Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 12-27-2006, 12:43 PM   #141
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,725
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
By hanging out with non-American ex-pats, one gains the benefit of their experiences in the same situation without the stigma. It also confuses the natives. This is easy in Canada as it is a nation of immigrants (something which I find very appealing in itself).
The other thing is that most cultures are appreciative of anyone who:
1) Tries to integrate socially and politically
2) Does not openly claim their country is better
3) Does not dwell on their home country's politics or sports.
This is a common characteristic of humble Canucks.
__________________

__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 12-27-2006, 03:42 PM   #142
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 886
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Reading something totally unrelated, I came across a link today to an article about Estonia:
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20070115&s=bissell011507
It requires registration to read the article. Can you post some of the highlights of the article for us? I'm assuming it talks about how un-corrupt Estonia is.
__________________

__________________

Trek is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 12-27-2006, 03:54 PM   #143
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 886
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Trek,

Is "transparent government" equal to "honest government"? I have been reading that some places, Montenegro for example, are totally corrupt. Bulgaria seems the same.

Thanks!

Ed
Here's an interesting statistic regarding government corruption. Estonia did quite well.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781359.html

Estonia is like a little cheap Finland. It feels more Scandinavian than it does Eastern European.
__________________

Trek is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 12-27-2006, 04:10 PM   #144
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 886
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Interesting side note. The current president of Estonia was a U.S. citizen until he renounced it in 1996 so he could work in the Estonian government (his parents were Estonian immigrants).

And regarding the other two Baltic countries, the president of Lithuania also was a U.S. citizen and the Latvian president was Canadian.
__________________

Trek is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 12-28-2006, 02:47 AM   #145
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Funny.. I didn't have to register... or maybe once in the past I used BugMeNot and it remembered...
http://www.bugmenot.com/

It's not really written in a style where one or two paragraphs capture the essence; I posted the whole thing. Hope that's kosher..if not, moderators feel free to chop away. In that eventuality, I'll e-mail it to anyone who requests.
Quote:
Rolling Estonia
by Tom Bissell
Post date 12.21.06 | Issue date 01.15.07

The paths available to nations coping with the grim and often sanguinary legacies of communism are few. There is the Russian way: Retain, defend, and celebrate the most singularly awful aspects of communist rule. There is the Uzbek way: Swap the name of the Uzbek communist party for the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan; carry on forthwith. There is the Vietnamese way: Preserve communism's ceremonial, revered-elders overlay; disown most of the economic advice. And there is the Chinese way: Change everything, admit nothing. In light of all this, it is sadly difficult to imagine a post-communist nation achieving governmental transparency, an uncorrupted economy, and lives for its citizens untouched by the tentacles of a busy secret police force.

But consider Estonia. I had been hearing of the amazements of this nation and, in particular, of its capital, Tallinn, for some time: an Old City whose preserved medieval architecture functions as a Gothic time machine; a friendly populace with an enterprising work ethic (the Internet phone service Skype was an Estonian company, bought last year by eBay for more than $2 billion); a good-naturedly hedonistic nightlife; and a number of excellent restaurants. I once had the rare honor of being mugged three times in one day in one former Soviet capital--the last coming at the sticky-fingered hands of the police themselves--so, when looking over a Lonely Planet guidebook, the first place to which I usually turn is the "Dangers & Annoyances" section. While warnings abound for its Baltic neighbor Latvia ("It definitely pays to be streetwise here"), Estonia rates no admonitions at all.

The twentieth century was not kind to Estonia, providing it with both Nazi and Soviet occupations. Yet, while its history as an independent nation-state has been sporadic and brief (it spent several centuries under Russian and, before that, Swedish rule), Estonians themselves form one of the oldest extant cultures in Europe. A people closely related to the Finns, Estonians have existed in what is today called Estonia since the time of Cheops. Estonia was recently rated the sixteenth-least corrupt country in Europe, far ahead of any other former Soviet state and better than founding EU member Italy. Its bow-tied and owlishly appealing president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves--a Swedish-born ethnic Estonian who grew up in the United States--has been known to speak of Estonia forming "a Huntingtonian subcivilization different from both its southern and eastern neighbors."

