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 Yet another return to Nepal thread - your insight needed
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Posted on 12-18-16 5:21 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Hi All,

I've found many "Returning to Nepal" posts in Sajha going back a decade ago and found them to be quite interesting as I weigh in pros and cons for my specific situation. I want to get insight from people who have been in a similar situation or thinking about the same thing.

Usually I found three salient details from people who discuss this topic in Sajha.

a) Going back for good - I love my country, I'm patriotic, I want to live as first class citizen, I can't find happiness here, I miss my family etc.
b) Not going back at all - Not returning because I can't deal with instability, infrastructure (or lack thereof) and poor work culture and opportunities so on and so forth.
c) Undecided - Play it by the year type or deferred decision until some conditions are met.

While these are general themes some people who moved back found happiness while others regretted the decision.

So back to my situation. I've been living in the states for 15+ years. Over the years I've made some investments which provide predictable regular income which can cover my regular expenses in Nepalese standard (I don't have an expensive taste). In other words, I'd be making decent money where the need to find a job or do business for regular expenses in Nepal is not necessary. I also have no desire to live in Kathmandu due to pollution and congestion so I won't be spending a fortune to buy a property there once I return.

So with my financial aspect taken care of, here are some of my specific questions that can help me or anyone in the same situation make a better decision.

1. Do you have to renounce US citizenship if you want to live in Nepal for good. I read in some blog that you can still be US citizen but a permanent Nepalese resident by paying $200 registration fee and $100/year thereafter. I'd still like to keep my US citizenship as I would like the option to travel seamlessly back to states without any visas.
2. Is there a provision for dual citizenship? I heard it's in the Nepalese constitution but haven't been able to find any info at all about the implementation details or timing around the web.
3. I know the interest rate on cash deposit fluctuates but has it ever gone to lower, say 5%? How is interest income taxed in Nepal?
4. I'm aware you have to file US taxes every year even if you live abroad. There is no taxes if you make below 95K/year on earned income based on IRS website, this excludes interest, rental, dividend income etc. Has anyone been in this situation where they file US taxes every year living in Nepal?
5. How does social security and medicare play into effect if living outside US once you age over 67?
6. What are the properties law in Nepal? Can a foreign citizen own properties and or have bunch of cash in Nepalese bank and earn interest? Is there a limit?
7.Anything else I should be aware of that I'm overlooking? Anyone else living here in a similar situation? If so can you share you're experience?

In case you're wondering why I'm planning to go back. It's not for any patriotic or nation building cause nor have I not found happiness or success here. It's simply wanting to spend time with my family as they have gotten older. Sure I won't have the same type of opportunities or income that I currently have in Nepal but I can focus on my hobbies and ideas which I never seem to find time here.

Finally, if you were in a similar situation (perhaps you're motivation was different than mine) where your finances are no longer an issue, would you return back?

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments and feedback.


Posted on 12-18-16 11:00 AM     [Snapshot: 140]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Answered one of my own questions. Going to keep adding here as I find more info so others might find it useful.

#6. Laws regarding foreign national owing properties in Nepal

I found this thread http://sajha.com/sajha/html/index.cfm?threadid=77289

TL;DR; It's not legal unless you can obtain special Visa. Best option is to wait for dual citizenship to be implemented in Nepal.

I couldn't find anything concrete in terms of bringing in money as it seems to be laxly enforced. Source : http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal/visas Perhaps it should be fine as long as you can reveal source along with taxes paid. So much of remittance money pours into the country but I don't know if that's taxed again in Nepal.

Posted on 12-18-16 11:22 AM     [Snapshot: 159]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Would you like to share your insights into 'Investments which provide predictable regular income.'?
This could be very much beneficial for many Sajhaits who are looking for ways for 'Investments which provide predictable regular income.'

Posted on 12-18-16 1:26 PM     [Snapshot: 173]     Reply [Subscribe]
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It's nothing fancy or super complicated. Basically, the old adage, "money makes more money" applies. Here is one example - If you deposit 10,000,000.00 in any Nepalese bank as fixed yearly saving you can yield min 7% interest (paid to you every 3 months) which is the current rate at most grade B banks (finance/development banks) but it can go up to 10% in some cases. Grade A banks such as Nabil or Standard Charter offer less than 4%.

