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Old 05-02-2015, 01:30 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,236,215 times
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Yes. RESEARCH is key...to learn about legal rights you may or may NOT have...medical care you may or may not get...

Social services and rental services or amenities you may not get in a timely manner....I lived in Europe and even there certain services can take longer than in the U.S.
And depending on where you are you’d better be in a gated community or resort compound.

The trick is to live well abroad – but not soooo well – in the wrong environment – that you’re a target, or people start to wonder “just how much money DO they have?” Not all locals who work with or for “rich” Americans....love them.....you don’t want to be a ‘mark. Of course crime is everywhere....but I KNOW what my rights are here, and what level of medical care to expect, and the procedure for complaining to the utility company.

I don’t think anyone here has said: “DON’T do it”.....the advice is just to be very smart about doing it, and be clear about WHY you're doing it.

Even if it's not “cheaper,” IMO it's definitely more convenient to stay in the U.S....and that familiarity and the freebies one can qualify for here....might make staying in the U.S. the better option.

Maybe not – but maybe so.
But again, the OP didn't say s/he WANTS to, or has EVER wanted to.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:19 AM
 
12,849 posts, read 14,154,252 times
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Leaving the "living cheaper" focus aside, IMO there is a far more obvious reason that 99 and 44/100% of American retirees shouldn't even waste a second on thoughts of a foreign retirement.

Most Americans do not adapt well beyond very itty-bitty limits.

And when I read a dumbo comment about not being able to get your SS abroad, I know that some folks can't even navigate the freakin' internet, so abroad might as well be outer space.

For the overwhelming majority of Americans, the U.S. is big enough with choices enough that somewhere someplace everything will be well within their comfort zone even on a skimpy budget. Look for it, find it, enjoy it and stop the endless denigrating of something you wouldn't be able to deal with even if your worst fantasies proved untrue.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:43 AM
 
491 posts, read 600,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burkmere View Post
BTW, I grew up in between Aberdeen and Pierre...so sort of North Cental S.D.

I still don't know for sure if I'll do it, but right now I'm thinking I will. I retire Oct. 1. I grew up in S.D. got my undergrad degree there, but moved in my mid-20's to CA and it's been ok to me, particularly job-wise. Now that I'm retiring and I'm single..no kids...I'm thinking it migh be nice to be near family...(some live in Sioux Falls, some in other parts of S.D. Some family 5 hours away in Iowa...these are sibling, niecess and nephews, and grand nieces and nephews in S.D. and Iowa My Mom is also in S.D. and is 83.

I'm going back for three weeks to hang out and test out Sioux Falls (and going to an Eagles concert there!)...my bro is a big-wig there and got tickets! I think realistically the only place I'd want to live would be Sioux Falls because I'm kind of used to the suburban life out here and it's an up and coming metro area of 250k...nice downtown now, etc...can go to Twins game in the summer..Omaha and Mpls a not too long a drive away...etc...plus direct flights to Vegas, Phoenix, etc. on Allegiant!

To me , the major drawback would be the weather..but I'm thinking I can go somewhere for three weeks in December....then parts or all of Jan and Feb...and maybe hit Spring Training in March or March Madness in Reno or Vegas (I do that now)...then I"m already through the bad stuff. Who knows? Maybe I'll find that spending more of the winter there than I though is worth it. I don't want to paint too positive a picture in advance in terms of spending all this quality time with the nieces, nephews, and grand nieces, nephews, siblings, etc...I don't want to be disappointed when I can't get as close as I want, etc...but probably worth a try...

Oh, and financially...no state income tax so that saves 8% right away...everything else is generally a little cheaper, also...so I figure with the money I save, it'll finance a lot of my trips....should have 7k take home to live on anyway....will probably rent...but gives me a chance to buy a very nice two BR condo for about 150k back there, too...

Rambling...but these are my thoughts....I like the Hills...do you live in Rapid? At least if I'm in S.D. I can certainly visit the Black Hills in the summer..one thing I"v always wante to do is take a thorough drive through the Badlands...never done that!!
I've lived in Rapid the past ten years. I grew up in Huron. I don't think I could do the humidity in the Eastern half of the state anymore!

I too am single. I have 2 brothers, a sil, and young niece who live here in Rapid, I lived most of my adult life in Missoula, but lived in Helena and in Rochester, Mn. I actually like the 100-150k sized town, there seems to be enough to do and enough shopping for me. I have been fortunate to find a good group of friends here. I typically take a trip to a bigger city(Minneapolis/Denver) once a year or so. I get my good live theater fix that way.

