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Old 12-26-2013, 10:56 AM
 
Location: San Diego
306 posts, read 233,404 times
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Has anyone here thought about early retirement in another country, perhaps retiring at 55 in a cheaper country instead of 65+ in the USA? What are the places you have considered? How much money in savings do you think would be adequate to retire at 55 in places like Thailand or Ecuador assuming one would get social security after 65.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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One also has to have a visa to live in these other countries.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:38 AM
 
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redrocket: I have thought about it often, actually (and I'm 37 :-)).
I don't know much about Ecuador, but Thailand could definitely be done on a SS payment (depending, of course, on how much that is). I think one could live rather comfortably (not extravagantly) on $1000/month (possibly less) in Thailand, assuming one lives rather "local" (meaning not eating at expensive Western restaurants, etc.). If one lived outside of Bangkok (I've dreamed of Chang Mai, myself), cost of living would be even cheaper.
The key to living in any of these countries is not to expect the same lifestyle as one would in the West. This doesn't necessarily living at a *lower* standard than in the West...just a *different* standard. With that mentality, I see no reason one would be uncomfortable there.
The point Chava had about visas is of course relevant; however, many countries have quite relaxed visa rules. As far as I know (this is mostly hearsay), one just has to cross the border on a bus from Thailand to get their visa renewed for another 3-6 months (don't know particulars, but I know it's doable). This could easily be researched online.

The hardest part about such a retirement would be living far from friends and family. For some, I understand, that isn't much of an issue. For others, money set aside could be used for traveling to see such people once every year or two.

Thailand has great weather, friendly people, a decent enough (and affordable) medical system, and unbelievable local food...what more could one want?!

Another possibility is a 'working retirement'. For instance, in some countries one could get a part-time gig just speaking to English classes for a bit of spending money. Native-speaking English people are in demand in many countries...Thailand would be one such.

By the way, I have also thought about Bulgaria and India as possible retirement options. I know both of these countries well, and they would be nice to enjoy one's golden years in. Both would be quite doable on $1000/month or so.

I've written a lot, but you've hit on something quite close to my heart :-)

Good luck.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:42 AM
 
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Ecuador is a good place for Americans to retire as one can live quite cheaply there and the climate is mild there. There are quite a few American expats in Ecuador but I don't know how they obtained visas to live there. One can definitely teach English in Ecuador part-time to suppliment one's retirement income but I doubt it would be necessay financially.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: San Diego
306 posts, read 233,404 times
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good info Jeff. I was thinking the same thing around $1000/mo or so. So taking that into account if one wants to retire at 55 and plans to collect social security at 65 then one needs savings for 10 years or $120,000 saved up...assuming the $1000/mo covers some kind of medical insurance as well.

Relocating to a cheaper area in the US itself is another option as the main benefit of this is access to Medicare after 65 which will not be available to you if you retire overseas.

One issue is inflation in these other countries. I'm 40 now but by the time I reach 55 I fear that the cost of living in these countries would have also shot up whereas salaries are just not increasing here in the US so that is a huge problem.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrocket2 View Post
good info Jeff. I was thinking the same thing around $1000/mo or so. So taking that into account if one wants to retire at 55 and plans to collect social security at 65 then one needs savings for 10 years or $120,000 saved up...assuming the $1000/mo covers some kind of medical insurance as well.
For that amount you could probably currently retire in Ecuador.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:04 PM
 
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I would want to retire in NZ.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
14,517 posts, read 13,024,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrocket2 View Post
Has anyone here thought about early retirement in another country, perhaps retiring at 55 in a cheaper country instead of 65+ in the USA? What are the places you have considered? How much money in savings do you think would be adequate to retire at 55 in places like Thailand or Ecuador assuming one would get social security after 65.

While I can't give exact numbers, I can tell you that Ecuador is significantly cheaper than the United States. My work is all online, and I work with many Americans who are living in Ecuador. They always talk about how cheap the standard of living is there.

However, one thing about South America is that it really isn't that cheap. If you look at the other countries like Colombia, Brasil, Chile, Argentina.. it's not THAT cheap. In other words, if Ecuador is cheaper right now, it probably won't be for a long time. To bank on Ecuador staying really cheap might not be the best plan.

Also, remember that a lot of our "American" things are a lot more expensive in South America. If you want an Iphone, it is way more. New laptop? Way more expensive. Electronics, nice clothes and all other first world amenities are a lot more expensive. If you're going to move to South America, you should visit there and spend some time before you just hop and retire.

I don't see how 1000 a month could be enough. I make around 3x that in Chile and I can be quite comfortable, but I would not want to do it.. even on 1700 a month.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:57 AM
 
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When I was 55, I retired to Thailand. Definitely cheaper than staying in the United States. It had its own set of problems, though. In any event, I'm back in the USA right now dealing with an elderly parent. At some point, I may move back overseas. Or, I may just stay here in the United States. Money is't much of an issue for me. I think you have to look at all the factors, not just money. Still, for the person on a tight budget, a place like Thailand might be great. They want you to have 800,000 Thai Baht in the bank, or an income of 65,000 baht a month in order to qualify for a retirement visa.
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