Live and Invest Overseas By Kathleen Peddicord

Property Rush In Grenada Ahead Of New Invest For Citizenship Program

Aug. 16, 2013, Panama City, Panama: Grenada has bounced back from their position on the money-laundering blacklist, as a compliant, economically stable Caribbean investment destination.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Grenada's new government is expected to revive its "Citizenship By Investment" program before summer's end. The island is struggling with debt and hopes the program will create some much-needed cash flow. 



Six Tax Things Every American Abroad Should Know

Oct. 14, 2013, Panama City, Panama: This is our list of six things we wish someone had told us about international tax planning and asset protection before we set off on our living and investing overseas adventures some 16 years ago

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader, 

“You’ll notice that Lief is in his office as usual,” I wrote this morning to our Panama City staff. “However,” I continued, “he asks that you pretend that he’s not. That is, except in case of critical emergency or dire need, please steer clear of Lief’s desk today.” 

Tomorrow is Tax Day for us and all other Americans who asked Uncle Sam for a six-month extension for filing our U.S. taxes. For the past two weeks leading up to T-Day, our family room has been strewn with piles and stacks of bank documents, expense receipts, and account statements that I’ve been strongly encouraged not to touch. Jack and I tip-toe through the room, careful not to sit a glass or a book in a place that might interfere with Lief’s filing “system.” 


My Recommendation Is: Don't Pay...Ever

Sept. 5, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland: What should you do if someone in a foreign country asks you to pay a bribe?

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

One of the presenters at last week's Retire Overseas Conference spoke about bribery and corruption overseas.

I read statistics recently from a relevant study in Ecuador. Something close to 80% of the people surveyed had at some time been asked either directly or indirectly for a bribe when dealing with an Ecuadorean government official. The survey didn't stipulate what kind of official—could have been anything from a police officer to a clerk in a government office or a minister.

The more interesting thing for me was that, according to the study, of the people who were asked for a bribe by a government official but refused to pay, some large percentage still got what they wanted. Further, a not insignificant percentage of people who did pay the bribe when asked did not get what they wanted.

Paying and still not getting what you're after would be frustrating. What recourse would you have? You couldn't go to the guy's boss and complain, saying, in effect, "I paid this guy to do something for me that he shouldn't have done...and he didn't do it."

Most retirees living in a foreign country won't ever encounter a direct request for a bribe. The exception might be a request from a traffic cop about to issue you a citation, for example. Otherwise, unless you are doing business in a country, you are, again, very unlikely to have to grapple with this issue.


World's Eight Most Retiree-Friendly Nations

Sept. 7, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Retiree residency options and details from eight overseas destinations.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Our Retire Overseas Conference in Nashville last week was built around a series of seven workshops, one for each of the critical questions the would-be retiree overseas must address...including residency.

Before you spend a lot of time and money conceiving a plan for a new life overseas, take a close look at the options for establishing residency in each country on your list. Understanding the various visa options available to you is an important part of making your ultimate where-to-retire-overseas decision.

Some countries make it difficult for foreigners, including or even especially retirees, to take uecuasidence (New Zealand and Australia, for example). Other countries, on the other hand, roll out the welcome mat, offering many, even turn-key retiree residency options that come with discounts, tax breaks, and other perks and benefits for those who qualify.

Belize, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Panama all offer well-publicized retiree residency programs known as pensionado visas. These are all similar but vary in the minimum monthly incomes required to qualify, as well as the particulars of the tax and other discounts. Coming from behind with a relatively new program, Nicaragua beats out all the competition with the most affordable minimum monthly income requirement by far. And this program, like those in Ecuador and Panama, can mean savings on everything from in-country travel to dining out for those who qualify.


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:


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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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