Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About Ticochico

  • Rank
    Full Member
  1. There is another problem distorting the income gap besides the high government salaries. Costa Rica is the number one country based on population in ALL of Latin America for the inflow of illicit money as reported by La Nacion.
  2. I agree with your post. But the legality aspect is really irrelevant to the terms. Regarding the term immigrant: One could be an illegal immigrant or a legal immigrant; legal resident or illegal resident. Both are immigrants/residents Regarding the term expat: One could be a legal expat or an illegal expat (as in a fugitive on the run from their home country). Both are expats Costa Rica is humorously known as the land of the "wanted" and the "unwanted."
  3. The legality issue is irrelevant to the terms expat verses immigrant. Generally speaking, natural-born citizens of the host country tend to see foreigners living and working in their country as "immigrants", not "expats" (regardless of the legality issue). Or put another way, the term "expat" as a manner of speech or concept is rarely if ever expressed by natural born citizens of the host country in referring to foreigners or non-natural born citizens living in their country. They tend to use the term immigrant. It (expat) is a term more often used either by those who are referring to themselves or their group while they are away from their home country, or is sometimes used by those fellow citizens of the home country (of the expat) referring to their own fellow citizens who are away from the home country but may have some intention or right of returning at some point in the future. The author of the linked article, Mr. Koutonin, fails to account for the non-racially based uses of the term as noted above and mistakenly attributes the differences in usage to racism.
  4. I agree with you Paul, The author, Mr. Koutonin, who is also the editor of the web site where his article is posted, is offering up his own bias and putting it out there as some kind of reality we should all just accept. And what does he offer; what does he cite as evidence, to support his fantasy based conjecture? Nothing. Anyone can write anything and put it on the internet. The fact that he's the editor adds no credibility to what he says, on the contrary, all things being equal, it is less credible since there is no dissenting opinion found on his web site.
  5. Sure, but this is not the off season, or is Santa on strike this year? Merry Christ Mass (oh, wait, is that a religious term?).
  6. Ron, It was the tradition of the Continental Congress to open with prayers and continues today in the Senate and House of Representatives. In the days of the Continental Congress proclamations were made for fasting, prayer, and thanksgiving. The system of the Congressional Chaplaincy (to officiate religious matters such as opening prayers, adding a dimension of faith such as praying to God in Congressional affairs and giving thanks to God, providing religious services to members of Congress and their families, etc. ) was officially begun with the first Congress in 1789. It was a paid position. In other words the state pays for the religious services of the Congressional Chaplain. Congress itself elects and pays for the chaplain under the authority (as claimed by our elected Congress) of the same constitution which supposedly outlaws such, and not to mention that the document in question was written by the same bunch of guys who “theoretically” were against the close relationship between church and state which they supported then and who’s present day successors support in the elected office of the chaplaincy. Just this past fiscal year Congress spent about $600,000 in tax dollars on the office of the chaplaincy in terms of salaries. And who knows how much was spent in added chaplain services apart from salaries. And how about chaplains in the military praying and conducting other religious services all the while paid by the same government which, again, supposedly outlaws such a relationship between church and state in the constitution which they (chaplains and others) supposedly are sworn to uphold and obey? The Supreme Court ruled that the chaplaincy in our government is constitutional. Therefore, all three branches of government support the concept of the chaplaincy (mixing church and state), including the legislative by way of our elected members of Congress and the executive, by way of our elected Commander in Chief of the military (President), and the judicial by way of the Supreme Court. So that would mean that all chaplains in the executive and legislative branches as well as all branches of our government are either all in violation of the constitution or they all read the constitution differently. Food for thought: George Washington, in his first inaugural address, 1789: "Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aide can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes; and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge."
  7. I understand completely. It's often the case that a position seems to make perfect sense until someone replies with a counter argument. As with most things in life, grey is the norm more often than black and white. Out of respect for your decision not to discuss the topic I've also deleted my replies to your posts.
