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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-15-2003, 06:02 AM   #41
 
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Re: Retirement abroad?

So many of these ER decisions hinge on eliminating
options (which possibilities you don't want to consider). It makes
everything so much simpler. In our case, relocation
outside of the USA was nixed. But, our main home must be warm and sunny
most of the time, thus eliminating a big chunk of the country. We had to be near big water and not in any town (even a small one). Another big piece of real estate off the board.
Conservative political climate would help too, although
this is becoming harder to find and harder still to depend on. Re.
investment options, taking away any form of common stock limits our choices.
Avoiding any situations or deals (work) which might restrict my freewheeling daily schedule is a must.
For me, ER planning/life is probably more about what
to avoid than anything. I kind of have it down to a science now (took a long time). It surely helps stave off the dreaded paralysis by analysis, by crafting a carefully constructed puzzle where you have discarded the pieces that you choose
not to use. That's my metaphor for the day folks .

John Galt
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Re: How about Canada, BC, Kelowna?
Old 11-15-2003, 10:14 AM   #42
 
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Re: How about Canada, BC, Kelowna?

Random thoghts on Canada, etc:

We like BC. It has a lot of coastline, rivers and mountains. We like living on the coast. On the mainland east of Vancouver Island it is said that the weather is very nice. Mostly BC is cold and wet and overcast, though. Still, there are places up the Fraser River that are the warmest and driest in Canada. We went river rafting there a couple of years ago and there is actually cactus growing there. There is a lot of variety.

We have read about Yankees who keep a house on the coast in BC and one in the US sunbelt or wherever and only spend part of the year in Canada, thus avoiding Canadian taxes. This is a nice idea if you can manage it.

Negatives are high taxes and limited access to health care when needed. They ration it up there. Vancouver and surrounding areas are very crowded and expensive. Gas is very expensive. While the murder rate is fairly low up there, I have the impression that other crime rates are very high and that drug abuse is, too. I don't think the police do a very good job in general, either, but it may be more of a reflection on the legal system than on the police men and women.

There are a lot of normal, thoughtful, pleasant Canadians, but there are some real wackos, too, different from our wackos.

Do not be fooled that you will be comfortable in Canada just because they speak English like we do. It is a very different culture, very liberal, with a disturbing lack of concern for personal responsibility. There is not much sense of unity or common cause. There are tons of special interests who will not compromise. Everyone, even criminals in prison, is very articulate and can say the most outrageous self-serving foolishness using correct words and complete sentences. Kind of like listening to a statement from Microsoft.

When I occasionally dispair about something in the US, I listen to Canadian radio and feel a lot better.

I am more comfortable with the people of Alberta than BC. The taxes are lower there, too. Alberta still has a strained health care system, though.

I have the distinct impression that more Canadians are coming south than Yankees going north.

Having said all that, I am actively looking for work in Canada at the moment because that is the only place in North America an engineer like me can find work at the moment.

Ed
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-15-2003, 02:32 PM   #43
 
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Re: Retirement abroad?

I've spent some time in Canada (both business
and pleasure). Frankly, at this stage of my life
about the only aspect of life there with any appeal
at all is the wilderness available and low population density generally. Anyway,
the weather alone rules it out for us. We are pretty well
set on the Dallas area now and I am still uncertain
if even that is far enough south for us.

John Galt
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-18-2003, 05:11 AM   #44
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Now that I've become an official old phart(over 55 with pension) I attend a few informal social functions. Talking with an English tourist - he's retired in Portugal - teaches sailing part time, and house sits an apartment. Loves the climate. The truly cheap English 'Holiday' in Morocco!
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-18-2003, 10:03 AM   #45
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Quote:
Now that I've become an official old phart(over 55 with pension) I attend a few informal social functions. Talking with an English tourist - he's retired in Portugal - teaches sailing part time, and house sits an apartment. Loves the climate. The truly cheap English 'Holiday' in Morocco!
This looks interesting, but I really can't tell what you are saying. You attended a social function (near NO, where you live?) and met an Englishman who is enjoying a Moroccan Holiday, though he lives in Portugal and apparently is currently in Louisiana? And which climate does he love? It's great to have you out gathering information for us. Now please help me understand it! BTW, how about them Cougs!!!?

Mikey
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-18-2003, 10:05 AM   #46
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Quote:
Now that I've become an official old phart(over 55 with pension) I attend a few informal social functions. Talking with an English tourist - he's retired in Portugal - teaches sailing part time, and house sits an apartment. Loves the climate. The truly cheap English 'Holiday' in Morocco!
This looks interesting, but I really can't tell what you are saying. You attended a social function (near NO, where you live?) and met an Englishman who is enjoying a Moroccan Holiday, though he lives in Portugal and apparently is currently in Louisiana? And which climate does he love? It's great to have you out gathering information for us. Now please help me understand it! BTW, how about them Cougs!!!?