I have enjoyed being around my brothers(for the most part). This surprise niece has been a kick. My sisters daughters are long grown, so seeing life thru the eyes of a preschooler is refreshing. We as siblings get along well. As my one brother said every once in a while someone gets their feelings hurt and takes there toys and goes home for a while but by the next play session they are ready to play again. We attribute this to the 4 of us growing up in a very small house, you simply had to learn to get along. We do a lot of things for each other.

I actually paid less in taxes to the state when I lived in Montana without sales tax. If I still lived there I probably wouldn't be paying any state tax. I also think property tax is a little higher here than Montana, altho it could be I am just more aware.

A couple of years ago I went thru the Badlands with a childhood friend who was visiting. I hadn't been there since I was a child. We enjoyed it. My favorite area is actually Custer park, I try to spend at least a couple of days there a summer.

Keep me posted on what you decide to do. If you're ever in the Hills maybe we could meet for coffee or something.
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
3,910 posts, read 3,051,577 times
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Originally Posted by great discussion View Post
After being laid off my job of over 25 years and getting the bad news that the job market for professional people is lousy if you are pushing 60, my desire for a new career type job is slowly going away.

My wife and I just may retire on shoe string until we can collect Social Security in a few years.

We figure we can liquidate all our assets by selling our home and lots of our possessions and come out with enough money that we can live on $2000 a month between us by taking an annual 5% distribution. It is not much money but maybe we can do it in a small town or maybe overseas.

How about Costa Rica or Ecuador? Can we live well in places like that for $2000 a month? Or could we have a similar standard of living in a place like Ocala FL or other low cost of living southern town? Please advise.
I didn't read all the replies, but you should know that really the only way to live cheaply in another country is to live like the locals in their neighborhoods. You would also need to speak the language, so unless you're near fluent in Spanish for example, forget about Spanish speaking countries.

You will also need to arrange for healthcare and dental care. A lot of these countries also do not have any recourse against bad doctors, so it can be difficult to find a good one. (But good doctors do exist)

You would be better served staying in the USA in a low(er) cost area.

P.S. if you happen to speak Spanish I would check out Puerto Rico, since they are part of the US, you will be covered by US laws and have access to US Govt programs such as medicare. Also do not need a passport to travel to/from Puerto Rico and US mainland.
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Washington State
18,828 posts, read 9,696,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGompers View Post
I didn't read all the replies, but you should know that really the only way to live cheaply in another country is to live like the locals in their neighborhoods. You would also need to speak the language, so unless you're near fluent in Spanish for example, forget about Spanish speaking countries.

You will also need to arrange for healthcare and dental care. A lot of these countries also do not have any recourse against bad doctors, so it can be difficult to find a good one. (But good doctors do exist)

You would be better served staying in the USA in a low(er) cost area.

P.S. if you happen to speak Spanish I would check out Puerto Rico, since they are part of the US, you will be covered by US laws and have access to US Govt programs such as medicare. Also do not need a passport to travel to/from Puerto Rico and US mainland.
Just for another perspective. I'm working in Peru and I'm living on far far less than I did in the USA. My Spanish is far from fluent but I now speak survival Spanish fine. Sometimes, I do end up paying the 'gringo tax' for not being a local much less fluent Spanish speaker. Still, I could live here much less than in the USA and I'm not living like a local....of course, there are sacrifices such as frustrations with getting things done more slowly, not as many choices, I don't drive here so dependent on taxis and my feet.

But there are choices such as Malaysia & Philippines and I even believe you can get by in some places in Thailand speaking only English.
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:59 PM
 
2,298 posts, read 1,572,143 times
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Originally Posted by Aqua Blue View Post
I've lived in Rapid the past ten years. I grew up in Huron. I don't think I could do the humidity in the Eastern half of the state anymore!

I too am single. I have 2 brothers, a sil, and young niece who live here in Rapid, I lived most of my adult life in Missoula, but lived in Helena and in Rochester, Mn. I actually like the 100-150k sized town, there seems to be enough to do and enough shopping for me. I have been fortunate to find a good group of friends here. I typically take a trip to a bigger city(Minneapolis/Denver) once a year or so. I get my good live theater fix that way.

