As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

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Colorado29
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As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Colorado29 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:15 pm

I will purposely leave this post a bit open ended, because I would like to see a variety of responses discussing quality of life, currency, cost of living, tax advantaged places, overall ease of travelling there, etc (what are other considerations?). Maybe somewhere in the US, Mexico, UK, Central America, Southeast Asia? Maybe a combination of places?

Also, are there any fantastic retirement articles/books/podcasts out there?

My father, who is 61, has decided to retire just recently. I am hoping to provide him with some inspiration or ways to think about he can spend the next stage of his life. My mother is still working as a real estate agent, but I imagine she is not far behind him.

Any advice or comments would be appreciated!

livesoft
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by livesoft » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:19 pm

Near the grandchildren seems to be a top choice for many people I know.
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gunn_show
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by gunn_show » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:20 pm

San Diego.

Or what livesoft said.

Jokes aside.. you say nothing about where he lives now... does he want to move... what can they afford... what does your dad and mom like, to eat, do, climate, types of neighborhoods... you asked a completely open ended question with no guided background.. I have no clue whether to say San Diego or Thailand or Mexico or Spain .... ?
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Raybo » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:23 pm

On a recent bicycle trip, I spent a few days in Italy’s eastern Dolomites near Pieve de Cadore. Beautiful mountains, fresh air, lots of local and tourist services, fabulous bike riding, hiking, skiing, Euros, wonderful food, and friendly people.

I put it on my list of places to spend an extended period of time.

Another Italian town on the list is Bormio, a bit further east.
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FunnelCakeBob
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by FunnelCakeBob » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:37 pm

Canada. :D (I hear people are more polite there but similar lifestyle.)

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by jazman12 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:38 pm

COLORADO is a great place! :happy
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Artful Dodger
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Artful Dodger » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:46 pm

If they really are interested in retiring to some place outside of the US, you may want to consider getting them a subscription to International Living. I've been getting it for years. Lots of interesting articles about cost of living, quality of life, real estate, etc. in countries all around the world. They are definitely interested in selling you extra services, but it's still a good resource. The extra services include conferences on retiring to different hot spots, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, various parts of Europe and Asia, plus workshops on working overseas. I considered their conference in Costa Rica a few years back, but ended going to a 2 day conference in San Jose for the cost of a membership in the Assoc of Retirees in Costa Rica then doing a two day private tour with a retirement specialist. My cost was $80 for the meeting / membership and $600 for the tour. I forget the exact cost of the IL meeting but it was north of $1000 plus lodging / food.

One caveat I've heard, and emphasized by our private tour guy - rent first, and think long and hard before you buy. As he said - "It's real easy to buy, not always so easy to sell". Plus lots of issues with owning foreign property, extended stay VISAs, healthcare, etc.

Also, if you do buy, be aware that exchange rates can work against you as well as for you. I remember reading about a couple that had retired to a small town in Italy in the early 2000s. They bought a small apartment, so were able to control their housing cost, but while there, the value of their dollars had dropped about 40% versus the Lira/Euro, so every day living became too expensive, and they were looking to leave.


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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by delamer » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:55 pm

My husband and I have lived in the USA are whole lives, except that my husband was born on a US Army base overseas when his parents were stationed there.

The idea of living in another country in retirement has zero appeal to us. We certainly enjoy travel in other countries, though.

So answer to your question is “this” place.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by bottlecap » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:12 pm

At 61, he's old enough to decide himself. He's probably got a pretty good idea already, having thought about it in the decision to retire.

If he's expressed a desire to just pick up and leave, and asked you for suggestions, why not just travel to a bunch of places and see if one strikes his fancy?

JT

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Sandtrap
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:25 pm

1. Move from a HCOL area to a LCOL area.
2. Downsize.
3. America has some great places in the world as well.
(grandchildren, family, medical, shared culture).
j

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by hudson » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:28 pm

Colorado29 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:15 pm
I will purposely leave this post a bit open ended, because I would like to see a variety of responses discussing quality of life, currency, cost of living, tax advantaged places, overall ease of travelling there, etc (what are other considerations?). Maybe somewhere in the US, Mexico, UK, Central America, Southeast Asia? Maybe a combination of places?

