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BANGKOK 16 February 2019 20:05


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About gentlemanjackdarby

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  • Birthday 01/22/1962

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  1. You're likely right, the Thais in tourist areas probably won't notice the departure of a few expats But what about the Thais who depended on those who depart in areas that aren't tourist areas? They will most certainly miss those who go. While I'm a firm believer in playing by the rules and having the appropriate visa or extension, it seems to me very short-sighted of the Thais to forego any foreign currency brought in to the country, especially if the folks bringing it in aren't costing 'the country' anything and those expats are living outside of tourist areas; at the end of the day, income is income, even if it's small and, from my point-of-view, any income brought into a non-tourist area would be more valuable precisely because it's a non-tourist area. A rising tide lifts all boats, to steal a phrase. While Thailand is certainly booming and there are likely a lot of Thais believing the great press about how good it is, at the end of the day Thailand really doesn't amount to a hill of beans, economically speaking, in the grand scheme of things, so it seems counter-productive to forego opportunities to maximize hard currency income. It seems to me that it's better all around for the tourists to spend their money in the tourist areas doing tourist things and the expats to spend their money in expat areas doing expat things. No one questions that tourism is booming, but Thailand can't (and doesn't) survive on tourism alone and one day the tourism bubble will burst. After all, all of the recent changes that are giving so many expats grief is nothing more than Thailand enforcing (and rightly so), for the most part, rules that have been on the books; the thing that the 'bosses' driving the changes are likely missing is that these changes, plus other 'uncomplimentary' things hitting the newspapers world-wide are tarnishing the appeal of Thailand to tourists and expats alike. Of course, as JackThompson pointed out, some Filipinos somewhere are likely very happy and even more thankful for their manna from heaven.
  2. I wouldn't go so far that it's a joke, but I will agree that it's money gone after 6 years And it's my view that anyone having the financial ability to pay for an Elite Visa likely doesn't need a financial remediation class - they should probably be teaching it TAT has positioned the Elite Visa as a premium product for people that can afford it, want a reasonable guarantee that they will have trouble-free access to Thailand for a set period of time, and won't have to worry about changes in other visa types. Judging by the abundance of name-brand premium goods in Thailand malls and high- and higher-end cars on their streets, I'd say that Thais understand premium goods pretty well - they're not meant for everyone. From my perspective, the Thailand Elite Visa's existence and market positioning is similar to that of an Apple iPhone - a premium product offering the most trouble-free experience one can have with a cellphone with great customer support, but the 'goodies' come at a premium price. While I prefer to spend my smartphone budget on a less expensive phone that works for me, I would never denigrate anyone else's preference for an iPhone (or a Thailand Elite Visa).
  3. C'mon...using words and phrases like 'serious alternative to the 800k' and '500k to waste' isn't knocking? I'm a 'live-and-let-live' and a 'your money, your way, no one else gets a say' kind of guy and I have no skin in the game (yet), but I find it so difficult and so aggravating when folks look at a given situation solely from a dollars and sense point of view. What the Thailand Elite visa offers is guaranteed access (as much as anything other than death and taxes can be guaranteed in this world) to Thailand for five years (six if one times it right) without being subject to a change in financial criteria (65K , 800K, etc.) or administrative whim (one monthly transfer isn't coded correctly so no extension for you or because of the exchange rate on such-and-such day, your foreign currency deposit was 796,135, so no extension for you, or 'you spend too much time in Thailand', so you can't support yourself while here, go away, etc.) or the inconvenience of having to deal with Thai Immigration. Some folks who aren't counting every dollar are happy to pay for an intangible asset (insurance) to ensure that they get what they want (unfettered access to Thailand when desired) with no hassles or uncertainty - God Bless 'Em, I say. I'll bet there will be more unfavorable changes to retirement and marriage extensions within the next 5 or 6 years and likely there will be a lot of folks on here moaning about how they can't get in to Thailand or now have to leave, just as there will be some folks with the Elite Visa who won't care 'cause they're here enjoying themselves.
