Category: Z Legacy: Expat

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7 hard truths about New Zealand

April 1, 2010 Panama City, Panama No place is perfect. There’s not a single country on the planet that is a total paradise, so prospective expats need to be willing to make compromises and trade-offs. Naturally, it’s much better to be well-informed in advance about the challenges and limitations about a particular country…

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The strongest Latin economies for buying property

March 31, 2010 Panama City, Panama It appears that not all is amiss with sovereign debt: Panama may be one of the only bright spots, at least in the western hemisphere… the country recently had its debt rating upgraded by Fitch to ‘investment grade’ with a positive outlook. Now, I have been quite

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The best second passports if you’re interested in Asia

March 25, 2010 Tokyo, Japan About 20-years ago, many of the world’s sovereign nations started down an interesting path.  Region by region, governments formed supranational free trade blocs in order to facilitate economic growth. Supranational organizations were nothing new… from the failed League of Nations after the Great War to the UN and

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Which countries will compete for you

March 24, 2010 Hong Kong, SAR One of the worst things that can happen to a country is to experience a brain-drain.  The loss of productive people who create new technologies and companies means the loss of the jobs and wealth that they create. The long-term aggregate effects of this can be truly

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Banking and Gold Storage in Hong Kong

March 23, 2010 Hong Kong, SAR The banking system in Hong Kong is one of the most advanced in the world, and if you’re shopping around for a place to plant a banking flag, you should definitely consider it. As a jurisdiction, Hong Kong was effectively founded and built into a global financial

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7 reasons why you should consider Malaysia

March 22, 2010 Hong Kong, SAR If you have been considering planting a flag somewhere in Asia, I think you should really consider Malaysia. I briefly discussed the country in Friday’s Q&A updates, but I wanted to dedicate a full letter on the subject because I really think the country is worthy of

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What a river of blood says about safety

March 18, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand Something interest happened this week in Thailand that I think says a lot about the country and its people. For the last several months… well, years, actually… a large group of organized protesters has stepped up its calls for the current government of Thailand to step down. The

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A new immigration category in New Zealand

March 17, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand In response to your feedback on last week’s missive about New Zealand, I’ve once again asked my friend Mark, who is living there locally now, to pen a few words about the country’s immigration policies in response to your questions: First off, thanks to all of Simon’s readers

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Questions: Seychelles, GoldMoney.com, Italian passport, Thai hospitals

March 12, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand Greetings once again from the land of smiles. First of all, I really appreciate all the responses after yesterday’s letter in which I announced that I will be speaking at the upcoming Casey Research Crisis and Opportunity Summit. I’m really looking forward to meeting with so many of

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Coming to America… will you join me?

March 11, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand Today I want to make an important announcement in the hopes that you will join me in a few weeks time. If you’ve been following this missive for any period of time, you know that I spend a lot of time all over the world, but only very

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Is New Zealand all hype?

March 9, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand First of all, thanks for all the well-wishes for my speedy recovery. I’m feeling much better today, no doubt due to this exotic root that my ladies have been giving me. I haven’t asked what it is yet, but rest assured I will be traveling with it from

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Up close and personal with Thai healthcare

March 8, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand I managed to pick up some nasty bug that has knocked me into next Tuesday… But while I feel completely miserable at the moment, this little bacterial bout has given me the opportunity to experience, first-hand, the joys of the Thai medical system. First, doctors make house calls.

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The best places in the world to meet like-minded expats

March 3, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand One of reasons that a lot of people are hesitant about making a move overseas is because they’re concerned about being isolated. The world can be a cruel place, especially to newbies. Sure there are the nomads out there who want to be left alone with their little

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Gold in Uruguay, Swiss francs, Polish citizenship, Moody’s

February 26, 2010 Bangkok, Thailand It’s “Judgment Day” in Thailand. I wrote about this on Monday– a Thai high court will rule today on the disposition of ousted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s frozen assets valued at several billion dollars. According to the mainstream media, the entire country is supposed to erupt in chaotic

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Administrative Note

The daily articles for February 24, 2010 and February 25, 2010 will not be posted to the website; they will only be circulated to email subscribers. Make sure you receive these articles by signing up for my daily e-letter, Notes from the Field.

