Monday, July 28, 2014

Penthouse Condo with Terrace for Sale


              Penthouse Condo $123,850               28 July 2014


Our sunlit fifth floor condo with 640 square foot terrace displaying panoramic unobstructed views is charming. The large terrace has a six person Jacuzzi and covered areas on each end.  You can access from both the living room and study. While designed to be a two bedroom, it was finished as one bedroom with study and natural light everywhere. It is located one half block off the Tomebamba River and a 5 block walk to Centro.

The two year old building has an elevator, a backup generator, centralized gas and hot water. No pets are permitted.  Email to thrivinginecuador@gmail.com or 098-599 4299. USA magicJack phone (828) 367-4321

                                 



                      

Thursday, July 24, 2014


             It’s Hard to Keep Up!

    Ecuador, along with many places, is changing at an accelerating rate.
Changes in political winds, economic activities and cultural norms are storming in faster than the influx of new residents.

    Cuenca has a new mayor, changing regulations, new electric tram under construction, and many improved roads and bicycle lanes.  Restaurants, special art and entertainment venues are springing up constantly.

    So…let’s update our Ebook, Thriving in Ecuador. 

We just completed our annual update including several new items and making numerous revisions. We now have over 40 chapters and 100+ pages.

             If ya want a copy by email, just click to the right>>>

Thursday, June 19, 2014

File IRS FBAR forn 114 by JUNE 30

                               IRS FBAR Form 114

The nice government men  request we tell them annually all about our foreign financial holdings. The new Form 114  needs to be filed by June 30.  I suggest you file it electronically.  Then you will receive a confirmation email from the IRS. Keep a copy for your records.  The gentle penalties can be up to half of your account balance (willful fraud)!

Google IRS Form 114.       Or Go to :

You will see the official site with instructions.  
Click on  "BSA E-Filing System" (in red), click "Leave IRS site", click "Report FBAR", Click "Prepare FBAR".  Later click "file FBAR”
If you have a total of over $10,000 in financial institutions (including Credit unions, Coops, etc.) you must file by June 30 (no extensions).

The Form 114 must show the highest balance for each account during 2013.

Note:  Form 114A does need to be filed.
 
The IRS helps number for FBAR is (866) 270-0733

Hope this helps,     Gary


Monday, February 24, 2014

Trecer Edad!


                                ! Trecer Adad !
Yes, there is reason to celebrate getting older.  Trecer Edad (the third age)!

Now, at age 65, I can go to a separate line at the bank for seniors, handicapped, etc rather than wait in long lines.  Lan and Tame have half price tickets for air travel.  My property taxes and electricity bills (up to 120 kw/month) are also discounted after I endure the required procedures. Notaries may also give you half price on their expensive fees when buying a condo.
Best of all the 12% IVA (sales taxes) are refunded after registering at the SRI office.  The maximum monthly refund is $ 191.  The registration process requires:
 Visit the SRI (think IRS) office on Remigo Crespo, a block east of Loja Avenue.   It is the four story white building with the “smiley face” painted on the window.  Try arriving at 8am to avoid some of the crowds.  Bring something to read while waiting.  You will need original and copy or your passport and Cedula, a utility bill to prove you live here, and a bit of patience.
Get in line and proceed to the helpful guide who is bilingual.  Simple say “Trecer Edad” and he will give you a ticket number for your time at the Caja.  He will give you a bank registration form to take to your bank to certify that you have a local bank for direct deposit of your monthly reimbursement.
Take the bank form to the main bank office for signature.  Make a copy, then return to SRI  with all documents.  Your data will be entered into the computer and you will be given a form to fill out when you turn in your original receipts next month for reimbursement.  The receipts must have your cedula number and name on them.
Since my cedula ends with  a 1,2, or 3  I submit my receipts with the reimbursement form  during the first week of the month. Cedulas with a ninth digit of 4,5,6 submit on the 10 to 16 of the month; those ending with 7,8,9, or 0 submit on the 19 to 26 of month. 
Take your form upstairs to second floor to be edited before returning downstairs to caja 103 to turn it in.  You will also need a copy of your cedula, the Servicio de Renta Internas given to you when you first registered, and a copy of your Bank Registration form.  Your reimbursement will appear in your banco in a few weeks.  It may take longer the first time.   Whew!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

We are licensed to drive!

                  Ecuador Drivers License

We felt almost like teenagers this week when we showed our Ecuador drivers licenses to each other!

After all, we did pass the test in Spanish. And the process only took four months. Well, yes, our effort to get our NC drivers record apostiled took over three months. And mucho dinero.  The government website and friends confirmed this was necessary.  But in the end we simply tossed the apostile!

The exam has changed!  The sample 100 questions bought on the street by ANT no longer contain most of the questions.  You better learn many new words in Spanish (many are on the sample test).

How did we complete this amazing feat?  It only took seven offices and eleven steps!