Mikey
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-18-2003, 10:25 AM   #47
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Re: Retirement abroad?

O.K. Mikey

The Englishman lived in and liked the Portugal climate. Costs are even lower(than Portugal) to vacation in North Africa - he thought Morocco was the most popular destination. He was visiting someone/passing thru N.O.

I went with a guy from my old company(ER wannable-sailor) - coffee and dognuts for retiree's/semi retired interested in sailboats near a boatyard - the one in the 1973 James Bond movie - outside Slidell.

The cougar's were our rivals(U of W) but I can cheer for them - at least they're not Oregon State.


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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-18-2003, 02:59 PM   #48
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Unclemick, thank you!

My son is a senior at UW now, but I'm a Coug. Can you imagine a better team, given that they have to recruit in competition with USC, UCLA , Stanford, Cal, and UW? I mean you are a high school star in Pasadena, and you are going to move to Pullman?

Mikey
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-19-2003, 05:09 AM   #49
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Good coaches and good recruiting program. Which brings me to Ryderwood, Seattle, and Costa Rica - all of which have tryed to recruit retiree's - I haven't seen any ad's in recent year's - but during difficult economic times in prior decades you would see ad's enticing retiree's(bring your pension check).
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-19-2003, 11:28 AM   #50
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Quote:
Which brings me to Ryderwood, Seattle, and Costa Rica - all of which have tryed to recruit retiree's -
I spent a couple weeks in Costa Rica in the mid 70's. Beautiful country, but to me at least not as lively as many Latin nations. They had a program called "pensionista" where retirees or ER's who passed their fairly simple means test were allowed a lot of duty free imports, tax breaks, etc. I met some of the American expats who had taken advantage of the program. It seemed that many of them were hucksters- maybe had been run out of real estate or some such up here, and were trying to promote a boom in their new locale. Some others seemed lost and depressed. I think the happiest person I met was an American merchant seaman who had married a local woman and had a small coffee finca as a hobby business. He kept in touch with his union and used shortwave a lot, and he seemed happy. It was clear that he would just as soon not have to leave his wife behind for long periods, equally clear that he looked forward to being at sea and keeping his career alive, so he had the means to get out of Costa Rica should he want to go.

Mikey


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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-24-2003, 01:47 PM   #51
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Re: Retirement abroad?

I think what it all boils down to is "Wherever you go, there you are." I agree that you can find a lot of misfits and hucksters in expat communities. That is why it is better not to isolate yourself in one, if that is possible. It sounds new-agey and stupid, but on some level we do create our own reality.

If you are happy with the idea of doing something completely different, and can adapt to change, then retirement in a foreign country could be for you. I am convinced that it is easier to live abroad than in most places in the states that I would want to live in. Less expensive health care, medicines, a more accessible social life on certain levels than we have here in the states are some of the benefits. Life doesn't seem to occur so much within the confines of the home; take, for example, the paseo in Spain, when the whole world goes for a walk at twilight in the main square. BUT if cultural differences, body language that you have to work to understand, not to mention probably a foreign language, etc. stress you out, then it just isn't worth it, no matter what the financial advantages are.

I taught English in Spain some years ago, and I found it both exhilarating and exhausting. I learned a lot about myself through trying to exist in a culture where I could take nothing for granted. I would do it again in a New York minute.

I don't know if this is on point, but thought I would throw in my two centavos.

thirdage
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-25-2003, 07:51 AM   #52
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Re: Retirement abroad?

thirdage
Can you elaborate on teaching English in a foreign country?
I lived in Hong Kong (and London) and met a few people who taught English in HK. Not a bad life - you won't become rich but, you get to live in a foreign country, meet other people and have time to enjoy the country

I'm an executive in accounting/finance I thought there might be a market for people with my background to teach English. I don't have any advanced degrees in teaching or English.
Thanks

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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-26-2003, 09:14 AM   #53
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Here is what I can tell you from my experience.
There might be opportunities you could create teaching business English. It is less predictable, but you have the freedom to create your own curriculum. A school has benefits in that it provides curriculum and course materials. Teaching English is not that easy. Students don't respect someone who isn't on top of grammar. I learned that the hard way. There are 6-week courses out there that provide you with a certificate and some teaching strategies (insist on a grammar course). Might be worth looking into. I liked the school approach because it gave me an instant community and some backup in case anything happened. For example, one night my then boyfriend and I were happily singing Broadway hit tunes walking home from somewhere, and we got picked up by the police. In Spain when people sing in public they apparently assume you are drunk. There are signs in bars in the south of Spain that say "Prohibido cantar." I never understood why till that night. They escorted us home and made us produce our passports, no big deal, but . . . .
The best stories about traveling are the times when things don't go quite right, and that is why I find travel appealing. Of course, I didn't languish in jail for singing even though I can't carry a tune, or perhaps I would feel differently. Also, a lot depends on where you go. Friends who taught in Japan felt isolated by the culture and language difficulties, although they made a lot of money.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 02-17-2004, 04:18 PM   #54
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Wonderful site you all have created! I've been "lurking" for a while and decided to register.

