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BANGKOK 18 March 2019 21:26


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About gentlemanjackdarby

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  • Birthday 01/22/1962

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  1. I have no intention of denigrating your experiences (anecdotes) with TI, I'm glad that they have been positive and hope they continue to be so, and I value your decision to share them, but my 'due diligence' requires that I consider the experiences of other as well
  2. I'm not sure what you mean by 'Malaysian visa department' but I checked the 'Official Portal' of the Immigration Department of Malaysia (*.gov.my - which denotes an official government domain) and that site makes no mention of MM2H. That in and of itself isn't surprising since there is an an 'official portal' for the MM2H program (sort of like how the PI runs the SRRV program - not much about it on the PI BI website) I went over to the MM2H site and while there is a 2019 announcement about new requirements for an MM2H application, there is no mention of pension income no longer being acceptable for retirees; however there is language that states that an applicant that states he is employed is not permitted to use other sources of income, such rental agreements, investment benefits, etc. as an income source to qualify for an MM2H pass. There is no specific update that pension income is no longer acceptable for those applicants either. As well, an agent that I was considering using before I dropped Malaysia down the list as a possible retirement option runs a nice site that is usually updated before the MM2H site, as well makes no mention of pension income no longer being acceptable The rumor about the fixed deposit increasing has been floating around for awhile, but the only place I've seen that mentioned, with no implementation date, is on the websites of some MM2H agents and when I've looked more closely at their sites, other in-effect changes have not been updated, so I tend to discount those sites.
  3. It's foolish to speak of TI only in the context of the 'income method' because I doubt there are TI officers who deal only in that one aspect of the job. TV is full of threads in which people relate their less-than-ideal TI experiences and, while I'm sure a lot of folks are leaving out key facts in their posts, there are way too many of them to characterize TI as anything other than 'mercurial'; I prefer 'mercurial' since that term doesn't have the more 'unpleasant' connotation of some terms other folks use to describe TI. After all, all I care about is understanding a situation and improving my odds of a satisfactory outcome should I find myself in it, not the names used to describe it, i.e., 'a rose by any other name...' You and I have 'exchanged opinions' in the past, so I know you're not a newbie here and so don't think it's very likely that you're unaware of the threads of which I speak
  4. At the end of the day, no matter how many people post their experiences and how much some people want (hope) to boil life down to a computer program where everyone gets the same results no matter the variables, life for each individual IS nothing more than an anecdote, like it or not. And most people really only care about their life, their 'anecdote', if you will. Or to use a phrase I don't particularly care for, 'Your Mileage May Vary', although I prefer 'Your Results Will Likely Vary', which takes into account the vagaries of life. And the smart folks play the odds - if most folks go to Las Vegas and lose, it's pretty likely, although not guaranteed, that I'd get the same result, so I'll make the smart move and save my money I have no doubt that you could line up folks unhappy to be in or returning to the PI, just as I could line up an equal number of folks happy with their lot in the PI - such is the nature of life
  5. I think there might be some confusion on that For those over 50, Malaysia has always required the equivalent of MYR 350,000 (about USD 85,722 or about THB 2,700,00) to be in one's home country bank account when applying for the MM2H. For those over 50, Malaysia has recently required the equivalent of only MYR 150,000 (about USD 36,738 or about THB 1,200,00) to be in a fixed deposit in a Malaysian bank. Not much more than Thailand's option of THB 800,000 (about USD 25,000) and, if one is comfortable keeping that sum outside the comfort and convenience of the U.S., likely not a deal-breaker For those under 50, the amounts are higher, but for as long as I've been considering Malaysia for retirement, those amounts haven't changed The only recent change that would matter to most folks is that for retired folks, the MM2H program was recently changed to require the fixed deposit in addition to meeting the monthly income requirement (MYR 10,000 per month, which is about USD 2,500 or about THB 77,600) where in the past one could qualify with money in the bank at home and monthly income only Health insurance has always been a requirement of the MM2H program - no change there and no problem there since well-regarded insurance companies such as Pacific Cross offer great coverage which, by American standards, is inexpensive
  6. In my view, that's a generalization and while I don't disagree with it, at the end of the day it comes down to what makes an individual happy There seems to be an awful lot of happy folks who are calling the PI home and even more who seem to be happy with their visits One striking difference, which I guess would function as something of a proxy for the PI vs Thailand, is that there don't seem to be nearly as many bitter and unhappy folks populating the PI boards as there are on this one And I guess, if one is in the unfortunate position of being unable to meet the visa requirements of Thailand (or if they can and don't want to put up with mercurial attitude of Thailand Immigration) and can't (or don't want) to go 'back home', I would think those folks would be thankful to have the PI as an option, especially since the tourist visa and retirement visa options are so generous and it seems that most folks are glad to see tourists and expats.
