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Semi retirement?
Old 03-18-2007, 05:39 PM   #1
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Semi retirement?

Good day all. MMM here, don't ask! I'll get right to it.

I 44, wife 37. To young to retire (do nothing). We are looking to get out of the rat race we live in, north Jersey, and move to a warm lo-cal. We looked very hard at Peru as the climate there is good for us, 80-85 summer and 50's winter,(Lima). 8 million pop..
But pollution and a stomach virus on every visit made us reconsider.
We are looking for a B & B or small hotel/inn to keep us busy, and supply an income. The income does not have to be great, but a profit has a way of lifting the spirits. We should have enough money to buy a small place outright or hold only a small mortgage.

We are looking into the following countries: 1st. tier, Dominican Rep., Panama, Venezuela. 2nd. tier Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico.

We want something near enough to a town/city so we can enjoy a movie and some nice rest. once in a while. As well as do some people watching, Hospitals/avail. health care is also important. (No witch doctors please)

Any sound advice is welcome, I know there are down sides to all of these locations, storms, political unrest and so on. I really don't want to go to the south Pacific. (far from home).

If I left anything out tell me and I'll be glad to fill in the blanks.

Thanks,

MMM
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-18-2007, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: Semi retirement?

North Jersey to Mexico?? OK

There are many here who have been all over the world and have some great ideas.

Good luck.
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-18-2007, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Semi retirement?

Welcome to the board, MMM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM
We are looking into the following countries: 1st. tier, Dominican Rep., Panama, Venezuela. 2nd. tier Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico.
Some of the board's more experienced expats will be along shortly to discuss each country. I think we've heard from someone everywhere but Venezuela & Nicaragua.

This is just my personal impression, but running a B&B sounds like a lot of work...
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 08:22 AM   #4
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Re: Semi retirement?

Well alot of work while learning, but once you get the hang of things you let the help handle the physical stuff. We would stick to bookings and touring.
In the places we have looked, labor is inexpensive so hopefully we will be able to keep costs down.
Keep in mind we are looking to keep busy, not kill ourselves. So working smart not hard is the plan. Our living expenses and a little extra for a rainy day is all we need.

Thanks for the welcome, I look forward to the other responses.


MMM
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 09:54 AM   #5
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Re: Semi retirement?

Check out the International Living Web page for some ideas. Have you considered Equador? Supposed to have a good year round climate in the highlands.
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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Re: Semi retirement?

Welcome MMM!

Money Magazine had an article on opening a bed and breakfast in last month's issue...http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/..._dreams/5.html

It sounds pretty difficult. Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 02:00 PM   #7
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Re: Semi retirement?

It's hard to move to Venezuela permanently. I studied there in college. If you're going, go soon before Chavez (or Bush) shuts down the border.
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 02:10 PM   #8
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Re: Semi retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM
We are looking for a B & B or small hotel/inn to keep us busy, and supply an income.
Welcome to the board. You are in for quite an experience gathering the shared experience of some pretty interesting and smart folks.

<bubble burst mode>

Ah yes, the old B&B dream. You are just a bit young to have watched that craze during the late-1960s through, say, the mid-70s. Everyone wanted a nice B&B in Vermont, simple life, meet interesting folks, convene with nature, make enough to get by.

Fast forward about 10 years: "I'm nothing but a glorified maid." "I'm sick of cleaning other people's bathrooms every day." "I haven't slept later than 5 a.m in 10 years." "I can barely make ends meet even though I work 12 hours a day." "Retire?? You crazy? I can't even afford a new car."

</bubble burst mode>

Follow your dream, but have an exit strategy .
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 02:20 PM   #9
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Re: Semi retirement?

It looks like the OP is proposing a B&B in one of the latin american countries they listed.

Seems like many of those places charge $200/night for a rather modest room where the hired hands (maid, cook, gardener, etc) get paid $200/month. If you can get guests through the door, it wouldn't take many to break even.
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Semi retirement?

