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Old 02-07-2009, 10:00 AM   #21
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Costa Rica is a little cheaper with $75K CD or $600-$1K a month proof of income from pension or investments ( Costa Rica Guide: Permanent Visas ).
My wife and kids and I are planning a month long trip in CR this June. Renting a nice house in the Guiones Beach area in Guadacanaste, near Nosara. We have American friends who live down there and though we have visited them the last 3 years, this will be our first extended stay.

I keep thinking I might want to live there full time, or at least for a year so I can say I've done SOMETHING interesting, but I kind of worry about our kids schooling (boys 9 and 11) for that year. There is a private school there that our friends kids go to, so that may be an option but it is 6k per year per kid so it is a bit expensive sounding to me. Both are doing really well at their schools in Texas, and I worry about jerking them out. But their spanish would really improve!
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:50 PM   #22
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In asia, I have heard the following have retirement visas.
Malaysia (my second home program)
Philippines
Indonesia
Australia
Thailand but the rules seem to be in flux

Mike
I am pleasently surprised to see Australia offers a retirement visa. I have heard that they are a little touchy about how long you can stay in a non-retired status.

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Old 02-07-2009, 02:14 PM   #23
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I am pleasently surprised to see Australia offers a retirement visa. I have heard that they are a little touchy about how long you can stay in a non-retired status.
I'd expect a lot of nations to get touchier. In this economic climate it's not a very popular political position to allow "foreigners" to compete with citizens for what few jobs there are out there.
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Old 02-07-2009, 03:56 PM   #24
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Details on the Australian Retirement Visa is at the link below. However, the $ limits to get this visa is probably substantially more than Asian countries are asking.

Investor Retirement (Subclass 405)
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:28 PM   #25
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Details on the Australian Retirement Visa is at the link below. However, the $ limits to get this visa is probably substantially more than Asian countries are asking.

Investor Retirement (Subclass 405)
Deal breaker (from the link):

What does this visa let me do?

live in Australia for four (4) years
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:54 PM   #26
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The deal breaker for me is the quarantine requirement for dogs. I've always wanted to live there, but we've always had dogs. Maybe in 14-18 years when these last 3 are gone.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:10 AM   #27
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The Australian visa is only for 4 years, but you can reapply for a renewal. Unless your financial circumstances change substantially you would probably be assured of renewal.

However, the deal breaker for a lot of foreigners, might be the locations you would have to live in. NSW and ACT are out which means no Sydney, so you would have the option of burning to a crisp in Victoria where the bushfires are currently raging or you could live in Queensland where half the state is under water. Not sure many foreigners could handle the isolation of NT/Tas/WA and SA is probably too boring.

Quarantine is very strict in Oz because we are an island.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:13 AM   #28
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The Australian visa is only for 4 years, but you can reapply for a renewal. Unless your financial circumstances change substantially you would probably be assured of renewal.

However, the deal breaker for a lot of foreigners, might be the locations you would have to live in. NSW and ACT are out which means no Sydney, so you would have the option of burning to a crisp in Victoria where the bushfires are currently raging or you could live in Queensland where half the state is under water. Not sure many foreigners could handle the isolation of NT/Tas/WA and SA is probably too boring.

Quarantine is very strict in Oz because we are an island.
A really nice place to live would be Bateman's Bay. In 4 years Australia could go back to the points system. ACT is very nice however it is extremely pricey (the rents are the highest in the nation) because that is where a lot of the tech jobs, beltway bandits (defense contractors), the politicos and embassy employees live. As an expat (even with the visa) you need to put 30-50% down to get a mortgage after you apply for a waiver that takes 30 days (which means you have to hope the person selling the house will wait for you to get your waiver).
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:39 AM   #29
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I don't get why a country would be touchier with retirement visas because of competition for jobs in rough global economy. I would assume the visa class doesn't allow you to work at all, just spend money consuming products and services.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:03 AM   #30
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Well actually the Australian visa does allow you and your spouse to work up to 20 hours per week at the max.

