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Old 02-22-2020, 06:39 AM   #121
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OP - We have the same problem, too many choices, after all the entire world is available.
I have found some of those articles basically lie to paint a nice picture.
"the entire world is available"

Is that actually true?

From the reading I've been doing it seems like most of the world won't allow a retired U.S. citizen permanent residency.
I'd really like to know that I could live abroad, but can't see how it's possible.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:47 AM   #122
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"the entire world is available"

Is that actually true?

From the reading I've been doing it seems like most of the world won't allow a retired U.S. citizen permanent residency.
I'd really like to know that I could live abroad, but can't see how it's possible.
With enough money, all things are possible. There are several places that will let you in if you invest in the country.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:56 AM   #123
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When I joined this board, my DW, and I fully planned on finding a large acreage lot (25-100 acres) in Kentucky, or Tennessee, and building our dream homestead away from the bustle of a big city.

We ended up deciding to make the 10 acre farm where we have been for 25 years better, and turn it into our dream homestead. We already have horses, chickens, lots of equipment in two large barns (including an indoor riding arena). All of this would have been a monumental undertaking to set up infrastructure, and move 400 miles South from Northern Ohio.
Another vote for N Ohio, call us N Central :-). DH & I fully intended to relocate after retirement. After RVing for 15+ years, we sold our house and moved into a large RV. We had a tentative plan of being full-time RVers for 5-10 years. We had filled in many retirement surveys and found many areas of the country that we liked. We were experienced RVers with the funds to travel as we pleased.

I have had serious health issues since 2012 & DH also ended up with a rare & life-threatening condition in 2015. We became less pleased with full-time RVing after a few plane/hotel trips and forced RV relocations for medical care.

It turned out that almost all the areas we love to visit do not have the world-class medical facilities we need within our limit of an hour’s driving distance. If they did (Portland, for example), we would be spending WAY too much time in traffic, and/or spending way too much $$$ for housing/taxes.

So we looked at the reality of how we are spending our retirement, and our day-to-day activities. For example, it turns out that we become annoyed with aggressive/crazy traffic between us and the nearest grocery store. And that gorgeous hiking trails (outside SLC and Denver, for example) lose almost all of their appeal when they are overcrowded and covered with litter.

Gradually, the vacation areas we love lost their appeal as home bases. I started comparing each place with what we knew of Ohio - traffic, amenities, costs, etc. We decided to take another look at northern Ohio as a home base. We found that we could get affordable housing, low taxes, low crime, easy driving, hundreds of parks & trails, friendly people, and world-class medical care within 1/2 hour of our new base.

We now use the RV to temporarily move to any area in which we are interested. If we fell in love with any one of these places, we still might consider purchasing a home or RV spot. So far, though, there have always been one or two “deal breakers” that pop up after weeks or months in an area. We haven’t even found a perfect spot to spend winters, so we will continue to explore until we don’t feel like doing it any longer.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:56 AM   #124
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We haven't decided 100% on exactly where we will live when we retire in a couple years, but about 90% sure it will be around Apex/Cary, NC area. Husband is from southern Virginia/NC area and all his family is still there. I was born and raised in central coast of CA. I moved to San Diego in 1990 and DH transferred there in 1999. In 2015, after our only son graduated college, we sold our main house there and I moved overseas full-time to be with my DH, who took a FT international position there in 2012. Just got too tough on us with all the flying back and forth.

Anyone from Apex/Cary/Raleigh NC that could give us some insight into the area? We have spent some time there and it's just beautiful. We though we might like living down in Charlotte, but Raleigh was way more our speed. Lake Norman is awesome, but that entire area is just so crowded now. The seasons are something we both really miss and since we are basically "homeless" now back in the US, we can pretty much go wherever we want. Plus, it's close but not too close to all his family and will make it a lot easier on him having an elderly mom who will soon need more help. We are thinking maybe just getting place close to Jordan Lake area and hubby can join Freedom Boat club to get his boating fix.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:58 AM   #125
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With enough money, all things are possible. There are several places that will let you in if you invest in the country.
That's certainly true. We started a long (and still active) thread about this a few years ago:

List of countries offering retirement visas?
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:19 AM   #126
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With enough money, all things are possible. There are several places that will let you in if you invest in the country.
I would guess that a lot of folks here have this choice.... within limits. We do. But we are still looking...

