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Old 12-09-2020, 03:59 PM   #41
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Agree with this.

I had an IPA at a type of beer garden in Bangkok two years ago and it was the equivalent of $11

A "big chang", the local beer that comes in a large bottle is around $1-2

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Cost of living depends on where you are willing to live and how much of a western lifestyle you want. My uncle has a gorgeous villa in a little beach town and lives a great retirement, but if he wanted the same lifestyle in Bangkok where our family friends live, he would be paying a lot more. His wife is Thai and the food they eat is local and inexpensive, but if he were buying imported steaks and whatnot on the regular, it would cost about as much as the US. His pickup truck was crazy expensive to import. Medical care is much cheaper than the US, but he was moving from England, so...
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Old 12-09-2020, 05:18 PM   #42
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We have spent some time time in Thailand. Mostly the south.

We enjoy Thai food. We typically eat at small Thai family run restaurants. If you want to eat western food it costs about 3X or more in our experience.

A western breakfast for two was usually 300-400 Bhat for two. Dinner at one our favourite restaurants was 275-425 bhat for two. That included a cold Chang and a pineapple ice drink. This would be in places like Ko Lanta or Baan Krut

Big bottle of Chang....yes $1-$2. Had at least one every day. In five years of spending a few days each winter in Bangkok on our way south we have never paid $11 for a beer. Nor would we. We would expect to pay $3-4 tops for a Chang.
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Old 12-10-2020, 03:23 PM   #43
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If you move out of the US, what about your bank and brokerage accounts? Do you need to close them all because you are no longer a US resident. My state requires notification within 10 days for a permanent change of address for the DMV, how do you all handle the logistics of an address out of the US?

I would want to have no US presence, no house or ties.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:00 PM   #44
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If you move out of the US, what about your bank and brokerage accounts? Do you need to close them all because you are no longer a US resident. My state requires notification within 10 days for a permanent change of address for the DMV, how do you all handle the logistics of an address out of the US?

I would want to have no US presence, no house or ties.
Before we left I made sure I had a bank and a brokerage that allowed overseas customers. The bank we had been with for a good few years did not allow overseas customers so I switched to one that did, linking it to my pension provider and brokerage (Vanguard). Most Vanguard ETFs also report into HMRC so dividends and cap gains get preferential tax rates in the UK.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:14 PM   #45
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Do it. Consider this. Retirement homes are full of people who wanted to travel and do certain things in retirement.

Do you want to be the richest person in the nursing home?

Go for it. Why limit yourself to one country. Spend 6 months, a year or more in several countries on your list.

Since retiring early we travel as much as we possibly can to all sorts for places on our bucket list. Why...because we have the desire and good health to do it. Don't know how long we will be blessed with this so was are doing it. We prioritize places on our bucket list and want to return list well before the cost of living. It all seems to average out in the end. A month in Thailand and a month in Austrralia have yield different spends for us but the average is reasonable.

We spend winters in warm climates. SE Asia, Mexico, Central America.

There are some very nice places in Panama that do not get the heat and the humidly of sea level areas. Boquette, in the hills near David comes to mind.

We came to the conclusion a long time ago that experiences trump possessions.
We are considering something similar, keeping a home base in US but travelling most of the year to Australia or SE Asia, a couple of months in each country at a time. We will buy health insurance for the time we are in US, but how do you manage health insurance while traveling overseas?
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:21 PM   #46
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We are considering something similar, keeping a home base in US but travelling most of the year to Australia or SE Asia, a couple of months in each country at a time. We will buy health insurance for the time we are in US, but how do you manage health insurance while traveling overseas?
We sold our home and traveled internationally for six to seven months. We live in Canada. We shopped around a fair bit for out of country medical/evac. At that time we had perfect health...no existing, no prescriptions. We dealt direct with an insurer. Got a six month plus policy that offered a 30 percent discount if we selected a 3 or 4K (cannot remember which) deductable. I would have selected a 10K deductable if it had been available and if the discount percentage made sense. We are primarily concerned about the 'big' numbers when it comes to this type of insurance. We then came back and rented a furnished apt. for three months where we had previously lived-where we had universal health insurance.

