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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 07:59 PM   #41
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Ladelfina is correct about overlaying US living on to another country's way of living. For instance, we are in the process of building a house here in Panama. Most people that build houses by the beach only use them as weekend houses. They don't put a lot of money (over 100k) into these homes so when you tell an architect you want to build a large home, they look at you strange. Most middle class people have maids that cook so the kitchen are very small. The owner's figure since they aren't going to be cooking they don't need a large kitchen.

Jane,
We are living in a gated community. Mostly because when we first moved here everything was foreign to us and we didn't want to take any chances with safety. After eight months of living here I now know that there are several homes near us that are not in gated communities that I would have no problems living in with much cheaper rents.

Our expenses decreased about 50% when we moved to Panama from Georgia. It's not an exact number because we paid off our car before we left and a few expenses (day care) are no longer applicable. Our basic expenses run $2300 per month for the same quality of living we experienced in Georgia before we moved.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-05-2006, 09:10 PM   #42
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Hi, Ha,

It would be just the wife and me. The kids are in college now.

You are right, B'ham is not particularly expensive, and we would like to keep the house (or A house) there. I like Sheryl's idea. Carl Franz and Lorena Havens, who write "The People's Guide To Mexico", live in Mexico, but have a cabin in the hills of Washington, very close to Bellingham, where they usually return for the summer. Both the Terhorsts and the Kaderlis come back to the 'States regularly (every year?).

Until recently, we could not get health insurance in Washington, and what we do have is expensive.

I am concerned with Medicare. I am pretty sure we will get the SS we expect, but I have my doubts about Medicare. Private health insurance is substantially cheaper outside the US. The Terhorsts and the Kaderlis both maintain health insurance outside the country. As I understand it, it is cheaper to live abroad, buy local health insurance, then buy traveller's insurance for visits to the US.

Quote:
So is it just that you want to try something different?
Absolutely! My wife and I enjoy going new places and living there. It would be nice to do it without having to go to work in the mornings.

It may turn out that we can afford to retire in comfort at home, the old-fashioned way, but I can't bank on it. It is so nice to have options.

Ed
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 04:44 AM   #43
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
since they aren't going to be cooking they don't need a large kitchen
Arif, that is so true here as well! Lower- and middle-class homes have tiny kitchens because the whole place is tiny. But larger homes, especially if they are older, have really crappy functional layouts because what did they care? The servants did all the work! Likewise with the clothes dryers.. if you can afford the clothes dryer, and more important, you can afford the SPACE for a clothes dryer, then you can damn well afford to send your laundry out or have a cleaning lady come in and do your laundry the old-fashioned way.

Here, there's a big industry for these kinds of kitchens:


I daresay there are forum members whose RV kitchens might rival these!!
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 07:26 AM   #44
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Cute!
Is that kitchen meant for a family, or for a single person?
I don't think I've ever seen one quite that compact,
except maybe as a second kitchen for in-law use.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 09:07 AM   #45
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Sheryl, can you tell me more about the language schools you went to in Honduras and Mexico? Thanks.
Hi Sam - I didn't go yet. My post was hypothosizing about what I would do if I were to spend more time down there - but this is the one I talked to while in Honduras. I know a few people who have used them and thought they were good.

http://www.ca-spanish.com/

I know there is another extensive thread here somewhere about language schools - probably about a year ago.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 10:00 AM   #46
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Thanks Sheryl.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 10:03 AM   #47
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I know there is another extensive thread here somewhere about language schools - probably about a year ago.
Here's one that I remember posting to:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=4759.0

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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 10:18 AM   #48
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Justin, thanks for the link. It's exactly what I'm looking for.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 10:52 AM   #49
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpp
Cute! Is that kitchen meant for a family, or for a single person? I don't think I've ever seen one quite that compact, except maybe as a second kitchen for in-law use.
On a submarine it's called a "galley", and it serves 120 meals four times a day...
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 11:01 AM   #50
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Hee hee..you got it, Nords.. it's aMAZing to see the buckets of food an Italian granny manages to pull out of a doll-house-sized kitchen.

The one shown is a bit drastic, but their popularity is probably due to the increasing number of older buildings chopped into ever-smaller studio condos, esp. in the city centers.
Just saw one listed in Rome for 194 s.f. (that is not a typo.. 18m2) for €160,000 ($203,000).. oh, AND it needs complete restructuring. Even elsewhere, though, people just tend to live in smaller quarters.. saving on heat, materials, taxes, etc. Single-family houses are a small minority of housing units.

I imagine it can't beat Japan, though.. right bpp? I imagine you had a lot more of a culture shock than I did, and that you probably had to jettison a lot more American "stuff". Got any pix of the place you live in, or something similar?

This is our kitchen; big but with 3 doorways and no counter space. The thing at the left is a kind of "hob", where you can take hot coals from the fireplace and use the cast-iron cover to cook on. (!) It was built around 1970. The gas burners are run off a propane tank hidden inside the stove.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 11:03 AM   #51
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
On a submarine it's called a "galley", and it serves 120 meals four times a day...
Aw, c'mon Nords, the galley on the USS Bowfin was bigger than that, and you served on big-@ssed boomers, right?
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 11:18 AM   #52
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpp
Aw, c'mon Nords, the galley on the USS Bowfin was bigger than that, and you served on big-@ssed boomers, right?
OK, I'm exaggerating. Maybe a submarine galley would need two of those if we had to feed the spooks or the SEALs in addition to the crew. Of course for the SEALs it wouldn't be necessary to actually cook the food and there wouldn't be anything to clean up...

