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Saver 10-24-2006 07:08 PM

List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
Given that a number of members on this board retired overseas, are thinking about it, or are perpetual travelers, I though that someone here may know the answer.

In my search for a potential overseas FI spot, I have found out that both Japan and Singapore do not offer retirement visas. The person I spoke with at Singapore’s consulate noted that most countries don’t offer such visas. That got me thinking. Instead of researching countries I may want to try out and then finding out if it is possible to retire there, it would be MUCH more efficient to limit my research to a list of countries that offer retirement visas (such a list could also help others on this board).

I have seen numerous lists of “retirement havens” in the popular press, but does anyone know of/have a definitive list of which countries offer retirement visas (my main interests are Asia and Western Europe)? I am only interested in places where I can legally retire – I have no interest in places where I would have to leave and return every 3 months.

If any of you happen to have a list in your head based on experience/research, it would be much appreciated if you passed it along.

Thanks very much, Saver

mikew 10-24-2006 07:27 PM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
In asia, I have heard the following have retirement visas.
Malaysia (my second home program)
Philippines
Indonesia
Australia
Thailand but the rules seem to be in flux

Mike

LRS 10-24-2006 08:31 PM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
I've asked this question a couple times. Nobody seems to have a list in their heads.

I've researched various countries on my own. Often the information is available on the embassy web page of that country. If you are confused by what you find, try the Lonely Planet thorn tree forums. But don't ask a question without searching their archives first.

Good luck--be sure to report the results of your research here.

Oops, forgot to mention the countries I know about:

Slovakia and Czech republic: No dice. There is a special ex-patriot program that grants a special passport to descendents of Slovak descent (in Slovakia), but you have to show knowledge of Slovak language and culture, which could be tough unless you were raised in a Slovak-speaking family.

Mexico: FM3 is relatively easy to obtain. You have to have a certified income of $1500 plus $500 per dependent (the amount may have changed since I read about it.) Lots of paperwork but many Americans and Canadians have done it. Mexico wants retirees, but it does not want people to compete with Mexicans for jobs.

Saver 10-24-2006 09:35 PM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
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.

Saver

kramer 10-25-2006 12:39 AM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
My understanding is that the Thai retirement visa requirements have not changed. You have to be 50 and show a small (by American standards) amount of money in the bank, and you may have to do this every year (there are other requirements, but that is the main one). Check thaivisa.com for the latest. But a lot of things are in flux right now, so caution is in order.

The person in his 30s is Ben, and he got grandfathered in with an investment type visa for buying property, which you can do at any age, I believe. The requirement for this type of visa has risen considerably in recent months (I think you may have to buy a 10 Million baht condo now, ~260K US $, was something like 3 Million baht before).

It is possible for an American to retire in Mexico on an FM3 visa at any age just by showing a certain asset level in the bank each year (it is something like $17K for a single person, I don't remember exactly). You do not actually need a certain income. I did extensive research to confirm this, and was pleasantly surprised. There is info at chapala.com web board.

Kramer

MJ 10-25-2006 01:35 PM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Saver
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.

Saver

Being retired in Thailand and getting a retirement visa are 2 different things. Many expat living in Thailand used to do a border run every 30 days because they could not get a retirement visa because they were under 50. I am going to Thailand this November and got a non-immigrant type "O" visa good upto one year with a border run every 90 days. This visa did not have any requirements other than $125. If you retire in Thailand but plan to return to your "home" country once a year then this visa would work for you. I don't know if this type of visa can be only gotten, only in your home or in any other foreign country. Perhaps other countries have a similar type of visa.

WRBT 10-25-2006 01:53 PM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
Things in Thailand might be shaking up a bit:

https://www.asiasentinel.com/index.ph...=231&Itemid=31
Quote:

New immigration rules are intended to stop people like Jay using border stamps and tourist visas to live and work here, ending so-called grey migration, mostly from developed countries, and turfing out a growing criminal fraternity. While the aims are laudable, the dragnet might prove to be an own goal for the economy. Legitimate small businesses are more easily drawn to the rational structure in Singapore while neighboring Cambodia is happy to grant multiple entry business visas to anybody with $25. The legions of itinerant – but solvent – long term visitors in Thailand could soon be packing up.

In September, after three years of thinking it over, the immigration department announced that from October it would only allow foreigners without visas to visit for no more than a cumulative three months in any six month period. Airlines risk fines if passengers without confirmed return tickets are denied entry at immigration because their three month allowance is up.

Immigration officers are directing those who have used up their three months to apply for visas at a Thai embassy. Passports full of visa exemption stamps and a handful of tourist visas may not fare well, though. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which determines visa policy, has advised its consuls to use more discretion when considering tourist visa applications.

Saver 10-25-2006 09:25 PM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
Thanks again for your replies. It looks like there will only be a relative handful of countries that offer retirement visas, and some have age requirements of 50+ years old (I plan to stop working before then). On the one hand this can be seen as disappointing, but an abundance of choices can also lead to difficulties, so the situation could be seen as a blessing in disguise. I will definitely have to do more work on the topic, but that will take more than an evening to accomplish. For now I will add to the discussion by passing along the article segment pasted below. For those of you with any information, please keep those lists coming.

From the Taiwan Review (written in September 2006)… an article about Taiwan wanting to attract Japanese retirees:

“All long-stay programs in the region have both financial and age requirements for the issuing of retirement visas. Malaysia's Malaysia My Second Home Program has no age limit but requires a bank deposit of about US$40,000. Thailand's retirement visa program is only available to those above 50 and requires a bank deposit of US$23,000. For the Philippines the age limit is 35 and the financial requirement US$50,000. Taiwan's long-stay visas will only be available to Japanese aged above 55 and require proof of US$50,000 in funds.”

Saver

RP 12-04-2006 08:55 PM

Re: List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
A bit of an update for the Philippines. The retirement visa is called the SRRV. The amount of invetsment required is not fixed at $50,000 USD but varies from a max of $75,000 to as low as $1,500. There are new monthly income-based plans (similar to Thailand's visa program) and a new program involving paid employment where the qualified retiree works at a paid job (teaching, consulting, etc.) at the direction of the governement and gets a visa in retirn.

The required investment may be used to purchase a retirement condominium so for those who would care for upscale condo living (or rental profits in the larger cities) the investment may actually be somewhat moot.

However, a foreigner can live in the Philippines as long as he or she wishes in a tourist status if they choose to extend their tourist visa every two months and leave the country (perhaps a $99 RT to Kulala Lumpur) for as little as one day and then return. I'm living as a permanent resident based on my wife's (a Philippine/US dual-citizen) sponsorship, but I know hundreds of foreigners who are living here long-term with no investment.

RP

www.philfaqs.com

RP 11-28-2008 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RP (Post 452830)
.....

The required investment may be used to purchase a retirement condominium so for those who would care for upscale condo living (or rental profits in the larger cities) the investment may actually be somewhat moot. ....

However, a foreigner can live in the Philippines as long as he or she wishes in a tourist status if they choose to extend their tourist visa every two months and leave the country (perhaps a $99 RT to Kulala Lumpur) for as little as one day and then return...

RP

www.philfaqs.com

I've been away from the forum for a long time ... nice to be back. A couple updates to my updates above from last year.

It appears there is not/may not be an employment-based option on the Philippine SRRV (Special Resident Retirement Visa) program. The program does however continue to expand and now has a compete category for those who are retiring with an income. Over 50's with $10,000 USD can now avail if they have proof of $800 USD (single) and $1,000 USD (family) per month. In addition to the older condo purchase option the visa requestor may use the required invetment of approved golf club membership(s) or the long term lease of a home.

An example of leases might be something like former US Navy familt housing on the Subic Bay Freeport complex for example rates of $200/$300 IUSD pe rmonth on a 25 year lease. Shorter terms and other areas are certianly possible, I just happen to be a big fan of Subic.

The toursit visa is now good for two years before a trip outsie the country is required, a recent change.

FIREd 11-30-2008 06:15 PM

France offers a "long stay visa for non-professional purposes" which is effectively a retirement visa.

Long stay visa for non professional purpose - Consulat Général de France Ã* Washington

It seems pretty easy to obtain.

