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Managing Your Mail #388131
09/19/10 09:41 AM
09/19/10 09:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 520
Missouri
Don Greife Offline OP
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Don Greife  Offline OP
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.
Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife] #388132
09/19/10 11:14 AM
09/19/10 11:14 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,999
SW, MA / SW, FL
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ragman Offline
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ragman  Offline
R

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


Jim
Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife] #388134
09/19/10 11:22 AM
09/19/10 11:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 19
Cayo District, Belize
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Kayo Offline
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Kayo  Offline
K
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

Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife] #388136
09/19/10 11:31 AM
09/19/10 11:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 273
San Pedro
Cayemen Offline
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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.


Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife] #388137
09/19/10 11:56 AM
09/19/10 11:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,348
San Pedro, Belize
Judyann H. Offline
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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

www.blackorchidrestaurant.com
Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife] #388140
09/19/10 01:35 PM
09/19/10 01:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,959
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
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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.

Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Judyann H.] #388141
09/19/10 01:36 PM
09/19/10 01:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 609
San Pedro
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Tim Callanan Offline
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Tim Callanan  Offline
T
We have also used and recommended her services.
Kayo nice post !
Tina and I use mail forwarding service

Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Diane Campbell] #388142
09/19/10 01:37 PM
09/19/10 01:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 609
San Pedro
T
Tim Callanan Offline
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Tim Callanan  Offline
T
SO TRUE great advice Diane !

Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Don Greife] #388143
09/19/10 02:55 PM
09/19/10 02:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 592
San Pedro/Prescott
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GwenA Offline
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GwenA  Offline
G
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.

Re: Managing Your Mail [Re: Diane Campbell] #388155
09/19/10 07:45 PM
09/19/10 07:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,999
SW, MA / SW, FL
R
ragman Offline
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ragman  Offline
R
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 you’re 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, driver’s 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.

Last edited by ragman; 09/19/10 07:55 PM. Reason: PS

Jim
Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
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