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Retiring Overseas
Old 06-29-2004, 10:02 PM   #1
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Retiring Overseas

I'm thinking hard about retiring somewhere overseas. Maybe Philippines or Thailand? Somewhere where the cost of living is low and culture not so workoholic. I was wondering has this been discussed on this forum? Has anybody contemplated a expat retirement life?
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 06-30-2004, 07:45 AM   #2
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Re: Retiring Overseas

I am also interested in this. My biggest issue is finding the Accomodation at a sensible price, in a place that I do not know. What would be great. Is peoples experiences with locations, including Accomodation information and costs with names and addresses etc.

SWR
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 06-30-2004, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Check my web-site..I have info on there.

Billy
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 06-30-2004, 08:39 AM   #4
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Know a few ERs who went to Belize. Great scuba diving, but the weather is not that great. Hot and humid
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 06-30-2004, 10:14 PM   #5
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Sawadee krap! (Thai greeting)

I have lived in Bangkok, Thailand for about a year and a half.

I love it here...

I highly reccommend that you check out Billy's web site. Nice people and they definately know Thailand. Know alot about international travel period.

I live in central Bkk and pay about $275 for my "apartment" which is really just a hotel room, furnished, complete with linnens, towels. I have downsized dramatically and can move my 2.5 suitcases in a heart beat.

Thailand is super cheap-I eat many meals for 25 THB (Thai Baht), currently about THB 40 = $1 US. If you do the math, a delicious plate of pork fried rice costs about $0.63 US. Soooo, for these kind of prices, Old Lance rarely cooks. (In fact, Lance hates to cook, so eating out is his best option....)

I can travel by the Sky Train, an elevated electric train, for THB 20 per trip with my pre-paid trip card. I can ride the non-aircon bus for THB 4 or 5 per trip; A/C bus is 10 to 14 THB. Taxis are cheap too-it costs THB for the first 2 km, then THB 5 for the next km and a 1.25 THB premium when the taxi moves at less than 6km/hour (traffice jams...)

Public transportation is very reasonable in Thailand.

My building has a pool, so I hang out there alot. I also like to walk/jog in the park and try to run up the steps to my 15th floor room once per day. Great exercise. I enjoy loafing, but even so, I never seem to have enough time to do al lthe things and go the places I want to go.... But it's a good problem to have .

In another life <grin> I used to be a constant "tinkerer." I maintained the cars, cut the grass, improved the house, everything that robbed me of free time. Now.... my "tool box" is a Swiss Army Knife" type gizmo, that I can use to remove or tighten the ocassional wayward and offending screw... Last week I did disassemble, clean and reassmble my fan.. Afterwards I was whipped and retired to the pool

It is easy to have a good life in Thaland for $1,000 US per month (THB 40,000.) But spending is relative and what works for me may not be adequate for another..

Anyway, if you have a sense of adventure, go for an overseas retirement. The worst that can happen is that you'll return to the good old US of A. (And that's not a bad fate at all )

All the best,

Lance in Bkk
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-01-2004, 07:55 AM   #6
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Sawadee krap Lance,

Thanks for the kudos regarding our site.

Now, folks I don't want you to get the wrong impression that Lance just sits around his pool all day. Being retired in Bangkok does take some work. Lets see, there's where do I go to get my noodles today. Which beer garden will I frequent this evening? Not to mention the hour of reading the Bangkok Post each day. And let's not forget the two hour Thai massages for 5 bucks!

So you can see the stress of everyday life does take its toll on Lance, and I admire his hard work and persistence.


Billy
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-01-2004, 06:38 PM   #7
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Sawadee krap Guys,

I can see myself living there for several years.
I love Thai food and Thai women are lovely to look at.
Did either of you speak Thai, before going to Thailand?
Can you speak it now? I'm sure it would be a great advantage to speak the language but can you get along reasonably well without speaking it especially if you want to travel around the country?

Do you have easy internet access?
How do you manage your investments and get your cash from the USA? Do they accept US checks?

Got plenty more questions but don't want to trouble you toooo much.

MJ
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-01-2004, 11:06 PM   #8
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Quote:
So you can see the stress of everyday life does take its toll on Lance, and I admire his hard work and persistence.
Billy, good friend, not everyone can relate to the multiple stresses I face each and every day... sob, sniff...
(and grin)

Quote:
Did either of you speak Thai, before going to Thailand?
Can you speak it now? I'm sure it would be a great advantage to speak the language but can you get along reasonably well without speaking it especially if you want to travel around the country?


