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Old 04-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #21
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Interesting. I just checked. Our income (at a 3% SWR) will be less than the median of our state of residence, but probably in line with the outlying area where we live. I have to start looking for trailer parks.
Median per capita income in Springfield, Missouri is listed at census.gov as $20K, and median household income is listed as $33K. Those include working people, too. For a retiree, often SS can help and there is no longer any need to save for retirement so less $ is needed IMO.

And, there are many other midwestern and southern locations that are as cheap or cheaper from which to choose, if one does not prefer retiring abroad.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #22
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We have lived in the South before. We could do it again. Living in a third-world country (my amigo calls it two-and-a-half world) today may make DW a little more flexible when the time comes.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:40 PM   #23
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My main reason for moving abroad would be related to the insane cost of private health insurance in the united states for someone with my 'pre-existing condition'.

On the other hand, the costs of living in British columbia (where I've considered moving) are equally insane, so it comes out a wash financially.

I will say that in my travels to the pacific north west I've really taken a liking to the area. Were it not for family, I would not live in the south. The climate, job market, culture, etc seem more agreeable elsewhere, but that could just be 'the grass is greener' talking.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:51 PM   #24
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We have lived in the South before. We could do it again. Living in a third-world country (my amigo calls it two-and-a-half world) today may make DW a little more flexible when the time comes.
Taker her to Niger or Chad for a spell; that could help too.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:07 AM   #25
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When I retire, I plan to spend some time in Western Europe (where I have a condo) and some time in Central America for medical mission work. However, I am still not sure how best I can take advantage of EU citizenship as far as healthcare insurance is concerned. In my case, living abroad when I FIRE is more reality than rhetoric.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:11 PM   #26
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My main reason for moving abroad would be related to the insane cost of private health insurance in the united states for someone with my 'pre-existing condition'.

On the other hand, the costs of living in British columbia (where I've considered moving) are equally insane, so it comes out a wash financially.

I will say that in my travels to the pacific north west I've really taken a liking to the area. Were it not for family, I would not live in the south. The climate, job market, culture, etc seem more agreeable elsewhere, but that could just be 'the grass is greener' talking.
BC is nice, but most people do not have a prayer of moving there. Canada is difficult to immigrate to.

And yes, it is unbelievably expensive.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:52 PM   #27
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I'm certain there are quite a number of expats (or potential expats) who desire living outside the US for cultural, family ties, country of origin, etc. reasons. But, from what I have read and seen, the bulk of those considering the expat life do so for financial reasons (lower health care costs, stretching their US$, lower RE costs, etc. etc.) Unfortunately, many of those advantages (primarily lower costs in total) are vanishing. Yesterday's "hot spot" for expat retirement is becoming almost as expensive as staying in the US (or, more to the point, moving WITHIN the US for the same financial reasons). IOW, downsizing from an expensive US area to an inexpensive US area may be nearly as financially rewarding as becoming an expat - without many of the hassles. Personally, I could cut my actual living expenses (not total expenses) in half just by moving from Paradise to my home town. As always, YMMV.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:04 PM   #28
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My main reason for moving abroad would be related to the insane cost of private health insurance in the united states for someone with my 'pre-existing condition'.
Cost of living and health care are reasons for me to return to the UK. I currently live in MA where the median family annual income is $64k. I plan to return to the North East of England where the median annual income is $35k (using 1.6 dollars to the pound conversion). Housing and food are cheaper and I won't have to pay anything out of pocket for health care. My real estate taxes in the UK will be half those I pay in MA. My national tax bill in the UK on $35k income would be about 13% compared to 10% in the US, but in the UK I have no state income tax to deal with so I pay slightly less total income tax in the UK. However, the UK is far more expensive when it comes to gas and the cost of a car and also has 20% VAT. But overall in the North East of England I can maintain a similar standard of living as I have in MA on about half the income.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Koolau
I'm certain there are quite a number of expats (or potential expats) who desire living outside the US for cultural, family ties, country of origin, etc. reasons. But, from what I have read and seen, the bulk of those considering the expat life do so for financial reasons (lower health care costs, stretching their US$, lower RE costs, etc. etc.) Unfortunately, many of those advantages (primarily lower costs in total) are vanishing. Yesterday's "hot spot" for expat retirement is becoming almost as expensive as staying in the US (or, more to the point, moving WITHIN the US for the same financial reasons). IOW, downsizing from an expensive US area to an inexpensive US area may be nearly as financially rewarding as becoming an expat - without many of the hassles. Personally, I could cut my actual living expenses (not total expenses) in half just by moving from Paradise to my home town. As always, YMMV.
My interest in retiring overseas is more for the love of adventure than the cost savings, but I think you bring up a great point. If I was looking for a great-deal financially, moving out to the sticks in my own state would likely accomplish as much as moving overseas. Rents where I live now: $2000+ mo. (2 bed) Rents in rural WA where my extended family lives:$500/mo. for a House.

