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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?
Old 09-22-2004, 06:44 AM   #41
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?

Hey SWR,

I live at VP Tower in central Bangkok. Web site http://www.vptower.com/

I pay about 11,500 THB per month (around
$288 per month us. They have a "hotel" on the 16 and 17th floors and you can rent by the week (or day I think)

I paid two months deposit and one month in advance, so it cost me about $900 US to move in. I also signed a four month contract, after that, renting month by month. There is a good mix of US and european expats living here along with Thais, Japanese and a few Indians. i love it here....

Long ago, one old Asia hand told me that one needed about 20,000 THB ($500) each month after paying "fixed" expenses, like rent, insurance, etc. I have found that to be true, so it gives you a rough idea of your monthly budget in Thailand.

All the best,

Lance
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?
Old 09-22-2004, 03:41 PM   #42
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?

Lance,
Thanks for the budget percentage breakout.

SWR,
I agree with Billy.....I have spent time in Bankok and Chaing Mai and I would use Chaing Mai as my home base in Thailand....less crowded, less pollution, quieter.

You can (and I have) traveled in SE Asia for less than $1000 US per month per person....Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia. Indonesia makes Thailand look expensive....I averaged $300-$400 US per month in Indonesia (1999). Some of the worlds best waves too.

Go for it!

Surf
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?
Old 09-22-2004, 04:04 PM   #43
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?

Quote:
I paid two months deposit and one month in advance, so it cost me about $900 US to move in. I also signed a four month contract, after that, renting month by month. There is a good mix of US and european expats living here along with Thais, Japanese and a few Indians. i love it here....
So, are you on a long term visa of some kind (student, retiree, etc.) or do you do the border visa run every 3 months? Have you become a Thai tax resident?
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?
Old 09-22-2004, 08:26 PM   #44
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?

Quote:
have spent time in Bankok and Chaing Mai and I would use Chaing Mai as my home base in Thailand.
I'm with you here. I'm much fonder of Northern Thailand, and would probably even consider a Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son retirement.

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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?
Old 09-22-2004, 09:32 PM   #45
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?

Hyperborea,

I have a one year retirement visa. I don't have to leave the country for visa runs-just report (my residence) to Thai Immigration every 90 days or 90 days from my last re-entry into Thailand. Lots of visa and other info at www.thaivisa.com

In a few days I'm off to Shanghai China. Like Willy, I can't wait to get back on the road again!

Lance in packing mode
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?
Old 09-22-2004, 09:47 PM   #46
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?

Forgot...

No, i am not a "Thai tax resident" because I do not have any Thai income. I still pay US income taxes on interest, dividend and capital gains. I do pay the 7% Thai VAT on most purchases of goods and services-everyone pays that.

Back to packing!

Lance
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:09 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
What a great post!

But sometimes those companions you find can involve you in unusual situations.

Some years ago I was working in an Andean country known for its processing of agricultural products and its high murder rate. I met a lovely young woman from a nice family. Actually, a drop dead, outta sight, 10+ Sabrosita We went riding, dancing at the club, swimming. All very posh, at least for a river rat like me.

Alas, all good things come to an end. We had our sorrowful parting and I returned to big eastern city USA.

I got a few letters that were a bit stronger than I expected, but wrote back that I was very busy now and probably wouldn't be able to keep up much correspondence. Next thing I get a phone call from her cousin, I'll call him Ernesto, and he was that. I had no idea she had a cousin in the US. Ernesto thought that we should spend a day together. I took him up to Cape Ann, and we sat around on boulders talking about how great Andean Country was.

No, I told him, I didn't think I was ready for marriage at this time. Low paying job, no ambition, poor prospects, bad study habits.

For the next 3 months, my apartment got broken into at least once every couple of weeks. Nothing taken, but always my financial records strewn about, and nice little touches like a bolo knife across my bed. Oh yeah, some of my photos from the time in SA were stolen. Others ripped up and left.

I took to keeping a shotgun in my trunk of my old Chevrolet. I'd come home, drive around the block, and park. Then I'd take my shotgun and walk around my place. If no signs of illegal entry, I 'd carefully go in. If the door was broken in, I'd walk down to the sub shop on the corner, and call the police. I got to know the Roxbury detectives pretty well.

