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Expats in Thailand considering moving to Latin America prompted by Thai visa changes


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10 hours ago, Jingthing said:

You beat me to it posting about that.

Yes, that's very concerning news about FARC. It's not particularly surprising though. I suppose developments like this will dissuade some people from considering Colombia as an expat destination and maybe it should. But I seriously doubt very many settled expats already there in places like Medellin are packing their bags. Yet.

 

Another way to look at this from a Thailand perspective. There has been a violent conflict within Thailand for many decades. It's mostly been focused in certain parts of South Thailand. I don't think very many  potential expats didn't move here or left because of that conflict.

 

Not saying they are the same thing, but just added for some perspective. 

Good perspective.  As with Thailand,  a lot  geopolitically be seen.  The next six months I think we be defining.....

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Of all the choices in Latin America that could possibly work for me, visa-wise and affordability-wise, it's not exactly wonderful that my top two both have such serious real and potential problems. Mexico with it's still very bad narco violence / crime situation, instability of a major political change, and potential increased anti-Americanism especially if the current U.S. president is reelected. Colombia being the top destination by far for Venezuelan refugees, base line of crime that will be acceptable to some and too scary for others, and now possibly FARC heating up which may actually be very closely linked to the situation in Venezuela. There is increased hostility towards Venezuelan refugees in Colombia and although I haven't heard this happening yet, it's not inconceivable that might spread to feelings about foreigners in general. Both places have serious corruption problems. 

 

At this level of visa and affordability, Ecuador may be a better option, but as I've detailed the visa situation is a PITA and even more so with the having lived in Thailand complication. So because of that it's mostly off my list, but I would suggest people without the Thailand complication consider it more seriously. 

 

So Colombia still feels like the "it" Plan B place for me. However, I'm starting to see Panama as a Plan C. 

Edited by Jingthing
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Oh, on the bank lockup method for visas, most countries don't offer that but Ecuador does. 

In fact long ago before I moved to Thailand I had considered Ecuador because lacking a pension it was one of the rare nations (like Thailand) that offered a bank based visa method.

Well some good and bad news on that.

Ecuador still offers that but my understanding is that the level had been raised from about 25K USD to 40K USD. I forget if it pays interest or not but I do know the money is frozen. You can't spend it down annually as you can in Thailand (but now Thailand is essentially locking up 400K baht for bank based retirement starting this year). If you want to touch that locked up Ecuador money, you can, but it also means the legal status you got from it will be over.

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21 hours ago, Jingthing said:

Oh, on the bank lockup method for visas, most countries don't offer that but Ecuador does. 

In fact long ago before I moved to Thailand I had considered Ecuador because lacking a pension it was one of the rare nations (like Thailand) that offered a bank based visa method.

Well some good and bad news on that.

Ecuador still offers that but my understanding is that the level had been raised from about 25K USD to 40K USD. I forget if it pays interest or not but I do know the money is frozen. You can't spend it down annually as you can in Thailand (but now Thailand is essentially locking up 400K baht for bank based retirement starting this year). If you want to touch that locked up Ecuador money, you can, but it also means the legal status you got from it will be over.

Hi

 

Yes the deposit receives interest. I do not know the rate you would get but the Ecuador average interest rate for savers appears to be 3.6%. Benchmark interest rate is currently higher. 

I believe you can also buy shares in an Ecuador company as a means to a visa and receive some dividend income.

Probably too high risk for most.

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3 hours ago, seasia said:

Hi

 

Yes the deposit receives interest. I do not know the rate you would get but the Ecuador average interest rate for savers appears to be 3.6%. Benchmark interest rate is currently higher. 

I believe you can also buy shares in an Ecuador company as a means to a visa and receive some dividend income.

Probably too high risk for most.

Hmm. That's actually not so bad. Getting interest in a U.S. dollar account in a dollarized country so no currency risk for Americans anyway. But there might be bank failure risk in a country like Ecuador. Anyway, for those with pensions, the requirement is very low, much lower than Thailand. 

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On 8/29/2019 at 7:47 AM, Jingthing said:

WHO global country rankings.

No Latin American countries in the top 20, but Colombia rating the highest in Latin America by a lot at 22. Higher than so called "first world" Chile. But given that Venezuela is rated at a relatively high 54 I suspect this survey is either very flawed, very dated, or both. It's well known how bad the health care situation is in Venezuela now. 

