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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-07-2006, 06:32 PM   #61
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

International Living magazine has some reports available, but you have to subscribe to the magazine to access them. They have one on Taxes (all kinds) imposed by the country, information on residency, and most of the articles on each country give you a current run down on real estate, with links sometimes to realtors so you can look for yourself.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-08-2006, 08:33 PM   #62
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

I have often thought about retiring in a foreign country, at least for a while just for the adventure. I have visited Mexico and there are some very nice places there and, according to my sources, the cost of living is still reasonable if you stay out of the Glitzy Gringo Gultch sort of places.

Right now I have my hands full with my current retirement location and won't move for a few years.

IMHO, to many Americans are to xenophobic to even think about living in another country. A lot of Americans I have met in foreign countries want the place to be like DisneyLand where they can go to their hotel and have all the U.S. amenities at their finger tips and they want it cheap. They complain about things being not like home....duh.

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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-09-2006, 06:21 AM   #63
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Ha ha.. Kitty, that is so true.. My favorite 'Ugly American' story (personally witnessed): on a London bus circa 1983, a middle-aged blonde American lady screaming to the bus driver as if he were deaf... "Do you take MONEY?? You know... MUHNNNNEYYY??!?" Waving American dollar bills at him..
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-09-2006, 07:12 AM   #64
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Ha ha.. Kitty, that is so true.. My favorite 'Ugly American' story (personally witnessed): on a London bus circa 1983, a middle-aged blonde American lady screaming to the bus driver as if he were deaf... "Do you take MONEY?? You know... MUHNNNNEYYY??!?" Waving American dollar bills at him..
I was on a cruise boat in Montego Bay, Jamaica with a bunch of tourists.
Beautiful night. Nice moon. Guy next to me finishes his beer and throws
the bottle in the water. He was gently admonished by the Captain's
wife. The problem with "Ugly Americans" is that most of them are right here
in the USA, IMHO.

JG
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-09-2006, 02:30 PM   #65
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
... The problem with "Ugly Americans" is that most of them are right here
in the USA, IMHO.
JG
We were on a Mediterranean Cruise and had arranged to meet our walking tour guide near the train station in Rome. Imagine our embarassment when we had to keep asking where is the nearest McDonalds (the guide had suggested)! There were three of them!

The myth continues to live on...
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-09-2006, 05:28 PM   #66
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Sam -

Can an American citizen move to Vietnam without having a job or being in college? My wife and love visiting Vietnam, our dream location to live would be Hoi An... but it doesn't seem to have the ease of immigration that Thailand (visa runs, retirement visa) or Cambodia (easy bribe for 1 yr visa) have.

I lived in Bangkok for two years when young and my wife and I have our sites on Chiang Mai but maaaan would I love to be able to pull off a move to central Vietnam.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-09-2006, 05:44 PM   #67
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

WRBT,

I believe you can. I think you have to prove financial ability (proof that you have certain income, or certain amount of money in the bank). The amount is very insignificant in US standard. I read those a while ago, but never paid any attention to because I don't plan to do it that way.

AFA visa is concerned, I believe the current limit is 6 months, and easily extended to 1 year for a very small fee ($25?) and absolutely no bribe.

I have no plan to become a "resident" of VN. I don't trust the goverment that much yet at this time. Hopefully things will change by the time I retire. For now, I plan to play tourist, staying up to a year, get out and get back in.

Sorry, that's all I know. May be Van can help you more.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-09-2006, 06:12 PM   #68
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

BTW, Hoi An is nice, but too touristy for me. You might consider Danang, which is close by. More metropolitan, less tourism.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-10-2006, 10:04 AM   #69
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Hi Sam & WRBT,

Sam is right on about the visa situation. One can get a 6 mos. visa and can renew 2 additional times before you need to do a visa run outside the country. This means 18 mos. at a time. We plan to use this approach (no financial proof neccessary). Besides, a visit to neighbor Singapore, Phuket or a shopping trip to Hong Kong every 18 mos. is a very nice diversion indeed.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-10-2006, 11:06 AM   #70
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

That's excellent news guys, thanks.

Are no requirements for job/study to get an apartment or anything?

I don't mind the tourists in Hoi An, because it carries with it the inevitable Western things we (especially my wife) might miss with an extended stay.

Been thru Danang before, in fact once he even accidentally when the only flight we could get out of Siem Reap Cambodia was going to Danang. I've not been there long enough to really form an opinion on the lifestyle though.

Thanks again for the info.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-10-2006, 11:09 AM   #71
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRBT
Are no requirements for job/study to get an apartment or anything?
Yes, money . Seriously, no, just rent it as you would a hotel room.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-10-2006, 08:37 PM   #72
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Sam and Van - do you read the Vietnamese press, e.g. ngoisao.net? I do spend a few minutes on that website every day, and I have to confess that the articles there don't give me any "warm fuzzies" about retiring in VN... Between the corruption, pollution and crime stories, I wonder how long we'd last.

I left Sg in 1980, and returned once in 1992. I loved it when I went back, but I am not sure I can stand more than a month or two at a stretch.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-10-2006, 08:56 PM   #73
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

I'd go in a minute if I were Vietnamese or had little difficulty with the combination of permanent residency, language, etc.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-10-2006, 08:57 PM   #74
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Hi Bdk,

I do look at both Ngoi Sao and VNExpress. I agree that it can get depressing at times. However, in all fairness, often my friends from abroad believe that all we have in the US are guns and sex. This is based on what they have seen in the news headlines, movies, etc... We all know that it is far from the truth.