My landlord got tired of replacing doors and windows, as well as door jambs. So I got evicted. My girlfriend figured I was radioactive. So I put my stuff in storage and lived in my car for 6 weeks or so. Not easy to do.

Finally, I moved into a group home!!! I didn't mention my recent difficulty. And it turned out OK, because whatever weird motive was behind all this stuff, it stopped just as suddenly as it started.

I never really know what was happening, but I had a strong suspicion it had something to do with Ernesto.

Anyhow, these days I am older, and although no wiser, at least more circumspect and aware of cultural differences.

My Andean friends just laughed and said-"We told you to stick to hookers!"

Mikey
Haha, I, too, was once hooked (not hookered) by a hot Latin girl from a country known for its powder processing and export business. OH MY GOD, can this girl use every bit of her female wiles to keep you on the hook, and can she Salsa!

Save for that last bit of your story about having your house broken into, I wouldn't trade that kind of memory for anything else. You should have married her, bro.
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?
Old 04-24-2008, 12:06 AM   #48
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Re: Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle?

Didn't see this super low cost PT approach mentioned so thought I'd post it.

This couple is cycling & camping around the world Bicycle Touring Around the World: cycle tourings best bike tour and travel travelogue story

They originally "settled on an annual budget of $15,000 or about $41 a day for . . . two"preparing and planning for a long bicycle tour

Their plan apparently started out being to save $105K and travel for as long as that money held out, beginning in 2002. Now, with the sales of their book and income generated by their web site (commissions on sales, advertising, donations, etc.) they are almost breaking even!
Latest News from www.DownTheRoad.org

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Old 04-24-2008, 12:39 PM   #49
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thanx buns for resurrecting this thread. hadn't seen it before. though the housing market has me pinned down for now, i'm still very interested in pt as a future lifestyle.

re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy View Post
Do the math, and you will find that this comes to under $23,000 expenses a year, and yes, this includes air transportation, health insurance, rented apartments with harbor views, New Zealand lamb and wines, Thai massages etc.
&

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance View Post
I live at VP Tower in central Bangkok. Web site http://www.vptower.com/...I pay about 11,500 THB per month (around
$288 per month us......Long ago, one old Asia hand told me that one needed about 20,000 THB ($500) each month after paying "fixed" expenses, like rent, insurance, etc. I have found that to be true, so it gives you a rough idea of your monthly budget in Thailand.
hoping current pters might comment as to current costs with particular view to the fall of the u.s. dollar working into overall inflation figures of both the u.s. & of host countries.

billy & akaisha's 2004 budget of $23k/year (wow! i love that!) comes to under $26k at 3% or $30k in 4 years compounded at 6% inflation.

lance's $11,500 baht which used to be us$288 is now us$364 before inflation, just based on rates of exchange (which i realize can go up or down so must be hard to figure into the future anyway). still, that is 6%/year by itself. ontop of that, the vptower website shows (for a three months stay) rates at $13,000 baht for a studio & $22,000 baht for an apartment with a kitchen. while i don't know which unit lance had for $11,500 baht. that's about a 3% host country inflation rate if it was a studio or a 17plus% inflation rate if it was an apartment.

and probably those rates are a lot scarier if i converted that to 2004 v 2008 us dollars.

i was sort of hoping to decrease my expenses and grow the nestegg over the next few years to get back some of my bubble losses. how well would a single guy pting on, say, $36k/year fare? could i reduce even further and still live fairly well? or should i just be shopping for a shack in tennessee?
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:09 PM   #50
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Hey Lazy

Thing to bare in mind is that costs are rising everywhere; not just in Thailand! So it's all relative. The base cost is lower to live there, so even if costs are rising, it's still cheaper than in a more developed country.

It does depend on what you want. It's really not for everyone. If money is the motivating factor, I doubt it would work. If the PT lifestyle appeals, foreign language, new locales, different food, different entertainment, then the cost saving is just a bonus.

