Author Topic: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.  (Read 7430 times)  

Offline Felix R. Savage

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #125 on: July 17, 2017, 05:31:22 AM »
I'm a language nerd, so I'm curious about those who can say they're fluent in another language after having lived abroad. How long did it take you to reach fluency, and what methods did you use. For a native English speaker, just living abroad isn't enough, of course, especially if you are living in a country where English knowledge is widespread, like most countries in Western Europe.

Speaking for myself, I hit the books. Studied hard enough to get the top Japanese language certification offered by the government here (NOT that difficult, just a whole lot of memorization), then got a job at a Japanese corporation and then my understanding really took off due to daily immersion. The whole process took 4 years. Oh yeah I am married to a local too. I think you will find that many if not most fluent expats are married to a native speaker :)

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Offline Abderian

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #126 on: July 17, 2017, 05:32:24 AM »

Kids learn languages very quickly if they are inserted into the environment. They do this because they don't automatically choose the simple path of hoping the other person speaks english. They stick to native language and try to do it and mimic because they don't want to appear different from the native speaker. Do as kids. Only use your english in a foreign environment in an emergency.


Kids learn languages quickly because they learn differently from adults. Their brains are different from ours, that's why if they learn the new language when they're young, they also pick up the accent and sound the same as a native speaker. An adult can speak a second language for decades and still speak it with their original accent if they learned the second language as an adult. Kids don't have a learning strategy. It just happens naturally without effort if the child is young enough. My son came here aged eight and now his Chinese is indistinguishable from a Taiwanese speaker. He didn't consciously learn it. He has no memory of learning it.

Offline Decon

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #127 on: July 17, 2017, 05:47:09 AM »
The first time I tried learning Portuguese was from a book. That was next to useless as no one understood me when I went on holiday, because the pronunciation and intonation was all wrong.

The only way to get the pronunciation right is to listen and repeat.

I bought quite a few CD tutorials before I moved to Brazil full time. I think it was the Rosseta Stone's one that was the best, but there are many for different languages.  Whichever, what you can do is to listen to the word or phrase in increasing levels of comlplexity, then you record your voice saying an individual word or phrase and you are graded on the match, and it shows a sort of voice graph to get the intonation right.

An example of an easy pronounced phrase would be a greeting such as 'Tudo bom' and the reply of 'Tudo bem', both of which translates as "all good" However say it how it looks and it won't sound right. The "O" in tudo is a sort of "U" sound. The bom is said in a rising tone, and the bem is said in a downard tone for you to sound like a native speaker.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 06:14:26 AM by Decon »


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Online MonkishScribe

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #128 on: July 17, 2017, 05:50:16 AM »
I bought quite a few CD tutorials before I moved to Brazil full time. I think it was the Rosseta Stone's one that was the best, but there are many for different languages.  Whichever, what you can do is to listen to the word or phrase in increasing levels of comlexity, then you record your voice saying an individual word or phrase and you are graded on the match, and it shows a sort of voice graph to get the intonation right.

I always advise people away from Rosetta Stone. It seems way too overpriced and overhyped. I liked Learn in Your Car. Super cheap, but you do have to listen again and again, and there's zero explanation of the grammar; you just have to intuit it. This is how I started with French, and it really helped with the accent. I already knew a Romance language, though, so I didn't have grammar issues. When I started on LIYC Russian, the grammar stuff was baffling.

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #129 on: July 17, 2017, 05:52:56 AM »
Kids learn languages quickly because they learn differently from adults. Their brains are different from ours, that's why if they learn the new language when they're young, they also pick up the accent and sound the same as a native speaker. An adult can speak a second language for decades and still speak it with their original accent if they learned the second language as an adult. Kids don't have a learning strategy. It just happens naturally without effort if the child is young enough. My son came here aged eight and now his Chinese is indistinguishable from a Taiwanese speaker. He didn't consciously learn it. He has no memory of learning it.

I think this is absolutely true. It's only the assertion of it being faster that I take issue with. A kid still needs umpteen hours of contact with the language. In addition, adults have some advantages over kids. One is patience and motivation. It's really, really hard to teach a kid outside of an immersion environment. Another advantage they have is the ability to make connections between words in their native language and their target language.

Offline JaydenHunter

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #130 on: July 17, 2017, 06:56:49 AM »
In regards to taxes, my long term goal is to renounce citizenship.

I don't want to live in the states, nor do I want to fund American's penchant for war-military-prison spending, so it's a no-brainer for me.

