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Old 09-14-2011, 04:52 AM   #61
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:12 AM   #62
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However, I enjoy overseas life but I am also more keenly aware than ever how fortunate we Americans are in general in everyday life. In this respect I am even more proud to be American.
I have low expectations when in 3rd-world countries. However, we were in Scotland recently and it was apparent that the 'United Kingdom' is only barely united. There is friction that surprised us. I feel intensely fortunate that the US went a separate way when it did.

The US ain't perfect by along shot, but in many ways it is miles ahead of second place.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:23 AM   #63
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My experience is there are friendly people everywhere who have a lot in common, especially the desire for opportunities for their children and material well-being for themselves. Most places can be warm, friendly, and “home” as long as people are smart about how they live. There are also dangerous living conditions everywhere – even the US. There are bad locations and there are people that make bad choices.

As for what constitutes a successful expat? The only thing I can say is that all of our expat family members and friends have on common characteristic: they all seem to enjoy life wherever they find themselves...
+1

I've moved my entire life, currently living in my 32nd home; mostly but, not all in the US. Have been fortunate to have been in 29 countries, and very much identify with what MichaelB said.

While we all have preferences and tolerance limits, it's more about what's inside you than outside you.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:42 AM   #64
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No place is so great that it cannot stop learning and improving- and those lessons can come from other places sometimes...As for the US learning from Europe- I was impressed that the US is wasteful of energy in ways that would be easily improved. A perfect example is the lights that that turn off when no one is around or needs them. Escalators that don't run when no one is around to ride them. This would not only save energy burnt but things would breakdown less quickly....why don't we have these readily available technologies?
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:29 AM   #65
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However, we were in Scotland recently and it was apparent that the 'United Kingdom' is only barely united.
Yes, it depends if the pound notes were from the Bank of England, or the Bank of Scotland (and never use the notes in the other "region" )...

Well, you can use them but they are "traded" immediately once they hit the currency clearing house...
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #66
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No place is so great that it cannot stop learning and improving- and those lessons can come from other places sometimes...As for the US learning from Europe- I was impressed that the US is wasteful of energy in ways that would be easily improved. A perfect example is the lights that that turn off when no one is around or needs them. Escalators that don't run when no one is around to ride them. This would not only save energy burnt but things would breakdown less quickly....why don't we have these readily available technologies?
Energy is relatively cheap here. We also have a mentality that allows us to ignore economic externalities or rationalize that they are the "other guy's problem." And we are arrogant.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:04 PM   #67
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I have been following this post since the beginning and thought perhaps I could tell my story and it may just give some insight to those thinking about living abroad during retirement. Just some ideas from my own experience that may be helpful or maybe not, in which case I apologize for taking your time.


I have lived outside the US since 1974. I recently returned here to the US and am now an expat in my own country. I made this decision because I know, when I am older and may not be able to live on my own, I do not want to live with one of my sons and their families. I want to have the option of making a choice and that may have to be an assisted living type arrangement.


I am now healthy, probably more healthy than I have ever been, now that I have time to take care of myself and not worry about j*bs or children or a husband. I have purposely come here to try and get used to this country where I feel very much a foreigner. In 35 years you miss a lot. I don't know the TV shows or the “famous” people many talk about. I don't get the jokes sometimes. I do know that while I am still young enough to learn, I must re-adopt this country that I left so long ago and actually never really missed.


I will keep my home in Italy, it is paid for and upkeep is minimal. It is my paradise, my safe haven. Still, I will stay here part of the year and learn to live this other life also. I know I need to do this and I have always been one to plan ahead and not leave things to chance if I can help it. So here I am.


Those of you who are only now embarking on or wishing to embark on your expat experience, keep this in mind. You may have to or want to come back when you are no longer as self-sufficient as you are now. In which case, you better have thought it all out. How to return and the money and healthcare needs that may arise in the future. Retirement is not all about (only) now, but many of us will reach declining years when it may not be best suited to being on your own without the support network that the US is famous for (assisted living, hospice, etc). I am not talking about Medical, as I actually love my Doctors in Italy much more than the ones I have had occassion to meet with her. Find the whole system here so cold and impersonal... I am not only talking to the single people, couples will face, sooner or later, that one of the couple will die or get too sick to care for. Perhaps a third-world country can offer very inexpensive 24/7 in home care, but I am not sure that would be what I would want, personally. I would want to speak my first language. Although I am fluent in Italian, will I retain that if perhaps my mind starts going? I certainly hope I “go” in my sleep long before any of this is needed.


