Articles Related to Residency

Here in Panama, where we've been living now for more than six years, as in Ireland and in Paris, we've put down roots. We have friends, our son is in school, and we're building a house on the beach at Los Islotes that is part of our long-term plan. We're in Panama for the long haul...but we'll never be Panamanian.

No...we're American, from our accents to our Levi's.

And in less obvious ways, too.

When I sit down in a business meeting anywhere in the world, I'm the American at the table. I could be negotiating the cost of an apartment for sale in Buenos Aires, Argentina...considering a new business idea in Panama City, Panama...meeting with a new writer in Paris, France...or discussing residency visa options with an attorney in Medellin, Colombia. On the other end of the conversation is an Argentine, a Panamanian, a Frenchman, a Colombian...what have you. I'm the American. And to the table I bring the American perspective.

The longer I'm outside the States, the greater has grown my appreciation for what a unique thing that is. The rest of the world doesn't think like we Americans think. That's neither good nor bad. It just is. And it creates an opportunity.

I have the chance, every time I engage with some non-American anywhere in the world, to learn from his non-American ways...and to put my American ways to good use.

We Americans are the world's optimists. We believe in ourselves and in our collective ability to figure things out...to make things better...to make things work. We're dreamers...and wanderers. We value hard work, we like efficiency, and we pride ourselves on our willingness to act on opportunity when we perceive one.

What's over the next hill? Let's go find out. What could we do tomorrow that we didn't do today? Let's get up early in the morning and figure that out. How can we make this thing, this idea, this effort better? Let's roll up our sleeves and see where a little elbow grease leads us...

Those are American sentiments. Wherever we travel in the world, whoever we encounter, personally or in business, these are the attitudes that we bring to the table.

So, yes, living overseas I feel more American than ever. In a good way.

Kathleen Peddicord

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Lief Simon Details The Most And Least Successful Property Investments Of His Career
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In Asia, Malaysia offers its version of a pensionado program, called Malaysia My Second Home. In this part of the world, Thailand is the other country that offers a formal retiree residency option.

Note that, while permanent legal residency can have its benefits, especially if you establish it as a pensionado, you could avoid the whole residency visa question by retiring overseas not full time but only part of the year. Enjoy summers back home with the kids and grandkids...and winters somewhere tropical, returning "home" before your tourist visa runs out.

Or retire overseas not to one destination but several, moving around among them and never remaining in any one place longer, again, than your tourist status allows.

If, though, you're interested in full-time retirement somewhere beautiful, affordable, welcoming, and adventure-filled, here are seven countries where full-time retiree residency is not only possible but easy and, in some cases, full of perks.

Belize

Minimum monthly income requirement: US$2,000
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$750
Minimum age to qualify: 45
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes, but you pay 12.5% sales tax
Minimum time required in the country every year: 30 days
Special discounts: No

Colombia

Minimum monthly income requirement: Three times the monthly minimum wage; currently US$1,035
Additional income requirement for each dependent: None
Minimum age to qualify: 18
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: No
Minimum time required in the country every year: Must visit at least every six months
Special discounts: No

Ecuador

Minimum monthly income requirement: US$800
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$100
Minimum age to qualify: 18
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Vehicle tax is discounted
Minimum time required in the country every year: Can't leave for more than 90 days in each of the first two years of pensionado residency, after which you can't leave for more than 18 continuous months
Special discounts: Yes

Malaysia

Minimum monthly income requirement: 10,000 ringgits (currently US$3,125) plus other minimum investment in a local CD
Additional income requirement for each dependent: None for unmarried children under 21
Minimum age to qualify: Over-50s have lower investment requirement
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes
Minimum time required in the country every year: None
Special discounts: No

Nicaragua

Minimum monthly income requirement: US$600
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$150
Minimum age to qualify: 45
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: Up to US$20,000; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes (value up to US$25,000; if you sell the vehicle after five years, you pay no sales tax)
Minimum time required in the country every year: Six months
Special discounts: Yes

Panama

Minimum monthly income requirement: US$1,000
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$250
Minimum age to qualify: 18
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes, but you still pay 7% sales tax
Minimum time required in the country every year: Must make at least one visit every two years
Special discounts: Yes

Philippines

Minimum monthly income requirement: US$800 plus a deposit or investment of US$10,000 or more, depending on age, pension status, and number of dependents
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$200
Minimum age to qualify: 50
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: No
Minimum time required in the country every year: No requirement
Special discounts: No

Thailand

Minimum monthly income requirement: 65,000 Thai baht (currently US$2,100)
Additional income requirement for each dependent: None
Minimum age to qualify: 50
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: None
Can you import a car duty-free: No
Minimum time required in the country every year: No requirement
Special discounts: No

Kathleen Peddicord

Editor's Note: Yesterday was the deadline for purchasing the complete set of audio recordings from this year's Retire Overseas Conference at the pre-release discount, saving you more than 65%.

This is the most comprehensive and complete retire-overseas resource that we'll produce this year. I'd like to make sure that you are able to purchase at the discounted price. Therefore, I'm making the executive decision to extend the deadline for the pre-release price by an additional 24 hours.

You have one more chance, right now, to purchase your collection of the nearly 60 recordings from last week's live event. Do that here now.

As of tomorrow, this all-inclusive bundle of resources will be available at full price only.

