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Old 03-23-2012, 01:02 PM   #121
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I'll need to add this to my total state tax spreadsheet. What's up with AL & GA?
I may have to rethink buying a condo on the AL coast. Or bootleg my med's to the coast.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:29 PM   #122
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I'll need to add this to my total state tax spreadsheet. What's up with AL & GA?
We don't like it when people have too much fun.

Even though alcohol is pretty expensive here in AL (and the selection quite limited), you can afford to pay a bit more for it since the rest is pretty cheap.

Also worth nothing that AL imposes sales taxes on everything, including groceries.

Nonetheless, I will be moving to California shortly and my state income tax bill alone will triple... I've had it good in AL.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #123
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I'll need to add this to my total state tax spreadsheet. What's up with AL & GA?
Fishing where the fish are.......
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #124
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And for those with more sophisticated tastes.

Alaska is just downright unsociable (this and beer too)! But winter there makes up for it...
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:38 PM   #125
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Ah hah! The tax difference explains why the "two-buck chuck" wine in California becomes "three-buck chuck" in my state.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:40 PM   #126
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Yes but three-buck price droped to two-buck and a half recently (at least in Oregon).
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:01 PM   #127
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I've spent the better part of the last fifteen years outside the US, and I respectfully disagree. I think there are several places in the world that rival, and even surpass many parts of the US in many respects, even health care, except maybe for extremely specialized/chronic conditions. But I actually plan to retire in both the US for a few months a year, and overseas for the rest of the time. I think Malaysia might prove a very attractive option.

Re OP's list. I agree with that one poster wholeheartedly: the inclusion of Lake Charles totally destroys any credibility the author has.


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I always look at these type of lists with a skeptical eye. There are many factors with expat living that make a list like this useless without factoring personal tolerances and flexibility (or lack of).

For most of us I think the best first decision is to first ask:

1. What are you seeking really by planning to retire overseas? If it is perceived lower costs, remember that may be true only if you ( and your spouse) are willing to accept much higher convenience costs.

2. If it is for the experience and adventure - good for you! However I suggest you start with identifying a continent of preference and reviewing the common issues there before being overly concerned about a specific country on a list. For example, if central Europe how will your U.S. Dollar retirement fare in Euro-land? If South America or Asia, how patient are you with inefficiencies?

3. Don't underestimate the importance of knowing the local language. If someone tells you it is not required, don't buy it unless you want to live in somewhat isolation and forgo much of the richness of the people and culture.

4. Travel and rent first always, several month minimum in any place you are seriously considering. Use the time to seriously evaluate your personal aggravation factor, experiences with local food shopping, medical, and true security issues (on security do not believe what you read, it can easily be much better or worse than outward appearances!)

5. If either of you have any somewhat serious medical needs, don't go. Medical care is really better in the States than the majority of places in the world, including Europe or the UK.

Remember that there is a big difference between those expats living overseas for work, and those retired. The former (in fair disclosure I am one of these) have a built-in support structure, the latter do not. Big difference. Don't be discouraged, just careful!
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Been working and living overseas on 3 different continents for the last 15 years, and speak 3 languages. Trust me - nothing beats the USA (although Australia sure is nice - aside from the cost of living).
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Are you counting Strang as one of your languages?

I have a little mud on my boots, too, and do not disagree with you at all. Our first choice is to stay where we are (Bellingham, Washington).

I am compelled to have a Plan B, however, since realizing about 15 years ago that we were not going to have enough money to retire in safety, much less comfort in the US. Since then, our circumstances have improved, costs elsewhere have risen, and I am finding that age is going to shut us out of many of the foreign health care arrangements I had been investigating (age limits seldom come up in such discussions until you get there ). Expatriation is still an option but the choices are more limited than they were in the beginning. With luck, we won't be forced to go anywhere.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #128
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Yes but three-buck price dropped to two-buck and a half recently (at least in Oregon).
We have not been shopping at Trader Joe's lately, but next time we go there will pick up a dozen bottles. I drink red nearly exclusively for health reason, but one time opened up a white bottle for some guests, and they commented that it was pretty good.

Just now, found the following accolades on Wikipedia. Yes, in blind tasting "two-buck" chucks have beaten the pants off snobby wines.
At the 28th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition, Shaw's 2002 Shiraz received the double gold medal, besting the roughly 2,300 other wines in the competition.

Shaw's 2005 California Chardonnay was judged Best Chardonnay from California at the Commercial Wine Competition of the 2007 California Exposition and State Fair. The chardonnay received 98 points, a double gold, with accolades of Best of California and Best of Class.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #129
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I'll need to add this to my total state tax spreadsheet. What's up with AL & GA?
Welcome to Pennsylvania. Land of no retirement taxes and cheap beer.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #130
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I've spent the better part of the last fifteen years outside the US, and I respectfully disagree. I think there are several places in the world that rival, and even surpass many parts of the US in many respects, even health care, except maybe for extremely specialized/chronic conditions.
My own personal experience living in Belgium was that for the most part, health care was as good as we received in the US and more accessible. Since returning to the US, I'd say that access has become worse since we left.

