Articles Related to Peter zipper


Lief offered six recommendations for good offshore banks that are still accepting U.S. clients. Then he offered a non-recommendation for one bank that we'd formerly done business with personally. This bank sent us the dreaded "We're closing your account" letter last year. They provided no explanation for why they were throwing us out and closing our account and gave us but 30 days to move the money.

"The worst part," Lief explained, "was that this was the one instance where I hadn't taken my own advice. I didn't have a second, backup account for this corporation, so I had to scramble. I spent a good number of the 30 days I'd been allowed knocking on the doors of banker-friends, trying to find one who'd open a new account for me before the deadline. I finally found one (it's one of the banks on my top six list)."

One symptom of the shake-up (shake-down?) taking place in the offshore banking world right now is rising fees. Banks are passing along the costs of complying with FATCA rules to clients.

"One bank in Panama," Lief explained, "is now charging a fee of any foreigner interested in opening an account with them. This fee is payable up front, before any other discussion takes place. If, after reviewing your paperwork, the bank decides it will not open an account for you, the fee is not refundable."

Lief closed his offshore banking remarks to the group with three pieces of advice:
  • Create redundancies. For every foreign bank account you have, you need a second, backup account...
  • When you have the opportunity to open an offshore account...open it. "You're here in Belize this week," Lief said. "I suggest you take advantage of this opportunity to start the process of opening an account. Two Belize banks are represented here at the event. All you have to do is stop by their tables in the exhibit hall..."
  • Don't close any foreign account you have if you don't have to—even if you have no immediate need for it. You never know when or if you'd be able to replace it in the future...

Kathleen Peddicord

P.S. Peter and Lief's remarks and recommendations for where and how to bank offshore in our post-FATCA world were recorded and are being edited now, along with the recordings of every other presentation from last week's meetings in Belize City. Together, this timely bundle of resources will create our new Wealth Building and Diversification Kit.

Right now and for the next 72 hours only you can reserve your copy of this everything-you-need-to-know-to-diversify-offshore program pre-release for 50% off the regular price.

This discount expires at midnight on Nov. 2.

Continue reading: The Cost Of Buying Property In France

Read more...
 

"Until that point, Belize had been British Honduras, a colony of the Crown.

"The constitution for this new country was based on the Canadian constitution. What does this mean?" Peter asked the crowd.

"That means boring. Boring politics, boring everything. Not much to rock anybody's boat.

"As a result, in the nearly three decades since, Belize has managed to remain largely under the radar. Ambergris Caye drew some attention as the setting for TV's 'Temptation Island.' Otherwise, other than from global divers and sun-seekers, Belize has been really successful at attracting very little attention.

"I spent many of the first 27 years of my 30-year banking career in Europe," Peter continued, "working with Swiss banks, for example. We Swiss bankers back then would turn up our noses at the mention of 'Belize banking.' Bank in Belize? Who would give their money to a Belize banker, we wanted to know. Bankers in Belize can't count, can they?

"About four years ago, I retired from the Euro-bank where I'd been working. Retirement's not so much fun, I realized after about two days. When I thought about returning to work, I considered not the opportunities in Europe, but those on this side of the world, in the Americas.

"That's looking like a smart move right now. In the time since I moved from the banking industry in Europe to the one in Belize, the global banking industry has been turned on its head.

"Used to be, the mention of 'banking' brought places like Switzerland or Austria to mind. This paradigm has collapsed. Banking in Switzerland has collapsed.

"There are dozens of 'banking havens' around the world. The truth is, though, that very few of them deserve the description right now. Belize is an exception. Belize is a true banking haven.

"Why? Two reasons.

"First, bank secrecy. Belize maintains it. Anyone in the Belize banking industry who violates the country's bank secrecy laws goes to jail for a minimum of 18 months. Trust me. You don't want to spend 18 months in a Belize jail.

"How has Belize managed to maintain its bank secrecy position while other better-known jurisdictions have all but abandoned the idea?

"That's it, precisely. Belize is little-known. Remember, this country has kept its head down. No one pays it any attention, and Belize is keen to keep it that way.

"The second reason Belize stands out among the world's bank havens right now is liquidity.

"Used to be, when I started talking about bank liquidity at a conference like this one, I'd notice people begin to nod off. Some would even head for the door. Nobody had any interest in the idea.

