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Friends (new immigrants) want to retire on $4M in San Diego
Old 02-15-2015, 10:29 PM   #1
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Friends (new immigrants) want to retire on $4M in San Diego

My friends from overseas just got their green cards and are moving to the US. They are in their late 40s, with one kid in high school. The kid is the main reason they are moving to the US. After visiting many cities they have their heart set on SD.
They have about $4 million in savings. They were highly paid professionals in their home country but are unlikely to find full time jobs in the US. If they move here they will have to retire, which means living off savings and paying medical insurance on their own. They plan to send the child to public school and later state college. I don't think they will qualify for SS, but perhaps they are still eligible for Medicare when they reach 65.
So here is the question they want to ask (which I'm asking for them since I don't know enough about SD):do they have enough $ to retire and raise a child in SD?
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:37 PM   #2
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They are not big spenders, so their budget for living in SD so far mostly includes "basics" and one-time big purchases such as house and car... What does a "typical" annual budget look like, for a family of three living in a safe and child friendly neighborhood?
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:07 PM   #3
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They are not big spenders, so their budget for living in SD so far mostly includes "basics" and one-time big purchases such as house and car... What does a "typical" annual budget look like, for a family of three living in a safe and child friendly neighborhood?
the big variable is going to be housing - it would be wise to rent for a while in my opinion - until you get to know the area really well and can make an informed decision w/ regards to house purchases.

surfing the craigslist pages for an idea of rental prices in S.D. would be a good start.

you can check the kaiser permanente web site for san diego area for health care prices.

that said 4m should be doable. if renting a 2 or three bedroom LBYM-ish place.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:32 AM   #4
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May I suggest that they join this forum and ask the questions themselves instead of you being the go-between? Makes sense?
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:20 AM   #5
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Is it possible they would ever qualify for Medicare if they never pay into the system? Doesn't sound right to me.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:05 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the quick response. The reason I'm asking the question for them is because they don't feel comfortable with English yet. It takes them a while to read and write posts. But I'll encourage surely them to read and learn from thus site. They are both highly educated and financially savvy. So I know for sure they will love this site.

Yes they plan to rent for a year or two to get a feel as where to settle. Thank you MH for the craigslist suggestion!

Tom52, I don't think they will qualify for Medicare either. But they said their immigration lawyer told them it is possible. Not sure how--maybe they need to pay in from now through 65 to qualify?
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:21 AM   #7
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Could they have picked a higher cost of living area?
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:28 AM   #8
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Could they have picked a higher cost of living area?
I guess they like the public schools and nice weather.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:28 AM   #9
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Only they can answer the question. It depends upon how much they plan to spend each year. I think that less than 1% of the people in the U.S. retire with $4M (after taxes) in their portfolios.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:34 AM   #10
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I guess they like the public schools and nice weather.
sounds like they need to shop around a bit

SD is one of the bottom 10 places I'd retire


If they think they will have European style crime in SD they are in for a rude awakening.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:41 AM   #11
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Since what time the U.S. starts to offer retirement visas?
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Friends (new immigrants) want to retire on $4M in San Diego
Old 02-16-2015, 11:50 AM   #12
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Friends (new immigrants) want to retire on $4M in San Diego

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Old 02-16-2015, 11:56 AM   #13
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Picking a city with immigrants from the old country is how the usa used to work. That can be very helpful in settling in finding work and accessing social services.

A growing trend: somewhat wealthy Chinese get green cards and move to usa, buy up property and then suck off social services because they are poor on paper or have low income. Sadly or smartly China conversely does NOT offer green cards to their non-citizen immigrants.

PS. No idea where your San Diego friends are from and of course welcome to America. Get out there and make it your country. Make it a better place.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:03 PM   #14
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It is doable, but I would be careful not to overdo it with housing. They may have to lower their expectations in that department.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:09 PM   #15
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sounds like they need to shop around a bit

SD is one of the bottom 10 places I'd retire


If they think they will have European style crime in SD they are in for a rude awakening.
Is the crime rate that bad in SD? They said public schools are good there, and I assume they will want to live in a community near good schools.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:24 PM   #16
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You are right about that, PPD111! but the way I look at this trend is (trying not to offend anyone), compare to the large groups of immigrants from other part of the world, this new wave of Chinese immigrants are well educated and often bring substantial assets. They contribute significantly to the US economy and society. Any social services they may "suck off" from the US, their consumption more than make up for it by perhaps 100 times. I saw an article somewhere, saying the Chinese are now paying billions of $ a year into the US property market and school systems.
Well, if we had all of our new immigrants like the Chinese (with their level of assets and consumption), this country might see growth topping 5% a year.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:57 PM   #17
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Is the crime rate that bad in SD? They said public schools are good there, and I assume they will want to live in a community near good schools.
I've had a few friends that moved here from SD. They said the crime, traffic, etc was horrible.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:58 PM   #18
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PS. No idea where your San Diego friends are from and of course welcome to America. Get out there and make it your country. Make it a better place.
Agreed 100%
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:31 PM   #19
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Here's a local perspective.

When they talk about good public schools that is largely school district dependent.

Carmel Valley and Del Mar area (DMUSD for hs, carmel valley for elementary) is a great district - but the cost of a house is very high. Even townhouses/condos will run north of $500k, houses are closer to $1M and up.

Poway schools are very highly touted. PUSD is well respected. OLDER homes in Poway proper can be had for around $500k - but might not feed into the preferred high schools. Newer homes like in 4S ranch and newer parts of Poway all have HOA and Mello Roos - which raise the fixed costs even if you have the house mortgage free.

I live in the San Diego Unified SD. Again - neighborhoods matter. But there are (for now) opportunities to change to different schools. I am doing that (choiced my kids to magnet IB schools.) But the "top" schools are VERY hard to choice into - La Jolla HS, Scripps Ranch HS.

If they want to find a balance of school/housing cost - they should look at the Mira Mesa area - the schools *used to be* pretty awful - but now, demographically, they're full of the offspring of H1B workers who work at Qualcom... so lots of Chinese, Indian, etc kids of engineers, biotech workers, etc. The schools are rapidly improving in API scores, etc.

One good thing that SDUSD has that isn't available at DMUSD, or PUSD... a program called "seminar". It's for the super-gifted kids (defined as scoring 99.9% on the Raven Matrices test).. and run as special ed (sort of) - because they realize that non-typical thinkers often have social/academic needs that don't fit well in the mainstream classroom. And these kids often have extra issues (adhd, asbergers, ets). Unfortunately, funding has been cut for this program - but if the kid is in need of this kind of classroom - where they can delve deeper into a subject and not be held back by the average - then it's a good thing. Because of funding cuts - some high testing, but not quite seminar level, kids have been allowed into the program. My kids benefited from that.

If you (or your friends) want to PM me any questions - I'm reasonably knowledgeable about the areas, school districts, etc.

Another resource is an economics/real estate blog specific to the san diego area - Piggington.com.

As far as whether they can retire on their nest egg, in San Diego... it all depends on their spending and where they choose to live. It's easy to get caught up in a sense of entitlement here in San Diego (I *deserve* a beemer and beach house...) If they can stay free of that it's doable. I retired on a *lot* less but I drive older, paid for cars, live in an older (no mello roos, no hoa) neighborhood, and have a paid off mortgage. I've become an expert in working the school choice system that San Diego Unified has.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:13 PM   #20
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I've had a few friends that moved here from SD. They said the crime, traffic, etc was horrible.
Where is "here"? - just trying to have a comparative idea.
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