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Old 04-29-2015, 02:42 PM
 
Location: North Las Vegas
441 posts, read 336,846 times
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Another consideration is what type of lifestyle will you have overseas? If you want to have your American lifestyle and amenities in a 3rd world country, it will cost you much more than here. If you live like the locals in housing and food, you will spend considerably less.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:21 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,748 posts, read 40,156,025 times
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as mentioned and witnessed... 90% of your responses are from people who have not interest . desire / need / concept to live overseas, they just are 'projecting' themselves all over the board (as usual.) Just because they can, but I'm not sure how they are helping you?

Do a few scenerios, many countries will take you in. Malaysia is running a 'special'.
Malaysia My Second Home Official Portal - MM2H Official Portal
Of course, you will be subject to a lot of 'petty theft' / hassles of 'paying bribes' to police & government 'servants'. But that is life outside of America... get used to it or stay 'sequestered' in USA.

Where ever you go internationally, it takes an effort NOT to be an ugly and boisterous American. You can 'live local' (under $2k / month or you can 'expat' for under $3k/month and have maids, cooks, and drivers for a few hundred / month each.) Destinations from southern Europe to Southern Asia are affordable and accessible.

Gotta EAT like a local to enjoy low cost living even in the USA. Many destinations in USA and international will have climate for Year Round Gardening.


but if you are waffling on staying in USA, there are many choices. SD is a favorite domicile, and small prairie towns can afford you a home under $35k tho weather / utilities / access can be a challenge. Small town places all over the south for under $50k and even Detroit.

You have lots of freedom in USA for everything EXCEPT healthcare and taxes. So if you can spare an extra $30k - $50K / yr for coverage, USA is fine!
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,559 posts, read 44,191,685 times
Reputation: 15190
Well, it seems to me the only reason OP is considering overseas is because he believes he is poor and needs to live on $24k/yr. Neither of which are true. He needs to see a CFP and work on maximizing the assets he has.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:04 PM
 
2,298 posts, read 1,573,391 times
Reputation: 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
as mentioned and witnessed... 90% of your responses are from people who have not interest . desire / need / concept to live overseas, they just are 'projecting' themselves all over the board (as usual.) Just because they can, but I'm not sure how they are helping you?

Do a few scenerios, many countries will take you in. Malaysia is running a 'special'.
Malaysia My Second Home Official Portal - MM2H Official Portal
Of course, you will be subject to a lot of 'petty theft' / hassles of 'paying bribes' to police & government 'servants'. But that is life outside of America... get used to it or stay 'sequestered' in USA.

Where ever you go internationally, it takes an effort NOT to be an ugly and boisterous American. You can 'live local' (under $2k / month or you can 'expat' for under $3k/month and have maids, cooks, and drivers for a few hundred / month each.) Destinations from southern Europe to Southern Asia are affordable and accessible.

Gotta EAT like a local to enjoy low cost living even in the USA. Many destinations in USA and international will have climate for Year Round Gardening.


but if you are waffling on staying in USA, there are many choices. SD is a favorite domicile, and small prairie towns can afford you a home under $35k tho weather / utilities / access can be a challenge. Small town places all over the south for under $50k and even Detroit.

You have lots of freedom in USA for everything EXCEPT healthcare and taxes. So if you can spare an extra $30k - $50K / yr for coverage, USA is fine!
First, I'm not projecting myself. I've lived in Thailand longer than you. Second, he's still going to have to pay his USA taxes abroad and if his health care coverage is costing 30k to 50k in the US, he's paying too much. He's also likely to have no opportunity for insurance abroad and/or there's a good possibility the medical coverage won't be as good as in the US.

You need to be a little less condescending and a little more accurate in your representation. Some of us actually do have experience living abroad and have friends who have lived there for decades.

Finally, unless he really, really, really WANTS to live abroad, no reason to whatsoever. He can find places in the US to live for the 2k a month.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Rosa’s Cantina
185 posts, read 199,563 times
Reputation: 435
This is a very timely topic for me and some things are going to start happening very quickly for me (within the next 5 months). For the better part of 15 years I have dreamed of an expat adventure. The dream constantly changes and morphs as far as location and length of time. I have visited several countries looking for my expat "El Dorado". I originally looked at it as an adventure but as I put it off and got older I started to rethink the plan as one that would allow me to retire earlier than originally planned. My one condition was that I wouldn't leave until I could afford to comfortably return whenever I chose. Affordable healthcare was an important factor. ACA changed the game for me as it also opened up the possibilty of a US based early retirement so I also investigated the heck out of low cost US locations. The US place that rings my bell is Sun City, AZ. There are ample condos around 70K that are acceptable to me with low taxes and low HOA. There is a state tax but it is not substantial and you get all of the benefits of a large city nearby but Sun City is very low in crime. I also have the "2 year" issue as that is about how long it will be before I turn 55 (and Sun City, AZ is all 55+). So I want to call it quits at work now but don't want to stay in the city I live in now until I am 55 and then move to AZ. So what is a person to do?