"I notice, though, today, you all seem wide awake. Thanks to recent events, bank liquidity has become a hot, sexy topic.

"Current liquidity among banks around the world is less than 4% In fact, it's just about 3.1%. That's the average worldwide. What's the situation in Belize?

"Banks in this country maintain liquidity rates of 24%. This standard is mandated by the Belize government. A quarter out of every dollar in a Belize bank must be liquid. If a bank falls below this level of liquidity, the government can take the keys and close the bank.

"How did Belize bankers fare during the recent banking crisis? We sat back and smiled. We knew we didn't have anything to worry about, and, in fact, not a single Belize bank has failed.

"Belize banks maintain an extraordinarily high standard of liquidity, and they lend only 50% loan-to-value for mortgages. That's how Belize banks stay healthy.

"You can open a bank account at my bank in Belize with zero dollars. Why? Because we, like all Belize banks, are focused on attracting small- to medium-sized investors. We're not going after mega-clients. Mega-clients attract attention. Remember, Belize is a low-key jurisdiction, happy to stay off the world's radar.

"That's not to say we're ready to open an account for any shyster who comes along. The days of sewage banking are over. The banks that threw off a stench in places like Panama and Belize, are gone. No more numbered accounts. We need your name and your address (not a P.O. Box).

"And we're going to ask you how you made the money you're depositing. We need to know our clients. We need something to fill in the blank on the application form. This helps to protect fellow account-holders, as well as the bank.

"Remember, Belize speaks English. So your account manager is an English-speaker. And Belize is in Mountain Time. You don't have to get up at Midnight to have a conversation with your banker.

"Americans and Canadians can open either a personal account or what's called a structure account. This is the preferred option. It's an account formed for you by someone else that's not in your personal name but in the name of a structure--a trust, a company, or a foundation, for example.

"Once you're offshore, you want to do as little in your own name as possible. Put everything possible in the name of a structure.

"You don't have to come to Belize to open your account. In most jurisdictions, including Panama, you must appear in the bank in person to fill out the forms, sit through the interviews, and sign on the dotted line. Not so in Belize. You don't ever have to step foot in the country if you don't want to.

"But I'd suggest you come have a look. You'll find yourself in familiar company. This is where the Baby Boomers are headed. They're coming our way in growing numbers. Walk down the street on Ambergris Caye, and you hear the music of the Boomers all around--the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin...

"These folks had a great time in the 1960s...then they became the most boring people on the planet. They made a lot of money...and now they're looking to reclaim their lives. They're finding their way, in retirement, to places like Belize...where they're listening to their music again, growing their hair long again, and spending their days stoned again...

"I'm joking about that last bit. But my point is that Belize has what a lot of people in North America are looking for at this point.

"It's also got the most appealing banking industry in the world right now."

Ann Kuffner
Live and Invest in Belize Conference Insider

Editor's Note: We got Peter's complete address on tape, and it's featured along with all the other presentations from last week's conference in our all-new Live and Invest in Belize Home Conference Kit.

The audio recordings are being edited as I write. Meantime, you can purchase your copy of this important and very timely resource pre-publication and save a full 50%. Full details on the Live & Invest in Belize Home Conference Kit here.Continue Reading:

Image source: Tbachner

Read more...
 

Dec. 9, 2010:

"Kathleen, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all of you at Live and Invest Overseas. You are my quiet pond in a sea of turbulence. Keep up the inspirational work. You inspire me to move outta here.

"Also, I thought you and my fellow readers might be interested in this 'Help You Make It To Your Flight' video with pointers from the TSA."

--Nanette W., United States

As most of us here in the Live and Invest Overseas Panama office prepare to board flights for holiday travel in the coming couple of weeks, these helpful tips from the TSA are greatly appreciated.Continue Reading:

Read more...
 
Powered by Tags for Joomla
Enter Your E-Mail:

Readers Say

"This was a 10! Great event. Awesome job by the Live and Invest Overseas team!"

Edward T., United States

Search

"Just great. Very welcoming and supplied answers to all questions very well. I'll see you again soon."

Charles M., United States

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.

SIGN UP TO OUR FREE E-LETTER

Sign up for the Overseas Opportunity Letter

Receive our editor's latest research reports...absolutely FREE!

letters The Best Places For Living And
Investing in the World for 2014