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Old 12-04-2015, 01:33 PM   #21
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- until you're in the position of needing the law to be on your side.
Ah yes, fear
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:35 PM   #22
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Ah yes, fear
You call it fear, while I call it prudent planning. Obviously, we have different outlooks. As long as you understand the potential pitfalls of any new situation and are prepared to accept the consequences, I see no problem with that.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:03 PM   #23
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Although it's nice to occasionally visit a warm climate in winter, I have no interest in living in another country. Almost all of my friends and family live here and moving means giving that up. Some things are worth more than a saving few dollars.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:12 PM   #24
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I see plenty of places in small towns or on lakes in Texas or other parts of the South with incredibly cheap housing prices - many not very far from big cities and major hospitals systems, airports, shopping...when I say cheap I mean less than $100,000 or even $50,000...If you've seen the HGTV series "Fixer Upper" you will see a lot of bargain homes in the Waco/Central Texas area - home to Baylor University and great medical facilities. I really think that show is so popular that it's increased demand and therefore prices. I've seen a couple of articles backing that up!


I'd much rather stay in the U.S. and do some extended travel.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:30 PM   #25
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Almost all of my friends and family live here and moving means giving that up. Some things are worth more than a saving few dollars.
One reason I'm open to retiring in the Philippines, I have more friends and family there than in the US. Alas, the lack of health insurance is a major concern.
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:50 PM   #26
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As we learned when a member of our party was robbed at knife point in St. Croix. I was stunned to hear the police officer say, "did you give them your money or did they take your money?"
The Virgin Islands can be rough places. I was in KMart on St. Thomas and found local rum to be cheaper than Coca Cola. The unemployment on many of the Caribbean islands is out of sight.

Go to Puerto Rico and you'll find burglar bars on every house, door and even the carports. You just have to be careful where you go.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:39 PM   #27
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The Virgin Islands can be rough places. I was in KMart on St. Thomas and found local rum to be cheaper than Coca Cola. The unemployment on many of the Caribbean islands is out of sight.

Go to Puerto Rico and you'll find burglar bars on every house, door and even the carports. You just have to be careful where you go.
Yep, but my point is that when the police and the crooks feel more allied with each other than the police with you as an outsider, it can rough to get justice.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:03 PM   #28
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There are several condos in the Philippines that are near shopping malls and commercial complexes are walking distance. There are several condos just beside the SM City Mall in Ortigas, or in Makati. Or get a condo in the new Fort Bonifacio city. There are a lot of real-estate developments that create entire living ecosystems - high-rise condo + club house + shopping centers + restaurants + movies, and you may never need a car. If you go to Metro Cebu, same thing - high rise condos in Ayala Cebu shopping center. I know that you can buy health insurance in the Philippines - just don't know how much.

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In LCOL area perhaps. As I've only lived in SoCal, no idea how cheaply you can live in other states.


That 800 sq ft house/condo costs $400+K where I live. In the Philippines, a similar condo in an expensive area would cost ~$100K. Real estate property taxes are pretty cheap, too. I think we paid less than $100 per year or something for our old house (built by great, great granddad). Wouldn't want to drive in the Philippines. Drivers and traffic are much worse there than in SoCal during rush hour.

That said, you're on your own when it comes to medical and that can get quite expensive. On the other hand, long-term care is much less expensive than in the US.


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Old 12-04-2015, 08:36 PM   #29
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Possibly, you should go back and read the OP. Then you can tell us how cheap it is to live on Pluto.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:12 AM   #30
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Living abroad in 2nd or 3rd world low cost countries can be an amazing experience for an early retiree in many aspects - mental stimulus, cost differences, etc etc .

Those who have lived abroad know what I'm talking about.

By and large it's a very small percentage of the North American population who even hold passport.

And... For those that try it ... Well it's just not for everyone.

But... If you've not actually tried living abroad, please ... be kind , rewind ...
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:07 AM   #31
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a country with fewer laws actually sounds refreshing
That is pretty naive. A place with very few laws may look way too much like what happens in prison. The biggest and strongest survive.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:06 AM   #32
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That is pretty naive. A place with very few laws may look way too much like what happens in prison. The biggest and strongest survive.
Also...the legal systems in other countries might well differ from those (we think) we're familiar with.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:55 AM   #33
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That is pretty naive. A place with very few laws may look way too much like what happens in prison. The biggest and strongest survive.
Be afraid
stay home
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:40 PM   #34
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That is pretty naive. A place with very few laws may look way too much like what happens in prison. The biggest and strongest survive.