From what I've been told it's possible to have a tax rate of about 5% here in Mexico, with maybe 15% being the maximum if you don't do things to cut your taxes.  I'm only going off of what I've received from others, but I trust the sources.

In essence, by becoming a Mexican citizen, if I follow the basic 20to50K type plan (ie write some series, get 20-30 books out there) and make 50,000 a year, I'll be super wealthy here.  I could live here okay on $12,000 a year--I mean get by...nothing fancy.

At $50,000 a year in Mexico, even with 10% in tax, you're netting $45,000 which is enough to live very well here.

In the states that same $50,000 is taxed down to at least $35,000, and that doesn't count all the hidden taxes and inflation, etc....

From a cost/benefit viewpoint, the move makes a lot of sense....

Now I just have to get the books....my latest disaster is going to set me back some months (need to take a "real" job again for at least a month....)

I swear, just when you think you have this game sort of figured out, something changes or surprises you or disappoints you....

It's like being 14 and in love then going through a break up.

"But, Daddy, I love him," she cried.
"You're only fifteen, you'll recover," he tells her.
"You don't understand."  Cry-sniff-cry....

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Offline Decon

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #131 on: July 17, 2017, 07:15:37 AM »
In regards to taxes, my long term goal is to renounce citizenship.

I don't want to live in the states, nor do I want to fund American's penchant for war-military-prison spending, so it's a no-brainer for me.

From what I've been told it's possible to have a tax rate of about 5% here in Mexico, with maybe 15% being the maximum if you don't do things to cut your taxes.  I'm only going off of what I've received from others, but I trust the sources.

In essence, by becoming a Mexican citizen, if I follow the basic 20to50K type plan (ie write some series, get 20-30 books out there) and make 50,000 a year, I'll be super wealthy here.  I could live here okay on $12,000 a year--I mean get by...nothing fancy.

At $50,000 a year in Mexico, even with 10% in tax, you're netting $45,000 which is enough to live very well here.

In the states that same $50,000 is taxed down to at least $35,000, and that doesn't count all the hidden taxes and inflation, etc....

From a cost/benefit viewpoint, the move makes a lot of sense....

Now I just have to get the books....my latest disaster is going to set me back some months (need to take a "real" job again for at least a month....)

I swear, just when you think you have this game sort of figured out, something changes or surprises you or disappoints you....

It's like being 14 and in love then going through a break up.

"But, Daddy, I love him," she cried.
"You're only fifteen, you'll recover," he tells her.
"You don't understand."  Cry-sniff-cry....

Good luck to you. I'd be wary of the violence, especially after what I've seen in Brazil, and by all accounts Mexico is worse.


https://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-guide/relinquishing-citizenship/renunciating-your-us-passport/misconceptions-about-renunciation-of-a-us-passport/
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 07:21:57 AM by Decon »


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Offline Perry Constantine

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #132 on: July 17, 2017, 07:48:24 AM »
In regards to taxes, my long term goal is to renounce citizenship.

I don't want to live in the states, nor do I want to fund American's penchant for war-military-prison spending, so it's a no-brainer for me.

From what I've been told it's possible to have a tax rate of about 5% here in Mexico, with maybe 15% being the maximum if you don't do things to cut your taxes.  I'm only going off of what I've received from others, but I trust the sources.

In essence, by becoming a Mexican citizen, if I follow the basic 20to50K type plan (ie write some series, get 20-30 books out there) and make 50,000 a year, I'll be super wealthy here.  I could live here okay on $12,000 a year--I mean get by...nothing fancy.

At $50,000 a year in Mexico, even with 10% in tax, you're netting $45,000 which is enough to live very well here.

In the states that same $50,000 is taxed down to at least $35,000, and that doesn't count all the hidden taxes and inflation, etc....

From a cost/benefit viewpoint, the move makes a lot of sense....

Now I just have to get the books....my latest disaster is going to set me back some months (need to take a "real" job again for at least a month....)

I swear, just when you think you have this game sort of figured out, something changes or surprises you or disappoints you....

It's like being 14 and in love then going through a break up.

"But, Daddy, I love him," she cried.
"You're only fifteen, you'll recover," he tells her.
"You don't understand."  Cry-sniff-cry....

I'm sure you know this, but for anyone else who might be thinking of doing this, it's worth noting that to avoid the possibility of any tax liability to the US, you'd have to renounce your US citizenship. There is the FEIE, but if you're going to be making six figures a year and don't want to pay taxes to the US on that, then renunciation would be a necessity. I don't know all the details, but I've heard it can be a costly and difficult process.

