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Old 10-03-2018, 12:05 PM   #241
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I moved overseas at age 49 but did not have HI in the USA and don't have it now. I will be moving back to the USA next year and will enroll in Medicare, but it is not the reason I will be moving back, although it is a benefit of sorts.
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I have lived in Thailand for going on 3 years now
Old 10-03-2018, 12:43 PM   #242
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I have lived in Thailand for going on 3 years now

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Thanks for the responses. MikeW ... you mentioned that retirement visa requirements in Thailand seemed to be in flux. May I ask what you've been hearing? From what I read, one can retire there if you are 50 years old and meet some other requirements, but there is at least one person on this board who I believe is retired there and in his 30s... I tried calling the immigration office in Thailand to clear things up and got lost in an infinite telephone menu loop.

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If you are 50 years of age or older, you can qualify for a retirement visa in Thailand. There are certain monetary rules that you need to meet in order to obtain the visa. The one i find easiest is to deposit 800,000 (24-25k USD)thai baht into a Thai bank account. This amount satisfies the rule and I have never had an issue renewing. They do offer a lesser amount if you have a guaranteed income such as social security, but you would need a combination of this guaranteed monthly income and this would allow you to qualify on a smaller amount in the bank. I've never used that option as I am too young to get SS.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:37 PM   #243
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Sorry if already discussed anywhere, but has anyone (actually) moved outside to avoid high HI costs from say late 50’s to 65, then moved back to US once eligible for Medicare? Interested in results, locations and experience with it.
On another forum I recommended an extended vacation in Mexico to a couple (63/64) who were facing unsubsidized ACA premiums of some unreal amount...nearly $30,000/year, IIRC.

I found a "outside the USA/Canada" policy ($1000 deductible, $5 million limit) for about $300/month, given their ages.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:44 AM   #244
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On another forum I recommended an extended vacation in Mexico to a couple (63/64) who were facing unsubsidized ACA premiums of some unreal amount...nearly $30,000/year, IIRC.

I found a "outside the USA/Canada" policy ($1000 deductible, $5 million limit) for about $300/month, given their ages.
What policy was that?
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:49 PM   #245
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Barbados has some options.

“The retiree must own property in Barbados valued at US $150,000 or higher and have health insurance. For retirees over 60 years of age, there is a one-time fee of US $5,000. This fee covers the applicant and spouse. Special Entry permits granted to people over 60 are valid for the permit-holders lifetime.”

We are Canadians who snowbird to Florida but are chaffing at the 6 month US cap. Spent a week in Barbados last winter and found it disturbingly polarized between destitution and extreme wealth. Amazed I got through the week without a driving accident. Wife ruled Barbados out for setting up a household because of the terrible roads between the affordable ex pat neighbourhoods, ie Vuemont, and decent groceries down in Holetown.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:53 PM   #246
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Isn’t that common for the smaller islands in the Caribbean?

Very high end real estate from rich migrants and poor natives with little in between?
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:14 PM   #247
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Barbados has some options.

“The retiree must own property in Barbados valued at US $150,000 or higher and have health insurance. For retirees over 60 years of age, there is a one-time fee of US $5,000. This fee covers the applicant and spouse. Special Entry permits granted to people over 60 are valid for the permit-holders lifetime.”

We are Canadians who snowbird to Florida but are chaffing at the 6 month US cap. Spent a week in Barbados last winter and found it disturbingly polarized between destitution and extreme wealth. Amazed I got through the week without a driving accident. Wife ruled Barbados out for setting up a household because of the terrible roads between the affordable ex pat neighbourhoods, ie Vuemont, and decent groceries down in Holetown.
Thanks for the info on the Barbados. I'm always looking for other alternative options to ER outside the U.S. as are many on this forum. I'm not sure I would consider the caribbean as the tend to be expensive COL, as well as the population seems very divided between poor locals and higher end expats. Plus I'd prefer a change of seasons to always being hot.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:00 AM   #248
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This thread has gotten far from the original topic of Retirement Visas so I will touch on a few points.

First there are many countries without a formal “Retirement Visa” that welcome retirees. Really the issue is if you are seeking permanent residency or not. If you don’t intend to spend more than half the year abroad or maintain a US residence you really don’t need it. I moved to Uruguay and have permanent residency here. Of course I still pay US federal taxes. I think it gives me the best options like access to expat insurance.

