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World Traveller looking For a Retirement Home
Old 04-18-2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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World Traveller looking For a Retirement Home

Hello all,

I've been living abroad for quite some time in China, and have been actively working to build up enough passive income to fund a 'mini retirement' for the next 3-5 years somewhere that I can enjoy 'the big 3' - ocean, mountains and year-long warm weather.

Well the day has finally come and those passive income streams have added up to a decent income so I'm in the planning stages for retiring overseas to keep taking advantage of the tax benefits and enjoy the 'big 3' mentioned above, none of which are available in my native Manitoba, Canada.

I say 'mini-retirement' because I'm still too young to think that far ahead to contemplate a full time retirement.

Anyway, look forward to learning from you all and thanks for reading my introduction post.

Cheers!
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:39 PM   #2
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Welcome! World travel is a dream of mine, too.

Thanks for the compliment on my Guatemala photos. It's been nearly 10 years since I visited Shanghai. I'm sure it's changed a lot!

As one earlier thread mentioned, HGTV has an international home hunter program that is pretty interesting -- you should check it out if you haven't yet (probably too upscale for my taste of a retirement home, though). Seems like Thailand or Central America would be pretty ideal for your "big 3". Where are you thinking you might end up?
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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Well I really have my fingers crossed for central america, though europe seems interesting as well. Likely I won't stay anywhere for more than 3 years - the world is just too big!

Central America really appeals to me however for a few reasons:
  • The cost of living won't be that huge of a jump from what I can currently afford and am used to from living in China
  • It's in the same time zone as north america which makes calls to home and keeping in touch much easier. I've had more than enough isolation!
  • Central America is much closer to my family so if I want to fly back it's not a 14 hour flight (which is worse than it sounds, but still not something you look forward to + jet lag ruins almost any trip back home that is less than 2 weeks)
  • Surfing! I have always wanted to learn how to surf, and when I started to research this - central america is like a surfer's paradise!
I'm just starting to research all the different options out there and I've just started to scratch the surface, but will start drilling down into more detail as I interview more people once I find more countries that really interest me. Just did an interview of someone who lived in Brazil for a year and would for sure go to visit, but never consider that as a retirement destination - too dangerous! Us Canadians like things nice and safe

If you're interested you can you can see more of the research I've done on different countries here: The Best Places to Retire Overseas.

Thailand is really nice. I would highly recommend it. I went with my girlfriend about a year ago to take the Landmark Seminar (which was really good by the way) - so my experience was a rather tame one compared to the stories we've all heard - hehe Either way... it's a great place, but just a little far from home for what I'm looking for right now.

I recommended China in some other posts - we did a trip to Dali here in December which was a totally awesome place.

It's hard to describe, but once you get there, you just don't want to leave. Everything is so cheap, and there are lots of decent western food options it's amazingly clean and has really beautiful scenery. Certainly somewhere perfect to spend a year or two once you are FIREd and write a book, take up painting, learn a new culture, relax, sight see - whatever you like... it's great.

Are you located in Central America now?

PS- thanks for the tip on the homes show. I just found a very inspiring one in Argentina for only 1.1mil USD - dream house material. I will look online for the HGTV show - the television situation here is abysmal to say the least and I refuse to get a satellite (too much of a distraction hehe!)
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:06 PM   #4
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Bree,

Nice to come across yet another adventurous soul on this board. My only trip to China was overland by bus from Vietnam to Kunming and Lijiang, both in Yunnan and near to Dali. Sounds like I missed a lot by not continuing on to Dali itself. Any more info as to why I should include it in a return visit? Thanks.

Tom
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:17 PM   #5
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Bree,

Welcome to the board. I took a "mini-retirement" in Latin America a few years ago, though it was really just a year long backpacking trip. I'm hoping to get back to South America this summer.

It's good to see other internationally-minded people on the board. I'm in Asia too, Japan. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:49 PM   #6
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Hi Bree,

I was in Dali for about a month in the late 1990s. Such a laid back place. I don't think we did anything, except for a 5-day trip to Lijiang and the Tiger Leaping Gorge. We were planning on going to Xishuangbanna but decided to stay in Dali the whole time instead.

Right now I am in North America, still w*rking full-time, though I would like to arrange my schedule to spend at least a month or two each year in Central or South America. I speak just enough Spanish to get by, but would love to speak more and actually build relationships.

I've only spent a brief vacation in Europe. It's fascinating, but right now it's just too expensive for me to feel good traveling there. Central and South America still make good economic sense. YMMV.

I'll take a closer look at your website. Thanks for sending the link.

GS
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:03 PM   #7
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tomintucson: There's so many cool places, but I think for me dali really shines because of how truly laid back it is. I know it's popular with the more 'hippy' type crowd because there is a certain smokable herb that grows naturally on the mountain there if you're into that kind of thing Maybe this is the driving force behind the laid-back-ness of the place. It's much different than Kunming which is a typical chinese city more or less, and lijiang which is like Banff in Canada, but a Chinese version. Dali is something all together different.

If you ever get back to this area - I think it's worth a visit at least to check it out, and maybe even stay for a couple years :P
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:17 PM   #8
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My landlord backpacked through China and India a couple of years ago. He didn't think much of the eastern part of China. Says the folks in the west were better to deal with. He has no interest in returning to China. However, he liked India a lot.

In re India, consider Goa or Diu. You can Google pictures of both places. My Indian friends recommend Diu.

Cheers,

Gypsy
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:05 AM   #9
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We selected Mexico. Many daily flights to every city NOTB. Access to US TV and low cost VOIP. Options for low cost living - fresh produce and local meat. Yet some comforts from home - extra sharp cheddar.

Friends do not hesitate to come here. Large expat community.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:40 PM   #10
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I like to point out the not so normal places, check out Oman. Very modern, amazing people, excellent infrastructure, great beaches, surfing.

Kcowan, quick question, are you on a permanent visa/retirement visa? If so what are the requirements for Mexico

Billman
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:34 AM   #11
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To get an FM3 in Mexico, you have to demonstrate that you are earning $1500/mo from your investments. It is renewable every 5 years. An FM3 lets you stay longer than 6 months, otherwise you get an FMT upon entry and surrender it upon exit.
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Old 04-26-2008, 01:12 PM   #12
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Thanks for the heads up kcowan and Billman. I haven't looked at all at Oman - I will add it to my list. I've almost covered all of the surface level research that I wanted to do, so now it's time to pick a few places and really start to drill down.

Still planning a 2 month excursion through Central America in early 2009 to scout out locations as I think this area will likely be the best choice for us for the next 3-5 years.

I found a cool site last night at Boomers! TV: Boomers! Redefining Life After Fifty that has some interesting short clips from Americans who are living in Mexico.

Mex seems pretty good to me, and the people interviewed really enforced the message that my research has been coming up with over and over again - things move slowly down here, so get ready to relax and enjoy the culture. If you keep with your old attitude of getting 5 things done in a day you will be extremely frustrated.
This sounds good to me! I need some forced relaxation for sure!

- Mitch
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