May 21, 2014
"Kathleen, really enjoyed your writing 'Confessions Of A Developing-World Developer' and applaud both you and Lief for having the vision to develop Los Islotes. "We purchased property there sight-unseen last year, and I visited with the group in January. During that visit, not only was I taken by the beauty of the area but connected with several other land owners. We have kept in touch, and I enjoy hearing of their plans and progress as we exchange emails and phone calls. "You spoke of the community you envision. I want to tell you that community is already happening as we land owners share our dreams and progress with each other. "We will be back out in January next year and hopefully have our timeline in place so we can begin a new phase in our life within Los Islotes. "Post more pictures as they are available so we can see all the exciting progress!" --Amy T., United States
--Lief Simon, Medellin investor "Colombia is enjoying record-level foreign direct investment and steady economic growth year on year. Inflation is among the lowest in Latin America. Six of the best universities in the region are here and five of the best hospitals..." --Daniel Gutierrez, Colombian attorney "My worst day in 8 years in Medellin has been better than my best day in 14 years living in Naples, Florida—and Naples is a pretty nice place..." --Rich Holman, Medellin expat and businessman "This isn't some backwater basket case struggling to recover from its most recent crisis. This is a country with a strong, solid economy that is getting steadily stronger. Current growth rate is 5%, and growth rates are projected to average better than 4% per year through 2018 at least. Further, Colombia enjoys an energy surplus. This country is not energy-dependent on anyone..." --Lee Harrison, Medellin expat and investor "Pablo's dead. Go back, tell your people..." --Rich Holman, Medellin expat and businessman "The property purchase process in Colombia is transparent and secure. The cost of buying is about 1% of the purchase price. This is among the lowest in the world..." --Lee Harrison, Medellin expat and investor "Colombia offers a number of good visa options. Currently you need US$972 per month to qualify for a pensioner visa. And you can receive your visa in three days once you have all your documents in order..." --Juan Dario Gutierrez, Colombian attorney "Congratulations on taking the bold step to come here. I firmly believe you will be very happy you ignored all the friends and family who told you you were crazy to travel to Colombia. You're going to be awfully glad you mustered the courage and opened your mind to give this place a chance..." --Rich Holman, Medellin expat and businessman Kathleen Peddicord Editor's Note: If you're not in Medellin with us for this week's Live and Invest in Colombia event, you are missed... And, frankly, you are missing out. Colombia is emerging as one of the world's top retirement and investment havens. Medellin, especially, offers a perfect-storm opportunity right now to reinvent your life, rescue your retirement, and diversify your portfolio into one of the world's most promising marketplaces. "This experience so far exceeds my expectations," one attendee at this week's conference told me yesterday, "that I'm just shaking my head. This city...this conference...this is all really something special..." We're getting the whole thing on tape. The collection of audio recordings will be bundled to create our all-new Live & Invest in Colombia Home Conference Kit. You can reserve your copy of this Total Colombia Package now, taking advantage of a better than 50% pre-release discount. Do that here.
What if you didn't get your offshore life organized before the end of 2012? It's not the end of the world for you either.
Setting up a diversified international life isn't a sprint. You don't have to complete it in a few weeks or by a specific date...although some dates are more important than others for specific things.
If you haven't taken your first step offshore yet, let 2013 be your starting point. As I recommended almost a year ago when launching this e-letter service, a bank account is the easiest place to begin. Even though many banks worldwide won't work with Americans any longer and it's harder all the time everywhere for an American to open a bank account, it is still possible. On this front, I do recommend you get moving.
Establishing that first bank account overseas will bring you piece of mind, because it will bring you options. Your bank account overseas could be a place to store some emergency cash, maybe in a different currency, for example.
Opening that first bank account offshore will do something else, as well. It will give you experience and the confidence to take your next steps.
My standby banking jurisdiction for simple and quick is Belize, as it is still possible to open an account in this country without a personal interview. You can simply fax or e-mail your documents. Another good option is First Caribbean, although they've recently implemented a minimum account balance of US$10,000. If your balance falls below that amount, you'll be charged a higher monthly fee. I've given up on Panama banks. If you're persistent, you may be able to open an account at one. Good luck.
Maybe the next step beyond a bank account overseas is a piece of property overseas. Having a place in another country where you could live if you decided you wanted to is a great safety net. Can also be a great vacation option...and an opportunity to generate cash flow. A condo on the beach that can be rented out when you're not using it can fulfill a number of agendas. Or perhaps a 5-acre parcel on a river with a small house fits your plan better. Whatever your ultimate objectives, a piece of property in another country can be a cornerstone to achieving them.
You can find low-cost properties that work for vacation and investment in Belize, Panama, Uruguay, Colombia, the Philippines, to name a few markets I'm focused on. The key is deciding where you personally want to spend time. Don't buy a property somewhere you aren't interested in visiting just because it's cheap. It will end up being the most expensive investment you've ever made.
The other flags--residency, citizenship, investments, asset protection, and, if it applies, business--can follow from there, and they will. Each successive move is easier than the ones before it.
The key is to get started. You have to plant one flag at a time, and each one will take time. So don't worry that you should have done something in 2012 but didn't. Make a move in 2013.
Lief SimonContinue Reading:
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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.
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