My spouse was hospitalized and treated in Kuala Lumpur for cracked vertebrae. The standard of care was second to none. She has a health care background and was very impressed.

After one winter trip to SE Asia convinced us to return for the next five winters. Mostly Thailand, but we also love Vietnam. Same for Australia. Our route now is Thailand (and/or Vietnam, etc) first. Then we fly from Krabi in the south of Thailand to Gold Coast, Australia on Scoot (discount airline of Singapore Air). We return home from Sydney via Hawaii. We pick up inexpensive one way flights on Jetstar Australia (Qantas) to Honolulu. Spend a few days, then fly back to Canada.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:33 PM   #47
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We are considering something similar, keeping a home base in US but travelling most of the year to Australia or SE Asia, a couple of months in each country at a time. We will buy health insurance for the time we are in US, but how do you manage health insurance while traveling overseas?
For the first few years after retiring we spent months at a time in Canada, UK, EU and Australia. Our BCBS PPO plan included overseas coverage. Before embarking on a multi-month overseas trip I would go onto the BCBS website and for the towns we would be spending 2 or more weeks I would look up in-network doctors and hospitals and save or print the details offline.

The only country I couldn’t find coverage for with our BCBS insurance was Vanuatu so we took out travel insurance for the week we spent there.
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:36 PM   #48
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We have also been in the position where we have had to extend our out of country health insurance. We traveled for longer than we expected. We were fortunate that it only took an email to our insurer to extend our coverage for an extra week. I was surprised at how accommodating and how responsive they were. We needed fast turnaround in order to take advantage of a last minute travel opportunity.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:49 PM   #49
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Another question.
We live in TX, no state income taxes. I want to travel internationally for 9 months, then return and stay in CA for 3 months. In that scenario, if I want to do Roth conversion, would I be considered a CA resident therefore required to pay CA state income taxes for the Roth amount?
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Old 12-10-2020, 09:16 PM   #50
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Another question.
We live in TX, no state income taxes. I want to travel internationally for 9 months, then return and stay in CA for 3 months. In that scenario, if I want to do Roth conversion, would I be considered a CA resident therefore required to pay CA state income taxes for the Roth amount?
Why not do the conversions before the year in which you land in CA?
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:07 PM   #51
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I'd consider southern Portugal. I loved Slovenia, too, as well as Croatia.
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:31 PM   #52
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We are two physicians that quit early and moved to Belize for a planned 5 year stint. After 5 years now it has proven a great experience. There are challenges to living in any foreign country that you will overcome. We are now down to 4 months a year as we try other places and other experiences. We retained our home in the states, no problem and glad we did. Others will voice their concerns, don’t make them yours. If you go for it and it does not work out, you won. If it does work out, you won. Rent don’t buy. We went for it as we were afraid to be afraid.
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:36 PM   #53
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Residency. Is one thing but you are talking about tax domicile. If you own a home in Texas and intend to return there CA has no claim, unless you are working there. You vote in Texas, you maintain your bank in Texas, your car is in Texas etc. You are domiciled in Texas and a Texas resident.

Now if you are working in. CA for a period of time or getting paid in multiple places it gets very complicated
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:51 PM   #54
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Currently "living" in Atenas Costa Rica. Came 15 months ago for trial run and stayed when covid hit. Originally was going to go to Europe over the summer, but that obviously changed.

In a rental house in a nice neighborhood we pay app $1500 a month with maid twice a month. Watching a gorgeous sunset out my office window as I type this.

Pay app $7k per year for insurance; $5k deductible that covers international and US.

CR is not a place you come just to live cheaper. You can, but not the lifestyle we want to live. But if your smart, your cost can be kept reasonable.

Keep our residency at BIL's house in Texas. Renters insurance on us at his address, residency covered according to attorney. Traveling Mailbox for any snail mail that still shows up. Google Fi phones to keep our US numbers and use Skype, Whatsapp and Facetime a lot. Avg $55 a month for local and US.