In September, I traveled to Estonia--and found what appeared to be paradise. In Tallinn's airport, passing through customs took seven-and-a-half minutes. Compared with any other European capital, or even any midsized U.S. city, traffic was laughably light. Mercedes-Benz 350s and Lexus SUVs prowled the cobbled streets of Tallinn's truly lovely Old City. Technologically, Estonia seemed like a planet from a Flash Gordon serial: Clicking on my AirPort icon just about anywhere I went in Tallinn resulted in a Homeric catalog of free wireless providers, and I learned that newspapers can be purchased from vending machines with a cell phone and that voting can be done online via a national-identity card. Tallinn's striking Museum of Occupations, which details Estonia's dreary experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule, was rigorously detailed and scholarly while, at the same time, admirably restrained. (It also treated frankly the matter of many Estonians' collaboration with the Nazis.)

As for Tallinn's nightlife, it seemed genuinely fun and welcoming--if, that is, one could overlook the drunken Scottish men giving one another comradely punches in the face on their way to the next strip club. One night at a disco, a woman, for whom the phrase "out of my league" had been invented, waved me onto the dance floor to join her for an encore of "Welcome to Estonia," a popular local anthem sung to the tune of James Brown's "Living in America." Tallinn boasted what I can say were--without fear of hyperbole--the most jaw-droppingly beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. (One Estonia-boosting tract cheerfully explains: "The concentration of beautiful and interesting women in Estonia is apparently among the highest in the world.") Perhaps relatedly, the one time I was approached by a young Estonian looking to unload some drugs, the narcotic in question turned out to be Viagra.

My last night in Tallinn, a cash machine captured my bank card. While I pounded on the screen, an Estonian man approached, whipped out his cell phone, called the bank's 24-hour help line, and arranged for me to pick up my card the next morning at the bank's main branch. I thanked him, not quite believing my card would be there. The next morning, I turned up at Hansapank to find at the help desk a six-foot-two-inch Estonian Amazon so glowingly blonde she appeared to be irradiated. I made sheepish mention of my plight, upon which she smiled, reached into her desk, withdrew an envelope, and, after a cursory scan of my passport, handed me my bank card.

Nevertheless, I wondered: Was Estonia's stylishness actually some geoeconomic version of keeping up with the Joneses of the Western world? I was told more than once in Tallinn that the luxury sedans tooling around the city were, in many cases, piloted by people who could not afford them. I had noticed Tallinn's many bookstores and art galleries, but, when I actually spoke to some Estonian writers and artists, I was told that the nation's literary and art circles, while lively, were often as cliquish and status-conscious as a SoHo loft party. The story of Skype, the pride of Estonia, is also more complicated than that of a brainy Estonian phoenix rising from a heap of Soviet ash. Skype originated when a duo of Swedish investors came to Estonia in search of cheap programming talent. So, while the talent was local--and Estonians did indeed write the code--the funding and the idea behind that funding was not.

Thus, a couple of months later, I went back to Tallinn during the winter to discover a meteorologically literal darkness at noon. I was forced to note, for the first time, that Tallinn nearly shares a line of latitude with Iqaluit, the capital of the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut. The city's stripped trees stood against an unrelentingly sunless gray canvas. Drizzle was constant; it had apparently begun raining two weeks before I arrived. Tallinn's main square was decked out to look like one of those dispiriting little U.S. towns where Christmas is celebrated year-round. The people of Tallinn themselves were glumly hidden within designer winter coats as puffy as soufflés. The clubs, cafés, and restaurants where I had so enjoyed myself had names that now seemed desperate and effortful: Bar Bogart, Hollywood, Stereo.

I sought out Scott Diel, the editor-in-chief of Tallinn's City Paper, the Baltic region's must-read English-language magazine. Diel, a former Peace Corps volunteer once stationed in Estonia, has spent ten years living in the country, and I hoped he could revive my flagging admiration for his adopted home. Estonia, I told him, was without question the most pleasant and most advanced of the former Soviet republics--but could beating out Kazakhstan and Armenia really be considered that wondrous?