Having spent some time in a developing country, I can tell you from first hand experience, that you are correct. There's a lot of corruption and society is generally unfair and unkind to the weak or poor. You can bribe officials to look the other way during building constructions, you can get government services expedited while others have to wait months and years, you can get criminal charges dismissed or not brought at all if you have the right connection, you can marry under age girls and sexually abuse kids without a peep from the authorities. This is just a sampling of what I've seen in those countries. Yes you can live cheap but you have to be prepared to look the other way because you can be killed or go along for the ride.


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Old 12-05-2015, 01:17 PM   #35
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Be afraid
stay home
No, I think you need to travel more. But being afraid is not too bad an idea. Listen to what people are saying here, a lot of good advice from people who have been there.

My in-laws live in a 3rd world country, I have spent quite a bit of time there too over the years. They always keep some cash on hand because if they have a fire in the house, the fire truck will come, but if they don't pay them, they will just let the house burn. Same with ambulance. The police? If you don't pay them, they won't do anything for you. Even if you do pay, they probably won't do anything.

Hit and run drivers? It is the rule rather than the exception. Get hit by a car, the driver will speed off, often over you, and passers by will rush to you. Not to your aid but to rob you. Even if a policeman sees it happen he will do nothing. No police protection remember?

If you do go to the police better have money, a lot or they will do nothing. Even if you give them money they will probably do nothing.

You cannot park your car or moto outside without paying someone to look after it. If you don't have big bars on all your home windows, and steel doors and good locks, you will get robbed. Some friends (even in a gated community) have gotten robbed a number of times.

Don't talk on your cell phone on a busy street, it will be snatched, if you are a woman expect to have your bag snatched at night, even if you are careful. Yes, my wife's friends have had it happen to them, multiple times.

No medical malpractice. You go to a doctor and take your chances. After he gets your money (yes he gets it up front), he may or may not care what happens to you, or even have any qualifications whatsoever. If you die, nobody will care.

My wife, when she first came to the U.S. was also upset by all of the laws and rules and regulations. Had to study the traffic laws, take a written test, and then a driving test. Hey, in her own country you just paid the man a couple of hundred dollars, no tests at all. Why all the fuss here?

Now, years later she understands and loves the driving here. Drivers actually follow the laws and the traffic moves. In her country, even with far fewer cars, usually there is gridlock in the intersection with nobody moving at all. When we had a minor traffic accident here she saw me and the other driver exchange insurance info, and then drive off. In her country she said there would likely have been a fight. We keep our cars parked outside here all the time. She is not afraid to be walking here in the city at night.

We love to travel, and want to live part time in her country (our last trip was 3 months there), but you have to be aware of your surroundings.

We would all like to have fewer restrictions on what we can do. But IMHO your comments about fewer laws are incredibly naive.
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Costa Rica
Old 12-05-2015, 01:27 PM   #36
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Costa Rica

I have heard Costa Rica is a great place to retire as an American. Lots of ex-pat communities, great hospitals and clinics and relatively cheap. Not sure about crime, but I have heard the weather and the focus on living green is really attractive. Plus lots to do.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:31 PM   #37
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Aye, aye, aye...

I have been reluctant to visit less developed countries, let alone living there. Yes, I am chicken as well as being too much a creature of comfort. Being constantly alert for European pickpockets is about all I can handle.

I guess if you are a repatriate or your spouse is one, it is easier. Else, without speaking the language or knowing the customs, including knowing whom to bribe when the occasions arise, it would be too stressful for me. But then, I already admit that I am chicken.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:35 PM   #38
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Forgot to add that being an introvert, if I need to cut my living expenses I would live in a small RV in the boondocks. Third-world countries tend to have very crowded cities. And to avoid crowds, I don't think any here would want to live in a rural area of these countries where there are absolutely no amenities. They may not even have roads, paved or not.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:43 PM   #39
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Some people move 50 miles and it's like they're in a foreign country, others go halfway around the world and make themselves right at home. Life can be dangerous everywhere.

It's not the money or cost of living, it's the lifestyle and attitudes. In developed western countries, people expect things to happen a certain way. When they don't, they complain. In developing countries one never knows what to expect. If you like life that way, living overseas can be very exciting. Moving abroad to a low cost of living area but expecting the predictability of modern western life can have a terrible outcome.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:51 PM   #40
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It's not the money or cost of living, it's the lifestyle and attitudes...
Absolutely. It's not too different than people's favorite food. I like pâté and liver, while many crinkle their nose. It's all about what a person is comfortable with. What's good for one is not so for another.
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