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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 12:22 PM   #21
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teejayevans
Jim, you're insane, I've been to Bangkok and seen how they drive
those things, no frigging way would I ride on the back of those
things in the traffic the way they do. Helmet, I want a full body
armour.
Tom, I hear you. I watched a pretty bloody spill that happened right in front of me at one point. I also got a ride from someone who was very drunk. It was the longest 30 seconds of my life before I could get him to stop and let me off.

OTOH, I got used to it, and as Sam alluded to in his post, when in Rome you need to do what the Romans do somewhat. There aren't convenient alternatives to the motos. A car and driver cost around $20-40 per day including gas, which was most of the cost. Taxis were rarely seen.

Sam, I hear you about becoming part of the community. I definitely wasn't and I missed something for that choice. I've never quite got over seeing how little human labor and human life is valued in the developing world. Seeing families of 5 sharing a ride on a moto with no helmet was the norm. Also, the amount of work someone there has to do to earn $5.00 is mind-numbing.

Jim
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 12:57 PM   #22
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

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Originally Posted by Sam
I'm sure no one thinks it's free, at least not me anyway. The point is it's reasonable and controlled.
Retiring to mid-Vancouver Island is very popular - mild winters with little snow, temperate summers with temps in the mid-70s. Healthcare is C$54/mo. for an individual. Sales taxes are 13%. Income tax in the 25% range. Cap gains at half that when realized. Food more expensive than US owing to transportation costs. Liquor/wine about double owing to taxes. Gasoline about 35% more expensive.

(Just got back from a motor trip through WA/ID.)
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 01:05 PM   #23
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

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Originally Posted by Non sequitur
Are there any opinions about living in Spain?
We spent a month there last October. Gas is cheaper (diesel in efficient vehicle). Home heating is more expensive. Housing is cheaper. On the coasts, you are surrounded by Brits and Germans. Prices are higher there. We stayed with friends from Monteray in their home in Antequera. They are now back in CA after two years there (renting out their house there now).

Better know Spanish if you are going inland. One Brit relayed the story of buying on the coast and finding most condos empty from September to May as the Spaniards return to work, and only a few Brits were there so he rented it out and bought in Antequera.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 02:10 PM   #24
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Sam,

I am planning to ER in VN at the end of this year. We plan to settle in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet. Have you decided on a location for your retirement?

Van
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 02:35 PM   #25
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

I get annoyed some time when on message board talking about different countries cost of living compared to the US., when I hear comments like "Cost of living isn't that much different than some parts of the US"

Now I am not talking Paris France. I am talking about all the countries on the radar screen for retirees, such as South America, Mexico, Thailand and parts of Asia, where they can maintain a similar life style that they enjoy here in US, for less money. (similar= ac an heating, TV, Fast speed internet, a car and all the costs that go with it., dishwasher etc.)

Of course, giving up any of these creature comforts that we have become so used to, will natuarally save us money. But most of us do not want to do that. We want to simply trade locations, and enjoy the same life style and many times even upgrade our life style for less money.

so it's nice to hear some numbers from you guys who have experienced these countries.

Asia looks appealing but the lanuage curve for me seems daunting. Also, the heat is not too appealing. Maybe in my younger days, but now that I'm old and crothety, I don't want to be uncomfortabe at any price. But love hearing about it.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 02:39 PM   #26
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
You're right that I was way above the norm. I could probably cut most of that by 75-80% if I had to. But the "norm" there wouldn't be the kind of living I'm used to.
Look, folks, the reality is there are a handful of countries in which you can live like a King for $12,000 a year.

The reason it's hard to get a handle on this is because the life lived is not like what you live now. If you're in Bangkok (not recommended) you won't own a car. The traffic is jam packed and there's nowhere to park. That's $3000/yr in your pocket, plus gas, plus insurance. Transport in general will cost you over that year what gas would have -- but the car depreciation and the insurance stays in your pocket. Don't think of it as some loss of lifestyle. This is how most in NYC live, too. Subway and taxis.

Housing, air conditioned housing with equivalent furniture and internet and utilities in general will be 1/4 of what you're used to -- or rather, for what you need. You may be used to 3500 square feet for 4 bedrooms for the kids, but you won't need that or even want that. Let's phrase it with one more difference -- it will be 1/4 the price of the equivalent square footage in the US.

Food costs less. Services cost less. Medical costs less.

In general, the bulk of pre retirement costs are housing, medical and car. Those get slashed overseas.

