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Retirement abroad?
Old 09-03-2002, 12:56 PM   #1
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Retirement abroad?

Lots of interesting discussion in the intro section about retiring in South America.

How many are, or are considering, retirement abroad?

FWIW, we worked abroad for many years while our son was adult but unmarried and parents were doing well, but grandchildren and aging parents seem to be a bigger problem now.

Others?

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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 09-03-2002, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Hi Dory,

I wouldn't mind another go at living overseas. I think it would quite a bit of fun to do it without having a job taking up all my time.

But for now I forsee an extended period of domesticity. As my parents grow older I prefer to be within easy driving distance.

There is also the issue of needing to sharply reduce the amount of stuff in our lives before we head out again. Cash travels a lot better than a bunch of belongings and stores better too.

I don't think I would ever be ready to stay gone for good. After two or three years in a new land I suspect I would be ready to come home for while. Which would of course eliminate a lot of the cost savings of moving to some places.

Regards,

Baanista

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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 12-12-2002, 08:06 PM   #3
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Re: Retirement abroad?

My wife and I have our eyes on Thailand. I lived there for a couple years when younger, and it's a relatively safe, stable country with a low cost of living where many Westerners move to in their retirement years. The people are friendly, the weather is lovely (if you like hot) and the food is wonderful.

They even have a nifty retirement visa, where you have to invest 800,000 baht (that's about 18k right now) in a Thai bank.

BTW, first post for me. Nice to meet you.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 12-15-2002, 01:56 AM   #4
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Re: Retirement abroad?

My wife and I have kicked this around quite a bit.
I'm a bit more practical about all of the "hassle"
involved in this (language/cutting down on your
pile of stuff/four dogs/elderly parents in the states/etc).
It's still a long shot, but "on the table" mostly
due to my problems with obtaining and paying for health
insurance here in the USA. Considering Mexico and
Costa Rica as possibles.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 12-31-2002, 03:52 PM   #5
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Re: Retirement abroad?

My wife and I have homes in New Zealand and California and spend six months of each year at both. We have been doing this for the past 10 years and love the lifestyle. I retired 12 years ago and have found out that the cost of maintaining two smaller homes is less than the cost of the one big one, pre-retirement. The exchange rate is excellent between the US and NZ $. This in itself, makes a big difference. For the six months that we are in NZ we spend about half of what we spend when we are back in California, and actually live higher on the hog. The difference more than offsets the air fares. Every purchase goes on Visa FF and that will provide free air fare every other year. A laptop computer, on line bill pay and banking, make living in two countries a breeze. In addition, unlike some third world countries where some Americans have homes, English is the language here in NZ and the standard of living is high. The two main islands are about the size of Colorado or California and ONLY 3.8 million as opposed to California's 36 million. Play Golf? This country is a golfer's paradise.

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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 01-01-2003, 05:02 AM   #6
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Re: Retirement abroad?

I can see some advantages, but am quite
"hassle-averse" and becoming more so all the time.
I want simple and uncluttered. For me the offshore
living seems to be more trouble than it's worth in a lot
of ways. Of course, since I've done little traveling
outside the states (although extensively in the US)
my view of overseas living may be somewhat skewed,
but I doubt it. For one thing, I absolutely hate to fly
and avoid it like the plague. That alone makes overseas
living unappealing.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 01-01-2003, 09:58 AM   #7
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Re: Retirement abroad?

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.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 01-02-2003, 01:49 AM   #8
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Re. the hassle factor with living abroad (or even just
relocating), I am not looking forward to moving.
In fact,, if we did not find the cold weather so
unpleasant we would undoubtedly stay put. This, in
spite of the fact that Illinois would be one of the last
places I would choose to live if we were not already here. There is a downside to the most idyllic spot.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 01-02-2003, 09:12 AM   #9
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Having spent a winter in Rantoul, Ill. in the early 50's, it would sure not be my choice. Since you really don't want to re-locate-------don't--------stay right where you are and be hassle free.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 01-03-2003, 01:29 PM   #10
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Re: Retirement abroad?

