some stories about life on a tropical island. After living some ten years
on Margarita Island I can truly give an honest opinion about life here.
of all let me tell you that life on an island, especially a tropical one,
is incomparable to life anywhere else! The daily routine is slow paced
no matter how important the stuff you have to do. There is after all, always
tomorrow. Because of the always shining sun people are chronically in a
good mood and laid back. Everybody’s willing to help you with about everything
as long as you aren’t in a hurry to do so. Living on Margarita is, as long
as you have a job of course or some other kind of income, a dream come
true. There are however some things you have to beware of. Given the fact
that you’re living in a relatively poor country, you should be aware of
people trying to get hold of your money, which you must have in their opinion
simply because you’re a foreigner, so the first step is to learn the language.
Once you can defend yourself in their language you’re practically accepted
as one of their own, making you a lot less vulnerable to financial risks.
Living a stress free life also means that you’ll have to adapt to that
life! Don’t just enjoy it when it’s in your favor, don’t stress out once
it doesn’t!! If they show up late, deal with it and do the same thing next
time you have to deal with them, and calculate it in your time schedule.
Through personal experience I can tell you that you should never try to
close important deals on your own. Always take a person who you trust and
who dominates the language with you to ensure that you really get the best
deal you can possibly get on just about anything. Whether you want to buy
some property, start a business; get your visa, or whatever else. Let me
tell you something about myself and my experiences here. - 10
Years On Margarita Island, Venezuela - Making A Business And Living In
On Isla Margarita Venezuela - My first escape,
like Papillon, was not altogether successful. My girlfriend of many years,
and I set off for Europe in November of 1970 bent on doing the grand tour
even though we were hippies – sort of – and disdained this hackneyed tradition.
Escape was really not the idea but rather adventure and our travels were
indeed adventurous taking us to Morocco, most of Europe, and the trail
through Asia to India and Nepal all crammed into 13 rather smoky months
that eventually saw us back in Canada and me, unhappily, in university
once again minus the girlfriend. Life at university was not to my liking,
so a job was got (my friends at the Canadian National Railway were
happy to have me back as a trained operator / telegrapher), and
I started saving money for the next breakout. This came sooner than expected
when a drunk driver rear-ended my most valuable asset, and when faced with
a cash settlement or a new car, I split with the cash to Canada’s hippy
haven, Vancouver. With the temperature hovering at freezing under constantly
spilling clouds, the free and easy lifestyle had a frigid component my
body could not abide.
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Of Margarita Island - Venezulean Beauty -
The huge birdcage at the entrance - 8 feet high and large enough to hold
about six standing people and looks like a medieval torture chamber. One
sassy parrot greets visitors in several languages, his less gregarious
cage-mates just do the parrot thing. That’s the first thing you notice
at Jak’s, a rustic restaurant down by the marina at Playa Concorde.
It’s in an adobe colored building just at the water’s edge, about 20’x35’
with a shed-type patio alongside, 100 yards from the marina and near the
dinghy dock the cruisers use to get to and from their boats anchored out
in the bay. Faded, ragged flags representing boats from around the world
hang from the ceiling (some signed by the boat crew and left as a memento
of their trip to Margarita Island) along with the usual local beer pennants,
of course. Jak’s has clearly seen better days and lots of them, but even
in it’s faded glory, it’s a very interesting place to people watch and
the food (burgers, sandwiches and plate lunches) is good and reasonable
- $ 8 to $10 US. But the people make it worth the trip. As I sit at the
worn wooden table in a beat-up plastic chair, I marvel at the diverse cultural
diversity of diners. At one table you’ll see sunburned sailors from Germany
enjoying the local brew, at another an older businessman charming his very
much younger and beautiful ‘secretary’ in very good Spanish, and a pretty
little hooker from Martinique is fascinating an older man in lyrical French
while another pretty black girl toys with an Englishman.
Margarita Revisited ~ Travels In The Caribbean
- After my article that was published in Escape Artist, I got a landslide
by faithful readers EA who inquired as to what I had found on this beautiful
Caribbean island south of Caracas. As a result, I had a 10 day reunion
with a handful of inquiring minds that couldn’t wait to discover Margarita
Island Venezuela. If you don’t want beautiful beaches, affordable living,
wonderful weather, this place is not for you. After 3-5 dozen phone
calls and a smoking computer from e-mail, we managed to coordinate a 10-day
trip to Margarita Island (MI) to meet my brand new, best friends.
I hopped on a red eye out of Las Vegas to Miami to begin hooking
up with all these people I have never met. Walking through
the Miami airport looking for someone I have never met or seen
is quite a challenge. To narrow the gap, I wore my biker
vest so I would look out of place. Bikers never fly,
they ride! Just not in an airport! (Ok, if I could… I would).