I was intrigued by the comment above which states that living abroad provides a more accessible social life on certain levels than we have here in the states.

I hope to stop working 5 or so years from now in my late 30s. I expect to retire to a foreign country but I have not chosen which one yet. I hope to start visiting potential spots this year - at this point Im thinking of Barcelona.

Aside from pursuing personal interests, I want my retirement to be filled with a great deal of socializing, and I would greatly appreciate it if some of you would comment on the following belief: My thinking is that compared to the US it is much easier to make friends with both the indigenous population and other expatriates in many foreign countries. As for making foreign friends, being an American in a foreign country tends to make one stand out - partly because of the ability to speak English, and as for expatriates, I think that being an English-speaker in a foreign land is a bonding force in many cases.

Does any/all of this ring true?

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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 02-17-2004, 05:23 PM   #55
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Quote:
My thinking is that compared to the US it is much easier to make friends with both the indigenous population and other expatriates in many foreign countries. As for making foreign friends, being an American in a foreign country tends to make one stand out - partly because of the ability to speak English, and as for expatriates, I think that being an English-speaker in a foreign land is a bonding force in many cases.
That matches my experience (~15 years overseas). The effect is considerably dampened if you live in a community of mostly English-speakers, and if you are in an area frequented by English-speakers.

Dory36
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 02-17-2004, 10:38 PM   #56
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Re: Retirement abroad?

My experience is that it depends more on what sort of person you are than where you come from. If you are affable and outgoing, you are going to make a lot more social contacts than if you are socially shy or prickly. At some point you will encounter anti-Americanism just because of your accent, but it is less common than thought, even in France (except for Paris :P )
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 02-18-2004, 03:25 PM   #57
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Re: Retirement abroad?

After 25+ yrs., the rare 'anti' encountered because of my accent, I ignore - also I no longer argue that New Orleans has been part of the U.S. ever since Napolean sold to Jefferson - especially during Mardi Gras season.

Another subject - anyone read the AARP magazine article on living in Mexico. My take - the areas covered are subject to 'discovery inflation' - ex- pats discover and inflation rises to meet demand. Surprise to me - keep your Medicare B and 'a good airlift insurance policy'. I never heard the term airlift insurance before.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 02-19-2004, 08:28 AM   #58
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Quote:
author=Cyclops link=board=lifestyles_board;num=1031082988;start=0 #6 date=01/01/03 at 13:58:54]I agree. For some people, what some of us call adventure, could be perceived as hassle by others. Some folks just don't like changes in their life or lifestyle and living in another country requires some changes, sometimes, even in one's thinking. Most of the ex-pats that I have met have several things in common. They are very curious people, love adventure and are quite adapatable to change.
Making a living as a professional engineer in the U.S. is no without it's hassles. Let's see, I have lived in NY, MI, CA, CO, and PA all within the last 10 years. I LOVE it. It's never boring and always new. Each place has it good points and bad points, but that's what makes each place different. I don't foresee living abroad to be any more hassle than moving across the U.S. at the drop of a hat.
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Got retiree health care through your company? What if the company goes bankrupt? Retire and go RVing full time? RVs are not structurally sound. You'll die in a fiery crash. Retire and live overseas? What if you die? Aren't you worried about your body? No, I don't think I will be able to seeing how I am dead.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 02-19-2004, 08:48 AM   #59
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Depends where you choose to live. Its a big world out there and "abroad" is, "a broad" definition.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 02-19-2004, 08:58 AM   #60
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Re: Retirement abroad?

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Depends where you choose to live. Its a big world out there and "abroad" is, "a broad" definition.
I did not elaborate greatly in this thread because I have already done so in others, but to makes things clear, I'm talking about Costa Rica and Thailand. I like the lower cost of living and the more relaxed attitudes. *Unlike some folks on this board, I'm not a conservative. I'm a libertarian. I think the U.S. is way too uptight and invasive for my taste. BTW, I'm not originally from here, and I have only lived in the U.S. for 20 years, so I don't think I'll miss it quite as much as others will.
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Got retiree health care through your company? What if the company goes bankrupt? Retire and go RVing full time? RVs are not structurally sound. You'll die in a fiery crash. Retire and live overseas? What if you die? Aren't you worried about your body? No, I don't think I will be able to seeing how I am dead.
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