U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-30-2007, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
80 posts, read 435,877 times
Reputation: 57

Advertisements

From what I'm reading and hearing, international retirement is heating up. By one estimate there are already approximately 1 million U.S. retirees living in other countries. Drawn to some of these locations by a lower cost of living, a spirit of adventure, or moderate climates, more Americans are considering international alternatives for retirement. A couple of articles on MSN Money recently cited countries like Belize which boasts lower income and property taxes and Nicauragua which has not gotten past its images of instability, civil war, and Sandinistas from the 1980s. Other countries that are high on the radar for those considering an international lifestyle are Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Spain.

Have you considered retiring to another country? What have been your experiences or thoughts? Do you have friends that have made this decision? What have they reported back about their choice of locale?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-30-2007, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,323,560 times
Reputation: 26385
I recently posted this on another thread.....


I did a lot of research on Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua. I did a little work on Margarita Island, Venezuela. All these countries want American retirees and have special deals on visas/resident status. Some require a specific monthly income or a certain amount of money deposited in one of their banks. Most will allow us to import our household goods and a car duty free. Medical care is quite good and insurance is affordable.

There are large colonies of expat Americans living in these places. Everyone has to make some money and as soon as you start looking in these gated exclusive areas, your money savings evaporate. Housing in a lot of these places is as much as it is here(in some areas). To realize true value for your dollar, you have to live like the locals live. The savings are real but there are strings attached. Some of this depends on where you live now. If you are from SoCal, it's a bargain! I recently looked at a new housing development close to Cancun, MX. 32K will buy a brand new home 3br 2 ba 10 min from the beach. The lots are small and they don't build closets. You are expected to build them after you buy the house! But you can hire a local carpenter for $15 per day.

Anyone who does this needs to be prepared for the cultural isolation of living outside the US. I would suggest anyone seriously considering this should rent and live in the country of their choice for a year or so. Lots of us are not well suited to living outside the US. Things are different. It might take you a year to get a phone or your electric and water bills may need to be paid in person on alternate Tuesdays! I have lived in other countries and loved it but the cultural isolation is still something I had to factor into the equation. Work is another consideration. We can own a business that employs local people. We can do work from home or internet based activities. We can't do anything that takes a job away from a local person. They expect us to be retired.

The work thing is what finally made me decide to stay in the US. If I have to buy the 60'' plasma TV, a vacation to India, or wonderama landscaping in my backyard, I can get a job to pay for it. Or if I find I am just bored, a part time job may be the answer.

Most of the Americans I met were very happy with their choice. One notable exception was a woman whose SO had been diagnosed with Alzheimers. She was finding it very hard to deal with the disease in a foreign country.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
80 posts, read 435,877 times
Reputation: 57
Thumbs up Panama promoted

An article in the Spring/Summer 2007 edition of the Guide to Retirement Living SourceBook is touting Panama as an international retirement destination. Favorable tax laws which encourage retirees to relocate to Panama are cited. Most notably, new construction is free of property taxes for the first twenty years, and household goods can be imported to the country by retirees without having to pay the standard import duties. The use of the U.S. dollar as the currency of the country, the prevalence of English-speaking residents, and a "first-class standard of living" add to the ease of transition to living in Panama.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-14-2007, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Bayside, NY
823 posts, read 3,374,690 times
Reputation: 387
We considered Panama as a place to retire. My daughter in law is Panamanian and both my wife and I have been there and my wife speaks Spanish. The thing is that Panama has been "discovered" by American retirees so housing prices aren't a bargain and are comparale to the U.S. You do get more for the money but they tend to start at about $300k and up. To avoid the hot, humid weather you have to either live near a beach or up in the mountains and these places are where prices are highest.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-14-2007, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,323,560 times
Reputation: 26385
Quote:
Originally Posted by norm View Post
We considered Panama as a place to retire. My daughter in law is Panamanian and both my wife and I have been there and my wife speaks Spanish. The thing is that Panama has been "discovered" by American retirees so housing prices aren't a bargain and are comparale to the U.S. You do get more for the money but they tend to start at about $300k and up. To avoid the hot, humid weather you have to either live near a beach or up in the mountains and these places are where prices are highest.
There are some amazing looking bugs in Boquete. Things I had never seen before. You are very right about the prices. As soon as you get to an area being touted as a retirement place for Americans, the savings disappear!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-16-2007, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Malaysia
2 posts, read 10,534 times
Reputation: 10
Asia is also a new popular destination. Malaysia is popular because of its large english speaking society. You need to deposit money into a local bank, and you need prove of income (pension, anything earned from outside malaysia - its non taxable in malaysia).

But you get a 10 year multi-pass visa, you keep your original citizenship, tax free car (33% savings), no VAT on goods, you can invest in business, buy/invest on property, and more.

Last edited by Jammie; 05-21-2007 at 06:00 AM.. Reason: advertising is not allowed
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2007, 08:40 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,235 times
Reputation: 12
Looked around, already outpriced in more "popular" expat areas ...found Nicaragua and was enchanted. Thinking about life on social security here in USA scared me. For the price of a single wide trailer , I have a wonderful retreat. Everything felt right so decision made. And, I want to help with health services in "neighborhod". It is a community of small islands.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2007, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,375 posts, read 7,763,353 times
Reputation: 3571
Hello Lorona, thanks for your comment here. I haven't been to Nicaragua in over 20 years so I'm sure lots has changed. It's certainly not a heavily visited place compared to Costa Rica, Belize or Panama. You mentioned "islands", would those be on the Pacific side, Caribbean side or in one of the giant lakes? It's always interesting to hear from someone who has settled in a place that is a bit out of the way. Sounds like an adventure. Cheers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-26-2007, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,911,600 times
Reputation: 3840
I have a good friend who lives in Taos (NM) and is planning on retiring in Guatemala. She is enthralled with it, its people, geography and its low cost.

I've never been but she always smiles when she says the name!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-26-2007, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Bayside, NY
823 posts, read 3,374,690 times
Reputation: 387
I used to go to Guatemala for business and there is no way I would move there. The cities are dangerous. You see very little traffic at night.

Here is a reprint from a travel web site:

Safety Issues for Foreigners
Travel in Guatemala is generally safe, but a relatively high level of violent crime is committed against foreigners. Vehicle-jackings are almost an everyday occurrence, especially in Guatemala City. Intercity travel after sunset should be avoided. Travelers should exercise extra caution on the roads in rural areas, particularly in the northern and western regions. When taking photographs in rural areas, be aware that some locals believe foreigners come to kidnap children.

In addition the country has been frequently hit by sever earthquakes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top