Our News Bulletin Section On-Line:
Topics Include Banking Investments Interest Rates Small Business Free Zones - Taxes Incorporation Services Mutual Funds Offshore Life insurance Annuity Retirement Products  - Panama Dominican Republic Belize Argentina Bahamas Chile Argentina Ecuador
  
Offshore Incorporation Services   Offshore Banking - Investments   Mutual Funds   International Business    Residency Services Citizenship
banking
                  incorporation services
This site offers news articles and information pertaining to expatriation, offshore banking, offshore investments, residency in other jurisdictions, second citizenship and second passport matters.  Jurisdictions covered in our main section and our on-line newsletter sections include: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nevis, Panama, United States and Uruguay.   Ascot Advisory assists with incorportion services, banking introduction services, free zone  license  assistance, residency and naturalization (second citizenship) in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nevis and some of the other jurisdcitions mentioned above.
Telephone 
. 809-334-5387 or 809-756-1917
Email 
info@ascotadvisory.com
Sign up via the form below for our newsletter bulletins, which include current news and information of interest to our clients (and readers).   Note: We do not rent or sell our newsletter subscription list to anyone.
'news bulletin sign up' All of Newsletters from 2002 until current issues are available on-line.   If you missed an issue or simply want to read previous issues - including the very popular Readers Write In section .......Click Here
Complete Our On-Line Reply Form

CLICK HERE
.
WHERE CAN YOU AFFORD TO RETIRE TAX FREE?           WHY ARE SO MANY OF THE MIDDLE CLASS LEAVING THE US & EUROPE?

Our September 2003 Newsletter:
..
Financial and Tax issues in the News.  Poverty on the Rise in US, so says US Census.  West Nile virus in Florida becomes a problem.
John Schroder - Author of The Ascot Advisory News Letter Bulletin and Numerous Expatriate  Articles
Financial Issues in the News:
.
.

LIVING DANGEROUSLY?  U.S. Treasuries Fall; Asia Central Banks May Cut Debt Purchases
.
Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell for a second day in New York trading on speculation Asian central banks may buy fewer government bonds at a time when the U.S. needs to sell more debt to finance a record budget deficit.  Traders interpreted a statement from the Group of Seven finance ministers on Saturday to mean that the Bank of Japan will stray from its practice of selling yen in an attempt to slow the currency's appreciation and putting the proceeds into Treasuries. Yields may rise as a result, investors said.  Asian governments have been huge buyers of Treasuries, and, if they stop supporting the dollar, it's a sign they will buy less Treasuries, said Gary Pollack, who helps manage $10 billion of debt at Deutsche Bank AG's private banking division in New York.

.
The dollar fell against the yen in New York trading today, extending its slide this quarter to 7.10 percent. A lower dollar diminishes the allure of U.S. assets to foreign investors because their returns lose value when they are converted back into their home currency.  A weaker dollar can also spur inflation, which erodes the value of interest payments, analysts said. Today, Alfred Broaddus, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, said the risk of deflation in the U.S. is quite small.  Japan was the largest holder of U.S. notes and bonds in July, owning $443.8 billion of the $1.39 trillion in U.S. government securities held abroad, according to the Treasury Department.
.
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=
a6DGs4YiX2cM&refer=us
.
.

WHY YOU WILL OWE MORE IN 2004: From insurance to taxes, from your home to your school, your bills are likely to increase. September 17, 2003
.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Make sure your wallet's in shape because it's likely to get more exercise next year in many parts of your life.  Here are just some areas where there are likely to be price hikes on tap: Home Insurance: Home insurance premiums are expected to rise 8 percent to an average $615 a year, an increase of $46 for the average homeowner, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).  Car insurance: The III projects the average auto insurance premium will rise 6 percent to $898 a year, an increase of $51 per vehicle for the average car owner.  Health insurance: The cost of health insurance has been climbing for years, and 2003 proved no exception.  Monthly premiums for employer-sponsored plans rose nearly 14 percent, the largest increase since 1990, according to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  And when premiums and related costs rise (deductibles, co-payments, prescription costs), most employers pass the increases onto their employees.  According to Kaiser, the average premium employees now pay for family coverage has jumped nearly 50 percent over the past three years, to $2,412 from $1,619.

