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David C. Murray

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About David C. Murray

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  • Birthday December 20
  1. I have no experience with totally destroyed or disabled vehicles to share, James. Sorry.
  2. At SJO, and probably at LIR, there is a 15% surcharge on the entire cost of your car rental if you take possession of the car at the airport. Instead, arrange with the rental car company to pick you up at the airport and bring you to their nearby office. There, you can do the paperwork and take possession of the car (and save a bundle). It may take an hour longer, but the time spent will be well worth it.
  3. Even though only about twenty percent of stolen vehicles are ever recovered here in Costa Rica, the law dictates that a vehicle is not considered legally stolen until thirty days after the theft is reported to the OIJ. That helps to explain the delays in settlements for stolen vehicles. What's more, you must report the theft within 24 hours, even on weekends and holidays, and only to the OIJ office rather than the local Fuerza Publica. Neighbors have recommended that, should your vehicle be stolen, the first thing you should do is notify the local taxi companies who can tell their drivers to be on the lookout for it. They have more eyes open than the Fuerza Publica could possibly muster.
  4. James, the cost of homeowners' insurance will vary with the value of your home, the value of its contents, and perhaps other considerations. Our insurance agent was flabbergasted to learn that we do not live in a gated, guarded subdivision and that we do not have bars on our windows and doors. Those issues may have influenced the cost of our homeowners' insurance policy as did the fact that we included a substantial collection of artwork and rugs in our coverage. In homeowners' insurance policies, one size does not fit all.
  5. When we removed our vehicle from its corporation and dissolved the corporation, the total cost was a bit greater than the old corporation tax would have been for that year, but since then we have more than recovered the legal costs by avoiding subsequent years' corporation taxes. As far as having a vehicle in a corporation in order to avoid liability, you will be better off to dissolve the corporation and then buy public liability insurance which you can pay for, in part at least, with the savings on the corporation tax. As good citizens, we believe we should be liable for injuries, deaths or damages that are our fault. The liability insurance takes care of that without risking our own financial welfare. Our real estate is tied up in a corporation due to our mortgage, but we are looking into how to dissolve that corporation, too. Regardless, our homeowners' insurance provides liability coverage should someone be injured or killed on our property. The cost of that homeowners' insurance, too, would be offset by the savings on the corporation tax.
  6. Driving in Costa Rica is pretty much like driving anywhere else. We drive on the right, as in most of the rest of the world. Generally, other drivers will obey the laws, stop signs, etc. And, like the rest of the world, we have our share of crazies. The worst of them are the motorcyclists of whom you must be very, very aware. They'll tailgate, speed through congested downtown streets, cross in front of you from the right to make a left turn, ignore Stop signs and traffic lights, split lanes, and ride as many as five family members on one cycle. There certainly are some car jackings, but males, females and couples are equally exposed. It's no worse than anywhere else. I've always recommended to our guests that they deal with a reputable car rental agency. Maybe check Trip Advisor for reviews. You can probably get a lower rate somewhere, but as a friend used to say, "If it seems cheap, it probably is." How much of your time here do you want to spend dealing with a failed rental car? Be sure to get a full-price quote that includes all mandatory insurance coverage. Costa Rica will not permit you to use your "home" insurance policy despite what your agent may tell you. If your company doesn't do business in Costa Rica, and it's certain not to, their coverage cannot be honored by the rental agency and you cannot drive without the legally mandated minimum coverage.
  7. For my part, there certainly were philosophical differences with the content. The forum generally became a magnet for conspiracy theories some of which had their origins with Scott and others from forum participants. The forum lost it's Costa Rica orientation in favor of nonsensical rants about things that had neither happened nor would ever happen. Scott might have reined all that in, but then that would have been out of character for him. Too, I was put off by Scott's frequent and baseless attacks on Israel. Certainly, Israel has not always behaved admirably, but Scott went out of his way to slip one into any conversation he could. And then there were his largely baseless attacks on government in all its forms. To read his stuff, one would believe that it is the fault of government that we have national defense, public health, infrastructure, scientific research, and myriad other features of modern life that no other entity could have created. Instead of continuing in its original vein of a congenial place to discuss things Costa Rican, Scott and his ilk transformed the forum into an experiment in mindless ugliness. It was too much for me.
