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living in the USA
Living the Life

A Taxing Day

“The only things certain in life are death and taxes” and April 15th is the due date for the latter in the United States. Both federal and state tax returns are due at 12 pm midnight. If you’re getting a refund, you may have filed early (though certain U.S. states will likely not process refunds any time soon), or you may be procrastinating like millions of others. Regardless, it’s a day spent of dusting off the calculator (or the accountant), collecting financial records and receipts and preparing that tax return. If you’re an expat, it may be several days as you may have to do more than one return for more than one country or

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People Places and Things

The Rate of Exchange

All countries engaged in trade, whether for things like raw materials, commodities or products, or for the more intangibles like knowledge and culture. Usually trade is to the benefit of all parties and is more or less equal. A trade deficit exists when the flow of commodities and products is not in balance. A brain drain exists when people become expats and leave a country with their knowledge and

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Living the Life

The Color of Money

In the United States, money is mostly green — much to the consternation of those new to the country who may used to bills and notes of different colors. Money is also whatever color the bank, retail or credit companies use for their cards. The recent financial crisis has exposed fraud, corruption and greed, but it has also highlighted a few realities: Americans are consumers and live on

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