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Old 07-16-2014, 07:28 PM   #81
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Renouncing citizenship due to a punitive tax regime is not unique to the USA. If I were paying 85% tax on income I would do likewise.

Gérard Depardieu Gives Up French Citizenship, Defends Belgium Tax Move | E! Online
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:41 PM   #82
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Renouncing citizenship due to a punitive tax regime is not unique to the USA. If I were paying 85% tax on income I would do likewise.

Gérard Depardieu Gives Up French Citizenship, Defends Belgium Tax Move | E! Online
Is there more to this story? Unlike the US, France taxes based on residence, not citizenship. So couldn't Mr Depardieu instead just have moved to Belgium and become a resident there instead of going all out in renouncing?
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:46 PM   #83
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I am appalled that is happening. We should track every one of them down, bring them back to USA, and make them work at McDonalds for each year they spent their lives as US citizen. Of course, upon return, their asset are immediately confiscated to offset US budget deficit. Who is with me on this? I am contacting my congress person to get a law passed on this.
Sometimes things are not black and white. Many those who renounced are dual citizens, who never lived in US or retired back to their home country. The new tax laws are a little too much to handle, so they chose to give up.

Some are participating local elections, and by their local law they can not hold dual citizenship, so they publicly renource to be more attrative to their constituency.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:34 PM   #84
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Renouncing citizenship due to a punitive tax regime is not unique to the USA. If I were paying 85% tax on income I would do likewise.



Gérard Depardieu Gives Up French Citizenship, Defends Belgium Tax Move | E! Online

As far as I know, he has never actually renounced his French citizenship.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:48 PM   #85
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Getting back to the OP's comments and the article linked to:

I think and hope that this piece will do a great job of discouraging exactly the kind of folks who shouldn't become expats to stay home. They'll have lots of company: those who get their "news" from Faux News and CNN, have never had a passport, are certain America is the greatest country on earth because they haven't been to any others, etc., etc.

Of course only a tiny percentage of Americans - or folks from any first-world country - are going to retire overseas, and that makes all the sense in the world. Family and friends and familiarity come first for most, and all the more so as we age. Still, how wonderful it would be if more of us did at least travel, close to the ground and economically, in other countries.

In any case, the reasons the author of the thoroughly lame Market Watch article gives don't pass muster:

1. Personal Safety: the level of gun violence alone in the U.S. makes any number of other countries safer on a day in, day out basis - including several mentioned in the article.

2. Medical Services: here at Lake Chapala I can see a U.S. trained doctor within a day or two for $18, get my teeth cleaned for $20, and pay $350 a year for comprehensive medical insurance with no lifetime limit and a $5000 deductible. The quality of the doctors and hospitals in nearby Guadalajara is far superior to many major cities in the U.S.

3. Language barrier: anyplace that's going to be viable for long-term expat living is almost certain (for 99% of expats) to be a place already rife with other expats. Those are the folks you'll be interacting with the most. Learning the native language of your chosen country is still important, and is a wonderful way to stimulate the mind and stay young and vibrant - a common characteristic of expats that's in sharp contrast to those stuck in familiar ruts.

4. Homesickness: an issue for some, but the many expats I know are grateful to be at least arm's length from the fear, violence, political gridlock and broken political, entitlement and health care systems of the U.S.

5. Unforeseen expenses: could happen anywhere, but you can (and many do) live in top-of-the-line assisted living places here at Lake Chapala and any number of other places for $1200-1400 a month including 3 meals a day, nursing care and near-perfect year-round weather. Your chances of being bankrupted by unforeseen expenses are exponentially greater in the U.S.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:54 PM   #86
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I have been an expat for 11 years and have enjoyed it immensely. So much so that I just realized (after seeing this thread) that I have not been back in the states for 4 1/2 years.