The VPTower website still have a basic studio at 11,500B for three month stays. The website hasn't been update for a couple of years - design is the same at least - so not sure if the prices are correct today. This a small room rental and real estate has shot up in price over the last handful of years.. It depends what you are used to. Most Americans seem to need everything to be BIG and so this wouldn't appeal for more than a few days. It really depends what your personal needs are and what that costs. Everyone's budget is different, this is why there's such a difference of opinion when someone posts a "How much to live in Thailand?" thread on Thaivisa.com msg boards!

Petey

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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
billy & akaisha's 2004 budget of $23k/year (wow! i love that!) comes to under $26k at 3% or $30k in 4 years compounded at 6% inflation.

lance's $11,500 baht which used to be us$288 is now us$364 before inflation, just based on rates of exchange (which i realize can go up or down so must be hard to figure into the future anyway). still, that is 6%/year by itself. ontop of that, the vptower website shows (for a three months stay) rates at $13,000 baht for a studio & $22,000 baht for an apartment with a kitchen. while i don't know which unit lance had for $11,500 baht. that's about a 3% host country inflation rate if it was a studio or a 17plus% inflation rate if it was an apartment.

and probably those rates are a lot scarier if i converted that to 2004 v 2008 us dollars.

i was sort of hoping to decrease my expenses and grow the nestegg over the next few years to get back some of my bubble losses. how well would a single guy pting on, say, $36k/year fare? could i reduce even further and still live fairly well? or should i just be shopping for a shack in tennessee?
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:48 PM   #51
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thanx petey. i realize different budgets would tender different answers. i was hoping to get some specifics just the same. will check out the thaivisa site you mentioned. as to my needs, they are very simple. extra space & stuff for me is just more crap to clean.

i do like the idea of saving money as that comes pretty natural to me but especially i like the idea of making my life interesting. what i got here just aint doin it no more. i've never done this kind of travel but i've dreamed about it. national geographic and the travel channel only get ya so far. just happens that life put me in a situation whereby time & place & circumstance & opportunity just seems to point to a pt life. and, well, i simply can't think of anything else i'd rather be doing or anything else i'd rather be reminiscing about when i might be too old for it.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:55 PM   #52
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Hey lazy

I agree about National Geographic. That's just a nicely written article and some pretty pictures. This isn't even 1% of what you experience when you're on the ground.

I talked to people for a couple of years, and then decided to go out to Thailand to see for myself. I had a great time. It's not paradise. It's a different place, with different culture, food, climate and people. It's exasperating, bewildering and exciting and fun. But like most places, it gets more fun when you find your feet. I met several posters when I was out there and there were all terrific people. This added to my experience. I went for two weeks; I'm planning to return for four weeks so I see more the 2nd time around.

Moving anywhere abroad is a huge leap of faith. Whatever you can do to learn the ropes ahead of time, get a reality check on-the-ground, and run your numbers after, is very helpful. PM me if you wanna chat privately.

Petey

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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
thanx petey. i realize different budgets would tender different answers. i was hoping to get some specifics just the same. will check out the thaivisa site you mentioned. as to my needs, they are very simple. extra space & stuff for me is just more crap to clean.

i do like the idea of saving money as that comes pretty natural to me but especially i like the idea of making my life interesting. what i got here just aint doin it no more. i've never done this kind of travel but i've dreamed about it. national geographic and the travel channel only get ya so far. just happens that life put me in a situation whereby time & place & circumstance & opportunity just seems to point to a pt life. and, well, i simply can't think of anything else i'd rather be doing or anything else i'd rather be reminiscing about when i might be too old for it.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:04 PM   #53
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We plan on living several months a year in other countries. We have the first 3 years planned, starting 2010. It has been a dream of ours for several years.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:09 PM   #54
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or should i just be shopping for a shack in tennessee?
Probably this would not be your happiest outcome.

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Old 04-25-2008, 12:26 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
i was sort of hoping to decrease my expenses and grow the nestegg over the next few years to get back some of my bubble losses. how well would a single guy pting on, say, $36k/year fare? could i reduce even further and still live fairly well? or should i just be shopping for a shack in tennessee?
I'm not a perpetual traveller, but would think if you intended to stay put somewhere for a while it could be done for around $36K or less. I live in one of the most expensive areas of the US and that's about how much I spend annually (for a single person renting). If I were willing to forgo some expensive hobbies and vacation, it could easily be $30K. If I were willing to cut back to "very frugal" on most things, it could probably be $25K.

