“Kathleen, thank you for the lovely, touching story about the children in Casco Viejo, Panama, on Christmas Day. I have worked with children and youth internationally in cooperation with the UN and UNICEF and have seen how they can learn so quickly to dissolve barriers we adults try so hard to maintain thinking our way is the way. Even those from countries in conflict with each other. What a blessing you are!
“Have a great vacation. I first skied in Stowe. Cold, hard-packed snow, and, then, ah, a surprise. A wonderful night of snow, and, then, the next morning, voila, a day of absolute glory with powdery snow everywhere. Thanks for the memory from many, many years ago.
“Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year ahead.”
–Terrayne C., United States
“I am planning to move to the Philippines in three months. Their banking system is considered by most to be unstable and untrustworthy. So where should I open an account in which to keep the funds from the sale of my U.S. home…and where should I open a savings account for the direct deposit of my monthly SS check? Maybe Hong Kong?”
–Bill D., United States
Lief Simon replies:
“Bill, you have the right idea. You don’t want to keep all your money in the country where you live. The banking system issues you mention for the Philippines specifically (which are probably warranted) aside, it’s simply wiser to diversify all aspects of your life, including banking.
“You will need a bank account in the Philippines for local transactions, but, as you point out, you’ll want to have accounts elsewhere, as well, for the bulk of your savings. Hong Kong would be a good option as you’ll be living on that side of the globe. However, as most banks have online wire facilities these days (most but not all so confirm before opening an account), you could have the proceeds of your home sale sent to an account in Panama, Belize, or Uruguay just as easily as you could have it sent to an account in Hong Kong.”