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Old 11-28-2008, 11:19 PM   #81
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First, I agree that the primary reason for moving to a foreign country should be because you love the change in culture. Not that America's culture is bad, it is simply limited. Everything is fast pace, new, modern, changing, and expensive.

It sounds like places deep into Mexico still keep their customs as well as my home in Indonesia. The first thing that hits you is the age-old ceremonial customs for marriage, death, etc. But after a few years, I start to hear of stories about how Japan conscripted the local men into the army during WWII - and never returned. Only two generations in the past, before tourism was popular, the women woman wore only colorful sarongs and their breasts were bare. Only then you you start to imagine what it must have been like for the first European explores who arrive on these islands to be greeted by really beautiful women who were topless. It is a picture right out of Captain Cook's journals!

The joy of living in a new culture is most appreciated when compared to American life. The people live in villages and function much like a tribe. Men and women of all ages live together, or side by side. Grandparents still make toys for the children - carved out of wood or sewn from discarded piece of material. Although I am 62 years old, the young women still like to talk and listen to my stories. Plus every time someone comes to visit they bring a little something from their garden. At the same time, the kitchen always has a supply of warm rice, some cooked vegetable and various condiments that make a meal. Any guest that drops in will be offered coffee, tea... and longer they stay the fruit is brought out, and finally a meal at mealtime.

Yet privacy and my strange customs are respected as well. If I want to sleep late in the morning (unheard of by the local population), the house is closed up so it is quiet and all activity takes place outside.

It is all so very different than the life I lead for the first 50 years of my life.

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Old 11-29-2008, 11:15 AM   #82
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There are some considerations comparing a town like Nacogdoches to say La Serena, Chile. I haven't been to either, but I looked at Nacogdoches before transferring to Tyler. It's not a big town, but spread out enough to need a car, typical of many towns in the U.S.. Big box stores for shopping are 20 mins away in Lufkin. The U.S. is very car dependant except in bigger cities where I wouldn't want to live anyways. La Serena is very walkable and has excellent public transportation including busses, taxis, micros. That's something I think many Americans don't realize about much of the world. Our belief is that they are all desperately poor and have to walk or bike everywhere. But in most of Latin America even the smallest villages have bus transportation. And a country like Chile is fairly well developed. I can take a six hour bus trip to Santiago on a comfortable executive bus with a meal, stewardess, restroom, and movies for $40. Cheaper busses are available without the amenities too. A taxi in La Serena won't cost more than $2.00 anywhere in town, usually less. And while I could get by in Nacogdoches on $1100 a month living frugally, that would include using fans in very humid summer heat, and other sacrifices. In La Serena, a very beautiful colonial city on an excellent beach, I could rent a nice home, not a mansion, but nice, eat out regular, go to American movies at the American owned Cinemark multiplex, enjoy the new American style mall, in weather comparable to southern California. I would get much more for my money. By the way, with a slightly larger dish those who receive Directv or Dish in the U.S. can take their receivers to Lake Chapala in Mexico and still get their satellite tv. Fulltime RVers do it all the time. RVers report on the Open Roads and Escapees forums receiving a signal with their regular size dish all the way to Mazatlan, although you lose some channels at that point. A bigger dish gets them. And satellite radio extends into Guatemala and Belize. And I can get Directv Latin America in Chile, which has most of the English channels on it including the movie channels like HBO. Why would I settle for just barely getting by when there's a better quality of life elsewhere? By the way, read a post of a guy who lives on $5000 a month in Chile. Huge home in exclusive area, children in private schools, fulltime maid, eats extraordinarily well both at home and restaurants, has all the toys, travels, lacks for nothing. It isn't just we poor gringos who greatly improve our lifestyles. And if you only have, say $700 a month, consider Ecuador or few other places. Indonesia sounds nice!

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Old 11-30-2008, 02:35 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by slimm View Post
My bro, SIL, and another couple are flying to Turks & Caicos next week to investigate residency. All have very successful corporations and want to investigate alternatives. They are working with a top notch tax attorney. Initially, an investment of $500,000. in real estate is required, as well as, $15,000. for permits/documents.

When I first spoke to my bro about this, I thought;
1. he was kidding
2. it was an excuse for another glorified vacation

Nope, he informed me yesterday, he is serious.
I'll know more about this subject when they return.
H'mmmm, the cogs are humming in my pea brain, but a Caribbean paradise is certainly no place for an Okie cowgirl.
This reminds me of an old saw about Belize:
How do you get a million in Belize?
Come in with 2 million.

They see you coming.

my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
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