RP 11-30-2008 08:25 PM

Interesting and thanks for that update, FIREdreamer. If the visa allows the retiree access to France's health care system it would indeed be something to consider very seriously. Americans (who make up most of the membership here) tend to think of US health care as numbe rone, but in fact it's number one only in terms of cost. france is ranked by the WHO as numbe rone in the world, while the most exspensive US system manages only a distant 17th place.

FIREd 11-30-2008 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RP (Post 754642)
Interesting and thanks for that update, FIREdreamer. If the visa allows the retiree access to France's health care system it would indeed be something to consider very seriously. Americans (who make up most of the membership here) tend to think of US health care as numbe rone, but in fact it's number one only in terms of cost. france is ranked by the WHO as numbe rone in the world, while the most exspensive US system manages only a distant 17th place.

I know for sure that you would be able to easily access France's healthcare system if 1) you are an alien working/studying in France or 2) you are an alien married to a French citizen. For a foreign retiree though, things get a bit dicier. I found these articles which apply to UK citizens retiring in France:

French Healthcare for Retired Expats - New Life In France (UK)

Healthcare cover changes in France - what you need to know from FrenchEntrée.com

Expats fear health cover could vanish as French tighten rules - Times Online

It seems like it's getting harder for foreign retirees to enjoy all the benefits of the French healthcare system, especially its low cost.

billman 12-06-2008 02:16 PM

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Oman. They will give you a residence visa if you buy a property.

Agod 12-26-2008 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billman (Post 756837)
Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Oman. They will give you a residence visa if you buy a property.

Hi Billman

This is not entirely true, after buying 4 properties there, and staking my whole lifes work into the place, i now find out that they have an upper age limit of 60, as i am 59 in a couple of months, i would be in danger of getting bounced out.

to explain more, on the contract with the developer, it states that they will sponser you to get a residency visa, in August this year, the immigration dept, said that it was up to them not the property developer who hands out these 3 year visas, and they shouldn't have sold it that way.

I phoned the embassy here in London, and was told as a UK national all i needed to do, was take the deeds to my property, along with a medical certificate, and a 3 year visa will be stamped in it, my problem is the upper age limit of 60, as i will be 62 when i come to renew that, i could be rejected.

I am devistated by the news, and will find out more next week, if i can talk to a lawyer, the point here, and i will email Sheikh Mohammad, if i mhave to, as the mantra has always been "I will build it and they will come"

well i would like to and spend my life there.

Alan

cjking 12-29-2008 04:54 PM

Malaysia (as someone mentioned above) is definitely interested in attracting retired people, I don't remember the details, but the requirements were quite reasonable.

I don't know what other Asian countries are like, but Malaysia is very good for English speakers. Local newspapers, magazines and TV are often in English. I walked into shops and spoke to shop assistants without it crossing my mind that they might not understand English. They always did.

The countryside is beautiful, the roads are good. The houses in new developments not only cost a fraction of the prices I'm used to, they are actually far nicer architecture. The only aspect I don't agree with is bathrooms are always built as wet rooms. I don't want to get my feet wet when I go for purposes other than having a shower, so I'd ask the builders for a screened off shower area in mine.

Not sure if I could cope with the heat though.

socca 12-29-2008 07:44 PM

I recently read the following book:

Amazon.com: Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America (Process Self-reliance Series): Mark Ehrman: Books

This book contains info on visa and citizenship requirements for a wide variety of favorite (and not-so-favorite) retiree destinations as of 2006. If I had been the book's editor, I would have deleted the brief anti-America sentiments scattered here and there - these are opinion, not fact, and aren't relevant or useful in a non-fiction book. That said, the factual info (even if a bit dated) was worth the purchase price.

If someone pointed a gun at me and demanded that I expatriate (some folks on this board did this during the 2008 election season ;) ), I'd be considering either Australia or Switzerland as homes-away-from-home based on the information in the book.

tuixiu 02-03-2009 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cjking (Post 765353)
Malaysia (as someone mentioned above) is definitely interested in attracting retired people, I don't remember the details, but the requirements were quite reasonable.

It's been on my radar lately too. I never knew much about Malaysia but recently read an article about how commonly English and Chinese are spoken there and figured hey that would make life easier as I speak both English and Chinese. The retirement program looks pretty solid too.

tuixiu 02-03-2009 10:14 PM

Also - it's not really a retirement Visa but I believe India offers a 10 year multiple entry tourist visa, which from the angle of "move somewhere cheaper" is pretty much the same thing.

Of course India offers it's own set of challenges aside from border traipsability but it's a very diverse country and Westerners seem to either love it or hate it.

Kabekew 02-04-2009 07:45 PM

I've looked into these as well... in South America anyway, Panama has an "investor visa" (no age minimum) where you put $200K in a 4% CD at their bank for a few years and get residency status ( Panama Visa and Residency Information ).

Costa Rica is a little cheaper with $75K CD or $600-$1K a month proof of income from pension or investments ( Costa Rica Guide: Permanent Visas ).

Argentina is similar with their investor/Rentista residency visa, you just need proof of $800 a month income from investments ( Argentina Guide: Residence Visa ).

cardude 02-07-2009 11:00 AM

Quote:

Costa Rica is a little cheaper with $75K CD or $600-$1K a month proof of income from pension or investments ( Costa Rica Guide: Permanent Visas ).
My wife and kids and I are planning a month long trip in CR this June. Renting a nice house in the Guiones Beach area in Guadacanaste, near Nosara. We have American friends who live down there and though we have visited them the last 3 years, this will be our first extended stay.

I keep thinking I might want to live there full time, or at least for a year so I can say I've done SOMETHING interesting, but I kind of worry about our kids schooling (boys 9 and 11) for that year. There is a private school there that our friends kids go to, so that may be an option but it is 6k per year per kid so it is a bit expensive sounding to me. Both are doing really well at their schools in Texas, and I worry about jerking them out. But their spanish would really improve!

Free To Canoe 02-07-2009 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikew (Post 440670)
In asia, I have heard the following have retirement visas.
Malaysia (my second home program)
Philippines
Indonesia
Australia
Thailand but the rules seem to be in flux

Mike

I am pleasently surprised to see Australia offers a retirement visa. I have heard that they are a little touchy about how long you can stay in a non-retired status.

Free

ziggy29 02-07-2009 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Free To Canoe (Post 781334)
I am pleasently surprised to see Australia offers a retirement visa. I have heard that they are a little touchy about how long you can stay in a non-retired status.

I'd expect a lot of nations to get touchier. In this economic climate it's not a very popular political position to allow "foreigners" to compete with citizens for what few jobs there are out there.

DangerMouse 02-07-2009 04:56 PM

Details on the Australian Retirement Visa is at the link below. However, the $ limits to get this visa is probably substantially more than Asian countries are asking.

Investor Retirement (Subclass 405)

Gpond 02-07-2009 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DangerMouse (Post 781370)
Details on the Australian Retirement Visa is at the link below. However, the $ limits to get this visa is probably substantially more than Asian countries are asking.

Investor Retirement (Subclass 405)

Deal breaker (from the link):

What does this visa let me do?

live in Australia for four (4) years

harley 02-07-2009 11:54 PM

The deal breaker for me is the quarantine requirement for dogs. I've always wanted to live there, but we've always had dogs. Maybe in 14-18 years when these last 3 are gone.

DangerMouse 02-08-2009 01:10 AM

The Australian visa is only for 4 years, but you can reapply for a renewal. Unless your financial circumstances change substantially you would probably be assured of renewal.

However, the deal breaker for a lot of foreigners, might be the locations you would have to live in. NSW and ACT are out which means no Sydney, so you would have the option of burning to a crisp in Victoria where the bushfires are currently raging or you could live in Queensland where half the state is under water. Not sure many foreigners could handle the isolation of NT/Tas/WA and SA is probably too boring.

Quarantine is very strict in Oz because we are an island.

Gpond 02-08-2009 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DangerMouse (Post 781502)
The Australian visa is only for 4 years, but you can reapply for a renewal. Unless your financial circumstances change substantially you would probably be assured of renewal.

