IS IT ANY BETTER THERE?
The real estate market is booming in these favelas. Middle-class Brazilians have discovered the slums as a cheap housing alternative. They are also accompanied by an influx of foreigners, most of whom come from the crisis-ridden countries of Southern Europe. Many of the newcomers head to Rio to build an entirely new life for themselves.
In 2010, [Baronio] paid 60,000 reais, or approx. $29,500, for his apartment, which is located in a three-story building directly adjacent to the police station. Baronio made his first trip to Rio four years ago. At the time, he only wanted to spend his vacation here. Then he met his current boyfriend, Alex, fell in love and settled in Brazil. In Italy he was a social worker -- in Rio he works for an aid organization. "The mood is miserable in Italy," he says, adding that "here at least people are cheerful."
The Rio municipal government is promoting this immigration. Politicians hope that the new residents will help prevent a return of the drug barons. Many immigrants transform their buildings into bed-and-breakfasts, in some cases tripling or quadrupling their value. Anyone who has a roof-top terrace with a view rents it out for parties, concerts and photo shootings.
Read the full article on Der Spiegel's website here
Filed Under: Is It Any Better There?, Brazil
IS IT ANY BETTER THERE?
Today there are more millionaires per capita in Singapore than anywhere else; one in six Singaporeans has a net worth in excess of one million. And for the average Joe, median household income ranks among the top worldwide.
Not to mention, standard of living in Singapore is very high -- schools, medical care, goods and services -- all among the best on the planet.
Even more incredibly, they built this without a single drop of oil reserves. Singapore isn't Kuwait. It's a small island with effectively no natural resources to speak of.
While much of the developed world languishes under the massive burden of staggering debt and painful unemployment, Singapore has ZERO net debt. And the unemployment rate is below 2%.
This isn't some phony made-up number either. My friends who own businesses here tell me that there are labor shortages. They just can't find any new people to hire.
So how did this all happen? One key principle -- economic freedom.
Read the rest of the article at Sovereign Man's website here
Filed Under: Is It Any Better There?, libertarian, Singapore
IS IT ANY BETTER THERE?
With soaring tuition costs and a generation burdened with massive student loans, more American students are looking to Canada for higher education at lower prices. Over the last ten years, the number of American students at Canadian colleges rose 50 per cent. Today, approximately 10,000 Americans are enrolled at Canadian schools, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.At McGill University in Montreal, about six per cent of the student body is American. And the numbers are growing.
In comparison to colleges like McGill, American students carry an average of more than $26,000 in debt and roughly nine per cent of those grads will default on those loans within two years of graduation.
CANADIAN TUITION VS. U.S. TUITION
Here are a sampling of tuition prices at some comparable Canadian and U.S. universities
- University of Chicago - $45,945
- George Washington - $45,780
- Stanford - $41,250
- McMaster - $20,966
- McGill - $14,561
- University of Winnipeg - $11,115
Read more at the UK Daily Mail here
Filed Under: Is It Any Better There?, Canada, study abroad
IS IT ANY BETTER THERE?
Simply retiring abroad has become old news, as people seek cheaper places to live and to slash health care costs while enjoying more temperate climes. But now enjoying a "working retirement," like Ms. Wynne's, appears to be gaining traction with expats, as it has in the United States.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increasing number of retirees, who can expect to live longer, healthier lives, are choosing to work in retirement, at least part-time, typically for fear of outliving their money or to keep active and engaged.
Despite a dearth of hard numbers on American retirees abroad, the same seems to be true for them, to judge from the rising number of Social Security checks sent to Americans living in inexpensive retirement havens in Latin America and the Caribbean, and from much anecdotal evidence from expatriate retiree-entrepreneurs like Ms. Wynne and others.
"It seems that the factors that are driving continued work later in life, including part-time work, would be the same for Americans at home and abroad," said Kevin Cahill, an economist with the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College. "So I think it's fair to say that, if the employment opportunities exist, we shouldn't be surprised to see similar trends with respect to part-time employment for U.S. retirees living abroad."