Do you have easy internet access?
How do you manage your investments and get your cash from the USA? Do they accept US checks?
MJ,

Yep, I am writing this from my room, I pay about 20 cents per hour for my dial-up Internet Access. I used to have unlimited for $15 per month but the company discontinued it (too many Thai's "sub-letting" their private accounts for profit) I've been too busy to search for a new provider (Billy understands the frantic pace we expats are subjected to...)

I keep virtually 100% of my portfolio invested in the good old US of A. I did wire some $ to Thailand to get my Retirement Visa, but, since that time, I have been using my NetBank ATM card. I never pay a fee to Net Bank OR the issuing bank. You can find information on no-fee ATM cards at sites like www.bankrate.com I highly recommend that you select a no-fee ATM card/bank, because drawing your funds via an ATM is the way to go.

I repeat-ATMs are the way to go to access your funds abroad. I do have a savings account with Bangkok Bank and I can pay my monthly (Thailand) Internet bill online.

I conduct 95% of my financial transactions online-its so easy to downoad statements, etc. I call my parents and US based friends with Net2Phone, a PC to phone call that costs me 4 cents US per minute. Sometimes the quality is less than good, but I just terminate the call and dial again-or later, hoping for more bandwidth.

About US checks, I've never negotiated one here, although I have mailed checks to the US via snail mail. Never had a problem.

One little snag for me is getting my replacement ATM and credit cards. My US mail goes to my sister's address and she is supposed to sort and forward important stuff to me....... But she either sends EVERYTHING (read, letters from MCI urging me to switch my long distance service, soupons for Pizza Hut etc OR she sends nothing (she's just a black and white type person-there is no gray area) She also sends it "surface" and the boat takes about 4 months to reach me... <laugh> For the next replacement card, I'll simply ask the bank to express mail it to me-the fed ex charges will just be part of the cost to live the expat lifestyle...

Bottom line, have a trusted friend to sort and post the really important stuff -ATM cards, credit cards- to you. You can forget 99.9% of your US mail. My experience anyway.

"Phom pood Thai nid noi" I speak a little Thai; I took lessons from a tutor (in Thailand) for three months. I need to return to school; like all immigrants, you gotta speak the local lingo No, I did not speak a word of Thai before moving here, but I did visit Thailand five times before relocating here. I was working in South Asia and Bangkok was only a couple of hours by air. I advise you to visit Thailand -or any prospective retirement destination- before actually relocating here (or anywhere.)

Expect culture shock and allow yourself some time to adjust. But adapting is a good thing and learning new skills (language, customs) is a real education and helps to keep one flexible... Does for me anyway

Expect people stateside to roll their eyes when you talk about ERing abroad. Its like Er-most people just don't get it. The folks on this board are more progressive and can "think outside the box." One of the reasons I like to hang here and submit the ocassional post...

Go for it Buddy; I did and I've NEVER regretted it...

Lance
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-02-2004, 07:48 AM   #9
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Quote:

Go for it Buddy; I did and I've NEVER regretted it...

Lance
Hi Lance,

Thanks for the information

MJ
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-02-2004, 09:32 AM   #10
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Re: Retiring Overseas

MJ,
Internet cafes are everywhere in Thailand, so that is definitely not an issue. Costs run from 15 Baht per hour to 3 Baht a minute, depending on where you are. And ususally they serve coffee, water and beer.

We speak enough Thai to order food and get around, but I could not carry on a meaningful conversation in Thai. But, almost all of the young Thai's speak English, so that is not an issue unless your in a remote area.

Lance has it right about the ATM machines...they too are available in many locations, again, no worries.

Yes, the Thai girls are certainly beautiful, and Akaisha even agrees! They do call it the Land of a Thousand Smiles.

If you want more info feel free to email us.

Choke Dee,
Billy
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 09:49 AM   #11
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Has anybody had any problems with internet security while abroad at café's etc... While recently in England I used the local library computers to access my bank account to pay bills and got worried if any of these computers had any spy ware thus getting my user name and pass word.

Also ING is paying 4.5% in England!

