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Old 08-24-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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I've always tossed and turned this idea in my head. I could live like a king on my investments and social security in a low cost of living country like Thailand but it's not like you can bring your friends and family over. Is that something you would do or just tough it out as things get more expensive in America?
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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Thought about this a lot. I've lived in other places and had a great time. What kept me in the states was my ability to work. If I just have to have that new gadget, I can work for it. Can't do that if you aren't allowed to be legally employed where you live.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:50 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,494 posts, read 62,152,821 times
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Most who do this sort of thing won't do it in one step.

They'll tend to already be isolated from their (most often dysfunctional) family...
and similarly with their social networks before making the next step of continental bridges...
and then more often something else external triggers the final decision

But there is a middle ground.
Do you know Fred Reed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred
It's not just pilots. You get all of life's freelancers, serial multi-taskers who did this for a while, that for a while. They are guys who get bored, who fly A-6s off a carrier deck for a few years, then become professional musicians in Reno, work as photographers before getting into designing web sites and selling them, work in the fishing fleets, and move on. They end up at Johnny's or the Camaleon. What the hey. Everyone ends up somewhere.

another piece of his:
http://www.fredoneverything.net/MexFacts.shtml
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,588,017 times
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We moved to Italy after retirement. It was not a move based on economic reason since Europe isn't a low COL continent, but we could make it on my pension because we've always lived simply. Even with the bad exchange, it didn't cost more for us to live in Europe than to live in the States -- actually, without mortgage, it cost less.

The move wasn't born out of any dissatisfaction with our lives. Our family wasn't dysfunctional; we weren't isolated from anyone. The only reason was that my wife had always wanted to live in Europe and I would like us to experience that together. Our friends and extended family were anxious for us, but our children loved that we always follow our dreams.

Italy wasn't our first choice. My wife wanted to live in France; I didn't. Next, we agreed Ireland would suit us well, but we both didn't like to rely on a car, and outside of large cities, Ireland is a car-dependent country. Therefore, Italy was IT. The decision was made; my wife took 1.5 years of language classes in the community college, did her research on life as American expats, and dealt with bureaucratic for residency visa.

We bought a house in Central Italy, lived for seven years while traveling all over Europe. In between traveling, we took more classes in the local schools, involved in local activities, volunteered in local organizations, and made many friends. We had a simple but content life.

We sold the house and moved back to the States three years ago. Not for economic reason either. Seven years away was long enough, it's time for another chapter of our lives.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 08-24-2011 at 05:44 PM..
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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We're actively exploring the idea but not based on COL or familial dysfunction. We just like the idea of doing a long term stay in either (current thinking, it changes) Europe (Germany, Portugal or Italy) or Costa Rica.

Europe is really attractive as we generally do 2-3 trips there annually and would prefer to skip the "over the pond" hassle and be able to really just meander from a home base. We've been snow-birding in Costa Rica for the past 7 years and are very fond of it with an established social network.

Our kids frequently drop in during our CR stays and are actively supporting us to do the European option so they have a built-in base for touring themselves. Its a pretty attractive idea to us and something we may do in the not too distant future.

Costa Rica does have a fair number of US (and other nationalities) ex-pats who have relocated there for economic & other issues (weather particularly). We've met a number of similarly inclined US natives living in Portugal, Spain and Germany in our travels to date.

In general, we're looking at a 3-5 year extended stay, most probably in Europe, on a rental basis with a final return to the US always in the plan. Permanent relocation really isn't in our plans.

Charles In PGI's experience is a model of what we might like to do.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,946,201 times
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I owned a home in Lake Chapala, Mexico. The original idea was for my husband and I to spend approx 6 months here in the US and the balance in our home in Mexico. Unfortunately, my husband got cancer, and we had to stay put. We sold the home.

He died 4 years ago, now, being recently retired, I am making new plans, also looking into Costa Rica. I still like the Lake Chapala area as there is a large number of americans who live there.