USS JAMES MONROE (SSBN 622 BLUE) 1984-86 & USS NEW YORK CITY (SSN 696) 1989-1992.

You would think that the bigger the submarine, the bigger the galley. Convection ovens & microwaves were better on NYC and the galley was actually bigger & better laid out. (Yes, I did spend plenty of time in both of them!) Of course everything's bigger on a Trident boomer because they just didn't know what to do with all the leftover space.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 12:24 PM   #53
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
The one shown is a bit drastic, but their popularity is probably due to the increasing number of older buildings chopped into ever-smaller studio condos, esp. in the city centers.
Just saw one listed in Rome for 194 s.f. (that is not a typo.. 18m2) for €160,000 ($203,000).. oh, AND it needs complete restructuring. Even elsewhere, though, people just tend to live in smaller quarters.. saving on heat, materials, taxes, etc. Single-family houses are a small minority of housing units.
18 m^2 = 5.5 tsubo, or 11 tatami mats. That's one tiny studio!

Quote:
I imagine it can't beat Japan, though.. right bpp?
One might think, but, no, actually. Maybe right after the war, but nowadays, even Tokyo apartments are somewhat more spacious than that.

Quote:
I imagine you had a lot more of a culture shock than I did, and that you probably had to jettison a lot more American "stuff". Got any pix of the place you live in, or something similar?
I lost a lot of books on the way here, which is my biggest regret. As far as kitchen goes, comparing to yours, maybe about the same floor space, but a bit more counter space.

I note you have a big black dog sleeping in your entryway, whereas ours sleeps on the livingroom sofa. Just another one of those differences that makes the world go around, I suppose.

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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 04:23 PM   #54
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Sheryl-

Thanks for the info on the school. I think DH and I will be doing that once we are done working! If you end up doing it - please report back, as will I ..........

Jane
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 09:18 PM   #55
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

One thing I forgot to mention. Before you move or even visit you have to be REAL clear on what you can afford to give up and what you can't. I had someone visit me a few months ago with the intention of moving here. When he got here his list of things he wouldn't tolerate started getting huge. He didn't like the city, wife needed daily moccas (sp), couldn't find clothes to fit despite the prices of $1-$5, didn't like people selling stuff on the streets, and on and on. After that experience I decided to never play host to someone moving here again. I'll point them in the right direction but that's it.
Most places aren't like the US. In some cases that's good and in others it is not. Only way to decide is to see for yourself and be honest with what you can put up with and what you can't BEFORE you get there. Could save you a lot of money on a trip down there.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-06-2006, 09:27 PM   #56
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Arif,

Do you like it there? What is the weather like where you are? Do you have AC? If so, how high are your elec. bills?

Also wondered about property taxes. I know you are building now, but do you know what your taxes will be when you finish your house?

Do you get homesick much? What do you miss most, and what don't you miss?
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-07-2006, 03:57 AM   #57
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

bpp.. yes that is at the very smallest end. I was just flabbergasted at the price, but some people need/want to be in the city center at any cost. A typical apartment is 80-100mq; "large" is 120mq and up. In my small town, there are 22 current listings for apt.s for sale, only 3 of which are over 120mq.; the biggest is 500mq (price over $2mill -- that's what you'd pay for 120mq in central Rome).

Average price in my town = €2382/mq according to the RE listing site; in Rome center that figure goes to €8887/mq.

I have a lot of theories about why RE is so expensive here; the two main ones are restrictions on building (keeping lots of agricultural land) and, more important, lack of confidence in other investment opportunities (not unfounded).
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-07-2006, 08:57 AM   #58
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

In answer to the original question:

No, I'll stay right here (in the NE US). It seems that the "country" is changing, right around me with the influx of many new "cultures".

- Ron
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-07-2006, 09:29 AM   #59
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

[quote]Do you like it there? What is the weather like where you are? Do you have AC? If so, how high are your elec. bills?[quote]
I love it here. The alternative would be to work full time for a few more years in the US. Instead we decided to go part time and enjoy life. Sure we had to sacrifice a little but what we gave up doesn't compare to what we gained.

Quote:
Also wondered about property taxes. I know you are building now, but do you know what your taxes will be when you finish your house?[qoute]
There is no property taxes on new construction for 20 years. You pay taxes on the land only during that time. If you bought a home that was built in 2000 then you would have 14 years left on the exemption. I think last time I checked the tax rate was 1.5% but hard to say what it would be when we are finally required to pay them in 20 years.

[qoute]Do you get homesick much? What do you miss most, and what don't you miss?
I was actually born here but moved to the US when I was five. I lived in the states for 28 years and returned to Panama last year. I have plenty of family here so not really homesick. I travel back to the US about 5 times a year and my wife spent 30 days visiting family so can't really say we are homesick. THe flight from Panama to Atlanta is 4 hours nonstop so that makes it nice if we have to go back. Even with all that traveling it is still cheaper to live here and the quality of life is better for us.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-07-2006, 11:13 AM   #60
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?


Is there some source of unbiased info, book or other publication, on real estate in different countries? I mean an overview, info comparing markets, legal complications, risks, etc.?
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