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    March 10, 2009

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    Emily

    We've certainly been lucky, in that we really haven't been affected. We kept our house too and have it rented out right now, but intend to return to it.

    We've seen a couple friends whose projects were cancelled and they were sent back home to other assignments. And other people I've been in contact with who planned to move down, but now their company cancelled the move.

    The biggest effect we personally are seeing is that the chance of us extending our contract down here (which goes until the end of 2009) is getting slimmer as the company is looking to cut back on us expensive expats! :) (And while we'd love to have an extra year or so here, moving back sooner makes for some very excited grandparents-to-be.)

    Emily

    Interesting post. I'm a different kind of expat - down here on my own rather than sent by a US company - so the situation's different in a lot of ways. For me the negatives have been losses in the stock market and a lower interest rate on my savings, but I'm young enough to ride out the stock losses. The recession hasn't hit Chile as much yet. I think that a perk of being an expat is that I'm hearing how bad things are from friends at home, so I'm mentally prepared for things to get worse here, whereas I've heard some Chileans say that the economy "didn't" get that bad, as if it were all over now. One thing I have heard is that Chile's exports, specifically copper, will probably protect the economy and prevent the levels of recession that are currently affecting other countries. And of course holding onto or looking for a job here right now is easier than in the US, although it remains to be seen how that changes over the next few months.

    Emily

    Oh, I forgot to mention this expat money issue:

    When we moved here, we transferred a significant amount of money with us to buy a car, furniture, appliances, etc. The exchange rate was 1 USD/1.71 BR.

    When we move back to the US, we intend to move our money (including savings of what my husband was paid while working here) with us. Today's exchange rate: 1 USD/2.38 BR.

    If things stay the same we will take a significant hit! (But, such is the exchange rate game. If the rates were reversed we'd be making a lot of money off the deal!)

    But since we earn 12% interest per year on our CHECKING account here in Brasil and 0.9% interest on our SAVINGS account in the US, it's also tempting just to leave our money here until the exchange rate is more in our favor.

    Daily Rio Life

    Thanks Emilies!

    Vinicius Provenzano

    First of all : Nice blog!

    I can say I am in a very comfortable position for the next 2 years, as I am a Brazilian expat in Kuwait for an European company. When I left Brazil (to Angola) the exchange rate was 1US$ aprox. 2.15R$, almost 3 years ago.

    When the US$ went to 1.6R$ I was almost leaving the company to come back to Rio. At that time I was in Tunisia, and the living allowance could not be converted from local money to US$ or Euros. It was a tough time.

    Now I just signed a 2 years contract to Kuwait.

    The crisis helped my salary gets up, but you are right about projects getting postponed or canceled. And there is also a different movement on the projects that are still running:

    Most of my European colleagues in Tunisia came back to their home countries without new expat contracts. They cost at least 30% more than South American Expats.

    In Tunisia I was the only one from South America. We had also one indian guy and more than 40 europeans. In Kuwait we have 15 Europeans, 10 Indians, some pakistanis, some Egyptians, one South African and 5 South Americans. And some positions are now open for local hire.

    This picture makes me see that some high qualified third world expat worker is slowly replacing a lot of jobs that before were given to Europeans and North Americans, especially in the middle management.

    But I'm sure the top layer management will survive the crises as it had not existed.

    Daily Rio Life

    Thanks Vinicius!

    GingerV

    nice entry - I don't know if I qualify as an expat - I am an American with a permanent residence card in Brasil. When we came here 6 years ago the exchange rate was almost 4 to 1- we brought in just enough money to buy a small apartment and kept the rest of our fund in stocks and in our home in Houston. So our apartment for now is a good investment and the house in Houston is rented for additional income so is also working for us. But! our ages make the debacle in the stock market pretty bad as we may not live long enough to see it gain its original value (not the inflated one - but the value of our irreplacable retirement funds) For all of you young expats, is a good thing to hold onto your home at HOME even if you don't plan on going back to it, it still remains a home base if you need it and it will over time (historically 7 years) it will regain its value as long as it is well maintained.

    There is a lot to be said for living in today without worry about what may happen in the distant future.

    Daily Rio Life

    Thanks Ginger! I really like your attitude about the economy, it's too easy to get caught up in everything!

    Steve

    High,

    I may be relocating to sao carlos, SP and am looking for employment for my wife. She is a vetrinarian, but now practices as a licences nurse. She speaks German and English fluently, and a little french. She is primarily interested in nursing related jobs for german or english speakers, or associated institutions. In any case, woundered if anyone had anything, had advice or any comments about moving there in general.

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    This post will really help others not to emigrate anymore.

    Suzen

    Well this is something good information Thank you for sharing this.

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