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Old 02-10-2015, 11:02 AM   #81
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Explanade, the problem with tv shows like House Hunters International, is that they are a tv show with an agenda. They never show you the other side of the coin. They only ever paint a rosy picture where everyone lives happily ever after.
We watch that show too.

There are a lot of folks who are just setting themselves up for disaster. Often, younger folks moving to expensive places with little or no visible means of support. Sure, there are a few living off the family fortune back home, but the number of folks who move to, say Paris(!), "just because" is, well, entertaining.

In our house we're always rooting for the folks to pick the one that's within their means. Sometimes it happens, more often it doesn't.

And while we know it's a constructed TV show, it is interesting to get a small glimpse into other places.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:06 AM   #82
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I like watching that show mpeirce. Another one much the same is Place in the Sun which is a UK program. I consider them interesting for the glimpses of the places they are looking at and overall a comedy series.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:55 AM   #83
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I like watching that show mpeirce. Another one much the same is Place in the Sun which is a UK program. I consider them interesting for the glimpses of the places they are looking at and overall a comedy series.
We watch both those shows. I get that they are not the full story, but the prices seem legitimate for the type of housing we could buy or rent, at least in the years the shows were made.

The rent is what intrigues me, since our income is the same now no matter where we live these days and many of the places on those shows would be much less expensive than where we are at. Plus, I believe we can live any place in the EU, so it seems like a good opportunity we should consider testing out before we are too old to want to give it a try.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:48 PM   #84
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This. I will, from time to time, think about moving to England or Ireland.
You might want to read this....

Ireland is one of the worst places in Europe to retire right now
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:14 PM   #85
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If you are not a US citizen it's quite easy to cut tax ties with a country. I'm British and in my 53 years I've never paid a penny in UK income tax. IMHO it's great to dream about retiring overseas, but doing it as an American requires far more financial planning than any other nationality because of how they are taxed, so they need to think about that more are earlier.
Also, the US tax authorities and related pressures are a real pain. So much in fact that many banks will refuse to do business with you if you are an american national.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:35 PM   #86
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Sojourning - what age were you when you returned to live in Canada?

I was going to pull the pin and return to Australia this year but now I think I will wait a couple more years. Take it as it comes.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:35 PM   #87
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Daylate, what does you 'believe' you can live in the EU mean? Either you can or you can't. Does either one of you have a passport from an EU country? If so, you can and if not, you can't.

Be careful when you say, "our income is the same now no matter where we live these days". It may be the same at HOME but it's buying power will vary depending on the currency exchange rate on any given day, in any other country. So no, it's not the 'same no matter where you live'. I wrote about currency exchange in the OP here.

There are still countries in the EU where the cost of living is lower perhaps than in your home country but you do have to plan for currency fluctuations. Do you have some kind of budget in mind? How long would you want to try it for and what criteria and interests would you have in terms of the place?

For example, I lived in Greece, in this place for several years. They rent some apartments to tourists in season through tour companies but also rent directly and for longer periods of time. All it takes is a phone call (English is spoken) to find out what rent would be by the month and in what months. Out of season is obviously cheaper than in season. Niki Hotel Apartments
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:37 PM   #88
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Interesting. Thanks. Went to source data and interestingly the US is ranked 19. Just above Slovenia.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:40 PM   #89
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This is an interesting thread. Never really considered retiring abroad, but might consider going somewhere for 3 months with an eye on getting some exposure to the culture, and spending a little less than we would at home. DW and I did this once in Egypt where we rented a flat for a few months, took language lessons, and generally enjoyed working out where to buy groceries, cooking some of our food, eating out some, and seeing the sights.
Our standard of living was a bit lower than in the US, but it also cost less, and it was a great experience.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:59 PM   #90
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Aus_E, I was 60 and my wife was 53 when we moved to Canada. There were various factors that drove that decision.

One was pensions. Canada has two government pensions. One called CPP and another called OAS. CPP is based on employment contributions in Canada. OAS is based on residency in Canada afte age 18. To qualify for the maximum OAS you need 40 years residency. For each year less of residency you lose 1/40th. There is also a minimum residency requirement if you move to Canada, of 10 years. So at age 65, my wife will qualify for 12/40ths of the Canadian OAS pension if we are still domiciled here. Many Canadians who are expats and then return do not realize they will not get the full OAS. If you do the math, between age 18 and 65, you can only have been out of the country for 7 years and still get the full pension.

I don't know what the rules are in Australia but I'd suggest checking it out obviously to see if there is any advantage to you one way or another.

We were moving from the UK and there is around a 20-30% lower cost of living in Canada vs. the UK.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:02 PM   #91
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This is an interesting thread. Never really considered retiring abroad, but might consider going somewhere for 3 months with an eye on getting some exposure to the culture, and spending a little less than we would at home. DW and I did this once in Egypt where we rented a flat for a few months, took language lessons, and generally enjoyed working out where to buy groceries, cooking some of our food, eating out some, and seeing the sights.
Our standard of living was a bit lower than in the US, but it also cost less, and it was a great experience.
One has to sell the U.S. home or rent it out in order to make this slow travel financially affordable for many early retirees, I guess.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:16 PM   #92
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Sojourning - I know I will not qualify for an Australian pension. It is tested based on assets and income rather than length of residence and I will not qualify (unless I make some very bad investment decisions).