"The stuff you see in the press about Estonia," Diel told me, "about the Miracle Republic--most of it really is true. Estonia's unofficial goal is to become one of the five richest nations in Europe." Could that happen? "They'll never be richer than Switzerland, but it's not impossible to imagine that they'll come close. Estonia is still pretty homogeneous, with a government that agrees on the core issues. That's Estonia's secret. It's not that divided. Estonia wants to be Western." Diel's biggest impetus for staying in Estonia, he told me, other than his predictably lovely Estonian wife, was "lifestyle." But, when I expressed some curiosity about possibly moving with my girlfriend to Tallinn, Diel advised: "Make sure she comes in the summer."

Estonia, I initially thought, had managed to forge a real place for its ethnic Russians--unlike many former Soviet republics, whose ethnic populace sneers at the Russians with whom they grew up. Today, 26 percent of Estonia's inhabitants are ethnic Russians. Yet, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western nations had to urge Estonia not to expel them. Estonia didn't offer most of its Russians automatic citizenship; Russians born in Estonia before 1992 have to pass a language test and suffer questions about Estonia's new constitution. This sounds much easier than it is: Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language--which means that, other than Hungarian and Finnish, it has no widely spoken relatives--and the U.S. State Department ranks it as one of the world's more difficult languages. ("You have to be really smart to be Estonian," one Estonian told me.) Many Russians have refused to take the citizenship test, and a good number of those who have still don't fully identify as Estonian. "Russian children," an émigré Estonian businessman named Jüri Estam wrote recently in City Paper, "are being raised in Estonia in the spirit of denial."

In one of Tallinn's central parks stands the Tõnismäe Monument, which is home to a bronze statue of a Soviet soldier. This was thrown up during Soviet times to commemorate the "liberation" of Estonia from Nazi rule on September 22, 1944. In actual fact, the Soviets crushed the five-day-old independent government of Otto Tief and shot or dispatched to Siberia most of his ministers. The statue is, today, an annual gathering place for Tallinn's Russian population, most of whom refuse to acknowledge the reality of the malign and unwanted Soviet takeover--perhaps believing, however subconsciously, that Estonia remains a Russian colonial possession. This feeling is not mutual. Most Estonians loathe the statue--Estam was actually arrested in May when, during a counterdemonstration, he crossed a police barricade in an attempt to display the national flag of Estonia in what he calls "a respectful manner"--but the Estonian government refuses, for some reason, to remove it. Some claim this is because many within Estonia's parliament are unduly influenced by Russians; others maintain that the politics of confrontation is simply not the Estonian way. All of which meant that the tolerant ethnic wonderland I had wanted to see on my first visit was in fact riven by some depressingly familiar complications.

"Estonians would kill me for saying this," Hillar Lauri, a Canadian-born ethnic Estonian who relocated to Tallinn in 1991, told me, "but it is essential to the Estonian psyche to say that we are not Russian. And this country is about proving that Estonia is not Russia. How do you prove it? By working harder, by reforming, by changing." Near-Shoring, Lauri's Tallinn-based company, does accounting for non-Estonian businesses operating in Estonia. His work, combined with his Canadian upbringing, gives him a panoramic view of both how far Estonia has come and how much further it needs to go. "Any area that is state-regulated," he went on, "is corrupt. Hospitals and health care are terribly unreformed areas. ... But it takes time. There are a thousand Soviet mindsets that linger."

"Estonia was an independent republic between the two world wars," Andrus Viirg, the director for Foreign Investments and Trade Promotion for Enterprise Estonia, explained to me. "This mentality has helped us because of the existing memory of a market economy and democracy. The cultural closeness to Finland also helped. We were able to watch Finnish TV. No territory under the Soviet Union had this opportunity. After regaining our independence, it was very easy for the government to proceed with Western ideas."