Saigon is definitely not for me based on the reasons that you cited. However, a slower pace on the beach in Mui Ne makes sense.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-10-2006, 09:31 PM   #75
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Hello Bdk,

Van said it. The press needs to sell newspapers. I seldom watch the local news here in Houston, but when I do, I have a hard time believing they are talking about my town.

Could it be because you were still too young when you left?

Sam
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-11-2006, 05:04 AM   #76
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Hi Sam & Van,

I was 21 when I left. I am 47 now, and hope to FIRE in about 6 years. I still have very vivid memories of 1968 and the hard years immediately after 1975. I do find it amazing that vnexpress or ngoisao can publish such articles today. Back then, the writer would certainly earn a long stay in some remote camp (certainly not a vacation camp!), courtesy of the Party.

I think that foreigners, esp. Caucasians, are probably a bit safer from crime in VN. The petty thieves know that the authorities will crack down hard, to ensure that tourists will continue to come visit the country.

Frankly, what concerns me the most about life in VN is the stuff you don't see. I regularly find articles about tainted meat being mixed with fresh meat then put up for sale, fruit being treated with chemicals to make them last longer, bottled water that turns out to be nothing but well water, etc.

I have a friend who just went back to Sg to RE (no FI here) 2 months ago. I have kept in touch with him, and will post his observations here.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-11-2006, 06:03 AM   #77
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Bdk,

My family left VN in 1970. I was 8 at the time so I was not there when things were bad (1975 and immediately after). I did however returned to Saigon to manage our company's rep office from 1996-1999. By this time, the conditions were much improved compared to those earlier years. After a short period of adjustments, I began to feel a sense of comfort and belonging that I never felt living in the west. Everything you wrote in the 3rd paragraph is legitimate and they are also concerns of mine. But I believe that we can never completely eliminate risks in our lives. We can only proceed cautiously, best as we can.

I would appreciate your sharing of your friend's feedbacks on the logistics of daily living in VN.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-11-2006, 08:40 AM   #78
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdk
I do find it amazing that vnexpress or ngoisao can publish such articles today. Back then, the writer would certainly earn a long stay in some remote camp (certainly not a vacation camp!), courtesy of the Party.
Me too.  And I believe it keeps getting better and better.   I just can't wait for the day when a second party is allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdk
I left Sg in 1980, and returned once in 1992. I loved it when I went back, but I am not sure I can stand more than a month or two at a stretch.
It's not at all unusual.   You're among the majority.  After decades of living in one of the wealthiest country on earth, not too many people feel comfortable returning to VN.  If you loved it only when staying there for a short period, then continue to do so, just more frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van
My family left VN in 1970.  I was 8
Did your family go to the US, or to Europe then?
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-11-2006, 09:50 AM   #79
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

ok, here are some tidbits from my friend who RE'ed to VN...

He found an apt in the Binh Thanh district, on the outskirts of Sg (for readers who are not familiar with the area). $170/mo, in a recently-built high-rise, no A/C. A sum equivalent to 6 months' rent has to be paid in advance.

The area is fairly quiet -at least for now. He's not planning to buy a scooter yet... Probably a wise decision, considering how people drive over there. So he relies on buses to get around. They are fairly cheap (fare is equiv. to about $0.30), but they don't run very late into the evening, so he has to be home around 7:30 pm at the latest. And of course there are the ubiquitous "xe o^m" (scooter-taxis, for readers who don't know of this transportation mode).

Food: he shops at supermarkets once a week. He prefers to buy perishables (fruit, vegetables) from street vendors because it is cheaper and probably a bit fresher.

From a culture standpoint: he blends in easily with the local population... until he opens his mouth. Then, people know right away he's an overseas Vnmese because of the way he talks. He hasn't been there long enough to see if people will consider him a "normal" person, or a pigeon to be plucked. One thing that does make him uncomfortable is the personal questions he gets, such as "how old are you", "how much do you make", etc.
For non-Vnmese/non-Asian readers: such inquiries are fairly normal in VN and are not considered impolite. But I think that you would face a different set of challenges if you were to RE in VN. For you, it would be things like adapting to a somewhat alien culture, getting used to the smells, the much slower pace of life, etc. For Sam, Van and myself, we speak the language fluently and are familiar with the culture, but the issues we would face are more subtle.

This has been a very good discussion, let's keep it up.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-11-2006, 10:46 AM   #80
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Pollution/corruption/crime welcome to any SE Asia newspaper eh? My wife and I took to calling the two newspapers we'd read in Bangkok "the corruption times" because of how much corruption dominated the headlines.

I'm quite used to the shakedown from curious locals... do you have babies? how much do you make? how big is your family? how big is your house? etc. etc.

Another place we love and talk of retiring to is Mae Hong Son, in NW Thailand. Much natural beauty in the surrounding countryside mountains, not too big, not too small, and convenience = an airport in town with two cheap daily flights to Chiang Mai.



That's the lake in downtown Mae Hong Son behind me in the valley. Kinda like Hoi An in that if you can live with tourists rolling thru you get some Western services that might be hard to come by in other towns. Lovely place.
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