I have enjoyed being around my brothers(for the most part). This surprise niece has been a kick. My sisters daughters are long grown, so seeing life thru the eyes of a preschooler is refreshing. We as siblings get along well. As my one brother said every once in a while someone gets their feelings hurt and takes there toys and goes home for a while but by the next play session they are ready to play again. We attribute this to the 4 of us growing up in a very small house, you simply had to learn to get along. We do a lot of things for each other.

I actually paid less in taxes to the state when I lived in Montana without sales tax. If I still lived there I probably wouldn't be paying any state tax. I also think property tax is a little higher here than Montana, altho it could be I am just more aware.

A couple of years ago I went thru the Badlands with a childhood friend who was visiting. I hadn't been there since I was a child. We enjoyed it. My favorite area is actually Custer park, I try to spend at least a couple of days there a summer.

Keep me posted on what you decide to do. If you're ever in the Hills maybe we could meet for coffee or something.
Definitely, let's keep in touch! I accepted your friend request and sent a direct message yesterday. (I think).
Definitely up for coffee as I have relatives in Rapid and will definitely be visiting that beautiful Black Hills area!

See, another reason to move back. I already have another friend! That's the great thing about South Dakotans. Friendly folks! Ugh, now you have me scared about the humidity! LOL. Just spend it inside at the coffee shops in downtown SFalls I guess!

I think SFalls will be the right size for me. I'll be doing a visit May17-June 6 tomSD and prob spend a couple of weeks in SFalls. The family connection thing is getting more important to me as I get older and lots of family in SFalls as well as Pierre and I grew up in Faulkton.

Keep in touch.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
3,910 posts, read 3,051,577 times
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Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
Just for another perspective. I'm working in Peru and I'm living on far far less than I did in the USA. My Spanish is far from fluent but I now speak survival Spanish fine. Sometimes, I do end up paying the 'gringo tax' for not being a local much less fluent Spanish speaker. Still, I could live here much less than in the USA and I'm not living like a local....of course, there are sacrifices such as frustrations with getting things done more slowly, not as many choices, I don't drive here so dependent on taxis and my feet.

But there are choices such as Malaysia & Philippines and I even believe you can get by in some places in Thailand speaking only English.
I appreciate your response and experience(s) living in another country. I was only speaking in generalities, and I'm sure more people like you exist. I think you and others like you are the exception though.

I'm aware of the "gringo tax" and the best way to avoid it IMO is to shop where the prices are displayed such as a supermarket. If you're out in the "campo" you won't have this option, but the "gringo tax" has to be paid regardless sometimes.

I also didn't want to get too deep into other issues such as crime and lack of enforcement of laws. This doesn't apply to all countries, but IME crime against "gringos" is accepted by the locals and police especially for small crimes such as robbery. Murder would be taken more seriously.

Healthcare is a big factor too, since these countries don't have strong courts and or insurance companies to punish bad doctors. I know of healthy young people who went into the hospital with a headache or fever, and were dead 3 days later.

Living abroad could be an adventure, but given the challenges I wouldn't recommend it to a newbie, especially one who doesn't speak the language.

One would be better off living in a low cost area of the USA with access to good healthcare/hospitals. Rural Illinois may be a good choice. Perhaps if you were within one hour of Chicago ? Is that possible? I'm not that familiar with Chicago, but I can say to forget about anything affordable within one hour of NYC. That I know for a fact.
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Washington State
18,828 posts, read 9,696,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGompers View Post
I appreciate your response and experience(s) living in another country. I was only speaking in generalities, and I'm sure more people like you exist. I think you and others like you are the exception though.

I'm aware of the "gringo tax" and the best way to avoid it IMO is to shop where the prices are displayed such as a supermarket. If you're out in the "campo" you won't have this option, but the "gringo tax" has to be paid regardless sometimes.

I also didn't want to get too deep into other issues such as crime and lack of enforcement of laws. This doesn't apply to all countries, but IME crime against "gringos" is accepted by the locals and police especially for small crimes such as robbery. Murder would be taken more seriously.

Healthcare is a big factor too, since these countries don't have strong courts and or insurance companies to punish bad doctors. I know of healthy young people who went into the hospital with a headache or fever, and were dead 3 days later.

Living abroad could be an adventure, but given the challenges I wouldn't recommend it to a newbie, especially one who doesn't speak the language.

