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Old 08-29-2009, 04:28 PM   #21
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I also like how the doctors (private and public) discuss lifestyle adjustments, exercise, nutrition, alternative treatments, etc to compliment the more rigid western medical advice.
Billy and I enjoy this as well. In Thailand we are able to get acupuncture treatments for $12 USD from the local Chinese family who have been doing this service for generations. Up the road one can go to an Ayurvedic spa for all kinds of different approaches to health. And of course, we get Thai massages many times a month for just $3USD per hour. The ‘medical tool box’ is much more varied and we appreciate the benefits and open mind set.
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What I love is the interaction. Unlike a suburb where you drive into your garage without emerging from your car, then enter the house through the interior door, here you go to the neighborhood store (remember those?) to buy your fresh daily items and you interact with your neighbours. And your neighbors will watch your back because you will look out for them too. It is like small town America but more accepting of "foreigners".
Exactly. This is what we love about many of the places we have lived overseas. And there is much more intergenerational communication also. A benefit for everyone.

RE: the age and money disparities between the locals and the foreigners who move in to their country, I caught holy hell for writing these pieces about just this topic. See Thai Wives and Thai Wives Revisited.

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Old 08-29-2009, 09:38 PM   #22
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RE: the age and money disparities between the locals and the foreigners who move in to their country, I caught holy hell for writing these pieces about just this topic. See Thai Wives and Thai Wives Revisited.

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Very perceptive articles.

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Old 08-30-2009, 01:44 AM   #23
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When you say age differences are accepted and lacking in stigma, I think you are ignoring the obvious - money changes perspectives. With an income of $3,000 a month an American living in the Philippines, Peru, or on "a remote island east of Bali in Indonesia" is wealthy by comparison. People who have little are willing to see things differently (as in convincing themselves the end justifies the means) when it comes to a young girl marrying an older man. You may see it as a "cultural difference", but I see it as an unsavory financial relationship and a little pathetic - and I suspect I'm not alone in my views.

The fact you and many other men living overseas post about the ability of an older man to 'attract' a much younger woman (some seem to dwell on it) only reinforces my beliefs.

Just my opinion.
I wonder why the instant presumption is money (and sex) when I talk about "a refreshing change to be greeted on the street by a young smiling face"? How many people who responded to my post have ever lived in a different culture? Why are Americans so quick to presume that everyone in the world would hold American values if they were only given the opportunity?"

No question that money attracts the opposite sex - that happens everywhere in the world. It is also true that young women sell their body for money everywhere in the world - Washington DC being a prime example. But you are blind if you can't see the difference between a whore and a women who prefers a husband with money (and security).

Even my 30 year old daughter, a well respected businesswomen, openly admits that she really enjoys her new boyfriend who is 13 years older and wealthy. Money is a nice thing for anybody to have, but it does not preclude the existence of many other connection points that taken together constitute a loving relationship.

I don't care to dissuade anyone who thinks marrying a young girl from a foreign country is "ick".

I'll just say to anyone, man or woman who is single and too old for the dating scene - you don't have to live a lonely life and grow old in America. The world is filled with lot of young, friendly and attractive people who would love to have an American spouse. Don't miss the chance. Your future does not have to be living in a nursing home, playing checkers with a bunch of other old farts who only want to talk about their health. And if somebody doesn't like that, well, that's their problem.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:17 AM   #24
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I'll just say to anyone, man or woman who is single and too old for the dating scene -
Hmm. After my father's death my mother dated up into her mid 90's, when her steady boyfriend died, but let's assume there even is such a thing as being too old to date.

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you don't have to live a lonely life and grow old in America.
Well, you DO have to grow old, eventually.... You're right. You don't have to live a lonely life as you grow older in America.

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The world is filled with lot of young, friendly and attractive people who would love to have an American spouse.
Absolutely! See Billy's linked articles for more details on that.

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Don't miss the chance. Your future does not have to be living in a nursing home, playing checkers with a bunch of other old farts who only want to talk about their health. And if somebody doesn't like that, well, that's their problem.
Instead, you can (in my opinion) fool yourself into thinking that the young lovely by your side thinks you're sexually attractive and fascinating, and that she would think exactly the same thing if she had managed to get an education, come to America, and become a highly paid young professional here, on an equal financial level to you. She would come to your nursing home seeking you out because she wants to date you, not American citizenship and not your money.