However, the deal breaker for a lot of foreigners, might be the locations you would have to live in. NSW and ACT are out which means no Sydney, so you would have the option of burning to a crisp in Victoria where the bushfires are currently raging or you could live in Queensland where half the state is under water. Not sure many foreigners could handle the isolation of NT/Tas/WA and SA is probably too boring.

Quarantine is very strict in Oz because we are an island.

A really nice place to live would be Bateman's Bay. In 4 years Australia could go back to the points system. ACT is very nice however it is extremely pricey (the rents are the highest in the nation) because that is where a lot of the tech jobs, beltway bandits (defense contractors), the politicos and embassy employees live. As an expat (even with the visa) you need to put 30-50% down to get a mortgage after you apply for a waiver that takes 30 days (which means you have to hope the person selling the house will wait for you to get your waiver).

tuixiu 02-08-2009 10:39 AM

I don't get why a country would be touchier with retirement visas because of competition for jobs in rough global economy. I would assume the visa class doesn't allow you to work at all, just spend money consuming products and services.

DangerMouse 02-08-2009 11:03 AM

Well actually the Australian visa does allow you and your spouse to work up to 20 hours per week at the max.

Not sure that I agree with the Bateman's Bay comment. What is there to do there? I would think that one could easily die of boredom if they stayed there too long. A few years ago we drove from Nowra down past Merimbula, and whilst we found some nice towns I didn't see too much to do in any of these places. I am surprised that the rents in the ACT are the highest in Australia, as I thought Darwin would be a lot higher. However I guess for both locations it would depend on what suburbs you are talking about.

Free To Canoe 02-08-2009 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DangerMouse (Post 781502)
The Australian visa is only for 4 years, but you can reapply for a renewal. Unless your financial circumstances change substantially you would probably be assured of renewal.

However, the deal breaker for a lot of foreigners, might be the locations you would have to live in. NSW and ACT are out which means no Sydney, so you would have the option of burning to a crisp in Victoria where the bushfires are currently raging or you could live in Queensland where half the state is under water. Not sure many foreigners could handle the isolation of NT/Tas/WA and SA is probably too boring.

Quarantine is very strict in Oz because we are an island.

Thanks for the link.
Queensland is very beautiful. I love it. However, I was there in the dry season.
Have to make a couple more visits before deciding to live there.
Maybe do a circumnavigation of the continent.
Do you know anyone who has travelled the perimeter of Australia?

Free

Gpond 02-08-2009 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DangerMouse (Post 781587)
Well actually the Australian visa does allow you and your spouse to work up to 20 hours per week at the max.

Not sure that I agree with the Bateman's Bay comment. What is there to do there? I would think that one could easily die of boredom if they stayed there too long. A few years ago we drove from Nowra down past Merimbula, and whilst we found some nice towns I didn't see too much to do in any of these places. I am surprised that the rents in the ACT are the highest in Australia, as I thought Darwin would be a lot higher. However I guess for both locations it would depend on what suburbs you are talking about.

Lots of great sports fishing and golfing. I have lots of friends there so I am kind of biased. All ways had a great time there. The best seafood I have had in Oz was from there. It is 3 hours from Sydney and about 90 minutes from ACT. The location allows you to lay on the beach one day and go skiing the next in the Snowy Mountains. Also the center of ACT the druggies have overrun. I guess they migrated from Kings Cross. Kings Cross use to be awesome until they made the street performers stop. Darwin is to humid. The taxi cabs have the seats covered with plastic for a reason - just a cab ride in the afternoon you are drenched with sweat. ACT home building has not kept up with the population growth because the government has not be realizing new land for building because it is losing its "bush capital" feel. Since buildings can not be over 4 stories - things are getting very tight. The new houses the yards are so tiny. The houses are inches from each other. It is very sad to me.

Another note: I got a call out of the blue today and was offered a 2 year job in Saudi Arabia. I got nothing going and the salary/perks are good so I will be leaving the middle of next month. I have not even packed for my Reno vacation that starts tomorrow. :rofl:

Don't know if I will be able to connect to here while I am there but I will be going on business trips to UAE, India, Bahrain, Greece and Oman. So if anyone is interested in those areas let me know. I will inquire when I am in country if they have a retirement visa program through the expats.

I guess effective March 16th, I am an Ex ERer.

DangerMouse 02-08-2009 02:13 PM

GPond, good luck in Saudi. Given the economy it makes sense to take the $s when they are on offer.

My in-laws live in ACT, in one of the inner suburbs where it is still bigger blocks and leafy streets. The new suburbs in the ACT are appalling, nothing more than tract housing built on top of each other. Agree with your comments on the druggies in ACT, it always feels a bit dicey strolling thru Garema Place these days where they seem to accumulate. So if anyone would be thinking of ACT I would say inner norther is the only place to live.

Darwin, I quite like the place. I have 2 siblings living there, however have to agree with you on the humidity during the wet season. However if you are retired the worst 3 months are probably the time to get out of town and go somewhere milder. The NT offers something that the rest of Australia doesn't, it is a lot more relaxed and unpretentious, though there is an element of danger. The winters are absolutely beautiful in Darwin, shorts and tshirt weather, perfect temperatures.

For us, we will likely retire to Queensland. Reasons are southern parts of Oz have no water and will eventually run out. Water restrictions have been in place for years and 3 minute showers are not my style. Qld has a lot more daylight hours and rainfall. It also offers a slower pace of life. In Queensland you have the rainforest, beautiful beaches and some of the best diving and fishing. You can also buy land that is bigger than the size of a postage stamp and it is possible to have enough water to have gardens.

harley 02-08-2009 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gpond (Post 781625)
I guess effective March 16th, I am an Ex ERer

Hey, good luck. IMO FI is more important than ER. Especially if the w*rk takes you to interesting places and experiences. There are other Middle Easterners on the forum, so hopefully you'll still be able to check in.

barker 02-08-2009 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cardude (Post 781271)
...but I kind of worry about our kids schooling (boys 9 and 11) for that year. There is a private school there that our friends kids go to, so that may be an option but it is 6k per year per kid so it is a bit expensive sounding to me. Both are doing really well at their schools in Texas, and I worry about jerking them out. But their spanish would really improve!

We've home schooled both our children through high school, and they've both excelled in colleges with 4.0 gpa's. So taking a year with your kids in a foreign country should be easy and a great educational opportunity for both of them. You can supplement the natural learning they'll get with some "book learning", but I wouldn't worry about it too much. All you really have to do is keep up their math skills, the rest comes naturally. It would be an experience of a life time for them to live in a foreign country, and think of the educational value of it.

billman 02-13-2009 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gpond (Post 781625)
Another note: I got a call out of the blue today and was offered a 2 year job in Saudi Arabia. I got nothing going and the salary/perks are good so I will be leaving the middle of next month. I have not even packed for my Reno vacation that starts tomorrow. :rofl:

Don't know if I will be able to connect to here while I am there but I will be going on business trips to UAE, India, Bahrain, Greece and Oman. So if anyone is interested in those areas let me know. I will inquire when I am in country if they have a retirement visa program through the expats.

I guess effective March 16th, I am an Ex ERer.

Welcome to the game :) known as MEA. You will love Oman.

NW-Bound 03-14-2009 07:46 AM

How about Malta, anyone?

They speak English. It used to belong to the Brits and only gained independence in 1964, and is now a member of the EU. I happened to read about their welcoming retirees, and so did spend some time to check it out. The financial requirements are reasonable. The Maltese are nice friendly people, and they have a very low crime rate. It appears quite a few Britons retire there. The cost of living appears to be not too bad, compared to mainland Europe.

The drawback is being on such a small island may give one a bad case of island fever. I entertained the idea of using it as a home base for a year or two to explore other places in the Mediterranean. It turned out that, with Malta being such a small nation, there are few direct flights to/from it. An trip from Malta to Sicily means several hours in Rome waiting for a connection. Boats are faster?

Having two houses and family roots in my home state, I have found it difficult to move to the Puget Sound, leave alone going to a new country. Thought I would bring it up for people to research it as a pipe dream, if nothing else.

It is definitely a place for me to visit, but I am still working on combining it with some other places in one itinerary (Sicily, Sardinia, or Corsica?)

