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Old 04-07-2019, 12:29 PM   #341
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Congrats. The home remodeling will keep you busy. That's not a bad thing.
I was thinking the opposite! But always do respect your opinion.

My thoughts are that after FIREd has lived in the condo a while, the updates may not seem as important to him as they do now. When I moved into my Dream Home, I thought I'd need to update the kitchen countertops to granite, for sure. But after living here a few months, I decided that the present laminate/Formica/whatever is better than I had expected and I don't need granite.

As for keeping busy, renewing old friendships and building new ones as well as settling into his new condo and new environment may provide plenty to do.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:44 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by tmm99 View Post
I live in Canada and I file my own FBAR although I have a professional do my cross-border taxes.

https://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov/NoRegFBARFiler.html

I use the PDF form instead of the online one because I couldn't figure out a way to save while updating the online form whereas you can save the PDF and even reuse the same PDF form for multiple years as long as the form hasn't gotten revised. For the second year, you can remove your signature and reuse the same form by just changing the $ amount as long as your bank (or other financial institutions) accounts stay the same.
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I just helped my son do his second FBAR today (last one was tax year 2017). Since you are new to this let me give you a tip. The first year you do one will produce a signed PDF that you submit on line and later get an email acknowledging receipt.

Next year the chances are good that you still have the same accounts and their details, plus your home address is probably the same, so make a copy of that PDF then remove the signature using the "button" provided on the form. You can then change the report year in the form, scroll down and edit the amounts in the accounts relevant to the current year, add or delete new and old accounts where needed, e-sign the form, save and click submit which takes you to the Fincen site. Since my son only has 1 UK account to report which is the same one as last year it took less than 5 minutes to complete his 2018 FBAR filing.

Thanks to both of you for the helpful replies!
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:17 PM   #343
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Update:

As I wrote in an earlier post, I decided to create a home business to give me easier access to universal health insurance in France. So a couple of weeks ago, I filed to incorporate my business. I received my corporate ID number within a couple of days. Within a week, I was informed that I now had health insurance coverage in France. And today, I purchased a supplemental health insurance plan (I went for a top of the line plan with virtually no deductible or copay for €65 a month). So I am now fully covered. Again, making money is not the primary objective of the business. It just makes it a lot easier to fit within the local administrative system which does not recognize the early retiree status. And, as I posted earlier, it might also save me a bundle in taxes.

I have started the demolition work on my new condo and I plan on starting the rebuilding phase in July. It will probably take until the end of the year to complete the work. I might post pictures as the work progresses. This is all very exciting. I enjoy the freedom to make the place my very own.

I have been very busy lately, not only with the condo's reno work, but also with the new vegetable garden which I created on the family farm. My social calendar is filling up fast too. I am meeting my new neighbors, and spending lots of time with friends and family. Time flies and life is good again.

Financially, things are great as well. My bills are surprisingly low here, even compared to what they were in low-cost Alabama! Just over $20 for a full cell phone plan (unlimited talk and text, 50GB data). My monthly electric bill is around $25. Fiber internet $30 per month for 1000 Mbps speed, etc... I will soon post an updated budget, but my non-discretionary expenses are down to about $1,250 a month - without even trying to be frugal. This is about 40% of what my bills were in AL. So there is plenty of money left after paying the bills to have some fun.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:46 PM   #344
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:55 PM   #345
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As I wrote in an earlier post, I decided to create a home business to give me easier access to universal health insurance in France.
I would never have expected that - - like many Americans, I know very little about the health care over there but just assumed that all you had to do was show some proof of citizenship and you'd be all set. Oh well! Sounds like very little hassle, overall, to get retiree health care.

It's great to read that you are planting a garden, renovating, meeting friendly neighbors and spending time with them, and so on. Sounds like your adjustment to divorced live is going outstandingly well.