All sort of moot though. Our Number 1 requirement, The Weather, tied with our number 2 Healthcare (or Visa Versa) are ALL that really count.

The only potential drawback IMHO is that some countries that have VLCOL areas tend to attract low to very income expats. Not in all cases and it does depend on region, but case in point is Mexico (Check out some of the Facebook groups, a lot of folks are very low income and can only qualify for the lowest financial requirements). BTW we like Mexico a lot, but would choose a MCOL region to move to. In these MCOL areas, at least the ones we have visited, property is as expensive as MCOL USA (~$400k for a nice place). We like the benefits offered by MCOL and HCOL areas in the USA and feel they are worth the extra expense. I can't imagine what it would be like living in a poorer area of a foreign country, if it is comparable to the same in the USA. While we cannot blame folks for leaving the USA to increase their Standard of living, it is not our idea of an ideal retirement.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:43 AM   #127
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Many South American countries are excepting US retirees but there is no “Retirement Visa” per se. You simply apply for residency.

I did it in Uruguay and it was fairly easy. Most important is that you can support yourself completely with income from outside the country, be in reasonable health and not become a burden to the state but contribute to it by spending money and paying VAT and property taxes.

But there are a lot of counties I wouldn’t want to live in however. Uruguay was a good fit, banking was not an issue but you can’t hold investment or interest bearing accounts due to FBAR or FATCA reporting. Better to keep your money in the US anyway. Weather is fairly mild, and good quality private medical care is available.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:54 AM   #128
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We haven't decided 100% on exactly where we will live when we retire in a couple years, but about 90% sure it will be around Apex/Cary, NC area. Husband is from southern Virginia/NC area and all his family is still there. I was born and raised in central coast of CA. I moved to San Diego in 1990 and DH transferred there in 1999. In 2015, after our only son graduated college, we sold our main house there and I moved overseas full-time to be with my DH, who took a FT international position there in 2012. Just got too tough on us with all the flying back and forth.

Anyone from Apex/Cary/Raleigh NC that could give us some insight into the area? We have spent some time there and it's just beautiful. We though we might like living down in Charlotte, but Raleigh was way more our speed. Lake Norman is awesome, but that entire area is just so crowded now. The seasons are something we both really miss and since we are basically "homeless" now back in the US, we can pretty much go wherever we want. Plus, it's close but not too close to all his family and will make it a lot easier on him having an elderly mom who will soon need more help. We are thinking maybe just getting place close to Jordan Lake area and hubby can join Freedom Boat club to get his boating fix.
I live in Chapel Hill about 20-30 minutes from the Apex/Cary area. Chapel Hill is a great place to live--a college town with very good health care and lots going on. I go to Jordan Lake to kayak and hike, very nice clean and uncrowded lake. We just had or first snow fall of the year yesterday--one inch!. This winter has been very mild, I have only worn my winter coat twice. This area has very nice weather for 3 seasons but summer is hot and humid. I spend my summers in the North Carolina mountains near Banner Elk--great summer weather there(no AC needed) and a beautiful place with lots to do. If you could swing it --3 seasons in the middle of North Carolina and then rent a place for the hot weather in the NC mountains. That is ideal.

PM me with any specific questions.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:43 PM   #129
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OP - We have the same problem, too many choices, after all the entire world is available.
I have found some of those articles basically lie to paint a nice picture.
International Living magazine comes to mind here. I actually don't think they lie, I think they sugar-coat things so much that all you can taste is sweet. Life isn't like that. The sour and the bitter are there to make the sweet so enjoyable. Living somewhere for a while is the key.
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Vacationing is not the same as Living
Old 02-22-2020, 06:46 PM   #130
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Vacationing is not the same as Living

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and you'll need to live there like locals for a while. a buddy and his wife moved out of state based on a vacation visit. they were back in 18-months. vacationing and living there are two different things.
Absolutely right. Our plan is to not buy until we've lived somewhere for a year or more. The Caribbean has this problem in spades. Vacationing is not living, but the local real estate people don't touch on this AT ALL.
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:09 AM   #131
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Many helpful posts here, thank you all for contributing. We're in the process of choosing a second community to live during the summer and fall. It's fun and at times daunting.
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They do lie...
Old 02-23-2020, 04:52 AM   #132
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They do lie...