  8. David, To answer your question: My guess is that those individuals and their families (regardless of legal status of residency) who have reported earnings are collecting now, or will eventually collect if they work long enough. I read that about three quarters of the illegal alien population have reported earnings. I suspect that most of those that don’t have an earnings record are the younger ones. SSA uses reported earnings to determine eligibility rather than actual taxes paid. If one can prove that they worked, even after the fact, it is possible to establish eligibility. And my guess, again, is that for the young and relatively recent arrivals, SS is not a primary issue on the mind of the “illegal worker.” Neither was it a primary issue for me when I was young; I just wanted to work. But, as the worker matures (whether legal or illegal) they tend to think more about Social Security and eligibility issues. As you get closer to being eligible for retirement you’re more likely to check your earnings history file with the SSA. In either case, when you apply and if you have a big gap you can at that time submit proof of work (you don’t have to prove you paid taxes which would be much harder) to correct the gap in your file. Just a point of clarification regarding illegal worker and illegal alien. One can be in the country legally and yet be an illegal worker. As an example, my wife received her ITIN and then her SSN while waiting for her immigration interview, (but it is an SSN which does not authorize work) Although she didn't stick around for the interview. If she worked on the card even though she was in the U.S. legally at the time, that would have been illegal. However, even though the work would have been illegal, the SSA would not penalize her in any way. she could have then or can even now build up work credits with the SSA. Now days she has a tourist visa, and can enter and stay for months at a time but is not supposed to work. However if she did work, she would use her SSN to do it and thus acquire SS credits towards retirement.
  9. David, That's not the point I was making. The point is that the status of the immigrant, being illegal, does not seem to have any bearing on whether or not one collects on the SS benefits. My relations who were all working in the states illegally are actual examples. And I provided a link which explains it. You made that point that illegals were paying into the system but were not receiving the benefits. That statement is not true.
  10. Hi David, I haven't been following the back and forth discussion, but just happened across this one comment about Social Security. I knew that it was wrong because I have relatives on my Tica wife's side of the family that I know were all illegal during their working years in the U.S. They are now collecting Social Security. So that got my curiosity up wondering how they do it. As it turns out according to the link (I haven't done any research on it, just typed in SS benefits for illegals) it's pretty easy as long as you've either saved some evidence of your working history since 2004 (such as a w2) or if you got your SSN before 2004 (which is the case with my relatives) then no problem and no records necessary other than the SSN or the ITIN which they all have. http://seniorsleague.org/2012/how-undocumented-workers-are-becoming-entitled-to-social-security/ http://seniorsleague.org/2012/how-undocumented-workers-are-becoming-entitled-to-social-security/
  11. I don't know anything about that new law you mentioned (or is that just a rumor?). Anyway I haven't been keeping up on CAJA changes this year. But last year (about this time) there was a change to the CAJA pension computation. I don't claim to understand it (the change) completely, but I think I understand at least part of it. They (CAJA) discovered a big gapping hole (when they cared to look) that over the many years of its existence a big disconnect grew between what independent workers were claiming and paying into their pensions and what they were collecting at the end in the way of the minimum pension. It seems that they discovered that something like 99% of all independent workers affiliated with CAJA claim to make next to nothing (all somewhere in the neighborhood of under 100,000 colones per month). That includes all non employees who work. For example it includes lawyers, dentists, med docs, vets, accountants, electricians, plumers, private teachers, performers, house painters, etc. If the person works, claims an income, and is NOT an employee, then he/she is an independent worker. It's pretty simple. So everyone, including, Hacienda (the equivalent of the IRS) and CAJA know that the system is being cheated big time. Not only that but it turns out that even if you only pay the minimum premium you're whole life (which used to be something like 5,000 colones and is now around 20,000 I think) you are (were) going to be eligible to collect the minimum pension at age 60 for women, and age 62 for men. Not only that but it turns out as I stated above there grew to be a disconnect between the minimum premiums and the corresponding minimum pension. It seems the people setting the minimum pension had no clue as to what it would do to the system over time. So long story shorter the minimum pension (currently 128,000 colones) is way (maybe 10 times) above the actuarial justification when you factor in the small premium over a lifetime and it was skewing the entire CAJA pension system. So in conclusion what they did. They targeted the independent workers (as they are primarily the guilty party) but my understanding is that voluntaries got caught up in the law change as well. Now every year or 6 months (not sure) for the next 10 years or so the minimum premium is being raised until it catches up (actuarially speaking) with the minimum pension. A pension is supposed to be something like 52% of your income and if the minimum pension is 128,000 that means that the minimum income has to be raised somewhere to around the 250,000+ range which is what their target is. Currently the minimum income is around 210,000 I believe and climbing to the 250,000 range. Of course that goes up each year as well when the minimum pension is increased, so for example in 10 years the minimum income could be 500,000 That means that if you are a cheating doctor today (for example) and walk in to affiliate as an independent worker you can try to claim an income of 100,000 but now you will be set at the current minimum income of 210,000 and it will continue to clime to around 250,000 even if your income doesn't actually go up. Then when you collect your pension of 52% (about) of 250,000, which is the minimum pension of 128,000 colones it all works out actuarially. Something tells me my explanation is way too long. Anyway the other change they instituted back in Nov. 2013 was that if you are under age 65 and your computed pension is less that the lawful minimum then you get nothing, zip, zero. (the computed pension is based on 52% (about) of the income that the premiums were based on; formula is more complicated than that but essentially that's it). But long and longer of it is that since I and others paying for only 15 years (which itself is a relatively recent change to the law) will be over 65 (by law) I don't know how exactly that will affect us. All the above is based on a standard pension of a minimum of 300 quotas or 25 years minimum of paying into the system. So the shortened 180 quota (15 year deal) throws another unknown wrench into the actuarial mix that they may have to fix as well. Which is why I feel not completely confident in how the whole 15 year pension deal will shake out. By the way the 15 year plan was mainly started for housewives years ago who were divorced at a late age thus getting the shaft from CAJA (and there husbands) (no healthcare, no pension). If CAJA had known the rest of us would also be taking advantage of the "housewife" deal maybe they would have thought twice.