Retire in Malta | Malta-Tax | Malta Retirement Schemes - Residence Scheme residency malta resident retirement residency malta permanent retire

legacypac 03-14-2009 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gpond (Post 781375)
Deal breaker (from the link):

What does this visa let me do?

live in Australia for four (4) years

From the the next page:
"The Investor retirement visa is a temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia for four years. There is an option to apply for further Investor retirement visas which will allow you to stay for a further four years, however you will need to meet the requirements to be granted a subsequent visa. As long as you continue to satisfy the visa requirements you can keep applying for subsequent Investor Retirement visas."

But really, how is Austrilia going to be a better place to live then North America? I'm sure it is a nice place, but it would not really be cheaper. Compare to Malaysia where everything looks like its on a 2/3 to 3/4 off sale to me.

Saver 06-07-2009 09:12 PM

Thank-you to those who have added to this thread. I have been looking into the possibility of obtaining retirement visas for Hong Kong and China. I know that Hong Kong is a part of China, but Hong Kong is largely self-governing and has separate legal and political systems. Thus far, research has not turned up much at all for China, but I did find out something interesting about HK. It seems that you may be able to buy your way in, although it requires one to invest about $840K at recent exchange rates into permissible HK assets (real estate or financial assets). This system apparently allows one to be employed or to start a business in HK without a visa requirement, and I’m guessing that it would also allow one to retire there. After seven years of continuous ordinary residence one can apply for the right of abode in HK. No word yet on whether the investment requirement remains in place once one is granted this right. Does anyone have any information on whether or not the reality is any different than what I’ve been reading about HK? Also, does anyone have information about retirement visas in China?

Thank-you, Saver


atlas888 06-07-2009 10:10 PM

Saver
Hong Kong is a very expensive city to live in. I have a friend who was sent by his company to work in the Hong Kong Office. His small flat there cost US $5 to 6000 a month in rent. His company pays for it, but even those multinational corporations are finding the cost prohibitive and increasingly they are just hiring local workers. Energy (gasoline and electricity) and water bills are also very high. I am not sure it is a good choice for retirement living.

billman 06-08-2009 10:47 AM

Hong Kong is an awesome place. Trying to get there someday myself. While it's expensive, the scheme in also expensive:

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department

There seems to be a couple of schemes where you don't need so much money up front. Check the website and see what you can come up with.

Billman

Saver 06-08-2009 07:23 PM

Thank-you for the replies. I realize that HK is expensive. I'm still in the thinking/planning stages right now.

I have been to that website before Billman. I read through it again and I don't see how one can avoid investing all of the required money up front. Could you please help me out on this one?

In the statistics segment I was surprised to see how many people had their applications denied. The requirements seem pretty straight forward.

Saver

coldnose 07-08-2014 01:54 PM

South America appears to be somewhat forgotten on this forum, so here is some more up to date information on retirement visas offered by select South American countries. I tried to use official government websites where the information was easy to find and in English, so please consider the unofficial website info suspect until verified. As always, your own due diligence is a very, very good idea.

Argentina: Income of AR$ 2,500/month (roughly US$308)
Unofficial Website: Expat Destinations. Retirement in Argentina. : Expat Info Desk
Note: The ARS recently lost significant value vs. the US$, so I'd reverify this income requirement before making any serious plans to apply for a retirement visa in Argentina.

Ecuador: Income of US$ 800/month (Foreign Pension)
https://cancilleria.gob.ec/annuitant-...nsion/?lang=en

Uruguay: Income of US$ 1,500/month
Information about permanent residence in Uruguay.

Peru: Income of US$ 1,000/month
Unofficial Website: Peru Guide: Retire in Peru, How to apply for a Peruvian retirement visa: To obtain a retirement visa in Peru,

Colombia: Income of COP $1,700,100 (approx. US$917)/month
Unofficial Website:Requirements Colombia Pension Visa| Colombia Retirement Visa

Chile: Income varies, but US$ 1,000/month is good rule of thumb
Unofficial Website: Chile Retirement and Income Visa

kramer 07-08-2014 11:49 PM

I have a retirement visa in the Philippines (known as SRRV). I am under 50. Requirements for me were:

* $20,000 in a dollar CD in a Philippines bank
* One-time: $1400 application charge
* One time: Pass simple physical
* One-time: Show home country police record within a year or so of application
* $360 per year

If you are over 50 and have a government income (I think $800/mo or more), then the CD requirement is only $10,000.

With a one month notice at any time, you can withdraw from the program and get the return of your CD monies.

You never have to visit immigration again. Everything is done through a special office called the Philippines Retirement Authority. For the once a year payment, I just pay an agent (located walking distance from my place) a $10 charge (plus the $360 fee) and he takes care of the payment, gets me the new Resident card, etc. You can pay up to 3 years in advance.

kramer 07-08-2014 11:59 PM

Early Retirees are shut out of many Retirement visa opportunities because they usually do not yet have a pension.

This is one reason that, even though I enjoyed living in Colombia, retirement there was not an option for me. There were workarounds but they were also difficult (spend $200,000 on a property, invest $100,000 with an immigration-approved business plan, get married to a Colombiana, pledge that you are permanently committed to a Colombiana in a non-marital relationship).

I think it is important to make this distinction among Retirement Visas.

Some visas require an income but that income can be shown to come from investments, so I would not put them into the "government pension required" category but somewhere in-between depending on the details.

And with experience I can state that: You really don't "live" in a place until you have some kind of permanent visa. Border runs and temporary visas are simply not the same thing. Even a Retirement Visa which must be renewed from scratch each year (as in Thailand) is not really all the way there, in my opinion.

coldnose 07-09-2014 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer (Post 1469275)
Early Retirees are shut out of many Retirement visa opportunities because they usually do not yet have a pension.

This is one reason that, even though I enjoyed living in Colombia, retirement there was not an option for me. There were workarounds but they were also difficult (spend $200,000 on a property, invest $100,000 with an immigration-approved business plan, get married to a Colombiana, pledge that you are permanently committed to a Colombiana in a non-marital relationship).

I think it is important to make this distinction among Retirement Visas.

Some visas require an income but that income can be shown to come from investments, so I would not put them into the "government pension required" category but somewhere in-between depending on the details.

And with experience I can state that: You really don't "live" in a place until you have some kind of permanent visa. Border runs and temporary visas are simply not the same thing. Even a Retirement Visa which must be renewed from scratch each year (as in Thailand) is not really all the way there, in my opinion.

I agree with this assessment. Worrying about doing a monthly visa run is not my idea of a relaxing retirement, and don't consider those as viable even when the visa is free and almost guaranteed (like Thailand).

I can see how authorities could be leery of accepted investment income as opposed to an actual government or company pension that is almost guaranteed. People can cash out their investments after gaining permanent residency and if they lose the money, say in a bad business deal, they will then no longer meet the qualifications, and potentially be a burden on the state. A traditional pension is a monthly check that is fairly reliable and it can be assumed that the recipient will receive it perpetually.

Sri Lanka also offers a retirement visa, but there is a minimum age requirement of 55 years. Income requirements are US$ 1,500/month single or $2,250/month married.
(Unofficial Source): Retire to Sri Lanka - The Visa

kramer 07-11-2014 07:01 AM

Another thing to consider now that was not as big of a consideration before is whether the country where you become a resident taxes you on worldwide income. Before FATCA it was difficult for any country (especially those without tax treaties with the USA) to find out anything about your worldwide earnings (including your passive earnings in the USA). But with FATCA, there will be full information exchange agreements with most countries.

I can still remember looking up the rules for foreigners who are Colombia residents and realizing that after 5 years of residency one pays taxes on worldwide income. When I explained this to a couple of friends with residency there, they both laughed and said how would the Colombian government ever find out about those earnings? The answer now is FATCA, reported straight to the foreign government from Uncle Sam.