I consider myself very fortunate to be able to make this choice today. I will be popping back and forth as I like for now.


I am just planning for the future, so that I can live my life on a whim.

Queenie
Dear Queenie,

My story is the reverse of yours.

My father sent me to upstate NY for my undergraduate and graduate degrees in 1974 and I ended up staying here. Now, after the financial melt-down of 2007, losing my job in 2008 and being unable to find another job in the last three years, I am forced into early retirement. I am preparing to return home to the Philippines.

Luckily, I inherited property in the Philippines so I actually have the funds to see me through to when I can collect my SS benefits.

I know I am luckier than most. I can actually retire. I will be able to afford the round-the-clock care that would bankrupt most people here in NY. I know the food. I can cook for myself or train the cook. While I do not speak the language (having been raised by a Father who did not speak the language), I understand the language and lived the history. So nothing should surprise me.

Nonetheless, I dread going home - not because the US is a better country or that I will miss the malls. There are many good things going for the Philippines (especially now that they got rid of martial law and have thrown at least one president in jail). I don't look forward to going home because I know --- like you --- that I will miss the language (English in this case) as it is spoken here.

Outside of my immediate family (in the Philippines), there may be no one to talk to!

And I'm not entirely sure of my immediate family. They don't actually speak American English. How can they? They did not live her history.

I find this amusing (and scary). But I trust it will all be for the good --- for you and myself. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:15 PM   #68
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Thanks Queenie and Phil for a couple of very thoughtful posts.

Ha
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:42 PM   #69
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Outside of my immediate family (in the Philippines), there may be no one to talk to!
Although I haven't been to the Philippines, I do have the impression that control of English is quite common among the elite. But even if you have a problem finding people to talk English to, if you already have a passive knowledge of one of the Philippine languages, I would not think that it would take you long to start speaking it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:56 PM   #70
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Although I haven't been to the Philippines, I do have the impression that control of English is quite common among the elite.
Public schools teach in English. One can get by fine without knowing a word of any of the other languages spoken there.

The people I met who spoke decent English knew 2 or 3 other languages, Tagalog which is a national language, the regional language, e.g. Cebuano, and the local language of their home province. Those who spent only a few years in school usually know a handful of English words.

There are a non-trivial number of words in the present languages that were adopted from Spanish.
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:28 AM   #71
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Hi, PhilAmerican,

Welcome to the group.

It sounds like you could teach American English there, perhaps specifically to business people. If you wanted to. It always helps to have something to do when retired, at least for a while. It gives you focus and social connections. You might check out Dave's ESL Cafe

It is not clear if you have gone back to visit during your decades here. How good is your sense of the old country? I have an old friend who is originally from the P.I. who thinks that there is plenty of English spoken there. He once considered starting a call center there. I have never been to the P.I., but my father was there during the war and managed well enough at that time.

Please keep us posted on your experience as things progress. The Philippines have popped up now and then as a potentially decent place to retire, or at least hang out for an extended time. There are one or two web sites devoted to Americans happily retiring in the Philippines and I am sure they have nowhere close to your natural advantages (family, local knowledge, early experience, etc.). I used to follow a couple of web sites that I have forgotten now, but I found these by Google:
Retire in the Philippines. Retire in Bacolod, Cebu, Dipolog, Dumaguete or Tacloban. Could you retire in the Philippines?, best filipino dating
Why retire to the Philippines ? « tropicalpenpals.com – Philippines Blog
Retire In The Philippines
Retire, Live, Explore Philippines - Live & Retire in the Philippines
Living In The Philippines -- The Cebu Experience
Retirement in Philippines compared to Retirement in Thailand
Mabuhay! Greetings from the Philippines

If these guys can do it, you certainly can.

But...is it possible that you have become one of those New Yorkers who feel that civilization ends at the GW Bridge?

Now that I have been doing this little search, it is starting to look good to ME!

You can do it.
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more on the Philippines...
Old 09-24-2011, 07:38 AM   #72
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more on the Philippines...

I found this in one of the blogs referenced above.

This could apply to pretty much any low-cost retirement haven.
Quote:
IS THE PHILIPPINES RIGHT FOR YOU?
....