  4. You're right, when talking about governments, especially state governments and income taxes, things aren't always consistent and clear-cut. You mention Michigan, Tennessee, and earned income - in my opinion, Michigan treated you fairly by taxing only income earned in Michigan - to use you're example with a slight change: Substitute Ohio (right across the lake) for Michigan and the situation is much different - Ohio taxes it's residents on all income, no matter where earned, although they do give a credit against tax paid to another state. Owning real property in a state does automatically generate an income tax liability; in some of the more 'difficult' states, in my view, it gives the 'difficult' state a bit of leverage in keeping it's claws into one's wallet and to some extent, I can see their point. Realistically speaking, if one were a bona-fide resident of another state, why would one keep a house in one's previous state? If one keeps it as a vacation home for use in the summer (I'm not one who'd think about vacationing in Michigan in the winter), does it sit empty the rest of the year or is the previous resident renting it out, which likely gives rise to taxable income? Most states with which I'm familiar anticipate that a person can be a part-year resident and even go so far as to have incorporated that in their personal income tax forms - For example, many folks have made Florida their primary residence (driver's license, bought a home, registered to vote, etc.) but still have property and or business interests in New York, so New York tries to tax as much of their income as they can (reasonably?) attribute to New York, even though the folks may not have stepped foot in New York during the tax year.
  5. You did all the right things and laid it out very well. I would add a couple of things that can be done to make one's case even more airtight: It's always a good idea, when one moves to a new state, to have a will, living will, and a durable power-of-attorney for healthcare and for financial affairs drawn up by an attorney in the new state - the new wills and power-of-attorneys make any of those from the old state(s) null-and-void and they bolster one's case that the new state is the state of one's residence and possibly (usually) legal domicile Some states have a declaration form, usually filed with the state department of taxation, in which a taxpayer who has moved out of state essentially states that he is no longer a resident of the old state and no longer has a tax liability - it serves to put the old state 'on notice'. And one other thing that a lot of folks overlook - 'legal domicile' and 'residence' are two very different things and folks get tripped up on that. It's possible to have more than one residence, but one can have only one legal domicile As far as individual state income taxes go, residence is the factor that makes the most difference most of the time and it's quite possible and somewhat common for some folks to owe income tax in more than one state because, from tax perspective, they maintain residences in each. For those with an interest, I recommend reading 'The Money: The Battle for Howard Hughes Billions' by James R Phelen ISBN: 0-394-55637-2 (Not currently on Kindle) - it illustrates, just with bigger numbers than any of us mere mortals will ever see, just what happens when people don't understand the differences between legal domicile and residence and more importantly, don't keep them straight. And yeah, Florida is great for drivers licenses - they're good for eight years and can be renewed once online, so after getting one the first time, one doesn't have to go back to the DMV for 16 years.
  6. Some states with an individual income tax go to much greater lengths to hold on to their taxpayers than do others - California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are the worst that spring to mind. Paying income in another, or multiple, states by itself alone is not enough evidence to prove that one is a resident of that state - it's quite common for folks who 'move' to another state to still have ties to their old, tax-hungry state - things like owning real property, having an interest in a business, spending more time in that state beyond what a normal tourist or one who has relatives, etc. The best way to ensure that one becomes a bona-fide resident of a new, tax-friendly state and that it is not questioned by the old, tax-hungry state is to DO things, as you've pointed out - 'skatewash' laid it out very well in the post below yours (Post 89), but I'll add a couple of things that he didn't mention in my reply to his post. And one other thing that a lot of folks overlook - 'legal domicile' and 'residence' are two very different things and folks get tripped up on that. It's possible to have more than one residence, but one can have only one legal domicile As far as individual state income taxes go, residence is the factor that makes the most difference most of the time and it's quite possible and somewhat common for some folks to owe income tax in more than one state because they maintain residences in each.
