New Changes To Malaysia’s MM2H Program Means More Incentives...

Malaysia’s MM2H Program Gets Even Better


July 3, 2014, Hanoi, Vietnam: Malaysia’s MM2H offers great benefits for foreigners choosing to reside here. Now MM2H visa holders are able to buy lower-priced property than those without visas.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Malaysia is an attractive place for foreigners to call home. And for many reasons...

The warm, tropical climate and almost complete absence of any natural disasters is enough incentive for some.

English is widely spoken throughout the country—in fact, there is really little reason to learn another language.

Permanent residency is offered and comes with a host of incentives to entice foreigners here.

The diversity of its people, who comprise an assortment of Malay, Chinese, and Indian ethnicities, creates a unique culture. As a result, foreigners invariably find Malaysia to be an extraordinary place to partake in a diversity of traditions, foods, and festivals.

Malaysia is also one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that allow foreigners, regardless of whether they are permanent residents or not, to purchase land, houses, or condominiums for their primary residence or to produce income.

And, it's one of only a handful of countries that allow foreigners to take out a mortgage. Nonresidents who meet the bank's qualifications can receive financing for up to 60% of the total value of a property. And, those who participate in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, which grants permanent residency to foreigners, can receive financing for up to 80% of the total property value. Local banks will usually require that the loan be repaid by the time the borrower reaches 65 or 70 years of age.

Read more...

Fútbol Fiesta In Costa Rica

Little Costa Rica Comes Into The Spotlight
At The 2014 FIFA World Cup In Brazil

July 2, 2014, Uvita, Costa Rica: Up against former World Cup winners, Costa Ricans didn’t hold out much hope for their national team. Now they are celebrating win after win.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

During the day, I stream live sports talk radio from the United States on my laptop as I work in my little restaurant here in Uvita, Costa Rica. Normal World Cup chatter about strong countries like Spain and Brazil and the chances for the U.S. national team to advance through the "Group of Death" is about as in-depth as the radio-talk gets. But the real talk here is on the streets...

In the supermercado...at the hardware store...and in our little restaurant, it's all about little Costa Rica. Setting out, the Ticos ranked fourth in their group of four, against perennial powerhouses Italy, England, and Uruguay—all former champions. And the excuses were flowing...

"Maybe we can get lucky..."

"Maybe we can get one win...and maybe a tie..."

There was hype but no great hope. But the talk never stopped.

And then the opening game was played.

The heavens opened and shone on tiny Costa Rica as they got the win against mighty Uruguay. It was crazy here. Horns honked everywhere and people shouted. Luckily, there's not much of a gun culture here, so no shots were fired where I live.

From then on, the chatter got louder. The ridiculous marketing of "Sloth Kong," a cartoon figure conceived by a large Costa Rican travel company, took off. New pictures were released of Sloth Kong donning the flag, pulling down the Tower of Pisa, and crushing the Coliseum in advance of the upcoming battle against Italy.

Read more...

Elaborate Cremation Ceremony Celebrates The Life Of A Thai Monk

Eat, Pray, Blast Off: Protocol Of A Thai Monk’s Funeral


July 1, 2014, Chiang Mai, Thailand: Attending a Thai funeral is a special experience. From what to wear to when it’s appropriate to take photos, it’s helpful to have a friend to guide you through.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"Grandma Vicki, we must wear white clothes to the monk's cremation. OK?"

Well, no.

We were in Phayao, Thailand, visiting a dear Thai friend who'd invited me to attend a cremation ceremony for a local head monk. And, now we were getting ready for the drive to a small wat (Buddhist monastery) near her ancestral village for the big event.

I'd been told about the cremation before traveling to Phayao and had packed black for the event: Thais wears black and/or white to funerals. But now I'm told "white only" for this one.

"Mai pen rai!" said my friend. (No problem, easy to fix.) We drove to a local superstore where I was thrilled to find an extra-extra-large white blouse to fit my Western-sized body. It was important to me to wear the right clothes to honor the monk, my friend's family, and her village. Suspecting I'd be the only Westerner there (as it turned out, I was), I wanted to dress like everyone else.

On the appointed day, we drove to the small, mountain monastery. The deceased monk had served six nearby villages for decades. Hundreds of villagers had arrived long before we did to attend the solemn goodbye. We had to park far from the site, behind farm trucks and motorcycles.

As we walked up the narrow road to the wat, a cacophony of Thai funeral music and the emcee's announcements over a loudspeaker assailed our ears. As we got to the entrance, I pulled out my camera to start taking photos.

"Not yet," my friend said. "First we must pay our respects to the monk."

Read more...

Top Three Things To Eat In Ireland During The Summer

Staples Of The Irish Summer Diet

June 30, 2014, Waterford, Ireland: The Irish summer brings a new set of tastes and smells to the country. These top three should not be missed.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"I remember that summer in Dublin
And the Liffey as it stank like hell,
And the young people walking on Grafton Street
Everyone looking so well..."

"Summer In Dublin," a big hit for local band Bagatelle back in 1980, lives on as one of the classic sounds of Irish summer.

Having worked three years in the capital, I can attest that the River Liffey certainly has its off days during warmer spells. But it shouldn't be a deterrent to spending time in this country at the best time of the year and discovering Ireland's more attractive tastes and smells...

Once the sun shines in Ireland and temperatures reach higher than 70 degrees, the beloved potato is abandoned. Barbeques are dusted off, and the smell of smoking coals fills the air. Crisp green salad leaves, beets, and the inescapable coleslaw replace our boiled veg. Punters, who religiously drink Guinness through the hard winter, temporarily turn to crisper beer or cider.

It's a time to be celebrated. And, if you're in Ireland during the summer months, here are the top three tastes you shouldn't miss...

Read more...

This Summer, Istanbul…Macedonia…And Beyond

This Summer, Istanbul…Macedonia…And Beyond


June 29, 2014, Panama City, Panama: The Irish summer brings a new set of tastes and smells to the country. These top three should not be missed.

Also This Week: More Than Just A Plan B... Prices In This Coastal Paradise Are Deep In Bargain Territory... Europe's Most Affordable Coastal Retirement Haven... Microbrew Uprising—Beer Is A Growth Industry In This Central American Haven... 

Plus, From Resident Global Property Investing Expert Lief Simon:Earn Better Than 16% Per Annum From This Turn-Key Agri-Play...

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Lief and my travel schedule is dictated by our son Jackson's school calendar. Jack had his final exam of the year Friday afternoon...which means this weekend we take off for two months on the road.

First stop, Istanbul.

Lief and I traveled to this city for the first time during our honeymoon years ago. We returned for a quick visit last summer, when we decided this is a place we'd like to know better. In the 12 months since, Turkey and Istanbul have become higher-profile. "The biggest opportunity we've seen in the last 50 years"..."a white-hot real estate market exploding with profits"..."an investor's utopia"...etc., read marketing brochures.

Our focus, of course, will be real estate. We've planned meetings with the hope of trying to vet the current property scene in Istanbul. This market bottomed out mid-2009. Since then, some reports show that values have appreciated 75% and continue up. Right now, the average per-square-meter cost for an apartment in Istanbul's city center, according to the reconnaissance I've got, is about 5,000 Turkish lira (or US$2,300/US$2,400). That's not super cheap, but if it proves the reality for best-of-city locations, it's a bargain in Euro-terms. Lief and I will report back to confirm.

Read more...

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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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