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Casey Bahr

Columnists > Casey Bahr

Casey Bahr

You Are Not Alone When Coping With The Stresses Of Expat Life

Posted by: Carole on Thursday September 19, 2013 (19:27:01)   (3689 Reads)

Casey Bahr

Positive Change Is Why We Choose to Be Expats

One of the great things about being an expat is that nothing is the same as it is “at home”. Expats have intentionally chosen this life for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that it wakes up all your senses and very little, at least at first, is on automatic pilot.

However, We Are Not Immune to Life’s Stresses

The flip side of that, of course, is that there are times when you want things to be like “they were at home.” Expats go through stressful life events just as you would if you were “safely” back home – financial challenges, sickness, the death of loved ones. Being “away” does not inoculate us from the curves life throws at us.    more ...


Columnists > Casey Bahr

Casey Bahr

Tips On Buying Property In Costa Rica

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday August 27, 2013 (14:03:36)   (107732 Reads)

Casey Bahr

Do As I Say, Not As I Did

Against all the conventional wisdom repeated ad nauseum to potential expat real estate buyers, we bought our property on our first trip to Costa Rica. It’s a lengthy story as to how that happened, but not for telling today.

Knowing what we know now after having lived here for five years, I strongly advise others not to do what we did. In our case, it worked out incredibly well, better than anyone had a right to expect. In hindsight, we realize we luckily avoided many potential pitfalls that others found themselves in.

Compared to what Norteamericanos are used to regarding buying residential real estate back home, the “system” in Costa Rica feels like the Wild, Wild West.    more ...


Columnists > Casey Bahr

Casey Bahr

Finding Professional Help In Your New Country

Posted by: Carole on Thursday July 11, 2013 (19:16:50)   (3117 Reads)

Casey Bahr

I have always been one to try doing things on my own, without professional help. It is a trait inherited from my father, for better or worse. The tendency is borne of frugality and the willingness to do the research and take on the challenge of learning bureaucratic processes. For instance, I have always filled out my own tax returns without the help of a consultant even before there was software to ease that task. More and more, however, I am more inclined to seek help from the pros with regard to legal and financial undertakings.

Though I am certain that the entire enterprise of relocating to another country could be accomplished on one’s own, I could not recommend it. It is such a complicated endeavor that along the way you have to place trust in a number of professionals in order to avoid hassles down the road. If the country to which you move has a different culture, language and legal system, then hiring help is essential.    more ...


Columnists > Casey Bahr

Casey Bahr

How Will You Spend Your Retirement as an Expat?

Posted by: Carole on Sunday June 02, 2013 (14:32:10)   (5620 Reads)

Casey Bahr

The Loaded Question

Once friends and neighbors got over their shock that we were pulling up the tent stakes and moving 5,000 miles to the south, their next question was often along the lines of “So, what are you going to do down there?” They seemed sincerely mystified that someone could actually step out of the rat race and out of the country. The implication was that we were putting ourselves out to pasture, and worse still, going to live in utter poverty in the so-called Third World. Had not we read the regular mainstream financial press bulletins, which informed all of us that we need at least a couple million in the bank before we could retire to the good life? If that meant working until your 70s, so be it, goes the conventional wisdom.    more ...


Columnists > Casey Bahr

Casey Bahr

Retirement In Paradise May Be More Taxing Than You Think In Costa Rica

Posted by: Carole on Wednesday May 01, 2013 (06:40:48)   (4589 Reads)

Casey Bahr

“Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed”
Daniel Defoe, The Political History of the Devil, 1726


As certain as death, taxes cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, unlike death, they come around more often than once in a lifetime. When people considering expat retirement sit down with their calculators or spreadsheets to measure the feasibility of their plan, one of the big blanks they draw regards their tax situation as residents of their newly adopted country. Nothing takes the shine off paradise quite like finding out that your escape comes with unexpected, hefty fees to a foreign government.

As complex as the U.S. income tax is, it is very possible that the tax structures in your new domicile will make U.S. taxes seem a cakewalk by comparison.    more ...