Also, are there any fantastic retirement articles/books/podcasts out there?

My father, who is 61, has decided to retire just recently. I am hoping to provide him with some inspiration or ways to think about he can spend the next stage of his life. My mother is still working as a real estate agent, but I imagine she is not far behind him.

Any advice or comments would be appreciated!
I vote to stay put. Costs are low; everything is paid for. Traffic is light. People get along. I know the rules, customs, and expectations.
We know lots of folks; we have great neighbors. The beaches and mountains are within striking distance. Good mountain bike and hiking trails are nearby and empty during the week.

Some family is in Thailand....a very nice place...but I don't want to learn new tricks.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by beardsworth » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:41 pm

gunn_show wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:20 pm
... you say nothing about where he lives now... does he want to move... what can they afford... what does your dad and mom like, to eat, do, climate, types of neighborhoods... you asked a completely open ended question with no guided background...
Well, it seems like the OP is trying to get the parents to consider someplace more interesting or adventurous than coastal Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=256408

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by tennisplyr » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:47 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:25 pm
1. Move from a HCOL area to a LCOL area.
2. Downsize.
3. America has some great places in the world as well.
(grandchildren, family, medical, shared culture).
j
May I add:
-weather
-relevant activities
-peer group?
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

AerialWombat
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by AerialWombat » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:50 pm

Tallinn, Estonia: Much to do, friendly people, stable government, very low cost of living yet modern everything. Beautiful city.

Hobart, Australia: On the island of Tasmania. Laid back lifestyle, much cheaper cost of living than Sydney, interesting history, interesting critters and scenery, beautiful weather year-round, no language barrier.

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unclescrooge
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:54 pm

I've always thought I could retire in southern Thailand if I had to.

Gorgeous weather, cheap food and housing, excellent health care.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by prairieman » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Part of the reason I retired was that my house and gardens beckoned to me. While we have also been all over the northern hemisphere, I find that my house and gardens beckon after a couple of weeks. So they’re going to have to carry me out.
But if somebody forced me from the country (US), I’d probably choose Ireland. Year round fresh air, mild temperatures, and greenery - plus the nicest people ever.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Nate79 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:08 pm

I would retire to a LCOL area first, maybe even buy an RV and travel around the US parking in LCOL area and then go on extended vacations to nice countries to get the feel of them. Options like AirBnB with extended stay should give a reasonable cost and good feeling for the local country and if you would want to live there full time or not.

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galeno
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by galeno » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:14 pm

No place in the USA. I "need" to be retired in a place where I can live in shorts and sandals all year long. We already live there. Costa Rica.

Two other places. Panama and Mexico.
AA = 40/55/5. Expected CAGR = 3.8%. GSD (5y) = 6.2%. USD inflation (10 y) = 1.8%. AWR = 4.0%. TER = 0.4%. Port Yield = 2.13%. Term = 34 yr. FI Duration = 6.2 yr. Portfolio survival probability = 95%.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by denovo » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:15 pm

Colorado29 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:15 pm
I will purposely leave this post a bit open ended, because I would like to see a variety of responses discussing quality of life, currency, cost of living, tax advantaged places, overall ease of travelling there, etc (what are other considerations?). Maybe somewhere in the US, Mexico, UK, Central America, Southeast Asia? Maybe a combination of places?

Also, are there any fantastic retirement articles/books/podcasts out there?

My father, who is 61, has decided to retire just recently. I am hoping to provide him with some inspiration or ways to think about he can spend the next stage of his life. My mother is still working as a real estate agent, but I imagine she is not far behind him.

Any advice or comments would be appreciated!
I feel like we're missing a big part of the equation, some would say the biggest. How much can they afford to spend a year in retirement?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by denovo » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:20 pm

galeno wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:14 pm
No place in the USA. I "need" to be retired in a place where I can live in shorts and sandals all year long. We already live there. Costa Rica.

Two other places. Panama and Mexico.
Are you fluent in Spanish?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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galeno
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by galeno » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:37 pm

Wife and I are Costa Rican citizens. Spanish is our mother tongue. We're home.
denovo wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:20 pm
galeno wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:14 pm
No place in the USA. I "need" to be retired in a place where I can live in shorts and sandals all year long. We already live there. Costa Rica.