Australian heath care is universal regardless of income. There are some tricky residence rules about rebates for private health cover but I did something about that 15 years ago which should mean I qualify.

Of course, for people retiring overseas, you need to cover everything yourself.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:20 PM   #93
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Meadbh, that has to be read in the right perspective. It's primarily talking about an Irish retiree in Ireland, not someone from another country retiring there. I'm not saying it isn't relative, just that you have to interpret it accordingly.

For example, it talks about 'having the material means to live a comfortable life'. So it's saying the average Irishman may not have much income relative to the cost of living. That means nothing to LARS or anyone else from outside Ireland considering it as a retirement location. Access to good healthcare on the other hand would apply to anyone living there, wherever they came from.

What gets me when I read about people considering retiring to Ireland or the UK, is the weather. I don't know about Ireland but the other factor that gets me about the UK, is the culture. The negative aspects of the culture are numerous. I lived in the UK from 99 till early 2006. Much as there was that I liked, there was no way I wanted to continue living there. Cost of living is also higher. Basic numbers are UK and Ireland 92, Canada 82, USA 76, Australia (for Aus_E) 99. See here for a full list:
Cost of Living Index by Country 2015

Nuisance, you raise a point when you say, "Our standard of living was a bit lower than in the US, but it also cost less, and it was a great experience."

People often only look at 'cost of living' as per the link I just gave here. But there is also 'standard of living' and 'qualify of living' to consider along with the 'experience' that you also mention.

When people retire from say the UK to Spain and live in a near 100% expat enclave, they tend to be people who are not interested in local culture or the 'experience'. They go for the weather and the cost of living only. Frankly, I think they should stay home but I'm not in charge unfortunately.

Lower cost countries are lower cost for a reason. They generally are going to provide a lower standard of living in terms of infrastructure, choice of goods, healthcare, etc. etc. All kinds of things are not up to what you might be used to. You have to accept those differences or leave.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:40 PM   #94
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Meadbh, that has to be read in the right perspective. It's primarily talking about an Irish retiree in Ireland, not someone from another country retiring there. I'm not saying it isn't relative, just that you have to interpret it accordingly.

For example, it talks about 'having the material means to live a comfortable life'. So it's saying the average Irishman may not have much income relative to the cost of living. That means nothing to LARS or anyone else from outside Ireland considering it as a retirement location. Access to good healthcare on the other hand would apply to anyone living there, wherever they came from.

What gets me when I read about people considering retiring to Ireland or the UK, is the weather. I don't know about Ireland but the other factor that gets me about the UK, is the culture. The negative aspects of the culture are numerous. I lived in the UK from 99 till early 2006. Much as there was that I liked, there was no way I wanted to continue living there. Cost of living is also higher. Basic numbers are UK and Ireland 92, Canada 82, USA 76, Australia (for Aus_E) 99. See here for a full list:
Cost of Living Index by Country 2015.
Sojourning, I agree with you that retiring in Ireland (or anywhere else) as a lifelong resident is going to be a very different experience from moving there late in life, bringing one's finances and cultural baggage. As an Irish-Canadian living in Canada I have that option and have given it much thought. If I do return "home" it will mean trading a middle class lifestyle for a relatively modest one. Some of the frustrations that I felt while growing up in Ireland would still irk me. Of course there are aspects of life there that I miss. I feel that regular visits may be sufficient.

By the way, the Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK. Republics do not have monarchs.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:50 PM   #95
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Daylate, what does you 'believe' you can live in the EU mean? Either you can or you can't. Does either one of you have a passport from an EU country? If so, you can and if not, you can't.
It means I personally don't know if we can since I haven't actually tried it yet and and I am not sure how the health care, hobby job income, taxes and other aspects would work.

I am not sure where we would move to. Just something we are thinking about. I get the currency fluctuations. If we moved, we wouldn't be on a tight enough budget for it to be a show stopper.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:05 PM   #96
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Really interesting article.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:19 AM   #97
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What gets me when I read about people considering retiring to Ireland or the UK, is the weather. I don't know about Ireland but the other factor that gets me about the UK, is the culture. The negative aspects of the culture are numerous. I lived in the UK from 99 till early 2006. Much as there was that I liked, there was no way I wanted to continue living there.
Iíve certainly thought about retiring abroad, but this thread is making me think of lots of other choices like just taking long vacations instead.

I'm wondering could you elaborate on the negative aspects of the culture in the UK that you have mentioned ?
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:58 AM   #98
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It means I personally don't know if we can since I haven't actually tried it yet and and I am not sure how the health care, hobby job income, taxes and other aspects would work.

I am not sure where we would move to. Just something we are thinking about. I get the currency fluctuations. If we moved, we wouldn't be on a tight enough budget for it to be a show stopper.
Far from "trying it", it seems that more research is required.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:46 AM   #99
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Iíve certainly thought about retiring abroad, but this thread is making me think of lots of other choices like just taking long vacations instead.
Yep. I figure the same thing. In the past I have talked to people who often 'visit' the same city for 3-4 months year after year after year. They soon are recognized and the natives look forward to their return.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #100
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I plan to do a lot of travels when (and before) I retire. I hope to travel to every countries that I possibly could. I now travel to at least one new country each year, and will do more when my younger son goes to college this year. After my son gets out of college, my wife will retire and we will do slow travels to cover many countries each year. I only work less than 8 months each year. But I have no plan to retire to another country permanently.
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