Monthly Archives: February 2015


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A brilliant sociologist made a study of what all cultures have in common. Guess what he came up with? First, all children have a mother and a father, whether known or unknown.  Duh.  Second, every culture has something to drink or eat that elevates the mood.  Usually, something fermented. To drink.  Like beer. In Russia, they brew vodka from potatoes. […]

Beer in Panama


Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) is clever, entertaining, instructive and fun, even if you are not one of the “absolute beginner” Spanish students the course targets.  This wonderfully inventive set of lessons developed by the BBC lets you drag money from your wallet to pay a vendor, talk to waiters and helpful folks in the metro, and follow your […]

More Painless Spanish


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If you have any money overseas either invested, or in an account, you had best be aware of two IRS reporting programs. FOOBAR – excuse me, FBAR, and FATCA. Both were developed by Those Who Must Be Obeyed, and both are quite confusing. Additionally, do not confuse either of them with filing your taxes, because they are separate issues. However, […]

FATCA Rides



This message came from the Embassy on February 3: U.S. Embassy Panama Consular Section Federal Benefits Unit The Social Security Administration recently informed us that there are still over 300 Social Security recipients residing in Panama who have not returned their proof of life form.   In May/June of each year these forms are sent to the mailing address recipients have on […]

Proof of Life Followup