.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/16/pf/saving/q_owemore2004/index.htm
.
.

HOMEOWNERS BIG HEADACHE: Insurers continue to raise premiums, drop customers. Is any relief in sight?  August 22, 2003
.
Bend, Ore. (CNN/Money) - Insurers are scrutinizing homeowners like never before.   They're charging higher premiums to homeowners with less-than-perfect credit. They're dropping customers who either file too many claims or, in some cases, even inquire about a possible claim.  And in some parts of the country, homeowners have been hit with higher rates and "non-renewals" for no reason other than location.   How bad is it?   A study by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA) found that 51 million homeowners are paying higher premiums than they did two years ago. Of that group, 23 percent pay 11 to 25 percent more, while 13.8 percent have seen their rates increase by more than 25 percent.

.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/08/21/pf/yourhome/homeownerscrisis/index.htm
.
.

OUR OVER BUDGET GOVERNMENT (USA): By Chris Edwards, September 24, 2003
.
In 1988, Medicare's new home health care benefit was projected to cost $4 billion by 1993; the actual 1993 cost was $10 billion. Congress is now considering a prescription drug bill with a $400 billion price tag. If enacted, the actual cost will almost certainly be much higher.  Large cost overruns are commonplace in government construction projects, procurement and entitlement programs. Officials routinely low-ball costs of proposals to win initial spending approval. When programs go over budget and do not work as promised, politicians place the blame on blunders by the bureaucracy or private contractors. In reality, cost overruns and program failure are not isolated problems but are systematic and widespread across the federal government.
.
What causes the cost overruns? A study in the Journal of the American Planning Association last year by Danish economists looked at 258 government transportation projects in the United States and abroad. They found that cost overruns stem from government deceit, not honest errors. Nine of 10 projects in their sample had cost overruns, with an average overrun of 28 percent. The study concluded that intentional deception by public officials was the source of the problem: Project promoters routinely ignore, hide or otherwise leave out important project costs and risks in order to make total costs appear low. Politicians use salami tactics whereby costs are only revealed to taxpayers one slice at a time in the hope that the project is too far along when true costs are revealed to turn back.

.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,98233,00.html
.
.

Travel Issues in the News: 
.
2003 UPDATE: WEST NILE MOSQUITO VIRUS STILL ACTIVE IN UNITED STATES AS DEATH TOLL MOUNTS.
.
According to CNN, and their compiled 2002 statistics, the deadly mosquito carrying West Nile virus is still active inside the US this year (2003) and now infects over 80% of the US mainland.  Statistics of Human Death Toll from the virus include: 2 deaths in Florida (and 28 humans reported infected), 13 deaths in Texas (202 humans reported infected), 7 deaths in Pennsylvania (and 62 infections reported), 64 deaths in Illinois (and 884 infections reported), plus 11 deaths in Indiana (and 293 human infections reported).  For the entire list state by state, follow the link below:

.
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/west.nile/map.html
.
.

SECURITY WEAKENED AT US ENTRIES?
.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 - A $20 million budget shortfall is forcing cuts at U.S. ports of entry that could impact security, MSNBC.com has learned. The deficit has led officials to make a series of security compromises that include replacing INS inspectors with their less qualified, lower-paid Customs counterparts on heavily trafficked Sundays and holidays.   An immediate consequence of the cost cutting has been the removal of INS inspectors from working Sunday and holiday shifts because on these days they earn double time, a federal pay scale anomaly tracing back to a 1931 Act of Congress.   Why in God's name is Customs and Border Protection doing this? Especially now, we're coming up to the anniversary to 9/11, wonders a senior Customs inspector who works out of a major eastern airport.  It's not a secret that anniversaries mean something to the loonies that want to reach violent ends.  In some cases, INS inspectors are simply removed from all overtime work and the port operates short-staffed.

.
http://www.msnbc.com/news/957968.asp?0cv=NA01&cp1=1
.
.

Lifestyle Issues in the News:
.
Becker quits Germany for Swiss tax haven - Luke Harding in Berlin - Thursday September 25, 2003
.
Boris Becker became the latest wealthy German celebrity to flee the country last night when he announced that he was moving to Switzerland to escape his homeland's notoriously high taxes.  The former tennis star said he was swapping his home in Munich for the Swiss alpine town of Zug, which appears to have few obvious attractions other than the lowest rate of tax in Switzerland.

