Category: Z Legacy: Expat

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Your questions and important updates

June 11, 2010 Santiago, Chile As I mentioned in yesterday’s subscribers-only letter, I’ve been to Chile numerous times, and I like it more each time I’m here. For this trip, which is unfortunately short, I wanted to survey the countryside to see the extent of the earthquake damage. It’s easy to have already

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Two interesting opportunities in Panama

June 9, 2010 Panama City, Panama Panamanians are generally a carefree lot… but there are a few things that they curiously take very, very seriously. Mother’s Day is one example– it’s held in December, and the entire country shuts down for the day, including banks and government offices. Voting is another example– it’s

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The positive trends I see in Panama

June 8, 2010 Panama City, Panama I’ve been pleasantly surprised this week by some recent changes in Panama that continue to demonstrate this country’s positive momentum. Yes, there is still corruption, squalor, pollution, and traffic amidst the soaring condominium towers and luxury car dealerships. But the larger point to capture is that Panama

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What I learned from the government agents

June 7, 2010 Panama City, Panama My weekend in New York City with fellow Atlas 400 members was really spectacular and first class all the way. There were about 50 of us in total, all with varied and interesting backgrounds from all over the world– a renowned heart surgeon, a music business mogul,

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One government that’s doing a lot of things right

June 3, 2010 Washington, DC As a permanent traveler with no fixed home, I’m fortunate to be largely insulated from the incompetence and negative consequences of most governments. Through the proper use of internationalization techniques, I’m able to reduce my tax burdens, increase my privacy, protect my assets, take advantage of more opportunities,

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The future is bright in this country

June 2, 2010 Washington, DC A few days ago, Colombian voters went to the polls for the first round of their quadrennial presidential elections. For many, it will be the most important decision of the new century thus far. The current President, Alvaro Uribe, leaves office later this summer after two consecutive terms

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Crime and Safety around the world

June 1, 2010 Undisclosed Location I had a really great long weekend in Chicago (hence the day off yesterday) and was fortunate enough to meet up with a couple of very interesting subscribers. President Obama was even in town, and the entire city was in a heightened state of security. Regardless of the

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Not as advertised

May 27, 2010 Chicago, IL, USA Uruguay is one of the countries that generally receives a lot of praise and positive commentary in the expatriate blogosphere. It’s often referred to as the “Switzerland of South America,” or compared directly to Paris… probably by people who have been to neither Switzerland nor Paris. The

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Is Canada an option for you?

May 26, 2010 Chicago, IL, USA If you’re shopping around for a tier 1, first world second citizenship, you might find a solution in Canada (unless of course you’re a native Canadian). In my view, Canada offers two key advantages. First, a Canadian passport is an incredibly valuable travel document– Canadians are generally

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Jobs in Amerika

May 25, 2010 Chicago, IL, USA I woke up this morning to a rather interesting newspaper headline: “Private Wages Fall in Historic Pay Shift” The article went on to explain how wages from the private sector, as a percentage of total US personal income, have shrunk to their lowest level in history. In

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Shortcut to a second passport

Are you Jewish? Do you want to be? If so, you’re entitled to an Israeli passport. In Israel, the “Law of Return” provides means for all Jews, and individuals of Jewish ancestry, to acquire Israeli residency and citizenship. Israeli law defines Jewish ancestry as having at least one Jewish parent or grandparent. In

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Questions: Advice for a young man, and more

May 21, 2010 Quad Cities, IA, USA It’s been a lovely few days here in America’s heartland… I’ve been able to catch up with some of my friends, but to be honest with you, I’m aching to get back on a plane and get out here. I’ve decided to wait it out for

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A good reason to head to New Zealand

May 20, 2010 Quad Cities, IA, USA The New Zealand government just announced something that I find rather surprising… but a step in the right direction. Concerned about debt levels, both public and private, they’ve announced changes to the tax code which encourage savings and investment, and discourage consumption. Specifically, the government is

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Tell me what’s holding you back

I generally don’t spend very much time in the US. I think there are more desirable places out there… and to me, the US is just like any other country in decline like Italy or Spain– I really enjoy it as a tourist, I just don’t care enough for the politics or media

