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About JimLosYoses

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  1. An agency in Costa Rica that provides guidance and legal services for property purchase (in Costa Rica) provides a log of useful info on their website in perfect English. They are called "Properties in Costa Rica". I'm wondering if anyone has experience with them? Should I consider using them? I'm also considering a lawyer recommended to me by 2 friends named Pablo Matamoros Arosemena. Does anyone have anything to say about him?
  2. I made a typo. The amount was 295.000 colones. It was mostly for taxes, as it turns out. I did research the car before buying it. It had nothing against it. I also had a mechanic examine it ... a friend of a friend. The car, a Volvo S40, looks and drives like new even though it is a 2003. I paid about $8,000 for it. I looked at quite a few cars before choosing this one. My mechanic said it was in good shape, but advised against buying it. He said replacement parts would be much more expensive. I'm willing to deal with that. The car must have been kept in a museum. The mechanic recommended a Japanese made car because parts are easy to get and cheap. However, a Volvo is much harder to steal than most of the Japanese cars here. The ignition is disabled if a car is forced or a window is broken. The radio, if stolen, will not function until a pass code is entered. Finally, I wanted a safety that Volvo cars are known for.
  3. I am in the process of buying a used car from Pripa PJP in Cartago. I am told I will need to take ₡245.000 to the notario. The notario, of course, registers the car in the national registry as well as doing the remaining paperwork and some research. Is this a reasonable fee? My Spanish is so-so. I'm not sure I understood everything that was said about this fee. Does anyone know if this is a standard fee? Does it do more than reimburse the notario? My jaw will hit the floor if this is just paying the notario for doing a little paperwork. I imagine there is a fee for changing a record in the registry. This is short notice. I will be going to the notary later today. I love the car. It is already in my possesion. The puchase money has already been received by Pripa and I have the receipt. I'm thinking that probably I am paying the taxes to the notario/lawyer. That might explain why it is so much.
  4. Wow. That's great. Thanks for this. There are so many programs on Netflix that are available in the US, but not here. I'll probably have to watch them alone if they have no Spanish subtitles. I will try the free options first. If that doesn't help me with Netflix, then I will free the moths in my wallet to pay for one of the services. stewart.tb - I suspect you need to delete your browser's cookies if you want the behavior to return to normal. I recently switched to a new browser which, of course, had no Netflix cookies. Netflix didn't know who I was nor how to behave. It would be worth a try, at least.
  5. I'm somewhat confused by this discussion. I have never been able to get Amazon Prime or Hulu in CR. Is this accomplished by tricking the services into thinking you are inside the US? I tried to use a proxy to do this and failed. I don't understand how a VPN might achieve this ... VPN's were mentioned above, is that why? And how would you do it? I watch Netflix every single day and love it. I have never noticed the Spanish subtitles disappearing. My household is bi-lingual and we use the subtitles in Spanish all of the time. I started using Netflix maybe 2 years ago.
  6. Thanks, David. I will keep the link you pass in case I cannot find anyone to recommend a lawyer. skipdingo: The money is in a Roth IRA. Given the history of my family, I may well live for another 30 years or more. It isn't practical for me to withdraw the money in advance. There must be a way to do this. I will keep researching and watching this thread. I cannot be inventing the wheel. However, I was hit by a motorcycle that ran through a red light in San Pedro ... so I want to be prepared.
  7. Yes, I do have a valid Missouri driver's license.
  8. My address in Missouri is my mother's house in Seymour. It is about an hour southeast of Springfield. I'm only there a brief time each year, but it is my legal US address.
  9. Coriollo: Thanks for this. It seems likely, then, that my assets will not be considered probate assets. DanaJ: That is good to know. Now, to find a lawyer in Missouri that I can trust. Gayle: Thanks very much.
  10. Thanks one and all. This is the information I was looking for. I was considering the need for a lawyer, but given the various laws of the different states, I wasn't sure how to find the right one. My current legal address is in Missouri, but I'm not sure what the legal address of Schwab (where the money is) is ... or if it matters. I was also considering naming someone as an executor in the US ... probably one of the beneficiaries. My desires are very clearly defined in the documents I filed with Schwab. I have notified each of the beneficiares of the fact that they are beneficiaries. The Schwab documents include Soc Sec numbers, cédula number and voter id of Mexico. I have to admit I feel great trepidation in hiring a lawyer without a reference. After all, I will not be here to make sure things are handled as I want. I have previously contacted my investment advisor, my tax man and various other people. None have been able to give me a lawyer reference nor much useful information regarding any of this. It is clear I need a lawyer, but I really don't know how to proceed to find one I can feel confidence in. The responses here have made it clear that I have a major project ahead of me ... and possibly one that I will never be certain is bullet proof. Thanks for your responses. I'm off to slay the dragon.