Nations may or may not get the governments they deserve, but Estonia's has been stable and occasionally inspired. Its first independent president, the reform-minded Lennart Meri, did much to create Estonia's vaunted democratic transparency. Meri, who died in 2006, referred to politicians who got rich while in office as "scum on the surface of the state cauldron" and once held an apologetic press conference within a public toilet when he learned that a Japanese diplomat had complained about Estonia's then-appalling (though typically Soviet) public restrooms. Meri's 2001 successor, Arnold Rüütel--a former communist widely renowned for the snores he pulled from audiences while speaking--had a mildly scandal-plagued tenure as president, but, even under his decrepit hand, Estonia joined the European Union and its economy grew at a rate of around 6 percent per year. Ilves, the current president, is widely admired, and his fondness for polymathic rhetoric has made it clear there will be no looking back. The Estonian economy, Viirg told me, especially in terms of foreign investment, "is very strong." Most of this investment--eleven billion euros between 1992 and 2005--has come from Sweden and Finland. "If we start calculating foreign investment per capita," Viirg went on, "Estonia is [one of the very] strongest performers among the new EU member countries." Estonia's GDP growth is currently running at 10 percent per year, which places it in the ranks of China and India, with virtually none of those countries' festering social ills.

It should be said that, even during Soviet times, Estonia had what was by far the highest standard of living among all the Soviet republics; it was where Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn went to complete The Gulag Archipelago in peace and quiet. Its success, then, is not really all that surprising. What is surprising is that Estonia suffered occupation by two of the twentieth century's most monstrous regimes and, rather than succumb to the sickness of totalitarianism, developed some rather potent antibodies. In Estonia, the secret police basically no longer exist; most of the investigations headed by kapo, its internal security force, are focused on software piracy rather than dissidents' e-mail. Beyond the velvet ropes of its exclusive nightclubs, Estonia might not be the most exuberant place on earth, and its winters may be the atmospheric equivalent of a Bergman film, but it is blessed in many more important areas. Estonia's greatest blessing might well turn out to be the degree to which its hard-won liberty has heightened the awareness of what its people can now freely achieve in this world. In the decidedly unmessianic Estonian air is something I have not sensed in my own country in a long time. It feels, in a word, sane.

Tom Bissell is the author of Chasing the Sea, God Lives in St. Petersburg, and The Father of All Things, which will be published in March.
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 12-28-2006, 08:39 AM   #146
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 886
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Good article and completely fair IMO. Sums up the place pretty well.

BTW, that soviet soldier statue they are now trying to take down. They are enacting a law that says no Soviet or Nazi symbols that would cause unrest can be displayed or something to that effect. Basically a law to take down all the Soviet stuff still laying about. Russians are calling them fascists for it. :
__________________

Trek is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 03-07-2007, 04:45 PM   #147
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 886
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina

One can acquire Italian citizenship through a process called "jure sanguinis"; if one can document that one's emigrating Italian grandfather did not give up his Italian citizenship upon immigration to the US (along with certain other conditions), one has the right to claim Italian citizenship. A tortuous route involving many 'timbri' and 'bolli' and dredging up ancient birth certificates, but worth it for someone who can qualify and who really wants an EU citizenship/passport (which would include Estonia, for anyone of Italian descent tempted by Trek's post!).

Do you know whether Estonia has a set-up like this? Maybe not, if they were not an independent country at the time of your relatives' emigration...

Best of luck, tho'.. Sounds interesting!
Interesting development. After getting a very helpful immigration officer, I was able to find out that with my mothers birth certificate, Estonia will grant me citizenship. The law that I though had passed is still in effect after all.

__________________

Trek is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 03-08-2007, 09:40 AM   #148
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 886
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trek
Interesting development. After getting a very helpful immigration officer, I was able to find out that with my mothers birth certificate, Estonia will grant me citizenship. The law that I though had passed is still in effect after all.

However, Estonia does not recognize dual citizenships and I would have to renounce my U.S. citizenship.
Having spoken with the Estonian Consulate in New York, they claim I can keep my U.S. citizenship too Dual citizen baby!
__________________

Trek is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 03-17-2007, 05:02 AM   #149
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Fab! Congratulations, Trek!
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Curitiba
Old 08-30-2007, 07:05 AM   #150
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Curitiba

Somewhere back in this thread someone brought up Curitiba, Brazil (maybe me?).

