Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

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capitalhockey
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Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by capitalhockey » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:41 am

My wife and I was watching our favorite show, House Hunter International and came across an episode that intrigued us. It was about a retired couple that chose to live overseas for 4 months a year. They used this strategy so they can have a "home base" in the region and use it to travel to other countries nearby. They chose a no-frills housing rental that is close to a major airport. In this case, they rented an unit just outside of Bangkok, Thailand so it's cheaper but still allow access to the city. Couple mentioned a lot of benefits with this approach:

1) Live like a local in home base and be immersed in new culture
2) Regional flights to nearby countries are affordable (they went to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, etc)
3) Avoid long uncomfortable flights from US to Asia and minimize jet lag. Rest between trips in home base rental.

I told my wife that I am willing to do something like this when we are retired. We can have an adventure for a prolonged period but still come back to US where we have lots of family/friends. Only negatives I can think of paying for multiple housing (US, overseas, etc). Maybe rotate to a new continent every year. Start with Asia, then rent an Italian villa to explore year Europe the next year, then South America, etc.

Has anyone else thought or done something like this? Any other negatives with this approach?

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LiveSimple
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by LiveSimple » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:49 am

Seems interesting, will watch for the responses for us, as well.

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dm200
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:05 am

capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:41 am
My wife and I was watching our favorite show, House Hunter International and came across an episode that intrigued us. It was about a retired couple that chose to live overseas for 4 months a year. They used this strategy so they can have a "home base" in the region and use it to travel to other countries nearby. They chose a no-frills housing rental that is close to a major airport. In this case, they rented an unit just outside of Bangkok, Thailand so it's cheaper but still allow access to the city. Couple mentioned a lot of benefits with this approach:
1) Live like a local in home base and be immersed in new culture
2) Regional flights to nearby countries are affordable (they went to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, etc)
3) Avoid long uncomfortable flights from US to Asia and minimize jet lag. Rest between trips in home base rental.
I told my wife that I am willing to do something like this when we are retired. We can have an adventure for a prolonged period but still come back to US where we have lots of family/friends. Only negatives I can think of paying for multiple housing (US, overseas, etc). Maybe rotate to a new continent every year. Start with Asia, then rent an Italian villa to explore year Europe the next year, then South America, etc.
Has anyone else thought or done something like this? Any other negatives with this approach?
No, not for me.

Yes - I see the benefits - for those who wish to do such travel.

I would be very concerned about healthcare - health/medical risks, costs, access.

desiderium
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by desiderium » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:08 am

This sounds like a rewarding approach to travel. However, there are so many ways now to rent furnished dwellings on an as needed basis. What is the function of a so-so apartment 8 months of the year? Why commit to having a 12-month rental; maybe you want to use a different base next year.

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capitalhockey
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by capitalhockey » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:32 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:05 am
capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:41 am
My wife and I was watching our favorite show, House Hunter International and came across an episode that intrigued us. It was about a retired couple that chose to live overseas for 4 months a year. They used this strategy so they can have a "home base" in the region and use it to travel to other countries nearby. They chose a no-frills housing rental that is close to a major airport. In this case, they rented an unit just outside of Bangkok, Thailand so it's cheaper but still allow access to the city. Couple mentioned a lot of benefits with this approach:
1) Live like a local in home base and be immersed in new culture
2) Regional flights to nearby countries are affordable (they went to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, etc)
3) Avoid long uncomfortable flights from US to Asia and minimize jet lag. Rest between trips in home base rental.
I told my wife that I am willing to do something like this when we are retired. We can have an adventure for a prolonged period but still come back to US where we have lots of family/friends. Only negatives I can think of paying for multiple housing (US, overseas, etc). Maybe rotate to a new continent every year. Start with Asia, then rent an Italian villa to explore year Europe the next year, then South America, etc.
Has anyone else thought or done something like this? Any other negatives with this approach?
No, not for me.

Yes - I see the benefits - for those who wish to do such travel.

I would be very concerned about healthcare - health/medical risks, costs, access.
I think the healthcare risk is mitigated by the fact that we can be back in US for 8 month a year. Most other countries have good/cheaper medical care as well. It's a calculated risk with lots of rewards.

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capitalhockey
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by capitalhockey » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:34 am

desiderium wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:08 am
This sounds like a rewarding approach to travel. However, there are so many ways now to rent furnished dwellings on an as needed basis. What is the function of a so-so apartment 8 months of the year? Why commit to having a 12-month rental; maybe you want to use a different base next year.