I see.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:13 PM   #25
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Hmm. After my father's death my mother dated up into her mid 90's, when her steady boyfriend died, but let's assume there even is such a thing as being too old to date.
Great, the information I provide does not apply to her.

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Well, you DO have to grow old, eventually.... You're right. You don't have to live a lonely life as you grow older in America.
American lives in neighborhoods largely segregated by age. When you leave the workplace, your ability to network and find a mate decreases quickly. You seem to prefer to spend your time posting on the internet (an average of 9.35 posts per day on this forum). Plus, at age 55 you are already longing to play the role of a grandfather so you can spend time with your grandchildren. If something were to happen to your wife, don't you think you might be a little lonely with just you and the internet all day? Is it possible you might want to come and take a look in Asia to see what the situation is? It can't hurt. We still have the internet here and Asian wives do not complain about how much time we spend on the internet!

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Absolutely! See Billy's linked articles for more details on that.
Those are prostitutes. Prostitutes are a totally different group of people from the "normal" residents of these foreign countries. How can you not know that?

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Instead, you can (in my opinion) fool yourself into thinking that the young lovely by your side thinks you're sexually attractive and fascinating, and that she would think exactly the same thing if she had managed to get an education, come to America, and become a highly paid young professional here, on an equal financial level to you. She would come to your nursing home seeking you out because she wants to date you, not American citizenship and not your money. I see.
Of course not. Young women in America don't want anything to do with men more than 10 or perhaps 20 years their senior, and any girl who had this kind of ambition and drive would not be interested in an older man either.

Yes, indeed, money is a factor in starting a relationship. BUT, money alone cannot hold a relationship together. You need what I call it "points of connection" - or mutual interests (other than sex and money) that can and do develop in any relationship. That is axiomatic to make a true, loving relationship survive.

Nobody is going to pour out money constantly to a mistress for years, just for the benefit of sex. This is expensive and just plain boring. And a young woman also is not going to stay with me for a long time if she doesn't have feelings of love (to use a broad term). She will want to feel the warmth of a husband's caress. She will want children, and her enthusiasm to visit places like Singapore or Hong Kong, or the US, will keep you feeling far younger than your physical age.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:58 PM   #26
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You seem to prefer to spend your time posting on the internet (an average of 9.35 posts per day on this forum). Plus, at age 55 you are already longing to play the role of a grandfather so you can spend time with your grandchildren. If something were to happen to your wife, don't you think you might be a little lonely with just you and the internet all day?....
If this is meant to address W2R, I'm a little shocked at your lack of knowledge of her situation, since she is probably one of the most well-known people on this forum. Sorry for the interruption, back to traveling abroad. Carry on.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:16 PM   #27
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Getting back to the original topic of health care abroad: my wife and I are relatively new full-time expats living in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico.

Affordable medical and dental care were, and are, significant factors in our decision to move here. We are relatively young and healthy, but not wealthy, and just the premiums for the high-deductible HSA plan we had the in the U.S. left us with virtually no money left over for actual health care. The way I figure it, living back home we were always one major accident or serious diagnosis away from having to relocate here or to Thailand for care anyway.

Having quick access (within a day, usually) to skilled, English-speaking doctors is great. Knowing the cost, up front, and being able to afford it out-of-pocket is even better. A recent case in point: I had a pretty serious accident just over a month ago, when I fell face first on my chin and nearly bit all the way through my lower lip on impact. Emergency visits to the doctor, the dental surgeon and the X-ray lab, plus a boatload of antibiotics, pain killers and two follow-up visits cost me $88, total. Meanwhile the deductible on our old policy stateside was $5000 - each. I guess the "good" news is a visit to the ER would have taken care of that......

We were just back in the U.S. visiting family and I came down with a minor bug, and as we no longer have U.S. insurance my first thought was "I'd better get back to Mexico where I can afford to be sick." It is a sad commentary on our broken health care system. At some point, if our portfolio recovers sufficiently and other things come together we'd love to return to the U.S. as home base. What happens with the health care system seems likely to make that decision for us.


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Old 08-30-2009, 04:43 PM   #28
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Great, the information I provide does not apply to her.

You seem to prefer to spend your time posting on the internet (an average of 9.35 posts per day on this forum). Plus, at age 55 you are already longing to play the role of a grandfather so you can spend time with your grandchildren. If something were to happen to your wife, don't you think you might be a little lonely with just you and the internet all day? Is it possible you might want to come and take a look in Asia to see what the situation is? It can't hurt. We still have the internet here and Asian wives do not complain about how much time we spend on the internet!

