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Jim Bondoux

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Jim Bondoux last won the day on November 17 2018

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About Jim Bondoux

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    Advanced Member

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  • Full Real Name:
    Jim Bondoux
  • Reason for registering:
    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
  • Location of primary residence:
    In Chiriqui
  • Birth (home) country:
    France

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  1. I am responding with what I remember from my past research, the record of which is not readily at hand since I am traveling. The form is supposedly mailed out in July, with an October deadline for the return. Downloading the form and mailing it in most likely does not satisfy the requirement, which is based on the physical round trip of the form via postal service. The form cha-cha cycles every other year, depending on your social security number. Both of ours arrived in October of last year, and we promptly turned them around. Previous phone messages and emails to both the FBU and the SS headquarters yielded zero responses.
  2. My guess is that paper bags are not going to be particularly popular during the rainy season - they don't hold anything once they get wet or even dampish...
  3. Connected through Tocumen yesterday. No change yet to the jetway round trip to a bus when arriving on the David flight. All the gates in the old terminal have been renumbered with a "1" in front so everything is now three digits (the old "22" is now "122", e.g.) and the signs for the new terminal gates all sport three-digit numbers with a "2"in front. A bit confusing in the check-in hall, since the check-in counters are also numbered with three digits... Walked past the opening of the concourse to the new terminal (which looks like the picture describing the leak in the article above) but no access, a tape stretched across the opening and with signs of "no access". Still, there were six COPA planes parked at the new terminal's jetways...
  4. Wells Fargo has been experiencing repeated failures of its electronic systems, over a span of several months. Banking systems are supposed to have redundancies and backups so that service interruptions are quickly remedied. Wells Fargo has not been able to consistently and promptly overcome the failures. To my knowledge there have been no public explanations of the problem or problems from the bank, excepting the usual public relations platitudes. I am a customer of Wells Fargo, and I now plan my transactions with system unreliability in mind. https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Wells-Fargo-banking-outage-stretches-into-second-13601637.php
  5. Here is a link to an article that consolidates the regional activities of China which I found to be eye-opening: https://journal-neo.org/2019/04/24/washington-not-happy-about-new-china-focus-on-central-america/
  6. I have learned from talking with cement people that they go crazy when folks confound cement and concrete (the latter being made from cement and such things as sand and gravel). If you have limestone and energy you can make cement. Transportation cost vs. production cost for cement make it relatively unattractive to ship long distances. The Mexican exports seem to correlate pretty well with the distance from Mexico...
  7. Yes, my vote. My objective in posting was to share useful, and hopefully accurate, information about obtaining a the new Medicare card to those who may, as I do, use a non-US mailing address with US Social Security. As to my "vote", it is due to my scar tissue from dealing with dozens of bureaucracies around the world, including the US. I choose the harder road, which is to minimize their opportunities for sudden "gotchas".
  8. Complying with the SS administration's requirement to communicate a mailing address in one's country of residence doesn't affect the freedom of choice for a depository bank. Your mailing address can be in Panama, and your bank account for receiving social security payments in the US. That's my situation. As to "procedural difficulties with government", those are pretty much universal...
  9. A perfectly rational choice on your part, in my view. The risk involved is probably very low, and likely to cause a hassle only in the event of a glitch along the way. I was just attempting to be helpful to those of us who are in compliance with the administrative requirements. Differentiating between a US mailing address and a Panama address is part of that. Best wishes.
  10. I totally agree that using MBE has some huge advantages over the postal system. My point is that if you are using an MBE address in Florida, for Social Security and Medicare, those entities do not know that your residence is outside of the US. That you have no mail issues follows naturally - and they issued your new Medicare card as required by the law. They are not mailing new Medicare cards to non-US addresses, per their letter that I quoted previously. You have effectively cleared up for me that you do not have a mailing address outside of the US. I imagine that you have not been receiving the so-called "proof of life" form (form 7162) either. If a Social Security beneficiary lives outside the US without providing an acceptable foreign mailing address, that beneficiary risks losing their benefits. You might do an online search for "GN 02401.08" which is the current Social Security regulation concerning acceptable addresses. I will quote the key part of the regulation: QUOTE GN 02401.080: Use of United States Address by Beneficiary Abroad 1 change ← * → Effective Dates: 01/18/2017 - Present TN 28 (01-17) GN 02401.080 Use of United States Address by Beneficiary Abroad A. When to use a U.S. mailing address A beneficiary abroad may use a U.S. mailing address when he or she: * has an Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office or Diplomatic Post Office address, * has a representative payee in the U.S., or * expects to be abroad for 3 months or less. NOTE: The beneficiary (or their representative payee) must always keep SSA advised of his or her residence address for contact and foreign enforcement purposes. B. When not to use a U.S. mailing address A beneficiary may not use a mailing address in the U.S. to receive payment when he or she: * travels abroad for more than 3 months; * resides in a Treasury restricted country listed in RS 02650.001C; or * resides in a barred country listed in RS 02650.040. NOTE: Do not send checks to relatives or friends in the U.S. for beneficiaries who are abroad more than 3 months except during interim periods while developing a proper mailing address. C. Receiving benefit payments while having a foreign address A beneficiary with a foreign address living outside the U.S. may have his or her benefit payment sent to a financial institution (FI) of his or her choice. Title XVI recipients are ineligible to receive benefits while residing outside of the U.S. unless an exception applies. For more information on exceptions, see GN 00303.700A. UNQUOTE
  11. I believe that there is no postal delivery to MBE in Boquete, and so I'm guessing that your MBE address is Florida. If that is the case, then your MBE address is not "outside of the US". That will be worth clearing up.
  12. I finally have my new Medicare number and card. I have a letter from Medicare which states that they are not mailing new cards to most people with Medicare who have a mailing address outside of the US. Waiting for the card to come to the Boquete post office is clearly futile. In the letter, Medicare directs you to go online to MyMedicare.gov. where you can sign in if you have an account, or where you can create an account (my circumstance). Fairly easy and straightforward. Once logged in, there is a menu button to print the new Medicare card. Done. I now have a very odd-looking 11-digit Medicare Number. Perhaps this will help anyone who hasn't yet obtained their new Medicare number, which is required by law after April 2019...
  13. Yacht transit of the Western Carribean is iffy, weather-dependent, and slow. I suggest contacting Princess Cruises and Holland America Cruises. They both have cruise ships departing Colon in the next week and arriving in Ft. Lauderdale three or four days later. Safe, comfortable, reliable, with doctor and infirmarty on board...
  14. According to the linked article, a project to repair and improve the highway to Paso Canoas has started - resurfacing, bridge improvements, cleaned shoulders and ditches and unspecified measures to alleviate traffic jams at urbanized entrances/exits. https://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/provincias/limpieza-rehabilitacion-carretera-Panamericana-David-Frontera_0_5246475327.html
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