Granted the job prospects are poor in those low cost areas, but once you're ER that hardly matters.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:19 PM   #30
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When I retire, I plan to spend some time in Western Europe (where I have a condo) and some time in Central America for medical mission work. However, I am still not sure how best I can take advantage of EU citizenship as far as healthcare insurance is concerned. In my case, living abroad when I FIRE is more reality than rhetoric.
Lived in Europe for 4 years quite recently. Healthcare varies alot by country, as does cost. I was able to use my U.S. healthcare plan, overseas (Blue Cross), and they were quite good about processing claims but I had to pay cash upfront. As they direct deposit reimbursements, and take claims via fax, it was fairly easy. If you can get a Schengen Zone passport, or an extended stay Schengen visa, (neither is easy for Americans) do so. Otherwise, plan 90 days max per year in a Schengen Country. In my experience, the country in Europe with the best healthcare is not EU (it is Switzerland) and virtually impossible to immigrate to. However if you can get a passport from a EU country, do not travel into or from the U.S. with the other passport - illegal to do so as a American.

Be prepared for a learning experience. Even in the UK, where I went with a family member for some medical care, I was surprised that it did not seem to be at the U.S. level of care.

Many other factors to think about if you are thinking about retirement full time in Europe. In Central Europe things are expensive due to high VAT and low dollar. Unless your retirement in in Euros you will really feel it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #31
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DW and I are moving to Mexico in a few years. Climate and available activities have a lot to with it. We're sick of the cold, wet, gray winters here. Temps there will range from 65 to 95 and we'll have multiple outdoor activities available just outside our door year round.

We'll be able to live on less there, about $40k per year, so our assets will stretch further. Friends of ours have already moved there and are getting by comfortably on $30k per year but we will do more traveling.

There is good, inexpensive medical care available but we will also maintain health insurance in the U.S. to deal with major issues.

Ready to go now!

Also, regarding the number of SS checks mailed abroad, this number may not be all that telling. Most of our expat friends in Mexico maintain bank accounts in the U.S. and have their SS checks setup for direct deposit. I would think there are many living outside the U.S. who operate the same way so those numbers may be deceiving.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:43 AM   #32
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BTravlin, methinks you been reading The People's Guide to Mexico.

Where are you planning to try first?
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #33
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My interest in retiring overseas is more for the love of adventure than the cost savings, but I think you bring up a great point. If I was looking for a great-deal financially, moving out to the sticks in my own state would likely accomplish as much as moving overseas. Rents where I live now: $2000+ mo. (2 bed) Rents in rural WA where my extended family lives:$500/mo. for a House.

Granted the job prospects are poor in those low cost areas, but once you're ER that hardly matters.
+1

I think this type of US location could work out nicely for some if they are motivated mainly by a lower cost of living, and if they can adjust. And if they cannot adjust, moving abroad might not be such a great idea anyway.