  7. I wasn't speaking solely of expats or those on retirement extensions And it would seem to me that for countries with fewer visitors, both expats and tourists, it would be much more likely for their IOs to hassle them, if that was their intention, since there are fewer of them or, to put it another way, less visitors = more (unwanted) attention. I was speaking of visas in general since TV seems to be flooded with posts and replies of folks, a lot of whom are indeed 'tourists' trying to stay long-term but also quite a few who seem to be genuine tourists returning frequently who are having problems, indicating that TI is seemingly having problems with the 'simple rules' 'JackThompson' has done an admirable job of laying out the 'whys and wherefores', bless him, so I don't need to get into that As for the Malaysia (retirement) visa being 'too expensive', that's a matter of perspective (or should I say financial wherewithal) - not too expensive FOR ME; Malaysia seems to spell out very well what is required for a retirement visa and folks who have commented on their experience getting one haven't 'complained' about anything other than it taking longer than they thought it should Vietnam seems to have quite a few 'retirees', albeit they seem to be staying on multi-entry tourists visas and, at present, VI seems to not care - at the end of the day, they're staying; as well, there don't seem to be many reports about folks having trouble entering the country I also think there's a lot of folks living in Cambodia who'd disagree that there are no expats in Cambodia and even with Cambodia's recent 'tightening' of visa requirements, no one is complaining much and those who wish to stay long-term seem to be able to do so with no problem. And yes, I would like you to explain about the PI, since it's screaming by omission; they've actually made their SRRV less expensive and easier to get in the last few years. As well, the PI is the first choice for less well-heeled folks who want to stay long-term on a TV - three years before a visa run seems damn generous to me and while their have been a VERY few reports of folks being questioned when coming back from a visa run, it's quite likely the whole story wasn't reported in those case.
  8. You are absolutely 100% correct that 'The rules are very simple now' The problem, as with most 'simple rules', is in the implementation and for those of us who've been paying attention to the recent changes, TI seems to be having one helluva time understanding and implementing the so-called 'simple rules' There have been multiple threads on this forum in which TI seems to have a lot of difficulty even with Thai bank statements You are also absolutely 100% correct, and I couldn't agree more, that 'It is not TI (sic) job to make it easy for foreigners to stay in Thailand. Their job is to enforce immigration laws that were passed by the government' Since you seem to worship at the alter of 'simple', that again seems to present an insurmountable barrier to TI; again, for those of us paying attention, there have been a lot of threads in which TI did (is doing) whatever they please, the immigration law be damned and making a simple thing very, very difficult It speaks volumes that one never seems to read about the same type and sheer number of problems with other SE Asian countries' immigration and visas, where documents must be in the language of the respective countries officialdom, as one does with Thailand. Something to think about
  9. I'm an American and have no experience whatsoever with UK taxes, but in the U.S., one can file a tax return even if one has neither taxable income nor a tax liability. In fact, I advise folks to file a return even if they are not required to do so because unless a return is filed, the statute of limitations does not begin to run, i.e., years for which a return isn't filed are never 'closed' and therefore open to audit by the IRS or state department of taxation after the normal three years. In the U.S., it costs nothing to file a return If Thai Immigration began accepting income tax returns as proof of foreign income, would it be that much of a burden for a U.K. citizen, who is otherwise not required to file a return, to do so?
  10. Not picking on you, but I've read the comment about IOs dealing with bank statements, income tax returns, etc. in multiple foreign languages and today I feel like replying since no one else has seen fit to do so: Immigration could simply require that documents in another language be translated into the Thai language and certified by a competent translator For example, when applying for a Philippines SRRV, the PRA (Philippines Retirement Authority) requires that any documents not in English be translated into English and, in the case of the PI, certified by their embassy (for those applying outside the PI) - It isn't a difficult or novel idea It's a win-win for everyone - folks needing something from Immigration have much less hassle and the powers-that-be could appoint certain translators and translation companies as 'preferred' or 'certified' translators. The translators would then pay a 'preference' or 'certification' fee' to maintain their status and everybody's happy
  11. Although you didn't ask and you can take it for what it's worth or leave it, me being me and not liking unknowns, I'd give some thoughts to a couple of things: I'd be concerned about the brokerages simply saying for your wife to 'give them a call when it happens and we'll work through it' simply because of the mechanics. The reason I say that is if your brokerage accounts holds positions, for example, in equities and if your wife not a U.S. resident (without regard to being a U.S. citizen or not), would they close your positions as soon as your wife asks to transfer the account? THAT could be a financial disaster if the markets are down. Or in other words, would the brokerage allow your wife to maintain your account and positions (or create an account for her with your positions) if she so desired if she's not a resident? It would also be helpful if there was someone Stateside, such as an attorney or experienced relative who could handle the inevitable running around that happens when one passes on. In my experience, banks and other financial institutions are helpful in that situation, but things seem to work much more easily when doing things in person.