  8. We have a one bedroom guest house adjacent to our home. We have had very consistent rentals over the past nine years, but still I would not recommend a rental property as a sound investment. We are unlikely to ever break even. Were it mine to do, I'd put my money in Certificates of Deposit at Coopenae in San Ramon. Coopenae's financials are very sound and your money remains liquid. The traditional advice is that it's easy to buy in Costa Rica but difficult to sell. If you ever needed your investment back, you might be out of luck. What's more, CDs require no maintenance and they earn interest 24/365. Neither can be said with certainty about a rental house.
  9. I can see no advantage to informing Immigration of any income, whether guaranteed for life or not, that is in excess of the minimum the law requires. It won't speed up the process and it won't cause them to overlook something that might otherwise disqualify you. When Marcia and I applied as pensionados, we declared only my pension (the smaller of the two) and our application was approved in about five months. Had we declared more income, the approval wouldn't have come any more quickly nor would it have been any more certain.
  10. Ticochico, you wrote, "Define "remain in Costa Rica for an extended or long term" as it relates to the tourist category." in #47 above. ​Paul has written more than once that Costa Rican law provides for tourists to spend up to 180 days a year in the country (but not more). I have no problem with that, but if Paul is right (and when has he ever been wrong?), then any individual's presence in Costa Rica for more than 180 days in any year would be in violation of that limit. That, I would assert, would constitute a legal "Defin[ition] of "remain in Costa Rica for an extended or long term"." And since the law contains that limitation, and since the law also provides an alternative means to legally remain in Costa Rica for (yup) an extended period of time or long term (read: legal residency, if one qualifies) it seems clear enough to me that, taken as a whole, the body of the law intends that long term or permanent residents qualify for, apply for and be granted legal residency. One should never confuse the behavior of an Immigration officer or any other law enforcement officer with what s/he is legally authorized to do. It's true that one officer may give someone four or five 90-day tourist visas all in the same year but that fact, by itself, does not define the parameters of the law any more than a Transito officer letting a driver who was stopped for driving 150kmh go without a ticket defines the speed limit.
  11. Ticochico, I think that if it is one's intention to remain in Costa Rica for an extended or undefined long term, then it is the intent of the law that s/he be a qualified and approved temporary or permanent resident. Were that not so, why would there even be a residency law, a process, a bureaucracy, and a set of published standards? Why not just let anyone and everyone in for as long as they wish? And how does Costa Rica benefit from forcing people to make all those border runs to adjoining countries?
  12. I cannot cite the law either. What I can state quite confidently, however, is that the intent, the spirit, of the law is that those who live here on a long term or permanent basis should be legally qualified and approved to do so. If it were not the intent of the law, taken as a whole, that those who live here be qualified to do so AND approved to do so, then why would there even be legal residency at all? Why not just let everyone who feels like it enter the country under any and all circumstances and stay as long as they like on whatever terms they choose? Is it Costa Rica's intention to throw open its borders to all comers and without restrictions or qualifications? I think it is clear that it is not. Rather, Costa Rica admits short term vacationers with the reasonable expectation that they will leave when their visas expire. Long term or permanent residents are expected to qualify for one of the categories of legal residency, to apply for one, and to abide by the laws of the country. Or maybe I'm wrong . . .
  13. My question was in regard to the application of Rule 7, not the wording.
  14. So a mere reference to it absent endorsement or promotion is tolerable under Rule 7? Does that have to be a direct reference or is a tangential reference equally tolerable? If yes, when did Rule 7 change?
  15. Oh! Well, gee, that seems like an expensive dog waterer. At our house, we've always used the same fixture that accepts (among other things) the TP simply leaving the lid and seat up. I mean, when you consider where that tongue has been . . .