Taxes not included in the amounts above, and I do have employer-subsidized health insurance.

Looking forward to hearing of your travel adventures once you're on the road.
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:48 AM   #56
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based upon petey's suggestion, i found the following recent Cost Of Living - Thailand Forum post by screennamed person "drdave". here he offers a minimal budget for living in one of the more "expensive" areas of thailand. when i added up his numbers in us$s, i don't think i got up to $1,000/month (and i added more for extra beer). wow. it's hard for me to wrap my brain around that. i think i'm gonna like this a lot. (hope it is ok that i am quoting him in full below because i think he did such a good job of it.)

Quote:
Here are some actual numbers to consider when drawing up a budget. The following would be for a bare-bones lifestyle in Patong, but it should give you an idea of what you can expect to spend at a minimum. As Woohoo says, the more disposable income you have, the more fun you'll have - but here's a starting point.

Accommodation - on a long term rental basis, you should be able to rent a nice, western-style 1 bedroom or studio apartment for about 15,000 baht/month. This would generally include cable TV, aircon and cooking facilities, and possibly internet access, but most likely no pool. A little less for fewer amenities. You can go lower if your budget is stretched, but this is a good entry level. If your apartment doesn't have laundry facilities, there are a few low-priced laundries where you might spend maybe 300 baht/month. When renting an apartment long-term, you'll also have to pay for water and electricity. Figure on about 1,500 baht/month assuming you don't run the a/c full-on.

Transportation - you'll most likely have an apartment on a hillside, which means that walking everywhere may not be an option. You should be able to rent a decent motorbike for about 3,000 baht/month. Add a few hundred baht/month for gas. If you need to make periodic visa runs, the cost will be start around 1,500 baht for a one-day package.

Food - If you really like Thai food, and don't need to eat western-style food on a regular basis, then you're in luck. A good Thai meal can be had in the small Thai restaurants and food stalls, just outside the main tourist areas for between 30 and 40 baht. It can actually be cheaper to eat at these places compared to buying food and cooking at home. Drinking water for home is only 10 baht for a 5 gallon jug. Assuming 3 Thai meals/day - that's about 1,000 baht/month. If you prefer to eat western food, you're looking at about 3-4 times that amount, at a minimum. A good lunch of Thai food at the beach will be about 80 baht +/-.

Entertainment - this is obviously discretionary. A beer in a bar costs between 40 and 120 baht, depending upon the venue and location. A small bottle of beer is 25-45 baht at the supermarket or 7-11. Movies at a theatre are about 150 baht, while bootleg DVDs are about 60 baht. A chair at the beach is 80 baht/day in low season (although its perfectly ok to bring a towel and sit on the sand). Riding around the island to see the sights on your your rented motorbike is virtually free, while eating in the large tourist restaurants and going to the tourist-oriented shows is expensive. You have a lot of options here.

So - using the above as a baseline for basic necessities, you can live on about 16,500 for good accommodation, 3,000 for food, about 3,500 for transportation for a total of about 23,000 baht/month. This is bare-bones, no-frills, and probably not an attractive level of lifestyle to most. Add to this whatever you think you'd spend to maintain the sort of lifestyle you'd like to have (entertainment, variety of food, socializing, etc).

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I live in one of the most expensive areas of the US and that's about how much I spend annually (for a single person renting). If I were willing to forgo some expensive hobbies and vacation, it could easily be $30K. If I were willing to cut back to "very frugal" on most things, it could probably be $25K....Looking forward to hearing of your travel adventures once you're on the road.
you know i can be so stupid sometimes. because actually my budget won't be changing all that much, only instead of owning a house, that money will be invested and i'll be renting. so i guess if i can afford fort lauderdale i can probably afford, well, most any place but new york or san francisco. this foreign travel is just so, well, foreign to me.

would love to be able to write about my adventures. when do you suppose the housing market might start moving again so that i will have that opportunity? (rhetorical question, duh!)
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:55 PM   #57
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I too am very interested in the PT lifestyle after my kids are grown and gone.