  7. Yes, if one chooses Original Medicare and chooses not to enroll in Part B and Part D when eligible, there is a penalty for each part that is calculated based upon the period from initial eligibility until one enrolls. That penalty for each part is added to the premium for that part and it remains for as long as one is enrolled in Medicare. For more detailed information, I'd suggest visiting the Medicare website (it's very user-friendly) because there are a lot of details and situations that can't really be covered adequately in a forum post. If instead of Original Medicare, one chooses Medicare Part C (Advantage Plan), which are plans administered by private health providers and which must, by law, provide the same level of coverage as Part A and Part B (and some plans provide Part D or one can choose a Part D plan from another provider) depending upon the state in which one lives, it's possible to get an Advantage Plan with no (or very low) monthly premium and a cap on the enrollee's share of expenses once deductibles and co-pays are met. Roughly speaking, Advantage Plans are generally similar to the health plans most folks had when employed in the sense that they are much like PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) or HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans that most employers provide to their employees. In exchange for low or no monthly premium, the member agrees to share a portion of medical costs and to a (relatively) limited choice in providers, usually in a somewhat limited geographic area, which is well suited for folks like employees or retirees who usually don't move around much. Original Medicare allows an enrollee to go to any health care provider offering services to Medicare enrollees anywhere - great for those travel or those who split the year in several areas. One thing to keep in mind about Original Medicare is that there are no caps on the enrollee's share of medical expenses - Medicare does not pay the entire costs of medical services. That's why most folks who choose Original Medicare also choose a MediGap plan (not to be confused with Medicare Advantage) which, for a monthly premium, picks up the enrollee's share of medical costs.
  8. No, Medicare is a separate program from Social Security Retirement, so you'll need to enroll in Medicare either during your initial eligibility period (if you're waiting until age 67 to begin taking Social Security retirement benefits), which is for most people 6 months before they turn 65 and up to 6 months after. With Medicare, there are penalties for not signing up during either one's initial eligibility window (Age 65) or when eligibility starts because of things like still working and covered by an employer plan or waiting to collect SS retirement benefits There are 'wrinkles' in the enrollment period for folks whose birthdays are near the end of the year. As well, there are other options if one is still working and covered by an employer health plan. Social Security Retirement Benefits (pension) eligibility begins at age 62 and, generally speaking, has benefits for NOT starting to receive payments when immediately eligible, i.e, the longer one waits to get benefit payments, the higher the benefit payments will be. But total LIFETIME benefits may be less the longer one waits, simply because none of us live forever and we, most of the time, don't know when we're going to go.
  9. Likely the reason it shows up in a Kasikorn account as domestic transfer is because Bangkok Bank is the correspondent bank for BofA with no other intermediaries. That is very helpful information because it tells others reading this thread that if one is using BofA, use a BB account. As well, since there's likely no other bank between BofA and BB, it will be much easier to calculate the amount to transfer for those on the edge of THB 65K since, after taking the USD 35 fee into account, one's transfer should equal or exceed THB 65K, depending on the exchange rate Thanks for posting that info
  10. I'm not questioning your experience, but I checked the Citibank Thailand website to make sure I understand. Parts of it are not working on my device and I'm getting a javascript error, but on the website, it says that Global Transfers are free; it's the destination countries and their limits I can't see, but I know that one can send to the U.S. It may well be that the limit that Citibank USA allows from Thailand is USD 20,000 - Citibank does make it clear that Global Transfer limits may differ between sending and receiving countries, e.g, Citibank Thailand says that it's sending limit from Thailand is USD 45,000 but that may be limited by the receiving country. USD 20,000 sounds just like a limit the U.S. might place on that type of transfer. Of course, it may just be that the Cititbank Thailand website needs to be updated. I'm mostly concerned with transferring money to Thailand, but I have to say, the ability to transfer back to the U.S. up to USD 20,000 for THB 150 (about USD 5) looks awful good when considering wire transfer fees here in the U.S.
