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Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
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Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Just wondering how many of you have considered making your retirement in another lower cost country (or perhaps not lower cost) Would love to hear your considerations and why you favor that country.

What do you feel are the possitives, as well as the negatives.
Have you traveled there yet to check it out for yourself, or just read about it. Are you considering full time or only part time living. etc. etc.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter
Just wondering how many of you have considered making your retirement in another lower cost country (or perhaps not lower cost) Would love to hear your considerations and why you favor that country.

What do you feel are the possitives, as well as the negatives.
Have you traveled there yet to check it out for yourself, or just read about it. Are you considering full time or only part time living. etc. etc.
I looked into it early on. For me, it was too complicated, too much work,
too much hassle, big learning curve (laws/language/customs/etc).
I wanted to be in a warmer area and decided I could do that and still
stay in the states.

JG
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 02:08 PM   #3
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

I considered it (and I am still considering it). DW says it is a "no-go" since she doesn't want to live away from her family. I might be able to persuade her into trying it for a certain length of time (1-2 years), but permanently won't happen.

Thailand, other SE asian countries or latin american countries could all work due to our language skills we currently possess between the two of us.

I wouldn't do it for 1-2 years for cost purposes, but rather I'd like to give my kids some unique experiences in foreign cultures while they are growing up. They will probably be late elementary/middle-school aged by the time we ER.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

This question should likely be divided into two survey pools. Married and unmarried.

I'm unmarried and will likely spend some years overseas.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 03:26 PM   #5
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

We know a couple who retired in 1997 and moved to Mexico. They are in their fifth city (Mazatlan) living in a 2BR apartment on the ocean. They were in Vancouver so they eventually decided that they mised the ocean and Mazatlan was the cheapest of the ocean resorts.

Their kids come down to visit. They are saving about 40% by the move so their retirement is more secure than it would have been in Vancouver. Plus they save the costs of a winter vacation.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 03:31 PM   #6
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter
Just wondering how many of you have considered making your retirement in another lower cost country (or perhaps not lower cost) Would love to hear your considerations and why you favor that country.

What do you feel are the possitives, as well as the negatives.
Have you traveled there yet to check it out for yourself, or just read about it. Are you considering full time or only part time living. etc. etc.
Count me in. I plan to establish a base in Vietnam, and travel from there. Low cost is definitely a major factor. The others are language, culture, food, friends, and family. I left VN at age 19. I have been back twice, 1995, and 1997. It appears to get better each time.

I anticipate living in VN 6 months a year. 2 months in the US, where my adult children are. The remainder 4 months somewhere else in the world.

My research indicates a 4 to 1 ratio in purchasing power in VN. In other words, my living cost there will be only 1/4 of comparable US cost. The anticipated saving will be used to fund my travels.

5 years to go...


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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 05:24 PM   #7
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

So you speak the language. That's wonderful. Would love to hear more about it and what it's like now. That's a country I never considered before. But remembering the picture "Good Morning Vietnam" with Robin Williams, all I can remember is a lot of sweating going on.

But I guess air conditioning is more available now. Where did you get your estimation of 1/4th the cost to live there? That sounds cheaper than Thailand.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

I still have friends and family there. My estimate are compiled from data obtained from them. It's actually only 1/5. But I padded it to 1/4 for my comfort/confidence level.

VN is definitely not for everyone, just like Thailand. Yes, VN costs less than Thailand. My best guess is 25% less.

It's still a communist country on paper. But life is pretty much like any other places, freedom is granted as long as it does not involve politics. VN is developing steadily, the economy is getting stronger. In the absence of stupid, irrational government interferences, VN should get to Thailand, Malaysia level in 5 to 10 years (my opinion).
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 08:55 PM   #9
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

mod,

I am strongly interested in retiring somewhere else for several reasons (survival being high on the list), but DW is not enthusiastic. I hope to start with long extended stays and see how it goes. We do enjoy travel and staying in one place long enough to become acquainted with local stuff.

Mexico is closest. We have stayed in Mazatlan and like it very much.
Quote:
We know a couple who retired in 1997 and moved to Mexico. They are in their fifth city (Mazatlan) living in a 2BR apartment on the ocean. They were in Vancouver so they eventually decided that they mised the ocean and Mazatlan was the cheapest of the ocean resorts.
(kcowan, would that happen to be Jim Bentein?) Other places of interest are Tepic, Guadalajara and Xalapa.

I would also like to check out Panama, Uruguay, Chile and Merida in Venezuela (only Merida). Maybe somewhere in Argentina, but only a maybe. Curitiba, Brazil, is also interesting but I dunno about Portuguese. Gozo/Malta recently popped up on my radar screen (they speak English!).

As it happens, Canada is now also on my list, as I am working up here and prospects are good. We shall see how practical it is. I have yet to run the numbers. By the way, Yankees can't just come up here to retire. You usually have to have a job to get in, then become a permanent resident (neither of which is very difficult these days).

SE Asia is not on the list.

I don't know how any of this is going to work out, but I am having fun doing the research and even more fun testing the waters.

So, what are you thinking about?