Somehow Mike Inglis from Wisconsin and I connected. My first impression
of Mike was that he was slightly vertically challenged but after 10 minutes
of talking to him, I discovered he was exceptionally tall in ideas, stories
and a great sense of humor. We hit it off right away. Now here are two
guys that haven’t slept, sitting in an airport at 8am, so we bought a few
Cokes and busted out the flask and the endless talk was well on it’s way.
I don’t think it has, or will, ever stop?
The Grass Greener? - Grenada In Venezuela
- A few months ago I decided to check the merits of Panama vs Isla Margarita
where I am now living (see the article in Escape
From America Magazine). This time in my wanderlust and never
ending quest for the perfect affordable retirement and vacation destination
I checked out Central America, specifically Nicaragua and Honduras. Roy,
one of my business partners, decided to join me on my journey. We
flew from Isla Margarita to Managua with a change of planes in Panama City
that got us into Managua in the early evening. Then we searched for a hotel.
The taxi driver recommended a couple that we flatly refused at $50 U.S.
per room. We finally found one on our own for $65. Hotels that were under
that price were real dumps with no hot water, a/c that did not work, tiny
rooms, and situated in areas that did't appear to be safe. The next morning
we went to the Regency - a 5-Star hotel located a few blocks away. As were
we were preparing to leave the restaurant after a very good breakfast and
only so/so coffee (Nicaraguans think it's great but weve been spoiled by
the coffee here on the island - it's got lots more flavor!) we were pleasantly
surprised to see a group of beautiful young ladies wearing beauty queen'-type
name ribbons arriving in the patio/pool area.
– Ideas Worth Spreading - Venezuela's Youth Orchestra
- In a world of seemingly declining standards it is refreshing to see a
website that offers ideas worth spreading. The website, called TED, is
devoted to presenting in video format some amazing ideas that have the
potential to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. TED is
not just adults with dry theories, TED presents adults who have done some
innovative thinking, yes; but TED also presents children from around the
world who have accomplished absolutely jaw-dropping things in medicine,
music, and technology. I was brought to a total standstill by the accomplishments
of Jose Antonio Abreu the charismatic founder of a youth orchestra system
[El Sistema] that has transformed the lives of thousands of kids in Venezuela.
Gustavo Dudamel, who is considered one of the best conductors in the world
today, is a product of El Sistema. To give you some indication of the quality
of TED, its ideas, and the recipients of the TED prize for the best ideas,
listen to Gustavo Dudamel lead El Sistema's top youth orchestra. An amazing
performance by young people rescued from the slums of Venezuela by one
man. Also see the article: Harry
Browne's Freedom Principles By Frederick Mann
On Margarita Island On $800 A Month? - Answers To Questions
- Retire to the Caribbean on $800 a Month? ...is this a true story or fiction?
There have been several articles published about Margarita Island, Venezuela
in the last few months. (Margarita Island is located in the Southern Caribbean,
just off the northern coast of Venezuela - it is the State of Nueva Esparta,
Venezuela). One such article suggested that you could retire to this island
on $800 a month. I think it’s time to set the record straight.According
to Immigration, in order to obtain a Retirement Visa, you must prove a
monthly income of $1,200 U.S., and an additional $500 per month for each
dependent. Could you actually live on $800 U.S. per month? It is possible
if you are willing to live a more “Latin-style” lifestyle. For example,
eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and using less canned and processed
food. If your house or apartment is paid for, you paid cash
for your car, if you want one, and are in reasonably good health, you can
enjoy a much better standard of living on $800 per month than is possible
in the U.S. or any other Caribbean island.
In Venezuela ~ Merida And Margarita Island
- Recently, a number of people I have met are interested in moving to Venezuela.
Some of them are concerned about current events in their home countries
while others want to try living in a new culture or are looking for a place
where they can live an early retirement. Getting To Know The Country
For those who are recently off the boat, so to speak, the best place to
start in Venezuela is Merida. Merida is a small city, relatively safe and
has a lot for the newcomer to see and do. It is also one of the least-expensive
parts of Venezuela. Merida has a lot of inexpensive posadas to pass the
night and healthy but inexpensive restaurants. If you go to Merida, expect
some great service. A few months ago while visiting Merida,
I went to the Whiskeria Bar on Urdaneta Avenue. As my group was leaving
the owner offered to drive us home in his Volkswagen and saved us the trouble
of finding a taxi! From Merida, other cities that I recommend to visit
are Maracay, Caracas, and the entire island of Margarita. Marcay is a hot
city in the northwestern part of the country, near Caracas.
Hato Nuevo By Margo Rose - Boatowners.
We’ve all been there, pleasantly forced South below the Hurricane belt.
