My Experience Acquiring Global Entry

June 22, 2016             When I fly, I never go through the body scanners. I am not convinced that they are safe. And more importantly, I want to exercise my right to choose. I choose the pat-down over the body scanner every time. Rather than feeling the pat-down is humiliating, I feel proud that I’m willing to experience the inconvenience of waiting to be patted down rather than just submit to whatever the government wants me to do because it’s more convenient. To me, it’s like making a choice between freedom and security. I like … Continue reading

My Bank Account In Australia was Closed!

June 2, 2016          When I returned back to the U.S. from my trip to Panama this spring, I had a check waiting for me from Australia. If you recall, I opened a bank account there when I was at Simon Black’s conference in Santiago, Chile back in 2013. The bank account was affiliated with a brokerage account I opened at a company called BBY. That account was opened at the same time, but I never used it. Last year, I received emails from the guy who opened these accounts for people at Simon’s conference. He said … Continue reading

Banking in Panama – Trials and Tribulations

May 11, 2016          I visit my bank, Banvivienda, every time I go to Panama, for one reason or another. This time, it was because I had forgotten to login to my bank accounts and transfer money between them often enough to keep them active. The accounts at Banvivienda are rendered inactive if you don’t have some activity in them within 6 months. Hence, it was a good time to stop by and get my accounts re-activated. And I wanted to deposit some cash I brought with me. The more money I get out of the U.S., … Continue reading

Protecting Possessions in Big Cities

April 28, 2016       One of the things I like about visiting Panama City is that I have a friend who lives there. She and I have been getting together for years…maybe since 2010. We always have a nice time catching up and she is into a lot of interesting things. She is an investor and has learned some valuable lessons about life in Latin America. She was robbed last December. She was walking home and was very near to her home when a guy on a motor-scooter drove by and grabbed onto her purse. She thought about … Continue reading

Doctors and Dentists in Panama – My Experiences

April 28, 2016        As long as I was going to be in Panama for a few days, I decided to visit a dermatologist. I had been to one in Panama in 2013 and had a very good experience. Therefore, I had no qualms about having this work done there. And I knew it would be a lot less expensive than having it done in the U.S. I set up an appointment a week before my visit. Once again, I’m pleased with the results. I had several (9) “spots” on my back cauterized and it only cost $150. There … Continue reading

A Mango Farm in Panama

April 13, 2016 I was in Panama two weeks ago. It was a quick trip. I was only there for 3 ½ days. The primary reason for my visit was to see a mango farm that was promoted by Live and Invest Overseas at the conference I attended last year in Medellin. The last piece of my international diversification plan, which I have not yet implemented, is to invest in real estate outside the U.S. I’ve been working and saving up money so that I could do this. Now I have enough saved for a modest real-estate purchase. What I … Continue reading

Armed Guards in the Mall in Medellin

September 9, 2015      I forgot to mention this in my previous articles about Medellin. You should not be surprised to see armed guards carrying guns in their hands. My brother and I were sitting in the Santa Fe Mall in Medellin and we saw two guards go into a retail store and come out a bit later carrying cash. One guard, who was carrying the cash, also was carrying a pistol. The other guard had both hands on his shotgun. My brother and I were trying to decide if this is simply meant as a deterrent to wanna-be … Continue reading

I Finally got my Cedula from Panama!

September 9, 2015     I neglected to write about the final step in my residency process in Panama. On the way back from my trip to Medellin, I stopped in Panama for a few days to get my cedula. If you’re not familiar with what this is, it’s just a national identity card. It is used in many countries in Central and South America. My next step will be to get citizenship and then a passport…if I decide to move forward with it. My qualification for Panamanian citizenship is still several years down the road. Getting the cedula was … Continue reading

A Fascinating Comparison

August 12, 2015      Every week, I listen to David McAlvany’s weekly commentaries. I recently heard him talk about some interesting numbers. If you had $1,000,000 USD in 1913, it would now be worth $20,000. If you had $1,000,000 USD of gold in 1913, it would now be worth $62,000,000. Do you understand why I believe in owning gold? … Continue reading

Why I Changed My Mind About Buying the Finca in Colombia

August 12, 2015      First of all, my enthusiasm was partly fueled by what is called the “margarita effect.” That’s usually applied to the phenomenon where people think they want to live in a place where they had a wonderful vacation and then find that living there is a completely different (and disappointing) experience from vacationing there. After the excitement wore off, I realized that I would be stretching my finances too thin. My ability to buy one of the smallest lots was predicated on the developers agreeing to let me make a couple of payments. And the schedule … Continue reading