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Fiber internet $30 per month for 1000 Mbps speed
I want your internet! We don't have fiber, so I get cable internet and I get 100 Mbps (not 1000) for $84/month.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:58 PM   #346
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:46 PM   #347
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I'm glad it is all coming together for you!
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:33 PM   #348
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Sounds perfect for you, FIREd! I hope you’re happier now than you imagined you could be.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:23 AM   #349
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Very positive post, great update, so pleased to hear how well things are going.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:28 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I would never have expected that - - like many Americans, I know very little about the health care over there but just assumed that all you had to do was show some proof of citizenship and you'd be all set. Oh well! Sounds like very little hassle, overall, to get retiree health care.
I expect it is the same with all European countries. In the UK citizenship does not get you NHS healthcare, only legal permanent residence. When I went for my heart surgery last year I had to bring proof of the right to be legally in the country plus proof that I was a resident. In my case I took along my British passport and a recent utility bill.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:35 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I would never have expected that - - like many Americans, I know very little about the health care over there but just assumed that all you had to do was show some proof of citizenship and you'd be all set. Oh well! Sounds like very little hassle, overall, to get retiree health care.
The intention of the French system is that everyone should be covered. You can see this in how the billing is set up; someone who turns up at a hospital with no insurance is a rarity, and causes the admin people to go "Errr, OK, well, let's treat the patient first and we'll sort out the billing later". This happened to a friend of mine, visiting from England, who was injured in a cricket game: I took him to the ER where they stitched him up, and he gave them his address and showed ID, but no bill ever arrived.

The rack rate for a hospital stay (bed, board, and basic nursing) is around €1,000 per day, although most people never see the bill. A short visit to the general practitioner is about €25, a bit more in some big cities. Half an hour with a specialist costs €50-100.

However, the administration of the insurance is based around employee and employer payroll deductions (the latter being notoriously high in France, up to 70%), rather than general taxation as is the case in, say, the UK or (I believe) Canada. (OK, in the UK there is notionally a deduction called "National Insurance", but there is barely any hypothecation.)

When the OP gets to pensionable age, he will get free lifetime cover (with some deductibles) by virtue of having a French retirement pension, provided he paid contributions for just three financial quarters in his entire working life. But early retirement doesn't really exist in France; until at least age 62 (unless you're in a specific job, like law enforcement or firefighting), you are assumed to be working. If the OP hadn't started his little company, he would probably need to claim unemployment benefits, whereupon he would be covered that way.

I also have one of these mini-companies (I presume the OP is an "auto-entrepreneur" like me). Amazingly for France, where starting a regular business is a major PITA, this type of company is incredibly easy to set up. I can bill up to €32,000 per year for professional services. Once a quarter, I fill in an online form (this takes less than one minute; there is only one number to enter!) to declare how much I made in the last three months, and they then take a total of 24% of that amount from my bank account for social insurance and income tax (which is great, as my marginal tax rate is 30% with my pension!).

Even more amazingly, there is no minimum declaration or payment; in fact I can declare zero income for up to two years and still remain covered. The downside is that I can't deduct *any* expenses (partial rent for office space, car mileage, VAT, etc), but for part-time consulting and other intellectual services it's a fabulous model.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:47 AM   #352
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I expect it is the same with all European countries. In the UK citizenship does not get you NHS healthcare, only legal permanent residence. When I went for my heart surgery last year I had to bring proof of the right to be legally in the country plus proof that I was a resident. In my case I took along my British passport and a recent utility bill.
Alan, not sure if this still works the same, would be interested if it does:

As you know, I'm a UK-Expat, but I've been stateside long enough that I'm usually considered foreign when back home

In 2002 I was in the UK, had an accident requiring "ambulance" trip to the A&E, bed for several hours, tetanus shot, stitches. No one ever asked me for anything. Not ID, address, nothing. No bill, no paperwork. Was patched up and sent off on my way.
Was that a fluke or is it different now?
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:05 AM   #353
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Alan, not sure if this still works the same, would be interested if it does:

As you know, I'm a UK-Expat, but I've been stateside long enough that I'm usually considered foreign when back home

In 2002 I was in the UK, had an accident requiring "ambulance" trip to the A&E, bed for several hours, tetanus shot, stitches. No one ever asked me for anything. Not ID, address, nothing. No bill, no paperwork. Was patched up and sent off on my way.
Was that a fluke or is it different now?
Nope, it is still the same. Emergency care is still free to all, including visitors and non-citizens.