Rob 07-11-2014 08:00 AM

I was in Singapore for 25 years, and the last couple years even retired there. I was able to get a Permanent Residency, and of course most countries overseas do not tax US retirement pensions. To make a long story short, by some accounts Singapore is the most expensive place to live in the world, and being 67 years of age, I liked the idea of not paying US$5,500/year for health insurance. I like Medicare, and being a part of that system. I gave up my PR and returned to the States and bought a house in Washington

I also had a retirement visa in Malaysia. I gave that up, also, but quite simple if I ever wanted to get it back. The US$50,000 Malaysian bank deposit that was required to deposit was needed to buy my house. If I ever wanted to return to Malaysia, I would opt for the pension scheme rather than the bank deposit. Malaysia was wonderful, but there were aspects of living there that did not appeal to me. Glad to share what they were if you ever ask.

My goal now, since I am completely settled in my new home, is to split the time between where I am now in the States and other warmer retirement haven to escape to for 3 or 4 months. I've already been to Mexico (Lake Chapala), and want to explore Costa Rica and Panama. I might even return to Malaysia/Singapore.

Rob

coldnose 07-11-2014 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob (Post 1469987)
I also had a retirement visa in Malaysia. I gave that up, also, but quite simple if I ever wanted to get it back. The US$50,000 Malaysian bank deposit that was required to deposit was needed to buy my house. If I ever wanted to return to Malaysia, I would opt for the pension scheme rather than the bank deposit. Malaysia was wonderful, but there were aspects of living there that did not appeal to me. Glad to share what they were if you ever ask.

I visited Malaysia for the first time this year, spending most of my time around Georgetown. While the costs were generally low for food, I wasn't crazy about the amount of traffic. However, I could certainly get by with public transport so long as I lived fairly close to a bus stop. If I lived on Penang it would have to be away from the central area of Georgetown, maybe closer to the airport or on the other side of the island. There appear to be quite a few short and long term rentals that come furnished for an inexpensive monthly rent outside of Georgetown. I would also prefer the pension scheme, assuming that a bank deposit would be in MYR which is not the most stable currency in the world. Malaysia is a great place, although beer was expensive to purchase. I liked the live at let live attitude, and the generally friendly attitude that Malaysian Muslims seem to have towards non-Muslims. I don't know how well I'd do here full time, though. I like some cooler weather, so maybe if I found a town in Malaysia at higher elevation that got cool at night, I'd be more at home.

Aus_E_Expat 07-11-2014 10:15 PM

Rob - Just wondering what the issues were with Malaysia?

Indonesia offers retirement visas if over 55. The financial conditions are not too difficult to meet but there is a bit of bureaucracy involved (like everything in Indonesia).

Indonesia is lower cost than Malaysia (bit less developed, more traffic etc). In Indonesia there is no problem with operating US$ accounts etc.

Lancelot 07-12-2014 01:24 AM

I have a Thai Retirement Visa. It costs me $59 per year. To avoid keeping money in a Thai bank, 800,000 THB/$25,000, I get an "Income Verification Letter from the US Embassy, for a $50 fee. My annual Retirement visa expense is $109, plus incidental fees such as photos and photo copies. With a Retirement Visa I never have to leave the country.

If I do leave, I must apply for a "Re-entry Permit" cost $32 for a single or $118 for a multiple. Interestingly the Multiple Re-entry Permits costs more than the actual visa.

This is Thailand :)

Rob 07-12-2014 08:05 AM

Having lived in Singapore for 25 years and even retiring there for two years, the transition to Malaysia was easy. The Malaysian retirement visa (called MM2H- Malaysia My Second Home) was easy to get, and as already mentioned, the people generally are as friendly as anywhere in the world.

I gave up the MM2H retirement visa to return to the States to retire is because of several reasons. First, it's very difficult or impossible to get health insurance if you are over 60 (I'm 67), and if you do get it, it's expensive. I like Medicare in the US. If I ever got really sick in Malaysia, I'd need to pay out of pocket or sit in an air plane for 24 hours to get back to the States. Second, the air quality at certain times of the year is just awful, and in my 25 years in that part of the world, it's not improving. The burning of forests to clear land on Sumatra and even certain parts of Malaysia bring a haze that can last for months periodically with unhealthy air quality and poor visibility. Third, I have a Labrador Retriever at my current house in the States. The culture of Malaysian does not have the same love for dogs as we do (no criticism). Therefore, condos do not allow dogs at all, and that's at every condo I explored. Fourth, I guess after all these years in Singapore, I was tired of the hot humid weather. I was ready for a change.

When you fly to Malaysia, you automatically get a 3 month tourist visa on arrival. That visa can easily be extended by crossing over the Singapore and back. Many of the people in Malaysia on the retirement visa are not there full time anyway, so if you want to choose Malaysia as a place to spend part of the year there, you really don't need the retirement visa to do that.

Regards,
Rob

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-12-2014 07:10 PM

This is an extraordinarily valuable thread. There is information here that does not appear in the highly visible glib articles that pop up on the web.

Would it be possible to keep it in the FAQs at some point?

tuixiu 07-13-2014 08:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lancelot (Post 1470283)
I have a Thai Retirement Visa. It costs me $59 per year. To avoid keeping money in a Thai bank, 800,000 THB/$25,000, I get an "Income Verification Letter from the US Embassy, for a $50 fee. My annual Retirement visa expense is $109, plus incidental fees such as photos and photo copies. With a Retirement Visa I never have to leave the country.

That sounds like a great deal.

Heard people say the first visa run is an adventure, the second is fun, the third is something you gotta do, the fourth is a serious pain in the ass, the fifth....

Being able to pound in the tent spikes without that would be wonderful.

george76 07-13-2014 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer (Post 1469969)
Another thing to consider now that was not as big of a consideration before is whether the country where you become a resident taxes you on worldwide income. Before FATCA it was difficult for any country (especially those without tax treaties with the USA) to find out anything about your worldwide earnings (including your passive earnings in the USA). But with FATCA, there will be full information exchange agreements with most countries.

I can still remember looking up the rules for foreigners who are Colombia residents and realizing that after 5 years of residency one pays taxes on worldwide income. When I explained this to a couple of friends with residency there, they both laughed and said how would the Colombian government ever find out about those earnings? The answer now is FATCA, reported straight to the foreign government from Uncle Sam.

And I assume this also includes IRA's and ROTH IRA's, where any gain would be taxable in the current year in most foreign countries and not deferred as in the US?

coldnose 07-13-2014 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by george76 (Post 1470601)
And I assume this also includes IRA's and ROTH IRA's, where any gain would be taxable in the current year in most foreign countries and not deferred as in the US?

Are you asking about gains or distributions? Capital gains in a Roth are not subject to taxation in the US, so I'm not sure how it would ever be reported to the foreign government. Roth distributions similarly are not taxed (provided you meet the age and 5 year requirement), and again I'm not sure how the foreign government would even find out about it.

I'm too young to be drawing on my Roth, but does the investment company even issue you any kind of 1099 for qualified distributions? I wouldn't think they would.

george76 07-13-2014 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coldnose (Post 1470636)
Are you asking about gains or distributions? Capital gains in a Roth are not subject to taxation in the US, so I'm not sure how it would ever be reported to the foreign government. Roth distributions similarly are not taxed (provided you meet the age and 5 year requirement), and again I'm not sure how the foreign government would even find out about it.

I'm too young to be drawing on my Roth, but does the investment company even issue you any kind of 1099 for qualified distributions? I wouldn't think they would.

I'm just referring to gains, not distributions. As I understand it, most foreign countries don't recognize deferred taxes as they are in IRA's.

The expat is supposed to report it (if the tax treaty warrants it). But I don't know how the foreign government would ever know. But I'm assuming that if they found out you cheated, you could be in trouble. Who knows what type of reporting between governments will be in place in 5 or 10 years.

Alan 07-13-2014 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by george76 (Post 1470642)
I'm just referring to gains, not distributions. As I understand it, most foreign countries don't recognize deferred taxes as they are in IRA's.

The expat is supposed to report it (if the tax treaty warrants it). But I don't know how the foreign government would ever know. But I'm assuming that if they found out you cheated, you could be in trouble. Who knows what type of reporting between governments will be in place in 5 or 10 years.

