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Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 07:49 PM   #1
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Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Hello,

I am 30 years old and would like to drop out. I own an apartment in New York City which I plan on keeping. Would like to find a beachfront home for under $200,000. Safety and low cost of living are musts. Been thinking about......

1) Panama, safety? I like that I can get permanent residency with a $200,000 real estate purchase

2) Honduras, Roatan too expensive so either coastal or Utilla, but is this a safe country?

3) Argentina, was thinking of forgoing beachfront here and doing wine country

4) Thailand and Vietnam, safety? Is Thailand already expensive and is Vietnam a good alternative?

5) Croatia, but is this too expensive?

6) Montenegro.... but know little about this place

Belize and Costa Rica too expensive, love Europe but is it all too much money? Where will my dollar go far and still be safe? Thanks.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 08:41 PM   #2
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

If you want to buy a beachfront property in Panama for under 200k you might have to redefine the words "beach front." In that price range if you want a condo on the beach then yes. If you want a house with more than 2 bedrooms literally on the beach then I would say no. Of course all this is based on almost 5 months of looking for both beach front lots and homes. You could find what you're looking for if you're willing to walk a block or two to the beach.
In the city you can buy "ocean" front condos in that price range all day long. But since there is no beach in the city, you'll have to venture atleast 45 minutes from the city. The places away from the city are primarily weekend homes (except Coronado but it's pricey) so you might be alone during the week. For instance, the house we found is in a gated community and all the homes are weekend homes. So we won't be borrowing sugar from the neighbors on Mondays.

BTW-There's been a lot of discussions on moving to other countries on this site so just search for the key words.
As for safety, most folks live in gated communities with guards. The city is about as safe as any big city. Some parts are better than others obviously.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 08:54 PM   #3
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Thanks for the info. I guess Panama is out then, as I do want literal beachfront with a nice enough home. Nothing too fancy, but a very pretty beach.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Great idea, kid, but you have a lot of homework to do.

The 'net is a great place to start. Yahoo has a bunch of groups for different countries. Lurk there. Correspond with folks who live or travel there. Some are full of sh*t, but many are genuine. Learn to tell the difference. Go to a big library and a big bookstore and read books on those places, too. Read everything you can.

Why do you want to buy something right away? That is a big trap. Easy to buy, very hard to sell. You will want to look around first. If you find you like a place, rent for a year. It is much cheaper than buying, you will find, especially if you can speak the lingo.

Go to Lonely Planet Thorn Tree. Read about travelling to those places. Then buy a back pack and go! You can travel around Latin America comfortably on $30/day easy (~ $10k for a year)--and with a little nerve you can cut that in half. If you have $200k sitting around at 4%, that is $8k/year. You can travel for a whole year without financial risk.

Maybe go to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and take a Spanish course for 3 months. Talk to people.

Do you speak any other language? Why not go first where you can habla?

Doing the research is half the fun, I find. I learn all kinds of things about the places I am going.

Good luck.

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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 09:22 PM   #5
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

NY Lady -

Why not rent? Buying RE overseas is nothing like buying it in the US. Plus, why not have the freedom to pack it up any time you want? Might be a good option in emerging countries.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

I will rent first to see how I like it and so I don't get suckered into a bad deal, and then buy. And I will only buy titled property and hire a good lawyer. I speak some spanish, but not fluent. I have travelled quite a bit, but in Central America only to Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica. Been to the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Middle East but never to South America or Asia. I want to narrow the field of possible cheap locations by research first, down to two or three, then will travel to those places, then pick and then rent, then buy.

Thanks for the advice, but have any particular sites you think are good? Glad I found this one.

Problem with so many websites is that there are all sorts of folk with an agenda, like escapeartist.com or internationalliving.com, See link below

http://www.noriegaville.com/bochinch...from=&ucat=11&
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 09:24 PM   #7
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

I guess because I like to own, some people are like that. I am not a perpetual traveller, more of a nesting sort. Thanks for any info.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 09:26 PM   #8
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

I recommend talking to dougdo, an ER member. He knows quite a bit about spending long periods of time in other countries. He runs travelblogs.com or you can send him a 'PM' via this website.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 10:53 PM   #9
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

NY Lady, retirement at 30 sounds great to me.* I have not traveled alot but have done alot of research. The way I see it:

I would consider selling the NY apartment, I can only see those co-ops going down in price.
They are well overpriced and should put a good amount of cash in your bank account. You can always stay with friends or family when you go back to visit after you retire.

For retirement why not consider Buenos Aires. Supposed to have many of the qualities of NYC at a fraction of the cost, especially real estate. But its far.

Other than BA, Panama is very Gringo/Gringa friendly. US dollars are used there and as you said 200k in the bank or in real estate will get you residency.
Panama City is a first world city at near 3rd world prices.

Costa Rica is really not that expensive just stay away from the California money buying up Escazu. 60k in the bank gets residency. There a a number of beach areas where you may find something reasonable.

Many speak about Thailand, I am sure it has alot to offer but for me the language may be a factor. I gotta get there someday.

The other countries I do not know much about or do not seem to offer the expat much.

If you can get away from the Big Apple for a month or more you can probably check em all out.