Option 1 - Move to AZ now, rent for 2 years then buy a condo, then travel for months at a time exploring more of the world.

Option 2a and b - Move to one of the two remaining foreign countries on my expat "El Dorado" list (Thailand and Ecuador). For my circumstances obtaining long stay visas in either country is very doable. Healthcare is affordable and of adequate quality in both countries. I have visited both locations many times, done exhaustive research and know that fun will be had in both locations. I can start, knowing in advance it will be for only 2 years and if I like it stay longer. Then when I have had enough (and if SCOTUS doesn't gut ACA next month) buy that Sun City condo and resume seasonal travel.

The clock is seriously ticking on me and I expect to give my work notice within the next 30 days. For some reason my personality always makes me second guess myself about this issue and I have been more anxious as the days get closer but the current favorite is on Thailand. I fantasize about living in a beach town I am fond of, kayaking daily and going to the gym, exploring the rest of this amazing country. I will be going over for a 3 week trip in July to really make sure this is what I want and if all unfolds like I imagine I will take up residence (if not there then somewhere else) on October 1.

When I look at my spreadsheet for monthly expenses comparing my 3 (1, 2a, 2b) options, Thailand and Ecuador both give me a similar lifestyle as I would have in Phoenix/Sun City area for 70% of the cost but Thailand and Ecuador would involve using public transportation.

So that is how and why I am working a possible expat thing into my life. Would love to hear any feedback on my plans or if any obvious flaws are spotted.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Ocala, FL
407 posts, read 477,185 times
Reputation: 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by great discussion View Post
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 live in Ocala. You can exist here on $2K a month, maybe. Average rent for a decent house, say 900 sf, in a safe neighborhood is going to be in the $700 range. Electric for that home, keeping the A/C around 78-80 and heat around 68-70 (and yes it does get cold here, the kind that cuts to the bone) will run you around $130 a month if you're lucky enough to find a home with SECO for your electric company. Double that for Duke Energy or Ocala Electric. Water, if you find a home on septic, will run you $20 a month. With sewer, double that. Okay. Now your $2K is down to $1050. Assuming you want a phone and internet access, it's $81 a month on CenturyLink's special plan, including $20 worth of taxes. Dish Network or cable, add another $70-80 a month, or you can do like we do and use Netflix and Hulu @ $8 a month each. There are only 2 over-the-air stations that come in here in Ocala otherwise.

Now we're at $900 left to buy groceries, etc. Tag for your car when you move here, first year, will be close to $500. Sunshine tax, y'know. After that it's about $45 a year. You'll need car insurance and renters insurance, add another $125 a month to your expenses. Down to $775. Oh, and health insurance, you can't get it here on a $24,000 a year income for 2 people. Our lovely Republican governor and representatives refuse to expand Medicaid, leaving 800,000+ Floridians without insurance, and if your income isn't high enough, you can't buy it on the federal exchange. So you're SOL on health insurance. Don't get sick until you have Medicare. The good thing is once you have Medicare, you can get coverage through an advantage plan and have most of your Medicare premium refunded to you. DH gets $80 a month back from his advantage plan with excellent coverage.

Now, Ocala is a big place. Marion County is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. There is very little public transportation unless you live downtown, which, believe me, unless you're a drug dealer you don't want to live there. So you're going to have to buy gas, currently ranging between $2.45 and $2.62 a gallon. I live 15 miles from town. My 2 rental houses are 8 miles from the I-75 interchange. Either way, if you go to town you're going to spend $5-10 on gas alone. Nearest beach is 4+ gallons.

Groceries here are not cheap. Decent tomatoes are over $2 a pound. Chicken breast ranges from $2-$4 a pound depending on if you're a snob and shop at Publix or down to earth and shop at Walmart. Milk is $2.99 to $3.99 a gallon, same standards. Also same milk. Bread is $2 a loaf, but we do have day-old outlet stores for same. Eggs are $1.50-$2 a dozen. Steak is $8 a pound and up, 80/20 hamburger (ground chuck) is $3-$4 a pound.