I just saw a film about the city, advertising their low-budget successes at improving life in a poor but large city (2,000,000). I think I will buy the DVD.

Interesting place! Movies like this let me be a virtual tourist.



Enjoy!

Gypsy
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2007, 03:13 PM   #151
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
Renewed my American passport but really haven't had to use it much. Learning to talk rite - they speak funny in Kansas City.

Just passed two years since leaving New Orleans(after thirty years). Starting to get the hang of local customs.

heh heh heh - still holding back on the kayak though - maybe this year?
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 04:15 PM   #152
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portland/North Port
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
donheff is absolutely correct. There are always two prices, one for the locals and one for the strangers/newcomers/tourists.

To live abroad (as opposed to visit) is to blend oneself into the local community, more or less becoming a part of it.
Hi Sam,

How is your plan to RE in Vietnam (or make it the base). I too, very interest in re'ing in Vietnam (btw, I am a Viet). I visited the Vietnam in 2004 in loved every single moment that I was there, I was able to find some friends that I have not seen for 21 years. I left the country when I was 23, there are so much memory and friends that I left over there. And we did have a blast. Yes, you are right I was pretty much blend in with the local, and they loved me for doing that, that I was approachable.

My parents in law recently moved back there to their home town Hoi An. My wife is going back there more often now to care for her parents (twice this year already). We probably will spend some serious time overthere in the future when the kids all go to college.
__________________
neihn is offline   Reply With Quote
Asia My Second Home
Old 09-12-2007, 01:53 PM   #153
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Asia My Second Home

Thanks to everyone who hv shared their passion and dreams about retiring in a foreign country be it due to lower cost of living or the desire to explore the world. I am fascisnated by the stories about Estonia and South America here, and I hope to contribute my own experience in Asia. I am Asian American with ties in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. Been here for over 25 years, America is really a great nation and I am very proud to be here. My wife and I are planning to FIRE within 5 years or sooner. Based on our calculation, we should eb able to net US$60,000 per year from our residue incomes from rental properties and fixed income instruments. I am 43+ and my wife touching 50's this year. No kids, with 2 dogs, and painfullly had to put one to sleep day before yesterday after 9 1/2 years with us. Thus found the FIRE forum and enjoyed reading every bit of it.

Based on $60,000, we have been exploring the may options we have to live and enjoy. We could probably live comfortably in California with $60,000 but inflation will pretty much catch up in the next 10 years and quality of life will decrease with less buying power. We hv visited several countries in the past and below are our observations:-

Malaysia- A multi-racial country which offers excellent variety of food, friendly and warm people. Almost everyone speaks a little English. Living expenses are quite reasonable. A couple can live quite comfortably in a secured 2 room condominium in Kuala Lumpur for US$600 and another US$200 for electircity, dsl and cable TV with air-con and swimming pool within the condo complex. Eating out is very affordable. If you enjoy local food, it's about $3 per head with lots of variety and convenience. Western food with wine would probably set you back about US$20 per person in a nice restaurant. Or you can get all kinds of western food at the cold storage and food supermarkets such as Tesco. There are lots to do and see in Kuala Lumpur, and one can explore the local scenes or go to other states easily by bus or train. Malaysia offers a 10 year visa on a second home program for those who choose to retire if you meet theri requirements. But if not, you can do a visa run every 90 days to Singapore which is very close. For US$24000 to US$36000 a year, a couple can enjoy a very comfortable life with all the amenties, dining out, and travel a bit. Hotels are quite reasonable averaging about US$50 per night. Malaysia also offers a hub other Asian destinations. Their low-cost carrier which rivals Southwest is AirAsia and one can fly to Bangkok, Chiangmai, Vietnam, China and all over South East Asia for peanuts. An exmaple is if you are flexible with your schedule, a round trip from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok is as low as US$100 Go check out your desired destinations at Welcome to AirAsia.com...now everyone can fly... Now Everyone Can Fly. Currently there are many UK retirees in Malaysia. A dutch choose a small town by the seaside to live and created a nice website called Pulau Pangkor, a perfect holiday destination on the best island in Malaysia to live. There are many options from small town to big city like Kuala Lumpur.
Weather: It's about 85F with rainy seasons towards the year end.

