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Independent Blonde - Planning Future
Old 04-08-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
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Independent Blonde - Planning Future

I'm a writer & consultant; teach part-time at a university. Looking for information on relocating to another country. If anyone has tips on how to get important paperwork & mail (IRS stuff, etc), and how to make it easy for a US company to forward your consulting fees, please share. The firms I consult for can't do direct deposit for non-staff members. I'm a writer & do other consulting as well as the teaching. Would probably have to abandon the teaching. Considering Mexico, Columbia or other Latin countries.

Does anyone have info on Ecuador? It's highly rated for being a bargain, but the active volcanos are a bit disconcerting.

Thanks! I look forward to enjoying this site.

Sossy
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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Hi Sossy,
Welcome to the team. I don't know specifically abou the ex pat living conditions in Equador, but I suppose cost of living for US ex pats would have raised over hte last few years. That said, I'm sure some of large expense items we have here as healthcare are nearly free for residents in the Latin American countries. Of course, you will want to pay private doctors for minor visits, the waiting lines wouldn't be worht it. But the big ticket items would be fully covered by the state.
As far as the payment fo ryour services, you can have them deposited in a US account, sparing your employer of any foreign payment paperwork. You'll have to transfer the monies to your foreign account and treat is as income in that country. If the country has a tax equalization agreement with US, you will be able to offset it (more or less) from your US tax return.
At any rate, it is a great idea to move to a lower cost country if you like the adventure and the richness that a global experience can add to our lives.
Good lUck
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:05 AM   #3
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Welcome to the board

If you search on the board you'll find several threads that discuss living abroad, mail forwarding, having a US bank while abroad etc.

Here are a couple to get you started. Happy reading.

Expat Banking Issues - Any Suggestions?

Using UPS to forward your mail
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
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Thanks, Alan & Toreornot! I'm checking out various options. I'd probably have to get a third party to deposit my consulting checks here. I could probably get the firm to combine payments only once a month or so rather than once a week. Even when I'm here, I save the checks for about a month. They have already said they can't deposit directly. I may ask about a bank transfer, though. There's got to be a way - the income is more than I care to give up.

One other guy doing the same consulting lives in Mexico - but his ex wife gets his checks & handles all of it for him.

It dawned on me that I'd have a lot less crucial mail of that nature if I'm not going to get utility bills, etc. from here. Credit cards are easy online - I guess the actual card (new) could get forwarded as needed.

I really appreciate the friendly help!

Sossy
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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Hello Sossy, welcome.

I have lived overseas for the last five years. What I can tell you is to plan to do all of your financial transactions online. Generally it is better to keep most of your money in a U.S. bank which you can access via ATM cards most places. Although I have never lived in Latin America, I have in Africa, I recommend USAA for banking, if you qualify. They rebate overseas ATM fees and if you receive a U.S. check you can deposit it online with a scanner or iPhone - simple. Also, you can easily have your friend in the States slip checks in a simple mailing envelope to the bank.

Look closely at medical and make sure you have overseas coverage. You will likely need to pay cash upfront. With mine, I can file a claim easily via fax and they direct deposit my reimbursements. Avoid any physical financial or business mail that needs to get sent to you if at all possible. This is not as hard as it sounds these day actually.

Best of luck in your new adventure, you will not regret it!
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:09 PM   #6
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Thank you, Spencer! I looked up USAA, and I think I do qualify! They are obviously experienced in dealing with services on an international basis. Great advice - thank you so much!
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:17 PM   #7
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If I ever get a chance to retire, Ecuador is my destination. Since Ecuador uses US$ as their currency, you don't have to pay for currency exchange when you transfer from your US bank account to Ecuador bank account. Also, you don't have to figure out if paying $450.00 a months for 1 bedroom apartment is good deal when you can shop around and get the same size apartment for $300.00 a month.
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