I am 58. My parents (nearby) are 85 and 82.
Three children and three grandchildren within a day's drive.
So.......................yeah it's an issue to be dealt with.
Retirement abroad sounds good, but it's loaded with
diffficulties. Unless we accidentally happen upon an
offshore arrangement that works, I suspect we will
live out our lives in the states.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 01-06-2003, 03:47 PM   #11
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Quote:
My wife and I have homes in New Zealand and California and spend six months of each year at both.
Having been to New Zealand I am envious. I suppose you are doing an endless summer thing, switching hemispheres with the sun. Where in NZ is your place?

I have often wondered about working a deal like this but being there during the off season and having one's place rented out during the high season. The owners of the B&B we stayed at in the Bay of Islands region of New Zealand claimed that winter was their favorite time of the year.

While the trip to NZ is forever, you can break it up by stopping for a few days at a Polynesian island on the way.

Regards,

Baanista
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 09-24-2003, 02:04 PM   #12
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Here is a bit of info for those thinking about retirement abroad. I am planning a move to Buenos Aires in March of next year. In looking into health insurance options I have discovered "ex-pat" insurance. Some, like IMG, are quite high even with a high deductible. There is one, however, Liaison International, that seems reasonable. For me (a 62 year old woman) it will be $1400 a year with a $250 deductible. One plus is that if you buy for a year it gives you 60 days insurance up to $50K in your home country, so when you go home to visit you are not SOL if something happens to you there. The plan is rated A Excellent by A.M. Best, whoever they are.

Also, if you decide to live abroad permanently, that can become your home country (of course, you would have to start a new policy), and you can buy protection for the few months you are in the U.S. and secure cheaper health coverage in your new home. Almost anywhere is cheaper than in the U.S., and that doesn't necessarily mean it is worse health coverage.

This is just an FYI, but if anyone knows of other or better plans, please let me know.

thanks, thirdage
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-03-2003, 02:02 AM   #13
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Re: Retirement abroad?

We wanted to retire early, and we have, somewhat early, (52 and 59), in Europe. Like everywhere else there are hassles, and it is then that I feel most foreign here! But we have mostly worked everything out ourselves. Most of the time we enjoy an international circle of friends, learning about the history and customs where we live, and the benefits such as college for free, lots of very accessible cultural events, open country with bike and hiking trails all over. We are particularly fond of public transportation here-- streetcars, subways, and suburban trains--- which means we can choose not to own a car without much sacrifice of our mobility. When we take a trip we don't have to travel far to be somewhere where the language, food, customs, and ambiance are very different, it is really stimulating. Friday the air was really clear and we could see the Alps, today I am relaxing and am just putting another piece of wood in the cookstove, while writing this.

One thing always to consider when living abroad is the currency. This year our retirement income (mostly in America) lost some of its buying value over here. Its not a catastrophe, but when we planned our expenses, this was one more possibility we had to think about.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-06-2003, 03:27 PM   #14
 
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Re: Retirement abroad?

It sounds like your ER in Europe is working out.
However, I did not see
anything which can not be obtained right here in the
USA. To be clear, I am not a big fan of the direction
this country is headed. But................I would rather be
boiled in my own juices than move to Europe. Can't think of anything remotely appealing. Weather, politics, etc., it's all a mess to me. But, I am almost 60 and
do not care to adapt to anyone else's lifestyle or politics. They will
need to adapt to me or stay away.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-07-2003, 03:23 AM   #15
 
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Re: Retirement abroad?

I was talking to an old Texas boy about our ER and
plans to relocate there. Mentioned my wife was still
employed. He said, "A wife who works is more valuable
than a pumping oil well!"
Never heard that one.

John Galt
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-07-2003, 05:44 PM   #16
 
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Re: Retirement abroad?

A few years ago I realized I wasn't going to have the money to live in retirement, much less pay for health care or health insurance.

My brother got me interested in the idea of retiring outside of the US, specifically Latin America. My wife and I have lived many places and I have worked around the world, so this is not really a great leap for us. Further investigation showed that it is entirely feasible. Words cannot express my relief. Now we have a realistic worst-case survival strategy.