 

Some other Latin American nations --

Costa Rica 36

Mexico 61

Uruguay 65

Argentina 75

Ecuador 111

Brazil 125

Peru 129

 

http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-health-care-information/world-health-organizations-ranking-of-the-worlds-health-systems/

 

A comparison of Ecuador and Colombia is interesting. Both are neighbors and both are of significant expat interest. Both have some kind of "universal" health care systems that include buy ins for resident expats. But Colombia is rather much higher. Why? Well a theory I've heard is that Ecuador's national system is completely government run while Colombia's (called EPS) is structured to have private company competition even in the base nationalized part of the system. Buying private on top is an option if you can afford it and are young and healthy enough. 

 

Columbia? FARC have just taken up arms again.

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the video about Medellin is so noisy, worst than Thailand noise!

It is.

Sorry.

Its by a very amateur vlogger interviewing a charming experienced vlogger.

Its in an American expat oriented restaurant etc. in Laureles Medellin that sometimes has events and live music.

I've heard Medellin vloggers comment before that it's difficult to find quiet locations there to do videos.

I posted the video for the comments about the reasons to like Medellin and also the contrast to Florida which is a very popular US state for retirement.

The advantage of Medellin can generally be applied to the coffee region cities but at an even lower cost of living.

 

https://m.facebook.com/SweetGeorgiaCafe/

 

Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

On the FARC news. This video reinforces my opinion that there is nothing yet about this to shake out settled expats there. 

 

 

Jingthing, 

 

I agree with "your assessment", not this guy giving his opinion.  I think maybe a good perspective is this. Last March when I was in CDXM, there was the normal,  regular alerts from the US State Department.  One was very specific, advising not to travel on a specific highway,  because of assault,  kidnapping and other threats that were taking place. 

 

Colombia,  I would venture,  may be similar.  What level of agression FARC actually brings to bare, and where, nobody knows right now.  Anyone who pretends to say it is all going to be peaceful,  is frankly,  full of it.  Nobody knows. 

 

Will it effect expats in Colombia? Maybe,  maybe not.  But when we look at Thailand and what has transpired over the last 10 months, who could have predicted that?

 

I simply think that the impact on the expatriate community will be of a similar paradigm.  Some farrang in Thailand had to leave because of financial difficulties.  The Aussies are really taking a beating now, and the Brits may not be far behind. 

 

And then we have thousands who the changes are of not importance.  Those with sufficient resources can just buy their life in Thailand,  unless something really changes as regards the way the expatriate community is governed by the Thai government.   

 

An American friend of mine put it bluntly to me a few weeks ago.  A direct quote from him is, "he does not care about other expats ". And in his mind, he just pays off the necessary people in power to fix it for him and his non Thai wife.

 

This is the ultimate dilemma, whether Thailand or Colombia.  If your insulated from whatever the conflict,  laws and conditions are, it's not a problem. 

 

The FARC may become a problem.  They may not. Paying attention to the news on the ground oneself is essential,  especially in today's society's.  

 

I'd probably take this guys report to heart about as much as I would a report from Thai TAT. 

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On the question of learning Spanish in Thailand.

I am still only a beginner but I'm at a point now where when I listen to Spanish songs, I understand the majority of the words (they tend to use more common words in songs) if not the full meaning. That's fun. 

So by now I have invested considerable time and effort doing that. Sometimes it's fun when it goes well, and sometimes it's painful when there are struggles. But not actually speaking it with anyone here, which is something I really should start to do using one of the various online options for that.

Spanish in Thailand? May as well be Bulgarian in Botswana.

But is it?

Spanish behind English is one of the very most useful global languages. 

Others ones might be French, Russian, and Chinese, but I'm talking about Spanish here.

So if I never move to a Spanish speaking country (or even travel there) or a Latino area of the USA, will my efforts have been a total waste?

I really don't think so. 

Even in Thailand a person can enjoy their knowledge of Spanish through listening to music and watching t.v. shows and movies. 

I also consider it a good exercise for the brain, especially for the aging. 

But I am getting to something more serious now. Moving to Latin America is a huge life changing deal, especially for someone long settled in Thailand. 

There is a psychology of, well by now I can start to get by in Spanish, the time and effort investment has been made, so that's a strong reason to go ahead with the move. 

But it really isn't a good reason to move at all!

As far as actually moving, all it is is being better prepared for a Plan B should a Plan B actually be carried out. 

Edited by Jingthing
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