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Retiring offshore, but with small children
Old 07-18-2007, 06:20 PM   #1
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Retiring offshore, but with small children

Hello,

I am wondering what the current pulse is on the best places to retire outside of North America (which includes the US, Canada, & Mexico) if you want sunshine and moderate weather, plus have small children that will be in school soon.

My husband and I were thinking about Costa Rica as it has direct flights to Europe and the US, plus low taxes, great education and medical system, etc ... but a friend of a friend is a Diplomat there and has commented that crime is REALLY on the rise in Costa Rica. Thus, not the best place to move right now.

Disappointing.

We've looked around in Europe, but their taxes are soooooo high! Other countries have too much humidity, lack of education, etc. Now I am at a loss as to where to look next and I am not one to recreate the wheel ... has anyone else been looking into these things that would care to share their info?

THANKS!!
Paula
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:47 PM   #2
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Hawaii? Or are you looking for something cheaper?
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:16 PM   #3
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As beautiful as Hawaii is .... No, not Hawaii. We are looking outside North America ... Looking for somewhere where our money will go far, but have most of the luxuries of the first world.

THANKS!
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:58 PM   #4
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Paula,
Have you considered Panama? We moved here in 2005 with our then 3 year old. Education option is primarily private schools with monthly tuition ranging from $150 to $500. The humidity is not as bad as we thought although it does get humid. Cost of living is roughly half of what it was when we were in Georgia even with a maid.
It is relatively easy to get to the US. I normally take a 4 hour flight to Atlanta nonstop.
Some days I just grin at the folks heading to work each morning while I'm having breakfast. Not a bad life here.
You didn't mention if you've travelled outside the US but obviously different countries have different problems/challenges. One thing to be aware of is routine tasks can take half the day if you're lucky. There are still lines at the bank on the first of the month to cash checks. I would say the biggest downside is the traffic here.
Which ever country you decide ensure you also research the political stability as well as the economic.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:55 PM   #5
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Which ever country you decide ensure you also research the political stability as well as the economic.
Excellent advice, but IMO not easy to do. Who would have predicted the fall of the iron curtain? Who would have predicted the abrupt rise of Putin, and his rapid consolidation of power such that democracy had the briefest open window?

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Old 07-18-2007, 11:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by paulamarie View Post
Hello,

I am wondering what the current pulse is on the best places to retire outside of North America (which includes the US, Canada, & Mexico) if you want sunshine and moderate weather, plus have small children that will be in school soon.

My husband and I were thinking about Costa Rica as it has direct flights to Europe and the US, plus low taxes, great education and medical system, etc ... but a friend of a friend is a Diplomat there and has commented that crime is REALLY on the rise in Costa Rica. Thus, not the best place to move right now.

Disappointing.

We've looked around in Europe, but their taxes are soooooo high! Other countries have too much humidity, lack of education, etc. Now I am at a loss as to where to look next and I am not one to recreate the wheel ... has anyone else been looking into these things that would care to share their info?

THANKS!!
Paula
someone posted their experiences moving to malta a while back
that made it look like a pretty interesting place to retire to.
you might try searching for malta via this boards search link
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:09 AM   #7
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An important factor will be communication. Do you speak Spanish or other languages? I am currently in Argentina and the cost of living is amazing. Here in Buenos Aires they have excellent private schools. It's not a tropical paradise though.

One place you may want to consider is Northern Queensland, Australia. Check out Brisbane north to Cairns. Beautiful, affordable, safe, and very friendly people. The bad part is the long flight...

I have a good friend who is the President of Century 21 for Panama and Costa Rica. If you need more info or contacts in that area, send me a PM. I have heard amazing things about Panama, I can't wait to go visit.

As for the security, don't be too scared of a wild wild west environment. From what I have seen in my travels, many places might be more prone to pick pockets and petty crimes. I would go out on a limb and guess that for every bad story you hear there are hundreds of good stories.

I also hear the Bay Islands, Honduras are very nice (less people, more nature) and they speak English in Belize (if that's important). The Mayan Riviera is also worth looking at, it sure would be nice to jump all those affordable flights to/from Cancun to get back to the States.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Excellent advice, but IMO not easy to do. Who would have predicted the fall of the iron curtain? Who would have predicted the abrupt rise of Putin, and his rapid consolidation of power such that democracy had the briefest open window?
I guess the best way to determine the political climate is to look at a countries history.
Take Venezuela, you would of have plenty of time to read the writing on the wall that Chavez was a nut job. His plan to nationalize everything takes time and hopefully you would of got the hint and packed up.
That brings another issue and that is the rent vs. buy decision. If you are unsure of the political climate I wouldn't be so swift with plunking down my hard earned money on a house or condo only to have the s%#$ hit the fan.
Panama has a long history of stability both economically and politicaly. I remember reading that if you wanted to know what was coming down the pike economically in Panama is to read what the World bank report (I think) recommends Panama do to improve its economy. Now you may not agree with the recommendations of the World Bank but if a country is following these guidelines it could provide a peek into its future. The current president has followed that playbook religously since he's been in office. If anyone is interested let me know and I'll look up the article and confirm the World bank is the correct agency.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:30 PM   #9
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Malaysia might be good. Everything I have read about it is appealing.
English spoken
Fantastic food at really cheap prices.
Good infrastructure
Low cost of living
Good health care available
Mostly condo's available at good prices. Detached houses are very expensive as the land is expensive.
Cheap labor
Visa's available at below 50 age
Negatives:
Hot
Far away
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:07 PM   #10
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Yes, one thing that many folks forget is locality to your home country. Mexico and Central America have huge advantages here for Americans. For instance, (hypothetical example) I can get home to my family in San Diego from Guadalajara, Mexico almost as quickly and cheaply as if I lived in Texas.

One other point about Malaysia is that the language is easy to learn -- unlike most other Asian languages, it is only slightly harder to learn than a Romance language according to the US State Department training statistics. I will be visiting there in about four months For under 50, their visa requires a fair chunk of change. They have had about 8500 takers on their Second Home program -- I assume majority are people from Singapore.

Much of Chile has moderate weather but it is as far away as Asia. The weather in Santiago, Chile is similar to the weather in San Jose, California (reversed). But there is more pollution in Chile.

Kramer
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:09 AM   #11
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..may want to re-think Belize:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-w...d-bug-in-head/

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Old 07-20-2007, 09:50 AM   #12
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Malaysia might be good. Everything I have read about it is appealing.
English spoken
Fantastic food at really cheap prices.
Good infrastructure
Low cost of living
Good health care available
Mostly condo's available at good prices. Detached houses are very expensive as the land is expensive.
Cheap labor
Visa's available at below 50 age
Negatives:
Hot
Far away
That's true... But watch out for snatch-thieves (don't carry a handbag, if possible) and try to minimize contact with any government activities (red-tape). Other than that, the beaches are beautiful, and the rainforest are lush.
Maybe before making the final jump, you can vacation there for a few months to see if it suit your needs or not. If you plan to visit the East Coast area, avoid Nov - March due to the monsoon rainstorms.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:47 PM   #13
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I would go out on a limb and guess that for every bad story you hear there are hundreds of good stories.


This is no doubt true, but it only takes one really bad event to cancel a 1000 good ones.

Of course this is not limited to third world countries. But most of us are more practiced at evaluating physical risk in our accustomed environments than in novel environments where we may not have a very deep understanding of the language or culture- to put it mildly.

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Old 07-26-2007, 03:09 PM   #14
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Thank you everyone for your response!
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