Two other places. Panama and Mexico.
Are you fluent in Spanish?
AA = 40/55/5. Expected CAGR = 3.8%. GSD (5y) = 6.2%. USD inflation (10 y) = 1.8%. AWR = 4.0%. TER = 0.4%. Port Yield = 2.13%. Term = 34 yr. FI Duration = 6.2 yr. Portfolio survival probability = 95%.

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baconavocado
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by baconavocado » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:56 pm

Some commenters are mentioning Italy and some other European countries. I thought it was quite difficult to get a resident visa in these places. I've heard that it's even hard for an American citizen to retire in Canada. Mexico. Central and South America, yes, Europe and Canada, no. Am I wrong?

denovo
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by denovo » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:17 pm

galeno wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:37 pm
Wife and I are Costa Rican citizens. Spanish is our mother tongue. We're home.
denovo wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:20 pm
galeno wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:14 pm
No place in the USA. I "need" to be retired in a place where I can live in shorts and sandals all year long. We already live there. Costa Rica.

Two other places. Panama and Mexico.
Are you fluent in Spanish?
IMO, that I think makes a huge difference since you are fluent in the language/culture.
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:18 pm

Colorado29 - You have a separate thread for your parents here: Retire in Florida or Alabama? Are you still considering this option?

In addition to the legal issues of citizenship / visa, consider that living outside of the US will change their tax status in a big way. See: Taxation as a US person living abroad
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:35 pm

In retirement staying put in ones own home is far more common than one may think.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Tribonian » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:39 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:56 pm
Some commenters are mentioning Italy .... I thought it was quite difficult to get a resident visa in these places.
Only preliminarily researching Italy, but it seems to depend on whether or not you will be there year round. 182 days or less, and you just stop by the local police station and let them know you’re there. More than half a year and establishing actual residency requires a showing of solvency (it was in the low 5 figures of Euros) and you have to pay income taxes but then you are also entitled to healthcare and other benefits.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Yellowjacket1 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:11 pm

Consider Spain and Portugal.

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galeno
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by galeno » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:26 pm

Yes.
Yellowjacket1 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:11 pm
Consider Spain and Portugal.
AA = 40/55/5. Expected CAGR = 3.8%. GSD (5y) = 6.2%. USD inflation (10 y) = 1.8%. AWR = 4.0%. TER = 0.4%. Port Yield = 2.13%. Term = 34 yr. FI Duration = 6.2 yr. Portfolio survival probability = 95%.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by cheesepep » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:40 pm

Speaking of retiring (not that I am close to it) in a foreign country, generally speaking, how does one become a resident in that foreign country (or is it even needed?)? I know working there is one option, but you are retired, so you don't want to work, but besides that and marriage, how do people actually live in that foreign country for more than 90 days before their tourist visa expires?

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by bligh » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:40 pm

denovo wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:17 pm
galeno wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:37 pm
Wife and I are Costa Rican citizens. Spanish is our mother tongue. We're home.
denovo wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:20 pm
galeno wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:14 pm
No place in the USA. I "need" to be retired in a place where I can live in shorts and sandals all year long. We already live there. Costa Rica.

Two other places. Panama and Mexico.
Are you fluent in Spanish?
IMO, that I think makes a huge difference since you are fluent in the language/culture.
+1. Having knowledge of the local culture, language and even better.. a pre existing social network (family and friends) makes an enourmous difference.

Mexico or Central America are both excellent places to retire to, especially if you are fluent with Spanish. It is close to the US, and culturally not too different. Locals are friendly, Food is delicious, Weather is amazing and a dollar goes a very long way.

The way I would approach retiring internationally would not be a final decision such as "I am retiring in Florida" or "I am going to retire in Panama". It would instead be a "I am moving down to <insert country/state/city> for the next year or two to see how I like it"..

That is one of the advantages of being retired and having an empty nest. You can move all you want.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:26 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to live).
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Toons » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:27 pm

Tennessee.
In the Mountains


:mrgreen:
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by 3504PIR » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 pm

Have they ever lived outside the US? If they have lived internationally, have they ever set up basic utilities, banking or garbage collection? Are they fluent in any languages besides English? Do they watch a lot of tv?

