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Monthly Archives: June 2010

>A New Set of Documents, "How lucky are WE?"

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Here is a mistake I hope I can help someone avoid. If you are moving to CR and you are not yet on SS but expect to once down there, just be advised that you will not be able to file for residency until you have all or your documents, including the letter from Social Security stating your monthly income. Oh and by the way, you must be 62 for one whole month before you can receive benefits.

What this means is if you are born in the middle of the month like me, you have to wait the whole next month and the you will be paid on the 3rd Wednesday of the following month. Although I am 62 in October I will not get my first check until Dec 15. At this point you can go to the US Embassy and get you SS letter to complete your documents!!!! So, if you get your documents too early (Like ME) they expire before you can even file.

Here is what the SS says:

“”We pay benefits in the month following the month they are due. For example, if you turn 62 on July 15, your first month of entitlement is August, and you would receive your first check in September. However, if your birthday is May 1st, then your first month of entitlement is May and you would receive your first check in June.””

How come no one mentioned this anywhere before?? It would have been really helpful!!

So guess what we get to do all over again???? Yep get our darn ol documents again and go through the process of getting them certified. Am glad I found this out now before taking them to the Costa Rican Embassy for authentication. That would have been a waste of $320, not including all the other costs.

Why did this happen you might ask?? Well I was going off the assumption that I would be able to collect my SS letter on November 14 which would have given us more than enough time on our documents we have now. If one government doesn’t get you the other one will. Gota love em.

Practice, practice, practice!!!! Isn’t that what makes things perfect!! Now that we have practiced, I just hope we can make things perfect.

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Posted by on June 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

>¡Nos Vemos!

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The danger zone is fast approaching and by that I mean when you know your last few days remaining don’t really mean that much. After trying to do things right, time comes when you just have to let things go. What brings on this rant is a nasty email wanting me to explain my job. At this point in my life, I DON”T CARE! I have paid my dues; I no longer need to be caring to my fellow workers when they ask for such stupid things as explaining my job to them and how it affects them. 19 more days, that’s my answer. Hasta La Vista Baby, Ciao, etc!!!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

>Documentos por favor!

>We finally have sent all of our documents to the different Secretary of States for certification. We did get one birth certificate back already, but are waiting on the others to arrive.

Once we get everything back then it’s off to DC to get everything authenticated. Once we get that done it’s off to Costa Rica to get ready for round 2 or 3 or 4 or 5.

UPDATE:

I just got my birth certificate back this afternoon so that makes two down. So from the time we ordered our BC’s until we got them back from the Secretary of State took 17 days and $70/each.

So with that in mind if you have to repeat the process for some reason at least we will know the time frame.

BTW when I finally looked at what I received it was an Apostille and not a certification as required by Costa Rica. I called the Secretary of State’s office this morning and they will be sending me the correct endorsement.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

>Mariposa Azul

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This is the iconic symbol of the rain forest next to the red eyed tree frog for Costa Rica. Last night we watched a movie from 2004 entitled “The Blue Butterfly” which was filmed in Costa Rica. As we were watching it was like watching a home movie shot around our place. It included the Bri-Bri Tribe of Talamanca who are the indigenous people of Costa Rica and scenes that we see all the time. It seemed more like home than being here.

The days are starting to pick up in speed, I will be traveling in a couple of weeks to bring more of our stuff down, pick up the car and get things ready for our final trip. It will be good to hear the birds, monkeys and waves crashing on the shore again.

Tranquillo y pura vida.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

>¡Que Lastima!

>Who ever said that moving to Costa Rica would not be an experience. An article today in “La Nacion” was about the “NEW” traffic laws that just came into effect on March 1. A small article in the law, number 69 states that a truck exceeding 1500 kilograms requires a “B2” license. A license to drive a car is a “B1”. So anyone whose car exceeds 1500 kilograms (3306 pounds gross weight) will require a “B2” license to legally drive or face a $720 fine.

Now here is the real trick, if you show up to get a “B2” license with your “heavy” car you can not take the test because it is not a truck! You have to go rent a truck to take your test. See where I am going with this? A “B2” license is to operate a truck that can carry up to 5 Tons. That usually requires a truck with two rear axles. I remember driving a 5 ton Dump Truck when I was in the Army, but I don’t think that will get me by in this case. What the law forgot to state was the weight limits imposed on vehicles was the weight it can carry, not the physical weight of the vehicle.

Since most people drive 4×4’s or some type of SUV in Costa Rica, they are now subject to getting fined for not having the correct drivers license. Most SUVs would fall under this category since they weigh more than 3300 pounds. The average new car or light-duty truck sold in the 2003 model year tipped the scales at 4,021 pounds, breaking the two-ton barrier for the first time since the mid-1970’s, according to a report released by the Environmental Protection Agency. I know that most cars in Costa Rica are not US type cars, there are still a lot imported. Even a person driving a Honda Accord, which weighs more than 1500 kilograms would be required to get a “B2” license. So can you see having to go out and rent a BIG truck in order to take the driving test just to drive a Honda Accord?

Our BIG TRUCK (CAR!)

I am hoping that with this article appearing the today’s paper the legislative branch reads it, make changes to this new set of laws and this article is corrected. I am sure there are a few Diputados that drive SUVs. There is no way I would be able to drive if this law is not changed or if the Transitos do not decide to make a different interpretation. If you do get a ticket the article says that you can appeal (do you know how much trouble it is to appeal a traffic ticket in Costa Rica?????) It might cost you twice as much.

I always knew that it would be fun moving to a new country, but I had no idea just how much!!!

UPDATE:

Later today the MOPT officials asked the Tansitos not to give tickets to 4×4 drivers and to use the old 1997 law that referees to the weigh as payload. There has been more than 44 comments on this article, none positive. Power of the people!

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

>2 Down; ? More to Go

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I just finished mailing off our birth certificates to the prospective Secretary’s of State. So from here all we will need to do is get our marriage license and fingerprints/letter certified and then just one more giant leap to the Costa Rican Embassy in DC. All of those documents will accompany us to Costa Rica in August so we can hand them over to ARCR.

I’ll be very happy once we get everything back from the Embassy with their stamp of approval.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

>Moments

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This is how I feel some days as we march down to our final day before we move. Some days seems to fly by while others seem to crawl at a snails pace (like work days!).

We are trying to stay sane hoping that we get to the point of leaving without too much damage. After this next trip down at least we can see what else we need to take when we do make the move. Having only duffel bags to haul stuff makes it tuff especially with the 50lb limit imposed by the airlines. With our added trip back in November will really help us manage the cargo thing a whole lot better. By the time we come back we will really know what we forgot to bring!!

With our documents ordered that is a big lift off the shoulders. Once we get everything back from the Sec of States we can see just how much time we have left to get the embassy to sign off. Once that happens we will have everything we need to take with us.

Oh well, in the mean time I will go screaming into the night……..

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2010 in Uncategorized