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #133 on: July 17, 2017, 08:14:44 AM »
Kids learn languages quickly because they learn differently from adults. Their brains are different from ours, that's why if they learn the new language when they're young, they also pick up the accent and sound the same as a native speaker. An adult can speak a second language for decades and still speak it with their original accent if they learned the second language as an adult. Kids don't have a learning strategy. It just happens naturally without effort if the child is young enough. My son came here aged eight and now his Chinese is indistinguishable from a Taiwanese speaker. He didn't consciously learn it. He has no memory of learning it.
I think this is absolutely true. It's only the assertion of it being faster that I take issue with. A kid still needs umpteen hours of contact with the language. In addition, adults have some advantages over kids. One is patience and motivation. It's really, really hard to teach a kid outside of an immersion environment. Another advantage they have is the ability to make connections between words in their native language and their target language.
I think it's true, but less so than people often think. Adult brains at any age are proving to be far more plastic than they were once believed to be. I started learning Czech at the age of almost 29 and took the attitude that I wanted to speak so that people could not easily recognize me as a foreigner. I had the advantage of having a good ear, but I also tried as much as possible to be completely open to the process, being as patient as I could with the fact that in many ways I had to put up with returning to small-child status and not being able to easily communicate on any very sophisticated topic.

I succeeded to an extent many people would find unbelievable. Of course this was partly due to expectations- at the time I first went, in 1985, very few Czech-speaking foreigners visited and those that did were almost all from slavic-speaking countries. In addition, there are a number of regional accents, as well as Slovak, that have different grammar, so it was easy for people to suppose any mistakes I made meant I was from another region.

After I moved here in 1990, and particular after my marriage in 1993 I was in an almost entirely Czech-speaking environment for some years and I got to a point where I really didn't feel limited in what I could talk about and I could watch television, read newspapers and books, or take part in fast, joking conversation with native speakers without any struggle. After eight years back in the US and now, being in a mostly English speaking environment all day I've lost a lot of fluency. It's irritating to hear myself make mistakes and to have to limit my conversation again, but I'm too lazy and enjoying myself on other fronts to be willing to spend the time and energy to bring myself up to my previous level. Instead I'm trying to revive my long-dead high school French so I can do some research for my books.

The main thing I think about achieving fluency, particularly in a language with a quite different structure than English, is that it's extremely individual. The only real commonality among those who learn to speak with what could be called fluency is just how much work it takes and how exhausting it can be. The end result and the new worlds it opens up to you are absolutely exhilarating but I know at my age and knowing what I know now I'd hesitate before taking on another language very different from English or Czech. It's always tempting though... Now I'm thinking about Arabic! :D

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #134 on: July 17, 2017, 08:15:29 AM »
If you've got a good ear, you can have the opposite problem. You're still in the early stages, but because you can reproduce the sounds, people start talking to you at a rapid clip, thinking you're more fluent than you are.
Woman speaks to me in Russian. I say "Ya ne ponemayu" or "I don't understand". She repeats herself louder. I say, "Ya ne gavaru pa Ruski" or "I don't speak Russian". Those are two phrases I have down pat. She doesn't believe me because I say them so well. Translator steps in finally.

Funny incident in Moscow. A man stops my companion and I on the street. He has a map and tries to ask us for directions in halting Russian. My companion makes a side remark to me in English. In a rush of relief, he asks in English if we speak English, then repeats his question. He has a German accent. My companion answers him in German. Long conversation in German and he thanks her profusely.

I was at a dinner in Romania where multiple languages were going around the table. My companion spoke Romanian, Italian and English. One of the other people spoke German, Italian, and French, I spoke Spanish and English, another person spoke Romanian, Italian and Spanish, etc., etc.
 

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #135 on: July 17, 2017, 08:30:28 AM »
Mentioned earlier in this thread, moving from an urban or suburban area in the U.S. to a rural area can be a lot like being an expat. All our costs--housing especially--are far less than elsewhere. There are many cultural differences between us and the indigenous population--linguistic differences, too. People's way of thinking about certain things is vastly different from the thinking in other parts of the country. These differences are less apparent if one doesn't seek to integrate with the local culture, or if one doesn't have school-age children. A lot of retirees move here and build big, comfortable houses just this side of being mansions, enjoy clean air and great scenery, and don't have to learn a new language to do their lives. They do have to change their expectations of people.

