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Everything posted by rodo

  1. Out today. Another maybe small example of Tico passport advantage. One more country visa free. Russia suppresses visa requirements for Costa Rican visitors . . .
  2. Great. Hopefully they have the data soon for giving you the passport. As I recall there was a wait from transferring info from TSE to Immigration or something. You will get it though. Something else you can report on for others to know.
  3. rodo

    Ship? Cargo? Checked bags?

    I brought down container too. Two actually. It is a lot of work filling it and expensive as well particularly if you use a service. There is (was) a Tico guy out of the port of Tampa who ships containers on some type of tramp steamer. It was real cheap in comparison. but I needed to get it there. Let me know and maybe I can find the guys contact info if interested. He ships down like a lot of 20 foot delivery trucks too and maybe can rent the inside space on one of those from the owner and divide it up when it gets to Limon. I did that too and it worked great. The truck owner actually delivered it to me for a reasonable fee. If you bring a container you can fill it with all kinds of other stuff outside of personal belongings. I brought a bunch of stuff I got at garage sales and goodwill type stores. It should be garage sale season there soon or now. I just came back with 12 pairs of used kids shoes I picked up cheap for neighborhood kids. Lots of futbol tacos and Nike sneakers. Used in the USA is better quality than new here. Now its contraband shoes instead of the old days of contraband electronics etc. How things change. Good luck on the move. And post about any possibility of being able to bring stuff down without any taxes. Say A car maybe? HAHA good luck on that one.
  4. Good job Eleanor!! Finally made it and in record time. I personally have found that keeping my residency cedula has been helpful to slowly transfer over accounts and drivers license etc. Not sure how much time you have on your cedula de residencia but maybe good to just keep it till it expires and in the meantime change accounts. Me personally I decided to not go after the deposit I paid. Mainly to just say ok Costa Rica you can keep it as a small donation from me and thank you for making me a citizen. Also I dont need another tramite to deal with. But the 300$ would be a nice bonus for you. And you deserve it. for all your help to the community. Also I have not had any contact with Immigration about residency as I assume that it is automatic notice when becoming citizen. just came back from a trip last night and used the passport again. I just love when people ask me how long Ive been here or am I a gringo. I whip about the passport (or cedula) and say...Soy Tico Mae, tome chi chi. Have fun with all of this as Im sure you will. Felicidades
  5. Thanks Induna for the article. I missed it. This is exactly what I was referring to. Great news in terms of the CAJA taking this more seriously and investing in order to do more procedures. These procedures really save lives. The article also explains about the woman cardiologist that made the complaint. That doctor really deserves some credit for saving lives. My take on this is actually similar to the snake bite issue. The thing with heart attacks is that they need to be treated quickly so the patient has the blockage fixed or they can die. The nearness to Hospital Mexico also is critical. Kind of like anti venom being available quickly and nearby. Question is where to invest for the most bang. The other issue is the wait time when it is not an emergency where the person is having a heart attack. Then the wait list comes into play. People die waiting. They have gotten the wait time down but it still is pretty high. Although I won’t complain as progress is being made. I am hoping they are going to install these cath labs in other locations so people don’t have to risk making it to San Jose in an emergency. Finally, if you take their total investment mentioned divided by the number of procedures I get $4,087US. That is very good when talking about angiograms or angioplasties. Too bad we don’t have money for everything. Always something more that needs to be done.
  6. While I agree that it’s a lastima that someone gets bit by a snake and may not get treatment in time to prevent disfigurement or other trauma. However as stated above and elsewhere it appears that Costa Rica is a world leader in treatment and anti-venom availability and in fact produces anti venom for poor parts of the world. So for me I am cheering Costa Rica for this. Healthcare is always a tradeoff situation especially when talking about government provided health care like here in Costa Rica. If you want to consider another health issue here that actually affects hundreds if not thousands of people in the fight against the number one killer, heart disease, we can contemplate where it may be better to focus health care investment. When a person develops heart disease they start to get blockages in the arteries and when sufficiently blocked they get a heart attack. One newer technique as many may know or have heard of is stenting to open blockages and prevent death. The problem is that at least for the CAJA the only place to do this is at Hospital Mexico or maybe also in Calderon. (for those with 20-30K or private insurance this can be purchased in Cima etc.) Please correct me if I’m wrong but these being the only places for this life saving, fairly simple procedure for those in the CAJA that what happens is many people die either being too far away from San Jose when having a heart attack or being on a long waiting list and dying before being given a slot for the procedure. There have been news stories of a woman cardiologist who worked in this area who brought up the issue of how many people died while waiting for the procedure (100-150 maybe). Well she claims that she later was chastised and sent to work in another hospital and was unable to practice cardiology. She claims that the higher ups tried to squash the story. Anyways, not to change the subject but to me I’m more concerned about lack of investment in this stenting that could save many many lives if offered in other parts of the country and with more capacity. I’m sure there are other examples as well.
  7. So today is it! The runoff election to determine our president. Lots of differences in polls that were published. I’ve done my own informal polling and it looks to me like Fabricio will take this one based on the limited geographical polling I have done mostly here in San Ramon. Big unknown is turnout. The last polls predicted a pretty high abstention percentage and with this falling on the last day of Semana Santa vacations it may lower the percentage for Carlos. Fabricio's strong support is in the provinces and lower income in general. Maybe that gives him a slight edge if the more educated more well off don’t show up since they are fighting traffic to get home. So what have the rest of you heard from Ticos you know? I will probably just hit the hay before they announce and wake up to the news. My prediction is Fabricio by 5 points minimum and up to 12-15 total. Seems to me a lot of folks are shy in announcing their support but it will be seen in the results. Happy Election Day and Easter Ham day.
  8. Note to self: When conducting unprofessional presidential opinion polls make sure to not just survey folks in the lower income and educational brackets. So quite the unexpected result not being closer but boy is it fun to see the party we have in Costa Rica at an election like this. Everyone so animated but yet none of the rancor and negativity you see in some other countries. Hoping that Carlos ends up being a great president. He will certainly face some challenges. But if everyone gets behind him miracles can happen.
  9. There is a lot of support for Fabricio, I think, in lower income people. Here in my area, I am told it's not because of his stance on gay issues but his outreach to the "common people" and what he promises to do for them. Plus denouncing corruption of the existing government. It's my belief that people are not really jumping on the anti-gay bandwagon because that is not an issue that affects them day to day. What does affect them is the economy and what the government can do to enhance life for lower income people. I think they are also pissed off at a bloated government where people make lots of money while working and lots of money while retired while the lower income folks struggle with figuring out how many days a week they can afford to buy meat. I also think that rather than being homophobic, many of his supporters are just pissed off that some outside entity can tell Costa Rica what to do. I think the country was edging towards legalization and acceptance of gay marriage but needed more time to get to that point. The court ruling short-circuited that process and, unfortunately, it was really really poor timing. Good insights Eleanor. I have heard exactly these points as well. Especially the "Dont tell us what to do" attitude
  10. rodo