Answers to these questions would be helpful.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by jminv » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:09 pm

The USA is probably most appropriate for them if they haven’t, on their own, considered moving overseas for retirement. Normally, that’s something one does on their own accord, not because a relative would like them to. If they came to that themselves, then that would be good. One way people sometimes become interested in it is through travel. You could suggest they take some international trips to places they’ve wanted to visit. At their age and not having any prior thought of moving abroad, they should look at somewhere very friendly for American retirees with an American community and where English is commonly spoken (or the only). Caribbean would be at the top of my list since the water is a big draw for me. It would also work well with a half the time in the USA conveniently missing hurricane season and half the time in country since in the other thread you said they were considering two different states in USA under another scenario.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:13 pm

cheesepep wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:40 pm
Speaking of retiring (not that I am close to it) in a foreign country, generally speaking, how does one become a resident in that foreign country (or is it even needed?)? I know working there is one option, but you are retired, so you don't want to work, but besides that and marriage, how do people actually live in that foreign country for more than 90 days before their tourist visa expires?
Many (younger) people do visa runs in Thailand. You run to a nearby country to get a new visa when your current visa is to expire.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:16 pm

Antarctica. High cultured neighborhood. Everyone always wears tuxes.
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:52 pm

Just relaying what I have gleaned from the many other threads and what makes sense to me. If they haven't lived anywhere else and don't speak any other languages, they most likely will not enjoy/thrive living outside the US. It is one thing buying a pair of pants because they are cheaper, but changing cultures, languages, being away from friend and family, etc. is a different story.

My spouse is from a foreign country and I highly doubt I would even retire there (though many Americans do).

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by TXJeff » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:55 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:56 pm
Some commenters are mentioning Italy and some other European countries. I thought it was quite difficult to get a resident visa in these places. I've heard that it's even hard for an American citizen to retire in Canada. Mexico. Central and South America, yes, Europe and Canada, no. Am I wrong?
You can definitely get a resident visa in many European countries as a retired person--as to whether the process is difficult--that depends on how you feel about masses of paperwork. :happy

For example:
Here's a nice summary about the visa process and requirements in Italy: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel ... g-in-italy
Here's a similar summary about France: https://luxeadventuretraveler.com/how-t ... or-france/ (though the French consultaes in the US are in the middle of revamping part of the process)
Here's a how-to for the famous Spanish retirement visa: https://gentlecycle.net/how-we-got-our- ... ion-right/

I think you get the idea. Some of the European visas as specifically for "retirees"--people over a certain age. Others are "long stay" visas available to people of any age. Most prohibit work. All require you to show you can support yourself financially. Many thrust you into a kafka-esque type requirement nightmare where, for example, you have to show a year-long local lease (not airbnb). And to get that local lease, you need a bank account. But to get the bank account you need to show a valid long stay visa. Aarrgh! These are the kinds of things that make Boise Idaho look good.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by AlphaLess » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:55 pm

Evidence shows that moderate (mediterranean) climate is good for longevity.

Northern coast of the Mediterranean or California coast seem optimal.
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by AlphaLess » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:58 pm

TXJeff wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:55 pm
baconavocado wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:56 pm
Some commenters are mentioning Italy and some other European countries. I thought it was quite difficult to get a resident visa in these places. I've heard that it's even hard for an American citizen to retire in Canada. Mexico. Central and South America, yes, Europe and Canada, no. Am I wrong?
You can definitely get a resident visa in many European countries as a retired person--as to whether the process is difficult--that depends on how you feel about masses of paperwork. :happy

For example:
Here's a nice summary about the visa process and requirements in Italy: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel ... g-in-italy
Here's a similar summary about France: https://luxeadventuretraveler.com/how-t ... or-france/ (though the French consultaes in the US are in the middle of revamping part of the process)
Here's a how-to for the famous Spanish retirement visa: https://gentlecycle.net/how-we-got-our- ... ion-right/

I think you get the idea. Some of the European visas as specifically for "retirees"--people over a certain age. Others are "long stay" visas available to people of any age. Most prohibit work. All require you to show you can support yourself financially. Many thrust you into a kafka-esque type requirement nightmare where, for example, you have to show a year-long local lease (not airbnb). And to get that local lease, you need a bank account. But to get the bank account you need to show a valid long stay visa. Aarrgh! These are the kinds of things that make Boise Idaho look good.
Thanks for sharing the links. But IMHO, as a lifelong and perpetual immigrant, these are bad things:
- can not work,
- does not have permanent status,
- need to jump through hoops.

