Still Stunned & Still Overwhelmed

It’s been one month since Trump, the POTUS, took office. I’m still shocked, stunned and amazed.

Disclaimer: this post is shallow, political, and self-promoting. If you want real advice, then just write me or get with the program (“Gin1Year”).

Still Stunned

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Hillary Clinton. Bernie should’ve been the party pick. But all that aside, in the final race, HRC was the lesser of two evils. She was the clear choice over Trump.

 

Still Overwhelmed

Right up to about midnight on election night, I knew Hillary would become the next president. “surprise!” My mouth has been gaped open ever after.

Every day since, I watch the news. I watch it more than I ever did, like some addiction. Do others do the same?

Still Reading?

Look, I’m not here to say America is fucked. I’m not crying “you’re all doomed!” But…

Please know your situation in the US today, and over the next 4 years, is likely far worse than what you could have in a country more like you.

Lots of websites say “GO” but no one says “how”. I’m here to show you how.

Get with the program.

18 Excellent Tips from Expert Expats

I wrote to 18 people whom I consider expert expats.

Some make a living by travelling, others traveled to go make a living.

I asked them all 1 question: What is your advice to an expat?

Here are their replies:

Continue reading 18 Excellent Tips from Expert Expats

Why Are People Leaving the US, Part 5

Reason 5: Retirement

This is sort of a blend of #1 (Frustration) & #3 (Seeking Improved Life).  Retirees are both frustrated by healthcare costs and the cost of living on their incomes AND seeking an improved life with the means they have the (world’s) disposal.

But there’s definitely something special about this idea….of a person born, educated & employed their whole life in one country – only to retire and say “I’m done, and I’m moving to greener pastures.Continue reading Why Are People Leaving the US, Part 5

What’s Special About the United States?

You must know the TV show “The Newsroom”? The news production parody from Aaron Sorkin (same guy behind the shows West Wing & Sports Night).

First minutes of the pilot episode have news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) ranting on about what makes the United States the greatest country in the world (spoiler: “it’s not, but it can be”). If you haven’t seen it, google his rant later.

Will McAvoy

Before you balk, no – I am NOT supporting Trump (a.k.a. Mr. “Make America Great Again”). No, not in a million years. Nor am I supporting Hillary Clinton. No, not in a million years.

Sure, America could be great again. But I hold no hope, in either candidate.

Hold your breath for 4 years? No, better still, go away for 4 years.

Whatever happens this November, America in 2020 might just be a place to return to. (Or it might not.)

But no doubt, now is a great time to become an expat yourself.

— Which begs the question, what are you still doing there? Start on your plan, today.

gonein1year-overview

Student Loans Deferred Longer in Canada

Student loans grow out of control during those 4+ years of university. Then you’re expected to repay loans, starting the day after graduation. But with what?

Student-loan-debt1The result? Newly graduated, bottom-rung workers get themselves into serious financial strain.

Sure, some students get lucky with a job offer in their first year. But I think the majority (what, like 80-90%?) of students don’t walk into their first big job right after graduation. [if definitely over 80%, tell me; I’d love to know.] Instead, students take whatever job they can, to scrap by however they can. The first paycheck is not as big as they wanted, but the loan is still demanding payment.

Student Loans Deferred – Until You Can Pay

A new law just passed: students here in Canada can wait to pay back government loans until they are in a good position to do so. Instead of payments starting after graduation, loan repayment starts after you make the minimum salary. Starting November 1st, that minimum is $25,000. That might not seem like much, but it is an income. For most students, just having an income is a big deal.

If you read the article, you’ll see other benefits from this law, namely increased loan amounts. This is good, provided you need it.

Is There a Catch?

It’s not free deferment. There always seems to be a catch, right? The catch here is, interest continues to accumulate. You probably could have guessed that.

So, you don’t want to defer your loans forever.

Then again, you also don’t want to earn under $25,000 forever.

How to Take Advantage of This?

If you’re considering moving to a foreign country to have lower student loans, then Canada just rose in the ranks, didn’t it? I can help you move here. Either through the “Gone In One Year” program, or by phone consultation.

Do these work? Yes, very well. There are several of my clients now living, working abroad as a result.

Yes, I know… “my case is special”? Each one is, that’s where I’m most capable. I think outside the box, come up with the right way ‘out’ for you. Give me a call. Or check out the monthly program to be out in a year.

Moving Money Between Countries as an Expat

Well, it’s official. We sold our flat in Prague! (“Kafkaesque Paperwork” post coming)

Last month, I said we flew to Prague to sign papers to sell our flat. We did, we have, and it’s done. Yes, we no longer own property in the Czech Republic. (Yeah!)

Owning foreign property these past 9 years has been a good adventure for us. And selling it was a great move for us. To best understand why the timing was good, read the end of the last post.

The Problem: What To Do With This Money?

We now have a new “problem.” Lots of money in Czech Koruna. And this money sits in a bank account in Prague. But we want that money in the form of Canadian dollars, in our local (Canadian) bank account. How to get it there?

Continue reading Moving Money Between Countries as an Expat

Timeline to a New Life

Below is a post I first wrote in November 2009. (Whew, how time flies!) I figure it might help a few others with the same questions I had back then.

expat man jumping shipIf you’re thinking about starting over completely new, you may wonder “How long it will take?

Fair question – and here’s my answer: 3 months. Three months is all it takes to drastically change your life, self and all that’s around you. And that’s assuming you have a house, job, perhaps even family as we did. Even as “settled” as we were, it was just 3 months from wondering about getting work overseas to all moved and working overseas.

Continue reading Timeline to a New Life