Of course not. Young women in America don't want anything to do with men more than 10 or perhaps 20 years their senior, and any girl who had this kind of ambition and drive would not be interested in an older man either.
Because W2R might be too polite to comment back, first, she's a WOMAN, and the reason she posts a lot on the forum is because she (LIKE ME) is a MODERATOR. We spend a lot of time posting about problems and spammers, keeping the housekeeping up for members to enjoy spending time here.

And I am going to point out the one line in your entire post that sums up how you feel about the "equal footing" <snort> you believe there to be between young desperate women and foolish old men.

Asian wives do not complain about how much time we spend on the internet!

Now I think it would be good for us to discuss things related to retiring abroad that don't involve hooking up. Thanks Kevink for getting us back on topic with a nice informative post. And to Billy (Akaisha) for your good link. Carry on.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:51 PM   #29
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Sarah in SC, I, for one, continue to appreciate your efforts as a moderator.

Oh and I see Sarah is too polite to tell a woman's real age, I refer Hobo the W2R's more than 9,000 posts to extract that information. Hint: she is not age 55.
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:03 PM   #30
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Getting back to the original topic of health care abroad: my wife and I are relatively new full-time expats living in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico.

Affordable medical and dental care were, and are, significant factors in our decision to move here. We are relatively young and healthy, but not wealthy, and just the premiums for the high-deductible HSA plan we had the in the U.S. left us with virtually no money left over for actual health care. (snip) ...

A recent case in point: I had a pretty serious accident just over a month ago, when I fell face first on my chin and nearly bit all the way through my lower lip on impact. Emergency visits to the doctor, the dental surgeon and the X-ray lab, plus a boatload of antibiotics, pain killers and two follow-up visits cost me $88, total. (snip)

Kevin
Kevin, thanks for posting this. It's really helpful to read a real-life example. Do you have insurance in Mexico? Or is medical care subsidized by taxes?
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:29 PM   #31
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Anyone object to this?

Off-topic, but sort of on-topic, depending on which topic one assigns to this thread...a recent experience of mine may fly in the face of some of the generalizations being made here not only of Western men, but also of Asian women. I just spent two months in the Thai-Burma border area, mostly in Mae Sot. While most of my contact with the area's lovely females were with Burmese women, I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful Thai woman about ten days before my scheduled return to the States. We got along well (her English is outstanding), and had about half a dozen dates in the short time we had to get to know each other. I'm a fifty-year old retiree. I'm healthy, very active, pretty fit, and have many years of experience dealing with people from cultures vastly different from my own.

My new friend is a real Thai lady. She's not the type of whom one would inquire into her age. My best guess, given that she's a young-looking Asian woman, would be that she is between 37 and 43. She's university-educated, never married, and owns two businesses. One is the nice coffee house in Mae Sot where we met (they cater almost exclusively to Thai customers- I just happened in, as is my habit.) Her other business is a bakery and cafe in Bangladesh, where she spends most of her time.

By local standards, I'm filthy rich, but she has absolutely no use for my money, nor does she seem impressed by it. She has a nice new Toyota truck, dresses to the nines, and her family is currently building a hotel on vacant land next to the condo complex they own. So yes, she's a wealthy Thai woman, at least by Thai standards. And as a proper lady, she doesn't just jump into bed with some guy she hardly knows (me), and who will only be in town for a little while longer. Since she's well-known in the city of Mae Sot, word quickly got back to her family that she was being seen in the company of a foreigner. It's a traditional society. For "nice girls", as they're known, this is kind of a big deal, being seen with me.

So, half a dozen dates, no sex, and a seeming desire on both of our parts to cross paths again. We keep in touch by occasional emails. I may be back in the region in the next few months. I was most impressed by her. She's smart, sassy and fun. And not to be trifled with. Drop-dead gorgeous as well. Sigh.

Tom
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:53 PM   #32
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Tom, certainly there are exceptions to all generalizations and your situation certainly appears to be just that.

I don't recall you touting the opportunity and 'cultural acceptance' of young female companionship as one of the many advantages of US men moving abroad to retire. That, I believe, places your situation in an entirely different category.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:50 PM   #33
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Thanks, Bestwifeever, for your comments and question:

"Kevin, thanks for posting this. It's really helpful to read a real-life example. Do you have insurance in Mexico? Or is medical care subsidized by taxes?"