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accident and emergency services, including all A&E services provided at an NHS hospital, for example, those provided at an A&E department, walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre. This does not include those emergency services provided after being admitted as an inpatient, or at a follow-up outpatient appointment, for which charges must be levied unless the overseas visitor is exempt from charge in their own right
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:15 AM   #354
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Nope, it is still the same. Emergency care is still free to all, including visitors and non-citizens.
Even outside the EU, Europe tends to be reasonable. When I needed emergency room care in Norway a couple of months ago it cost me less than $50.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:33 AM   #355
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I expect it is the same with all European countries. In the UK citizenship does not get you NHS healthcare, only legal permanent residence. When I went for my heart surgery last year I had to bring proof of the right to be legally in the country plus proof that I was a resident. In my case I took along my British passport and a recent utility bill.
In France, we get a "Carte Vitale" when eligible. It looks like a chip credit card and serves as proof of insurance. Patients have to present their card whenever they seek medical care and providers have card readers. The card also helps to streamline payments to healthcare providers.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:46 AM   #356
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In France, we get a "Carte Vitale" when eligible. It looks like a chip credit card and serves as proof of insurance. Patients have to present their card whenever they seek medical care and providers have card readers. The card also helps to streamline payments to healthcare providers.
That looks to be very slick.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:53 AM   #357
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In France, we get a "Carte Vitale" when eligible. It looks like a chip credit card and serves as proof of insurance. Patients have to present their card whenever they seek medical care and providers have card readers. The card also helps to streamline payments to healthcare providers.
It sounds pretty well thought out. As an aside, I had to stop myself when our friends at dinner the other night started a heated discussion with me about how good our USA health care is compared to other countries. Not for the first time I heard the old line "And Canadian citizens needing serious health care even come to the USA."

Wish our government would stop reinventing the wheel and just do what works elsewhere, but maybe I'm naive.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:22 AM   #358
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The intention of the French system is that everyone should be covered. You can see this in how the billing is set up; someone who turns up at a hospital with no insurance is a rarity, and causes the admin people to go "Errr, OK, well, let's treat the patient first and we'll sort out the billing later". This happened to a friend of mine, visiting from England, who was injured in a cricket game: I took him to the ER where they stitched him up, and he gave them his address and showed ID, but no bill ever arrived.

The rack rate for a hospital stay (bed, board, and basic nursing) is around €1,000 per day, although most people never see the bill. A short visit to the general practitioner is about €25, a bit more in some big cities. Half an hour with a specialist costs €50-100.

However, the administration of the insurance is based around employee and employer payroll deductions (the latter being notoriously high in France, up to 70%), rather than general taxation as is the case in, say, the UK or (I believe) Canada. (OK, in the UK there is notionally a deduction called "National Insurance", but there is barely any hypothecation.)

When the OP gets to pensionable age, he will get free lifetime cover (with some deductibles) by virtue of having a French retirement pension, provided he paid contributions for just three financial quarters in his entire working life. But early retirement doesn't really exist in France; until at least age 62 (unless you're in a specific job, like law enforcement or firefighting), you are assumed to be working. If the OP hadn't started his little company, he would probably need to claim unemployment benefits, whereupon he would be covered that way.

I also have one of these mini-companies (I presume the OP is an "auto-entrepreneur" like me). Amazingly for France, where starting a regular business is a major PITA, this type of company is incredibly easy to set up. I can bill up to €32,000 per year for professional services. Once a quarter, I fill in an online form (this takes less than one minute; there is only one number to enter!) to declare how much I made in the last three months, and they then take a total of 24% of that amount from my bank account for social insurance and income tax (which is great, as my marginal tax rate is 30% with my pension!).

Even more amazingly, there is no minimum declaration or payment; in fact I can declare zero income for up to two years and still remain covered. The downside is that I can't deduct *any* expenses (partial rent for office space, car mileage, VAT, etc), but for part-time consulting and other intellectual services it's a fabulous model.
Very good summary. I indeed am now an "auto-entrepreneur".
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:09 AM   #359
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Very good summary. I indeed am now an "auto-entrepreneur".
Somehow I never pictured you in the car business...
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:18 AM   #360
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Wish our government would stop reinventing the wheel and just do what works elsewhere, but maybe I'm naive.
Not to get back on the HC discussion, but some folks in the USA already "perceive" that they get free or very cheap HC. Whether it be from their employer (even though they pay for it), the VA who have earnt it, or Medicaid, and they resent having to pay extra taxes to pay for others HC.
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