Bob.
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 11:01 AM   #12
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Brit,
I have never had a problem....thank goodness. But when your finsihed, besides logging out, delete the temporary files and cookies, and close the browser window. I am not a techie, but I think that will take care of your issue.

Billy
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 12:58 PM   #13
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Not entirely. Keyboard loggers have spread in the form of viruses (unintentional) and some public 'puters have been intentionally exposed by other patrons or the owners.

The keyboard logger looks for specific web pages being accessed (like banks and investment firms), then traps the username and password entries. Since these are 'trappable' between your keyboard and the web browser, the encryption hasnt happened yet.

Just to show how invasive these are, I have an industrial grade hardware firewall, firewall software (yes you do need both), up to date virus scanner and three different "spyware scanners" that I run periodically. And I'm very careful with this computer, I have another one I use to 'fiddle' with anything that looks unsavory.

I tried out a freeware version of a new spyware scanner last week and it identified a keyboard logger that had made it onto my hard drive but was not active. This one when active gathers username/password information and sends it home to the mother ship periodically. After I deleted it I wished i hadnt. I could have dug the address of the mother ship out and sent him lots, and lots, and lots of good stuff on a very regular basis.

Short answer: dont log into anything on any public computer, or even a weakly protected friends machine, that you wouldnt want every nasty person on the internet to have access to. Maintain a hardware firewall if possible and definitely a good free software firewall like zonealarm. Keep your virus software and windows update current. Install spybot, adaware and pestpatrol. Use spybots "immunize" feature. Consider using a browser other than IE, such as Firefox as many worms/viruses target IE specifically.
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 05:34 PM   #14
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Billy,
I tried that but access to these functions was locked out. So I suppose the best way to access sensitive bank accounts is to carry you own laptop and plug into land line.

TH,
What about these RF systems, at airports, Starbucks etc. how secure are they.

Bob
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 06:13 PM   #15
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Re: Retiring Overseas

If you're using your own machine at the airport, and you're using encryption (httpS or other), its as strong as your computer is. Note that many "wifi hotspots" arent firewalled or at least arent firewalled very well, so having zonealarm installed is almost a necessity.
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 07:48 PM   #16
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Thanks TH,
I did not know it was called WI-FI hot-spot. I can now research the system.

My idea is when I am fully retired in 2 years I want to travel extensively but still be able to access my investment account and banking anywhere in the world with safety.

Bob.
PS careful with the milk in the key board.
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 09:54 PM   #17
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Brit,
If your "locked out"...turn off the machine...if you cannot..unplug it and walk away.

I have never had a problem...anywhere.

Billy
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-03-2004, 10:11 PM   #18
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Hey Brit,

Like Billy, I've never had a problem, but I do have my own laptop. I try to avoid checking bank/investment info at cyber cafes, but I have done it with out any problems.

As Billy says, if you can't clear recent docs and cookies, just turn off the machine.

Enjoy your expat retirement; there are many of your fellow countrymen in Thailand.

Lance

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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-04-2004, 07:00 AM   #19
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Hi All.

I have never been in a Internet Cafe. Is the PC accessable to the public be turned off? Turning off the display only will do nothing. Any cookies, saved user information etc. will still be available.

When I begin ER travelling in about 1 year+, I will buy the smallest practical laptop to get a more secure connection and possibly use these internet cafes for general internet access when private access is not available.

I currently use a company laptop (a small perk) for business and home. I have the ZoneAlarm firewall and update my NAV almost daily.

Happy 4th and G-d Bless America!

MJ
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Re: Retiring Overseas
Old 07-04-2004, 07:54 AM   #20
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Re: Retiring Overseas

Billy, Lancelot,
What I mean by being locked out was I could not access the Internet options function, erase cookies or change the address line as it required the system administrator. Seeing these computers were in the local library the librarian did not have a clue. Turning the computer off does not do anything as the cookies are still there as well as any possible keyboard loggers. Although I kept putting in web addresses to move my bank account address down in the address section. I have not tried Internet Cafés yet abroad so I do not know their set ups.
So far everything has been fine. I think the cheap laptop with only Internet assess, with both dial -up, network card, or wi-fi with a box of adapters should work. I am working on extensive traveling and being away from the USA for years at a time while I can still move.

Have a Great 4th everyone.
Bob

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