Three things hold me back:

1. My grandfather's desk, which was given to my father which was given to me. Everything else I own is just stuff and I would and could gladly sell it all and the house that it's stored in.

2. Being an introvert. It seems like the successful PT's are all extroverts.

3. Exiting the lifestyle. In my case I wonder if I would get priced out of the market if I sold my house, PT'ed for say 10 years, then wanted to return to a house in the US.

Comments?

2Cor521
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:16 PM   #58
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When we were in Phuket in 2002, I got a 1 hour thai massage on the beach for $7.50, and that included tip!!

I could see us doing long-term travel to Thailand when we retire, but I'm not so sure about completely settling down there. I like how the Kaderli's do it - 6 to 9 months traveling but having a home base to come back to.

I have a friend who is Thai who lives here now with her American husband. She grew up in the country of Thailand and tells me really interesting stories. She talks about how they ate fish alot since they could fish and then keep them alive for a while in buckets outside the house. Hungry? Go grab a fish! She also told me about how they would make their own charcoal, this long, complicated process. She also talks about how when her father got sick they traveled a long distance and took him to a thai hospital. Supposedly there are a certain number of hospitals that are funded by the King for the people of Thailand. Care is free, I think, or at least very low cost. I don't know much more than that, but I thought it was very interesting.

She sends money home to her family regularly.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:51 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
I too am very interested in the PT lifestyle after my kids are grown and gone.

Three things hold me back:

1. My grandfather's desk, which was given to my father which was given to me. Everything else I own is just stuff and I would and could gladly sell it all and the house that it's stored in.

2. Being an introvert. It seems like the successful PT's are all extroverts.

3. Exiting the lifestyle. In my case I wonder if I would get priced out of the market if I sold my house, PT'ed for say 10 years, then wanted to return to a house in the US.

Comments?

2Cor521
i've thought about the same things. trying to simplify life and cover all the bases makes it all very complicated.

1) storage or family or friend. small storage is pretty cheap. i could even get a space big enough to store a car and some furniture for just $100/month, maybe not in my area of south florida but in less expensive locations. i bet you can find desk storage for $50/month if you did not want to impose on anyone. for me i only have a few things from mom, some were grandma's. i'm digitizing my paperwork, photographs and videos so will have all that with me plus duplicate discs in storage. i'll miss my plants but i can always plant another garden.

2) few people know i'm an introvert because i'm so loud and obnoxious. i'm really shy and, um, retiring but i also have a bit of thrill seeker in me. i love going for reaction, especially to get someone to smile, to laugh, to tilt them off their kilter a bit. but it is easy for me to just close up and never even leave the house. i might get like that for periods of a time but then i force myself to go out and have a good time. and i almost always do.

you should try it for a few months first at least before deciding as i plan to do. i wouldn't be surprised if you don't find yourself socializing more than you do normally. it is easy to withdraw when you are surrounded by the security of your familiar area. getting out just might draw you out.

3) market timing. i'm taking this to the nth degree. though almost everything--with the exception of honobob (wink)--that i've read on this forum tells me that i'd do even better in "the market" than in real estate (so then how could i possibly ever get "priced out" besides another bubble?), i'm in a unique position to maintain a very low cost of living into the future by way of florida's "save our home" homesteaded value which i can keep by purchasing a new home every other two years. actually i think i just have to hold it long enough to declare homestead and then sell again--so long as i purchase within 2 years of the last sale.

so if i happen to be in time with up markets on those years, it could benefit me to buy back into florida real estate on occasion, continue traveling, say a half year at a time while i hold onto the property or just rent out a room to cover costs or something to that affect. it is all a little crazy but it could mean that when i'm 66 and a half i'd be collecting social security, benefiting from medicare (assuming those insitutitions remain solvent) plus i'd only be paying about $1k/year in property taxes if that much.

my version of having my condo and eating thai tofu too.
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lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2008, 05:32 PM   #60
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
teejayevans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,222
Probably the most popular version of a PT is a sailor, once you bought
the boat, the expenses are relatively small (just food, boat insurance,
boat maintenance costs). But living on a boat is not for everybody.
TJ
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