  11. Thanks Criollo and David. Criollo: I followed the link and read the material. It left me with questions. I have pursued it further than that, and now have more questions than ever. However, the link got me started. David: My funds will remain in the US at Schwab until my death. At that time, I want the investments to be sold and the money distributed to beneficiaries. One of those beneficiaries is my partner here in Costa Rica ... a Costa Rican national who has no intentions of ever living in the US. The other beneficiaries are living in Mexico and the US. I am focusing on Costa Rica first. What few assets I maintain in Costa Rica are at BNCR and are already available to my partner. I'm hoping to receive more information from other members. I cannot believe that someone out of the thousands of US expats living here hasn't had exactly this issue. The more detailed the response, the 'more helped' I will be.
  12. I have investments at Charles Schwab in the US. I have been told by a higher-up at ARCR that it can be very dificult to get inheretance money out of the US and into Costa Rica. It was suggested that I apply for a US Tax ID now to save my beneficiaries from a difficult time later. I have filed beneficiary papers with Charles Schwab, but this will not be enough. Can anyone advise me on how best to make sure the inheretance goes as I intend? I was surprised to not find any references to this topic already in the forum.
  13. And in conclusion, I would like to say... I now have my new cédula. I paid ARCR $40 more to go with me to Migración to settle the problem described in my initial post. Apparently, BCR Uruca has a recurring problem. They sometimes tell U.S. pensionados that they do not need the letter from the US Embassy verifying that you have at least $1,000 per month coming in permanently. At least, this is what I heard in the ARCR office, belatedly. The man at BCR Uruca did not tell me anything regarding the letter, but apparently he did not scan it when I applied for renewal. All the woman at Migración wanted was to see it. She shook her head in commiseration when I told her that I had the document with me at BCR Uruca. This little error on BCR’s part cost me an additional $40 plus a very early morning of travel. I had to get up at 3:30 am to travel by bus and by foot from Cartago to the ARCR office in San José. I had to be there at 7:00 AM. I did not go to Migración on the date specified on the failure letter I received. Instead, ARCR called Migración for me and determined that I could go any day I wanted so long as I was there at 8:00 AM. ARCR scheduled someone to go with me (Ivy) the following Tuesday (today - July 23, 2013) I needed 3 things: 1. the document I received telling me my application had not been successful 2. the document BCR Uruca gave me telling me when to pick up my cédula 3. the letter from the US Embassy stating my Social Security payments It took less than 2 hours at Migración. We waited in a line outside Migración for about 10 mins. When we heard them call everyone with an 8:15 appointment to come forward, we realized we had missed the 8:00 call. We went to the head of the line and they allowed us in. They took the document at the door that I had received telling me of the failure (#1 above). We waited for about 10 minutes inside the building for my name to be called. When it was called, the window that I needed to go to was also called out. I waited for about 20 minutes in a chair at window number 5. Ivy had to remain in the original waiting area. There were 5 other people waiting for this window. The woman working at the window called out our names one-by-one to come to the window for processing. I was with her for about 5 minutes. I told her that I had the document with me at BCR Uruca, but that they had apparently not included it with the scanned documents. She had the scans of all of the other documents, my photo, my fingerprints and signature. She did not need to capture these again. She did a few things on the computer then stamped my paper and told me to wait outside the building for one hour for them to call me to pick up my cédula. She was very friendly. We waited outside for about 45 minutes. Then a man came outside and called about 5 of us. He took us inside where we waited at window #8 to recieve our cédulas. I waited in this line for about 8 minutes. When my name was called, the woman took my paper and handed me my cédula. Apparently not trusting that I might speak Spanish, she made a motion with her hands indicating that was all. And it was. All in all, the entire process really wasn’t that bad. Of course, I will have to do this again in two years. Next time I will ask the agent at BCR Uruca to please include the letter from the US Embassy. If he insists that it isn’t necessary, I will tell him of my experience this time. At the end of the day, I have my cédula. I was never asked to prove that I purchased $12K worth of colones. I was surprised that I needed to pay ARCR again, but I was very grateful for the help. And now you know the rest of the story...