On the insurance front it will depend where you live. No US coverage is by far the cheapest but if you are in a country with questionable medical care and want to really understand what is going on you may want that option of coming back to the states for advanced care. You can mix and match, get access to hospitalization in the US but outpatient only outside, you can pass on prescription drug coverage as I do since everything I need is over the counter here for the same or less as generic co pay in US without premiums or deductibles.

Bottom line is you really need to shop around and compare, ask a lot of questions and determine what is right for you
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:52 AM   #249
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I am retired in Germany. Officially moved here November of 2017. Went to the government office, told them I was retired, showed them my financial resources and proof of medical insurance and was granted a one-year residence permit. It was a twenty minute process plus twenty minutes waiting time. Just renewed it for two years. Because I write occasionally I renewed with permission to exercise free lance employment with government permission. No hassles whatsoever. The renewal process was also about twenty minutes. Now, granted I am a U.S. federal retiree, but the process has been entirely hassle-free.

I spend here in Germany what I'd calculated I'd spend in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico (where I'd also been looking at retiring). Life is good here, although in winter it can get a little sad here. Still -- better than Massachusetts, where I was living before I came here.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:15 AM   #250
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I am retired in Germany. Officially moved here November of 2017. Went to the government office, told them I was retired, showed them my financial resources and proof of medical insurance and was granted a one-year residence permit..


That’s fascinating information. Thanks. I suppose the key is you proved you’d have no need for any social services. What’s the tax situation? Under that permit does Germany tax pension/dividends ? Presumably it does have first call in taxing any freelance income.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:43 AM   #251
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Do you pay for insurance in Germany or is it an American company insuring you in your stay in Germany?
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:10 PM   #252
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I think it's thus far been easy because I don't need social services. As a federal retiree I have my own health insurance of course. My federal pension isn't taxable in Germany. If I earn more on the side then I will have income tax to deal with on that portion. This has yet to arise. I am selling an apartment I own in the French Alps next month and I will then get a sense of what the tax on long term capital gains is. (I've owned it for a couple of decades.) I have renters' insurance from USAA, the U.S. military affinity insurer. I could get USAA auto insurance but haven't done so yet.

I have a concern about when I start cashing in my government TSP (the federal version of the 401K) But I haven't needed to to do this yet. I have not yet bought a house in Germany. (My long term plan is likely to buy someplace in my favorite (and inexpensive area) in the South of France but I need to get my cash out of my apartment in the Alps first.) Thus far I am finding my life so much more inexpensive than California (where I am from originally) that I am just sort of gob-smacked by it.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:19 PM   #253
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Depends on whether you're in a small town or a big city doesn't it?

I'd image some smaller town, it wouldn't be so expensive but in the center of say Munich or Frankfurt, it would be expensive.

In CA, if you go to the Central Valley, it's probably very affordable. Or to neighboring states, again depending on the size of the town or city.

South of France can be expensive, like much of the Cote d'Azur. But some parts of Provence, away from the coast, may not be.

I remember reading one metric is close to an airport or even an airport with international flights.

Some property sites in Europe will often note the distance to nearest airport. Obviously they have a big American or UK clientele.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:06 PM   #254
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Thank you Retirement Rookie for sharing. Where in Germany are you living? I would assume not one of the big cities right? Would be mind sharing more on what you spend each month for COL? Best of luck!
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:32 AM   #255
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So some elaboration for JakeinChina and Explanade.