Clearly making the adjustment to living in the Philippines must not be as easy as we might imagine. Exactly! Adjusting is difficult for many, and adapting to life here can be a MAJOR challenge.


The reasons for expats departing after moving to "paradise" are varied, but the most common I've
experienced are:
  • Inability to adapt to Philippine culture, to include inability to accept corruption as society's "norm,"pervasive dishonesty, constantly being overcharged for goods and services,constant attempted scams, and expats often being viewed as a "walking ATM machine;"
  • heat / humidity / typhoons;
  • massive poverty;
  • infrastructure deficiencies of a developing nation;
  • failures in relationships;
  • developing a chronic health problem (often alcohol abuse-related), and the best treatment option is returning to Western medicine;
  • victim of crime;
  • financial problems (resulting from declining value of dollar, failing to manage money on a budget, business failure); unable to cope with being fully retired (i.e., need to continue working to feel relevant and making a contribution to mankind)
THE BOTTOM LINE: Before committing 100% to the Philippines, try it for a year or two, and have an alternate plan that will allow you to return to your home country if you are unable to adapt. DO NOT take this decision lightly! Nobody really knows what they're getting in to until they are here and experiencing the trials, tribulations, and virtues of Philippine life on a DAILY basis!

Adapted from the "Living in Cebu" Forums
PhilAm, do you imagine that you could have some of these problems re-integrating into living in the old country? You have been away a long time.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #73
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Although I am fluent in Italian, will I retain that if perhaps my mind starts going? I certainly hope I “go” in my sleep long before any of this is needed.
I am an European expat who has worked and lived in the USA for about 20 years now. My chief concern about my still distant old age is very similar to yours. Being from a family where most members who live to be over 80 end up suffering various degrees of demetia or Alzheimer's, I am afraid that I will eventually lose my second language (English) and only remember my native language. While DW (American born) and I are setting up to FIRE in the USA, I have made sure she is aware that she may need to consider "shipping" me to a dementia care facility in my native country, where someone could actually understand what I say. The positive about it would be the considerably lower cost of the care, and probably I would not much care about the location at that point as long as I have a place to sleep and someone to feed me.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:53 PM   #74
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Hi, PhilAmerican,

Welcome to the group.

It sounds like you could teach American English there, perhaps specifically to business people. If you wanted to. It always helps to have something to do when retired, at least for a while. It gives you focus and social connections. You might check out Dave's ESL Cafe

It is not clear if you have gone back to visit during your decades here. How good is your sense of the old country? I have an old friend who is originally from the P.I. who thinks that there is plenty of English spoken there. He once considered starting a call center there. I have never been to the P.I., but my father was there during the war and managed well enough at that time.

Please keep us posted on your experience as things progress. The Philippines have popped up now and then as a potentially decent place to retire, or at least hang out for an extended time. There are one or two web sites devoted to Americans happily retiring in the Philippines and I am sure they have nowhere close to your natural advantages (family, local knowledge, early experience, etc.). I used to follow a couple of web sites that I have forgotten now, but I found these by Google:
Retire in the Philippines. Retire in Bacolod, Cebu, Dipolog, Dumaguete or Tacloban. Could you retire in the Philippines?, best filipino dating
Why retire to the Philippines ? « tropicalpenpals.com – Philippines Blog
Retire In The Philippines
Retire, Live, Explore Philippines - Live & Retire in the Philippines
Living In The Philippines -- The Cebu Experience
Retirement in Philippines compared to Retirement in Thailand
Mabuhay! Greetings from the Philippines

If these guys can do it, you certainly can.

But...is it possible that you have become one of those New Yorkers who feel that civilization ends at the GW Bridge?

Now that I have been doing this little search, it is starting to look good to ME!

You can do it.
Dear Ed,

Thank you for your suggestions. I will keep these in mind.

In response to your question, I take every opportunity to visit the Philippines because I have family there. My sense of the 'old country' is probably better than those who live there because I study its history and its many cultures and continue to keep up with current events through the internet.

I just don't speak any of the languages.

My father was raised in Spanish and English. My mother was raised by Tagalog parents living in Ilocos. She learned English in public schools because the Americans instituted English as the medium of instruction after the war. Besides English, Tagalog and Ilocano, she also spoke Bicolano which she learned from the help that came from my father's hacienda in Sorsogon. She understood Spanish because half of Philippine law was written in Spanish at the time she was studying to become a lawyer. And she also spoke Pampamgueno because my father was a concessioner in Clark Air Base at one time.