   1. Obtain NC driving record to prove our USA license was valid.
   2. Have driving record translated in Cuenca.
   3. Get it notorized in Cuenca.
   4. Download and complete Formulario para Canje de Licencia de Conducir (see #7 below)
          You will need weight in kilos and height in centimeters (with two decimal points)
   5. Obtain green blood type card from Red Cross on Borrero  street in Centro. And a copy. 
   6. Make copies of your Cedula and US Drivers license (color). Take every document to every office!  Your original Cedula will be examined by everyone.
   7. Obtain two passport size color photos.
   8. Pass eye, hearing, Psychometric exams.  Currently located one block right off Don Bosco on Salado. (#6 below)
   9. Go to ANT office to get all documents approved and scanned.  Just moved to Ordinez Lasso, turn right at first light after Oro Verde Hotel.  ANT will tell you when you may schedule your exam (usually a couple of days, max of 30 days)
   10. Go to Paute (best service), Giron or Cuenca to take exam (Jeffe in office #5, approval in #4, exam downstairs, back to office #6, license photo downstairs, license finally printed upstairs.  You see why service is important to avoid confusion and delays.  Paute even allowed us to go near front of line for final step to avoid returning the next day!  This office is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to noon, but stayed open until 2:30 to complete our processing. The office is located in second floor of bus station near the river.
   11. After office #4 above,  go to bank two blocks north, then two blocks left to pay $48 and obtain receipt.  Entire trip with three short road construction delays and a great celebration lunch at Corvel in Paute only took 6 hours!

And they ask why Gringos do not have a car!

From my previous blog the requisites are as follows:

 1.  Original and copy of the original valid foreign drivers license.
2.  Original and copy of your ID documents such as cedula and censo. You receive these documents after you get your residency visa.
3.  Original certificate of authenticity.  This is a (apostilled?) document from your home state’s secretary of state office saying that your driver’s license is valid.  It must be translated into Spanish and notorized in Ecuador.
4.  Original and copy of your blood type.  You can get this at the Ecuadorian Red Cross for $2.50.
5,  Two photographs, facing, ID size
6.  Pass the psychometric exam ,eye and hearing tests, and the driving test ($38)  These are written, practical, and medical.  The psychometric exam is a coordination test. Cost $11.40
7.  Fill out the special request form which you get from the Transit office in Quito, or you can download it from the www.ant.gob.ec website.  ANT stands for Agencia Nacional de Transito in Quito.

I have added the websites and its details (in Spanish).

Print this form for application for drivers license:

http://www.ant.gob.ec/index.php/internacionales/homologacion/canje-de-licencia-de-conducir-extranjera-por-licencia-de-conducir-ecuatoriana-art-10-lotttsv

Government website for Transit Authority:  http://www.ant.gob.ec/



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ObamaCare Penalty

                                  ObamaCare Penalty Clarified

In my previous post the individual mandate penalty for not enrolling in ObamaCare was described as $95 for an individual.  I omitted one important detail.  The penalty is actually the higher of $95 or one percent of your income!

Here is a summary of penalties (greater of):

   2014  Single $95 or 1%; Family $295 or 1%
   2015  Single $325 or 2% ; Family $975 or 2%
   2016  Single $695 or 2.5%; Family $2085 or 2.5%
The maximum penalty is capped at three time the individual penalty (eg:95 x 3 = 295). Penalties will be included in your annual income tax and enforced by the IRS.

So it's easy to see after 2014 the penalty (tax) gets very serious.

There are numerous exceptions and hardship exemptions. "Gaming" the rules is likely to occur. See the link to Forbes magazine below.

Please do you own tax research and plan accordingly.

There are two rules for exemptions for living out of the US. One is residence out of US for 330 days in any 12 month period. The other is the "Physical Presence Test" requiring you to live outside of the US for a complete year plus other requirements .

Further details are available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2013/10/28/obamacare-penalties-and-exemptions/

So that is another reason to promptly consider your plans for a possible new life internationally.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blood Moons, Last Days?

                Are we Living is the "Last Days?"

This Thanksgiving will fall on the same day as the Jewish Hannukuh  celebration.  This will never happen again!

But the real story are the four  "Blood Moons."

Four blood (full lunar eclipse) Moons coinciding with high Jewish holidays has only occurred three times during the last 500 years:
  1493- Jews were expelled from Spain while America (Freedom of Religion) had just been discovered
  1949- Israel Reestablished and won war of survival
  1967- Israel won the Six Day War.  Jerusalem became part of modern Israel.

Now we well see this happen four times is the next two years (confirmed by NASA)!
  15 April 2014 on Passover
    8 Oct 2014 on Feast of Tabernacles

Then a full solar eclipse

                  And again in 2015:
     4 April 2015 on Passover
   28 Sept 2015 on Feast of Tabernacles

It appears world history is about to change in some major way...

"The day of the Lord will be as when the sun refuses to shine"     Joel, chapter 2

"There will be signs in the sun and moon  and stars, and on the earth dismay among the nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves"    Luke 21:25
                    Here is the link:
www.video.foxnews.com/v/2746895256001/is-the-cosmos-telling-us-the-end-is-near/