“Kathleen, I attended your Live and Invest Overseas Conference in Panama at the Riu and I remember you speaking of antique shops in Panama. You mentioned you would provide a list of places if we e-mailed you. I would appreciate it!”
–Jennifer H., United States
My favorite antique furniture store in Panama City is Casablanca, in the San Francisco neighborhood. It’s run by a Frenchman with a lot of flair, an eye for special, and the business savvy to turn over his inventory quickly. The owner imports some pieces from Europe, some from elsewhere in Latin America. Prices are very reasonable for the quality. You can negotiate small discounts, especially if you buy more than one piece at a time, but not big ones.
My other favorite antique furniture shop in Panama City is Natalia’s. Natalia has some great pieces, including imported salvaged colonial-style windows and doors from Colombia and Cuba, for example, and 200-year-old French and British pieces. Her shop is a fun place to browse, but prices are very high so buying anything here is an indulgence.
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“Kathleen, I would like to open a zero-deposit bank account in Belize before the deadline on Jan. 1, 2013. What bank do you recommend to a U.S. citizen?”
–Joe B., United States
If, by zero-deposit account, you mean an account you’re able to open without making an initial deposit, then, yes, this is possible at banks in Belize, including at Caye Bank. Note, though, that, sooner rather than later, you’re going to have to deposit money into the account to keep it active.
Also, a clarification: Nothing is happening as of Jan. 1, 2013, that will make it impossible for a U.S. citizen to open a bank account in Belize…or anywhere else. It’s more difficult all the time for an American to open a bank account anywhere in the world, but, again, no event is scheduled for the start of the New Year that will make it not possible altogether.
Important changes are taking place as of the end of this year, but these are to do with the sundowning Bush tax cuts. FATCA deadlines planned for Dec. 31, 2012, have been extended. We’ll be reporting on this in full in the October issue of the Simon Letter.
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