We are in the process of applying for the government-run insurance here, called IMSS. It will take two years to kick in fully, and excludes pre-existing conditions but is otherwise full coverage - for less than $400 a year total for the two of us. Most people we know who go this route use their IMSS coverage only for emergencies and pay out-of-pocket for routine care, which gives you free choice of doctors and ability to get in immediately (with IMSS you go to a clinic, waits can be long, and you need fluent Spanish to communicate).

Doctors here make good money by local standards but far, far less than in the U.S., as you'd expect. They're also not faced with the huge liability/litigation issues like back home. As Billy and Akaisha (heroes of ours - we owe them a great deal!) make clear in their posts, the whole "vibe" of medical care here is so different. Doctors have more time to spend with you, you see a doctor, first, not a nurse or PA. A local doctor here we know is typical: he's easy to see, and the rate for either a house call or office visit is the same: 120 pesos (less than $10 at current exchange rates). My own doctor charges almost twice that, but in addition to being an MD he has 36 years of experience doing Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture.

Now this area where we live is one of the largest and most established gringo expat communities in the world, so all of this infrastructure has come about over several decades. Other gringo havens, like San Miguel de Allende and some of the beach resorts (e.g. Puerto Vallarta) also have English-speaking doctors who cater to foreigners, but I wouldn't want anyone to think this is the case throughout Mexico, which is a poor country with many problems. For us as expats the prices I mentioned seem cheap, but they are out-of-reach for many Mexicans.

Kevin
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:59 PM   #34
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No sooner did I post this than a friend sent me the link to this article from an Arizona paper:

Mexicare: $250 a year covers it all

It paints an accurate picture of the costs and issues. Needless to say I am following the health care reform debate in the U.S. closely!
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:41 PM   #35
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My own doctor charges almost twice that, but in addition to being an MD he has 36 years of experience doing Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture.
Kevin,

You are not filling me with confidence. Are you from California by any chance?
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:13 PM   #36
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No such luck, Colorado, but we do the crystal gazing thing almost as well as the Land of Fruits and Nuts. Seriously though, I respect and value allopathic medicine and wouldn't have anything else to deal with acute injury or illness, but for chronic illness and prevention thereof I don't think that ignoring several thousand years of Chinese and Indian medicine is particularly savvy. We're lucky to have such choices.

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Old 08-30-2009, 10:33 PM   #37
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DH's dr. in the Chicago area at a huge traditional medical center is an MD who is also trained in so-called Oriental medicine--I think it's out there in a lot more places than one might suspect. DH has never had a condition that his dr. thinks could be better addressed by it, though. And an office visit costs a lot more pesos here of course.

This quote from Kevin's link is interesting to me, as I wondered what the reaction to US natives enjoying reasonably priced health care in Mexico (or any other country, really) would be. Paying out-of-pocket for routine care would not put a strain on Mexico's IMSS system, though.

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American enrollees have generated some resentment among Mexican taxpayers who have been paying into the system for decades, and IMSS officials say they don't want to be overrun by bargain-hunting foreigners.
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:12 AM   #38
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:51 AM   #39
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Trek
RE: the age and money disparities between the locals and the foreigners who move in to their country, I caught holy hell for writing these pieces about just this topic. See Thai Wives and Thai Wives Revisited.

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This type of situation seems to be frowned upon by many. I think most people size them up in a negative way. It happens in America all the time except the amount of Money, celebrity status, or power are much more magnified.

I think some must view it as exploitation if it happens in a poor country. I suspect that each party understands exactly what they are doing (assuming it is not a scam of some sort).

The fact that the two of them are entering into a marriage would seem to show some commitment. Let's face it... if it were just about sex, a marriage would not have to occur.

If they are happy, good for them.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:07 AM   #40
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...
This quote from Kevin's link is interesting to me, as I wondered what the reaction to US natives enjoying reasonably priced health care in Mexico (or any other country, really) would be. Paying out-of-pocket for routine care would not put a strain on Mexico's IMSS system, though.

So Mx officials are concerned about 80,000 gringos using that system. They probably pay more money into their economy than the average citizen... plus they are there legally and pay for the service.

I wonder if they have consider the medical cost of the US to the 12M Illegals that come here to work.

I know for a fact (because I worked in the system... unless things have changed), that many illegals get free medical services via Medicaid. This was a number of years ago... I would be very surprised if it has changed. At the time state medicaid (in some states) employees were told "not to question" their status... enroll them and provide services.
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