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Family of 4 considering living abroad for 1 or 2 years. Advice?

Family of 4 considering living abroad for 1 or 2 years. Advice?

Old Sep 12th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Manuouche may have it right--IF they could find "that" apartment.
I am fairly amazed at thinking of doing this with NO language skills--or the "promise" that "we are going to work on this". I also am a bit pessimistic about basic ability to plan with the overall "plan" that was proposed. BUT youth sometimes CAN conquer all.
Try the 3 month plan and see how that's workin' for ya.
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 12:27 PM
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Friends, Thomas the Tank has long ago retreated... stop beating a dead Locomotive.
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 01:20 PM
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travelerjan: >>Folks, I think you can let up now on your barrage of facts and grim realities. I bellieve that Thomas the Tank Engine has choo-chooed back to the roundhouse and will not return.<<

>>Friends, Thomas the Tank has long ago retreated... stop beating a dead Locomotive.<<

- uh - he last posted a mere 26 hours ago.
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 03:07 PM
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Give Thomas a chance to respond!

I don't think it's all negative advice, just things that have to be taken into consideration. You could certainly get around some of it by just taking 3 months. That is also not a long-term commitment so if things go pear-shaped they can go home again.

If money were no object (and I realise it is for the OP), there are relocation experts who will help you find a house, get a phone connection (if that hasn't gone the way of the dinosaurs), buy and register SIM cards, possibly get a bank account, source furniture and so on. I don't know what it costs but if the OP is willing to splurge that might be a way of doing it. I think you would also be restricted to built-up areas as I imagine such businesses are located where there is the most demand, i.e. cities.

Frankly, if you are going to do this, doing it in your early thirties is a good time, because you can be a bit adventurous. I would spend some of those three months in a language school!

Lavandula
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 03:13 PM
  #45  
 
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"If you live overseas, you don't pay Federal taxes on the first $95-98k you make."

That's if you make it overseas. It's the FOREIGN Earned Income Exclusion. If you're telecommuting and getting paid in USD by a US-based client I don't think the exclusion applies. (Of course, you might get away with it...)
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 03:22 PM
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A relocation expert can cost as little as a month's rent.
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 04:12 PM
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If you don't ask questions, how will you learn? I searched a visa to stay in Europe for a year and couldn't find the info until I used the correct language "long stay visa". Then it all became clear. We have a plan. Apply for a visa, go for a month or 2 in a short term rental while we search for a cheaper place to live. The visa is the key. If you get the visa, get there and it's not for you, leave. The visa doesn't say you have to stay only that you can. Actually, you have to get a visa and then apply to stay once you get there...but I digress. BTW, unless you have nothing much, your cost of storage is way low. We decided to buy a small house to store our stuff. The mortgage payment was less than temperature controlled storage for our stuff. We stay here in between traveling. LOL
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 05:27 PM
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We have lived for three years in Africa( Morocco) long ago with two small children, A year in Europe in a caravan and extended periods of time in Mexico and South America.
For $2000 a month Europe is out. I believe $3500- 4000 would work in small towns.
$2000 a month could work in several SA countries including Ecuador and possibly inexpensive areas of Costa Rica or Panama.
Living in another culture is an enriching experience but probably really not able to be appreciated by small children.
I guess I question why try to save dollars during this short experience. If you earn $5000 spend it on a rich experience and buy things with any money left over to bring home.
Have fun . You only live once.
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Old Sep 12th, 2014, 05:44 PM
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The OP might find this site useful: http://www.soultravelers3.com
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Old Sep 13th, 2014, 12:16 AM
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I have been living in Paris for several years, and speak French reasonably well. I am amazed by the number of people who do manage to live here - for work, retirees - who don't know more than the basic polite phrases, who don't care to lean anything more, and who are perfectly comfortable with that.

Of course, since they spend their days and nights surrounded by other English-speakers - family, office workers, ex-pat community, upscale stores and markets - they don't think it's necessary to try to learn French.

I think this is a big mistake, and frankly, an enormous waste of time. Why would anyone come to live in a foreign country and not try to integrate into its society? Think about the controversy concerning Hispanic immigrants in the US...