Good point. Most I will be willing to commit for rental is 6 months. Maybe work something out with owner to rent for 4 months. Unit has to be fully furnish and affordable.....so when you do regional travel, you are okay with leaving it vacant.

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dm200
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:38 am

I think the healthcare risk is mitigated by the fact that we can be back in US for 8 month a year. Most other countries have good/cheaper medical care as well. It's a calculated risk with lots of rewards.
It also depends a lot on your current health condition as well. I might want to have an option of travel back to the US during those 4 months if health/medical situation demands it. As well, I think I would take with me a very complete medical history.

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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by sailaway » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:43 am

capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:34 am
desiderium wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:08 am
This sounds like a rewarding approach to travel. However, there are so many ways now to rent furnished dwellings on an as needed basis. What is the function of a so-so apartment 8 months of the year? Why commit to having a 12-month rental; maybe you want to use a different base next year.

Good point. Most I will be willing to commit for rental is 6 months. Maybe work something out with owner to rent for 4 months. Unit has to be fully furnish and affordable.....so when you do regional travel, you are okay with leaving it vacant.
In some countries, the norm is one year leases, paid in advance. And it sounds like the couple chose carefully and may be paying less for a year than Airbnb would be for a short while.

I would question the benefit of this over spending several weeks in each desired location. Why take the time to go back to Thailand between each trip rather than just planning a few rest days into the itinerary?

You aren't even actually being immersed in the culture if you are only their a couple of days a month; immersion takes time and consistency.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by HawkeyePierce » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:53 am

I'm not retired (28) but I'm doing something similar this year. I'm taking a four month leave of absence from work and moving to New Zealand during that time.

Healthcare: I'll buy a catastrophic policy in the US. I always have an annual medical evacuation policy that will cover getting me home in an emergency. Visitors to NZ are covered by their accident compensation scheme. For any minor issues that arise, I'll just pay out of pocket for doctor appointments down there.

Housing: NZ isn't cheap but since I'm young and still willing to tolerate roommates this expense isn't meaningfully more than what I pay at home. I'm lucky with the timing in that my current lease is up right as I leave for NZ and I wanted out of this apartment complex anyways, so I'll just be moving my things into storage.

Visas: NZ offers any US citizen under 30 a one-year working holiday visa. I have enough money set aside that I don't need to work while down there but I'll have the option.

dcabler
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by dcabler » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:05 am

Sounds like a great plan. We lived in Germany as expats in the late 1990's. Additionally, a company I worked for since then had me living in Austria for 2 months one summer just a couple of years ago. I have another friend who goes to Scotland every summer to work in their local office.

In my latter case, there were a number of short-term rentals (outside of the usual Airbnb/Homeaway/etc. space) that were fully equipped monthly rentals and were reasonably priced. The one where we stayed was gated and had about 10 short-term apartments. The owners, a retired psychologist and his wife lived on-premises. Apartments were fully furnished, there were laundry facilities on-site, and we were close to a tram line. Everything we needed for a "base of operations".

I'm sure we'll end up doing something very similar after we retire!

Cheers.

jebmke
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by jebmke » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:17 am

capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:32 am
I think the healthcare risk is mitigated by the fact that we can be back in US for 8 month a year. Most other countries have good/cheaper medical care as well.
The key is to find out how accessible it is and measure the possible cost. You don't always get to choose when your major medical incident occurs.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

RetiredInTheWest
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by RetiredInTheWest » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:40 am

I think this sounds like a great idea!

FWIW we lived in Singapore as expats. So with regard to medical care, my two cents might be a bit different: if you can get to Singapore or Hong Kong and have health insurance, IMO the medical care in both places is of top quality and more affordable than the U.S. As Americans living overseas for the first time we worried about how healthcare would be in Singapore. We were shocked to end up with the impression that it was better. Given the choice, overall I'd still take healthcare there over here.

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capitalhockey
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by capitalhockey » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:02 am

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:53 am
I'm not retired (28) but I'm doing something similar this year. I'm taking a four month leave of absence from work and moving to New Zealand during that time.

Healthcare: I'll buy a catastrophic policy in the US. I always have an annual medical evacuation policy that will cover getting me home in an emergency. Visitors to NZ are covered by their accident compensation scheme. For any minor issues that arise, I'll just pay out of pocket for doctor appointments down there.