However, my father believed Spanish was a 'dead language'. He dimissed the various Filipino languages as not 'scientific languages'. He approved only of English and German. And when it was time for me to go abroad for my education, I was given the choice of the US or Germany. I chose the US because I felt more comfortable with the language.

I am compelled to apologize for knowing only one language --- English --- because this is not the norm in the Philippines. I am not considered a native speaker of any language --- including English. And I do not wish to mislead anyone.

In response to your second question, I have family here among the 'cosmopolitan red-necks' of upstate New York. I actually enjoy the company of red-necks. They are big-hearted people. Unfortunately, I don't drink, which limits my enjoyment of their company somewhat.

I expect to be very busy when I arrive in the Philippines in November. For one thing, I have a household to set-up. The house I inherited has never been occupied since it was first built in 2000. My mother died in November of that year and my father died shortly thereafter. My brothers found no need to move in because they had homes of their own closer to Makati. My house is in Cainta.

I know the first thing I will need to do (besides installing water and electricity), is enlarging the kitchen. The kitchen is way too small for someone who loves to cook. My mother did not cook.

And then I will have to learn to cook Filipino. Unfortunately, I learned to cook in the US. But if I am to eat well in the Philippines, I will have to learn to cook there. This will not be a small matter because learning how to cook means more than just knowing one's way around a kitchen. I will have to learn how to buy local ingredients in the wet markets and, of course, I will need to train the help.

This thread is entitled - "Knowing if one has what it takes to be an expat." I think one reason many expats fail in the Philippines is because they underestimate the challenge of setting up a household. Managing the help; managing food provisioning and storage in the tropics; managing the mechanics of bringing dinner to the table --- these are not small tasks in a third world country.

Some people in this forum think I should have no problem with the language(s) there in the Philippines. I think they should try negotiating over the price of a cut of beef with a Filipino butcher first before drawing that conclusion.

I've considered going it alone --- but this is impractical in the long run. Eventually, I will need to find a way to retire from the service.

I need to face-up to the task of training the staff. I will have to learn their language(s). I will have to teach them mine. I will have to teach them how to use my equipment (safely); how to select ingredients their families were never able to afford to eat; how to prepare it, cook it and clean up afterwards.

I have worked as a Global Management Consultant specializing in SAP R/3 Basis installations for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In retrospect, that was a cakewalk compared to what setting-up a household in the Philippines will be like.

But, again, thank you for your suggestions. If worse comes to worst, I just might take you up on it --- go work for someone and eat out. But I forget. I like to eat good food.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:05 AM   #75
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Hi Philam, reading your post, I think the language barrier should not be a problem. As you know by now, English is the second language and majority of the filipinos speak english. Since you will be hiring a help, let her do the marketing and cooking and you can just supervise her and instruct her on what she needs to do. You should be fine. I do not know which part of the philippines you will be staying but if you like the laid back lifestyle in upstate New York, I am pretty sure you'll enjoy your stay in the philippines.
I am a New yorker of filipino descent too and dreaming of retiring there in a few years. you are lucky since you have inhereited property there so it's a good start. Good luck

by the way, if you want a "Manhattan" lifestyle, you should be in the Makati area.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #76
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by the way, if you want a "Manhattan" lifestyle, you should be in the Makati area.
true but the beaches are nicer there.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:15 AM   #77
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Hi Philam, reading your post, I think the language barrier should not be a problem. As you know by now, English is the second language and majority of the filipinos speak english. Since you will be hiring a help, let her do the marketing and cooking and you can just supervise her and instruct her on what she needs to do. You should be fine. I do not know which part of the philippines you will be staying but if you like the laid back lifestyle in upstate New York, I am pretty sure you'll enjoy your stay in the philippines.
I am a New yorker of filipino descent too and dreaming of retiring there in a few years. you are lucky since you have inhereited property there so it's a good start. Good luck

by the way, if you want a "Manhattan" lifestyle, you should be in the Makati area.
Dear Jesaco,

I fear I will be disabusing you of some of your fantasies, so I want to apologize beforehand that no offense is intended here.