    paying bills BCR

    In the never ending situation where things seem to get more simple to do Tramites in Costa Rica I have been using my local pulperia to pay bills and also catch up on neighborhood stuff with the owner. You may have noticed in BCR some promotion for Tucan services. Evidently they have set up small businesses like my pulperia to have connected software and receipt printers for a variety of bill payments. I guess the stores get a percentage on this. This now includes CAJA payments. So next week Im going to use the pulperia for the first time to pay my caja bill in addition to electric and phone. (water for me is down the street at a local guys home). I have tried the bill pay stuff on the BCR website and even though it is doable I just prefer having human contact and having my pulperia make a small bit. Good luck on mastering the internet options.
  11. Yeah Im looking at many things to decide on the vote. That was more a joke. The upper crust thing I guess is based on from whom I have heard the Vos thing from in the past. I wont get over it. My ear does not like hearing it thats all.
  12. So I get to vote the first time this year and deciding who to go with April 1st. Click on a story today about Carlos Alvarado. Look at the photo and the VOS usage on the poster behind. http://www.laprensalibre.cr/Noticias/detalle/132288/pln-desmiente-apoyo-a-carlos-alvarado So I'm thinking this is just an upper crust wannabe trying to impress me using VOS. He wants to be real upper crust. Now I'm more confused as to who to support. I didn't realize it would be so tough to decide. Y Vos?
  13. Una vez mas el Bufete de Induna y asociados nos da buena informacion. gracias Licenciado!!
  14. Good topic Paul and article. I never really got into Vos. Never heard it in Mexico where I started and here many years ago don't remember it used. Last few years I hear it occasionally mostly in Chepe and mostly with upper crust people or upper crust wannabes. So because that is the only place I hear it I don't use it nor want to be around people that do. Also its hard enough using the other forms so why mess with something that halfway is working. I'm open to changing my opinion though.
  15. Well folks from what I can see with the government having spent like drunken sailors for decades and borrowed to the hilt, they now look assured to pass the new taxes which will affect all of us to some degree (some minor spending cuts also..maybe). Otto Guevara and the Libertarians are now gone from government and they were the main ones who stopped new taxes and fought for spending controls. The following is a translation of article in La Nacion. You should see some taxes there that will affect you: These are the main points of the fiscal project that the deputies agreed to process through the fast track, which the government estimates generated about ¢ 660,000 million annually, while the deficit in public finances currently amounts to ¢ 2 billion: With 39 votes in favor and 0 against, deputies approve fast track for tax reform The sales tax would be transformed into a tax on the added value (VAT), with which the Government would tax many services that are now exempt. The Executive would impose a rate of 13% on services such as computers, lawyers, gyms, shows, streaming (such as Netflix and Spotify), rentals of more than ¢ 425,000 per month, electricity (for those who consume more than 250 kilowatts per hour). month), transportation (except public service), games of chance and commercial exhibitions. In addition, it proposes a reduced rate of 4% for private education and health, as well as for books in all their formats, air tickets, the purchase of packaging and raw materials, as well as equipment and machinery (except if there is an express exoneration) and services for agricultural and agro industrial production. To the rest of goods, in general, the current tax of 13% would be maintained, keeping the exonerations in force. The plan also proposes establishing a ceiling of ¢ 5.4 million in the salaries of public officials and the hierarchies of State and Public Administration powers. The equivalent of 18 minimum monthly salaries for the lowest income category in the private sector. Similarly, it proposes to charge a 15% tax - with some exceptions - to capital gains, that is, to the profits generated by the sale of assets, bonds or real estate, as well as the distribution of dividends. It also imposes a cap of 2.54% on the plus known as annuity for new employees in the public sector. That percentage would be paid on the base salary, for each year worked. Currently, this incentive exceeds 5% in some entities.