Disadvantages to being rural in the U.S. are having lousy internet and very little access to culture, and being among people who aren't really prepared to deal with others not of their exact race or religion.

We've always thought we'd like to live in Europe for a while, specifically so we could have access to culture and history, but for now we own too much stuff. Maybe when we're ready to downsize we'll get our six months in England or Austria. With all the infrastructure there, being elderly and unable/unwilling to drive will not be as big an issue as it is here. Lots of trains in the UK and Europe.


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« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 03:40:56 AM by Ann in Arlington »

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #136 on: July 17, 2017, 09:06:53 AM »
I don't know why, but some people simply cannot do this. In some cases, it seems like they feel funny, like it's putting on a fake British accent or something, but in others, they just can't hear the differences, can't roll their Rs, etc. I've met people who can hold a good conversation, but their accent still sounds like they're stuck in the "YO keeyero unuh servessa" stage.

If you've got a good ear, you can have the opposite problem. You're still in the early stages, but because you can reproduce the sounds, people start talking to you at a rapid clip, thinking you're more fluent than you are.
Woman speaks to me in Russian. I say "Ya ne ponemayu" or "I don't understand". She repeats herself louder. I say, "Ya ne gavaru pa Ruski" or "I don't speak Russian". Those are two phrases I have down pat. She doesn't believe me because I say them so well. Translator steps in finally.
Most of us in my family have the good ear 'problem'. My father had both an excellent ear and no self-consciousness whatsoever about speaking. When he was at a university in Quebec he was required to deliver some of his lectures in French. Then they'd come up afterwards to talk to him and think he was joking when he said he wasn't French.

I had the same problem of people talking to me at high speed on my first visit to Czechoslovakia. I was proud that I'd managed such a good accent, of course, but also a little incredulous- I can always hear a little trace accent, often even for people who moved to the US in their early teens. I can't count the number of people who stop me on the streets for directions and then tell me how good my English is, though, so it's clear that lots of people really don't hear these things. Also, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to distinguish a slight foreign accent so easily for someone with a good British or Australian accent.

One thing I learned, though, is not to stop people or tell them you're not a native speaker if you want to learn a language well. For one thing, your ear starts to attune pretty quickly to the speed. It's frustrating, because you feel like your in a sort of delay loop- the words finally come together and make sense just a second or two after you say, "What was that?" but in many countries, people will clam up if they think you can't understand. They'll start gesturing and using the two words of English they know- even after a long conversation in their own language. They just can't get past the expectation that they're not going to be able to communicate with a foreigner.

In fact, that's probably one of the main differences between kid and adult learning- adults are operating much more on habit and expectation. Their ideas of who people are and what to expect are much more fixed. If you can stay open yourself and avoid triggering their expectations learning is much easier and faster.

Offline JaydenHunter

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #137 on: July 17, 2017, 09:42:47 AM »
I'm sure you know this, but for anyone else who might be thinking of doing this, it's worth noting that to avoid the possibility of any tax liability to the US, you'd have to renounce your US citizenship. There is the FEIE, but if you're going to be making six figures a year and don't want to pay taxes to the US on that, then renunciation would be a necessity. I don't know all the details, but I've heard it can be a costly and difficult process.

They raised the price recently to $2600 in an effort to keep the tax livestock from leaving the farm.

But I've talked to someone who did the process and it's not difficult.  You pay the money, fill out the forms, and do an "exit" interview.

I think if you're wealthy, it's harder, because they don't want you to take your money out of the country so easy, so if you have a lot of assets, you might be forced to pay some kind of tax to get your citizenship revoked...You cannot do this to avoid taxes that you already owe.

In my case, I'm a broke writer.  I own nothing worth anything except my MacBook Pro (well, perhaps there is some value to my growing backlist...lol).

It will probably take me a couple of years, I'm going to imagine...maybe not, but I'll update Kboards as time goes on in case people are interested in the process etc., etc.

Writing in multiple genres, because "Reasons."
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Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #138 on: July 17, 2017, 10:21:16 AM »
They raised the price recently to $2600 in an effort to keep the tax livestock from leaving the farm.

But I've talked to someone who did the process and it's not difficult.  You pay the money, fill out the forms, and do an "exit" interview.

I think if you're wealthy, it's harder, because they don't want you to take your money out of the country so easy, so if you have a lot of assets, you might be forced to pay some kind of tax to get your citizenship revoked...You cannot do this to avoid taxes that you already owe.

