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#388131 - 09/19/10 10:41 AM Managing Your Mail
Don Greife Offline
Thinking about movimg to AC and wondering how expats are handleing their mail from the US and finances. ie; banks, brokerage, life insurance etc. Any Help?
I'll be happy to discuss my avatar with anyone who knows what it is.

#388132 - 09/19/10 12:14 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife]
ragman Offline

Don, I'm a few months away from moving down (snow bird status)and would be interested also in this answer. So far I've opened a bank account in Belize (Belize Bank) to keep a certain amount handy. There are places that you can cash US Checks and Belize Bank will take them but they charge a fee (maybe they call it something else but it costs you)and it takes several weeks for the checks to clear while your money is on hold.

All my credit cards, gas, electric, brokerage, auto/home insurance, and anything else I can arrange will be done on line. I've opted for on line statements every where I could to reduce mail volume.

My thought was that necessary mail would be bundled by one of my kids and sent? I'm thinking of seeing the Mail Box USA service in San Pedro. I believe they have an address in Miami and can handle the whole deal. I'm hoping this will include precriptions.

OK any other suggestions out there? God knows what I haven't thought of. wink
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

#388134 - 09/19/10 12:22 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife]
Kayo Offline
mail arrives at our local "Post Office" with very few problems, it's just slow.

as for finances, we kept a bank account open in the US, as PayPal and other online purchases can sometimes be difficult to make.

Online Shopping Carts don't seem to like 'Ship To:' addresses being different from the 'Bill To:'

some people use "Forwarding Services" to handle their purchases, and others have 'mules' bring stuff to them.

we keep a mailing address in the States, and have our mail forwarded in a box by a family member, along with some new books every few months.

books are duty-free, as is mail, anything else will probably cost you for customs duty...

for Social Security, we kept the direct deposit in the US for the first few years, and withdrew money locally at the bank... but after a while the ATM fees really start to add up, so, I had the SS transferred to Belize this year.

Atlantic Bank is the only bank approved in Belize for Direct Deposit, they use a correspondent bank in NYC.

the money generally shows up in my acct a day or two later than it would in the US... it helps to keep an eye on a Belizean calendar, the holidays are different here, and that can cause delays.

life insurance, we don't carry it any more... it's just another expense that eats into one's paltry SS check.

the CDs and brokerage stuff have long been closed, and the money spent on building a home, guesthouse, storage, and various farm buildings, so that's no longer an issue.

note, this info is for inland living, things are much more civilized in A/C.

good luck with your planning, and remember, research is everything, and you'll get different answers to your questions, it's up to you to decide which one is the right one, LOL

#388136 - 09/19/10 12:31 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife]
Cayemen Offline
Hey Done,

the easiest for is to open a Mailbox with Quicksilver.
In the S.P. Post office, you wait 2 years for a P.O. Box.

You get a San Pedro Address and if there is registered Mail Quicksilver informs you. www.quicksilverbz.com

The Lady from Quicksilver can also help you with other questions and has experience with the local government and banks. Ask around, she has a nice reputation.
Belize Real Estate Listings BREL

#388137 - 09/19/10 12:56 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife]
Judyann H. Offline
Yes, Quicksilver is a one-stop-shop for all the inquiries you listed above....The owner is professional and reliable. We have counted on their services for more than 3 years now....100% satisfied
My friends call me Judyann


#388140 - 09/19/10 02:35 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife]
Diane Campbell Offline
If you presently live (and have a mailing address)in a jurisdiction with state income tax you might want to get a new stateside mailing and billing address before you move on down to Belize.

#388141 - 09/19/10 02:36 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Judyann H.]
Tim Callanan Offline
We have also used and recommended her services.
Kayo nice post !
Tina and I use mail forwarding service
Tina's Island Life

#388142 - 09/19/10 02:37 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Diane Campbell]
Tim Callanan Offline
SO TRUE great advice Diane !
Tina's Island Life

#388143 - 09/19/10 03:55 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife]
GwenA Offline
Even though we have an address in a State that has income tax, because we don't reside there and don't make any money there, we don't pay state income tax. So, you don't have to have an address in one of those few sates that don't have state income tax. Check with an accountant.

#388155 - 09/19/10 08:45 PM Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Diane Campbell]
ragman Offline
Switching your address to a State without Income Tax is a little trickier than it use to be. If not done correctly the State you are switching from will come after you for back taxes and penalties. The States are really hurting for cash and are looking at addresses of convenience closely. Also even if youíre not making money in the State if you receive a pension or social security, these may be taxable income.

I was thinking of doing this and my accountant talked me out of it. I did do this in the early 90's but I kind of lived in the state I used (Florida) at least some of the time. You need a library card, driverís license, and you need to register to vote in your new state. Even after doing all that you may not escape the tax man. frown

PS My account is a CPA and an Attorney, he would have been happy to represent me if I ran a foul of the law. wink He did tell me I would probably lose in this situation.

Edited by ragman (09/19/10 08:55 PM)
Edit Reason: PS
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