Some small towns or rural parts of our country, especially in the Midwest and South, can offer savings that may be very surprising to those living a high dollar lifestyle in metropolitan coastal cities. Median income and home values as well as a few other interesting statistics for specific states, counties, or towns/communities are available at State and County QuickFacts
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #34
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BTravlin, methinks you been reading The People's Guide to Mexico.

Where are you planning to try first?
No, I've not read that one but will check it out. Thanks

We are moving to Cozumel. Already have our place, know the area well and have a good base of friends established.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:30 PM   #35
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Statistically, A far greater % of retired Americans will die in America each year than any other country in the world and approximately 50% of Americans will die within 30 miles of where they were born. So, in theory, I think my chances of living longer are better overseas.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:10 PM   #36
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My interest in retiring overseas is more for the love of adventure than the cost savings, but I think you bring up a great point. If I was looking for a great-deal financially, moving out to the sticks in my own state would likely accomplish as much as moving overseas. Rents where I live now: $2000+ mo. (2 bed) Rents in rural WA where my extended family lives:$500/mo. for a House.
+1

Moving out to the sticks in the US would be a harder adjustment for me than living in a foreign country, IMHO. To live in a foreign country I've had to let go of many things both cultural and commercial. It's been fairly easy. Living in US in a different culture than my lifelong comfort zone of Southern California meant giving up things but not having to let them go because it was so easy to rail at the locals and obtain those things by driving back to LA on the weekend.

I heard the term 'fly over country' long before I experienced it. Thought it was arrogant until I moved to Vegas. I kept running into people and situations where I just wanted to shake them and ask 'What planet have you not been paying attention to?'. I can summarize it with a simplistic illustrative example: It's easier for me to live in a place where there is no cheese than in one where the people think there are two kinds of cheese: yellow and white. Though I'm beginning to suspect that having learned to let go of countless cultural assumptions and desires it might be MUCH easier for me to deal with living in fly over country now then it was the first time.

Just to be clear, I'm not judging the people in fly over country. They're living the way they want and it works for them. The problems I had were of my own creation.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:58 AM   #37
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+Just to be clear, I'm not judging the people in fly over country. They're living the way they want and it works for them. The problems I had were of my own creation.
I think you have a pretty simplistic idea of what you are calling "flyover country".

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Old 04-30-2012, 07:39 AM   #38
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+1

Moving out to the sticks in the US would be a harder adjustment for me than living in a foreign country, IMHO. To live in a foreign country I've had to let go of many things both cultural and commercial. It's been fairly easy. Living in US in a different culture than my lifelong comfort zone of Southern California meant giving up things but not having to let them go because it was so easy to rail at the locals and obtain those things by driving back to LA on the weekend.

I heard the term 'fly over country' long before I experienced it. Thought it was arrogant until I moved to Vegas. I kept running into people and situations where I just wanted to shake them and ask 'What planet have you not been paying attention to?'. I can summarize it with a simplistic illustrative example: It's easier for me to live in a place where there is no cheese than in one where the people think there are two kinds of cheese: yellow and white. Though I'm beginning to suspect that having learned to let go of countless cultural assumptions and desires it might be MUCH easier for me to deal with living in fly over country now then it was the first time.

Just to be clear, I'm not judging the people in fly over country. They're living the way they want and it works for them. The problems I had were of my own creation.
I live in the heart of flyover country, and Im not offended by the term. But I never considered Vegas as fly over country by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:00 AM   #39
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Flyover country is not a negative term as I understand it, it is about the physical attributes of a vast expansion of territory and not the attitudes of the residents. Las Vegas would not be flyover country but due east might.

A comment about attitudes. The people I know that live in areas like those referred are not limited in their knowledge or understand of things like "cheese", they just don't always care about the variety and have other priorities in life. To each their own...
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:03 AM   #40
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Living in US in a different culture than my lifelong comfort zone of Southern California
I think the problem is that you haven't tried living in the US yet.
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