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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 03:12 PM   #27
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

We are planning to take long trips (3-4 months) to many of the places listed here plus New Zealand. Who knows, maybe that will result in us wanting to live there. Some days I feel like picking up and moving, other days I get overwhelmed thinking of all that would be involved with such a move. Right now I'm just looking forward to a time when we can go somewhere for as long as we like, not having to work around that pesky job schedule!
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 03:54 PM   #28
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van
Sam,

I am planning to ER in VN at the end of this year. We plan to settle in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet. Have you decided on a location for your retirement?

Van
Hi Van (Va^n or Va(n?)

Great for you! Are you from Phan Thiet? I heard of a few new residential/resort developments in Mui Ne.

I have three locations in mind at this time. Saigon, Soc Trang, and Dalat. Can't quite make up my mind yet. Hopefully I won't have to, as I plan to move around. I plan to rent. PM me if you wish, and we can talk more about it.

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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 04:10 PM   #29
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan
I've never quite got over seeing how little human labor and human life is valued in the developing world. Seeing families of 5 sharing a ride on a moto with no helmet was the norm. Also, the amount of work someone there has to do to earn $5.00 is mind-numbing.
Well, reality is hard to swallow sometimes. As far as human life value is concerned, Cambodia is one of the worst place on earth, IMO. It's all relative. Compared to what it was 25 years ago, when the Khmer Rouge ruled, it's paradise today.

I know, a local family would be happy to earn $5 a day. Makes one wonder. Are we really that much better, or are we just luckier?
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 04:30 PM   #30
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter
I get annoyed some time when on message board talking about different countries cost of living compared to the US., when I hear comments like "Cost of living isn't that much different than some parts of the US"

.....

Asia looks appealing but the lanuage curve for me seems daunting. Also, the heat is not too appealing. Maybe in my younger days, but now that I'm old and crothety, I don't want to be uncomfortabe at any price. But love hearing about it.
I think you can safely assume that the cost of living in Mexico, Central America will be 1/3 to 1/2 of the US cost. For Thailand and its neighboring countries, 1/4 to 1/3.

Language is always hard for everyone. Our ancestors faced the same hurdle and overcame it when they came to this country (unless they were British).

Have you ever been in South Florida, South Texas, Arizona? The heat in SE Asia is no worse. If you live by the ocean, it's quite pleasant.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 05:50 PM   #31
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Sam, it's Van (as in the middle name). You are right about Mui Ne being known these days as an up & coming resort town. It is I learned about this region during my assignment in VN from '96-99. Wind and Kite surfing are getting to be real popular sports among the visitors and locals. I have heard that wind surfing is hard but I plan to give it a go once we settle there.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 06:21 PM   #32
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Have you ever been in South Florida, South Texas, Arizona? The heat in SE Asia is no worse. If you live by the ocean, it's quite pleasant.

Yes, Sam, I sure have. I have a home in Florida and in Phoenix, AZ.
The summer's are awful, and the winter's are wonderful. They are both very different. Florida in the summer usually doesn't get above 90 degrees and as I live somewhat near the ocean there are some breezes. Arizona, on the other hand reaches 115 degrees in the summer, and humidity or no humidity THAT'S HOT !

Would love to get away from the heat.
What are the seasons like there (or are there any)
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 08:17 PM   #33
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Great. So you have experience with hot weather.

No place I know in VN is as hot as Phoenix. Saigon is about the same as Orlando in terms of heat but a little less humid.

Just like other countries, VN has pockets where the weather is not hot (Dalat, Pleiku, BanMeThuot). 4 seasons with temperatures similar to Richmond, Virginia. The winter is milder though. I've seen snow once in the 17 years I lived in Dalat.

VN is long and narrow and runs North South, about 1,300 miles. Way up north, 4 seasons just like NC, but with less snow. The middle and southern parts are under the typical SE Asia moonson weather pattern. A dry and a wet season equally divided. In the wet season, heavy but brief (about 20 min) rain in the afternoon.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 11:39 PM   #34
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Cool Dude quoth thusly:
Quote:
Hey, some of us are jerks.
Yeah, I know. About once a month, with no provocation, someone gives me sh*t for simply being an American (based on my accent alone, it has to be). I can give as well as I get, but what's the point? Move on.

Health care in Canada isn't free. Even Ontario (!) charges now. What happens is that, even though affordable, it is rationed, and waiting is part of the package (even in the emergency room). I prefer more choice than that, but I can't forsee being able to afford that in the US in future. Hence interest in other countries.

