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Expat Files – 04.15.16

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EXPATS VOTE WITH THEIR FEET AND DECIDE TO BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY ALONG?:
– It’s true that most Gringos and Expats who vote with their feet and make the move to Latin America are either young, single (usually men), empty nesters, or retirees. However a there is a small, determined and growing percentage of Gringos and Expats who decide to bring their whole family down. That means very young kids and sometimes grandma and grandpa too. Today we talk about some concerns that parents of young children have as they piece together their own “Plan B” – the eventual permanent relocation of the family to Latin America.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? IN LATIN AMERICA A FIRST-WORLD STYLE HOUSE CAN BE BUILT FOR $25 TO $35 A SQUARE FOOT, WHEREAS IN THE USA THE AVERAGES IS ABOUT $125 A SQUARE FOOT.
– You can build your Latin American dream house for a quarter of those stateside prices too… and today we’ll discuss the how’s and why’s…

INTERVIEW WITH AN EXPAT TAX PREPARER- PART THREE:
– Today, April 15th we have Part Three of our interview with a professional Expat tax preparer. He lives in Medellin, Colombia and knows the peculiarities of Expats and US taxes. Today we’ll ask more Expat tax questions.

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Expat Files – 04.10.16

CAUTION!! EXPATS ARE BUYING INTO A REAL ESTATE BUBBLE AT IT’S PEAK- MOST WILL LOSE AND NEVER CASH OUT:

Unfortunately, a good percentage of Gringos and Expats in Latin America have bought (or are buying) into the peak of the Latin Real estate bubble. How would they even know? Yes, everyone wants their little piece of paradise and as long as Latin vacation properties are remain cheaper than US vacation properties (not necessarily so) they think they’d better buy in now. A few short years ago buying Latin real estate seemed like such a no brainer but all things must end.., and this one will end badly. Bubbles that over-expand will deflate, bottom out and burn the last suckers in. Sure, some Gringo buyers who got in early found they could flip properties over and over at nice profits… and those stories help drive the bubble as greater fools rush in. Few if any recognize the ominous signs even now (bubble sign in itself). Even this late in the game fools still trickle in but NOT rushing in like they used to. Meanwhile, many fools are find they’re stuck, cash poor, in too deep, with too many properties and too few new suckers…

-INTERVIEW WITH AN EXPAT TAX PREPARER- PART TWO:

Today we have Part TWO of an interview with a profession Expat tax preparer who has over 600 Expat clients. He lives in Medellin, Colombia and knows the peculiarities of Expats and US taxes. We’ll ask him the tax questions that most concern Expats.

When it comes to Expats and US taxes, the most knowledgeable and best equipped tax preparers are generally long term Expats who advertise in the local Latin country they live in and thus provide face to face service. Caution! Your neighborhood tax guy in Cleveland probably hasn’t a single Expat client (except you maybe?). You don’t want to be his guinea pig.

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Expat Files – 04.08.16

MY TAKE ON THE MASSIVE “PANAMA PAPERS” LEAK:

A good percentage of smart Gringos and Expats living in Latin America have been lucky enough to get their assets out of the US and the US banking system. The see the writing on the wall and soon a desperate Big Brother will slam that exit door too. Smart people know that with the passage of FATCA, the bail-ins and the push for the cashless society, it’ll be the depositor’s money in US bank accounts that becomes the source of the next bank bailout- probably not another QE. That said, using offshore corporations and bank accounts have always been, perfectly legal ways to do business, keep money and assets somewhat anonymous as well as protected from confiscation and lawsuits etc. But now with the massive “Panama Leaks” story the world sees how corrupt, sociopathic, scumbag politicos and untouchable megabuck-jerks use these same legal tools to hide and redirect their payoffs and ill-gotten public loot. Unfortunately, with that breaking story everyone who uses these legal and valuable tools are now being stained by the media with the same brush…

BTW: hate to say I told you so but as I’ve said all along, Panama’s been labeled such a high-profile money-laundering center- a hot spot like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands- its naturally on every first-world tax authority’s radar. That said, only clueless gringos and Expats are nuts enough to bank or create Panama based corporations. If you need to incorporate or do banking, there are so many nicer, better, low key places in Latin America.

-INTERVIEW WITH AN EXPAT TAX PREPARER- PART ONE:

It’s APRIL! Gringos and Expats are much concerned with filing their US taxes and wonder who should prepare them. Today we have Part One of an interview with a profession Expat tax preparer with over 600 Expat clients. He lives in Medellin, Colombia so he knows the peculiarities concerning Expats and US taxes and we’ll ask him tax questions that most concern Expats.