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Comment Re:a million 401K isnt that large (Score 1) 467

All those figures tossed around by the financial planning community are a little screwy based on my observations. They like to use things in their models like a bond yield at 2.5% to show why you should have more invested so it pumps their management fees. But they don't actually put most of your money there, otherwise why would you need them?

Once my kids are out of college and the house is paid for I expect my 'need' to drop rather dramatically. But all the planners start with your current income to estimate what you will 'need' in retirement.

If you think about the amount they are saying we will need to live on, I have to wonder what lifestyle they are expecting you to have at 75+? My parents and in-laws are in decent health, but they're long past constantly jetting about on vacations. Their homes are paid for and they aren't driving to work or running kids around any more so they get new cars when they feel like it, not because it's ragged out and unreliable. Meals out a few nights a week, property taxes and household expenses don't add up to much.

That doesn't mean I'm still not planning for that sum as I can dream of wondering the world in my old age, but I suspect my kids are going to be the real recipients of decades of saving and investing.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 269

I think you've been reading someone's fairy tale. Every dairy farm I've ever been to feeds them chopped corn, i.e. the whole plant, along with alfalfa and other grassy crops. It's commonly called silage. Yes grain corn is part of the feed mix, but they certainly don't eat mostly grain. With corn at $7 a bushel last year all dairy products would have been luxury items if they were fed mostly grain.

Comment Re:Consider this... (Score 1) 134

My point was that companies are almost encouraged to move operations overseas to avoid taxes as you indicate, however the US now wants to involve the financial industry around the world in making sure that any "US Persons" report and pay taxes on any income earned from overseas business or investments.

My contention is that individuals should be treated the same as the multinationals.

Comment Re:Effects on all Americans overseas, not just NZ (Score 2) 134

I am an American living and working overseas for over half my life. My ties to the U.S. are almost none-existent. My use of U.S. goods and services is possibly even less than many foreigners around the World. Occasionally I might buy a U.S. made product, but that is even rare given the poor quality.

Here are the real effects, and this is just a short list I have time to type.

1. Assumption that all Americans overseas are criminals by definition, even if we did not owe any taxes. The IRS, by their own calculations, says the basic forms will take over 72 hours a year for an American Expat to prepare to properly report their taxes. Most expat tax experts, can not figure them out.

2. Foreign banks are closing or will refuse to open accounts for Americans. I know dozens of real cases already among friends. It is not just American citizens. It is anyone with a U.S. mail address, green card, or any payments transiting the United States to foreign banks. So, yes, many, many none Americans are caught up in this sweep of private information, the majority of which has nothing to do with tax money.

3. The country I live in also has banking secrecy and privacy laws, and as a full resident, it even goes further because in the country where I live it is a constitutional right extended to both residents and foreigners.

4. It also includes any company where an American might be a 10% owner or more, or might have signature authority over the company accounts or other assets. Just think what most international companies are going to do when making a choice between an American employee or CEO vs. a foreigner, as far as disclosing private company information to the U.S. government simply because they have an American working there.

5. It includes disclosing foreign none-citizen none-resident private information to the U.S. government that are family members of an American citizen abroad. For example, a wife or kids account, investments, or pretty much anywhere the American might (you have to prove the negative) have authority over the money . Partnerships of all forms, of all sorts of complexity, are also subject to it. Imagine as a foreigner entering in to a contract with an American citizen, and having to report to the U.S. IRS your private information and dealings. Guess what most foreigners will do from now on to avoid such problems.

6. This includes not only bank accounts, but investments, pensions, insurance policies, various types of contracts. I am not even sure how many insurance policies I have, let alone what would need to be reported. If you are a foreign insurance company, just think how happy they will be to issue a policy to an American client living overseas.

In short, I am forced to obtain citizenship in my country of residency, and give up my citizenship in the United States. It is either that, or say good-bye to my entire life work and return to the United States to starve at some bullshit minimum wage job (I own my own company outside the United States).

Forget the Berlin Wall, what they are building in the United States is far, far more dangerous.

Spot on. Wish I had mod points for this.

Comment Re:OK (Score 4, Insightful) 134

They do. That the US is spreading their net wider and wider is troubling. How much longer before the more middle of the road ex-pat countries get roped into this. Say Mexico, Belize or Costa Rica? Right now our retirees are welcomed down there, but I wonder if that will be the case if this happens.

Basically it's becoming more and more evident that US citizens are being viewed as property by the government. And they want a piece of everything that property makes, no matter where it is.

Comment Re:Consider this... (Score 1) 134

Well yes, but by what stretch of the imagination do people believe this money grab is right? I see multiple posters agreeing with it. For the tax jurisdiction the business is in anyone can see the point, you're operating a business there like anyone else.

I'm at the age where retirement is in sight and have spent a lot of years bitching about US taxes. I've definitely considered moving somewhere that won't take 50+ cents of every dollar I earn, the thought of owning a beach bar in a tropical location not that many years from now is getting me through this winter.

Comment Consider this... (Score 2) 134

One of the reasons companies move overseas is to avoid US taxes on anything they don't bring back to the US, why should actual citizens be any different?

I decide to move to NZ in my retirement. After a lifetime of working sitting on the porch and watching life go by isn't for me so I start or buy a local business. I hire local employees and pay all the required taxes in NZ for the income made there. I pay US taxes on my retirement income derived from US accounts. Why if I'm not sending money back to the US for deposit (which would have to be reported) does the US need to know anything about income derived from the NZ business?

Comment Re:Captain Obvious? (Score 3, Interesting) 292

The creaping featuritis thing amazes me to this day. I am a codeslinger, if you want it I'll write it. But I will tell you if I think you're making a mistake.

One of my old bosses put it well when a customer was questioning my opinion on some of their stuff I was pushing back on.

"If he thinks it's a bad enough idea to tell you that you shouldn't have him do it, you should f'ing listen. You do remember he bills by the hour? If he's telling you it's not something you want him to do he's doing you a favor. And if he won't do it there's no way in hell we'll do it for you, he's the guy we send people to for crazy shit."

Comment Re:Captain Obvious? (Score 2) 292

That's not the way businesses operate, and the larger they are the more layers of BS things filter through. The person who champions the project hands it off to a subordinate, who hands it off again, etc. By the time it gets to the poor sap who had to bid out the project you're lucky if you get a cocktail napkin sketch of a UI concept and a few vague notes about what it should do.

There is another form of this that I deal with quite often, where upper management concieves of something that is totally impractical for the people who will actually need to use it. You go through all the look, feel and features stuff to get what the corporte folks envision and then install it only to find that the operations people won't use it.

It can be extremely frustrating, but if you were smart about collecting your money you've gotten paid and you're never going to have to support the code.

Comment Re:I've got to hand it to the administration (Score 1) 276

I almost wonder if they're counting on it, that's why they're stoking the fires dividing the haves and have nots. Rather than banding together and marching on Washington there will just be rioting where the local business owners houses are assaulted by the former recipients of the nanny state handouts when the system goes belly up.

I used to worry about my buddy the police officer and his stockpile of guns and ammo. He's positively convinced in the next few years we're going to see widespread rioting and looting. Lately I'm not so sure he's wrong.

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