  11. Google is constantly working to make GV 'play nice' with other phone systems. When I set up my BofA account 5 or 6 years ago, I just couldn't get the SMS TFA with GV; as far as I could track it down, it was because Google didn't have an e-mail-to-SMS gateway. When I tried to get a TFA SMS from BofA about 6 months ago, it worked fine. I'll have to look into the forthcoming Zelle changes; I use Zelle with one of my banks using a number from my preferred VOIP service, but it was verified last year and seems to be working fine as of now. Thanks for mentioning the Zelle changes
  12. Yes, T-Mobile is the least expensive way to have a (prepaid) cell number in the U.S. I've been with them for years since they are the only truly world-wide cell provider in the U.S - from what I've seen, T-Mo offers service in even the most God-forsaken countries. If one has post-paid service with them in the U.S., they also offer texting and unlimited data (at 2G, good until one gets a local SIM) outside the U.S. at no cost; however, it's not meant for extended use. For purposes of SMS TFA, SMS service is usually all that is required, although if setting up a Google Voice account, one can opt for a voice call for verification if one chooses
  13. I've been working on the problems you mention for quite awhile; some have been more trouble than others When I mentioned using a family member or trusted friend's address for the physical address, I meant only for the physical address section on tax returns, brokerage account applications, etc. and using the forwarding service address for the mailing address section. I've moved almost all of my old 'paper by mail life' to online at this point, so I really don't get much important paper mail anymore and what I do get, I'm sure if I used a mail forwarding service, most of that would go there rather than come by mail to my house. At one point, I was considering changing my legal domicile and state of residence to Tennesee since there's no income tax and my brother lives there In order to get a driver's license there, it was necessary to prove residence and one of the easiest thing that proves residence is an apartment lease. Well, I didn't want to rent an apartment, so it turns out that I could use a statement from my brother attesting that I lived with him. A bit out of the box, but that's how it's necessary to think nowadays. As for two-factor authentication (TFA) SMS by phone, that is easily solved by using Google Voice as a first choice or one of the VOIP providers (I use CallCentric as a backup to Google Voice); just don't rely on Skype because Skype can't receive SMS messages unless it's a reply to one sent from Skype - that leaves out TFA SMS. With the heavy-hitter banks and brokerages one SHOULD be using, they know very well the limits of SMS and e-mail TFA and have much more secure methods which are great for folks living outside the U.S. Charles Schwab and BofA give their customers a fob and a card respectively that generates the TFA code on the device; Fidelity uses Symantec VIP Access, an app that runs on a smartphone that generates the codes. Not much need for a U.S. cell number if using these institutions. Most other companies that still use SMS will work just fine with a Google Voice number - the only one that gave me fits was BofA and it took me months to figure out why it wouldn't work. The only reason I put forth the effort was to have a backup method in case I lost the SafePass card. Companies like Paypal and Fakebook work fine with GV and I can't think of one off-hand that doesn't work with GV. If one absolutely wants a U.S. cell number for dealing with TFA SMS and verification calls, it's not that expensive but a bit more trouble to do that.
  14. I probably could have worded my reply a bit more clearly; I was in the U.S., not overseas, when I opened my accounts, Charles Schwab and Fidelity about 3 - 4 years ago, and the TD Ameritrade was an old Scottrade account that I opened years ago. When I said I thought it wouldn't be a problem opening one from overseas, I meant that most brokerages and banks are set up to do everything online except for signature cards (wouldn't surprise me if they've implemented some sort of scan/picture procedure by now) and receiving the debit card. When I set up my brokerage accounts, I did it online and the procedure went so quickly and easily, I don't remember much about it, other than it was no problem. I've also set up bank accounts at Bank of America and Citibank online (those banks have no branches in my neck of the woods) and those as well were no muss, no fuss - sign and mail the signature cards and wait for the debit card. One thing to keep in mind about mail forwarding services is that nowadays, banks, brokerages, and anyone who cares can find out quickly and easily that it's a mail forwarding service even though they give one a physical address for receiving mail and packages I think the best thing to do to ensure that one's access to U.S. accounts isn't interrupted is to use a family member or trusted friend's address for the physical address and the mail forwarding service address for the mailing address - should keep everyone happy: banks have a physical address and one gets one's mail scanned or delivered if necessary. If I had to choose one bank for living overseas, it would be Citibank simply because of their free Global Transfer Service. It can be used in Thailand, but Citibank Thailand has a THB 1,000,000 (about USD 31,000) minimum for opening an account. I've also been looking at State Department FCU and also haven't followed through; Andrews FCU is also worth looking at. The great thing about those two is that because of their clientele, they're very flexible when working with folks that travel or live outside the U.S. Alliant FCU is also worth looking at; they reimburse up to USD 20 per month of ATM fees but they don't reimburse the VISA network ISA fee (can't really blame them for that). I have an account there which was also opened online and I've had to talk to them a couple of times and they've been very pleasant.
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