Safety: As anywhere else, always practice caution. Bag snatchers and petty theft are rampant in crowded areas such as bus and railway stations.
Otherwise its a pretty safe place.

Foreigners generally are well respected and treated with courtesy by Malaysians. Do not get involve in discussion about local politics, or religious bashing of Islam, adn you will be doing fine in Malaysia. It's a muslim country but it tolerates pretty much everything else. All muslims are prohibited from consuming pork, visiting massage parlors, casinos or indulge in alcoholic drinks and go for prayers in the mosque on Friday. However, everyone else such as the chinese, Indian and expats can do whatever they like, and alcoholic beverages are sold openly, and one can forgive a sin and done it over a glass of beer if you like anywhere in Malaysia.

Chiangmai: This is one place in Thailand which offers a mild climate and a nice winter with rainy days towards the end of the year. As long as you do not say, let's hit the beach upon landing in Chiangmai, you will eb fine cos there's no beach except some rivers which you do not want to swim in.

We choose Chiangmai due to the number of expats here, low cost of living with all the western amenities such as dsl, cable TV, western food and lots of Thai food around for peanuts. And wine is readily available. Massage is another luxury we can enjoy inexpensively. And for those who are single, this is another place where a man can get the company of a lady half his age as gf if he likes. So there's something for everyone in Chiangmai. Having said that, this is more of a family oriented city with great weather, affordable accomodation and peaceful environment. There is a large expat community in Chiangmai mostly Brits. With a budget of US$36,000, a couple can live King and Queen here. A high end condo with furnishings and maid service would run about $20000 baht a month which is about US$600. All the dsl, cable and service included.

The bummer about Chiangmai, and Thailand as whole now is their visa policy. It used to be pretty lenient and easy, and anyone with a social security check can live pretty confortably in Chiangmai. These days, the government is trying to attract retirees who have a higher purchasing power and raise the stakes for those who dont. The usual visa runs to the Burmese border is no longer an option for many, thus having to return to ones home country makes it expensive for those who couldnt afford it annually or every 6 months. I may be wrong, but that's what I heard lately.
__________________
Citizen~of~the~World is offline   Reply With Quote
Asia My Second Home-2
Old 09-12-2007, 02:15 PM   #154
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Asia My Second Home-2

Hong Kong : This is one of our dream destination but the housing cost is tremendous.

With US$60,000, we would most likely be comfortable in Hong Kong but by no means living it up. A small one bedroom would set us back about HK$20,000 or US$2500 per month. Transportation by subway and bus are extremely convenient but it adds up too.

When it comes to food, both western or Asian, Hong Kong offer some of the best in Asia. Shopping or window shopping in our case provides hours of amusement, and one can find lots to do in Hong Kong. Convenience to everything is what Hong Kong is all about. But it can get noisy and crowded. Not for those who love peace and luv spacious living. For US$2500, one can only expect about 400 to 500 sq ft.

I would say that 80% of the FIRED members here will not live in Hong Kong, but would find it exciting for a short visit.


China- This is a country as big as USA but with its potential especially in Southern China. I will review Shekou in Shenzhen since it's my second alternative to Hong Kong due to cost.