Housing: NZ isn't cheap but since I'm young and still willing to tolerate roommates this expense isn't meaningfully more than what I pay at home. I'm lucky with the timing in that my current lease is up right as I leave for NZ and I wanted out of this apartment complex anyways, so I'll just be moving my things into storage.

Visas: NZ offers any US citizen under 30 a one-year working holiday visa. I have enough money set aside that I don't need to work while down there but I'll have the option.
That's very cool! Glad to hear you are taking trip while young. Are you planning to explore Asian countries while based in NZ?

You should start a blog to chronicle your adventures!

FireProof
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by FireProof » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:48 am

I'd say you're on the right track - the key to actually enjoying travel is slow down, slow down, slow down. It still could be pretty stressful in practice, but the one way to find out if you enjoy it is to try it out... the good thing is that the risk is pretty low. My wife and I have generally traveled a little slower than that, 10-18 months in each country, with only occasional trips during that time, and we've enjoyed it. It allows us to get past the hassle and set-up part and enjoy the living part (and make friends and become fluent in the local language). A couple of years ago, we tried a bit of a faster pace in Asia, and with the exception of 4 months in an apartment in Malaysia, and 1.5 months in an apartment in Japan, we were traveling non-stop - 1 month in Thailand, 1 month in the Philippines, 1 month in South Korea, 2 weeks traveling around Japan, 2 weeks in Taiwan, 2 weeks in Vietnam. We ended up exhausted, cut our trip short, and weren't eager to travel for a while. Now, we weren't returning to a local base, and some of those countries are pretty exhausting (and all are quite exotic), but you still might find that lots of small trips start to wear on you.

Note that some places are easier than others for mid-term (say, less than a year, but more than 1-2 months) rentals. In Germany, Malaysia, and Peru, for example, we had no problem getting medium-term rentals at pretty much normal local rates. In Italy, on the other hand, though, the sublet market basically doesn't exist. Even a 1-year rental is tricky there, since the standard contract is 4 years + 4 years! In the end we just gave up, after staying in 3 different apartment in 3 months in Rome. How easy it is to avoid getting gouged depends on a mixture of local laws, market structure, and your fluency in the local language. I have no idea about Thailand but, of course, it may simply be cheap enough that an American can afford to get gouged and not care.

However, most rental markets in the US ARE pretty efficient, so the double-housing problem doesn't seem like it should be a huge problem - you can just rent your place out, and in most parts of the US, that's likely to more than cover rent in the vast majority of foreign countries. My parents always managed to rent their place out when they came to visit us for 1-2 month periods, and even after paying for the foreign rent, they ended up earning money by traveling!

flyingaway
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by flyingaway » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:52 am

Looks like you would pay three housing costs, one in the U.S., one in the place of your rental (Bangkok, for example), and one in the destination (Cambodia, e.g.) It does not matter if you have money.
I am for slow travels in retirement, maybe rent a unit in a city for a month or so to explore the surrounding areas (trips of one or two days at most by train or bus).

Shallowpockets
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:22 pm

Let's see. Rent a house near Bangkok, but go visit China, NZ, Australia, etc because they are closer. Paying for the Bangkok rental while visiting these other countries. Why? Why not go for four months on a trip to these other places? What's it going to be. House rental Bangkok for a few weeks, then 2 weeks in NZ, back to Bangkok, then off to Singapore. Back to Bangkok, off again. Meanwhile paying the entire time for the rental.
Too much work. Throw out the rental idea. Just go.

coalcracker
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by coalcracker » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:28 pm

My wife and I aspire to spend extended periods abroad in retirement. We are years away and haven't begun planning in any significant way.

I've always been a bit fuzzy on the rules about extended US travel and US citizenship. As permanent citizens, will we have any issues should we spend, say, 6-12 months abroad?

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by HawkeyePierce » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:43 pm

capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:02 am
HawkeyePierce wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:53 am
I'm not retired (28) but I'm doing something similar this year. I'm taking a four month leave of absence from work and moving to New Zealand during that time.

Healthcare: I'll buy a catastrophic policy in the US. I always have an annual medical evacuation policy that will cover getting me home in an emergency. Visitors to NZ are covered by their accident compensation scheme. For any minor issues that arise, I'll just pay out of pocket for doctor appointments down there.

Housing: NZ isn't cheap but since I'm young and still willing to tolerate roommates this expense isn't meaningfully more than what I pay at home. I'm lucky with the timing in that my current lease is up right as I leave for NZ and I wanted out of this apartment complex anyways, so I'll just be moving my things into storage.

