Retiring Abroad

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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wander
Posts: 3495
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by wander »

AlohaJoe wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:16 pm
houseofnine wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:19 pm Have you made any changes? Worried about health care? Contemplated returning to the U.S.?
No, I haven't made any changes. No, I'm not worried about health care but I'm an early retiree with no chronic conditions so your mileage may vary. No, I have no plans to ever live the US again.

I currently am living in Vietnam indefinitely but also have the ability to move to Australia and live there indefinitely.

If you're thinking about moving overseas just to save money....just move to rural Arkansas instead. You'll save nearly as much money.
Many retirees live in Vietnam but travel regularly back to US for free medicare.
MichDad
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:50 pm

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by MichDad »

sixtyforty wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:20 am
MichDad wrote: Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:01 pm
coffeeblack wrote: Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:59 pm

I've been thinking of doing something like you. Couple of questions.

1. Do you have to pay for your apartment all year or is it possible to find a good deal for a six month stay?
2. How long did your visa process take and how often do you have to renew?
1. Yes, we pay for our European apartment all year. The rent we pay there is a fraction of the rent we're getting on our house in the USA. The European apartment is new, spacious, beautiful, and very well located. I believe it would be possible to find a six month rental but we wouldn't be able to keep our things there when we're back in the USA. With our present arrangement, we don't need to bring a lot of things back and forth between the USA and Europe.
...

MichDad
So, how do you come back to your house in the US, when you have tenants living there ?
We live in our lovely basement apartment in our USA home.

MichDad
co_investor
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:19 pm

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by co_investor »

EverydayWallSt wrote: Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:21 pm We did this this year. Quit my job after 2019 bonuses were paid in February of 2020 and “FIRED” and moved with my family from a HCOL in the US to the beach in Portugal. Right before the world shut down for the virus. Happy to answer any questions if I can help.

It’s been a great experience so far, other than the obvious worldwide disaster. Feels selfish to pity ourselves an ounce, but it is hard/isolating to have all our friends and family members have to cancel their trips to visit, and well, it’s not exactly the European experience of traveling and drinking wine in squares we hoped for. But it’s stunningly beautiful, the people are terrific, we’re studying the language, I’m picking up surfing and paddle boarding, and we’re learning the food/wine in a socially distant manner etc. Life could be much worse and we recognize our luck / feel fortunate every day to have our health and to have made the move while we could still get a flight - we only got here with a week or so to spare!

To answer some questions, cost of living here is much cheaper than I’m used to. Wine is basically free. Private health insurance is less than 1/10 what I paid in the US (and that was after my old employer covered a lot of it). My health insurance covers us in Europe, of course, but also covers a month or two at a time when I visit the US (and I can pay a supplement if doing a longer trip to the States). It also includes 1mm euros of “best doctor” coverage if you want to fly to another country for a specialist that’s better than one available in Portugal. I’m now also eligible for free / nearly free state provided insurance, but haven’t looked into that yet and plan to keep my private insurance given the negligible cost. Property taxes are high the year you buy a house (roughly 5% all in) but then basically a couple hundred bucks a year annually from then on out. Haven’t been to a doctor yet (knock on wood) but took the dogs to the vet here, and care was excellent, in English, and roughly 10% of the cost I’m used to. Total monthly bill for two cell phones with a lot of high speed data, fiber internet at the house, a phone line (we don’t even have a landline but it was bundled) and cable TV with DVT (which we didn’t bother to have in the US) is about 65 Euro/month all in. Electricity is maybe 100-150 a month, and I use my HVAC a lot. On the other hand, gas is about $5/gallon right now (1.20-ish euro a liter) and cars are crazy expensive here (maybe 2x the cost in the US). Can’t win em all.

Let me know how I can be helpful.
Very informative post.
Sent you a PM.
WildCat48
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by WildCat48 »

We live half of the year in Malaysia and I enjoy it, the big thing being that my wife is from here so we have a pretty significant connection to the country.
JimMolony
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:45 pm

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by JimMolony »

EverydayWallSt wrote: Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:21 pm We did this this year. Quit my job after 2019 bonuses were paid in February of 2020 and “FIRED” and moved with my family from a HCOL in the US to the beach in Portugal. Right before the world shut down for the virus. Happy to answer any questions if I can help.