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Second passports and citizenship

February 23, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand Throughout our conversations, we have routinely discussed the importance of planting multiple flags. If you live, work, bank, invest, own a business, and hold your assets in the same country of your citizenship, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket, and once that basket heads

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In Thailand, they sell T-shirts at the revolution

February 22, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand I was in the back of a black sedan on Friday morning speeding along Highway 7 from Pattaya to Bangkok when my driver’s phone rang. He picked up, jabbered for a few seconds, and then said to me: “Sir, my friend call me from Bangkok; he say big

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This survey will make you want to leave immediately

February 17, 2010 Bangkok, Thailand I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… and I found myself wondering out loud- “Are these people insane??” Apparently, yes. I was watching Richard Edelman this morning on Bloomberg Television discussing the latest results of his research and PR firm’s annual “trust survey.”  Edelman takes a scientific poll

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In Asia, it’s all about who you know

February 10, 2010 Pattaya, Thailand A few months ago I wrote a short series about better networking. The theme was simple: “who you know” absolutely, positively counts, and getting ahead often requires investing in relationships. I thought the topic was so important that I wrote a free 20-page special report on the subject.

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Setting the stage for the new America

February 8, 2010 Bangkok, Thailand I’ve tried just about everything in the book… but I’ve never figured out a way to beat Asian jet lag. I landed in Thailand very late last night, and despite having hardly slept on the flight, I couldn’t manage to fall asleep. The good news is that I

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Your questions: anarchy, healthcare, mortgages, China

February 5, 2010 Mexico City, Mexico Greetings once again from Mexico; I’m sure many who listen to the mainstream press would be amazed to find that I have spent 48 hours on the ground here with nary a swine flu infection nor simple mugging to report. I did, however, miss my flight to

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Freedom isn’t free

February 4, 2010 Teotihuacan, Mexico Today I’m writing to you from the base of an ancient, Pre-Colombian pyramid in Central Mexico that pre-dates the Aztecs. Frankly this wasn’t part of my plan at all, but the reason I ended up here has a lot to do with living free. Freedom is something that

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Three real estate traps in Panama

February 3, 2010 Panama City, Panama Panama is a popular destination for expats, and for good reason. But there are some critical property traps that you should be aware of if you’re looking to buy. The first trap to watch out for is the tax law; for years, the government stimulated the real

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Business opportunities in Panama

February 2, 2010 Panama City, Panama I see a lot of opportunity in Panama right now for entrepreneurs and small businesses; in fact, I see more opportunity here than in just about every other country in the western hemisphere with few exceptions. Why? Panama has two strong emerging consumer markets. The first is

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The Panama You Can’t Find In Panama City

February 1, 2010 Boquete, Panama It’s almost like you’re not in Panama. Isolated in the Chiriqui highlands of Panama’s western-most province, the town of Boquete might as well be in a different country.  Practically all you hear is English– the local Panamanians have excellent language skills, and there are more gringos per capita

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Why you don’t want to go at it alone

Blair is in her early 40s from Southern California.  She’s intelligent, fairly aggressive, and an experienced financial executive at a mid-sized manufacturing company. In total, she has about $250,000 in savings, some of which she used to buy property in Panama. She is single with no children and has been traveling to Panama

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Panama vs. Costa Rica

January 27, 2010 El Valle, Panama For a future expat, there are three places worth seriously considering in Central America– Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.  Much is written about Panama, and rightfully so; the country is the most stable, economically liberal, and business oriented. Not to be completely ignored, though, Costa Rica has

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A sustainable community in Panama

January 26, 2010 Panama City, Panama I’ve been on the ground in Panama for a week, and thus far, the majority of my time has been spent investigating the sustainable community concept that I wrote about several weeks ago. To refresh your memory, the idea is to develop a small, cost-effective, subscribers-only expatriate

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An important update on the Panama private storage facility

January 25, 2010 Panama City, Panama A few weeks ago, I told you about a new private vault facility that was opening soon in Panama called “Best Safety Boxes.” At the time, I had not personally checked out the facility but at least wanted to make you aware of its opening. Late last

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