I think it will very much depend on the double tax agreement between the USA and the country. For example the UK does not tax gains within an IRA but does tax distributions, and does not tax gains or distributions in/from a ROTH, however the same courtesy does not go the other way. The equivalent to an IRA in the UK is an ISA and in the UK the interest is tax free during accumulation and distribution but the US taxes all ISA interest as it arises. Also, you can have stocks and bonds and MF's in an IRA and the UK doesn't treat them as PFIC's since they tax all IRA distributions as regular income, but if you have stocks and bonds and MF's in an ISA you have to report them as PFIC's to the US.

Gumby 07-13-2014 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy (Post 1470500)
This is an extraordinarily valuable thread. There is information here that does not appear in the highly visible glib articles that pop up on the web.

Would it be possible to keep it in the FAQs at some point?

Excellent idea, Ed. After discussing it, the moderators have agreed that we should move the thread to the FAQ sub-forum. Unlike the other FAQ threads, we plan to leave this one open (for now) so that people can update it as they learn more.


Edit: It appears that the way forum permissions are set, moving this thread means that no one can post to it, so I'm moving it to Life After FIRE and making it sticky.

ItDontMeanAThing 07-18-2014 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer (Post 1469275)
And with experience I can state that: You really don't "live" in a place until you have some kind of permanent visa. Border runs and temporary visas are simply not the same thing. Even a Retirement Visa which must be renewed from scratch each year (as in Thailand) is not really all the way there, in my opinion.

Agreed. If I had to do it over again I'd have paid the price in time, money and hassle up front to get the official retirement visa instead of the unofficial one which must be extending every year. OTOH, if Thailand ever decides to stop extending as a blanket policy, that will probably be a symptom of other changes which would already have me planning an exit strategy.

Lancelot 07-18-2014 11:06 PM

Not really. The Thai Embassy's site lists only one "Retirement Visa."

A Thai "Retirement Visa" is actually an "Extension of Stay for Purposes of Retirement.

Starting from scratch entails applying for an O Visa Other- Retirement in your home country or an O visa in a country other than Thailand (often only successful in your home country) then converting the O Visa Other to an Extension of Stay- Retirement.

Renewing an Extension of Stay in Thailand omits the need to first receive an O Visa. One less major step :)

https://www.thaiembdc.org/dcdp/?q=Non...rant_Long_Stay

ItDontMeanAThing 07-19-2014 12:14 AM

If one is interested in general information about Thai visas, the worst place to ask is on a forum populated by expats in Thailand. They don't do 'general'.

Lancelot 07-19-2014 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing (Post 1472916)
If one is interested in general information about Thai visas, the worst place to ask is on a forum populated by expats in Thailand. They don't do 'general'.

Uh, OK.

You referred to "An Official Retirement Visa" as opposed to the un official one.

I have the visa you described as unofficial, so what is the "Official" one? Got a link?

ItDontMeanAThing 07-19-2014 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing (Post 1472900)
Agreed. If I had to do it over again I'd have paid the price in time, money and hassle up front to get the official retirement visa instead of the unofficial one which must be extending every year.

Erase, erase. Both visa types used by retired expats in Thailand must be extended every year. It appears that what I saw in 2007 as the benefits of the official retirement visa no longer exist.

Lancelot 07-19-2014 07:38 AM

You might have been thinking of this program Thailand Elite

thailandelite.com

The least expensive member ship tier costs $16,000 for a five year visa.

No thanks :)

NYEXPAT 07-19-2014 09:41 AM

FWIW, Peru has a retirement visa that is very easy to get. requires $1,000.00 month income and $500.00 more for each dependent. With that you can easily get bank accounts and Peru has no taxes on retirement income.

If you do not want the hassle then many expats come on a 183 day tourist visa and pay the $1 a day fine when ever they choose to leave.

BTravlin 07-19-2014 09:58 AM

DW and I have Residente Permanente visas in Mexico and they cost us about $375 each and they do not expire. Had to show a certain level of combined assets and/or income stream to qualify and it was not an excessive amount. We do not have to file federal taxes here if we have no earned income within Mexico and our retirement income from U.S. based assets don't count. We have no bank accounts here in Mexico so we don't have that extra issue with the IRS and FATCA.

haha 07-19-2014 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTravlin (Post 1473011)
DW and I have Residente Permanente visas in Mexico and they cost us about $375 each and they do not expire. Had to show a certain level of combined assets and/or income stream to qualify and it was not an excessive amount. We do not have to file federal taxes here if we have no earned income within Mexico and our retirement income from U.S. based assets don't count. We have no bank accounts here in Mexico so we don't have that extra issue with the IRS and FATCA.

Do you have any financial complications from being Estadounidenses permanently living in Mexico?

Ha

BTravlin 07-19-2014 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by haha (Post 1473092)
Do you have any financial complications from being Estadounidenses permanently living in Mexico?

Ha

Nothing too daunting so far. Banking is the most difficult thing we've had to contend with but we were prepared by setting up numerous accounts with different banks before we left the U.S. This has allowed us flexibility in drawing funds from the U.S. in the most cost efficient manner without having to set up accounts in Mexican banks. We have shied away from this due to triggering FATCA issues with the IRS.

Other than that, I concentrate on watching exchange rates for the most advantageous times to convert USD to MXN.

haha 07-20-2014 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTravlin (Post 1473164)
Nothing too daunting so far. Banking is the most difficult thing we've had to contend with but we were prepared by setting up numerous accounts with different banks before we left the U.S. This has allowed us flexibility in drawing funds from the U.S. in the most cost efficient manner without having to set up accounts in Mexican banks. We have shied away from this due to triggering FATCA issues with the IRS.

Other than that, I concentrate on watching exchange rates for the most advantageous times to convert USD to MXN.

Thank you for this information.

Ha

papadad111 07-21-2014 11:50 AM

List of countries offering retirement visas?
 
Good thread ...

The philippines also has a retirement visa scheme. Can qualify as early as age 35 if I recall. Details follow:

https://www.pra.gov.ph/main/srrv_program?page=1




Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum

NYEXPAT 07-21-2014 05:15 PM

This is a link to the Peruvian retirement scheme:
Legally Speaking: Visa for Rentistas (Residual Income) - Peru this Week
There is no age requirement.

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-26-2014 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYEXPAT (Post 1473868)
This is a link to the Peruvian retirement scheme:
Legally Speaking: Visa for Rentistas (Residual Income) - Peru this Week
There is no age requirement.

NYEXPAT, there is a serious problem here, under Documents Required:
Quote:

7. A bank account in Peru, to receive the funds in-country and to prove that you are receiving said funds in an effective manner. (For this purpose, it is necessary to first obtain the “special permission to sign contracts” before going to a bank. Some banks also require a reference or guarantee before opening the account for someone who does not yet have a Carné de Extranjería and many times the banks are reluctant to open an account at all without residency.)
Banks in other countries are refusing to create accounts for Americans because of the onerous reporting requirements imposed by our gummint. You will not have this problem, being married to a Peruvian. Not everyone is so fortunate.

Are you aware of any bank in Peru that will accept Americans for an account?

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-26-2014 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by papadad111 (Post 1473738)
Good thread ...

The philippines also has a retirement visa scheme. Can qualify as early as age 35 if I recall. Details follow:

PRA: Philippine Retirement Authority

Same problem here.
Quote:

5. Depository Bank
  1. PRA Designated Banks

Kramer, if you are out there today, are you aware of any PRA Designated Bank that will accept an American client?

coldnose 07-26-2014 07:25 AM

Would having account with a bank like HSBC, which has branches in Peru, The Philippines and the US suffice? I'm not sure if having an account in one country equates to being able to open an account or do transfers automatically in another, but it seems like it should.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsbc#m...HSBC_World.svg

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-26-2014 10:44 AM

I don't know, coldnose. I contacted HSBC recently and they would not deal with me as I am working and living in Azerbaijan at the moment. Vanguard would not open a brokerage account for me for the same reason I called them back and said I was retired. Then they did. Our government is making life difficult for us expats. I have read that the increase in renunciation of citizenship is simply due to onerous banking regulations. Expect more.

Kabekew 07-26-2014 08:59 PM

An alternative if you're below pension or social-security age and need to meet a "guaranteed fixed income" requirement for your retirement visa, is to put money into a "payout" mutual fund like Vanguard's ( https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-...anaged-payout/ ). That fund sends you a fixed amount per month. A statement from Vanguard attesting that will also probably qualify as the "bank statement" a lot of them require.

