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Old 07-22-2020, 02:47 PM   #81
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Just about every vacation we took prior to retirement included some ocean. Often quite a bit

No different in retirement. Our two month winter and out two month fall vacations are mostly spent either beside the ocean or in close proximity to it. So very relaxing.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:48 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Hdhead View Post
We are from WI. Bought a home in the Palm Beaches area in 2011 ... Once you own our expenses for FL are about:
HOA - $4800
Real estate tax - $3500
Pool maintenance - $2000
Power, Internet - $2000
Airfare - $1000

Total expenses less than $15,000.
I have a relative who owns a nice 2200 sq ft, 2 BR, 2 BA, "maintenance-free" FL condo (attached villa in a duplex) about 20 minutes from the coast in Sarasota. The condo costs the relative about $15k / year in periodic expenses. Add in $5k / year for non-periodic expenses and you've got an expense item for your budget of ~$20k / year.

For $20k / year, I can take several nice vacations (at least, before COVID-19 I could ), so I'm not enthusiastic about owning a vacation property like this anywhere. As a general rule, all of my relatives who own a secondary property also have occasional secondary headaches associated with their property, which I plan to avoid. To each their own.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:26 AM   #83
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We looked at buying a second home. Not in Florida though. In Mexico or Costa Rica. We are still looking...for an area first.

We have not followed through because we are not at the stage where we want to feel tied down to one area or one property.. We match our bucket lists with warm weather winter spots, often traveling to two or more adjacent countries.

We have not even considered the financials or the issue of out of country medical coverage (we currently have two months at a time so we could fly home for a few days in between a four month stay depending on the cost of purchasing a two month extension to our current coverage).
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:20 PM   #84
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We looked at buying a second home. Not in Florida though. In Mexico or Costa Rica. We are still looking...for an area first.

We have not followed through because we are not at the stage where we want to feel tied down to one area or one property.. We match our bucket lists with warm weather winter spots, often traveling to two or more adjacent countries.

We have not even considered the financials or the issue of out of country medical coverage (we currently have two months at a time so we could fly home for a few days in between a four month stay depending on the cost of purchasing a two month extension to our current coverage).
Having lived as an expat in Mexico for a cumulative 5 years (mostly Lake Chapala, but also San Miguel de Allende and much travel to other areas) and living now as a "sweatbird" in Tucson I have a few thoughts to share.

Owning property outside the U.S. unless you're a full-time expat is very rarely a good idea. In Mexico and Costa Rica the humidity and very different construction materials and standards = constant upkeep expenses at a level entirely different than folks in the U.S. are used to. Throw in sky-high property crime rates, the very real possibility of squatters you can't get rid of, outright government confiscation and many other issues and why bother. Of course there are exceptions in some areas and a property manager can help but very rarely have I seen tying up that kind of cash be worth the aggravation vs. renting.

Completely furnished rentals are abundantly available in pretty much all of the gringo hotspots in those countries and prices are dropping precipitously due to the pandemic. It's very likely to be a renter's/buyer's market in those countries for at least the next couple of years. Of course the cratering of tourism also means that unemployment and crime, already high, are likely to spike further. I suspect Costa Rican will do OK, while Mexico, already run by the cartels, will likely implode further assuming it can survive AMLO's disastrous management of the pandemic and economy.

All good reasons to keep one's options open. Hard to have a good crystal ball considering we're still in the early phases of this COVID world but I suspect those sticking with snowbird places they can easily drive to in the U.S. are going to rest a whole lot easier than those of us who planned on getting on a plane every winter.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:52 PM   #85
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kevinc...that is EXACTLY why we have not succumbed to the buy impulse.

Plus....our insurance agent retired shortly after we did. At out last meeting she mentioned that she had owned a condo in Tamarindo, Costa Rica for six or seven years.

A friend of hers was looking the buy in the same complex. Prices were the same as they were when she bought six or seven years. Her perspective...she had the capital tied up, she paid mtce, albeit not much, AND she would have been responsible for any condo assessments had there been any.

We have expat friends who have owned a business and lived in Bouquete, Panama for 25 years. Their comments were that half of the Americans who buy property there sell and move home within two years.

Not buying gives us the flexibility to rent for a month in Zihuantanejo or Puerto Escondido for a month or so, then move to someone else for a month or so.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:37 PM   #86
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I love the way you’re treating snowbirding as a way to have your bucket list adventures while you’re young and fit enough to enjoy them brett.

Zihua and Puerto Escondido are perfect examples of places that are far more affordable and interesting than the prepackaged mega-resort places one can book online.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:24 PM   #87
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It was our first visit to both places. Planned on three days, stayed for a week pus at each. We definitely plan to return. Very much prefer them to the Cancun area zoo.

As an aside, we spent six days in Acapulco right on the beach. Very much enjoyed our stay there. Bused up from P. Escondido. Out at night, we used taxis and the local buses. It was all good.
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