But, as this thread is about reasons not to expatriate, I would agree that the lack of my Spanish speaking ability is an obstacle (of my own making). My biggest complaint which I have not seen mentioned in this thread is the bureaucracy. Luckily, it can usually be overcome by playing the "gringo card" or with a small amount of money.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:12 PM   #87
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Luckily, it can usually be overcome by playing the "gringo card" or with a small amount of money.
In Thailand they call us "farangs"

Expat life is great, until it isn't
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:39 PM   #88
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here at Lake Chapala
That's where my Mother lived for quite a few years. Lots of Americans there. I have been to the VFW (or AM Legion?) there many times. I used to fly into Manzanillo, take three taxis and two buses, to get to Chapala. I was never really sure where I was going at times, just well into the interior of Mexico...

Another thing that was interesting to get used to was the water system there. Three water valves in the shower, Hot, cold and city water. Hot water tanks on the roof for pressure. Water cistern under the carport to cool and store the water.

Nice place to visit, but when times get tough I would prefer to be in the US. It's just more comfortable.

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the level of gun violence
Actually, it's people violence, not gun violence. With or without the guns, the violence would still be there. That's where to begin to resolve the issue. I don't want to start a debate on the topic, but somewhere society went wrong and violence has escalated.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:21 AM   #89
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Your reasons for 5 reasons for retiring overseas mirror my own reasons why I was overseas. Of the 44 years overseas, I spent two of those years semi-retired in Asia. I decided to make the move back to the States. It's never too late to make adjustments in your retirement, and so I might spend some time overseas with the US as a home base. I think most of the readers here retired early, so you may not have Medicare yet. I do, and so having a home in the States works for me.

Gun violence does bother me, and I realize this is not part of this thread. However, I find that the different countries I've lived in can be as violent as the US, but with gun laws. As a result, there aren't the deaths due to guns you have in the US. The gun violence and failing government and gridlock make me want to be an expat. I do not really agree with the Market Watch article.

Rob



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Originally Posted by kevink View Post
Getting back to the OP's comments and the article linked to:

I think and hope that this piece will do a great job of discouraging exactly the kind of folks who shouldn't become expats to stay home. They'll have lots of company: those who get their "news" from Faux News and CNN, have never had a passport, are certain America is the greatest country on earth because they haven't been to any others, etc., etc.

Of course only a tiny percentage of Americans - or folks from any first-world country - are going to retire overseas, and that makes all the sense in the world. Family and friends and familiarity come first for most, and all the more so as we age. Still, how wonderful it would be if more of us did at least travel, close to the ground and economically, in other countries.

In any case, the reasons the author of the thoroughly lame Market Watch article gives don't pass muster:

1. Personal Safety: the level of gun violence alone in the U.S. makes any number of other countries safer on a day in, day out basis - including several mentioned in the article.

2. Medical Services: here at Lake Chapala I can see a U.S. trained doctor within a day or two for $18, get my teeth cleaned for $20, and pay $350 a year for comprehensive medical insurance with no lifetime limit and a $5000 deductible. The quality of the doctors and hospitals in nearby Guadalajara is far superior to many major cities in the U.S.

3. Language barrier: anyplace that's going to be viable for long-term expat living is almost certain (for 99% of expats) to be a place already rife with other expats. Those are the folks you'll be interacting with the most. Learning the native language of your chosen country is still important, and is a wonderful way to stimulate the mind and stay young and vibrant - a common characteristic of expats that's in sharp contrast to those stuck in familiar ruts.

4. Homesickness: an issue for some, but the many expats I know are grateful to be at least arm's length from the fear, violence, political gridlock and broken political, entitlement and health care systems of the U.S.

5. Unforeseen expenses: could happen anywhere, but you can (and many do) live in top-of-the-line assisted living places here at Lake Chapala and any number of other places for $1200-1400 a month including 3 meals a day, nursing care and near-perfect year-round weather. Your chances of being bankrupted by unforeseen expenses are exponentially greater in the U.S.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:54 AM   #90
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If your retirement assets and bank accounts are in the US, you pay US taxes.

The trick is if you have to pay any taxes in overseas locations because you may have a residency visa of some kind.