Yes, English is a secondary language spoken badly by most Filipinos. The primary language may be one of 60+ languages (documented so far) of which there are maybe 300+ dialects. A study of the geography and history of the Philippines may provide some insight on why this is so. The language barrier is not English. It's the primary language Filipinos are translating into English. So, yes, we might both speak English --- but that does not mean we understand each other.

Hiring help does not mean the person (I can afford) to hire will be of much help. The help may know how to market and cook for herself, but will she know how to market and cook for me? I seriously doubt I can hire a Filipino girl at random, supervise and instruct her on what she needs to do (not knowing how to cook Filipino dishes myself, mind you), and be FINE. The burden of training her is mine regardless.

It is a misconception that Filipinos even eat alike. There are as many cuisines in the Philippines as there are languages. Tagalogs eat differently from Bicolanos. Ilocanos eat differently from Cebuanos. Etc.

Let me use my family as an example. My (late) mother was raised in the Ilocos regions by Tagalogs. Unfortunately, she married a man whose hacienda was located in Bicol. So, all the help came from Bicol --- including the cook. My mother did not cook herself so she did not know what she was doing. It turns out Bicol cuisine uses a lot of coconut milk and hot chili peppers, which my mother (and I) cannot eat.

There's actually more to the story because my (late) father was not raised in Bicol, but in Manila. He came from the "landed" gentry of the Philippines, which means he was raised in the Spanish culinary tradition. Keep in mind that before the Americans came only Spaniards were allowed to own property in the Philippines. My father did not eat Bicolano, Tagalog or Ilocano food. Food was a serious bone of contention in my mother's household. Unfortunately, she did not know how to cook and my father learned to eat out (a lot).

If I want to eat well (according to my taste), I first will have to learn how to purchase and prepare the food ingredients available locally. In NY, one uses the ingredients available in NY (dairy products, broccoli, tube tomatoes, etc.) In Cainta, I will have to familiarize my self with the fresh ingredients in the wet markets. There is no way around this hard and fast rule. Then --- and only then --- can I hope to teach someone else to do the marketing and cooking for me. Otherwise, I'll be throwing myself at the mercy of the cook. I firmly believe one must not quarrel with a person who knows how to wield a knife.

So why even hire help?

Because everything takes forever to do in the Philippines even with labor saving devices and hired help. Loss of power is not unusual. Take the house I inherited. It's too big for one person. The main house has five bedrooms and four full baths. The guest casita has one full bath. The servants quarters has one full bath. That makes six full baths. Most houses in Monroe County have three bedrooms and two and a half baths. I've never lived in a house here in New York with more than three full baths! Then there's laundry and cooking to do. I probably need a staff of five. But I decided that to save money I will step in when someone is sick or is on vacation.

And before you bring up the subject, I've seriously considered selling the property and buying a condomium. Unfortunately, I haven't found a condomium yet where I can plant a tree. I need trees to dampen the noise from the neighbours. I don't actually know how noisy it will be in Cainta. But considering the land mass and the population of the Philippines, I can only guess.

I know you mention that you are of Filipino-descent. But have you ever actually lived in the Philippines? I left the country when I was 18 years old.

I do not know what you mean by "Manhattan" lifestyle, but having occasion to work in NYC myself, I know it's not for me. I much prefer Monroe County, which (unfortunately) has the highest property taxes in the whole of NY state. But the "laid back lifestyle" of upstate NY is over-rated. One can freeze to death here standing still. "Laid back" has its risks.

But let us return to the subject of this thread - Knowing if one has what it takes to be an expat.

Let me repeat: The reason why expats fail is because they underestimate what it takes to set-up a household outside of the US.

It is easier to set-up a household in the US. Everything is documented. Shopping is organized and easy to learn. Most people can read and there is no want of free-advice. And they have a place for everything and everything in its place --- including old people. Not so in countries outside of the US, where language (primary, secondary, etc.) and cuisine may pose a challenge.

If you are considering retiring outside of the US, think very carefully how you want to address the following issues:

1. food - Do you want to eat well or can you afford (and tolerate) eating out every night? Keep in mind, there are risks to eating out every night. You cannot ensure food safety. You have more control if you cook for yourself.

2. clothing - How well do you tolerate humidity, freezing temperatures, temperature-controlled environments, nudity (yours and others)? Who will be doing the laundry and how?