How do you get to one or more 10,000,000.00 to begin with? There are many different ways to do this and I'm no genius but some popular ones include ownership in assets that appreciate over time such as rental properties, growth stocks and stocks that pay dividends, self sustainable online business that run without any overhead, offering personal shark loans based on a collateral (only done in Nepal) and many more. With all that you also need to have goddess Laxmi blessing on your side too :)

Posted on 12-18-16 2:05 PM     [Snapshot: 295]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Everyone talks about returning back no one does ! Very few return. Just go if you want to spend time with your family, that's the best feeling and when you look back in your life, you will cherish those moments ..

Life is short , do things that makes you happy.
Posted on 12-18-16 3:23 PM     [Snapshot: 359]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I will answer as much as I can, may be some are incomplete and some may be little off.

1. You don't have to drop us citizenship. I know there are some us citizens living in Nepal for long time. But I don't under immigration status they live there . New constitution provide nrn citizenship , so you do have constitutional right . But since laws are not there yet , so have to play by what is there, but if it comes to point remember you have constitutional right.

2. Dual citizenship is that they called and is provisioned in new constitution but no laws . If you google new constitution and read citizenship section there is provision for men citizenship. It's striped down version of regular citizenship

3. Not usually but 5% is not from top tier banks . And being honest, I think you will be still loosing money with 5% interest in Nepal considering inflation and devaluation of currency against dollars . And remember one more thing , there isn't easy way to bring money back from Nepal if u ever came back. So do some home work around it.

4. Not sure about taxes but I have read similar to you wrote in expat forums. Expat forum will be good source for tax related to info.

5. I think you can have proper upto limit, cash I don't see problem but remember about bringing it back , you may have to do some homework around that.

6. Social security you will get as long as u have some us address , you come to do paper after that it's direct deposit so u should be fine. May be you have to come on and off to maintain . Again check expat forums for details . Medicare no not covered outside of US.

My question to you, how much you considered livable yearly expense for this purpose, did you considered kids education?

And if I would take similar path I will put investment and money in US and transfer return to Nepal for living expense . Nepal and our culture is too money centric and things/laws gets complex when people see money. If you are hippy who have nothing in Nepal in terms of money and property...it's lot easier to deal legal/regulatory complexities. Ignore typos typing from phone
Posted on 12-18-16 8:49 PM     [Snapshot: 449]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Sorry for deviating from the OP's question but a shout out to last poster's comments about if you are a Hippie things are lot easier.

My understanding is thus:
* Staying permanently back in Nepal with US citizenship should not be huge legal issue.
* Livable Interest Income on Cash and Liquid assets below certain optimal amount is laced with Red Herring (e.g. Cash in B Categories Banks with lesser amount on depositor's insurance coverage, VC investments in Nepal, question of affordable real-estate investment for constant rental income, interest rates being at par with inflation rate etc)
* Quality education for kids are expensive.
* Expatriating your surplus income from Nepal to US is almost impossible under current law.
* Where the heart is, mind follows.
* Mero Pyaro Okhaldhunga. Siddhicharan Shrestha.
* If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else. Paul Arden.

Posted on 12-19-16 3:01 AM     [Snapshot: 560]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Interesting feedback guys. Thank you.


Good thinking in terms of factoring inflation for cash deposit. Bank interest income was an example to Manuwa's questions not specifically my situation. Majority of my investment portfolio is in states. I like your idea of only bringing in only what's needed and not bother transferring entire capital to Nepal. Hippie analogy makes sense as I'm far apart from the current reality on the ground. Also an interesting point on moving money back from Nepal to states, I'll see why it's difficult and what are the available options.

To answer your question in regards to livable expenses, I find it hard to believe that I would need more than 25K/year USD to live in Nepal for a small family which I think should cover kids education as well at a decent school. I'd love to hear if that wouldn't be sufficient as I won't have mortgage payments while living there.

Torpe_Kainla, you've raised a very good point on deposit insurance. I'd look more into it. Perhaps diversifying cash deposit across multiple banks to the limit where it's insured could be an option for folks who want income from cash deposit interest.