I know London is a magnet for sheiks and Russian oligarchs because the UK won't tax their incomes generated outside the country. Not sure why they want them other than to inflate real estate in the SE of England.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:39 AM   #91
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Is there more to this story? Unlike the US, France taxes based on residence, not citizenship. So couldn't Mr Depardieu instead just have moved to Belgium and become a resident there instead of going all out in renouncing?
That's what he did. He just moved to Belgium. At first anyway.

In the meantime he became a Russian citizen.

You have to understand the person here. Mr. Depardieu is a true "artist" with some quirks and peculiarities.

The handing back his passport thing is simply a public statement to tell his home country to go f**k itself for trying to steal his hard-earned money. That's how he views it.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:36 AM   #92
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Luckily, it can usually be overcome by playing the "gringo card" or with a small amount of money.
Yep, in Taiwan I can smile and play the clueless "waiguoren" card and get out of a lot of embarrassing situations. Got me out of a few traffic tickets! And being an American "waiguoren" has its benefits too. Everyone wants to talk with you in English & give you extra food (or maybe the food thing is because I'm thin).
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:36 AM   #93
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I am appalled that is happening. We should track every one of them down, bring them back to USA, and make them work at McDonalds for each year they spent their lives as US citizen. Of course, upon return, their asset are immediately confiscated to offset US budget deficit. Who is with me on this? I am contacting my congress person to get a law passed on this.
I suspect your comment was primarily sarcasm but there is a substantial penalty now for people to renounce their citizenship. The rich pay alot to do it but it still creates a large tax savings for them. The not so well off also pay a fee and I suspect it's a much greater burden on them.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:41 AM   #94
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The handing back his passport thing is simply a public statement to tell his home country to go f**k itself for trying to steal his hard-earned money. That's how he views it.
That's what I thought. Unlike the US, there is no need for somebody in France to take the drastic step of giving up their citizenship to escape high taxes. All they have to do is to simply become a resident of a different country. The US is one of the very countries in the world that taxes based on citizenship. So, renouncing citizenship due to a punitive tax regime is pretty unique to the US.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:56 AM   #95
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So, renouncing citizenship due to a punitive tax regime is pretty unique to the US.
I hadn't thought the original comments were worth bringing out Porky; but if this continues, it's inevitable. The US tax code definitely needs some work. In a true bipartisan spirit, our elected officials seem to have agreed not to do anything. I doubt its worth even discussing other than the original basis of this thread which has been pretty well beaten to death.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:09 AM   #96
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I hadn't thought the original comments were worth bringing out Porky; but if this continues, it's inevitable. The US tax code definitely needs some work. In a true bipartisan spirit, our elected officials seem to have agreed not to do anything. I doubt its worth even discussing other than the original basis of this thread which has been pretty well beaten to death.
Sigh...I was simply responding to the other person. I can certainly delete it...
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:26 AM   #97
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On the flip side.......Our 5 reasons to retire abroad

Our 5 Reasons to Retire Abroad
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:02 AM   #98
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Actually, it's people violence, not gun violence.
This is the sort of superfluous comment which leads to discussions being closed.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:14 AM   #99
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In my email inbox this morning was this article by well-known posters here Billy and Akaisha Kaderli that addresses this topic very well from a seasoned expat/world traveler perspective. Neither I nor the Kaderli's think this is going to be a choice for more than a tiny percentage of U.S. retirees, but like them I'd hate to see anyone with a desire to see the world and have some memorable adventures dissuaded by the kind of disinformation and fear-based negativity that runs through the Market Watch article. In any case, the Kaderli's have been living mostly abroad for decades with great vigor and joy for decades, on a $24-30K total annual budget, so it can be done:

http://retireearlylifestyle.com/aaa/...ire_abroad.htm
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:40 AM   #100
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Mod team consensus is that this thread has outlived its usefulness. Thanks to those who contributed to constructive, intelligent, harmonious discussion or debate of retirement related topics.

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