It’s been a great experience so far, other than the obvious worldwide disaster. Feels selfish to pity ourselves an ounce, but it is hard/isolating to have all our friends and family members have to cancel their trips to visit, and well, it’s not exactly the European experience of traveling and drinking wine in squares we hoped for. But it’s stunningly beautiful, the people are terrific, we’re studying the language, I’m picking up surfing and paddle boarding, and we’re learning the food/wine in a socially distant manner etc. Life could be much worse and we recognize our luck / feel fortunate every day to have our health and to have made the move while we could still get a flight - we only got here with a week or so to spare!

To answer some questions, cost of living here is much cheaper than I’m used to. Wine is basically free. Private health insurance is less than 1/10 what I paid in the US (and that was after my old employer covered a lot of it). My health insurance covers us in Europe, of course, but also covers a month or two at a time when I visit the US (and I can pay a supplement if doing a longer trip to the States). It also includes 1mm euros of “best doctor” coverage if you want to fly to another country for a specialist that’s better than one available in Portugal. I’m now also eligible for free / nearly free state provided insurance, but haven’t looked into that yet and plan to keep my private insurance given the negligible cost. Property taxes are high the year you buy a house (roughly 5% all in) but then basically a couple hundred bucks a year annually from then on out. Haven’t been to a doctor yet (knock on wood) but took the dogs to the vet here, and care was excellent, in English, and roughly 10% of the cost I’m used to. Total monthly bill for two cell phones with a lot of high speed data, fiber internet at the house, a phone line (we don’t even have a landline but it was bundled) and cable TV with DVT (which we didn’t bother to have in the US) is about 65 Euro/month all in. Electricity is maybe 100-150 a month, and I use my HVAC a lot. On the other hand, gas is about $5/gallon right now (1.20-ish euro a liter) and cars are crazy expensive here (maybe 2x the cost in the US). Can’t win em all.

Let me know how I can be helpful.
Details on health insurance plans in Europe? Website? Costs? I'm a duel US /Irish citizen since my dad was an immigrant, but we have not lived in Europe but plan to travel the continent staying here and there for a month or 6 weeks at a time. Medical coverage/care is holding me back and a big concern. Thanks for the help.
LeeMKE
Posts: 1997
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by LeeMKE »

Details on health insurance plans in Europe? Website? Costs? I'm a duel US /Irish citizen since my dad was an immigrant, but we have not lived in Europe but plan to travel the continent staying here and there for a month or 6 weeks at a time. Medical coverage/care is holding me back and a big concern. Thanks for the help.
I'm still nomadic and buy global health insurance from a broker. There are many. Happily, coverage is excellent and less expensive than in the US. Once settled as an expat, local coverage may be even more affordable. However, many expats choose to continue using global health insurance.

www.internationalinsurance.com I use this broker because they have a good selection of companies and policies. There are others as well that are reputable.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.
EverydayWallSt
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:29 pm

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by EverydayWallSt »

JimMolony wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:25 pm
Details on health insurance plans in Europe? Website? Costs? I'm a duel US /Irish citizen since my dad was an immigrant, but we have not lived in Europe but plan to travel the continent staying here and there for a month or 6 weeks at a time. Medical coverage/care is holding me back and a big concern. Thanks for the help.
A few people have messaged me asking about insurance. I signed up for AFPOP (an association for expats in Portugal) - think it’s around 65 euros a year for me and my wife. It gives discounts on insurance (health, homeowners, auto, etc.) through a partnership with Medal/Allianz. AFPOP also have events, helps with dealing with local bureaucracy (they’ll help you call the tax office example) etc. Here’s my insurance company - https://www.medal.pt/en/health-insurance - I pay about 2.400 euros a year for their best plan for my family of 3. My private insurance in the US was literally 10x that, though I realize some might have better deals than I did. Was required to have private insurance while applying for my residency visa. Once I gained residency, I became eligible for public insurance too, but I’ll keep paying for the private insurance anyway just in case.

Someone else asked about mobile phone service. I have Meo, which is one of the larger carriers here, for cells/cable/internet. Vodafone is also big here and more widely known.
JimMolony
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:45 pm

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by JimMolony »

Very helpful. Thank you.
hunoraut
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 11:39 am

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by hunoraut »

AlohaJoe wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:48 am
EverydayWallSt wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:05 am I’ve been told by a neighbor who’s lived in the US that you can drive on a Portuguese license
This may be true but may also not be true. It depends on where you live.