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In the past year, for example, Colombia has increased the minimum amounts required to qualify for their various investment visas...Antigua has introduced a new economic citizenship program...and one of the institutions we’ve banked with for six years informed us it no longer wanted us as clients (because we’re Americans and this bank, like many banks around the world reacting to FATCA pressures, is kicking American clients to the curb). Looking into the near future, we expect Panama’s current very user-friendly Specific Countries visa to become history when current President Martinelli (who created the program with a surprise Executive Order last year) is out of office next year.

Any list of the World's Top Offshore Havens is a moving target. How then can you make a plan and take action?

You've got to diversify.

Just as it's smart to invest in different markets and to hold assets of different types in different currencies, so, too, are there advantages to spreading your life among different jurisdictions.

I didn't invent this strategy. It's written of often, as the "Five Flags" plan. It's about organizing both your time and your money to your greatest advantage, spreading your life across multiple flags (that is, countries). And, in fact, when you consider the Five Flags approach in the context of your own life, you may find that you need more than five.

You could do your banking in one country (where you can feel reasonably secure your deposits are safe), reside in another (where you pay no tax), run your business in a third (where entrepreneurs are respected and incentivized), hold a passport (and maybe a second passport) elsewhere...

Have gold on deposit in one jurisdiction, keep a physical mailing address in another, and arrange for phone and fax services, again, someplace else...

No, not everyone needs this level of diversification. Again, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. My point is that, to protect yourself and to maximize your opportunities, you need to remain open-minded and flexible.

Plant your flags based on your current circumstances and agendas. But don't plant them in concrete. You might want to be able to move them around from time to time.

Lief Simon

P.S. If you were unable to join us here in Panama for our how-and-where-to-go-offshore discussions last week, don't worry. We recorded every one of them. We're packaging all recordings and speaker materials, including PowerPoint presentations, into our new Offshore Summit Self-Preservation Kit.

This bundle of resources will be available within the next week. However, you can pre-order the complete kit now, in advance of publication, and save more than 50% off the cost.

Go here now to do just that. Continue reading:

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Colombia is well located geographically, bordering two oceans and boasting the greatest biodiversity per square kilometer of any country in the world. Given both what the country has to offer and also how the country is perceived on the global stage, this is a very appealing place both to spend time and to invest your money right now.

Colombia offers 17 residency visas in total, meaning many options for investors and retirees. As long as you meet the visa requirements and comply with the visa terms for whichever visa program you choose to pursue, you will likely be accepted and renewed indefinitely as a Colombian resident. We want you.

You probably can visit as a tourist without a visa. Citizens of most countries (India and China are the notable exceptions) do not need a visa to travel to Colombia for up to 180 days per calendar year.

If you’d like to remain in the country longer than 180 days per calendar year, again, we want to help you figure out how to do that. We offer business, temporal, and resident visa options. Our investment visa option has the lowest cost of any investment visa option anywhere, and attorney and residency fees in Colombia in general are cheaper than those in Panama. At current exchange rates, the minimum pension income requirement to qualify for our retiree visa is but US$950 per month.

Juan Dario Gutierrez

Editor’s Note: International tax attorney Juan Dario Gutierrez’s family law firm has nearly 40 years’ experience. His remarks on how to take advantage of the investment and lifestyle opportunities that his home country Colombia has to offer, presented as part of Lief Simon’s Offshore Summit in Panama City last week, were recorded, along with every other presentation of this three-day event.

This library of recordings will be bundled to create our new Offshore Summit Home Conference Kit.

Meantime, you can purchase your copy of this important and timely resource pre-release and save 50%. Do that here now.

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As Wendy points out in her ORL report, “Typhoons usually bypass the Dumaguete area entirely, since the island of Cebu prevents most severe weather from hitting Negros Oriental.” That’s exactly what happened.

So we took the decision to go ahead and promote Dumaguete as one of the world’s top-tier retirement locations—in part because it really is a top-tier location, but also because this is a time when the Philippines as a whole urgently needs people not to turn away out of fear.

A natural disaster could happen in many of the world's most desirable retirement locations. Thailand, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, the Caribbean, even the United States, a popular location for European expats...all have suffered natural disasters. We don’t believe that’s a reason to take those destinations off any list of the world’s top retirement havens.

What was it that encouraged us to choose Dumaguete as a place to feature for would-be retirees and expats in the first place?

In addition to its welcoming, friendly, English-speaking people, Dumaguete also boasts a warm, tropical climate and beautiful beaches and mountains that invite the outdoorsman. This is one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling, whale and dolphin watching, and nature activities along the coast and in the mountains.

Medical care in Dumaguete is excellent and very inexpensive. Specialists charge about US$10 for a visit. In addition, this city features the country’s first medical resort—a 100-bed hospital with resort facilities, aimed at the growing number of foreign retirees.

And, perhaps most important, Dumaguete is an incredibly low-cost place to live. A couple could live here comfortably on less than US$1,200 per month.

And the Philippines in general is one of the easiest places in the world to establish foreign residency. Complete details are included in Wendy’s ORL report.

We all extend our deepest sympathy and support to everyone affected by recent events in this part of the world, and we encourage readers to contact aid agencies to help provide relief to the people of the Philippines.

And we encourage you not to take Dumaguete off your list of potential overseas retirement havens prematurely. Yes, the Philippines has suffered a horrible blow, but Dumaguete is largely unaffected and has a great deal to offer.

Lucy Culpepper Continue reading:

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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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