I used the B&B thing and maybe should not have. Looking into a small extended stay hotel or apt/hotel.
Something nice and comfortable but not lavish. Close to the beach or attractions but not in the heart of things. Something modest in price for snowbirds and tourist that don't have top dollar for a resort.

Hope that clears thiongs up for you. Thanks for the advice. I do like the warnings most of all, It is far to easy to fall in love with an idea. So feel free to knock away. Just be able to back it up.

Thanks again!

MMM
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 05:55 PM   #11
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Re: Semi retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM
I used the B&B thing and maybe should not have. Looking into a small extended stay hotel or apt/hotel.
Something nice and comfortable but not lavish. Close to the beach or attractions but not in the heart of things. Something modest in price for snowbirds and tourist that don't have top dollar for a resort.
Gotcha. Your expanded description sounds like a small business venture as opposed to a "Mom and Pop" dream. With the low labor costs you could much more easily hire out the more mundane tasks.

In that case, put me on your mailing list. Just the kind of place we like to stay at.
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-19-2007, 06:19 PM   #12
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Re: Semi retirement?

$200 a night in those countries will not go over. More like $50 a night for most.
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-20-2007, 07:40 AM   #13
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Re: Semi retirement?

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Re: Semi retirement?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2007, 03:52:23 PM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome MMM!

Money Magazine had an article on opening a bed and breakfast in last month's issue...http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/..._dreams/5.html

It sounds pretty difficult. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Just read the link, some good things to think about. Thanks.

The last Apt/hotel we stayed at in Peru was very nice, rooms started around $30 US and went up to about $60 US for a 2-3 bedroom.

Still looking for more constructive ideas, what to look for what to look out for and so on. Locations as far as countries go. Thanks for the help so far.

MMM
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-20-2007, 08:30 AM   #14
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Re: Semi retirement?

Welcome to the board
I see by your list of countries considered Dominican Republic. I ‘m a little prejudice because I live here and like it. Please PM me and I’ll give you a couple of forums, here that might give you more information. Have fun and enjoy your semi retirement
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-20-2007, 02:08 PM   #15
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Re: Semi retirement?

Welcome to the board, MMM
We've travelled pretty extensively in some of the countries that you've mentioned. I take it that you are fluent in spanish and have some understanding of the local culture (i.e. how to get things done). I say go for it. Many of the place that we've stayed in are owned by Canadians or Americans who travelled to a place, liked it, and stayed. That goes for some of the restaurants too!

A living is to be made catering to those with money, which seems to mostly mean North Americans and the upper-middle and upper class (income reference only) in the country. Once you've decided where you want to be, I'd make sure there is some attraction (weather/beach/water/historical/cultural, etc) that will bring people in who have the ability to pay. Then find the place, do the work, set it up, get the local help (professional, craft, daily) lined up, advertise (internet --good references and reviews are extremely important) and go for it. Sounds exciting and quite a bit of work.

Let us know when you're all set up.

Tio z
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-20-2007, 05:08 PM   #16
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Re: Semi retirement?

Thanks for the positive feedback. We are still a couple if not 5 years from our retirement. If the right thing came along we grab it today but I do enjoy the research. And once we pick a spot the traveling is goping to be done for awhile.

Still wanting to here from more of you.

Thanks,

MMM
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-23-2007, 04:59 PM   #17
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Re: Semi retirement?

Here is a thought on running a small hotel. Try it first by taking a job working for someone else who has one in a country where you intend to live. Nothing like 6 months of the real thing to help you understand what it is like.

Being the owner is not exactly like the worker, but you will get a good idea of what you will be in for.


Read this blog. Dan and Colleen ERd and went to St Thomas for several months to work in a small hotel. Their journal provides some insight.

http://www.aspiritofadventure.com/2.html
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Re: Semi retirement?
Old 03-27-2007, 01:29 PM   #18
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Re: Semi retirement?

Thanks for the response and the link I read a few spots today and will get to more soon. thanks again.

MMM
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