For now, I am just doing my homework.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:36 PM
 
9,191 posts, read 9,271,792 times
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Quote:
I've always tossed and turned this idea in my head. I could live like a king on my investments and social security in a low cost of living country like Thailand but it's not like you can bring your friends and family over. Is that something you would do or just tough it out as things get more expensive in America?
The good ole' USA gets badmouthed a lot these days, but take it from one who has traveled to both third world and first world countries that despite all the whining Americans do that on the whole we have a pretty good deal.

Its actually very common in third world countries to be hit up for bribes by public officials of all stripes (police and clerks) just to get basic government services. That sort of thing doesn't happen here in the USA and I'm grateful for it. Another problem is sanitation. Can you deal with areas in a community that have open sewers? How about never being able to drink the tap water? Are you comfortable with a medical care system that treats only those with money and sends the poor home to die? How about language barriers? Are you so determined to leave this country you are willing to learn a foreign language? How comfortable will you feel being an island of wealth in the midst of a huge mass of poverty in one of these countries? What is your sense of security worth to you?

Is your only goal in life to "live like a king" or does life have any greater meaning to you? Many of us do give up a large share of our income to be citizens of what I still think is the greatest country in the world.

Living in a decent country requires sizeable taxes and the kind of quality of services that most of us want are not cheap. Too many, seem to think someone else should pay their share. That's why living in America is expensive and those who don't want to pay are looking for greener pastures.

I don't think picking up and leaving like that makes one a very desirable citizen, but than maybe that doesn't bother you.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:43 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,588,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
How about language barriers? Are you so determined to leave this country you are willing to learn a foreign language? ...Many of us do give up a large share of our income to be citizens of what I still think is the greatest country in the world.

Living in a decent country requires sizeable taxes and the kind of quality of services that most of us want are not cheap. Too many, seem to think someone else should pay their share. That's why living in America is expensive and those who don't want to pay are looking for greener pastures.

I don't think picking up and leaving like that makes one a very desirable citizen, but than maybe that doesn't bother you.

I'm sure your comment wasn't aimed at me, or rather, my husband and me (this is Charles' wife). Still, I want to add a reply here, just to clear the air:

My wish to live in another continent had nothing to do with the US. You can love one country while wanting to experience life in another country. For me, the desire is called a dream. We had many dreams, which we tried to achieve as much as we could. My dreams include living in Europe.

To live that dream, I encountered many difficulties, learning a new language wasn't even one of them. It wasn't my first foreign language and it didn't bother me to put in the time to learn.

We missed the States while we lived abroad. I miss Italy when we moved back stateside. It had nothing to do with the love of one country or another.

While living in Italy, we still had to pay federal tax on my husband's pension. There wasn't getting around it. We paid taxes for "the kind of quality of services that most of us want that are not cheap", except we didn't require any of the service, we didn't receive any of the service, and we didn't want any of the service.

We paid our health insurance to the Italian government and we used their hospitals and physicians. We didn't pay their road taxes but we used their public transportation. We didn't pay their education taxes but we used their schools and classes. During those years, we paid a lot to the US for nothing in return, and very little to Italy for a lot more than our money's worth.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:43 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,558 posts, read 39,944,045 times
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Many reasons to head out and live an extended period in a LCoL country. I plan to do that too. (certainly until I am eligible for medicare (probably need to be out of USA to age 80 by the time it is available to a 'young boomer)).

I / we really enjoy international living, in-spite of its many hassles. It gives one much more appreciation for life / care. (even the USA).
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,781,464 times
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markg91359 ..."I don't think picking up and leaving like that makes one a very desirable citizen, but than maybe that doesn't bother you."

While your comment does not apply to us, you might want get your facts straight about taxation before making a "holier than thou" statement about "good citizenship". Unless one renounces US citizenship (very, very uncommon), ex-pats still pay US taxes. They are subsidizing YOU.
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