Not sure that I agree with the Bateman's Bay comment. What is there to do there? I would think that one could easily die of boredom if they stayed there too long. A few years ago we drove from Nowra down past Merimbula, and whilst we found some nice towns I didn't see too much to do in any of these places. I am surprised that the rents in the ACT are the highest in Australia, as I thought Darwin would be a lot higher. However I guess for both locations it would depend on what suburbs you are talking about.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:04 PM   #31
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The Australian visa is only for 4 years, but you can reapply for a renewal. Unless your financial circumstances change substantially you would probably be assured of renewal.

However, the deal breaker for a lot of foreigners, might be the locations you would have to live in. NSW and ACT are out which means no Sydney, so you would have the option of burning to a crisp in Victoria where the bushfires are currently raging or you could live in Queensland where half the state is under water. Not sure many foreigners could handle the isolation of NT/Tas/WA and SA is probably too boring.

Quarantine is very strict in Oz because we are an island.
Thanks for the link.
Queensland is very beautiful. I love it. However, I was there in the dry season.
Have to make a couple more visits before deciding to live there.
Maybe do a circumnavigation of the continent.
Do you know anyone who has travelled the perimeter of Australia?

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:20 PM   #32
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Well actually the Australian visa does allow you and your spouse to work up to 20 hours per week at the max.

Not sure that I agree with the Bateman's Bay comment. What is there to do there? I would think that one could easily die of boredom if they stayed there too long. A few years ago we drove from Nowra down past Merimbula, and whilst we found some nice towns I didn't see too much to do in any of these places. I am surprised that the rents in the ACT are the highest in Australia, as I thought Darwin would be a lot higher. However I guess for both locations it would depend on what suburbs you are talking about.
Lots of great sports fishing and golfing. I have lots of friends there so I am kind of biased. All ways had a great time there. The best seafood I have had in Oz was from there. It is 3 hours from Sydney and about 90 minutes from ACT. The location allows you to lay on the beach one day and go skiing the next in the Snowy Mountains. Also the center of ACT the druggies have overrun. I guess they migrated from Kings Cross. Kings Cross use to be awesome until they made the street performers stop. Darwin is to humid. The taxi cabs have the seats covered with plastic for a reason - just a cab ride in the afternoon you are drenched with sweat. ACT home building has not kept up with the population growth because the government has not be realizing new land for building because it is losing its "bush capital" feel. Since buildings can not be over 4 stories - things are getting very tight. The new houses the yards are so tiny. The houses are inches from each other. It is very sad to me.

Another note: I got a call out of the blue today and was offered a 2 year job in Saudi Arabia. I got nothing going and the salary/perks are good so I will be leaving the middle of next month. I have not even packed for my Reno vacation that starts tomorrow.

Don't know if I will be able to connect to here while I am there but I will be going on business trips to UAE, India, Bahrain, Greece and Oman. So if anyone is interested in those areas let me know. I will inquire when I am in country if they have a retirement visa program through the expats.

I guess effective March 16th, I am an Ex ERer.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #33
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GPond, good luck in Saudi. Given the economy it makes sense to take the $s when they are on offer.

My in-laws live in ACT, in one of the inner suburbs where it is still bigger blocks and leafy streets. The new suburbs in the ACT are appalling, nothing more than tract housing built on top of each other. Agree with your comments on the druggies in ACT, it always feels a bit dicey strolling thru Garema Place these days where they seem to accumulate. So if anyone would be thinking of ACT I would say inner norther is the only place to live.

Darwin, I quite like the place. I have 2 siblings living there, however have to agree with you on the humidity during the wet season. However if you are retired the worst 3 months are probably the time to get out of town and go somewhere milder. The NT offers something that the rest of Australia doesn't, it is a lot more relaxed and unpretentious, though there is an element of danger. The winters are absolutely beautiful in Darwin, shorts and tshirt weather, perfect temperatures.