- OnToTheNextOne
Posted on 12-19-16 7:00 AM     [Snapshot: 698]     Reply [Subscribe]
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1. If you have decent income in US through various investments make sure that return from thosr deposit is regularly deposited in your US bank account and take debit card with you. you can use US debit card to withdraw money in Nepal in Nepali Rs
2. If you are going to live with your family in Nepal, it seems you have place to live. or may be you want to construct your own modern place

3. If you want to construct new house , outskirts of cities outside ring road area including land it costs around 20,0000.00 but that house will be able to generate some money for you.
4. if you go bit farther it will be even cheaper.

5. These days internet /tv/telephone available almost everywhere so regarding communication it should be no problem

6.If you need to visit doctor regularly make sure that your living place is within 5-7 km from hospital. good clinics are available in many places.

7.As someone said earlier taking money to Nepal and depositing it in a bank is a bad idea for the time being, even 1% interest rate in US is better than 10% in Nepal because of inflation.

8. But if you are buying property it is a good idea property appreciates more in Nepal compared to US surpassing inflation issues.

9. If you can show your regular income source (verified paper work, all legal) to a Nepali bank you are eligible to open a bank dollar account where you can deposit dollar they will give a debit card which can be used to withdraw Nepali Rs in Nepal and dollar in US,

10 From your bank account in US you can transfer funds ($) to that account.

11. Taking back money to US. Individually- it is very difficult but you establish a company in US and take money to Nepal in the name of the company and invest there , you are allowed to take profit out. You need to dig more in this regard.

12. I do not know what type of life style you have but when I visit Nepal stay in Hotels or bed and breakfast. A decent bed and breakfast will charge you 2000 Rs per day ( free WiFi ,24 hrs hot water and no load shedding) and a decent breakfast. Usually they provide me tea/Omelet/bread/one fruit/hash-brown everyday.

13. When you have your own place to live with you need a max of 1000$/month.

14. Owning car is useless in ktm and probably in others part of Nepal too. When I go there I use taxi/motorbike. you need to have contact with 3/4 with local taxi drivers so they will be available all the time you need. During mid day or Saturdays you can use public transport, less congestion.

15 Once you start to live there you will be used to it and your cost of living will go down

16. A nice fully furnished apartment will cost you around 75000 rs /month. Yes you need 25000$/yr if you are renting such apartment but that is a bad idea. for longer term you either live with your family in Nepal or have your own place. That property will appreciate in value in due course of time and say if you want to return to US after 10 yrs. selling that property will give you a good return.

Last edited: 19-Dec-16 07:30 AM

Posted on 12-19-16 9:13 AM     [Snapshot: 826]     Reply [Subscribe]
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25k per year should be suffice to live pretty good life in Nepal. I must say , you have made some decent investment in US to generate 25k in return . Looks like you have planned well . Good luck
Posted on 12-19-16 10:30 AM     [Snapshot: 884]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I was curious on some investment insights in the USA while referring to Investments which provide predictable regular income.

Posted on 12-19-16 10:46 AM     [Snapshot: 893]     Reply [Subscribe]
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4. I'm aware you have to file US taxes every year even if you live abroad. There is no taxes if you make below 95K/year on earned income based on IRS website, this excludes interest, rental, dividend income etc. Has anyone been in this situation where they file US taxes every year living in Nepal? - I think currently its at 100K+ as of 2016. And this is strictly to earned income only. I don't think Nepal and US have tax treaty so any income that you earn (Passive/Active), say interest should be reported.

However if you decide to renounce your citizen then you may need to talk to you tax accountant. There's something call "Exit Tax" that IRS imposes if you are a covered expatriate. Please look in IRS website for the definition of covered expatriate. Inbox me if you need some suggestion on US Tax issues.
Posted on 12-19-16 1:39 PM     [Snapshot: 965]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I am not sure if there are amendments, but these 2 documents have very good details on what you can and cannot do as NRN.

Posted on 12-19-16 7:24 PM     [Snapshot: 1096]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Just wanted to shout out to OP: "Your plan is my life goal !" Can you please have another thread on how to reach this position ? :)

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