So it boils down to whether you want to live on less than $200 a week and risk going bankrupt because you can't get health insurance down here. Fall down and break a hip, all that money from the house sale goes away. Remember, you're can't get affordable insurance because you don' t have enough income. It doesn't matter how much you have in the bank. If I had to pay out of pocket (preexisting conditions and in health insurance eyes, being 60+ is a preexisting condition) it would be over $1000 a month for that alone.

If you're sure Ocala is where you want to be, you can buy a home here for $60K. It'll be on a quarter acre lot with your nearest neighbor so close you can borrow a cup of sugar and not leave the house, but it'll be in a safe neighborhood with amenities like use of 2 pools, basic cable, garbage/trash pickup, that sort of thing. My HOA fee for my rentals is $88 a month (Pine Run). Property taxes on my rentals without homestead run about $900 a year. It would be less if you owned. Homeowner's insurance on my own home ($245K) is $1600 a year with a high deductible and copay of 3% for hurricane damage. It would probably be less on the $60K home, but for some reason they wouldn't let me insure them for only $60K, I had to go with replacement value which puts my insurance on them about the same as my home.

If you decide to buy a home here, I can give you the name of a great handyman that I'd trust with my firstborn child, if I had one. If you buy that $60K house, you'll probably need him.

Oh, jobs...well, basic firefighter pays $8.98 an hour. EMT/paramedics make about $11 an hour. Walmart is our largest employer, I'm sure, and pays about $8 an hour, part-time only. There's a call center here where you can harass people for past-due bills and make about $10 an hour. They're hiring 300 people this week for a new account, BTW. If you can fix golf carts, you can probably make a living at it. There's a zillion of them here. 18% of Marion County's population is under the poverty level. Go from there. On $24,000, BTW, you're not eligible for food stamps here, although your assets alone would preclude that.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:24 PM
 
1,188 posts, read 1,128,015 times
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I don't know why people keep saying Costa Rica is expensive. Compared to where? bumblefudge rural Mississippi?

You can rent a place for $300 a month, or a NICE place across from a beach for $1000 a month. Food is like ... 2 dollars a day.

The OP is clearly "I'm Retired Now" but for the sake of the thread. Yes, you can retire cheaply in lower cost countries. That is why hundreds of thousands of retired Canadians and Americans live in Mexico. Pretty much anywhere in Latin America (besides Chile) is less expensive for retirement. Heck, even SPAIN is cheaper to retire in than 90% of the USA.

Last edited by tjasse; 04-29-2015 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:32 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,377,226 times
Reputation: 4909
Quote:
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.
There are two issues which are primary to retiring abroad:

1. Acquiring a permanent residency visa for the chosen country.
2. Dealing with international financial transactions and banking.

I will use Ecuador as an example as I have some familiarity with it.

All documents submitted for visa application must be apostilled.

Documents to get a pensioner's visa in Ecuador ~ You would need your pension income verified and notarized, and apostilled by the appropriate government agency - in this case because social security is a federal agency the document apostille would be issued by the US Dept. of State.

You need TWO police report backround checks going back 5 years: one from your state police agency, notarized and apostilled and an FBI report notarized and apostilled. The FBI is a federal agency, so it too must be apostilled by the US Dept. of State. These documents must be issued not more that 180 days prior to the Ecuador visa application. If you somehow run over the 6 month threshold, the backround checks will no longer be valid for visa application.

You would need birth certificates notarized and apostilled, and marriage license notarized and apostilled.

Ecuador permanent residency visas can only be applied for in Ecuador. They are not issued outside the country. So you would then take these documents [within 180 days of their issuance] to Ecuador Quito, Cuenca, or Guayaquil and make your visa application. Hoping to be approved.

Paying bills, moving money, accessing banking and finance, is also complicated and will certainly become moreso for Americans. Too complicated to go into here.

I can say that only the most determined retirees will gear up to jump such hurdles. It can be done, but it takes terrific effort.

Here is a link to the official Ecuador government visa page. Unfortunately it does not seem to be cooperating in English today, you can try to fiddle around with it. Ecuador government websites are often dysfunctional, and the information not updated.

http://cancilleria.gob.ec/visas-inmigrante/?lang=en
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:05 PM
 
2,298 posts, read 1,573,391 times
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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.

Last edited by Burkmere; 04-29-2015 at 07:14 PM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:46 PM
 
1,188 posts, read 1,128,015 times
Reputation: 2091
Quote:
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.
Well... that is what I was challenging. Have you been to any small, midwestern towns recently? I have, because I am from one, and my sister and about a dozen aunts and uncles still live in one. There aren't really any places I know of where you can rent anything for $300/m. It's more like $800/m these days, for an apartment that sucks. It certainly isn't going to be any place with nice weather or near an ocean, like you can find in CR and Mexico.
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