There's a wide range of jobs that globe trotters may consider. Of course, there's the possibility of accepting contract assignments from former employers. And there are often positions available to teach English, work as a translator, lead English-speaking tours, or work at hotels that cater to English-speaking travelers, according to Betsy Burlingame, founder of ExpatExchange.com, a leading Web site on international living.
In many countries, though, you are required to have a work permit for certain jobs and prove there are not citizens there who could fill the position, she added. In Panama, for example, you can't work as a doctor or nurse unless you are a Panamanian citizen.
Many expats, like Ms. Wynne, start their own businesses like restaurants, shops, real estate agencies, art galleries, bed-and-breakfasts and small hotels.
Read the whole article at the New York Times website here
Filed Under: Is It Any Better There?, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, employment, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, retirement, self-employment, taxes
Although Turner is estimated to be worth about $200 million and says she wasn't motivated by taxes, keeping her US citizenship would have forced her to continue paying the IRS, even if she never returns to the US.
For 150 years, Switzerland has also offered tax breaks for foreign millionaires to boost tourism, making them exempt from an income tax and allowing them to pay a flat fee. More than 5,000 foreigners have been using the tax breaks, but opponents of the deal have been gathering signatures to scrap the breaks, putting it up for a popular vote to take place within the next two years.
Four of Switzerland's 26 cantons - including Zurich - have already scrapped the tax breaks for wealthy foreigners.
During most of her 20 years in Switzerland, Turner benefited from the tax breaks. Although she will now be paying Swiss taxes as a citizen, which are high, she will no longer have to pay American taxes in addition.
Read more at Russia Today here
And at Raw Story/Agence France Presse here
Filed Under: Misc, citizenship, Switzerland, taxes, Tina Turner
Spain plans to offer residency permits to foreigners who buy houses priced at more than 160,000 euros ($203,845) as part of its efforts to revive a collapsed real estate market and divest itself of hundreds of thousands of unsold homes.
Spain was following in the footsteps of Ireland and Portugal, two other ailing euro zone economies that have sought to spur their housing markets by easing residency requirements.
Spain normally grants visas that are valid for up to 90 days to citizens of countries that are outside the European Union. The residency permits for foreign home buyers would be for a much longer period of time but would not be open-ended. That detail has yet to be decided. The permits would also not grant the buyer the right to work in Spain.
Read more at the NY Times website here
Filed Under: Getting In, Ireland, Portugal, real estate, residency permit, Spain, visa
IS IT ANY BETTER THERE?
Filed Under: Is It Any Better There?, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Luxumbourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, US
Filed Under: Misc, English
Filed Under: Had Enough?, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Elections, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has listed the rollout of a national broadband network as one of the reasons he wants to become an Australian.
Mr Wozniak told The Australian Financial Review in Sydney that he had spoken to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and was in support of the federal government's fibre rollout.
"I spoke to him and they plan to roll it out to everyone in the country," Mr Wozniak said.
"I support it very much. It's one of the reasons why I actually like this country and want to become a citizen. I live in a country where we don't have any regulation of telecommunications."
In Australia for the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 last week, Wozniak told Brisbane's 4BC breakfast radio that he was "underway to become an Australian citizen."
"It turns out I can keep my American citizenship. I intend to call myself an Australian and feel an Australian, and study the history and become as much of a real citizen here as I can."
Despite his status as a technology icon, Mr Wozniak said he was not connected to a broadband service in his home in California, classing the options available to him as a "monopoly." "There's only one set of wires to be on and I'm not going to pull strings to get them to do something special for me," he said. "When I worked at Hewlett-Packard we treated ourselves like a family and protecting each other and I believe in that."
Read more at the Australian Financial Review website here
Filed Under: Misc, australia, internet