3. shelter - How much can you afford? How much noise can you tolerate? How important is sleep? What do you fear the most --- hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, ice storms, tsunamis, crime, housework, property taxes, isolation, infirmity? Your fears will tell you a lot about yourself and what you value.

4. time - How do you like to spend your time? Alone or in the company of others? How much time do you want to spend shopping? Cooking? Eating? Cleaning? Talking? Watching TV? Driving around? Are you comfortable delegating work? Perfectionists need not apply. Remember, time costs money and you have only one life to live.

5. money - What is your burn rate (the absolutely maximum amount of money you can spend before you start to throw up)? Some might say calculate this number weekly or monthly or yearly. I say calculate it when you're really scared and try not to be so scared all the time. St. Teresa of Avila said "Heaven is not for cowards." And this is really true. One cannot be afraid and be happy at the same time. The two emotions cannot co-exist.

The point of this exercise is to learn to be happy and if you know yourself, you can be happy anywhere in the world. So, be brutally honest with yourself. There is no room for fantasies once you leave the country.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:33 AM   #78
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Wow, such a long answer to an innocent post that was meant to help. Please re read my post several times and see if there is any fantasies or insults in it. it was meant to encourage you not insult you. as I said you will be fine. No offense taken. I am happy for you since you belong to0a "Landed" family. I am not and worked double even triple to even built my home there. anyway, good luck on your future plans and please don't be too sensitive. this thread is a pulic thread and you might recieve a few answers on your queries. They are here to help us not to insult or ridicule us. OK

Let's get back to the topic. best regards
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:04 AM   #79
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Wow, such a long answer to an innocent post that was meant to help. Please re read my post several times and see if there is any fantasies or insults in it. it was meant to encourage you not insult you. as I said you will be fine. No offense taken. I am happy for you since you belong to0a "Landed" family. I am not and worked double even triple to even built my home there. anyway, good luck on your future plans and please don't be too sensitive. this thread is a pulic thread and you might recieve a few answers on your queries. They are here to help us not to insult or ridicule us. OK

Let's get back to the topic. best regards
Dear Jesaco,

I'm sorry I offended you despite my best efforts. But this is a thread and I was being mindful that I was addressing my words to a larger audience than just yourself.

That my (late) father (not me) belonged to a "landed" family is entirely an accident of history. Do, however, give the man some credit. After all, he married my mother, who was living in the slums of Tondo when he was courting her.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:44 AM   #80
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If you are considering retiring outside of the US, think very carefully how you want to address the following issues:
Many of these issues are the same issues we wrestled with when thinking of moving to southern Missouri. I'll cross out the ones that would apply in such a case, and put those that don't in a bold font. No insult is intended but this will emphasize the differences that I perceive to be due solely to becoming an expat, as opposed to just moving within the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilAmerican
1. food - Do you want to eat well or can you afford (and tolerate) eating out every night? Keep in mind, there are risks to eating out every night. You cannot ensure food safety. You have more control if you cook for yourself.

2. clothing - How well do you tolerate humidity, freezing temperatures, temperature-controlled environments, nudity (yours and others)? Who will be doing the laundry and how?

3. shelter - How much can you afford? How much noise can you tolerate? How important is sleep? What do you fear the most --- hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, ice storms, tsunamis, crime, housework, property taxes, isolation, infirmity? Your fears will tell you a lot about yourself and what you value.

4. time - How do you like to spend your time? Alone or in the company of others? How much time do you want to spend shopping? Cooking? Eating? Cleaning? Talking? Watching TV? Driving around? Are you comfortable delegating work? Perfectionists need not apply. Remember, time costs money and you have only one life to live.


5. money - What is your burn rate (the absolutely maximum amount of money you can spend before you start to throw up)? Some might say calculate this number weekly or monthly or yearly. I say calculate it when you're really scared and try not to be so scared all the time. St. Teresa of Avila said "Heaven is not for cowards." And this is really true. One cannot be afraid and be happy at the same time. The two emotions cannot co-exist.
There were a couple of very cheap restaurants that we ate at in Springfield, and wouldn't again due to digestive rebellion, but probably they had at least had health inspections. So, I do think that is a difference to adjust to. Also, I am used to having my own laundry facilities and in some locations that would just not be an option. Nudity is not normally seen there. But other than that, your list looks much like mine.
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