  12. I've considered that and I'm leaning toward having my son make the monthly transfer from time-to-time since, if it came down to it, he could show his face at the bank to prove he's living in the U.S. I lean toward designating the transfer as 'monthly expenses' - for all the bank knows, I'm just a kid traveling around and my son is the dad paying for it. Nice change! Great idea though about using an 'unimportant' account to make the transfers
  13. I've been involved in several 'TODs' when elderly relatives have passed on and the process in all of them was fast and problem-free, since we had the required documents, which were just an original death certificate and the beneficiaries ID. No asking for additional forms, such as a copy of a house deed or pictures of us standing in front of it, no trips to an embassy, etc. Your results may vary, but they likely won't - U.S. financial institutions have that down The banks didn't even make a sales pitch to get us to keep the money with them An FYI for those that may not be aware: It's up to the account owner to designate a beneficiary while still living and that just involves completing a form at the bank, brokerage, etc. Banks SHOULD ask their customers to make a designation when the account is set up or periodically down the road if one isn't designated at set up, but typically don't My pension provider and deferred-compensation administrator do that routinely for those folks who have not made a designation.
  14. You've laid it out nicely and I agree 100% I took a look at the record layout, which is public, provided by the folks that run the ACH and the additional fields to be completed for an IAT ACH as well as a couple of fields that would require different values to designate an IAT ACH don't seem to me to be a big deal. As far as the banks making it available to consumers, it seems to me that whether one wishes to make an IAT ACH either as payment for goods or services, as one would do now for, as an example, paying one's electric bill or making a transfer to one's overseas bank account, as one would do now when making a transfer to the bank across town, would only require minimal 'tweaking' to the existing customer-facing interface on the website and likely adding those fields to the data table used by the interface and mapping those fields to the ACH record. Doesn't seem like a big deal to me. One wrinkle that would need to be addressed would be handling any currency conversion, although that's likely already been addressed by the payment gateways - hell, I'd be happy if it was USD -> USD or reject the transfer, since that's easily handled by simply getting an overseas USD account. Of course, there will be those people who would insist on a currency conversion, but the banks could, just as they do now, recover some of their costs from those folks. Of course, there will be some entities who'd scream that allowing consumers to make almost-free payments and transfers outside of the U.S. would 'fund terrorists' or 'fund social systems not in keeping with U.S. values' or some other BS, but those folks can already be funded by wire transfers or, simplest of all, PayPal. After all, one can pretty much send money to anyone (angel or demon) with an e-mail address using PayPal right now.
  15. In the case of Citi Thailand, the minimum TO OPEN an account is THB 1,000,000 (about USD 31,500); it seems there MIGHT be some wiggle room on the balance once the account is opened, i.e., let the balance drop and pay a monthly fee. In the case of Citi Philippines, the minimum TO OPEN an account is PHP 1,000,000 (about USD 19,000) In the U.S. as far as I can see (and I have a Citi account), Global Transfers is available to anyone with an account for free - there are no disclosures on the Citi website as there are on the HSBC site detailing a minimum balance (for free) or fees (for those below the minimum balance. Citibank allows the Global Transfer to be made is USD, assuming one has a USD account at the receiving Citibank, so currency conversion losses aren't really a problem The minimum balance at Citi Thailand is really not that much above the fixed deposit requirement for a retirement extension of THB 800,000 (about USD 25,000) and Thailand is 'nice' in that they allow the fixed deposit to be at any bank in Thailand, unlike, for example, the PI, which restricts the fixed deposit for their SRRV to certain banks, of which Citi is not one. The biggest problem, FOR ME, with having a largish fixed deposit in a bank in Thailand is that in Thailand, unlike the U.S., one can't designate an account beneficiary so that when one dies, the account balance is transferred to the beneficiary with just a death certificate, eliminating the need for courts and lawyers.
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