Visas: NZ offers any US citizen under 30 a one-year working holiday visa. I have enough money set aside that I don't need to work while down there but I'll have the option.
That's very cool! Glad to hear you are taking trip while young. Are you planning to explore Asian countries while based in NZ?

You should start a blog to chronicle your adventures!
I may pop up to Singapore and Bangkok for a week if I find a good deal but I've been to Southeast Asia several times so I'll probably focus on NZ. Plus my trip overlaps SE Asia's monsoon season so it won't be a very enjoyable time to be there.

renue74
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by renue74 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:51 pm

I think I had a similar question a few months ago.

I would love to have a home base in Lake Como for summers and then take the train to various locations.

Thailand is on my list also. On Youtube, I follow many Americans who live in Thailand. So many things to do, great food to eat.

I will be following this also.

quantAndHold
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:52 pm

coalcracker wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:28 pm
My wife and I aspire to spend extended periods abroad in retirement. We are years away and haven't begun planning in any significant way.

I've always been a bit fuzzy on the rules about extended US travel and US citizenship. As permanent citizens, will we have any issues should we spend, say, 6-12 months abroad?
If you’re a US citizen, you’re a US citizen. You can come and go to and from the US as you please. You could stay away for years, and when you come back, you just need to show your US passport.

Extended stays for US citizens in other countries are subject to he laws of those countries.

renue74
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by renue74 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:56 pm

coalcracker wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:28 pm
My wife and I aspire to spend extended periods abroad in retirement. We are years away and haven't begun planning in any significant way.

I've always been a bit fuzzy on the rules about extended US travel and US citizenship. As permanent citizens, will we have any issues should we spend, say, 6-12 months abroad?
I'm not an expert, but I know you can stay 90 days in the EU before you must leave. I have heard of people staying in the EU countries for 90 days and then hitting Croatia.

https://thesavvybackpacker.com/long-term-travel-europe/

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HueyLD
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by HueyLD » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:32 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:52 pm
coalcracker wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:28 pm
My wife and I aspire to spend extended periods abroad in retirement. We are years away and haven't begun planning in any significant way.

I've always been a bit fuzzy on the rules about extended US travel and US citizenship. As permanent citizens, will we have any issues should we spend, say, 6-12 months abroad?
If you’re a US citizen, you’re a US citizen. You can come and go to and from the US as you please. You could stay away for years, and when you come back, you just need to show your US passport.

Extended stays for US citizens in other countries are subject to he laws of those countries.
My guess is that coalcracker is a green card holder, not yet a citizen.

TravelGeek
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:54 pm

renue74 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:56 pm

I'm not an expert, but I know you can stay 90 days in the EU before you must leave. I have heard of people staying in the EU countries for 90 days and then hitting Croatia.

https://thesavvybackpacker.com/long-term-travel-europe/
Nitpick alert: :) I am not an expert either, but I think the 90 day rule applies to the Schengen area, which isn’t all of the EU, but also includes a few non-EU countries (like Switzerland).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

Looks like Croatia is on the way into Schengen.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area#Croatia

And as the article you linked to explains, it’s 90 days within a 180 day period, so you cannot do a quick trip to Croatia and then return to your rental apartment within Schengen (the type of strategy seems to work in other parts of the world, from what I have read). But 90 days is still a pretty good chunk of time, I’d think.

TravelGeek
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:56 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:32 pm
My guess is that coalcracker is a green card holder, not yet a citizen.
In which case, AFAIK, there are two potential problems with long term stays abroad:

- permanent resident status might be lost

- ability to apply for citizenship might be negatively impacted if applicant spent too much time out of the country

halfnine
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by halfnine » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:13 pm

It will be a more costly way to travel but if you have the funds it might be more enjoyable way for you to spend time abroad as well. But you will probably be more inclined to keep your travels closer to the base. For instance, I'd personally might be inclined to stay in Thailand and then travel around SE Asia using that as a base while there. People who can work from anywhere often do something quite similar. Staying in one country for 3-6 months at a time (visa restrictions), traveling around the region as work schedule allows, then moving on to the next destination and repeating.

It would also allow you to bring more creature comforts over to make the stay more like home as well. The longer you stay in one location the more important this becomes. When I've done something similar I'd max out my airline luggage and possibly take an extra box or two either shipped to arrive when I got there or paid extra on the plane.

Some other benefits would be it would allow you to travel during the week when it is less crowded and cheaper. You can also travel out to annual events/festivals that one might otherwise miss.