.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1049030,00.html
.
.

ARE YOU WORSE OFF THAN MOM AND DAD?  Many of us, according to the latest research, don't have it as easy as our parents.  September 11, 2003: By Jeanne Sahadi, CNN/Money Senior Writer
.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If you feel like it's harder to provide the kind of middle class upbringing for your kids that your parents gave you, you may be right.  According to Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi, coauthors of: The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke, the average two-income middle class family today earns 75 percent more than the typical single-income family did 30 years ago. But today's family, they say, ends up with less money for everyday living expenses and savings.  Why? The costs of housing and a good education are killing them.  In other words, the authors argue, it now takes two incomes to provide what one income provided 30 years ago.

.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/11/commentary/everyday/sahadi/index.htm
.
.

THE COST OF THE GOOD LIFE: Spending on stuff seems a never-ending spiral in America; there's always something new to buy.  September 12, 2003 - By Gordon T. Anderson, CNN/Money Staff Writer
.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - From the start, Americans have been terrific consumers, with a culture based on getting and spending and getting some more.  Now, a new generation of social critics is again arguing that it's unhealthy, and economically unsustainable, for a culture to be consumed by consumption.  When salaries went up in the 1990s, the savings rate actually went down," noted John De Graaf, co-author of the book Affluena: The All Consuming Epidemic We were making more money, but spending it even faster.  The thrust of the argument, said De Graaf, is that over-consumption has led to a constant expectation of more and more and more.

.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/11/pf/saving/price_of_wow/index.htm
.
.

WHO GETS PAID SIX FIGURES?  September 9, 2003
.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - When it comes to making good money, what's considered good is usually relative - to what those around you make, to the cost of living in your area, or to your preconceived notions of what good money means.  Those making six figures are very definitely in the minority nationwide. Only 4.2 percent of U.S. workers with earnings reported making $100,000 or more in 2001, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. The median annual wage, meanwhile, was $26,002.

.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/08/pf/saving/q_sixfigurejobs/index.htm
.
.

HOW MUCH DO YOU PAY?  NEWEST DATA SHOW HIGH-INCOME TAXPAYERS EARNING AND PAYING MORE:
.
Top 25 Percent Paid 84 Percent of Income Taxes; Top One Paid 37.4 Percent According to preliminary data released by the Internal Revenue Service and a new Tax Foundation Special Report, the top-earning 25 percent of taxpayers earned more than two-thirds of the nation's income (67.3%) and paid more than five out of every six dollars collected by the federal income tax (84%) in 2000.  There were 32 million tax returns in the top 25 percent, all with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) over $55,225.  The top five percent of income earners (adjusted gross income over $128,336) and the top 10 percent (adjusted gross income over $92,114) both pay a significantly greater portion of federal individual income taxes than they did a decade ago.

.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/prtopincome.html
.
.

CENSUS SHOWS US POVERTY ON THE RISE - Associated Press, September 26, 2003
.
WASHINGTON - Poverty rose and income levels declined in 2002 for the second straight year as the nation's economy continued struggling after the first recession in a decade, the Census Bureau reported Friday.  The poverty rate was 12.1 percent last year, up from 11.7 percent in 2001. Nearly 34.6 million people lived in poverty, about 1.7 million more than the previous year.  Median household income declined 1.1 percent between 2001 and 2002 to $42,409, after accounting for inflation. That means half of all households earned more than that amount, and half earned less.  The poverty rate rose again after having fallen for nearly a decade to 11.3 percent in 2000, its lowest level in more than 25 years. Income levels increased through most of the 1990s, then were flat in 2000 and fell the last two years.  Bill Spriggs, director of research and public policy at the National Urban League said the numbers were frightening. "This may become one of the worst downturns in income in 30 years, he said. We see that people are digging themselves deeper into poverty because the economy is not generating jobs.  Experts had predicted that rising unemployment last year and the still shaky economy would increase poverty and lower income for most people, even though the recession officially ended in November 2001.