Shekou is a coastal town right across Hong Kong in the city of Shenzhen. Shenzhen is just the neighboring city of Hong Kong, and one can reach Shenzhen frm Hong Kong by bus, train or ferry within 1 or 2 hours. However the cost of housing drops by 50% in Shenzhen. Shekou which is a small town in the city of Shenzhen has a large expatriate community with bars and eateries all opearted by westerners. Luxury 2 bedroom condos go for about US$1000 to US$1500 with seaview of Hong Kong, and close to the Seaworld where there are lots of restaurants from Mc Donalds to nice french dining. Dining is affordable but if you want to have western food every meal, then it adds up. Other than that, almost eveything is affordable, and one can cross by ferry to Hong Kong anytime. One can live in Shekou and enjoy both Hong Kong and China. US$60,000 per year will allow a couple to enjoy a very good life in Shekou. And speaking of travel, China will take years to explore by train or plane.
__________________
Citizen~of~the~World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2007, 11:31 AM   #155
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by neihn View Post
Hi Sam,

How is your plan to RE in Vietnam (or make it the base). I too, very interest in re'ing in Vietnam (btw, I am a Viet). I visited the Vietnam in 2004 in loved every single moment that I was there, I was able to find some friends that I have not seen for 21 years. I left the country when I was 23, there are so much memory and friends that I left over there. And we did have a blast. Yes, you are right I was pretty much blend in with the local, and they loved me for doing that, that I was approachable.

My parents in law recently moved back there to their home town Hoi An. My wife is going back there more often now to care for her parents (twice this year already). We probably will spend some serious time overthere in the future when the kids all go to college.
Hello neihn,

Welcome aboard.

I'm still 3 to 4 years away from retirement. At this time the plan is still very vague as far as VN is concerned. VN is still at the top of my list for obvious reasons, but I'm still concerned about the goverment and their abnormal practices and "jungle" laws. Things appear to get better albeit at a very slow pace. One thing I'm sure now is to NOT own any property in VN, NOT to "ho^`i hu*o*ng". I will just be a long time tourist, getting out and in when neccessary to satisfy the visa requirements.

I still have a few childhood friends in VN (Saigon and Dalat) and we still communicate via email. I would love to hear more from you about your parents in law and their new life in Hoi An. Please feel free to PM (send a Private Message) me if you're comfortable. We have a small mailing list, 4 Vietnamese guys thinking/discussing/doing retirement in VN, you are welcome to join it if you want.

Sam
__________________
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2007, 03:16 PM   #156
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 443
Hi Sam, is Hoi An part of mid-Vietnam region (mien` Trung). I can't seemto google it and get any decent on the economics and culture in that area.

yes neihn, like Sam, i do too want to retire in Vietnam. once my kids hit college and grow wings to fly on their own..

enuff
__________________
Enuff2Eat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2007, 04:00 PM   #157
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
enuff,

Hoi An is 30km south of Da Nang. It's at the center of the attached map.

Google Maps
__________________
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2007, 04:06 PM   #158
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 443
thanks Sam, for google link, i also find some images on the too. Nice town and nice culture.

My wife is leaving here on the last week of Oct with the Operation Smile Volunteer group. Just can't wait for the picts she's gonna bring home.



Enuff
__________________
Enuff2Eat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2007, 05:08 PM   #159
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portland/North Port
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
Hello neihn,

I still have a few childhood friends in VN (Saigon and Dalat) and we still communicate via email. I would love to hear more from you about your parents in law and their new life in Hoi An. Please feel free to PM (send a Private Message) me if you're comfortable. We have a small mailing list, 4 Vietnamese guys thinking/discussing/doing retirement in VN, you are welcome to join it if you want.

Sam
Sam,

I PMed you.
__________________
neihn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2007, 06:03 PM   #160
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portland/North Port
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post

yes neihn, like Sam, i do too want to retire in Vietnam. once my kids hit college and grow wings to fly on their own..

enuff
Yes Enuff, same here. Especially my wife now so eager to go to Vietnam to take care of her parents. Twice this year already :-).

I hope Vietnam will get better economically too.
__________________

__________________
neihn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Information retiring in a foreign country? teejayevans Life after FIRE 2 09-20-2006 06:15 AM
Real retiring age of Spaniards highest ForeignExchange Life after FIRE 0 01-20-2006 08:58 AM
The lure of retiring to a cheaper country Rich Other topics 5 01-02-2006 04:40 AM
If the whole country is in debt how come........ Cut-Throat Other topics 12 05-05-2004 02:38 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:00 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.