As far as heat is concerned, Merida in VZ is high in the mountains and very pleasant, so I am told, as are the highlands of Mexico (Tepic, Guadalajara, Xalapa and so forth). Chile has any climate you want. Uruguay is supposed to be warm and hot, as is Gozo, but I can live with that other things being equal. Mazatlan would take some getting used to. It is popular to leave town in the summer for the highlands. I can live with -40 to +40 (C). (Sounds like Drumheller, eh?) Depends on the circumstances.

I would be lying if I said that cost of living was not important. Big savings are possible in other parts of the world on two important items: health care and housing. I can live without a car.

Ed
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 12:13 AM   #35
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy

I would be lying if I said that cost of living was not important. Big savings are possible in other parts of the world on two important items: health care and housing. I can live without a car.
Ed, I don't remember, will you be taking kids with you? Or just wife? One thing I don't quite understand- you own a house in Bellingham, right? So housing is more or less taken care of. B'ham isn't cheap, but not really expensive either.

Washington insurance rates are not bad, and you may be not far from Medicare.

So is it just that you want to try something different?

Ha
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 05:25 AM   #36
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

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a similar life style that they enjoy here in US, for less money. (similar= ac an heating, TV, Fast speed internet, a car and all the costs that go with it., dishwasher etc.)

Of course, giving up any of these creature comforts that we have become so used to, will natuarally save us money. But most of us do not want to do that.
modhatter, I hear ya.. but the fact is you can't always just graft a middle-class American lifestyle onto another country. It's not even a question of cost.. some things are just not available and you have to be prepared for that.

You also have to make adjustments as to what is 'normal', what is 'upper middle class' and what is 'rich.' Even very rich people where I live are unlikely to have AC or a clothes dryer.. it's just different and you adapt. And this is in a G7 country, not Southeast Asia. In Rome you wouldn't want to be driving a new Escalade.. rich people often have small, awful, beat-up cars to drive and park around the city and then keep their Ferrari/Jaguar/Alfa Romeo in a garage for weekend jaunts only.

You have to also consider how much of a disconnect you are comfortable having from everyone else around you.. I have to be conscious that when I complain about my kitchen (the layout and amenities, really, not the size) that, looking at it through Italian eyes, they see it as 1/2 as big as some people's entire apartment. You have to assess whether you might be more comfortable living an 'average' lifestyle, in Panama, say.. or whether you'd be OK with living in a gated community with security systems out the wazoo and bars on the windows.

I would try and see if there are any expatriate forums focused on the countries that interest you; these might have more detailed information you would need about cost-of-living, lifestyle, language, visas and so on. It is exciting to plan and dream about... best wishes!
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 08:27 AM   #37
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Mod-

I may have missed it, but I don't believe anyone has touched on Central or South America. Costa Rica has gotten more expensive since the Americans discovered it, but I am sure if you look there are nice places to live there. As previously stated by Ladelfina (oh, she DID mention Panama - sorry!) anyway, there are always gated communities. There are pros and cons to that. Arif is living in Panama now, I believe. Don't think he's in a gated area, but can't recall. Honduras' Bay Islands are nice - still very primative, tho. Brazil has cheap real estate but their economy is on the shaky side I think.

I am trying to talk DH into doing winters in different places vs. owing owning a second home. I think at least until we know where we like - we are pretty particular. We love to travel, so if we spend one winter in Italy, the next in Brazil, etc. that may be best of all worlds for us. Guess we'll find out if and when we are FIRE'd!

Comments from the peanut gallery?

Chou!

Jane
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 11:49 AM   #38
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Hi Jane -
I'm very interested in spending winters in Central or South America, but not relocating permenantly. I love summer in the Pacific Northwest, and plan to keep my house here.

It's certainly not as affordable as relocating, but it's what we want at this point in our lives.

I've spent limited time in Honduras and Mexico, but hope to try a month or two, if we still like it, try 3-4 months. Between language school, scuba diving and "doing nothing" I think we could be happy for months, but need to be sure the costs are doable. I loved the "primative" aspects of the Bay Islands! I would also consider the north cost of Honduras (Trujillo) for a stay of a couple months.

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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 12:35 PM   #39
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Sheryl, can you tell me more about the language schools you went to in Honduras and Mexico? Thanks.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 07:18 PM   #40
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Ed, Canada is nice, but almost identical to the US. The only thing that is attractive to me is the National Health Care program.

What other advantages do you see?
Just wanted to chime in that Quebec is a bit different from the rest of Canada, which in turn is a bit different from the US. But do a spend a bit of time in the winter here before deciding to move... It's a real blessing that winter is the best time to go spend time in SE Asia...
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