You'll have to be wary of any visa or taxation issues, though. Frequent entry/exit into a country might raise concerns and staying too long might subject you to taxation.

Luckywon
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Luckywon » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:24 pm

I would like to do something similar, spending a few months abroad, though I probably would favor just moving from one country to the other and not having a home base.

I am curious, what do you see as the options for your place in the United States while you are abroad? I don't think it's worth the hassle for me to rent my home out, but also am concerned about having it vacant for months at a time.

gluskap
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by gluskap » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:53 pm

I like this idea a lot except that I would really keep the regional trips very close to the home base to save money. So if my home base was in Thailand I would only do quick trips to SE Asia. I wouldn't fly to New Zealand for example. I would pick New Zealand as a home base for another year and then make trips to Australia.

flyingaway
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by flyingaway » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:31 pm

Luckywon wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:24 pm
I would like to do something similar, spending a few months abroad, though I probably would favor just moving from one country to the other and not having a home base.

I am curious, what do you see as the options for your place in the United States while you are abroad? I don't think it's worth the hassle for me to rent my home out, but also am concerned about having it vacant for months at a time.
I'm also concerned about renting out the U.S. home while abroad, even on a yearly basis. I will definitely not rent out the home on a monthly basis.

sfnerd
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by sfnerd » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:23 pm

RetiredInTheWest wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:40 am
I think this sounds like a great idea!

FWIW we lived in Singapore as expats. So with regard to medical care, my two cents might be a bit different: if you can get to Singapore or Hong Kong and have health insurance, IMO the medical care in both places is of top quality and more affordable than the U.S. As Americans living overseas for the first time we worried about how healthcare would be in Singapore. We were shocked to end up with the impression that it was better. Given the choice, overall I'd still take healthcare there over here.
Definitely. I live in Thailand as an expat, and the healthcare is a lot better than the US. No appointments, just walk right into a state of the art, luxury hospital. They apologize if you have to wait a few minutes for the doctor! My doc was trained in the US.

flyingaway
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by flyingaway » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:29 pm

sfnerd wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:23 pm
RetiredInTheWest wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:40 am
I think this sounds like a great idea!

FWIW we lived in Singapore as expats. So with regard to medical care, my two cents might be a bit different: if you can get to Singapore or Hong Kong and have health insurance, IMO the medical care in both places is of top quality and more affordable than the U.S. As Americans living overseas for the first time we worried about how healthcare would be in Singapore. We were shocked to end up with the impression that it was better. Given the choice, overall I'd still take healthcare there over here.
Definitely. I live in Thailand as an expat, and the healthcare is a lot better than the US. No appointments, just walk right into a state of the art, luxury hospital. They apologize if you have to wait a few minutes for the doctor! My doc was trained in the US.
Maybe the routine medical problems can be handled better in Singapore or Thailand. But how about the more serious things like cancers and heart problems?
Frankly speaking, in countries like Thailand, I don't think I need health insurance for routine medical problems. I will just pay out of the pocket. But for the serious problems, maybe U.S. insurance such as ACA is still needed, so that you could come back in case.

renue74
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by renue74 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:06 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:54 pm
renue74 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:56 pm

I'm not an expert, but I know you can stay 90 days in the EU before you must leave. I have heard of people staying in the EU countries for 90 days and then hitting Croatia.

https://thesavvybackpacker.com/long-term-travel-europe/
Nitpick alert: :) I am not an expert either, but I think the 90 day rule applies to the Schengen area, which isn’t all of the EU, but also includes a few non-EU countries (like Switzerland).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

Looks like Croatia is on the way into Schengen.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area#Croatia

And as the article you linked to explains, it’s 90 days within a 180 day period, so you cannot do a quick trip to Croatia and then return to your rental apartment within Schengen (the type of strategy seems to work in other parts of the world, from what I have read). But 90 days is still a pretty good chunk of time, I’d think.
Yes....it is only 90 days within a 180 day period....so you would have to spend 90 days outside of the Schengen area.

psy1
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by psy1 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:09 pm

consider subscribing to the print version of "International Living" magazine. Lots of good info there.

I think you could slow travel and save money with your approach. The real savings would be to establish residency in a low tax country and then "visit" the US. You can always move back.

For actual travel, I would not want to be tied to a rental/lease. Places like Thailand are pretty inexpensive so best to mix it up. Pack light. Carry on only. Buy what else you need on location.

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Cycle
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Cycle » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:45 pm

Luckywon wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:24 pm
I would like to do something similar, spending a few months abroad, though I probably would favor just moving from one country to the other and not having a home base.

