How Your Ex-Spouse Can Help You Claim Extra Social Security

How Your Ex-Spouse Can Help You Claim Extra Social Security

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July 14, 2016

Millions of baby boomers qualify for valuable Social Security claiming options that can provide tens of thousands of dollars in additional benefits. Yet most will never receive these benefits, even though they qualify for them. How can this be so? It’s because there are so many rules, they are complicated, and people don’t understand how they work.

Claim the Extra Social Security You’re Entitled To

Claim the Extra Social Security You’re Entitled To

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May 18, 2016

Millions of baby boomers qualify for a valuable Social Security claiming option that can provide them as much as $63,336 in extra benefits...yet they don’t know it. In fact, the great majority of working couples, where one or both spouses reached age 62 on or before January 1, 2016, can still make use of this unusual strategy.

How Our Tax Expert Prepares for April 15th

How Our Tax Expert Prepares for April 15th

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March 30, 2016

When I talk to International Living readers, I usually focus on sharing how you can minimize your U.S. taxes and stay out of trouble with the IRS. But today, I’m going to do something a little different. I'm going to share with you what I do. I live part of the year in Jaco, Costa Rica. When I bought my condo, I kept the owning and renting of this foreign real estate simple: I bought it in my own name. That’s pretty unusual; Jaco is one of the few remaining areas that allow Americans to own beachfront property in their own name. This keeps my U.S. tax reporting of the rental income reportable—just like a U.S. property—and I do not have to make a foreign corporation disclosure.

Two Ways to Bulletproof Your Assets

Two Ways to Bulletproof Your Assets

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July 8, 2015

Why take your assets offshore with an international structure? Simple. It can make your assets virtually invulnerable to civil judgments. It can also protect you from risks such as civil forfeiture, exchange controls, repressive legislation, or political instability. It's more difficult for creditors to collect against international assets. No country automatically enforces U.S. civil judgments. Many countries don't enforce them at all. If you live in the States, a U.S. court can order you to repatriate your international assets. But if you've set up your structure properly, you won't have the power to bring the funds back. And that's a fantastic incentive for a creditor to settle the lawsuit.

How Going Offshore Can Save Your Retirement

How Going Offshore Can Save Your Retirement

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July 7, 2015

In 1986, I walked into the main Credit Suisse branch in Chicago and told the doorman I wanted to open a Swiss bank account. I was led to a private office overlooking the Chicago skyline and was asked for my minimum deposit. Being just 31 at the time, I played it conservative and started with just $2,000 (about $4,300 in today's dollars). I was asked to fill out a one-page form and provide a copy of my driver's license. I gave him a check and away I went. It took all of 20 minutes. In 1986, "offshore" was still exotic. It was something regular people didn't really do. How things have changed in 29 years.

Little Belize Offers a Lot (Including Tax Advantages)

Little Belize Offers a Lot (Including Tax Advantages)

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February 14, 2015

Among other benefits, those in the program can import household goods and vehicles (cars less than three years old, a boat, or a light plane) tax-free within a year of approval. They are also exempt from paying any tax on income or investments generated outside Belize. The couple brought in a shipping container’s worth of household goods to start their new life near Bullet Tree Falls Village...