20/20 hindsight. Keep wife's old-ish Infiniti in BIL's garage and insured because we thought we would be back twice a year. Should have sold it for what we could have got and cut our losses. Oh well, live and learn.

Will say, much happier going through all this covid crap here than in a suburb of Dallas. At least here we can get out into nature a little more, a lot more just eating outside on the rancho, watching all the birds around the house, run to the beach for a few hours etc.

Early retirement plan was to travel all over the world and stay as long as legally possible in different places. Still the plan we hope.

Till that time, plan on staying here, sucking at my Spanish, and living Pura Vida. Wouldn't trade being an expat for the world. The experience rocks!
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Old 12-11-2020, 06:19 PM   #55
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Portugal is getting a lot of positive attention lately.
Some of the Eastern EU looks attractive, but there's a growing bit of nationalism over there to watch out for.
Uruguay sounds great, but it's like a 9-hour flight to Miami!
I think the big question is what do you want/need to be close to? Family? Medical care? Where are they?
Also, you don't have to pick a forever place -- maybe just one for the next n years.
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Old 12-11-2020, 06:29 PM   #56
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I’m in Medellin now. For my second 2 week trip since November.
I also lived about 4 months in San Jose CR last year and spent about five months in Manila Cebu and Palawan Philippines.
I had an apartment in San Jose and the rent increased by 40% the second month and that was the monththe 13% National tax hit as well.
I have a paid for cabin on a lake in Texas and Tricare as well as blue cross blue shield insurance( that work overseas).
The experience of renting soured me on renting in another country as I was “gringo taxed“ every step of the way.
Hotels and Airbnb are easier and cheaper as when you rent you are tied down as much by red tape as by your “stuff” I have to much “stuff” in the USA to start having too much “stuff” in another country.
Medellin is a nice city. I stayed with my ex in the la ochenta area. El Poblado area is the nightlife foodie area, the downtown is a little dicey day and night. Just watch your back at night, the bad guys can spot a gringo a mile away.
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Old 12-11-2020, 06:47 PM   #57
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Some of the Eastern EU looks attractive, but there's a growing bit of nationalism over there to watch out for.
Do you feel that would be problematic for expats?
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Old 12-11-2020, 08:08 PM   #58
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If I retire in Europe I get "free" healthcare from my dual citizenship. I'm not well versed on this but know enough that it's better than lower income level us healthcare but not equal to top care. Travel health insurance policies are suprisingly cheap for long term. I currently don't have any healthcare issues and may not to do this if I came down with something. So I'd stick to something like this or local healthcare for catostrophic

Countries I've looked at:

Southern Italy (super bargain prices)
Mexico
Colombia
Ecuador
Peru (this one has gotten a little more expensive)
Costa rica (also more expensive now from when I began looking)
Serbia
Paraguay

Wonder if you consider South East Asia ? Viet Nam, Thailand, Singapore ?
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:47 AM   #59
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We moved to Hungary 11 years ago and don't regret it at all.The language is challenging but the people are wonderful, hard working, have strong Christian values, and very little crime. Prices are normal for Europe and a bit on the low side even with the 27% VAT. Medical is cheap and excellent. There is zero property tax and no inheritance tax. GMO foods are illegal as well. Hungary is in the geographical center of Europe so many places are within a 6 hour drive (Munich or Venice as examples). We live halfway between Budapest and Vienna so use both.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:34 AM   #60
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I really enjoyed my visit to Budapest two years ago. Our 2 BDRM, 2 Bath AirBnB with a balcony cost $70 per night versus a European trip overall average of $128. The food was great too. I want to learn how to cook Hungarian Goulash. It's delicious.

Here's a link with extensive information on the Portuguese Golden Visa program. There are a number of options, but the most popular one involves buying property of a set value. It's really targeted towards people who cannot easily travel to Europe because a key selling point of this visa is access to the Schengen zone. I understand that Greece has something similar, but I haven't looked into it yet. And I read a recent article about some changes to guest visas in Thailand that are intended to help sell what appears to be a glut of new condominiums on the market there.
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