I am curious, what do you see as the options for your place in the United States while you are abroad? I don't think it's worth the hassle for me to rent my home out, but also am concerned about having it vacant for months at a time.
Homes are a ball and chain, when owned. Perhaps it's a good time to switch to renting if kids are done with school. Take the trip after the home sells.

Personally, I would move our stuff into the basement, find a Tennant (I'm already a landlord), hire a property management company to take care of maintenance. We live in a duplex.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Luckywon » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:59 pm

Cycle wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:45 pm

Homes are a ball and chain, when owned. Perhaps it's a good time to switch to renting if kids are done with school.
No kids in the picture but capital gains taxes and a reluctance to forego potentially a lifetime property tax break due to California Prop 13 make selling an unattractive option.

msk
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by msk » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:04 am

Travel when young! It costs less and is much more enjoyable than when you are older. Besides, your pleasant memories are with you for longer. They are useless once you are planted in your grave. Post retirement, you have less energy/enthusiasm and are continuously looking for excuses not to go hither or thiser. 23 hour flight to Tahiti? Bleh. Just because you can afford to lie on the beach at Bora Bora for months on end does not mean that you will also excuse that sand blowing into your sandwich. Do not wait. Just do it, now; at 45 it's much better than at 65. And at 25 it's much better/cheaper than at 45. At 85 just sit on the porch at home :beer All the talk above about health costs have little to do with health, but simply looking for an excuse, like the sand in the sandwich.

Pacific
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Pacific » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:38 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:05 am
capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:41 am
My wife and I was watching our favorite show, House Hunter International and came across an episode that intrigued us. It was about a retired couple that chose to live overseas for 4 months a year. They used this strategy so they can have a "home base" in the region and use it to travel to other countries nearby. They chose a no-frills housing rental that is close to a major airport. In this case, they rented an unit just outside of Bangkok, Thailand so it's cheaper but still allow access to the city. Couple mentioned a lot of benefits with this approach:
1) Live like a local in home base and be immersed in new culture
2) Regional flights to nearby countries are affordable (they went to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, etc)
3) Avoid long uncomfortable flights from US to Asia and minimize jet lag. Rest between trips in home base rental.
I told my wife that I am willing to do something like this when we are retired. We can have an adventure for a prolonged period but still come back to US where we have lots of family/friends. Only negatives I can think of paying for multiple housing (US, overseas, etc). Maybe rotate to a new continent every year. Start with Asia, then rent an Italian villa to explore year Europe the next year, then South America, etc.
Has anyone else thought or done something like this? Any other negatives with this approach?
No, not for me.

Yes - I see the benefits - for those who wish to do such travel.

I would be very concerned about healthcare - health/medical risks, costs, access.
Just rent a beautiful condo in Manila (Makati) by the month near St. Luke's Medical Center at Global City. Probably one of the best hospitals in the world. Or you could live on one of the resort islands (Boracay?) for a while. Flying out of Manila to anywhere in Asia is extremely affordable. You actually have a very interesting approach to this. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Pacific » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:42 am

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:53 am
I'm not retired (28) but I'm doing something similar this year. I'm taking a four month leave of absence from work and moving to New Zealand during that time.

Healthcare: I'll buy a catastrophic policy in the US. I always have an annual medical evacuation policy that will cover getting me home in an emergency. Visitors to NZ are covered by their accident compensation scheme. For any minor issues that arise, I'll just pay out of pocket for doctor appointments down there.

Housing: NZ isn't cheap but since I'm young and still willing to tolerate roommates this expense isn't meaningfully more than what I pay at home. I'm lucky with the timing in that my current lease is up right as I leave for NZ and I wanted out of this apartment complex anyways, so I'll just be moving my things into storage.

Visas: NZ offers any US citizen under 30 a one-year working holiday visa. I have enough money set aside that I don't need to work while down there but I'll have the option.
Can't wait to hear your impressions of the South Island and Queenstown, Milford Track, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, etc. :sharebeer

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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Pacific » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:46 am

renue74 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:51 pm
I think I had a similar question a few months ago.

I would love to have a home base in Lake Como for summers and then take the train to various locations.
+1000

Johnfmh
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Johnfmh » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:25 am

I have been looking into this idea but am about ten years away from retiring. I am only looking at EU countries because my spouse is a dual citizen of one of the Schengen Zone counties. For us, getting a short term residence visa is not a problem because of my spouse’s status, but taxation and bureaucracy are concerns.

