the locals), on the west bank of the River Barrow, where, during the summer months, colorful barges moor along the shores, families come to swim and coax each other down from the landmark diving boards, and the annual regatta attracts rowing enthusiasts.

"The tranquil village of St. Mullins is the counterpart. Without the quayside facilities and mooring of Graig, from the eastern banks of the Barrow here, river life is dominated more by fishermen and the occasional kayaker than by rows of pleasure boats.

Read more...

How To Choose A Rental In A Foreign Country

Five Rules For Renting Overseas

Oct. 3, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Finding a rental in a foreign country can be more complicated than you might think.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Rent before you buy.

We make this recommendation regularly. Renting first wherever you relocate overseas gives you a chance to try the place on for size and to confirm or reconsider.

Kathleen and I have done this for each of our international moves, and, in each case, we've been glad we did. In Ireland, for example, renting first saved us from making the big mistake of settling in Waterford City. It took only a few months living there to realize that where we really wanted to be was out in the country.

We've been renting here in Panama, as well, since our move from Paris six years ago. In that time, in fact, we’ve rented four different places. This is a small city that offers, nevertheless, a tremendous diversity of lifestyle options. We’ve had trouble finding the one that suits us best. Finally, our current situation feels right.

This serial rental experience has reminded us that, just as buyer should beware in a new market, so should a renter. Not all properties are created equal, and neither are all property owners or property management companies.

Here are five caveats to keep in mind when renting long-term in a foreign country:

Read more...

Expat Life In El Cangrejo, Panama City

Panama City's Rowdiest, Bawdiest Zone

Oct. 2, 2014, El Cangrejo, Panama: El Cangrejo is a top choice in Panama City for the expat, the entrepreneur, and the retiree.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

El Cangrejo is our top pick for an urban lifestyle in Panama. Other Panama City neighborhoods can be more affordable (the area around Via Tocumen, for example)...more luxury (Punta Pacifica)...more historic (Casco Viejo)...and more scenic (certainly if your ideal view is of the water...El Cangrejo is not oceanfront).

But no other neighborhood in the Panamanian capital has as much personality. It'd be fair to describe all Panama City as multicultural, but nowhere else is the diversity more apparent than in El Cangrejo. This region at the heart of this city is dense with restaurant options (Italian, French, Swiss, Colombian, Cuban, Lebanese, Chinese, Mexican, Argentine, and on and on), small, family-owned businesses (where the proprietors, again, hail from across the globe), and an eclectic expat community, North American, Latin American, European, and Asian, that mingles everywhere and always with their neighbor Panamanians. The expats in El Cangrejo aren't segregated or separated but fully integrated.

El Cangrejo is also Panama City's rowdiest, bawdiest zone. It could be called the city's Red Light District, though no discrete red lights are required to signal the locations of brothels or other sex-industry businesses. Prostitution is legal in Panama, and El Cangrejo is where the trade is largely focused in the country's capital. This may bother you or be just what you're in the market for. In the case of the latter, know that the Veneto Hotel and surrounding streets are a good place to hang out. If the case of the former, the Veneto and environs might be a good area to avoid.

Read more...

Should The Retiree Or Investor Abroad Care About Economic...

Do Economic Freedom Rankings Matter?

Oct. 1, 2014, Panama City, Panama: What does Heritage Foundation’s Index Of Economic Freedom mean for the retiree and investor overseas?

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

A reader wrote in recently to say that he was thinking about relocating from the United States but would consider only those countries with more economic freedom than the United States. This, he explained, meant that he wouldn't be considering any of the countries I write about that aren't ranked higher than the United States in the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom.

I responded to say that I thought this a narrow-sighted and severely and unnecessarily limiting approach. The only affordable options that rank better than the United States on the Heritage Foundation's list are Canada, Chile, and Mauritius (the reader also wasn't interested in Mauritius, he told me in the course of the conversation, as he didn't know where it is).

Another reader wrote in recently with links to both the Heritage index and another economic freedom index. The rankings for the two are similar. The top quarter or so is mostly European countries plus Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, and several Middle Eastern countries.

What are you, the global citizen and investor, to take away from all this? Beats me.

All indexes like these are inherently flawed, as they are compilations and rankings of available statistics. They are backward-looking and must push available data into slots as may or may not make sense.

If you're looking to go abroad to start a business, certainly "economic freedom" isn't to be ignored and it comes into play, too, of course, when considering an investment, including a real estate investment. You should factor in the country's economic prospects as you conceive your eventual exit strategy.

Read more...

The Tax Advantages Of Starting And Operating A Business Offshore

How To Operate Your Business Overseas Tax-Free

Sept. 30, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Starting or relocating your business overseas, including your website or laptop business, can make it possible to operate your business tax-free.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The key advantage of going offshore is diversification. The good news is that you have the opportunity to diversify not only your investments in this way, but your life, too—both your personal life and your professional one.

That is, in today's world, you can realize many benefits by taking your business offshore along with your investments and yourself—either your existing business or one you would like to start to fund your new life overseas.

Most important among these can be the tax benefits. Whether you have (or are considering building) a factory or an Internet business...whether you're earning your income as a consultant or a laptop entrepreneur...
taking your business offshore, especially if you're a U.S. person, can result in significant tax advantages.

One young lady I met at our Belize conference last year made bead jewelry. She sold her jewelry in the United States and was looking to expand her production capacity. She was in Belize (among other reasons) to take a look at the country's Export Processing Zones (EPZ). Setting up shop in one of these zones (or starting your own EPZ specifically for your own business, which is possible in Belize) allows you to import your materials, process them, and then re-export the finished product without paying taxes in Belize.

Read more...

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"I particularly appreciated your information today about the joys (?) of international rental property. What I admire is your honest, tell-it-like-it-is approach. A lot of people have been hurt by nothing but glowing reports about offshore living from various sources. Your honest, direct approach is a real service."

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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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