The Federal government doesn't regulate driving in America. So it is up to each and every state to individually decide what they do and don't accept. The joys of "federalism". You need to research the law in every state you plan on driving in. For example: in Montana you have to had an IDP, no matter what. In Massachusetts you don't need an IDP as long as the license has English on it (my Vietnamese driver's license has English & Vietnamese on it) or you have an official translation. And California doesn't even require it to be in English or have an official translation, from I can tell.

And if you try to rent a car there might be additional restrictions (like requiring an IDP even if the state doesn't).
The IDP of course being somewhat of a misnomer. It is not in itself a license or permit, but rather a translation of a recognized license (to the party of the convention).

The bit about the US states is correct, and the same goes for the european states vs US-issued licenses. A generalization is that visitors can drive on their foreign license for a limited period of time. Which is how millions tourists and visitors rent cars abroad. I swapped my US license for an EU one, and rent car and drive all across the US against it no problem in my visits.
JohnFiscal
Posts: 852
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:28 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by JohnFiscal »

3504PIR wrote: Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:19 pm
JohnFiscal wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:04 pm Personally, my wife and I have long considered moving back to her home of Canada from the US. She has Canadian citizen (as well as US), I do not. I've been retired for 2 years and there's nothing keeping us here in Florida, we moved here only for my job transfer. I would be very happy to move. Finding a suitable place in the US or Canada is the problem...but if we wait too long then there won't be any point in moving.

I think it surely must help to have familiarity with whatever ex-US country you want to move to. Fortunately, we have great familiarity with Canada and their systems. And there is the Canadian Bogleheads forum.
...
This is a light hearted comment, but there isn’t “nothing” keeping you in Florida. If “nothing” was keeping you in Florida you would have left or would be in the active process of moving to Canada. There are interesting reasons for a move you suggest, but at least three major ones you won’t.
I wonder what these "three major reasons" are that I won't move from Florida?

Now, one of my own answers actually answers nicely the remark that "otherwise" I'd be in the active process of moving.

I would answer that what keeps me (us) here in Florida are
1 - inertia (as from physics, this is what would keep us here even in the event that no outside forces were acting on us, compelling motion)
2 - indolence (I am able to be quite active in some areas, whereas in some other areas I would rather not have to be bothered to exert any labor)

I can't really think of much else. Perhaps "fear of the unknown"? That seems to fall under both of the above, it's not that unknown and there are many of wife's family there anyway, so it's not like Canada is uninhabitable territory. So it would seem to be more "oh, geez, I have to do all this work to get new doctors, new banks, set up auto-payments again, good golly"
JohnFiscal
Posts: 852
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:28 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Retiring Abroad

Post by JohnFiscal »

Update: my application for Canadian permanent residence was received by IRCC (Canada) on August 31, 2020. The waiting game is afoot.

JohnFiscal wrote: Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:51 am
3504PIR wrote: Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:19 pm
JohnFiscal wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:04 pm Personally, my wife and I have long considered moving back to her home of Canada from the US. She has Canadian citizen (as well as US), I do not. I've been retired for 2 years and there's nothing keeping us here in Florida, we moved here only for my job transfer. I would be very happy to move. Finding a suitable place in the US or Canada is the problem...but if we wait too long then there won't be any point in moving.

I think it surely must help to have familiarity with whatever ex-US country you want to move to. Fortunately, we have great familiarity with Canada and their systems. And there is the Canadian Bogleheads forum.
...
This is a light hearted comment, but there isn’t “nothing” keeping you in Florida. If “nothing” was keeping you in Florida you would have left or would be in the active process of moving to Canada. There are interesting reasons for a move you suggest, but at least three major ones you won’t.
I wonder what these "three major reasons" are that I won't move from Florida?

Now, one of my own answers actually answers nicely the remark that "otherwise" I'd be in the active process of moving.

I would answer that what keeps me (us) here in Florida are
1 - inertia (as from physics, this is what would keep us here even in the event that no outside forces were acting on us, compelling motion)
2 - indolence (I am able to be quite active in some areas, whereas in some other areas I would rather not have to be bothered to exert any labor)

I can't really think of much else. Perhaps "fear of the unknown"? That seems to fall under both of the above, it's not that unknown and there are many of wife's family there anyway, so it's not like Canada is uninhabitable territory. So it would seem to be more "oh, geez, I have to do all this work to get new doctors, new banks, set up auto-payments again, good golly"
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