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Europe or the UK.
from SpencerM post. Last time I checked, the UK was a member of the EU.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #131
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Malaysia - you sound like a friend of mine currently in Nigeria. Agree, Malaysia or Thailand would be great place to retire (been there done that), but I am married, and intend to stay that way !
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:15 PM   #132
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Malaysia - you sound like a friend of mine currently in Nigeria. Agree, Malaysia or Thailand would be great place to retire (been there done that), but I am married, and intend to stay that way !

I would imagine their dining out options would be pretty much limited to Asian food. The place I choose for retirement needs to have good pizza readily available, as well as very low property taxes.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:11 AM   #133
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Malaysia has an amazing variety of food. No limitations whatsoever, especially in KL. I had fantastic Italian there. And you can get a good pizza almost anywhere. Of course, Asian food is most widely available, and what they do best. I can smell those 'hawker centres' now!

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I would imagine their dining out options would be pretty much limited to Asian food. The place I choose for retirement needs to have good pizza readily available, as well as very low property taxes.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:28 PM   #134
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Bottom line: the best place to retire is different for everyone. Thank goodness we don't all want to go to the same place! What's most important in finding balance and a new place to center your attention after letting go of the work a day world. DH and I recently downsized from a big house to a modest home. Our cats approve of the change so it must be ok :-)
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:44 PM   #135
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Malaysia - you sound like a friend of mine currently in Nigeria. Agree, Malaysia or Thailand would be great place to retire (been there done that), but I am married, and intend to stay that way !
I certainly admire people who are bold and free spirits to move and retire out of the country. However, I know no foriegn languages and have no desire to learn a new language and culture. What I dont understand are the expats who would bother to move out of country only to live in a clustered compound of fellow expats, unless their healthcare is unaffordable here. Might as well stay in the US as we have every type of climate somewhere in the 50 states or territories.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:41 AM   #136
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Bottom line: the best place to retire is different for everyone. Thank goodness we don't all want to go to the same place! What's most important in finding balance and a new place to center your attention after letting go of the work a day world. DH and I recently downsized from a big house to a modest home. Our cats approve of the change so it must be ok :-)
+1 have to agree, especially the point about not wanting everyone to choose the same place. I have several best places, just wish I could afford to maintain a modest home in each one considering DW would never agree to an RV
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:31 AM   #137
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Bottom line: the best place to retire is different for everyone. Thank goodness we don't all want to go to the same place! What's most important in finding balance and a new place to center your attention after letting go of the work a day world. DH and I recently downsized from a big house to a modest home. Our cats approve of the change so it must be ok :-)
+2 Retirement is a marvelous adventure. What will make one person/couple happy, may not be the same for another person/couple. Some locations that others choose do not sound like places that a red-white-and-blue cheapskate like me would like at all, especially the foreign locations or those domestic coastal places with high cost of living.

As an aside, I am surprised and pleased with how well our home, New Orleans, has been working out as a retirement location for us so far. This is not supposed to be a popular retirement location at all! But there's always a parade, city-wide party, or something else to do or go to if we want. We love the restaurants here, antique shops, and our gym and other local establishments. The people our age here are beyond compatible, and I think many are almost national treasures. We have not had any hurricanes since retirement either although that aspect is a gamble. We may still move to Springfield one day, but meanwhile we are very happy here.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:39 AM   #138
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+2 Retirement is a marvelous adventure. What will make one person/couple happy, may not be the same for another person/couple. Some locations that others choose do not sound like places that a red-white-and-blue cheapskate like me would like at all, especially the foreign locations or those domestic coastal places with high cost of living.

As an aside, I am surprised and pleased with how well our home, New Orleans, has been working out as a retirement location for us so far. This is not supposed to be a popular retirement location at all! But there's always a parade, city-wide party, or something else to do or go to if we want. We love the restaurants here, antique shops, and our gym and other local establishments. The people our age here are beyond compatible, and I think many are almost national treasures. We have not had any hurricanes since retirement either although that aspect is a gamble. We may still move to Springfield one day, but meanwhile we are very happy here.
I think New Orleans would be a great place to retire, for all the reasons you mention plus your music is in a class all by itself and there are small places with great bands all over.

But for me in particular, it would be too hot too often, as I start getting pretty wwarm once teh thermometer climbs over the low 50s. And I think I am more comfortable with the small annual chance of a giant earthquake burying me, than I would be with the more frequent hassle of trying to avoid being blown or floated away.

Ha
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #139
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I think New Orleans would be a great palce to retire, for all the reasons you mention. For me in particular, it would be too hot too often, and I think I am more comfortable with the small annual chance of a giant earthquake burying me, than I would be with the more frequent hassle of trying to avoid being blown or floated away.

Ha
Exactly! For me, the heat and humidity seem bearable for some reason. Air conditioning and becoming acclimated after living here for so many years both seem to help. The chance of another Katrina is pretty scary, and we still might move some day. But meanwhile the horrific memories of that time are receding and we are having a lot of fun here.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:51 PM   #140
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+
As an aside, I am surprised and pleased with how well our home, New Orleans, has been working out as a retirement location for us so far. .
Glad to hear you're happy there. Don't ever worry about what others think of your choices. If you're content, then it's the right place to be Oh, and BTW, I happen to think the "Big Easy" is a very cool place to be.

DH and I have decided to remain the the Washington, DC area. Close to family and friends and all we love. I'm sure many think we're nuts, but so be it. The really great thing about ER is not worring about what others think anymore. It's about doing what feels right for you.
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