Going for 90 days per year is the easiest route—no visas or taxes.

A stay of between 91 and 180 days will require a visa for me but not subject us to local taxes.

Longer than 180 days is a problem. Tax treaties dictate that US taxes get paid first and then one deducts taxes paid to the United States from your local country’s taxes. For some countries, that could mean owing little or no taxes but for others, it could mean owing a great deal. Differences in income tax rates, the treatment of long term capital gains and dividends, wealth taxes, different laws for money held in trust, and different estate tax rules could create problems.

Bureaucracy is another issue. It took most of a day and a long trip to a lawyer’s office to give a relative power of attorney over a banking account. Just opening a bank account with FACTA is a nightmare. I spent a full day trying to sell some stock certificates and failed. Driver’s licenses generally require one to take a local driver’s education class. Things are getting better over time but Europe is still the land of the stamp, seal, and apostille. There’s a reason why the Hotel de Ville is generally the biggest building in town. :)

flyingaway
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by flyingaway » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:55 am

Pacific wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:46 am
renue74 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:51 pm
I think I had a similar question a few months ago.

I would love to have a home base in Lake Como for summers and then take the train to various locations.
+1000
If money is not a problem, I could have more homes in good places.

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Watty
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by Watty » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:08 am

It sounds way too complicated and you are commiting to medicore place to live.

One big problem is that you would need to arrange for the rental while you are overseas and may not be able to see the place before you agree to rent it. You may also need to send them a large depost and it could be a scam. I know someone who was going to teach Engilish overseas right after she graduated from college. She found a place to live on the internet and had to send them two months rent and a security deposit in advance and it turned out to be a total scam and she lost her money.

I needed a place to stay in the US for a six week class and I was able to find a nice VRBO sutdio apartment where they gave me a great rate for a rental that long since they would not have any vacancies or have to deal with checking people in or out. I had to contact the owner and work out a deal since the long term rates do not show up on the VRBO internet. I checked on several apartments and some owners were much more open to giving a big discount for a long rental.

I would just try to find a series of month long rentals.

sfnerd
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by sfnerd » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:57 am

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:29 pm
sfnerd wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:23 pm
RetiredInTheWest wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:40 am
I think this sounds like a great idea!

FWIW we lived in Singapore as expats. So with regard to medical care, my two cents might be a bit different: if you can get to Singapore or Hong Kong and have health insurance, IMO the medical care in both places is of top quality and more affordable than the U.S. As Americans living overseas for the first time we worried about how healthcare would be in Singapore. We were shocked to end up with the impression that it was better. Given the choice, overall I'd still take healthcare there over here.
Definitely. I live in Thailand as an expat, and the healthcare is a lot better than the US. No appointments, just walk right into a state of the art, luxury hospital. They apologize if you have to wait a few minutes for the doctor! My doc was trained in the US.
Maybe the routine medical problems can be handled better in Singapore or Thailand. But how about the more serious things like cancers and heart problems?
Frankly speaking, in countries like Thailand, I don't think I need health insurance for routine medical problems. I will just pay out of the pocket. But for the serious problems, maybe U.S. insurance such as ACA is still needed, so that you could come back in case.
There are a lot of different options depending on your time in the country. My medical insurance coverage is global, including US. You can get a much cheaper plan that covers everywhere besides the US (but is ACA compatible). However this only works if you are either living abroad full time, or if you have free coverage in the US via Medicare or another private plan. It really depends on your situation, but in general the medical situation is better in SG and TH, so I wouldn't think it should be a blocker to living part time in these places.

However, if you have significant ongoing medical issues, living between any two places requires a lot of intelligent planning and research.

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lthenderson
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:23 am

capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:41 am
Has anyone else thought or done something like this? Any other negatives with this approach?
We built a house in an Asian country that we stay in whenever we are on that side of the globe. My foreign born brother-in-law lives there all year round with his family and we stay in the upstairs part whenever we visit. One big negative that I have experienced is that whenever I try to negotiate things in a foreign culture where my skin tone sticks out, it is automatically assumed I am rich and my price is three or four times what a local would pay. So for any kind of home maintenance, contractor, etc., I enlist my brother-in-law to do the negotiating to get fair local pricing. My advice would be to find a trusted local to mind the property and business affairs on your behalf.