Ed The Gypsy
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 09:35 PM   #10
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

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?
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 10:50 PM   #11
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Sam,

Healthcare, yes. (I do have qualms about access, not cost.)

Also low population density, pretty nice people, beautiful countryside, a nation of immigrants. Lots of differences, lots of similarities, almost the same language. Pleasantly isolated from reality.

I like it.

There are much worse places to be. (I've been there.)

Ed
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-03-2006, 11:18 PM   #12
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

I'm living and working in Japan now, and don't see any reason not to stay here after retiring. Also, after investing a lot into learning the language, culture, history and generally how things work, it would take a very good reason to leave permanently. And I can't think of any place I'd want to go from here anyway.

Then again, 15 years ago I had no idea I'd ever end up where I am now, so who knows what the future will bring.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 07:43 AM   #13
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Are there any opinions about living in Spain?
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 08:16 AM   #14
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter
So you speak the language. That's wonderful. Would love to hear more about it and what it's like now. That's a country I never considered before. But remembering the picture "Good Morning Vietnam" with Robin Williams, all I can remember is a lot of sweating going on.

But I guess air conditioning is more available now. Where did you get your estimation of 1/4th the cost to live there? That sounds cheaper than Thailand.
Not quite Vietnam, but here are some numbers from when I lived for a short while in Cambodia (Phnom Penh) earlier this year. These are mostly from memory so it's a bit spotty...

$25-35 - nightly hotel rate for 3-4 star hotel (booked direct)

$300 - Apartment rent (2 bdrm condo - high luxury in good area)
$50 - monthly electric bill (mostly a/c)

$3-5 - casual lunch or dinner
$10-$15 - very nice dinner (per person)

$.20 - launder a pair of pants or shirt
$.50 - hem a pair of pants
$4 - 1 hour massage (by the blind - excellent w/ no funny stuff)

$.50 - One hour in an Internet Cafe (includes use of computer)
$.75 - ride on back of a moto to practically anywhere in the city
(that includes 2x markup for westerners)
$20 - helmet for moto

The apartment came with free cable and I used to love the movies that played on the "movie channel". They would always start with the FBI warning. I pictured some guy at the cable company hitting the play button on the DVD player and feeding the DVD to the entire city.

Jim
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 08:56 AM   #15
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Healthcare, yes. (I do have qualms about access, not cost.)
I swear the "FREE HEALTHCARE!!!!!" scam is one of the most effective. Why do people think it has no cost? It's just paid through taxes rather than at the point of service.

Quote:
Also low population density, pretty nice people...
Hey, some of us are jerks.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 10:27 AM   #16
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan
Not quite Vietnam, but here are some numbers from when I lived for a short while in Cambodia (Phnom Penh) earlier this year. These are mostly from memory so it's a bit spotty...
Jim, you were definitely living way above the norm there. All the costs you listed could be easily cut in half and still be in the comfort zone. VN is cheap, but Cambodia and Laos are even cheaper, around 25% difference.

Anyway, how long were you there? Business or pleasure?
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 10:31 AM   #17
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Dood
I swear the "FREE HEALTHCARE!!!!!" scam is one of the most effective. Why do people think it has no cost? It's just paid through taxes rather than at the point of service.
I'm sure no one thinks it's free, at least not me anyway. The point is it's reasonable and controlled.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 11:27 AM   #18
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan

$.75 - ride on back of a moto to practically anywhere in the city
(that includes 2x markup for westerners)
$20 - helmet for moto
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. BTW, I put about 30K miles on my motorcycle here, its
not that I'm afraid of 2 wheels.
Tom
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 11:33 AM   #19
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Jim, you were definitely living way above the norm there. All the costs you listed could be easily cut in half and still be in the comfort zone. VN is cheap, but Cambodia and Laos are even cheaper, around 25% difference.

Anyway, how long were you there? Business or pleasure?
Sam,

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.

When comparing living in a foreign country to living in the US, it's hard to make a direct cost comparison because the norms are so different. For example, in terms of my expensive dinner for $10-$15, that's in a fashionable place that's only frequented by foreigners and the top .5% of the people. If I wanted to, I could spend 1/10 of that and get nourished like the majority of people, sitting at plastic tables outside in the heat with dirty silverware and lots of flies.

Anyhow, I was only there for just over a month doing volunteer work helping a non-profit that was planning to build a rice mill. There were several other westerners that I met that were living on practically nothing, but that wasn't really my desire at this point in my life. As it was, I spent around $1000 for over a month living in what I would consider pretty comfortable conditions. That also included a 4-day "vacation" to Siem Reap to see the Angkor Wat ruins.
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?
Old 10-04-2006, 11:57 AM   #20
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Re: Who is thinking of retiring in another country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan
When comparing living in a foreign country to living in the US, it's hard to make a direct cost comparison because the norms are so different.
Jim, I agree. It's not just hard. It's almost impossible. The way I look at it is to observe and determine the local standard of living, then multiply that by a ratio to fit my level of comfort. For poorer, less developed countries (South East Asia), I plan to use 3 to 5 as the multiplier. If I go too high, I feel out of place and no longer part of that community.

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