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Old 05-02-2010, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,382 posts, read 21,223,392 times
Reputation: 24210

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I made any number of different excursions over the last 6 years to various parts of South and Central America and talked to ex-pats along the way, looked at real estate brochures, walked through any number of grocery stores comparing prices.

One ex-pat in Otavalo Ecuador, who's been there 30 years, with 4 children back in the States, gave me a stern warning: If you come down here, you better have a plan. Nothing worse than being restless in paradise. You can't work here, so you must open your own business, which she did, a restaurant.
She told me if she didn't have her restaurant, and couldn't work, she'd go crazy in paradise.

Grocery prices. Having walked through any number of grocery stores along the way, I see now what they're talking about when they say Global World. Any number of times, I found I could buy groceries cheaper back in the U.S. $4 a pound for ground beef in Chile, and sales tax to boot.

Noise. I treasure peace and quiet. Uncontrolled noise levels throughout Latin America stops me dead in my tracks. 33 decibel earplugs, bring plenty of them with you if you move down there, and even that may not help.
I tried very hard to get used to being awaken by roosters every morning at 5am, but all the other noise I could never adjust to.

I haven't crossed out the idea of becoming an ex-pat, but with this real estate crash in the U.S., the prices of real estate are now as cheap as anywhere in Latin America, if you find the right locations. My wonderful townhouse here in Las Vegas has now fallen below $40k. I sell, move to Latin America, what will $40k buy me down there?
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:11 AM
 
1,295 posts, read 1,997,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I haven't crossed out the idea of becoming an ex-pat, but with this real estate crash in the U.S., the prices of real estate are now as cheap as anywhere in Latin America, if you find the right locations. My wonderful townhouse here in Las Vegas has now fallen below $40k. I sell, move to Latin America, what will $40k buy me down there?
Many countries do not have property tax, or have very low property tax rate. Codo/Townhouse HOA fees are high anywhere in the U.S., even in Las Vegas, compare to other countries.
However, I must admit that a $40K townhouse is a real bargain now.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:31 AM
 
8,191 posts, read 11,905,691 times
Reputation: 17964
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Grocery prices. Having walked through any number of grocery stores along the way, I see now what they're talking about when they say Global World. Any number of times, I found I could buy groceries cheaper back in the U.S. $4 a pound for ground beef in Chile, and sales tax to boot.

My wonderful townhouse here in Las Vegas has now fallen below $40k. I sell, move to Latin America, what will $40k buy me down there?
Las Vegas is great, isn't it. As I've mentioned before, I bought a beautiful sfh with a resort-style pool in a guard-gated, country club community for the price of a one-bedroom condo in downtown D.C.

But what I wasn't prepared for - and what has been an unexpected surprise - are the unbelievably cheap grocery prices here!
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Puerto Penasco, Mexico
967 posts, read 2,711,087 times
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I went through many of the trials and tribulations that you're now going through. We looked in CR, Mexico, Canada, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, New York (my home state) and Texas (wifes home state). We found the most bang for the buck in southern West Virginia. Property is very inexpensive, property taxes are very low, the people are very welcoming (ditch the stereotypes!). I think it's the best kept secret around. Look up ZIP 25951 on Sperlings best places; our air and water quality are unmatched ANYWHERE in the US. The per-capita income here is $17,000 and HH income is $24,000. You can get by quite well on a $3,000/mo pension. It very beautiful scenery, with a lot of hiking trails, rivers, lakes and camping sites. We maintain the "hillbilly hype" to keep below the radar.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:31 PM
 
367 posts, read 348,334 times
Reputation: 331
Very interesting thread. I have thought about retiring in Jamaica. I know ... kind of crazy ... but I have been there 14 times over the years (still have a ways to go before retirement) and something about it soothes me. But this thread has made me think about a lot of different things!

One thing I know for sure, though, is when Mama gets old and infirm, my kids better come get me!
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,803,102 times
Reputation: 6195
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Las Vegas is great, isn't it. As I've mentioned before, I bought a beautiful sfh with a resort-style pool in a guard-gated, country club community for the price of a one-bedroom condo in downtown D.C.

But what I wasn't prepared for - and what has been an unexpected surprise - are the unbelievably cheap grocery prices here!
Wait until you see your July electric bill...
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:52 PM
 
2,845 posts, read 3,935,154 times
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Good article in The New York Times (and reproduced at yahoo.com) about retiring outside the USA. One person rated Malaysia very highly. I concur, having lived here for 14 years.

americans-who-seek-out-retirement-homes-overseas: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com/focus-retirement/article/109629/americans-who-seek-out-retirement-homes-overseas?mod=fidelity-livingretirement - broken link)
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:50 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,925 times
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Default I retired and moved to Panama 1 year ago.

I have lived in Panama for almost 1 year since retiring. I love it. My lifestyle is not for everyone. I live in the "interior" of the country in a small town and rent a small home that many of you would consider substandard housing. Living frugally is a must for me since my pension is only 1300 dollars per month and I am married. For example, my home does not have air conditioning. It is hot here year round. I have no hot water heater. I don't have a clothes dryer. I don't have a car either and use the bus system. I also don't have cable TV. There is virtually no crime in the interior of the country. Life goes by at a slower pace. Rent and food are my largest expenses.
My suggestion for anyone who is interested in moving to Panama is for you to come here and experience the life-style for awhile to see if it might be something you might like before committing yourself to the idea. And, this advice would apply to any foreign country you may be considering.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:42 AM
 
177 posts, read 470,040 times
Reputation: 175
Default be careful

My advice is to go to your "dream destination" and rent for at least a year

Get to know the place, culture and customs and then decide if it really is for you

I would never in a million years retire to Mexico. It is in chaos and poltical turmoil. Crime is rampant.

You have to consider the stability of the country, exchange rates and think about what you would do there, how you might integrate.

Good luck.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:06 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,652 posts, read 18,670,918 times
Reputation: 6101
Wow...do not retire in Mexico as crime is rampant.

Wonder why the US cities all have large police depts if we do not have any rampant crime.

Suppose some from other countries are told NOT to live in the US because of rampant crimes.

Look at what happened after the Lakers game last night...burning of cars etc.

I have lived in Baja for the past 14 yrs and feel very safe amongst Mexican neighbors.
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