  16. Sorry! I do tend to overreact to anything concerning government regulations. Im sure it will work out. Buena suerte.
  17. good advice above. If it were me and sorry maybe dont know all the facts but I would end the deal ASAP and pay off the workers, get a signed statement from them and then see how they work it out with the neighbor and then possibly renegotiate later. or get new employees. Do you absolutley need these people working for you right now? This can turn sour quick. Or with the above advice maybe I am just overreacting and it can work out just peachy. Best of luck in any case.
  18. Robusta coffee is illegal to plant at the moment as it is of inferior quality to arabica. Robusta in general is used for instant coffee. However I just read that they are now going to allow planting of robusta but only in certain areas.
  19. yeah something real similar happened to me years back in the States. i guess this crap can happen anywhere. Glad you stuck to your guns and knew to make sure everything was understood up front. Also something that should be done in any country to make sure there are no upsell attempts.
  20. rodo

    financial advice

    I understand that the loan dealers don’t want to mess with 19K loans. Not worth it for them. There are however people that would be happy to loan out 20K dollars US at 8-10% if properly secured. Heck I would do it tomorrow if I had the money. Here’s what I would do. Go to your attorney and ask him how much to file and take out a 20 or 25K PRIMER GRADO (first degree) Cedula Hitotecario and get rid of the current mortgage. Assuming there is nothing against the house except for this 19K loan right? This would be his cost to prepare and file the docs with the national registry and the registry charges a percentage fee of the amount to issue the cedula and get rid of the current loan. But for 20K it won’t be much. Less than a banks fee for originating a loan. The cedulas are in dollars or colones and in amounts as well as degree. So maybe get one for 25K but the contract would stipulate less. Ok if he does not know what that is then you got the wrong attorney. A Cedula Hipotecario is like a registered deed against the property. Like a mortgage only better. Better for the lender since it is a bearer deed. You don’t pay and the lender can use the deed and the contract and take back the property. Also for some lenders they don’t want their name in the property register. With a cedula there is no name listed like with a first mortgage. The lender has the physical one only copy of the cedula and the private contract. It is very safe for the lender. An attorney can confirm this. I would not doubt that these lenders you have contacted would actually want to proceed this way if you had a big enough amount for them. And when you pay it off you get the deed back and can use it in the future for another loan if needed as they are good for 10 years or more. If someone has a valid registered Cedula Hipotecaria with no other loans against a property it is easy and fast to get a loan. With a Cedula then there is a private contract in Spanish and English if you want that outlines the length of the loan, interest payments etc. If you comply with the payments etc you don’t lose the property. Drawing that up by an attorney should not be more than 50,000 colones or so. When done paying you get the cedula back, (and make sure you do). The registry may be a bit more than that. You just better have someone to take care of this that knows about it if you die quickly or something. You can put in the contract a name of a person who gets the property loan if you die. I assume your contract now is a first mortgage deed with a contract from the original seller right? And there is no prepayment penalty? But actually doing this can wait if you want to see if it would draw an interested party. First Anyone here on the forum want to earn 8-10% on 20K? Send Doppelt a message. Maybe post here a description of the property location, condition etc. Then put up a message on forums or on craigslist section on loans or whatever they call it. Have 20K Cedula Hipotecaria in primer grado against my home conservatively valued at 200,000 (or whatever it is) and will give cedula as guarantee and payments of xxx$ per month for x years with balloon payment of x$ ? See if you get any responses. I think you may. Best of Luck and you are smart getting on top of this early. PS this advice is worth exactly what you pay for it. So check it all out before proceeding.
  21. rodo

