My friend (we did actually meet once) CR Jones wrote a comment on Foolish:
"Be careful, as it’s my understanding that you can get slammed for hiring an undocumented worker, and especially not filing the correct papers or paying the employment tax. The latter may not be an issue if it was less than 30 days– but if you haven’t documented pay stubs, it could be difficult to prove.
I predict you’ll move back to the States in less than two years.
By the way– I don’t blame you, if you do."
TWO YEARS? Yikes. That really doesn’t give us much time…
BTW, I just spent a few hours with my legal advisor and learned much, including the dangers of hiring an undocumented worker. I’m learning. Unfortunately, I learn via the 2×4 method. You can’t just tell me something or show me where it’s written down. You have to hit me over the head with a 2×4. Only then do I take it seriously. Lucky for me, it’s my only character defect.
We’ve been living here almost two years now, 20 months to be exact. On 9/28, my 52nd birthday, it will be 20 months exactly. We love our lives here. We are so comfortable and Key West seems SO far away. On top of that, we SO dislike life in the U.S. right now, what with the Iraq Conflict instigated by The Decider who finally admitted we’ll be in Iraq forever which will almost certainly require more of our personal freedoms to be eradicated in The Name of Freedom. Not to mention the devastated economy. Honestly? It’s really hard to say which is the stronger motivation to stay: love for here or aversion to there. If everything were wonderful there and affordable, would we stay here? I don’t know.
When this whole slander thing came up, my real panic was being deported. First of all, I’d have uprooted my children’s, my mom’s and my dogs’ lives. (Hal can handle it.) And then the burning question: where would we go? We are clearly not ready to go stateside. Even if we were, Key West, the known quantity, is still too expensive.
So I was thinking of all the other countries where we could go, but nothing appeals to me like here. Maybe we could go live with Jen in Dominica? You know, pool our resources… But who wants a slandering expat knocking on their front door??? With two teens, three dogs, a bossy mother*, and a husband in tow. Besides, I’d probably get us expelled from there, too.
And besides all that, we just got here and now we gotta go??? I’m thinking two more years just doesn’t sound like it’s going to be nearly enough. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s never say never. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d end up here. Forget loving it. Still, Mr. Jones could be right. Who knows where we’ll be in two years? If I can just enjoy this time right now, as best I can, I’ll have learned a thing or two. It won’t matter where I am, will it?
*My mother has decided she is going to sue me for slander as well, for suggesting that she is helpless and needed rescuing in Mexico. Yeah. Take a number.
first a reality check, likelihood that you would get deported over something like this is 0.000000000000000001%
I am also missing something here (I have been slacking on my blog reading because I am travelling LOL), did you NAME this person in the blog? you know , first&lastname?
Sally, come on over to Dominica! Wouldn’t we have a great time? I could be Auntie Jen to your boys! And we definitely need a bossy Momma over here.
Just a quick note to thank you for your clever insights and observations about life in general. I enjoy reading and get a different view of life in CR. I must admit I am a bit hooked on the on going adventures and challenges! Like a soap opera! Anyway!Thanks! I have learned alot from your experiences! I hope your energy and your attitude stays positive and strong! scott
Hi Wolfie. No, I did not name her first and last and today I was officially advised that anything she attempts will not be successful. The deportation thing was my overactive imagination running wild. Sorry, guess I should have mentioned that. What with me being a certified drama queen and all. I researched slander/defamation and it is a criminal offense, netting fines and/or jail time. I think I’d prefer deportation to jail… I knew deportation was pretty much off the table (as was jail unless I got an overzealous judge who doesn’t like bloggers), but this was the result of my anxiety running amuck. My advisor was having a holiday weekend while my mind went batshit crazy. The result of my ignorance on the laws here. Those days are over.
I am up at 3:22am because my feet are cramping like crazy. Walked around in pumps all day. Big mistake. So I drank a bunch of water, took some aspirin and any minute I’ll be….zzzzzz. (I wrote this at 3:22am but our internet was out so it didn’t post then…)
aaagh! good you’re chillin then – because I can’t get there for two years and your continuing blog is the best for CR reality info. really. And just to confirm for you in case you backslide love our country but the government/society/rising costs etc. is well… CTD (circlin’ the drain) Hang in there!!
You are just too funny. I have been in your shoes (like most), worried about deportation for other reasons (by working, over the 90 day thing, set-up by “ex” to get rid of me, that sort of stuff).
I breathe easy now with residency.
Whenever I had to let someone go in the past, stealing, drinking on the job, etc., I paid them to leave. Yes, it was totally against my principles but I do not want to fight the system here. I knew they needed money and I gave them a week’s pay (or half) to travel on. Call me a stupid gringa but it worked.
