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Oh no! Not another “Where in the world” thread
Old 03-29-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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Oh no! Not another “Where in the world” thread

Oh no! Not another “Where in the world” thread
Yes it’s true – I AM starting another “Where in the world” would you retire to thread. Hopefully, what separates this thread is the level of detail.
I am in early 50s, spouse - mid 40’s.
Health – Excellent. No chronic illness/issues, no prescriptions to be filled
Budget – We have $4000 USD per month (net) to spend. Not included in that (budgeted separately) is: Health Care, Cost of returning twice annually to USA, Continued retirement savings.
Comfort Level of living overseas – Very high. We are both gringos but speak, understand, and read passable Spanish. Either together or separately we have lived in Europe, the Former Soviet Union, Mexico, and the Middle East. We have traveled extensively to fairly remote places.

Criteria:
Climate – warm to hot. No cooler than coastal SE USA (we currently reside in SE Florida and find it warm enough)
Infrastructure – Internet needs to work. Hospital/Clinics need to be close by and be able to treat blunt trauma type accidents, dental emergencies, etc. Serious illness would probably mean travelling or moving back to USA
Activities we plan on spending a lot of time on:
Scuba diving – we are both professional divemasters but do NOT plan on working in the industry but we plan to “fun dive” as much as feasible. At least 10 hours a week/person.
Exercise – non-competitive “fun” triathlon type exercise – biking, swimming, jogging plus yoga and bodyweight type exercises. At least 10 hours a week/person.
Work – Internet based – Web Design, Money Management. At least 20 hours a week/person.
Evening cocktails – At least 10 hours a week/person.
We want to rent (furnished) and we are thinking at some point, we will return to the USA. If I had to guess now, I would say in 20-30 years. We also do not feel the need to find the ONE place overseas and stay there but at the same time we expect to spend at least a couple of years at each location.

Where would you go and why?
TIA
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:11 AM   #2
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Where would you go and why?
TIA
A few, select spots on the northern mediterranean seaboard would fit those criteria.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:20 AM   #3
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Arkansas. Beautiful state. Low cost of living.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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A few, select spots on the northern mediterranean seaboard would fit those criteria.
Mrs BigNick and I have been astonished to discover what bargains are available now that the Spanish property market has had 3-4 straight years of downturn. For example, here is a 2-bedroom town house for $100K. Spain has excellent medical care and there are good low-cost plane services from Alicante (and most of the Spanish coast) to all the major cities of Northern Europe, because people come from there to go on vacation in Spain.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
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The Mediterranean and Spain are good candidates. Belize, Costa Rica and Panama also come to mind.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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A few, select spots on the northern mediterranean seaboard would fit those criteria.
Or perhaps Malta. It's popular w/ english retirees English being one of it's main languages. I would guess it would be a pretty good home base for dive enthusiasts too it being an island.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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Arkansas. Beautiful state. Low cost of living.
I like Arkansas. We vacation there, my parents (now deceased) retired there and we have relatives there. But, there are BIG DIFFERENCES between northern and southern Arkansas you should understand before making a move. What part of Arkansas did you have in mind?
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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What part of Arkansas did you have in mind?
I didn't. It's landlocked and probably a bit too chilly for our tastes
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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I didn't. It's landlocked and probably a bit too chilly for our tastes
Oh sorry TeeRar...... I was asking Chuckanut a question to clarify his post.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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If you are planning on spending a year or more in a particular country, make sure they allow "border hopping". Many countries limit you to 6 months maximum stay in any 365 day period.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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Here is a list of the top 100 dive sites:
One Hundred Best Dive Sites around the World - SCUBA Travel Guide

I was surprised how many were in Ecuador. Without residency you can only stay 6 mos but I guess you could combine it with 6 mos in Colombia, which appears on the list as well.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #12
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Cozumel island in Mexico is one of the best places in the world for diving, safe (unlike some other places in Mexico) and close enough to the mainland that you won't feel too isolated. It also has frequent flights to the U.S.. The Riviera Maya ( 100 miles south of Cancun) is also outstanding, but you may want to wait for the outcome of the presidential elections to see if the security situation in Mexico improves significantly after that (some people are betting that it will).
Another interesting place is southern Thailand (Phuket, Krabi, etc). Affordable, great diving sites, very nice and kind people and retiree-friendly. It is very far from the U.S., but health care in Thailand is quite good ( lots of people from the Middle East go there for treatment ).
The mediterranean coast of Spain is very nice, but your budget will go a lot further in Mexico or Thailand and the diving is much better except possibly for the Balearic islands ( Majorca, Ibiza, etc) but those are really expensive. Probably harder to get a resident visa for Spain, as well. Also quite a bit chillier in the winter
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:23 PM   #13
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What about Hawaii? All the criteria and then some, plus you can island hop.