One would be better off living in a low cost area of the USA with access to good healthcare/hospitals. Rural Illinois may be a good choice. Perhaps if you were within one hour of Chicago ? Is that possible? I'm not that familiar with Chicago, but I can say to forget about anything affordable within one hour of NYC. That I know for a fact.
There are a lot of low cost areas in the USA that I have no desire to live in and Illinois is one of those places unless I had kids and grandkids there. If my number 1 consideration were cost, there are places in Thailand that I would rather live than many low cost areas of the USA.

Regarding crime, I live in a city of about a million in Peru and it has lower violent crime than most cities in the USA although petty crime is worse. But I believe Thailand is safer than most of the USA. Certainly places like Spain are safer and cheaper than the USA and have excellent health care.

About healthcare, if I had something serious, I would probably come back to the USA for treatment although there are good health care options in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and even here is Peru decent care is available although it is frustrating to access.

Having said the above, yes there are things that you will be frustrated about when you live abroad. It's not for most people.
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:22 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
I looked into possible locations for early retirement. In poverty that is. My conclusion was that the ~$1k/mo that I can comfortably live on in the US would be difficult to beat anywhere. The big things like rent, utilities, and vehicles just aren't that cheap. I know how to get by in the US, but somewhere else it would be tough, especially not knowing the language. Of course if you are the adventurous sort and wish to live in another culture as they do then you'll be fine, but in that case the motive isn't really to save money either.

It looks to me that the ones who can really benefit from retiring overseas are the ones that wish to live like kings on ~$100k/yr. You can have a very nice house and best of all, servants. Even if you hire illegals in the US it would be tough to afford, but in poor countries you can get a butler, maids, cooks, driver, etc for peanuts. Also if you are so inclined, you can afford good prostitutes on a regular basis. I'm not interested in either, even if I could afford it.

I read this & couldn't let this pass - this post is so off the mark & wrong I honestly don't know where to begin but if anyone is considering a move based on financial reasons you know that if you have $100k/yr you can obviously live very nicely in retirement here in the US & wouldn't have to move (Doh!)

I am mostly familiar with Thailand & Philippines, but this can apply a lot to Malaysia, Portugal, Turkey's Mediterranean coast, & several others... You can get a very decent apartment, with aircon, for $300/month & if you eat locally it is only a few dollars a day, utilities can be about the same, gasoline more than home.

"My conclusion was that the ~$1k/mo that I can comfortably live on in the US would be difficult to beat anywhere." ??????

I guess your definition of comfortably differs from mine, I would say that is just getting by & as someone else mentioned above you it probably means looking for part-time work at Walmart or McDonalds as well.

Again, retiring overseas isn't for everyone, but muddying the waters with imaginative fictions is unnecessary. It is obvious from some of the uninformed opining about imaginary dangers or financial nonsense in some preceding posts that most should enjoy staying in a low cost area of the US for their retirement. To go abroad you need to be flexible, openminded & educated about what you are jumping into & willing to adapt... these are things that get harder as we age but not all-encompassing.

But yes, on $100K/yr income near the coast in Portugal you could live wonderfully & almost like royalty in Thailand.

Last edited by Hefe; 05-03-2015 at 10:36 AM..
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,813,205 times
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Originally Posted by Burkmere View Post
I get such a kick out of some of the stuff that's posted here. I guess the problem is that there are some partial truths and you have to keep everything in context. Like the poster above who said you can eat on two dollars a day and it's very cheap to live in Costa Rica.

He mentioned $300 a month for an apartment. You can find many apartments in United States for $300 a month if your goal is just to get by for two years. Probably nicer than the ones you will find in Costa Rica. You just won't find them in a nice suburban areas. I mean you can find them in nice, small, safe, friendly towns in the Midwest of probably 10,000 and under if you look. Yes they may not be super nice, but they will be clean and you would be around friendly people. I mean you were only talking two years, right?

If you're trying to get by on two dollars a day to eat in Costa Rica you will be eating rice and beans and absolutely nothing else. In fact you might have to cut one of those out if you want any liquid at all.
Hey there have been houses for sale recently in Detroit that are around $5k. They need a ton of work and the neighborhood is crap and abandoned, but they're cheap houses! If I was young and adventurous still, I'd consider it. If I was desperate to own my own house and be able to live 100% debt free, I'd think about it. There are a number of perks US residents have that the rest of the world doesn't have. You never know when a government might go to hell in a hand basket.
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