In This Issue...
Costa Rica Opportunities on the Caribbean Coast
by Gill Phelan
Towering cloud covered mountains, rushing white water rivers, billowing volcanoes, endless mysterious canals, Toucans and Jaguars and Parrots. I’ll bet the word Caribbean did not pop into your mind when reading that sentence!
Throw in turquoise waters, palm covered beaches and world class surfing you are starting to get the picture of what the Caribbean side of Costa Rica is all about.
International Asset Protection Planning
by Joel Nage
In the waning days of 2010 President Obama and the United States Congress agreed to a variety of compromise tax measures designed to “extend” the Bush Era tax cuts. Tax rates were largely maintained at the current levels through December 31, 2012 at which time they are once again set to revert to their old (higher) levels.
Under the original Bush tax cuts the estate tax was scheduled to be phased out by 2010, but because of the “sunset provision” it would have come back in full force January 1, 2011. The estate tax issue proved to be the most difficult area for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to find a compromise. Republicans saw the estate tax elimination as a previously won battle designed to help small and medium size businesses stay intact from one generation to the next. Democrats pointed to billionaires such as New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner whose estate paid no taxes at his death.
My Retirement Dreams…? Get Real
by Michael Cobb
Sorry for the depressing title to the article. But seriously, I was disappointed recently when I saw a commercial for a major US brokerage firm. There sat a stately looking, white haired gentleman who looked like he could be the poster child for AARP. He was talking about his experiences with some other brokers who discussed things like enjoying a vineyard in retirement. As the picture fades, the tag line to the commercial is, “A vineyard? Get real.”
OK. At some level that makes sense. Based on the hard economic realities imposed by the markets and real estate values the past three years, many of us may not be able to afford all the things we’d hoped for in retirement. In fact, the USA Today recently ran an article on the front page of the Money Section talking about just how much less the Baby Boomer retiree has saved for retirement.
There are significant tax, asset protection and investment diversification benefits available with an Offshore Variable Universal Life (VUL) policy. However, there are additional advantages to consider when evaluating an Offshore VUL policy that you might not have considered in the due diligence process.
Many offshore jurisdictions offer life insurance contract legislation that is better than legislation under U.S. state law. The assets invested with an offshore policy are considered to be in a separate account of the policy and will receive protection from creditors. This is different than a domestic policy which might subject the owner of the policy to creditor risk in the event of an insurance company bankruptcy.
How the World's Wealthiest 5% Invest for Success
by Louis Petrossi
Our mission is to help people accumulate and keep wealth in an uncertain global economy. We look at and analyze
hundreds of investments to find the select few that have a high degree of probability for success and preservation of invested capital, and that also have the potential to multiply wealth in 6-30 months.
The Western Hemisphere and Latino Opportunities
by Gilberto Cisneros
I have recently returned from a fact-finding, relationship-enhancing trip to Lima, Peru. While meeting with local business owners, government officials and entrepreneurs, I was amazed by the commercial potential existing in the country. Not only were the people of Lima welcoming and hospitable, they also quickly demonstrated their thriving entrepreneurial culture and eagerness to do business with the United States.
Lima is a mega-metropolitan area with thousands of needs and opportunities for small Peruvian businesses to export their products to the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere. Often overlooked as an investment destination, Peru is an example of the tremendous opportunity that lies south of the border. It has been stated that in order to grow the U.S. economy American businesses must increase their exports. Latino-American businesses are uniquely positioned to do business throughout the Western Hemisphere.
U.S. Expatriates and Tax Responsibilities
by Maurice M. Glazer
If it’s January it must be tax season…. Many U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. (green card holders) move to another country and forget or choose not to file a tax return in the U.S. But be warned: The U.S. requires you to file a tax return accounting for your worldwide taxable income—and the statute of limitations never runs out.
In many cases, you may have few or no U.S. taxes to pay, thanks to exclusions and deductions that you may qualify for as an expatriate. But you definitely are required to file if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien. Not filing can create major issues. For instance, if you live abroad for 10 years and then return to the United States, the penalties and interest you’ve accrued may be more than the actual tax.