Arrive in July and work hard through the next several months. Weeks grind
by peppered with dust, heat, paint thinners, varnish, rounding up the workers
(to borrow a phrase, herding the cats!), struggling with the Spanish, visiting
with friends, frequent shopping at what have become familiar places, enjoying
‘citified’ cuisine... Strange to be on land, this time in Venezuela-a
massively complex country with destinations as diverse as La Gran Sabana,
Los Llanos - full of unusual animals, birds and massive snakes;
Angel Falls and the grandeur of Canaima, spooky with lore and history;
refreshing Merida positioned in the Andes; the Rios Amazonas and
Orinoco, homes to some of the world’s most primitive peoples. These and
many more can be visited with the aid of a tour company or on one's own.
With time and proper planning, these destinations make the memories of
a lifetime. But, they all are positioned many kilometers away from
where your boat is in the dusty, mucky boatyard or our all too familiar
marina surrounded by murky waters.
Don’t We Have On Margarita Island? ~ More On Living In The Caribbean
“We got sunlight on the sand, we got moonlight on the sea, we got mangoes
and bananas you can pick right off the tree” and we got dames...everywhere
you look there are beautiful women! (to mangle a phrase from the musical
“South Pacific”) We also have some of the finest shopping in the Caribbean.
The largest mall in Latin America and ultra-modern supermarkets. What don’t
we have? We ain’t got dog food! Living on the island has very few ‘drawbacks’
but occasionally there are some strange shortages. It seems some months
ago a large batch of a famous brand of dog food that is manufactured here
in Venezuela was found to be contaminated. As a result, for several months
there was no dry dog food available in Venezuela. Tourist friends helped
by bringing small bags as needed, other times we made our own with rice,
meat, cereal, etc. and we’re just grateful we don’t have a couple of Rottweilers
or Great Danes to feed - just a small spaniel. (dog food back on the shelves
as of this writing.) Other things that are scarce or not available at all
(some are considered staples of life to a Texan) are Fritos, Wolf Brand
Chili, hams, canned spinach and dill pickles. Also see the article: Become
a Real Estate Mogul Owning a master franchise
Taxes - Offshore Tax Information - Foreign Earned Income Paying Taxes Overseas
- Or, Not Paying Taxes Overseas - Individuals
have been leaving their own land to seek opportunities elsewhere since
the dawn of mankind. But it has only been since the development of the
modern nation-state, and its taxation of the worldwide income of its citizen-residents,
that expatriation has taken on significant tax consequences. One of the
first tax advisors to appreciate the potential tax savings of expatriation
was my friend and colleague, Marshall Langer J.D., a valued member of The
Sovereign Society Council of Experts. Langer is an international tax attorney
and the respected author of several major international tax treatises.
He is also the daring creator of a now out-of-print book, The Tax Exile
Report. This title gained international notoriety when the late U.S. Senator
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), red-faced and angry, waived a copy of
the book at a televised Senate hearing, denouncing it as “a legal income
tax avoidance plan.” Also see: Running
Away to Home: Information on Expatriate Taxes and how to handle them -
Links to CPA's who deal with Expat Taxes
Pay U.S. Taxes Again - Legally - Expatriation:
It’s been called “the ultimate estate plan” and it’s a legal, step-by-step
process that can lead to the legal right for you to stop paying U.S. or
other national income taxes—forever. In sum, it requires professional consultations,
careful planning, movement of assets offshore and acquisition of a second
nationality. When all that’s done (and done exactly right), you must leave
behind your home country and become a “tax exile” with an established domicile
in a low or no-tax jurisdiction. And, for U.S. citizens, this unusual plan
requires, as a final step toward tax freedom, the formal relinquishment
of citizenship. A drastic plan? You bet. And in truth, there are many other
perfectly suitable offshore strategies that The Sovereign Society recommends
that can result in significant tax savings. These include international
life insurance policies (TSI 1/02)5 and offshore investments made
through retirement plans (TSI 7/03).6 But for U.S. citizens and long-term
residents who seek a permanent and completely legal way to stop paying
all U.S. taxes, expatriation is the only option.
Articles On Margarita Island & On Living & Investing In Venezuela
- and thousands of articles on living and investing overseas in countries
around the world; including numerous articles on international real estate
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special place in the world that sets your heart on fire... We're
willing to show you the routes
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“The United 'Bankrupt' States of America” By Harry S. Dent, Jr. -
Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the
World, has been commenting lately that the U.S. government should be hearing
alarm bells, given the rising debt and stimulus programs. In contrast,
mainstream economists like Paul Krugman have been saying that if the U.S.
doesn’t stimulate more quickly and aggressively, it will fall into another
depression or deeper downturn. - From
Escape From America Magazine
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