-- Yes I live in a small town in Germany. Less than fifteen minutes by train from Frankfurt airport, forty-five minutes by car. We're in a distant commuter suburb of Frankfurt. Many people here commute; I wouldn't. Too far. The town is medieval. A tourist attraction quite crowded much of the year. My rent for a 2500 square foot house, twenty years old very high-end by American standards (radiant floors, excellent insulation, high ceilings, etc) is €1200 monthly. It took some finding. I have a small pond for gold fish, a large unfenced yard, and can have plenty of space, which I needed as I had a lot of possessions left over from when I was a worker. One car garage. I have a bike path to my city center (6 kilometers away) although when I buy bread or groceries I bike through the countryside to the nearest bakery (1.4 kilometers away) or the nearest supermarket next to the bakery. I spend fifty to a hundred euros a week on groceries, mostly organic or very good quality. (I also grow what seems to be TONS of tomatoes and pick a lot of fruit in my area, rich in apples and pear trees, in season.) I make some conscious choices. Gas here is expensive. Very expensive. But in my professional life I was always in cars or vehicles and I like to bike. (and now I have time). Electricity very expensive. Ditto for water. And garbage. Probably €250, say €300 a month to be safe. Internet not so bad. Phone is expensive, about €60 monthly because it includes an iPhone and I have friends and family in different countries. Beer and wine are much cheaper than in the U.S., and no comparison. A good bottle of wine here is under €5; beer runs the gamut but is better and cheaper than in most other countries unless I am looking for one of those odd new designer beers favored in American microbreweries. But I have uncomplicated tastes. I have Netflix for visual entertainment and Amazon.de for books. I read a lot and the prices, well higher than in the U.S., are not so horrible that I can't afford them. You can look on Amazon.de for English language books and see that the costs aren't outrageous. There is nothing I can't get by mail. Delivery usually takes one to five days. I reckon I spend about €3200 a month to live in a way that I would consider quite upper middle class in the U.S. I also have to figure in travel but I watch the discounters, like the Hopper App. I flew to Porto, in Portugal, earlier this year for I think €75 roundtrip. Then I airbnb-ed while there. It was a cheap vacation. Within five hours by car of where I live I have Berlin in one direction, Prague in another, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, almost Paris, Switzerland, etc, in other directions. So the limiting factor is the cost of hotels and (much higher) food and restaurant prices when I arrive. My last job in the U.S. was in San Diego so I can compare. I was considering Borrego Springs but housing there was expensive and frankly it was too far from what I like to do, which is more biking in diverse areas, museums, art galleries, and the like. I agree that it's an apt comparison to say where I live is a bit like the Central Valley of California in price terms, but the difference for a Californian is that distances are so much shorter in Europe. So I live "in the sticks" but these "sticks" are very close to urban areas in every direction. The other day my daughter was visiting and we went for the day to Cologne with its marvelous urban life and cathedral for the Christmas Markets. Germany has a spa culture which I enjoy during the long dreary winter months. (The spas are basically very nice public swimming pools with saunas and the like.) Regarding eating out, if I go for a rustic "meat-and-potatoes" type place, it's around €15 including a beer or two per head; if I go to white table cloth sort of place with gourmet pretensions, it will set me back up to €50 a head (although the sky can be the limit once when goes to the high end of the wine list). Still, generally a drinkable bottle of wine in a restaurant will set you back €15 at the lower end of acceptable.

Regarding France (explanade's comment). I have quite a few friends and family in the Gers, in Southwest France. I first started spending summers in the South of France in the late nineteen seventies and I don't like the traditional South of France in the east part of France anymore. It's been overdeveloped, too many cars, it's too close to Geneva (which has driven up housing prices) and there are too many Hollywood types there now. But in my opinion the South of France of my youth can still be found in the Gers (although the weather is admittedly a bit colder in the winter). The Gers is eminently affordable. One can find a really nice house with land for €300,000 with some looking. Traditional French culture survives there very well. It's more expensive than Germany (which is why I am not living there now) but I really like that area. It is also close to Toulouse Airport, which while not as good as Frankfurt in terms of connections is pretty good nonetheless. I have a daughter working in the French aerospace industry. I am waiting for a few years and will relocate closer to her when the time comes.

Finally, if you know France, this is not a bad website for sussing out what is available www.green-acres.fr although www.pap.fr is also good if you know precise regions. www.pap.fr is only in French but the other one is in English. (There's a button to switch to English at the upper right hand corner of the screen.)
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:51 AM   #256
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Thanks for sharing all this detail, very useful for others to see.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:58 AM   #257
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Thank you Retirement Rookie for sharing. Where in Germany are you living? I would assume not one of the big cities right? Would be mind sharing more on what you spend each month for COL? Best of luck!
The question was not directed at me, but I will add another data point. I live in an expensive part of France (near the Swiss border), and my monthly non-discretionary expenses should remain below 1,500 euros in 2019 (as a homeowner). Real estate is very expensive here so renters would probably spend in excess of 2,000 euros a month while renting a 1-bedroom.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:09 PM   #258
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Thank you both for sharing.


FIREd - I'm surprised your needed spending is only 1,500 Euro's in France near Swiss. I've heard that area is not very cheap, but perhaps I'm only hearing from people living on the Swiss side.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:38 PM   #259
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I just love hearing the details of living in another country. I may not move there, but it gives a great understanding to how things could be if I did.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:44 AM   #260
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Thanks Retirement_Rookie.

Do you have any German ancestry or you just went to some German embassy and showed you had resources to fund your retirement?

Did you get health insurance with a US insurer or one over in Germany or Europe?
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