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Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 08:58 AM   #1
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Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

I have been talking to and reading about various options to reside outside of the US.....places that are not as expensive and have a quality of life. What other places would you suggest other than Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, or Puerto Rico (just the ones I have checked so far)? My ideas is to stay in the states but if the economy goes south I may have to too.
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 09:30 AM   #2
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

eastern europe and certain southeast asian countries might fit your criteria. Depends on how you define "quality of life" I guess?
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 09:31 AM   #3
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

PR is part of the US, you know.
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

I once considered that, but discovered after visiting a couple that living in those communities would require a huge quality of life adjustment - not to mention living far from family and old friends.

If you want your US lifestyle after 65 it will cost about the same as finding a low wage/low housing cost community in the US.

Before moving far afield visit first, then plan on renting for a year or two.

[opps, forgot a word]
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 12:57 PM   #5
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
PR is part of the US, you know.
I really liked visiting PR. I had to give a talk to a large group in San Juan but they put me and the DW up at Palmas del Mar. Very nice resort, good food, got to use my rudimentary Spanish.

We decided to rent a car and drive to Ponce - big mistake due to traffic and crowds but as a result of getting lost we met some very cool people. It was right after 9/11 and there was a lot of mutual support and empathy all around.

I'd visit again any time. My PR friends tell me that it has gotten expensive, though, so as a FIRE destination do your homework.
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 01:29 PM   #6
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

I too have heard from locals that a middle class lifestyle isn't cheap. Same with US VI.
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

We seem to go to PR for a vacation about every other year. If we ever have that nasty RE crash, I might actually look at property down there.

Cost of living definately depends on where you are. San Juan is pricey. Ponce is less so (and very old world/old fashioned , charming). I have not been to the west side of the island, but it is getting bid up. We have found the costs on Vieques to be up over the last 5 years, but not outrageously so, except for RE (whew!).
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 03:08 PM   #8
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

You cannot settle down in most countries long term due to residency restrictions. You do not want to go to country X and have to do visa runs for the rest of your life every 90 days. Plus, the rules might change too easily. This has happened recently to a bunch of under 50 folks in Thailand, for instance. In addition to being denied the tourist visa route, they can no longer (easily) get long term residency and the investment visa rules were significantly tightened.

I agree with Brat that it can be very inexpensive to live in much of the US. Finished goods are probably cheaper in the US than anywhere else in the world, but services can get expensive. A lot of it comes down to healthcare. If you have out-of-control US health insurance premiums, it can get a lot cheaper to live somewhere else.

Another place where you can get residency that is inexpensive is Malaysia. YOu can google the my second home program.

You can get long term residence in Ecuador. that is more third-worldish and less safe, but doable and inexpensive.

Panama seems to have deals if you are over 50. But I am not so sure it is very inexpensive there.

Don't forget to factor in plane trips home, visa costs, and the extra cost of finished goods (computers, cars, etc.). After age 65, your medical savings will probably be nil because you would have medicare access in the US so what you would pay above and beyond medicare for US care probably balances out with the total bill where you would be living.

Technically, there are no tax savings, either, because as US citizen you pay on worldwide income. I think this is one reason you see more non-US expats, because they have more motivation due to big tax savings, both because their taxes are based on residency and not citizenship, and because their taxes are much higher to begin with. If I were paying 25% of my spending in taxes as a retiree and it would go to 0% by having residence somewhere else, emigrating would be plan A for me.

I would be interested in seeing a list of countries that reasonably allow someone from the US and/or EU to settle down with solid residence status. We could make a chart of countries and have a column for EU and US. And maybe divide it into over 50 and under 50.

Countries where for a fact I know this is possible for under 50 for US citizens (because I have researched it) are: Mexico and Malaysia. I am sure there are quite a few more.

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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-02-2007, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

Lots of info here
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-03-2007, 12:47 PM   #10
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

If you retire before 65 and can get reasonably priced health insurance, staying in the US has a lot of merit.

Kramer makes some good points. He has been investigating this thoroughly for some time.

If you retire, how would the economy affect you? Are you concerned about your investments?
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-03-2007, 04:51 PM   #11
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
If you retire before 65 and can get reasonably priced health insurance, staying in the US has a lot of merit.
And if you retire after 65, the US makes even more sense!

Ha
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-03-2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

This may sound crude, but I also try to apply what I call the "prostate test" and "root canal test".

Would you trust a doctor and medical system in your prospective destination, and trust your (possibly inter-language) communication skills enough, to allow him to perform a delicate operation near your prostate where there could be nerve damage if it is not done well?

Would you trust a dentist enough there to do what could be a painful root canal?

In some cases, the answer may be yes, once you are familiar with the system (which may not take long). In other cases, the answer may be yes once you have acquired language fluency (which may be a long time or never, depending on the ex-pat). In other cases, the answer may never be yes.

Make sure you are comfortable with this.

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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?
Old 02-03-2007, 09:21 PM   #13
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Re: Inexpensive places to retire outside of the US?

A good thread so far. I really don't have much to add but...er....awww Hell, I got the urge to pontificate, so go with it...

Another option sort of, is the "Perpetual Traveler" (similar to Terhorst's method) gambit: you and your optional spuse are moving every year or even more often, perhaps making the circuit of several places you love. Terhorst seems to like Thailand and Argentina, for example. While I've yet to do it, this technique appeals to me (all except the wife part at least right now). Although I don't own much, I still like my PC, my stereo, my car, etc. And need a home base to keep all this crap. But that's for another thread.

I'm just a novice at travel, but I don't understand the motivation of these countries (mostly third world) that are cracking down on the tourist visa semi-permanent ex-pats. If it were a "civilized" country (let's say, Switzerland) I can understand why they'd not want transients there ... although reports are that illegal labor was welcome seasonallly at, say, the ski resorts. But we are talking about Third World countries that, you'd think, would welcome the dollars or Euros that even budget travelers spend. It's not like Mary Anne, Klaus, or Francois are working menial jobs for fifty cents a day, competing with the local labor force. In my travels in Mexico, I probably spent like $20-30/day on the economy, so you'd think my money would be welcome! Weird.
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