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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 10:58 PM   #10
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Look up Ben's posts for info on Thailand. I dont remember him posting recently, though.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-07-2006, 11:18 PM   #11
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

For family reasons, gonna hold onto manhattan property. even when the bubble bursts, won't really matter as i will never sell it and it will be worth more than now down the line, holding on very long term, and insanely low maintenence and taxes for nyc standards. have enough in mutual funds, bonds, a bit in ira, etc. to retire after making the 200k investment in a nice sunny location with a cheap cost of living. so it would be the million dollars in portfolio, the apt in nyc which i own straight out no mortgage and then the 200k place i will buy. i really liked costa rica, went a few years back. will take my time to figure this one out. don't really want to live in another city. think i want a beachfront property. gotta figure flight costs into the whole thing though. and since not ready to leave nyc altogether, thailand and argentina are both far, but someone posted that panama is out of reach for me if i want a home on the beach. got a lot to figure out. maybe i will end up loving thailand and not minding distance. trying to narrow the field to the 3 best places to consider. thanks everyone for responses.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 08:40 AM   #12
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

I posted on your other thread about Floripa, Brasil. I think it is a good option. Crime not bad, under average for Brasil. The cost of living is nothing and in the process of being found.

Also try this real estate link below. It has an english version also, but less properties will be shown. You could do as I and use this to learn a couple of words.

http://www.piramides.com.br/

My guess is you could find something on the water for less than $US200,000 or $R450,000, but not in downtown or a major beach. Perhaps a secondary beach. I personally would not buy but rent so I would not have trouble getting the money back out on a sale.

Visa might be an issue. They do have long term visas for investors, Brasil spouse or Brasil kids.

job
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 08:57 AM   #13
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

I agree with wildcat renting might make sense. At 30 you may want to live overseas for 30-40 years. How many of these countries have been stable for that long either economically or politically (the Vietnam war). Who knows what the next 30 years will bring. Personally, I would only buy in these countries, if I was willing to walk away from the property.

I would also be worried, if the actual building would last 40 years.

Also, if you are considering Thailand, you might also want to consider Malaysia. It also has a lot of positives.

Mike
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 09:50 AM   #14
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Don't forget to consider receiving and paying for medical care. At 30, I'm sure you feel very unbreakable. But sh** happens.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 01:45 PM   #15
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

thanks. medical care huge issue and cost. i have some health problems, could be a lot worse though, one of the reasons why i am retiring early and why i worked so hard young. insurance will be one of my biggest costs. sucks.

oh, and thanks for post on brazil, will look into it, as floripa seems to be close to uraguay (which is very pricey) which means warm weather but not so hot and muggy as central america.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 02:03 PM   #16
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Why buy?? Especially on the beach, when you can find a rental for a fraction of the cost and avoid the huge hassles of trying to own property in a foreign land? Just the interest on $200k would rent a nice place in the cheaper countries. If you go off the beaten track in places like Mexico, you can still find bargains for rent.

Most of the countries you are considering are unbearably hot along the coast during the rainy season (including Mexico and much of Latin America). You might want the flexibility to move into the hills during that time to cool off.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 03:13 PM   #17
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorklady

5) Croatia, but is this too expensive?
Croatia is definitely beautiful (my family is from there) but I don't know if I would move there permanently...too much of a culture shock. My cousin goes back every summer and she says it's great if you have lots of money, etc. but living there full-time is a different story.

Another cousin was born and raised in Calgary but has been living in Croatia for the past 5 years. Her and her husband have been trying to build an apartment for the past two years and it's been nightmare after nightmare dealing with contractors, cost over-runs, etc. Dealing with real estate is much different over there.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 04:15 PM   #18
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorklady
thanks. medical care huge issue and cost.* i have some health problems, could be a lot worse though, one of the reasons why i am retiring early and why i worked so hard young.* insurance will be one of my biggest costs.* sucks.*

NY Lady, may I ask how you plan to maintain the medical insurance. NY is a guarantee issue state which means all insurance companies have to take everyone regardless of health conditions. Ths problem is the premiums for a good plan are very high since they have to spread the costs of insuring everyone accross the board.

HMO's are available fairly cheap but the doctors are only in NY. If you plan on traveling you need a PPO that will cover most everywhere. That when they get expensive.

I have been trying to figure this out myself for a while.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 04:44 PM   #19
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

i am covered w husband's company's insurance now, but planning on just getting the hmo and only seeing doctors in new york, and hoping i don't get into any accidents or sick abroad. i haven't checked into prices yet, but my friend pays out of pocket 400 a month for her hmo so that is a big cost.

so it looks like the consensus is not to buy abroad. what about all the people who bought in costa rica and now years later it is worth so much more? i am not a perpetual traveller. but i wouldnt buy in nicaragua for example, too risky.
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?
Old 04-08-2006, 05:11 PM   #20
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Re: Panama, Honduras, Vietnam, Argentina, Thailand? Where to retire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorklady
i am covered w husband's company's insurance now, but planning on just getting the hmo and only seeing doctors in new york, and hoping i don't get into any accidents or sick abroad.* i haven't checked into prices yet, but my friend pays out of pocket 400 a month for her hmo so that is a big cost.*

so it looks like the consensus is not to buy abroad.* what about all the people who bought in costa rica and now years later it is worth so much more?* i am not a perpetual traveller.* but i wouldnt buy in nicaragua for example, too risky.*
$400 to $500 for one person sounds about right for a beter HMO like HIP
other HMO's may be less

Buying abroad: I would just dont pay too much. I do not think it is any riskier than buying a mutual fund.

And better than buying a 70 year old run down home in Queens for $650k which people keep doing.
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