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International Living
Old 02-06-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
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International Living

Anyone out there thinking of moving to a low cost country to make your money go further.
I recently subscribed to International Living, ( Retire Overseas | Live and Invest Overseas - International living) but I find that they most tend to talk up Panama , Belize and the South American countries.

I love travel and would not mind spending a few months every year in a new country, especially if living is cheap. But to live there 24 x 7 x 365 because you have/want to to push your dollar further .... mmmm not so sure about that.
Appreciate your views
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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Well, to me, you already live in a foreign country.

Seriously, I have considered it. I'm going to look into that magazine - those areas are about as far away as I'd want to get.

How would you feel about being away from family, friends, church? That would be my big sticking point....

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Holy smokes - just checked the subscription cost for I.L. - $89 for two years! Do tell, is it worth it?
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
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Well, to me, you already live in a foreign country.

Seriously, I have considered it. I'm going to look into that magazine - those areas are about as far away as I'd want to get.

How would you feel about being away from family, friends, church? That would be my big sticking point....

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Holy smokes - just checked the subscription cost for I.L. - $89 for two years! Do tell, is it worth it?
I will not be renewing my subscription when it expires in a year and a half.
Like I said, I do like the idea of living overseas for a few months in a year. Love to immerse myself in different cultures. The fact that some of these places are very cheap makes them all the more attractive.
But I would not consider selling up and moving permanently, which the magazine tends to promote.
It is also very American centric. I suppose most of its members are from the US and Central America being close, it is more attractive than say Asia to Americans
There are plenty of places on this side of the world - Malaysia, Philliphines, Thailand etc. Again, nice places to visit for a while but not to live there permanently.
Those central American countries to me are not safe and some of the Asian ones like Thailand are too sleazy for my liking.
I could consider a nice foreign country like the US of course, but its getting almost as violent as its southern neighbours
But it is getting cheaper for us Ozzies..The greeenback has been in freefall for a few years and could go down further with QE3. Hmmm .. perhaps it would be a third world country option by the time I RE
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:36 PM   #4
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Like you, I am planning to do a bit of international traveling once I have a camp set up here. Australia is my favorite place, I was there several times in the early 2000. At that the US dollars got about AUD 1.95 in exchange, great time!!!. Now one US Dollar would not even fetch $1 AUD.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:01 PM   #5
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One of the issues you have to be careful about is the currency. People move to a low cost country but keep most of their money invested outside that country (often for good reasons) can run into difficulties when a combination of higher local inflation + currency appreciation results in their cost of living going up much quicker than their investments' ability to fund that lifestyle.

Looking at Thailand as an example - between the local CPI and the FX movements:
  • a retiree with income in USD would need about 24% more USD income to support the same Thai expenditure today as five years ago
  • a retiree with income in GBP would be even worse off - 56% more GBP income would be needed
Low cost doesn't always stay low cost.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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jags
Like you, I am planning to do a bit of international traveling once I have a camp set up here. Australia is my favorite place, I was there several times in the early 2000. At that the US dollars got about AUD 1.95 in exchange, great time!!!. Now one US Dollar would not even fetch $1 AUD.
Ditto - and this coming from a Kiwi.

I really enjoy the time I spend in Australia but it has become a very expensive destination.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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Ditto - and this coming from a Kiwi.

I really enjoy the time I spend in Australia but it has become a very expensive destination.
So you are a Kiwi? The NZ dollars have also done well.

I asked you in another thread whether you will get retirement benefits from your country of origin when you contemplate the prospect of buying those not so great annuities in HK, because I think HK herself does not have much of a pension system.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
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So you are a Kiwi? The NZ dollars have also done well.

I asked you in another thread whether you will get retirement benefits from your country of origin when you contemplate the prospect of buying those not so great annuities in HK, because I think HK herself does not have much of a pension system.
Kia Ora Traineeinvestor and Bondi688

I too am a Kiwi but live in Oz. Here the pension is asset and income tested. The age of eligibility will be raised to 67 in 2023.
So unless I get rid of all most of my assets and dump it into my principal residence, I can kiss the pension goodbye. It is quite substantial at $30k for a couple at the moment.
I think in NZ the pension is not income or asset tested. I've been away so long I can't remember. Catch is you have to live there I think.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:46 PM   #9
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So you are a Kiwi? The NZ dollars have also done well.

I asked you in another thread whether you will get retirement benefits from your country of origin when you contemplate the prospect of buying those not so great annuities in HK, because I think HK herself does not have much of a pension system.
NZ currently has a universial non-means tested superannuation regime for people over 65. The catch is that you have to be resident there to be eligible and have lived there for at least 10 years since aged 20 including 5 years since aged 50: https://www.sorted.org.nz/a-z-guides/nz-super

If I wanted to receive this, I would have to return to NZ at age 60 and wait for 5 years.

The other catch is that it is not sustainable. It would be a huge surprise if they didn't continue to tighten the eligibility criteria in the future.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:25 AM   #10
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You never know where you will end up retiring and living. I know you said you plan to stay in HK, but your children may decide they want to go back and live in NZ when they become older.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:48 PM   #11
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Then don't come to the US.

Your examples of Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand are better choices for you. Just watch out for the bombers. There was once an Australian enclave in Paraguay but it is only a memory.

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I too am a Kiwi but live in Oz. Here the pension is asset and income tested. The age of eligibility will be raised to 67 in 2023.
So unless I get rid of all most of my assets and dump it into my principal residence, I can kiss the pension goodbye. It is quite substantial at $30k for a couple at the moment.
Hey! Sounds like a 'Workers' Paradise'!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:53 PM   #12
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Given the ACA (obamacare) and relatively low cost of living areas within the US I don't see a reason to ER international for money reasons. I think it would be fun to have extended stays elsewhere, but that is a different motivation.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #13
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we live in England but we go to live in the philippines during the winter. there are loads of expats in our area and they love it! its great because its sunny everyday, cheaper living costs, 90% of the people speaks english, they are westernise already and we live in front of the surf but honestly, i still love going back to england during the summer. i wont really want to live in 1 country permanently. i think ive got the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:32 PM   #14
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we live in England but we go to live in the philippines during the winter. there are loads of expats in our area and they love it! its great because its sunny everyday, cheaper living costs, 90% of the people speaks english, they are westernise already and we live in front of the surf but honestly, i still love going back to england during the summer. i wont really want to live in 1 country permanently. i think ive got the best of both worlds.
That sounds very idillic.

I can see us spending more time in Thailand once our daughters have left the nest (quite a few years away) for much the same reasons - good weather, nice people, low cost, excellent food, great beaches, clean air (once out of Bangkok) and peaceful. Excellent medical services as well.

That said, I still see Hong Kong being our home indefinitely.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:15 PM   #15
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I think keeping a home base in the US And going abroad for extended stays is the way to go.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #16
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I think keeping a home base in the US And going abroad for extended stays is the way to go.
+1
that would be ideal.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:31 PM   #17
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I think keeping a home base in the US And going abroad for extended stays is the way to go.
+1
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:45 PM   #18
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That is exactly the way I am planning my own retirement : I will keep my condo here, my condo in Europe, and spend a few months a year in Central America or Asia. I look forward to it !
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I think keeping a home base in the US And going abroad for extended stays is the way to go.
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