    Happy Election Day!

    thanks for posting that poll. I had not seen it. i have to pay attention now as my first time voting I need to decide between these two. My first choice I supported and I knew he would lose but out of principal had to do it. So we got a possible religious fanatic versus a possible slick politician. I imagine the main news sources will be beating up on Old Fabby boy as they must be scared of him. And Carlitos will have to prove he has something new to get the country out of what is becoming closer to bankruptcy. Actually doing some googling I found an older 1 on 1 poll taken right after the election which showed Fabby up 57.3% to 42.7%. Both polls show a low number of undecided but a good chunk of folks saying they won’t be voting. https://www.larepublica.net/noticia/fabricio-alvarado-saca-ventaja-de-14-6-entre-decididos-a-votar Fabby seems to have the coasts and the poorer folks and of course the family values people wrapped up and Carlitos the big majority of city slickers with the education. Where have I seen that dynamic in other elections of import in 2016? Anyway I myself am not too worried about who wins or loses as what will probably be the case is more of the same no matter who sits in Zapote. Hope no one is offended by my shortening the names a bit since I can’t refer to Mr. Alvarado solo. No offense to either of you fine candidates if you read this.
  22. Paul, TSE asks for proof of income for whatever reason even though permanents may not need to provide it. But Eleanor another question is why TSE is asking for proof of income at this stage? I recall I had to provide it and had a letter drawn up by an accountant but that was at the start of the process. If you are approved and have your cedula # why do they need this info? Im sure this will be all worked out soon.
  23. Sorry to hear this Eleanor. I have been silently following your progress and was excited to hear all the excellent reports. However I was thinking wow what happened that TSE has improved so much since I got my cedula in 2015? It took me more than three years and was filled with similar although different frustrating things than yours. Constant crap and delays and excuses and misinformation. Normal stuff with government. I would not give up and just try to remain tranquila. my guess is that this is not going to be down for you for some time yet. Also I am still using my permanent residency cedula which does not expire till next year. I had just gotten four years on it when getting the citizenship. So I use that for some things and the new CR cedula for others. Slowly changing everything over. I think maybe you mentioned yours was expiring this year? Well make your list of things to change but also dont be bummed out if you don't get the new cedula in time and have to renew the old one. Trust me if that happens there will be some advantages to that that are not apparent right now. Although it will cost you a bit of money. And so as not to pick on Costa Rica I can also say that my Social security app for USA is also bogged down and have not been able to get that approved and started. Seems that they want me to prove that I made no income forty years go in 1977. Wow Ok that should be easy to prove a negative. All governments are slow IMHO. Just go out and watch some birds. No rush now that the election is over. And also I dont think you will get your passport real quick after having the new cedula in your hands. There seems to be a delay for that to show up in the immigration departments data base. And until it does no passport. Hang in there.
  24. Third world heh? Well give it to me then all day long. I dread heading to the USA which if you look close actually is filled with sxxtholes in many areas (Sorry President trump to steal your line). Although much of small town USA in particular is still very nice. Kind of like here. Good areas and some not so good. Sure Costa Rica is not perfect but to compare it technologically now versus 1993 when I arrived it is like night and day and much better here. I will make two predictions. One is that Alvarado will be our next President and 2) someone posting here speaks little to no Spanish, hangs out primarily with other gringos and will be long gone from Costa Rica within three years. Have a great Pura Vida day all. P.S. no need to go into town to pay bills. That can be done at home even on slow speed internet connections. Or go to the pulperia and pay electric and internet there and chat with the woman working there for local gossip.

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