  14. Oh ... a couple of other notes. (re my post immediately above of my experience so far in renewing my pensionado cédula of July 13) ARCR told me that I could just carry my old cédula along with a copy of the document showing my renewal application, but that I would need the original if I wanted to leave Costa Rica. I was also told I could not do bank transactions at all until I had my new cédula. This latter point is half right. I was able to deposit money, but not withdraw it from a live teller. However, no hold was put on the funds. They were immediately available via a cash machine. I have used my expired cédula with my BNCR credit card in stores. No one has said anything about it being expired, so far. The wait time was exactly one month for the cédula to be mailed to my local post office in Cartago. The document also listed phone numbers of the post office I could use to verify that my document was indeed there waiting for me ... which I did. Of course, as I noted above, it wasn't my cédula that awaited me, but an appointment with migración.
  15. Everything went very smoothly when I applied for my pensionado cédula renewal at BCR Uruca with the help of ARCR. However, when I went to my local post office to pick up the cédula one month later, I received instead a note from migración stating that I needed to provide proof of my Social Security. That was yesterday, July 12th. The document specified an appointment for next Tuesday at 8am at Migración en Uruca. This does not give ARCR much time to schedule someone to go with me. I do speak spanish, but in difficult, technical conversations I sometimes get lost. I also think it is very helpful to have someone with me that the Migración people will recognize. They will know exactly what is happening. I did provide this document which I obtained from the US Embassy. Both ARCR and the clerk at BCR accepted it as being correct. It is embossed. Note: I was told by an ARCR 'higher-up' (who shall remain nameless) but a very higer-up that under Costa Rican law, you get to choose which set of rules to go by: the rules that were in effect when you first got your current cédula or any new rules that have since gone into effect. Hence, by law, you no longer need to show the purchase of colones ... unless you run into a official that does not know the law ... which seems all too possible. I typed up the following detailed notes about my experiences to help any other pensionados renewing their cédulas. I typed it just after making the application, but decided to wait until I had cédula-in-hand. Circumstances have altered this. Here are my notes from June 12, 2013: Ok, here’s what happened with renewing my cédula for the first time. I am in the country as pensionado. I paid ARCR $60 to help me with the process. All of the advice I am presenting came from them. (BTW - A very prominent helper at the ARCR help desk was still very misinformed. I was told I needed to prove purchase of colones. Since I couldn't, I was advised to immediately transfer $12,000 to my CR bank account. After speaking with my 'higher-up' friend, a training session was scheduled. I had not saved proof of the money conversions because my 'higher-up' friend had told me long ago that I did not need to do this anymore.) You must triple check every single fact, even from 'reliable' sources. Nevertheless, I am very glad I had ARCR to help me. They corrected their problem. ARCR advised me not to start the renewal process until 2 weeks before the cédula expired. This is because the new cédula will expire 2 years from the date of renewal. You will lose part of the time allowed on the first cédula. ARCR gave me a list of documents I needed by email and made an appointment for me with BCR Uruca. The things I needed were: - US Passport - Current cédula - photocopy of both sides of cédula - Bank statment (see below) - Letter from the Social Security service at the US Embassy in Pavos (see below) - Caja carnet - copy of most recent Orden Patronal - receipt showing payment of monthly Caja fee - 70.000 colones Letter from US Embassy - This is a letter stating that I receive a minimum of $1000 each month in Social Security payments. It must be embossed with the US Embassy seal. I had to call the embassy to make an appointment for this at 2519-2228. I left a message the first time, but still had to call back to leave a second before it was returned. All I needed was my passport. Bank Statement - ARCR told me I needed to go the BNCR office where I first opened my account. This is the office around the corner from the ARCR office. They recommended I speak to someone named Karolin. However, I had to take the next clerk available and it wasn’t Karolin. My clerk didn’t have a clue as to what I needed. She finally went for Karolin. Karolin speak fluent English and was very helpful. She was misinformed, however. She thought I needed to prove I had purchased colones. Instead, I needed a simple printout of my account statement. This is a computer printout on ordinary computer paper, but stamped with the BNCR stamp on each page. There was no fee. 70.000 colones - This covers the renewal fee and the postage. My appointment was for 10 AM June 12th, 2013 ... 5 days after my cédula expired, but this was no problem. I live in Cartago. I took the bus and a taxi to arrive at ARCR by 9:15 AM. Ivy reviewed my documents and made a copy of my latest Orden Patronal, since they had it. (ARCR makes my Caja payments for me.). We arrived at BCR Uruca about 20 minutes early. It has a big sign, but I do not remember exactly what it says ... something like Trámites, Cédulas y Passaportes. We saw someone pretty much at 10 am. He was very pleasant. He handled everything in about 17 minutes. He ok’d my paperwork, took the 70.000 colones, took my signature and fingerprints electronically and snapped a photo. I left with a document that shows I am waiting for my new cédula. This makes me legal. The document states the day that the new cédula will arrive at my local post office in Cartago: July 12th. I will post back with my experiences at migración next Tuesday.

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