.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,98398,00.html
.
EDITORS NOTE:  The Recession officially ended in November 2001?   Is the decrease in net earnings or unemployment rate just a figment of the public's imagination?
.
.

The Following Information offers some insight as to Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes (2004 US Federal Government Budget).  Included in the various references and figures, it is stated that 55.4 per-cent is actually spent on Social Security, Medicare, and not the much lower figures reported in the adjusted numbers provided to the public.  In other words, the over whelming part of the government budget is entitlement programs, that, and military spending.  Americans should be praying the Japanese continue to buy US Government Bonds.
.
http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm
.
.

Had any complaints about the food in foreign countries?  According to the following, Fried Mice can now be enjoyed right at home.
.
MAN FINDS MOUSE IN HIS FRIED CHICKEN - Associated Press, September 26, 2003
.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore health officials say a patron of a Popeye's restaurant bit into a mouse that had been fried along with the chicken.  Tony Hill says he was eating the second piece of his three-piece meal when he made the unappetizing discovery.   He filed a complaint with the health department.  Officials say that same restaurant has been closed twice before for infestation or unsanitary conditions.   Inspectors checked the place yesterday and didn't find any rodents. But officials say they'll be back.

.
http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/news/story.jsp?floc=FF-APO-1110&idq
=/ff/story/0001%2F20030926%2F075494207.htm&sc=1110
.
.