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-26-2014 09:08 PM

Quote:

A statement from Vanguard attesting that will also probably qualify as the "bank statement" a lot of them require.
That would be nice, but those web pages seem to explicitly say an in-country bank.

I hope our members on-the-ground in the P.I. and Peru can clarify for us.

kramer 07-26-2014 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy (Post 1475615)
Same problem here.
[/LIST]Kramer, if you are out there today, are you aware of any PRA Designated Bank that will accept an American client?

To my knowledge, no Philippines (PI) bank will reject an American client. This is still playing out, but PI is currently negotiating one of those country-wide FATCA agreements with the USA so that the banks will report FATCA stuff to this PI entity which will then forward all the info to the USA Treasury Department. The USA links are way too strong in the PI to not allow American clients. Also, most of the rich and foreigners here use US-dollar accounts. They even have special protection under the law that Peso accounts do not have (more secrecy).

The PRA-designated (PRA = Philippines Retirement Authority) banks are about 7 banks, a few are in the top 8 Filipino banks by size. Basically, you buy CD's denominated in dollars with the bond money you have put up for the visa. The interest rate is lower than you would otherwise get in an open account, so include this cost in your calculations. The interest goes into a regular passbook account that you can spend.

The PI FDIC equivalent, called the PDIC, is well funded but only insures money up to 500,000 pesos (about $11,500). I have $20,000 in one of these accounts so if the bank went broke I would lose the difference. I just tried to choose a strong bank. Also, I could have split it, $10,000 at 2 banks, but I just didn't want to bother.

And I keep my other bank accounts (one dollar account and one peso account) at a different bank for this reason of low PDIC insurance.

Since this visa put my total overseas holdings at over $10,000, I now file an FBAR each year. For someone with a simple setup like me, it is only about 2 hours total time after you have done it the first time. It is all done online.

Banking is pretty easy here in the PI, I never have to wait in line, and everything is in English. I just write $5,000 checks on a USA checking account to fund my local dollar account when I am at the bank to make a withdrawal -- it clears in about 17 business days and there is no fee. For security reasons, I don't have an ATM card associated with my dollar account, just my local peso account. I also use USA-based ATM cards sometimes to get Pesos. I have diversified myself with respect to banking and sources of funds.

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-27-2014 02:55 AM

Thanks, Kramer! There is nothing like the voice of experience!

This is why this thread is so valuable.

Now if NYEXPAT would chime in again....

z-d-g 07-27-2014 11:18 AM

Does anyone here have an exhaustive list of the retirement (or equivalent) visa requirements for every country on Earth? If not, because the issue is of tremendous interest personally, would anyone be willing to help me maintain one? I'd be happy to do a majority (if not all) of the research. I just didn't want to start on this only to find out we already had one.

What I'm thinking is I could do the research to create a wiki like database of each country's requirements which the community here could constantly update as countries changed their requirements (or we found useful loopholes).

Any interest or waste of time?

coldnose 07-28-2014 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by z-d-g (Post 1475952)
Does anyone here have an exhaustive list of the retirement (or equivalent) visa requirements for every country on Earth? If not, because the issue is of tremendous interest personally, would anyone be willing to help me maintain one? I'd be happy to do a majority (if not all) of the research. I just didn't want to start on this only to find out we already had one.

What I'm thinking is I could do the research to create a wiki like database of each country's requirements which the community here could constantly update as countries changed their requirements (or we found useful loopholes).

Any interest or waste of time?

Not a bad idea, but there are lots of variables that might make it difficult.

For instance:
1. Single vs. dependents
2. Country of citizenship
3. Visa requirements based on time planning to stay in country

I'm sure there are more factors that might make such an undertaking useful for some, but not so useful for others. Wikitravel is usually a pretty good source of visa requirement information, but their information is more from the standpoint of people wanting to visit short term.

papadad111 07-28-2014 03:32 PM

The data changes frequently. You would also want to include minimum income and minimum investment and lockup period as many visas for retirees require some level of investment or at least proof that "final expenses" can eventually be paid without being a burden on the state. The list of desired countries can probably be narrowed down to less than 50. Probably more like a top 20 ... That are desirable places that offer permanent residence that are affordable etc.

And there are plenty of grey areas for those not truly full time residents. ... Eg. Get a 90 day tourist visa, Pop over the border to neighboring country for a weekend, and re enter for another 90 days. That's 6 months. I know guys doing that between 3 or 4 countries for years.

I also think your population of actual users of the info is relatively small. Maybe 1 in 100 in the USA - plenty of talkers about retiring abroad but few actually pull the trigger and do it for years at a time. I would guess Europeans may have a higher percentage but not by a lot.

This is my perspective having lived abroad for about 3 decades.


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BTravlin 07-29-2014 07:33 AM

Here are the requirements for a Residente Permanente visa from Mexico as of the last rewrite in Nov, 2012:

Residente Permanente (Permanent Resident)

If you intend to apply for a Residente Permanente card you can do so by meeting a number of criteria. These include, but are not limited to:
A retired person
Owning property worth a certain amount of money in Mexico
Possessing a certain amount of investments in Mexico
Other categories
As with the Residente Temporal you can hire an immigration specialist to assist with your paperwork; or, you can attempt to complete the paperwork on your own and then follow the governmental procedures. If you are applying for a Residente Permanente status you must prove an income of 20,000 days of the Mexican minimum wage in the Distrito Federal in investments (as described under Residente Temporal) or a monthly employment or pension income of 500 times the minimum wage. This equates to U.S. $2,676.00 per month of income for an individual; $4014.00 for a couple (based on a $12.10 Peso/Dollar exchange rate).

The fee for this visa is $3,815 pesos (U.S. $299.57 depending on the exchange rate). Again, as with the Residente Temporal, you might also be able to use ‘points.’

To Obtain a New Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente Card or Visa

If you are moving to Mexico, and plan to live there for more than 180 days, you must apply for a Residente Temporal or a Residente Permanente card. Both of these cards require that you first visit a Mexican Consulate in the United States to begin the process.
At the Mexican Consulate - There are a number of documents you must present (please verify with authorities). These include, but are not limited to:
Passport and passport copies
Passport photos that meet the requirements
Proof of income - original and copies
Required fees
At the consulate’s office it will be determined which of the cards you may apply for and you will fill out the application. This is mostly based on your monthly income.

Visit an INM office in Mexico at the border - Once the consulate has given you the necessary paperwork you will then go to the border. It is necessary to obtain an FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple, aka Tourist Card) in order to remain legally in Mexico until your Resident card is ready. This FMM is only good for 30 days. If you do not have your completed paperwork processed and submitted to the government office within the 30 days you will be required to pay a fine as well as start over with the entire process.

seraphim 07-29-2014 06:10 PM

No experience here, but while perusing a TV show, the country Belize came up in conversation. As I recall, English is the official language and all that was needed was a $25k bank account. Needs researching if anyone's interested


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modhatter 07-30-2014 02:28 PM

Was wondering about air conditioning in the Philippians. How common is it and what about the cost of electricity to run it? Is it hot and muggy all year? Would it be comparable to southern Florida or hotter? Is there much of a savings living there if you want to imitate the American middle class life style, as far as residence and neighborhoods, furniture etc.

What about healthcare there?

NYEXPAT 07-30-2014 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy (Post 1475612)
NYEXPAT, there is a serious problem here, under Documents Required:
Banks in other countries are refusing to create accounts for Americans because of the onerous reporting requirements imposed by our gummint. You will not have this problem, being married to a Peruvian. Not everyone is so fortunate.

Are you aware of any bank in Peru that will accept Americans for an account?

Any bank here will open an account for an American "who has residency". Once your papers are approved by DIGEMIN. Sorry for the delay, I have been exploring the high jungle for possible retirement location.

NYEXPAT 07-30-2014 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coldnose (Post 1475630)
Would having account with a bank like HSBC, which has branches in Peru, The Philippines and the US suffice? I'm not sure if having an account in one country equates to being able to open an account or do transfers automatically in another, but it seems like it should.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsbc#m...HSBC_World.svg

Just a note, HSBC has pulled out of Peru and I understand they will be leaving SA entirely. There assets here were sold to a Colombian Bank (GNB, I think is the name).

