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About drmatt

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  1. I was billed 20 cents per minute for calls back to the U.S. however I am fairly sure those were only ones that weren't routed over wifi.
  2. Google Fi worked great! The only thing which is a little strange is that it takes up to a minute after hitting the dial button to actually make a connection as the device negotiates the best way to route the call. It also has a built-in VPN and screening for "safe" open networks to connect to. I had absolutely no problems with call quality or connectivity.
  3. Hi everybody- So here is the update. We visited the ARCR office in San Jose and were informed that they currently recommend using ScotiaBank or CoopeAlianza for those applying for Rentista. Basically, once we have the $60K ready to go we can do a single transfer from the U.S. and they will setup the CD ladder. No need to worry about having a Costa Rican phone number, letters of "recommendation" from our credit union, etc. as apparently are required from BCR and BN. At some point we will need to be physically present in CR to sign some docs, but apparently much of this can be done remotely.
  4. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences! We definitely plan to rent for the foreseeable future. Due to the fact that we will still be working from CR, shoddy or patchy Internet just isn't an option. We will be testing Google Fi next week, though for long term I'd rather have a hard line, and use mobile Internet for backup. Unfortunately we can't simply pick an area to live, and then wait around for new or improved service. The good news is- with renting we won't be married to one location forever.
  5. Got it. Though I am still confused as to how I am supposed to get $60K in an account so I can apply for residency, while at the same time needing to be a resident in order to make large deposits in the bank. Seems like a chicken-and-egg scenario. (Ya I know... welcome to Costa Rica!) I'll be interested to hear what they have to say at the banks next week!
  6. That would be cool if it works out! We will be coming in Thursday and staying through Saturday morning in San Juan... we will be staying near to the ARCR office. When you say "we used them to open a bank account" what all did the service entail?
  7. You had said: I wasn't sure if by this you had meant that they would want to see the application for residency before setting up the account.
  8. Thanks again for the information! I'm curious- are you saying that the $60K on deposit is not necessary in order to submit the application for residency? I thought it was a prerequisite.
  9. Hi rodo- Thanks for the additional info on BCT. It sounds like something we should consider as an alternative or adjunct.
  10. Hi SEATURTLEWOMAN- I appreciate you taking time to tell the whole tale! I think this just emphasizes that the moral of the story is: There is no consistent policy. Policies change over time (often rapidly), can be very different from bank to bank. and even among different representatives from the same bank. We will be passing through San Jose next week. I plan to stop by ARCR and introduce myself, get information, etc. Using their services is still on the table (this includes opening a bank account?) however I'm the kind of person who wants to learn and understand the process, even if I end up paying somebody else to do it for me. :-)
  11. We will be heading down for a quick trip next week, and will testing out Google Fi service. Here are the basics- $20 for voice and $10/GB for data. The new hybrid chip apparently functions as a network bridge to create "seamless uninterrupted coverage" in 135 countries, including CR. When in the U.S., the chip will route calls over Sprint, T-Mobile, or U.S Cellular networks depending on which has the best signal. What is more- if the phone is connected to WiFi it will route calls that way, avoiding cellular networks altogether. Not sure who the partner provider is in CR. Now I've been around the Sun enough times to know that technology rarely works as promised. So I'm hopeful, yet skeptical. I will post updates here as my experiences with Google Fi unfold. If anybody else has experience with the service, please also share here!
  12. Thanks for the additional help! It looks like BN is pretty much our only feasible option at this point. We won't be doing business in Costa Rica, just from Costa Rica so I don't think we will be able to use a business name. For the purposes of next week, I am hoping to just walk into a branch and open an account. However, I'm not prepared to plop $10K in it right now anyway. Do you have a sense for what would be the maximum amount that's not going to raise any eyebrows? It would be premature to speak with anybody at the bank right now about large transfers; I just want to have the account set up so that way the infrastructure is in place. However at the end of the day, the reason is very straightforward: We intend to apply for residency and so need a bank account. As far as where the money is coming from- do you know what they are going to want in order to "prove" it is legit? I mean- my wife and I are Managing Partners in a small B2B business offering professional services. We have no employees. I can obviously draft a document saying whatever I want regarding my income. Not sure what else would "prove" legitimacy- even U.S. tax documents can be doctored to say anything. They'd have to get the info straight from the IRS. The money is legit. I'm just wondering what BN would consider as "proof" of that.
  13. OK- thanks for all the additional info. That is very helpful! Well I guess we will see what happens next week when I go to open an account with BN. Apparently- a physical address is no longer necessary but a Costa Rica-based mobile number is. I'm guessing I will just have to bite the bullet and grab a chip from the Kolbi desk on the way in... interesting how they find creative ways to "spread the wealth" around. Apparently- none of my other globally accessible mobile numbers will do.
  14. Your penchant for pedantism is noted. And appreciated- a little misinformation can go a long way. ;-) It seems so profoundly backwards to me that banks would charge a fee for secure wire transfer, since there is so much more potential for fraud with a physical check, and while various alphabet soup agencies are cracking down on money laundering but c'est la vie. Our money's clean; I just would prefer to maintain a maximum amount of control over it for a minimum amount of fees. (Call me a dreamer.) Tax forms don't scare me- I still do all of our personal and business taxes myself due to the fact that we once hired a person to do it, and she screwed it up. Still looking into Paypal... I see that I would be able to open a second Paypal account from within Costa Rica, link my Tico bank account, and then transfer money to myself that way. The main thing is that I am going to want to make some transfers to CR from within the US. However, we are likely to be visiting at least three more times before applying for residency, so I can certainly bring cash or checks then. Properly declared, of course. ;-)
  15. Yes, I saw that also! Although if I understand correctly, one can apply for Permanent Residency after 3 years..? I'm not expecting things to be "logical" but just making sure I understand correctly and making sure we explore all options. That's quite a bit of money to be tied up in a CD...

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