Also, missing information: health care costs.

You need (almost) the same rights as the citizens.

Are there any passport purchase avenues?
Eg, it used to be you could get a Portuguese passport with a moderately priced home purchase.
Portugal opens the door to EU.
While retired, you can provide consulting services throughout EU.
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by AlphaLess » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:59 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:52 pm
Just relaying what I have gleaned from the many other threads and what makes sense to me. If they haven't lived anywhere else and don't speak any other languages, they most likely will not enjoy/thrive living outside the US. It is one thing buying a pair of pants because they are cheaper, but changing cultures, languages, being away from friend and family, etc. is a different story.

My spouse is from a foreign country and I highly doubt I would even retire there (though many Americans do).
Great points.

However, if the foreign country is Canada, that is a completely different thing vs, say, Oman.
My comment is not intended to diss either Canada or Oman, but distance(Canada,US) along many dimensions is much shorter than distance(Oman,US).
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by celia » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:30 pm

Instead of starting with a potential location, why not follow some process that ends with a location?

What I would do is list the criteria you MUST have. Then list the criteria that you WANT it to have. And list what it MUST NOT have and what you DON'T WANT it to have. You can even weight the positive criteria on a scale of 1 to 10 or 1 to 5, if that helps. If married, you can start with separate lists for each of you. Eventually share your lists and figure out what you can compromise on, if needed.

This reminds me of Money magazine's yearly issue on "The Best Places to Retire To" that they started about 20 years ago. A relative also read it and said, A, B, and C are ranked tops so you should move to one of those places. None of the places had what I would consider good weather (as an example) and weather is important to me. So I was not interested at all. They gave the methodology they used for building the lists, blah, blah, blah, but it wasn't what I would do.

The following year, they rated D, E, and F as tops. (They had changed their criteria somewhat.) The relative said we should move to one of one of those places. This continued for 3 or 4 years, until I said, "What am I supposed to do? Move every year, just because a magazine says someplace else is "the best"? But look how they keep changing how they weight the criteria. Those aren't even what I want."

A few years later, they discontinued this as a theme, but put a "calculator" on their website where you could weigh each criteria according to what was important to you. Finally! Let's see what it says when I weight the things that are most important to me. Set the weights, click the button, and holy cow! I'm already living in my ideal retirement spot.

They no longer have the "calculator" as far as I can see.

harrychan
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by harrychan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:37 pm

I'm interested in hearing what enables so many of you to simply move to another country and live there permanently? Do you plan to pay your way to permanent residency or citizenship of a foreign country?
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

msk
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by msk » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:54 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:56 pm
Some commenters are mentioning Italy and some other European countries. I thought it was quite difficult to get a resident visa in these places. I've heard that it's even hard for an American citizen to retire in Canada. Mexico. Central and South America, yes, Europe and Canada, no. Am I wrong?
I believe that many countries welcome rich investors, varying from $500k (USA?) down to $100k (Malta?). I think that Canada and Australia are mid-range in such rankings. Basically you dish out the $ into an approved investment scheme and you get your permanent residence for self, spouse and kids. A few years later you can cash in your investment, hopefully at a profit, and await death in peace. Malta, Cyprus, Greece, etc. delivers EU residency. One or two even EU citizenship. You get a residence visa, medicare, etc. all over the EU. BH retirees can probably afford to park $500k into an investment for a few years without much hassle. Am very hazy about the details since I had no interest personally but I'd like to hear how such schemes actually pan out. It seems many iffy Russians have taken advantage to get into the EU...

Louverture
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Louverture » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:06 am

harrychan wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:37 pm
I'm interested in hearing what enables so many of you to simply move to another country and live there permanently? Do you plan to pay your way to permanent residency or citizenship of a foreign country?
I haven't retired abroad, but I've spent much of my adult life traveling internationally. There's no one answer to this question. It depends a lot on the country. Some countries allow you to buy residency or citizenship, but I think the majority of people don't do this. Many popular countries (Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, the Philippines, Spain and Portugal) have retiree visas. They allow people above a certain age who can demonstrate ~$24,000 annual income (depending on the country) to live there pretty much permanently.