In my case, I'm a broke writer.  I own nothing worth anything except my MacBook Pro (well, perhaps there is some value to my growing backlist...lol).

It will probably take me a couple of years, I'm going to imagine...maybe not, but I'll update Kboards as time goes on in case people are interested in the process etc., etc.
If you want to travel or live elsewhere be sure to check out how easy it is for Mexican citizens to get visas to other countries. Having watched people even with valid visas get turned away at borders and having listened to complaints from travelers and expats from dozens of countries over the years I'd want to make sure I wasn't severely limiting the places I could go. Talk to Mexican citizens who don't have dual citizenship and have traveled widely. You can use this site https://www.passportindex.org/byRank.php to get an idea, but that won't tell the whole story. Even when a visa isn't required you may find yourself being questioned a lot more by immigration and have to have more documentation getting into other countries. The difficulty non-citizens even from Europe have getting in to the US is one of the reasons I always refused to give up US citizenship when that was required in order to get Czech citizenship. As long as I have family in the US I want to be able to visit them without any problem.

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #139 on: July 17, 2017, 10:47:08 AM »
Good luck to you. I'd be wary of the violence, especially after what I've seen in Brazil, and by all accounts Mexico is worse.

Totally depends on the part of Mexico. I wouldn't want to live in certain areas of Chicago or Detroit, either. My bigger concern with Mexico would be that it would be hard to travel to the U.S. once you renounced. Better would be a country like Chile where you don't need a visa.

Offline Perry Constantine

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #140 on: July 17, 2017, 11:07:20 AM »
The difficulty non-citizens even from Europe have getting in to the US is one of the reasons I always refused to give up US citizenship when that was required in order to get Czech citizenship. As long as I have family in the US I want to be able to visit them without any problem.

I'm the same way. I'm planning to go back to Japan next year and will probably stay there indefinitely, but I like having the option to return to the US if I have to. Even if I never move back, I still want to be able to easily visit my family and be able to go to conferences in the States. There aren't enough benefits to Japanese citizenship worth renouncing US citizenship. Besides, I doubt I'd ever make enough to exceed the FEIE and even if I do, the foreign tax credits should be sufficient to avoid double-taxation.

Now if Japan amends their law and allows for dual citizenship, then obtaining Japanese citizenship might be a worthwhile endeavor.

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #141 on: July 17, 2017, 12:40:38 PM »
Lots of places have good health care, some better than others.  Here in Mexico, from what I've heard, basic health care is cheap and the doctors are good.  I've talked to a few people that told me that many Americans come to GDL for medical school, but that's just third hand, so I  can't verify it.

What I can mention is the blog somewhere in here that someone posted RE: Russell Blake's musing on Mexico.  I think he talks about medical stuff in that blog.  Basically you don't need insurance here, you just pay for your doctor and hospital visits as they are very affordable.

I went to the clinic with flu symptoms and it was about $4 USD to see the doctor and less than $10 USD to get all the meds I needed (antibiotics, some electrolyte fluids, and a pain killer, oh, plus some other thing...ha ha, I don't remember I just drank it).

Hope you find a way to try, it's really changed my life forever.

That's actually very reassuring. I've heard that healthcare in Mexico is super inexpensive. I've been joking that if I lose my health insurance, I'll be smuggling my Plaquenil out of Mexico... I love my country but it's looking less and less like a good place for me. I think what I love most about being a writer is that my job doesn't tether me to one place. I can go out of state or out of the country and still work. My husband's company isn't international, though, so that complicates things a bit.

Still, I'm loving how encouraging this thread is! It's great to see everyone's success stories.

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Offline JaydenHunter

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #142 on: July 17, 2017, 12:47:27 PM »
Totally depends on the part of Mexico. I wouldn't want to live in certain areas of Chicago or Detroit, either. My bigger concern with Mexico would be that it would be hard to travel to the U.S. once you renounced. Better would be a country like Chile where you don't need a visa.

Trust me...I begged my ex-wife many times to return to Santiago.  She won't leave the US, but if she'd been willing to leave her (redacted curse words, about 20 of them) husband I'd have gone to Chile with her, not to get back together, but I thought it would have been a good experience for our daughter.

As for traveling with a Mexican Passport, my understanding is that if you have money, etc., it's not a big deal.  The places I would like to go aren't going to be an issue, I don't think...if they are...oh well... I'll go elsewhere, I won't live long enough to explore the whole world anyway.