They left happy and they didn’t boom-a-rang on me.
It always comes down to the money.
Don’t fret, “this too shall pass.”
Two years is what it takes for most to tuck tail and go home. You’re not going ANYWHERE but IF you do go to Dominica, I might just join you!
I love your blog, and can’t wait to check out your new postings each time.
I am a little puzzled, however about where you’re getting the idea that the US economy is in sad shape. We are doing very well, thank you. And it is also strange that for all the illegal immigrants risking their lives to get INTO this country, you speak of coming home like it would be a fate worse than death. Sounds like you’re happy there, so enjoy it!
Thank you, Jen. An option! Maybe I’ll just send the boys…
And thank you, Scott. I always did want to be on a soap opera. The pay is probably better being ON one than actually BEING one… Loved your site. Do you have any murals around here?
Patti, CTD: I hear you. It is wild that my experience of the Key West and Florida economy is like yours wherever you are… absolutely CTD – the pits. But Janice (last comment) sells real estate in IL and apparently there it’s AOK. I’m glad to hear it for Janice and IL!!! If I did move back to the states, I’d have to live in a market that wasn’t a bubble market: no meteoric rise and now into the fall. The fall is too painful. There are markets that didn’t get the disease. You missed a helluva ride there, Janice, but you are probably better off (not to mention saner) for it! See you, Patti.
Teri, darlin’, I’m over my pity party. They’ll have to drag me out kicking and screaming.
Seems to me you are too fixated on the US bubble thing. Yes, Keywest went berzerk and it obviously was not sustainable given that local salaries could not possibly support prices PLUS it has a bigger second home market. It was just a perfect storm at KW (in my opinion, only).
Its obvious now that there was a bubble in a LOT of places/cities, but you cannot simply just lump them all together and think that the entire US is circling down the crapper.
Also one thing to think about, even during the great depression there were some people making mega plata.
I may be too fixated on the US bubble thing because it affected me so directly. And continues to do so. I think you are right, some towns are harder hit, Key West in particular, the entire state of Florida in general.
My conclusion from reading and listening to my next door neighbors, to fellow realtors around the states, to the NAR (National Assoc of Realtors), to the national media outlets – main stream and otherwise – is that the bubble thing is much greater than a few local markets. The entire US may not be circling the drain, but this bubble is so huge it will affect even you. Stay outta debt, get in cash.
What were those people doing to make their mega plata? That’s the $64,000 question.
Well, if it makes you feel any better: Carla and I both thought you were in your early 40’s. And we were wondering, “What’s that hot young chick doing with that old man?” (People probably say the same thing about Carla. LOL.)
I think you’re limiting yourself, in that you have a lot of other skills that you could use to make money. The cool thing about capitalism is that you’re not limited to one thing (hocking real estate).
I’m sure that with your writing skills, you could spend a year studying internet marketing and learn how to make a decent living, online. Then you could live in the Hill Country in Austin, or a town like Fayetteville, Arkansas– which is a hot little college town, low cost of living, and very multi-cultural. Not at all the redneck type of place that “Arkansas” is probably conjuring up in your mind.
Of course, you could just stay in CR– or somewhere else in Latin America. But I have a hunch that the crime, the dirt, and the Dura Vida will start to get on your nerves– like it did, mine.
Take care of that puppy! (And more pictures of him, damn it!)
Ok, you are now my favorite person on the planet. See how easy that was?
Yeah, I’d like to do ANYTHING other than sell real estate and am resisting it like crazy. Besides, I can’t work here legally and THAT would get me deported. I’m putting up a real estate referral site because too many people have asked me to do that. But that’s all I want to do.
I have been dabbling in internet marketing and am more and more driven to do that, especially when it comes right down to real estate or anything else. It’s the obvious choice, but it’s like learning greek for God’s sake! And the “guru’s” out there are too numerous, they all have you on auto-responders and are all selling you their method, their ebooks, THEIR gurus… Just sorting thru those guys wears you down. BUT onward and upward, I can sort thru them. Find my niche…
Meanwhile, I promise more pictures of precious Clemenza. He is so fabulous – puppy??? We got us 65 lbs of pure love. I had to tell mom to be careful going down the stairs, he wants to go everywhere we go, of course! He’s adopted the bean bag chair and watching him circle the thing (on top of it) to get it just right is THE most hysterical thing on the planet.
Sally, since you cannot legally work for a salary in CR, why not become an artist?… Then you could paint all those houses you are not allowed to legally sell. But the twist would be to paint them all with ‘For Sale’ signs on their front lawns. You could price your work at 10% of whatever it says on the sign in the front yard. Do you think that there’s a market for this? Cheers! ==
You are one smart cookie! Will need painting lessons first…