Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Retired and in search of a home abroad
Old 04-13-2012, 05:39 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Rochelle
Posts: 2
Retired and in search of a home abroad

Hi!
My husband retired for the second time (the first time was from the Navy) early and voluntarily. I didn't plan on retiring yet, but when we moved to GA to be nearer to family, I discovered that getting a job at 59 was just not happening here.
So...now we are living on his Navy pension and two Social Security checks (neither of them impressive.)
Our ONLY asset is our combined income. Period.
We are trying to find somewhere to live abroad where we could have a higher standard of living on our present income. (Okay, I'll be honest here. This possible move depends on what happens in Nov. of 2012.)
I have been haunting the internet for months trying to get answers. I can find very few counties that issue retirement visas without a major investment in the local banks. Which, of course, we are incapable of providing.
We need somewhere that is at least relatively safe (would rather NOT find ourselves in the middle of political unrest with a decent health care system and a reasonable cost of living. We don't need "fancy" anything. I do need somewhere where I can continue to try to grow my craft business without running afoul of any immigrant rules...
Do you get the feeling I'm totally confused?
If anyone has any suggestions, they would be welcome!
Thanks in advance!
__________________

__________________
BensKat is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-13-2012, 06:32 AM   #2
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
Hi BensKat. Have you lived abroad before or traveled much? Do you speak any other languages besides English? There are a number of discussion on living outside the US which you can find using the search function. Here is one that is still open the joys of retiring abroad
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,146
Welcome to the site
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dallas
Posts: 457
We've been in Playa del Carmen Mexico for 7 months now and it has been a real eye opening experience. Second language is not necessary, but you'll make more local friends if you do.

Healthcare is pretty much similar on minor things, but better service (house calls). Lots to do, especially if you like snorkeling, spearfishing, water sports in general. Reefs south are awesome and fishing is awesome as well.

Now that we've been here for a while, we know people who live on $1k monthly; we have a good life w/car and insurance in the states for $2k or less per month.

Veggies and fruits are cheap, seafood and meats are reasonable. Internet access at 2-10mb download speeds, cable has decent English channels.

We totally feel safe and have not seen any of the bad press stories you hear in the states...
__________________
Surewhitey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: philadelphia
Posts: 106
If you don't mind my asking, why/how does this possible move depend on what happens in Nov. 2012? Do you know something we don't know?
__________________
james7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dallas
Posts: 457
Sounds political ooor Mayan
__________________
Surewhitey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surewhitey View Post
Sounds political ooor Mayan
Hopefully Mayan, because we don't want to mix politics with the friendly welcome of a new member.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:16 AM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dallas
Posts: 457
True dat ;-)
__________________
Surewhitey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 125
Since your husband was in the Navy, have you been abroad? If so, were there places you liked enough that you thought you could live there?

Do you speak any foreign languages? If not, would you be interested in learning one?

There ARE any number of places in the world that meet your crriteria (low expenses, politically quiet, decent healthcare at reasonable prices), but most likely the main language is not English. And culture shock is likely especially if you haven't had much experience abroad.

What kind of work did you do?
__________________
dmdunca44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:37 AM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 322
I don't know ANYTHING about this (and many other smart folks here do...) but won't some sort of veterans-based health care be an important part of your planning?
__________________
"Time wounds all heels...." - Groucho Marx
LRDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #11
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 10
It is hard to help without knowing how much resources you have and what kind of standard of living you expect. The 3rd world countries in Asia are catching up. They are not as inexpensive as you might think 20 years ago. Language could be another problem.
__________________
nobodyknows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: philadelphia
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodyknows View Post
It is hard to help without knowing how much resources you have and what kind of standard of living you expect. The 3rd world countries in Asia are catching up. They are not as inexpensive as you might think 20 years ago. Language could be another problem.

Yes, many countries are catching up. The rising cost of living in is exactly what scares me about retiring abroad. I am afraid of establishing ourselves in another country and then the rising cost of living will cheat us out of the lifestyle we are used to and that we came there for. That is why we plan to stay here in the US.

Costa Rica and Panama were cheap when they were touted as retirement destinations, but the cost of living there in the cities is now the same or higher than many medium sized cities in the US. (Don't believe what the Latin America real estate salespeople say, check it out for yourself.) You could live cheap in the rural areas, but it is a different lifestyle you would have to like and get used to, completely different than small town or rural life in the US.

I would think that with your VA health benefits, you could have a good retirement in an area of the US that has a low cost of living.
__________________
james7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 11:38 AM   #13
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,817
We've looked hard at retirement abroad but the thing that holds us back is money.
The places we've considered in the past are Costa Rica and New Zealand.. both require an asset threshold for permanent visa. We could meet that threshold if we liquidated our house, etc... but we worried about being so far from family. Now we've opened our search to Europe. My husband and sons are dual citizens which gives us options for the entire EU. The healthcare is attractive, and we have family in Italy... but the economic instability scare us. Plus we have aging in-laws that we don't want to abandon.