There are lots of benefits though as you suggest. I like having a place to decompress after spending nearly 24 hours in airplanes to get there and I like having a place that is familiar to me while doing so. When stepping into a new culture for the first time and nothing is familiar, it can be stressful for quite awhile until you get used to things. I like having it as a home base to explore surround countries for that reason. I also like spending more time in one spot to totally immerse myself in a culture versus just bombing in for a couple weeks and then going back to the States.

As another poster mentioned above, different countries have different rules. I can only stay a maximum of six months as a U.S. Citizen but I can spend one day in a neighboring country and fly back for another six months without having to go back to the States. A lot of U.S. expats living there use this method for essentially permanent residence there.

TXJeff
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by TXJeff » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:26 am

capitalhockey wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:41 am
Has anyone else thought or done something like this? Any other negatives with this approach?
Retired a couple of years ago, and I do this—with a twist. I don’t simply go to places where I want to travel—I go to places where I can uniquely pursue “bucket list” interests. For example, based myself in Edinburgh, Scotland and not only travelled around the UK, but also took both bagpipe and curling lessons. (For accuracy—not bagpipe, but “practice chanter” lessons—instructors don’t let you get your hands on actual pipes for a while.) (And curling is that Olympic sport that looks like a combo of shuffleboard and sweeping the floor. Invented in Scotland.) Chanter lessons were in a class setting, and curling I learned by joining a league. Huge, huge benefit was getting immediately plugged into local enthusiastic and very social hobby groups. Had the time of my life!

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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by TexasPE » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:05 pm

I've found this magazine and website

https://www.intltravelnews.com/

to be indispensable for planning international traveling and longer-term stays. The magazine is not a glossy, coffee-table product [it is news print/ black and white], but full of traveler recommendations and cautions. Years ago I bought a lifetime subscription. A sample copy is free upon request.

A recent column provided many subscriber recommendations on handling 3+ month absences.
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by WhiteMaxima » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:32 pm

Ever considering exchange house when you living abroad. Vacant house attract break in. You also need consider visa requirement. Normally not to over stay 90 days. So three months approx.

renue74
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by renue74 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:34 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:55 am
Pacific wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:46 am
renue74 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:51 pm
I think I had a similar question a few months ago.

I would love to have a home base in Lake Como for summers and then take the train to various locations.
+1000
If money is not a problem, I could have more homes in good places.
We spent 3 weeks in Italy and Switzerland a few years ago. I'm only 45...so not really ready to retire....but I often day dream and Google long term rentals in Lake Como. During the shoulder months, affordable, small apartments can be had fairly cheaply....even with great views of the lake.

The train in Varenna is close by and one could be in most other parts of Europe with a few hours. Milan's airport and with cheap EasyJet prices, yo can fly to Paris for $57 USD. Munich, $69 USD.

Or you take the Bernina Express train from Tirano to Switzerland and enjoy tons of hiking, biking, etc.

It all can be done "fairly" cheaply.

TravelGeek
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:50 pm

TexasPE wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:05 pm
I've found this magazine and website

https://www.intltravelnews.com/

to be indispensable for planning international traveling and longer-term stays. The magazine is not a glossy, coffee-table product [it is news print/ black and white], but full of traveler recommendations and cautions. Years ago I bought a lifetime subscription. A sample copy is free upon request.

A recent column provided many subscriber recommendations on handling 3+ month absences.
Thank you for that link. Looks interesting; I ordered my sample.

InMyDreams
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by InMyDreams » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:03 pm

I met a man who was tending the parking lot at Wrangell-St Elias National Park/McCarthy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrangell% ... d_Preserve

I was already clued in that much of the help working with tourist are only in Alaska for the summer. I asked him where he was from -
he summered in Alaska, and then summered in New Zealand. What a life!

One way to reduce travel/living costs is to find a job in the foreign place. That job may be volunteering.

Good luck!

neilpilot
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Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Post by neilpilot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:23 pm

For the past few years we've found homeowners looking for someone to watch their home, usually including pets, while they were away. We've done this a dozen times, often for 2-3 weeks at a time. It's made for relatively inexpensive travel.

On the website we've used there are also listings for 1 or more months, but in our current situation we only apply for assignments up to 3 weeks. While the areas with the most listings are the US, UK and Australia, there are listings all over the globe.

This type of system would work fine for someone who wants to travel, so long as they are willing to stay in one place for the time they agree to watch the home. There's no reason why someone couldn't possibly put together a series of 2-4 homes in a region such as Asia, using this type of system. The homes are at no cost, and sometimes include housekeepers and/or gardeners. For several of the homes we've watched, the homeowner has even left a car for our use.

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