Other options in some countries involve real estate. In Greece, you can get residency by buying a property worth 250,000 euros and then citizenship after living there for 7 years.

Some countries like Georgia and Albania allow tourists to stay for a year without ever leaving the country. You can even buy property in Georgia without a long-term visa. I doubt many retirees go to these countries though since they are off the beaten track.

You can simply move every 3 months to avoid overstaying in a country (the exact period of time and details vary by country). This is easy for travelers, but probably less appealing to retirees or anyone who wants stability in living space or medical care.

My guess is retiree visas are the most popular followed by paying for residency/citizenship through investment or real estate. The real estate option in particular is probably easy to stomach if you plan on buying anyway.

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peterinjapan
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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by peterinjapan » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:29 am

a) Tokyo? It's a nice place, and surprisingly cheap.
b) K.L. in Malaysia, my Japanese wife and I have our eyes on this, it's also super cheap (still). Penang, Malaysia is also amazing, and there are a lot of various foreigners already there.
c) Malaga, Spain or Lisbon, Portugal? Also on our list.

In the end you need friends, language and an emotional connection to the area.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by HongKonger » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:23 am

It is incorrect to assume that with EU residency or citizenship you automatically get free healthcare across the EU. You have to show proof of health insurance to gain residency - whether by private insurance, proof of cover from a country that has a reciprocal agreement, or paid up state healthcare contributions.

I see no one mentioned Mauritius. They have decent retiree programs.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by Naismith » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:38 am

I'm a 63-year-old living in Indonesia. My spouse and I are serving as full-time missionaries for our church. So we are retired from our former paid career, but are here sponsored by our church, which provides the visa. There is a visa program for retirees, but you have to hire a local maid and a few other odd things. And knowing how the paperwork is here, even having conversational-level language skills, I think it would be a huge challenge.

One huge plus is that the health insurance from one of our employers has coverage around the world. In fact, the hospital that is a preferred provider in our town for our policy is only a few blocks away. Medicare has no coverage outside the US. Of course fees tend to be lower for some things, not for others. My dental cleaning was $23 but the chiropractor charges $60 for an adjustment (it was $40 at home). Actually, the latter would be really expensive because I had to fly to another city; there are none on my island. But I am in a larger city every few months for training, which is enough for my needs. So thinking about any health issues is important.

Some food is cheap, but high quality American-style food can be pricey. A hot shower is a luxury.

More importantly, how will they build a social network? We've met one USAmerican since we've lived here. If they don't speak the language, they could be very lonely. Why would they retire someplace outside the US?

We intend to travel a lot once our work here is completed. But we already travelled a fair bit before we moved here. Our last two-week vacations when we were employed included Austria-Budapest Prague, Iceland, Greece-Rome, Brazil. It seems that if they wanted to travel during retirement, they might have already done some foreign trips?

We did a sabbatical in Brazil and I had lived in Germany as a soldier, so the thought of moving overseas was not scary to us. But it can be intimidating to someone who has never lived overseas.

And setting up a household, even in a furnished apartment, can take a lot of work and money. There is no Ikea here.

Definitely try a month someplace to see if it is a good fit.

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Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:38 am

AlphaLess wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:59 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:52 pm
Just relaying what I have gleaned from the many other threads and what makes sense to me. If they haven't lived anywhere else and don't speak any other languages, they most likely will not enjoy/thrive living outside the US. It is one thing buying a pair of pants because they are cheaper, but changing cultures, languages, being away from friend and family, etc. is a different story.

My spouse is from a foreign country and I highly doubt I would even retire there (though many Americans do).
Great points.

However, if the foreign country is Canada, that is a completely different thing vs, say, Oman.
My comment is not intended to diss either Canada or Oman, but distance(Canada,US) along many dimensions is much shorter than distance(Oman,US).
Yes, but I think you'll find the more similar the place is to the US, the less money you will be saving. As other threads have pointed out, COL is cheap many places by LOCAL standards. That means no AC, basic local foods, no car, etc. Some US brands and luxuries can be quite expensive.

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