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #143 on: July 17, 2017, 01:48:10 PM »
Trust me...I begged my ex-wife many times to return to Santiago.  She won't leave the US, but if she'd been willing to leave her (redacted curse words, about 20 of them) husband I'd have gone to Chile with her, not to get back together, but I thought it would have been a good experience for our daughter.

I share a lot of feelings you state above. There was a time in my life when the thought of renouncing my citizenship would have been only slightly less horrifying than amputating my arm, but I'm in despair over what we've become.

Being a fluent Spanish speaker with some savings, Latin America looks pretty good to me.




Edited.  Political discussions are not allowed here, sorry. PM me if you have any questions. --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 04:59:26 PM by Betsy the Quilter »

Online brkingsolver

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #144 on: July 17, 2017, 03:20:56 PM »
That's actually very reassuring. I've heard that healthcare in Mexico is super inexpensive. I've been joking that if I lose my health insurance, I'll be smuggling my Plaquenil out of Mexico... I love my country but it's looking less and less like a good place for me. I think what I love most about being a writer is that my job doesn't tether me to one place. I can go out of state or out of the country and still work. My husband's company isn't international, though, so that complicates things a bit.

Still, I'm loving how encouraging this thread is! It's great to see everyone's success stories.
I grew up in New Mexico, and my parents retired in the southern part of the state. Many retirees cross the border for their healthcare, and especially for medications and dental work. Cheaper to go to Mexico and pay full price than pay the deductibles and copays with Medicare here in the States.

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Offline Abderian

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #145 on: July 17, 2017, 03:38:11 PM »

Now if Japan amends their law and allows for dual citizenship, then obtaining Japanese citizenship might be a worthwhile endeavor.

We have the same problem. If you're a foreign national and you want to become a Taiwanese citizen, you have to give up your foreign citizenship. The same rule doesn't apply to Taiwanese and many of them have US citizenship. Grrr.

Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #146 on: July 17, 2017, 04:57:42 PM »
Folks,

People are finding this thread very useful, so I want it to stay open.  Posts that stray into politics may be edited or deleted.  Let's keep it to the logistics of being an expat and how it might help in one's writing career.

Thanks,

Betsy
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Offline Felix R. Savage

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #147 on: July 17, 2017, 07:20:09 PM »

Now if Japan amends their law and allows for dual citizenship, then obtaining Japanese citizenship might be a worthwhile endeavor.

I believe they will. There is widespread resistance to the current system which forces binational children to choose at the age of 20. My daughter recently found out that she would one day have to choose if she wants to be Japanese or American. It horrified her to think she couldn't go on being both. So unfair!! Her identity simply *is* both. It's cruel to force the choice. I have seen some understanding of this in officialdom, so I do think the system will change in the next decade or so. That said I would not see the point of obtaining dual citizenship for myself. What would be the benefit?  I'd still have to pay US taxes.

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Offline Perry Constantine

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #148 on: July 17, 2017, 07:35:34 PM »
I believe they will. There is widespread resistance to the current system which forces binational children to choose at the age of 20. My daughter recently found out that she would one day have to choose if she wants to be Japanese or American. It horrified her to think she couldn't go on being both. So unfair!! Her identity simply *is* both. It's cruel to force the choice. I have seen some understanding of this in officialdom, so I do think the system will change in the next decade or so. That said I would not see the point of obtaining dual citizenship for myself. What would be the benefit?  I'd still have to pay US taxes.

Like I said, it might be worthwhile. I'd have to do more research on the subject. But if dual citizenship were on the table, it's something I would at least look into, even if the only benefit is being able to vote.

In regards to the current system, your daughter can take some solace in the fact that there are estimates as high as 700,000 dual citizens who don't actually make that choice because it's a difficult process to go through and no dual citizen has been punished for violating the Nationality Law: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2016/09/14/issues/japans-dual-citizens-get-tacit-nod-keep-status-shadows/

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Expatting as part of a writer's strategy.
« Reply #149 on: July 18, 2017, 01:57:50 AM »
I'm looking forward to getting dual citizenship now that the Czech Republic has changed its law. The practical advantage is citizenship in an EU country, which makes it possible for me to live and work in any other EU country and also it's easier to get in to some countries that the US has a fraught relationship with. But the main reason is a sense of obligation: I've been living and working in this country for half my adult life, taking advantage of its excellent public health and transportation systems, enjoying its beauty and culture. I want to participate as a full member of society, not just as a guest.