ONE POSSIBLE SURVIVAL SOLUTION:
.
If you are considering relocating to another country or if you are simply seeking out second citizenship options, the truth of the matter is that the Dominican Republic may be one of the last places that comes to mind.  However, this not so small Caribbean nation (population about 8.5 Million) located just 3 and 1/2 hours by plane from New York and 90 minutes from Miami, with plenty of direct international flights to Europe and parts of South America, might be just the destination you have been looking for.  There are of course many reasons to consider the Dominican Republic, as a second residence, retirement destination or relocation destination, and we will highlight some of those reasons very briefly here for you as we go along.  However, one of the reasons that many people also seek out the Dominican Republic is the quick and uncomplicated process both for legal residency and eventual citizenship as well, so this topic specifically is the heart of what we wish to principally discuss for you also. 
.
In regards to the idea of the Dominican Republic as a relocation or retirement destination, it certainly is true that the country offers some of the most affordable real estate in the entire Caribbean.  This is especially true when you begin investigating the costs for apartments or homes in places such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, St. Martin, Aruba, Turks & Caicos Islands, etc.  If seeking a second home close to the beach or a brand new luxury apartment in the modern capital of Santo Domingo, it is not difficult to realistically find either one in the US$75,000 range for something in the upper end real estate category.  In comparison, if you have ever attempted to shop for real estate in some of the other Caribbean Islands, you will quickly realize what a bargain this is.
.
Another interesting and important point is that bank account interest is also Tax-Free for residents or non-residents alike.  The fact that one can earn up to 10% in US dollar investments or up to 24% on deposits in the local currency, the Dominican Peso, means that an early retirement income derived from banking investments is a reality and not just wishful thinking.  As an example of this idea, this of course means that it is very possible, should you have US$300,000 in liquid assets as an example, to buy a home for cash, put some funds into Peso investments with the idea of actually living off your bank account interest (try doing that in North-America these days), and invest the rest into some quality mutual funds or whatever else you might like.  Even if your means are more modest, having a monthly pension or income of US$2,000 per month affords a very comfortable upper middle class lifestyle in the Dominican Republic as well.  And if you are concerned about modern conveniences, access to shopping or leisure activities, you should not be.  Tony Roma's, Outback Steakhouse, The Gap, Radio-Shack, Price-Smart, Carrefours (one of the largest supermarket chains in France, offering a number of European food products), brand new movie theaters with the latest films in English, Robert Trent Jones designed golf courses, and modern medical facilities are all here for you as well.
.
However, aside from some very attractive reasons to consider living in the Dominican Republic, as we hinted at earlier, the country offers a very simple and uncomplicated process both for residency status and naturalization (citizenship and second passport) also.  Before we dive into this theme though, there are some initial questions that some people may have, such as: Why would someone be interested in going through a process for residency status or even a second citizenship?  Is this legal? What are the benefits?
.
For most people, it would seem the reasons as to why someone would consider a second legal residency or even citizenship has to do with taxes, banking or investments, and personal safety, usually in that order.  On the taxes issue, chances are that if you currently reside in Europe, your personal and corporate income taxes could go as high as 65% or more.  If you live in the United States or Canada, perhaps things are not so bad tax wise in comparison to the Europeans, but there is a good chance as well that when you calculate both income taxes and social welfare taxes (social security and things like unemployment insurance, etc.) you are paying close to 50% also.  So relocating to another jurisdiction might be a matter of legally opting out of the current high tax state you live in at the moment.  How so?  Well, for Europeans and Canadians especially, citizens of such jurisdictions can declare themselves legally non-resident for tax purposes.  Meaning, if you can prove that you are legally resident someplace else, most European governments will allow you to check out, so to speak (without giving up your citizenship, which is another matter).  The logic behind this is, if you are no longer living in your previous home country, you are not using the various government services you would otherwise pay taxes for and use, and therefore you should not have to pay for something you are not using.  This makes sense to me and many other people as well, but that reality is unfortunately different for Americans.  However, there is a bright spot in that Americans can exempt up to about US$80,000 or so (this figure is indexed up each year) if such a person is both living and working outside of the US.  So, again, if Americans can prove they are legally resident elsewhere and drawing a salary from work done outside of the US as well, then there is a tax savings in terms of salaried income (tax exempt up to the amount indicated).  In either case, having proof of a legal residence status elsewhere can certainly allow for a tax savings, especially if the new residency is from a country with low or no taxes.
.
On the topics of banking and personal safety, it is very sad but true these days that Americans especially have a difficult time establishing a bank account, brokerage account or other kind of investment (mutual funds) outside of the US as a US citizen.  Why the difficulty?  Well, it certainly is very legal for a US citizen to own a bank account or investment account outside of the US (in terms of US tax laws or regulations).  In addition, it is very legal in most countries for foreigners to establish accounts as well.  The problem then is not the legality of it, but rather the internal policy of many banks or investment firms.  Meaning, many such firms will not accept US citizens as clients because they do not want the aggravation of being harassed by the US tax authorities (which is really what this is all about).  So, they simply do not accept US citizens as an internal policy.  However, the answer is, why not become something other than a US citizen?  Obtaining a second citizenship is perfectly legal for Americans and for many other nationalities as well (which is also true for the Dominican Republic).  In this regard, Americans who are not Americans, or we can say, can provide something other than a US passport as a legal identity document (such as a passport from another country) can get around this problem.
.
The personal safety issue, while perhaps not always as compelling as first two for the vast majority of people, certainly weighs heavy on the minds of many American travelers as well.  Many American travelers going into areas where Americans are not warmly welcome often promote themselves as Canadian instead (although when it comes time to produce a Canadian Passport, then the little white lie is revealed).  So, for this reason, the idea of having an identity and perfectly legal travel document from someplace else - may help you avoid danger and in the most extreme cases, perhaps even save your life.
.
So, now that we have briefly discussed the reasons why someone would consider seeking out a second legal residency or citizenship, let us take the time to discuss why the Dominican Republic?  While there are very few countries offering what are called instant citizenship or economic citizenship programs these days, certainly every country has a process allowing you to become a legal resident, and eventually at some point in the future, a citizen (entitling you to a passport).  And this is true when it comes to the Dominican Republic, and a long list of other countries.  However, the real difference might be the costs, requirements and waiting time.  Stated another way, it is not a question of whether or not you could become a legal resident or citizen in another country, but rather how difficult or how reasonable this process might be.  It is with this theme especially that the Dominican Republic stands out head and shoulders above many other jurisdictions and why many of our clients have elected to call this wonderful island nation their second home.
.
.

.
.
This information has been compiled and presented by John Schroder of Ascot Advisory Services, for the benefit of clients and readers. Ascot Advisory Services provides assistance with such matters as offshore company formation, Panama Foundations, offshore banking, and special services in the Dominican Republic regarding residency, free zone applications, etc. For more information:  
... ...
Telephone 809-334-5387 or 809-756-1917 
Email: info@ascotadvisory.com
..
...
Use Our Email Reply Form:
....
CLICK HERE
 .