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International Living magazine comes to mind here. I actually don't think they lie, I think they sugar-coat things so much that all you can taste is sweet. Life isn't like that. The sour and the bitter are there to make the sweet so enjoyable. Living somewhere for a while is the key.

International living does lie, but perhaps not intentionally. They get paid by local developers in foreign countries to promote an area and use the info provided by that developer instead of doing their own research. Or anyway, they used to...

And we all know developers lie....excuse me “exaggerate with extreme prejudice.”
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:55 AM   #133
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Though not yet retired, our goal is to winter somewhere, so we built criteria that looked like this:

Warm - This rules out almost everywhere since we are only concerned about Jan-March temperatures. We also, for the moment, only want to look in the states.
College or University nearby - A great way to take in a play, see a good bar band, or watch a game.
Water - We disagree on this one. I think a great golf course pool suffices. My wife would like to see a big body of water.
Hockey - Yes. We're from Minnesota
Seasonal Golf Memberships OR excellent social golf program - I'm already a member of a course up here. I don't want to be a member of two courses, but I do want the socialization that membership provides.
Hiking and Biking (The hiking one really hurts southern Florida's intrigue for me)
Not super crowded - I have friends in Ft Myers that never venture from their communities because of the insane traffic.
Price - Though not a huge concern, it's still on the list.
FWIW, I've spent a fair amount of time in Ft. Myers and traffic has never been an issue for me. You will sit in traffic at certain times, going to certain places (think Sanibel Island or Ft Myers Beach on a weekend in season). But locals should know better, and know how to avoid the worst times. Bottom line: traffic is a consideration anywhere, but apply some smarts and you can go where you want, just not always exactly when you want.
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Beware reality TV
Old 02-23-2020, 04:57 AM   #134
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Beware reality TV

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Absolutely right. Our plan is to not buy until we've lived somewhere for a year or more. The Caribbean has this problem in spades. Vacationing is not living, but the local real estate people don't touch on this AT ALL.
As an added caveat beware of shows like House Hunters International or Caribbean life. I know that on Caribbean life the “Home Shoppers” were shown 3 properties, one of which was the one they had bought the year before and decorated themselves. Little wonder they chose it!
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:00 AM   #135
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As an added caveat beware of shows like House Hunters International or Caribbean life. I know that on Caribbean life the “Home Shoppers” were shown 3 properties, one of which was the one they had bought the year before and decorated themselves. Little wonder they chose it!
This is exactly right. Our little island is in lots of those shows and we know many, many people who have been on them. It's very difficult to find even a small honest nugget of truth in each show.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:52 AM   #136
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The only issue we have with the Caribbean, having lived there for 2 years, and sailed back and forth from Grenada to Puerto Rico and visa versa a few times is, the islands are in the path of basically EVERY storm that comes our way.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:21 AM   #137
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There are a number of those, but the most remarkable example of that phenomenon I'm aware of is the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington. Look at Port Angeles, Sequim, and Port Townsend. Just across from Victoria, BC. Also right near Seattle. That area is in the "rain shadow" of the Olympic Mountains, and gets way less rain and more sunshine than the rest of the region. Pretty nice place.
The rain shadow also affects the Gulf Islands and Mayne Island is officially desert!
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:37 AM   #138
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I’m surprised no one has mentioned a criteria of political leanings. For me I if we moved from our current location, I would want a state or country that agrees with my political views.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:54 AM   #139
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I’m surprised no one has mentioned a criteria of political leanings. For me I if we moved from our current location, I would want a state or country that agrees with my political views.
Another way of looking at it is that places with a very different political climate need you the most, so you can provide some balance.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:12 AM   #140
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Another way of looking at it is that places with a very different political climate need you the most, so you can provide some balance.
Become the change you want to see.
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