It's a lot of factors to consider... not just financial, when you make a big move.
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 05:03 PM   #14
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Rochelle
Posts: 2
First of all...thanks to all who answered. I'm going to try to reply to everyone who did.
Yeah, sort of Mayan. I really expect our economy to collapse (don't think that's exactly what the Mayans had in mind, but who knows ?
My husband is within 8 months of 65. Which means that he gets shifted to Medicare as primary health insurance rather than Tricare which is what the Navy now provides. The health care issue is a biggie...a REAL biggie...with us. Which is one reason we keep looking at Panama, since their health care is public and, from what I read, really state of the art. (If anyone has any knowledge contrary to this information, please tell me!) I may be putting a little too much trust in International Living magazine.
Ben and I didn't meet until he was long out of the Navy and my travel abroad consists of a couple trips to Canada. Well-traveled, I'm not.
I don't speak any foreign language, though I understand some Spanish and French. I am more than willing to learn another language if the locals can put up with my atrocious accent. How many people do you know that are TOTALLY incapable of rolling their "r's?" Seriously, I wouldn't try to move to another country without at least some rudimentary idea of how to speak the language. Rosetta Stone, here I come!
Our combined income after taxes is roughly $3200. Does that help?
Style of living...
We NEED to live in a rural area. Neither of us can stand to be in a city or in a place where you can reach out and touch your neighbor's house. I love to garden (veggies,) and do my "crafty thing," both quiet hobbies, but my husband plays the guitar as well as forever listening to his music, so we can't be right on top of peace and quiet-loving neighbors. However, I want access to real stores and medical care, which, even if they were 50 miles away, would be no different from what we have now.
Right now we are living in about a 900 sq. foot house on an acre of land and paying $550 a month rent.
Does the additional information prompt any mental bell-ringing?
Thanks!
__________________
BensKat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 07:41 PM   #15
Dryer sheet aficionado
Dranoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Full Time RVer
Posts: 27
BensKat, before considering leaving the U.S., you need to do a lot of homework. Much can be done online. Expat boards are an excellent source of information. Google them and you will find lots of info good, bad, accurate and inaccurate. It's a start. I've been in Costa Rica for almost two years. You can easily live here on your income, many of our friends do. Residency requires $1,000/mo like Social Security and requires their public medical for around $50/mo. Very very few gringos here speak spanish. But, you'll enjoy it more if you do. This board is the most popular here with expats. They will happily point you to more detailed info. Hope that helps. Keep in mind though, you won't "be in Kansas anymore"
__________________
Dranoel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 08:27 PM   #16
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
BensKat, you don't ask for much. A rural location, access to stores and quality inexpensive health care, low cost of living, and your language skills are limited. Others will hopefully share their views and suggestions. A few thoughts:

Some health care in Panama is available to locals without cost. Some very good health care is available to paying customers. They are not the same. If you were to move there you would most likely need insurance.

Once Medicare kicks in your health care costs should be competitive with what you would pay elsewhere.

If you still feel living abroad is the solution, you probably would do better in an expat community where you can find others with similar interests.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 09:29 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,440
I think you need to move to Boston. Free universal health care, good stores, fairly incomprehensible language. Not rural or cheap, though. Unless you go to South Boston. It's a bit of a jungle.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 89
Speaking from SE Asian experience....

Yes it is possible to live rurally, but chances are that it will not work for you.
First of all is the massive language barrier. In general, rural people do not speak English.
Second, you will need to buy a truck so you can transport yourself to town to buy some things.
Third, loneliness/isolation. You will literally have nobody to talk to except for your husband. It's fun for a month or two, but after that you will yearn for some friends that you can have conversations with (i.e. Americans).
Fourth, rural living is RURAL. Weird/crazy/fun things happen out in the rural areas.
Fifth, you've never been abroad, so you have no idea what you would be getting yourself into.

The only successful SE Asian rural living that I have seen included one person being married to a native citizen. If you came from an extreme rural life in the US, I think you would probably be just fine living rurally in another country. For example, old school farmers or Amish people could probably live anywhere provided they had tools to build things.

Just to clarify, rural to me means no neighbors, middle of nowhere, dirt road to get to your house, grid-tied electricity and a well to supply water.


My best advice to you would be to take a 2 month (or longer) vacation to a region you are thinking of living in. Try to stay in one place for at least a month. Talk to the expats there. See what they have to say about living there. Take note of how much stuff costs. Satellite, internet, phone, electricity, water, taxi, food, household goods, etc. Keep a budget of how much you spend daily.

I just don't think rural living in a foreign country will be a good idea. Living in a foreign country where English is not spoken is great. Small town, just fine. But rural? For 99.9% of people, it just doesn't work. It's too hard to adjust, especially at an older age (unless you come from an extreme rural life).
__________________
YoungSaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
I think you need to move to Boston. Free universal health care, good stores, fairly incomprehensible language. Not rural or cheap, though. Unless you go to South Boston. It's a bit of a jungle.
Sorry Boston does not have Free universal health care. Heathcare is never free, but there are places where it is universal
__________________
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Current AA: 65% Equity Funds / 20% Bonds / 7% Stable Value /3% Cash / 5% TIAA Traditional
Retired Mar 2014 at age 52, target WR: 0.0%,
Income from pension and rent
nun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 01:17 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,709
Speaking as a Bostonian, our healthcare is not free, but it is unaffordable...which then makes it free (for everyone who can't afford it).
__________________

__________________
marko is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:34 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.