ItDontMeanAThing 07-30-2014 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by z-d-g (Post 1475952)
What I'm thinking is I could do the research to create a wiki like database of each country's requirements which the community here could constantly update as countries changed their requirements (or we found useful loopholes).

Easier would be a page of links to: 1) For the official requirements - the relevant pages of of government's immigration departments, and 2) For the actual requirements - the relevant local expat sub-forums.

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-30-2014 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYEXPAT (Post 1477204)
Any bank here will open an account for an American "who has residency". Once your papers are approved by DIGEMIN. Sorry for the delay, I have been exploring the high jungle for possible retirement location.

Don't you have to have the bank account before you can get residency, as a qualification? ??? Just curious. Thanks for the info, by the way. :)

Ed_The_Gypsy 07-30-2014 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYEXPAT (Post 1477204)
Sorry for the delay, I have been exploring the high jungle for possible retirement location.

Hmmm. Are the continuous care facilities better under the canopy?;D

kramer 07-30-2014 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by modhatter (Post 1477119)
Was wondering about air conditioning in the Philippians. How common is it and what about the cost of electricity to run it? Is it hot and muggy all year? Would it be comparable to southern Florida or hotter? Is there much of a savings living there if you want to imitate the American middle class life style, as far as residence and neighborhoods, furniture etc.

What about healthcare there?

Almost all foreigners have air conditioning, at least in their bedroom, some house-wide. I have a 1.5 horsepower AC in my bedroom, although I only use it during the hot season. Personally, I love warmer weather and it was one of the reasons for my relocation and I work out outside almost daily. But I almost always use a fan except in the cool season. The cost of electricity is quite high -- I don't have the numbers handy but it is at least 50% more than the USA.

Weather varies throughout the Philippines. I am a couple hours north of Manila and an hour away from the beach (I hate Manila itself, too crowded, run-down, etc.). But these are the seasons for this part of the country:

Cool Season: December to February
Hot Season: mid-March to mid-June
Wet Season: July to early September

No, it is not hot and muggy here all year -- in fact, lots of visiting friends, especially from Thailand, comment on how nice the weather can be. And the hot season itself is dry and has lower humidity (like 45% to 55% during the day). During the Wet Season the humidity can be high, but those are the coolest days of the year (month with the lowest average high is the rainy month of August). And the weather is pretty predictable -- for instance, you can predict the high temperature on any given day a year in advance within a few degrees. In a typical year, the very hottest day of the year will reach 98 degrees but almost every day in the hot season is in the low 90's.

The transport infrastructure is not very good, at all, and there is no urban beauty in the Philippines. I got fiber installed to my door (10 Megabits/second internet same speed up/down, extensive cable TV including mostly US channels and 18 HD channels, about $90/month for the bundle). Cell phone is super cheap but really only good for texting, talking quality is bad, 3G available in most places, LTE being rolled out.

Re: Savings for living like an American -- No, I don't think so when you consider everything. I just bought a beautiful Sony big screen TV with surround sound, and it cost me 55% more here than the USA. Groceries that a foreigner typically buys cost more and cars cost more. I drive a scooter around town and that is cheap ($1500 brand new for quality brand). Labor is quite cheap and your biggest savings will be on rent. Health care outside of Manila is mediocre, at best, but at least everything is in English. I had a blood test done last week and there is one spurious reading so I am going to visit a specialist in a few hours -- I have never met him but he will speak fluent English and the office visit will be under $15.

I said this many years ago and it is still true, especially after ObamaCare: If you are looking for the lowest quality-adjusted cost of living -- live close to a Walmart in a low cost area of the USA. Then again, my girlfriend in the USA would not be a beautiful, slender 24 years old Filipina. We all make our choices.

ItDontMeanAThing 07-31-2014 02:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by modhatter (Post 1477119)
Was wondering about air conditioning in the Philippians. How common is it and what about the cost of electricity to run it? Is it hot and muggy all year? Would it be comparable to southern Florida or hotter? Is there much of a savings living there if you want to imitate the American middle class life style, as far as residence and neighborhoods, furniture etc.

What about healthcare there?

Unless you buy imported goods, there are few domestic products or services which allow one a life style comparable to the American middle class, though there are many stupid and/or shoddy substitutes. The cost of such imported goods means Americans from the middle class can't afford them.

Most assessments of the country's healthcare either ignore or are unaware that the nurses are the second rate students from a third rate national education system. The Philippine education system churns out nurses. The best and the brightest take jobs in other English speaking countries so they can send money home to their families.

I lived in the Phils for 17 months as my first expat experience. Left in March 2010. Here are the blog posts about my decision to leave:
Phils: Stay or Go Part 1 | Four Letter Nerd
Only the last 2 paragraphs of Phils: Stay or Go Part 2 | Four Letter Nerd
Leaving the Philippines | Four Letter Nerd
Leaving the Philippines – The Reasons | Four Letter Nerd

Finally, something to ponder. When expats announce on the local forum they're leaving, the response is a little bit of good-byes and well wishes and a huge spew of 'he wasn't tough enough', 'he couldn't take it', etc. Think about living long term in a country where one has to be tough enough to tolerate it. That's tolerate, not enjoy.

NYEXPAT 07-31-2014 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy (Post 1477258)
Don't you have to have the bank account before you can get residency, as a qualification? ??? Just curious. Thanks for the info, by the way. :)

No, you do not need the account until after your papers are approved and you need to start depositing the $1,000.00 a month.

NYEXPAT 07-31-2014 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy (Post 1477259)
Hmmm. Are the continuous care facilities better under the canopy?;D

Actually, they do not exist here, but with the twins ( YW 25 y/o sisters who are nurses) I do not anticipate needing more. BTW, My DaD, 96 has been living in one in Florida for almost 20 Years ( 250k down and $3,200/mth exp.) and the only time he has set foot in the care facility is to have lunch in the restaurant.

Lancelot 08-14-2014 04:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing (Post 1477304)

I lived in the Phils for 17 months as my first expat experience. Left in March 2010.

Interesting blog about the Phils. I like it there but I've never lived there; its basically my escape from the craziness of Songkran

(Traditional lunar Thai New Year, around April 13. The locals go nuts and drown every one with water, regardless of how they are dressed or want to participate or not...)

At least you gave it a go +1 :)

eta2020 12-07-2014 11:54 AM

Tax regime for non-habitual residents - Living in Portugal

Tax free 10 years in beautiful European Country.

ER1970 12-07-2014 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eta2020 (Post 1526701)
Tax regime for non-habitual residents - Living in Portugal

Tax free 10 years in beautiful European Country.


The site states:

Quote:

Competitive advantages:
For a period of 10 years, taxation related to IRS (personal income tax) on labour income in Portugal is at a fixed rate of 20%
No double taxation for pensions or for employment and self-employment income obtained abroad
This doesn't help for retirees who are unlikely to gain labor income in Portugal. Plus, their pensions/SS/capital gains obtained from the US are still subject to US taxes, no?

nun 12-07-2014 12:47 PM

Have people seriously looked into taxation, FICA, FATCA and investing while a US citizen living abroad? Maybe the tax compliance with a retirement visa in places like Thailand is minimal and all you have to worry about are US taxes, but those things need to be researched.

Many people retire from the US to Europe and vis a versa and the tax compliance issues are complex.

Health insurance and whether to continue paying Medicare are also important factors. And of course there's family, friends and cultural/lifestyle issues.

eta2020 12-07-2014 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ER1970 (Post 1526721)
The site states:



This doesn't help for retirees who are unlikely to gain labor income in Portugal. Plus, their pensions/SS/capital gains obtained from the US are still subject to US taxes, no?

You are always subject to US taxes. If you live in Europe you are also subject to taxes of European Country where you reside. But you don't have to pay any state tax and European real estate taxes are usually very small. Plus European countries provide inexpensive medical insurance for its residents. Good thing if you retire before 65....

It is exceptional to reside tax free in European Country (similar to Costa Rica or Panama).

Portugal provides exceptional quality of life and Medical facilities to its residents. This is not Philipines.


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