I had read Paul Terhorsts story long ago in Money Magazine, including a later update on his situation. I found his web site and recently was able to buy his famous book, Cashing in on the American Dream. Other discoveries were a number of web sites and books by John Howells and Carl Franz. Today, I have contacts and correspondents in several countries and connections for others. It is surprising what can be learned by just talking to people!

Presently on the A list are Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia.

The B list includes Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica.

There is a C list, too, if by accident we wind up with more money than presently forecast. This one includes the panhandle of Florida and Washington State (near either the Canadian or Oregon border close to I-5).

I expect that we may live in many places progressively less gringo-ized as our Spanish (or Portuguese) improves.

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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-08-2003, 05:16 AM   #17
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Hey Ed

Belize? - On a temp job in 1995, we had a female engineer ( native born) pushing her home as a place to go and start a business - retirement was okay too.

One of my old (55 and out) buddies exchanges houses with friends in panama(had their kids as exchange students in high school) and kept track off retirement costs in panama - again mid 90's.

One couple lived/lives in a Mexican village - no running water/electricity and keeps a well used RV with friends on the American side - heads to Colorado in summer.

As for Washington State, I grew up there, and my impression is - the less access to I-5, the lower your costs tend to be - except for the obvious tourist areas - again the 90's - sold my mother's house in the Kelso/Longview area in 1993.

Keep your 'ground level' contacts - usually the best source of current info.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-08-2003, 12:12 PM   #18
 
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Unclemick.

Belize looks to me as too much of a backwater. Crime has been increasing and services are so-so. Prices in the good places are high since TV exposure. I am not in Jerry Jeff Walker's income bracket (he has a home on Ambergris Key). Major medical attention means going to Mexico. It is hard for me to imagine a viable business I could start there. Did your lady engineer have any suggestions?

Panama is very attractive, especially the highlands. Panama City doesn't look so bad to me, but the heat might take getting used to again. My brother is very high on Panama, having worked there.

Mexico is HUGE. It is also near by. It has so many possibilities. We like Mazatlan a lot. I really want to investigate Tepic, Xalapa and maybe Guadalajara and Morelia. Just checking out these places could take years. We do have a bias towards plumbing, electricity and telephones. It would be nice to be within range of a cultural center of some kind, too.

In Washington, near the borders, you don't have to go very far east or west of I-5 to find low cost housing. I like the idea of access to Portland (no sales tax) or BC. We will probably maintain a legal residence in WA no matter where we go. We live in Bellingham today and would stay if we could, but that does not seem a very likely prospect at this point. (I worked at Longview Fibre once, by the way.)

Cheers,

Ed
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-08-2003, 01:58 PM   #19
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Ed

Most of my info is second hand and dated. The Belize engineer was civil and her husband (English) was in IT - some company of England I think, and no I don't remember any specific businesses - ?construction?

My bias likes Portland and B.C. - used to chase girls in Portland(early 60's) and like the B.C. outdoors.


Terhorst's post(on their website index) on Layfayette,La struck home. We live in the swamp 35 minutes from the French Quarter.

Still get twinge to snow ski and backpack every once in a while - but it passes.
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Re: Retirement abroad?
Old 11-08-2003, 05:35 PM   #20
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Re: Retirement abroad?

Quote:
We live in Bellingham today and would stay if we could, but that does not seem a very likely prospect at this point. *(I worked at Longview Fibre once, by the way.)
I live on Camano, NW of Everett. To me, Bellingham seems to be a very nice town for anyone who doesn't absolutely require a big city. I always enjoy visits up there. Nice bike trails, laid back people, lots of music (Wild Buffalo!)

What are the negatives that you perceive that might lever you out of there?

Also, you say you worked for Longview Fiber- what do you think about Longview? It seems like a very nice town, and fairly close to both Portland and the coast. Not as counterculture positive as Bellingham, but still attractive.

I've lived all over Washington. I like Seattle best, but also enjoyed living in Spokane some years back.

Mikey
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