For us, we will likely retire to Queensland. Reasons are southern parts of Oz have no water and will eventually run out. Water restrictions have been in place for years and 3 minute showers are not my style. Qld has a lot more daylight hours and rainfall. It also offers a slower pace of life. In Queensland you have the rainforest, beautiful beaches and some of the best diving and fishing. You can also buy land that is bigger than the size of a postage stamp and it is possible to have enough water to have gardens.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #34
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I guess effective March 16th, I am an Ex ERer
Hey, good luck. IMO FI is more important than ER. Especially if the w*rk takes you to interesting places and experiences. There are other Middle Easterners on the forum, so hopefully you'll still be able to check in.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:56 PM   #35
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...but I kind of worry about our kids schooling (boys 9 and 11) for that year. There is a private school there that our friends kids go to, so that may be an option but it is 6k per year per kid so it is a bit expensive sounding to me. Both are doing really well at their schools in Texas, and I worry about jerking them out. But their spanish would really improve!
We've home schooled both our children through high school, and they've both excelled in colleges with 4.0 gpa's. So taking a year with your kids in a foreign country should be easy and a great educational opportunity for both of them. You can supplement the natural learning they'll get with some "book learning", but I wouldn't worry about it too much. All you really have to do is keep up their math skills, the rest comes naturally. It would be an experience of a life time for them to live in a foreign country, and think of the educational value of it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:35 PM   #36
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Another note: I got a call out of the blue today and was offered a 2 year job in Saudi Arabia. I got nothing going and the salary/perks are good so I will be leaving the middle of next month. I have not even packed for my Reno vacation that starts tomorrow.

Don't know if I will be able to connect to here while I am there but I will be going on business trips to UAE, India, Bahrain, Greece and Oman. So if anyone is interested in those areas let me know. I will inquire when I am in country if they have a retirement visa program through the expats.

I guess effective March 16th, I am an Ex ERer.
Welcome to the game known as MEA. You will love Oman.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:46 AM   #37
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How about Malta, anyone?

They speak English. It used to belong to the Brits and only gained independence in 1964, and is now a member of the EU. I happened to read about their welcoming retirees, and so did spend some time to check it out. The financial requirements are reasonable. The Maltese are nice friendly people, and they have a very low crime rate. It appears quite a few Britons retire there. The cost of living appears to be not too bad, compared to mainland Europe.

The drawback is being on such a small island may give one a bad case of island fever. I entertained the idea of using it as a home base for a year or two to explore other places in the Mediterranean. It turned out that, with Malta being such a small nation, there are few direct flights to/from it. An trip from Malta to Sicily means several hours in Rome waiting for a connection. Boats are faster?

Having two houses and family roots in my home state, I have found it difficult to move to the Puget Sound, leave alone going to a new country. Thought I would bring it up for people to research it as a pipe dream, if nothing else.

It is definitely a place for me to visit, but I am still working on combining it with some other places in one itinerary (Sicily, Sardinia, or Corsica?)

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:01 PM   #38
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Deal breaker (from the link):

What does this visa let me do?

live in Australia for four (4) years
From the the next page:
"The Investor retirement visa is a temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia for four years. There is an option to apply for further Investor retirement visas which will allow you to stay for a further four years, however you will need to meet the requirements to be granted a subsequent visa. As long as you continue to satisfy the visa requirements you can keep applying for subsequent Investor Retirement visas."

But really, how is Austrilia going to be a better place to live then North America? I'm sure it is a nice place, but it would not really be cheaper. Compare to Malaysia where everything looks like its on a 2/3 to 3/4 off sale to me.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:12 PM   #39
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Thank-you to those who have added to this thread. I have been looking into the possibility of obtaining retirement visas for Hong Kong and China. I know that Hong Kong is a part of China, but Hong Kong is largely self-governing and has separate legal and political systems. Thus far, research has not turned up much at all for China, but I did find out something interesting about HK. It seems that you may be able to buy your way in, although it requires one to invest about $840K at recent exchange rates into permissible HK assets (real estate or financial assets). This system apparently allows one to be employed or to start a business in HK without a visa requirement, and I’m guessing that it would also allow one to retire there. After seven years of continuous ordinary residence one can apply for the right of abode in HK. No word yet on whether the investment requirement remains in place once one is granted this right. Does anyone have any information on whether or not the reality is any different than what I’ve been reading about HK? Also, does anyone have information about retirement visas in China?

Thank-you, Saver

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Old 06-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #40
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Hong Kong is a very expensive city to live in. I have a friend who was sent by his company to work in the Hong Kong Office. His small flat there cost US $5 to 6000 a month in rent. His company pays for it, but even those multinational corporations are finding the cost prohibitive and increasingly they are just hiring local workers. Energy (gasoline and electricity) and water bills are also very high. I am not sure it is a good choice for retirement living.
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