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The real risk in Thailand

May 17, 2010 Undisclosed location You’ve probably seen some clips on the news about the political current unrest in Thailand, and some headlines like “CHAOS IN THAILAND!” These headlines are inaccurate. Thailand, the country, is not in chaos. The political unrest is taking place in a small section of Bangkok, and this is

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Planting an offshore medical flag

May 10, 2010 Undisclosed location I’m going under the knife tomorrow… it’s a little unexpected, but apparently I need a rather urgent surgical procedure performed, and the doctors here have fit me in at their first available time. To be honest with you, I’m pretty disappointed– no, not because of the operation. These

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Which countries are at risk, which countries are safe from a dollar crisis

May 6, 2010 Undisclosed Location Most people don’t realize how many countries out there are dollarized. In some countries, like El Salvador, Panama, Palau, Ecuador, etc. the US dollar officially circulates in the economy. In others, like Cambodia and Zimbabwe, the US dollar is the de facto currency, which means that they officially

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Would you take to the streets too?

May 5, 2010 Undisclosed location The last few days have been great for the shorts. I’m one of them. Global markets have been in an absolute panic over what’s happening in Europe, and many major indices have erased their 2010 gains. Clearly, the most concerning issue of the day is the ongoing trouble

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Looking for a profitable excuse to go to Belize?

April 29, 2010 Las Vegas, NV If you’ve ever been looking for an excuse to go to Belize, now you have one. Mr. Joel Nagel, one of the world’s leading asset protection lawyers and international banking experts, is hosting an Emergency Asset Protection Forum in Ambergris Caye, Belize from May 18 – May

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Getting scammed on a second passport

April 27, 2010 St. Michaels, Maryland, USA Yesterday I told you about the official way to go about obtaining residency and citizenship in the Dominican Republic– essentially, it takes about four years from start to finish until you receive your passport, though you may be expedited for investing $200,000 in the local economy.

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Selling snake oil in the Valley of Longevity

April 22, 2010 Vilcabamba, Ecuador There must be something in the water down here.  They call this place the “Valley of Longevity” because it’s not uncommon for people to live well past the century mark… and it’s true. Driving around the town last night and this morning, I couldn’t help but notice so

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Pricing in Ecuador

April 21, 2010 Cuenca, Ecuador Last night I ate at one of the fanciest restaurants in Cuenca.  Everything except for the Chilean wine was locally grown and absolutely delicious, right down to the banana flan for dessert. The total bill for my beautiful companion and I rang in at $40.02, including 3 courses

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Six reasons to consider Ecuador

April 20, 2010 Cuenca, Ecuador Ecuador is not one of those places on everyone’s radar. In fact, when I recently announced that I would be returning to Ecuador, I received a handful of subscriber emails like this one: “Why are you wasting your time in that communist money pit? [SB: strange choice of

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Property and security in Medellin

April 14, 2010 Medellin, Colombia In yesterday’s letter, I told you why Medellin, Colombia might just be the greatest city in the world for some people. Well, today I had to send my assistant flowers because she got bombarded with so many subscriber emails questioning my sanity– “You must be kidding! Medellin is

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This place may be your Shangri-La

April 13, 2010 Medellin, Colombia Just about anyone who has been to Medellin, Colombia in the past 5 years will tell you that the city is about as perfect as it gets. I’m one of them. Travel there yourself and you’ll find that it’s no understatement. Medellin is one of Colombia’s largest cities,

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What emerging markets have in common with puberty

April 8, 2010 Panama City, Panama Do you remember that really awkward phase we all went through as adolescents? Growth spurts, voice changes, menstruation, and yes, pimples– in the end, while we all came out of it more mature and grown up, there was a difficult and sometimes painful transition period in which

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The genius in the jungle

April 7, 2010 Darien, Panama My Panamanian boat captain looked at me like I was crazy. “Amigo, you shouldn’t jump in over here… the waves are very dangerous.” I agreed. But we had been trolling for sailfish for a couple of hours with absolutely no success, and I really felt like livening up

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