  12. What I will actually receive if anything, I'm not quite sure, but according to the CAJA people and the law, I'm supposed to get the minimum, which is currently 128K. The minimum is adjusted every 6 months. But on the other hand, according to my on line account statement, one of the notes reads, "Con 180 cotizaciones proyectadas, alternativamente, podrá obtener una pensión proporcional con un porcentaje de reducción de 40.00%." The problem is that if it is reduced by 40% as noted above, then that would be below the legal minimum. So does that mean I'll get nothing? Or, does it mean I'll get the minimum as the law states? I won't know for sure till I get there. I'm in a little different position than my wife who is Tica by birth. She has paid into the system much longer. And she, because of her length of payments (well over 15 years), will be eligible at age 60 to collect (in her particular case) a more than the minimum. But I started late and will not even have the 15 year minimum until age 66. As a side note, my brother in law who I reported on somewhere on this forum was denied an indigent pension in the last administration. He applied again under the new administration and is now receiving the indigent pension which I believe is 75K. The indigent pension is a non contributory pension for those in extreme poverty who worked informally and who's patronos never paid into the system.
  13. As others have written you are automatically not covered by the pension and don't pay for it if you affiliate when 55 or older. But... if you want to affiliate into the pension you can even if you are over 55. If you pay in for 15 years and opted into the pension you can stop paying as long as you are 65 or older and as you stated you'll continue to be covered under CAJA's health care system and you'll collect a pension to boot. The current minimum pension is 128k colones. The pension option is a good deal if you are at the low end of the premium scale. You're going to recoup your money and then some in less than the 15 years of paying into the system.
  14. So if I understand you correctly then, it’s possible to be an “ex” patriot while living in your own homeland, having never moved away provided that you were a patriot at one time and are not now? And, it would also be true therefore that if one never was a patriot to his homeland in the first place then he/she could never become an ex-patriot. Perhaps the term in that case would be non-patriot? And if you are of New England but never a “patriot” are you a New England non-Patriot? And then if you leave New England to live in Costa Rica then you’d be an Ex-New England non-Patriot Expatriate? And if… Wait, were was I…?
  15. The article is describing Costa Rica as anything but a well functioning capitalist society. The author of the article, Juan Carlo Hidalgo, is a member of the CATO Institute which promote libertarian ideals such as limited government, free markets, individual liberty and peace. He states that in developed market based societies one opens a business to get rich. But, in Costa Rica one has to already be rich to open a business. Costa Rica is ranked near the bottom as far as ease in opening and maintaining a business, complying with all the rules, regs, taxation requirements etc. Only the rich can afford all the lawyers. That drives a third of the work force underground and are out of the safety net. In Costa Rica the politicians favor certain sectors such as exporters and businesses such as Dos Pinos, which is why Costa Rican milk is cheaper outside of Costa Rica in Panama for example. The central bank (run by in his words 7 "viejos") also manipulates the currency rather than letting it float with market forces to favor exporters and private banks. And inflation is held high as a result (averaging 10% a year over the last 20 years) which works as the worst kind of regressive tax on the poor but favors exporters and private banks as mentioned above. In short, the author says Costa Rica is NOT being run as a free market capitalist society.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.