It is a privilege to be allowed to reside in a country that is not your own. It is your responsibility to respect that country's language and traditions, to the best of your ability. Get some classes under your belt, and do more research, before you move anywhere.
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Old Sep 13th, 2014, 01:13 AM
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I think even a bigger mistake and an enormous waste of time is moving to another country and spending all your time clucking about the neighbors wherever they came from. I live in Italy and I can assure you that most Italians do not expect the affluent immigrants to integrate into Italian society. Please don't try to speak for all the natives of Europe. That is not respectful in the slightest. It is rudely presumptuous.
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Old Sep 13th, 2014, 01:36 AM
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<i>That's if you make it overseas. It's the FOREIGN Earned Income Exclusion. If you're telecommuting and getting paid in USD by a US-based client I don't think the exclusion applies. (Of course, you might get away with it...)</i>

You are correct. I had forgotten that foreign earned bit.
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Old Sep 13th, 2014, 02:11 AM
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Well . . . when I had a part-time job, I was teaching for the University of Maryland, a US-based company. I taught online and was paid in US$ which were deposited in my bank.

The first year I did income taxes on the money, I declared it all with the proper address of the employer, and I was told I didn't have to pay income taxes on it. I even called the IRS in the US and asked specifically because it was a US company. I was told that, because I lived and earned the money in Germany, I didn't have to pay taxes on it. They also said the rule could change any time and that I should keep checking.

s
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 01:55 AM
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If you consider Spain, be advised you will have to pay SPAIN not only on the income you earn but also on the value of any worldwide assets (your US bank account, perhaps if you own a house outside Spain). There is a cap.

You don't need to discuss your tax issues with one of the big firms as mentioned above. You can find local American tax advisers in the country you settle. Look at the ex-pat sites, etc. Anglo-Info, Survive France Network, InterNations, Globalites, etc.
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 01:58 AM
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If you want to search for a sponsor, look at the BLUE CARD program. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_C...opean_Union%29
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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Interesting thread with good information even though the OP has obviously left town.
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 04:33 PM
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It appears we scare off a lot of people.
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Yep, it looks as if the OP has given up on us, but if he is still lurking I do have an alternative suggestion for him. We did a similar thing a lot of years ago when we bought a sail boat and cruised the inland waterways of Europe with four small kids. Once the expense of the boat was out of the way we were able to live very cheaply as we wandered from Honfleur all the way to Sete in France, then on to Spain and then hopped across the Med as far as Lebanon. The only expenses were food and fuel. The 90 day rule would complicate that somewhat now days, but it should still be doable.

We home schooled the older two boys and the twin girls went to local pre schools where we wintered. Unfortunately, when the money ran out the wife did too, but I was able to sell the boat for about what we paid for her and went on from there. A wonderfully enriching experience for all concerned; one I will never regret.
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Old Sep 21st, 2014, 01:10 AM
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Something I don't see anyone else bringing up but a crucial issue....the value of the US dollar vs the Euro.
The euro is currently worth US$1.2828.
Divide a planned budget by that factor (1.2828 or whatever it is at the time) and that will be the actual budget.
When the euro first began a dollar would get you 1.17 euro. Now Americans are almost beggars in the eurozone...the dollar has lost so much value against the euro.
When I travelled in France I wouldn't look at the conversion rate at the time, I'd look at the actual value of what something cost. If a meal cost 15 euro and I wanted it, it was worth 15 euro to me...not what it would cost in US$.
This being aware of the conversion factor and then disregarding it takes some mental yoga or something...but as long as someone keeps thinking 'oh this costs x US$' you're not in Europe, you're still back in the US playing at being in Europe.
And for a real reality check, the US$ (always best to quote it that way as there are any number of 'dollars' (HK, Canada, and so on) well it would take 1.629 of them to equal one British pound. So no economic respite from things costing more outside the euro zone.

While the OP may not be replying, he may still be monitoring the posts, so here's some other suggestions.
As someone else mentioned, consider doing exchanges...your place for theirs. Just make certain you have everything in writing...
Another way to dip your toe in to to become a Servas host in the US and then travel and stay with Servas hosts in other countries. A friend did this when her children were growing up and it was a great experience for them (and her!) and I got to meet a lot of them...
Something no one else has mentioned is how your credit card companies could adjuest your credit rating on the basis of what you were doing.
I really hate details like that but they don't go away no matter how much I try to ignore them.
And a final suggestion. If you haven't yet, get your children passports now. That way, if you have an opportunity to travel that will be one less barrier.

and, OP, people from the US aren't the only ones not to know about visas and this and that...I've seen letters from people from Oz who take it quite personally that they can't spend 6 months in the Schengen zone (wiki has a comprehensive artilce on it..), why they have to travel so far they should be given more time that people from the US and Canada who only have a one day flight! Of course, Austraila only gives the same 90 day visa-waiver program to other friendly-nation countries...but the Aussies as a rule don't even know that...it is only when we think to travel that we learn about the rules and rights...
Good luck, good health, good travels.
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Old Sep 21st, 2014, 01:51 AM
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<i>It appears we scare off a lot of people.</i>

Some people can't handle the truth unless it's sugar coated and dusted in chocolate.
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