How much blunt force trauma are you expecting to have? Just curious
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:21 PM   #14
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US territories?

If you will both work 20 hours per week, would you really be "retiring" to whatever places interest you? Might you have some interesting taxation issues on what you earn?
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:20 PM   #15
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Cozumel island in Mexico is one of the best places in the world for diving, safe (unlike some other places in Mexico) and close enough to the mainland that you won't feel too isolated. It also has frequent flights to the U.S.. The Riviera Maya ( 100 miles south of Cancun) is also outstanding, but you may want to wait for the outcome of the presidential elections to see if the security situation in Mexico improves significantly after that (some people are betting that it will).
Another interesting place is southern Thailand (Phuket, Krabi, etc). Affordable, great diving sites, very nice and kind people and retiree-friendly. It is very far from the U.S., but health care in Thailand is quite good ( lots of people from the Middle East go there for treatment ).
The mediterranean coast of Spain is very nice, but your budget will go a lot further in Mexico or Thailand and the diving is much better except possibly for the Balearic islands ( Majorca, Ibiza, etc) but those are really expensive. Probably harder to get a resident visa for Spain, as well. Also quite a bit chillier in the winter
Isla Mujeres?
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Many thanks to all
Old 03-30-2012, 09:03 AM   #16
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Many thanks to all

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Let me try to refine this a little.

given my earlier criteria - warm weather, passion for diving - where might i go with housing costs no more than $1500 (USD)/month for a furnished 2bdrm/2bath (or larger). for that price, I'd like it to include utilities. yearly lease (no longer)
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:07 AM   #17
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Oh sorry TeeRar...... I was asking Chuckanut a question to clarify his post.
my bad - i suspect i am not quite as adept at this forum thing as others.

FYI - Arkansas (specifically Ouachita mts. area) DID make the short list when we were considering 6months/year in usa, 6 months travelling. However we decided not to go that route
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:11 AM   #18
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What about Hawaii? All the criteria and then some, plus you can island hop.
I'll admit Hawaii was/is not on the radar - haven't been there in 25 years but seemed expensive then

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How much blunt force trauma are you expecting to have? Just curious
Not "expecting" any but sh*t happens. We're lucky enough to be extremly healthy and still at the point where most visits to hospital involve breaking or spraining something.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:20 AM   #19
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Here is a list of the top 100 dive sites:
One Hundred Best Dive Sites around the World - SCUBA Travel Guide

I was surprised how many were in Ecuador. Without residency you can only stay 6 mos but I guess you could combine it with 6 mos in Colombia, which appears on the list as well.
Thanks for the list - although it should be taken with a huge grain of salt considering its a bunch of brits
example - blue hole belize is listed as 9th best in the world - been there done that - and its probably not even the 9th best dive in belize.

Ecuador of course has the Galapogos but even if I was living there it would be a "special" trip. Same with Colombia (Malepelo Island) and to a lesser extent Costa Rica (cocos) and the west coast of Mexico (revillagigedos). While not discounting Ecuador, Colombia, or Costa Rica - for the diving I was looking more for local diving - so we could wake up and decide to go diving.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:35 AM   #20
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Cozumel island in Mexico is one of the best places in the world for diving, safe (unlike some other places in Mexico) and close enough to the mainland that you won't feel too isolated. It also has frequent flights to the U.S.. The Riviera Maya ( 100 miles south of Cancun) is also outstanding, but you may want to wait for the outcome of the presidential elections to see if the security situation in Mexico improves significantly after that (some people are betting that it will).
Another interesting place is southern Thailand (Phuket, Krabi, etc). Affordable, great diving sites, very nice and kind people and retiree-friendly. It is very far from the U.S., but health care in Thailand is quite good ( lots of people from the Middle East go there for treatment ).
The mediterranean coast of Spain is very nice, but your budget will go a lot further in Mexico or Thailand and the diving is much better except possibly for the Balearic islands ( Majorca, Ibiza, etc) but those are really expensive. Probably harder to get a resident visa for Spain, as well. Also quite a bit chillier in the winter
Spot On with Coz! Its actually where we are starting - we've rented a house for 4 months there this fall/winter. We've already spent much time on the island and while not perfect (really is ANY place PERFECT?) its pretty darn good. For us:
+++
Diving is really good
Cost of Living is ok to good
People are nice
They speak english and spanish - so do we
I luv me some mexican food
we know people there
we can (and will) drive there

---
the island gets small-both socially and physically
any given day includes upto 10000 sun burnt gringo tourists invading the place (cruise ships - up to 7 of them)-gives the place a bit of a schizophrenic feel to it - much more laid back after the last bell tolls
Cost of Living is only ok to good but probably one of the most expensive locals in Mexico

Regards
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