Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

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Gambler
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Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Gambler » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:24 pm

http://www.nextavenue.org/slideshow/8-c ... nt/#slide1

$200k + social security will last 30yrs in:

1) Ecuador -> Monthly expenses for a couple including rent $1500
2) Nicaragua -> $1200/month expenses
3) Thailand -> $1750/month
4) Beliza -> $1500/month
5) Panama -> $2550/month

6) Costa Rica -> $1900/month

7) Malaysia -> $1550/month
8) Spain -> $2300/month

So whats the downside of each country (besides having to be able to speak Spanish in most of them)?

i'm thinking costa rica myself (after taking an immersion spanish class)
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radiowave
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by radiowave » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:27 pm

Belize is an English speaking country, on the Caribbean, not too much to dislike other than lack of US level healthcare facilities.
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drawpoker
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:12 pm

Understand most of the list, but why was Mexico dropped?
Mexico and Costa Rica used to boast the very largest colonies of American ex-pats due to low cost of living.

livesoft
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by livesoft » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:14 pm

One could move to southern Texas and probably live cheaper than in Central America.
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:17 pm

I would think the downsides are culture shock and being so far from your family and friends. Otherwise, Costa Rica sounds like paradise. Spain is also tempting, although I'm curious as to exactly where in Spain they have you living to get that $2200/month number. Certainly not in Barcelona or anyplace like that.

Runner01
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Runner01 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:19 pm

South Central Pennsylvania. No state income tax on SS or deferred investment account withdrawals. No state sales tax on groceries or clothing and there is plenty of cheap housing.
Last edited by Runner01 on Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

drawpoker
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:21 pm

PA? Cost like Heck to heat your house in the winter

Runner01
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Runner01 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:22 pm

drawpoker wrote:PA? Cost like Heck to heat your house in the winter
$100 per month with electric resistance baseboard. I am not elderly though so my level of comfort may be at a lower temperature than others (68 F).

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:23 pm

Runner01 wrote:...... No state income tax on groceries or clothing and there is plenty of cheap housing.
No income tax on groceries? Whew, glad to know. but didn't you mean sales tax
There is no sales tax on ANYTHING in Delaware, btw. LOts of folks retire there too

Runner01
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Runner01 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:24 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Runner01 wrote:...... No state income tax on groceries or clothing and there is plenty of cheap housing.
No income tax on groceries? Whew, glad to know. but didn't you mean sales tax
There is no sales tax on ANYTHING in Delaware, btw. LOts of folks retire there too

Thanks for the correction, that is what I meant but obviously didn't type. We vacation in Delaware and love the state but I am biased because I am from PA. Our lottery proceeds "benefit older Pennsylvanians" so there may be additional services for seniors (I only know of the $500 per year rent/mortgage rebate for low income seniors).

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:29 pm

Doctors are prohibited in Pennsylvania by state law from doing balance billing for Medicare patients. Lots of folks around here go to the Commonwealth for their surgeries and oncology case care for that reason. Another plus for PA, altho I have never heard it cited as a good reason to retire there.

Dontridetheindexdown
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Dontridetheindexdown » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:31 pm

There are many areas in the United States where "$200k + social security" will last forever, without the political and social risks endemic to the rest of the world. In addition, within the United States, you will be covered by Medicare after you reach age 65. Note well: Medicare does not cover you outside the United States.

You can own, or rent, a safe, modest residence in many small cities, towns, or rural areas of the United States for a few hundred dollars a month, and live a far safer, healthier, and more satisfying life than even the wealthiest people in less developed countries (including southern Europe).

I had a military career, and I can assure you that much of what we take for granted in the United States (potable water, honest law enforcement, transparent taxation at local, state, and federal levels) just does not exist in much of the world, no matter how wealthy you are.

Whatever your cultural, social, or leisure interests may be, I submit that people with modest expectations can satisfy them more efficiently and effectively within the United States than anywhere else in the world.

That would include oceanfront living in hundreds of locations along the Gulf Coast, or lakefront living in rural locations in every state. It would also include living in or near college towns (Hattiesburg, MS comes to mind) for sports, culture and academic pursuits.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:38 pm

True, Medicare isn't an option outside the U.S. but that is why Forbes and others put Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, etc on these lists. Americans are eligible to purchase the low-cost, nationalized health insurance available to these countries' citizens.

PVW
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by PVW » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:11 pm

Gambler wrote:http://www.nextavenue.org/slideshow/8-c ... nt/#slide1

$200k + social security will last 30yrs in:

1) Ecuador -> Monthly expenses for a couple including rent $1500
2) Nicaragua -> $1200/month expenses
3) Thailand -> $1750/month
4) Beliza -> $1500/month
5) Panama -> $2550/month

6) Costa Rica -> $1900/month

7) Malaysia -> $1550/month
8) Spain -> $2300/month

So whats the downside of each country (besides having to be able to speak Spanish in most of them)?

i'm thinking costa rica myself (after taking an immersion spanish class)
Interesting thought experiment, but if you are serious I would expand your options. The Investopedia story behind the list gives the average SS income as $1341 per month. Along with a 3% SWR on $200K, that gets you about $22K per year in income.

You can find quite a few countries where the average household income is below this amount. So that might make your 1st cut of possible countries. Then you can start removing countries based on necessities like healthcare and crime. Then look at preferences like weather, ease of travel, entertainment, etc.

Here is a decent place to start, though it seems to focus more on European and European influenced locations.
http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/#

As mentioned, you can survive in the US on $22K per year - it's about twice the poverty limit for a single person household. But it is only about half the average household income, so you might not be willing to live that far below the average.

Gooseadoose
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Gooseadoose » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:47 pm

Downside? None of them start with A and end with Merica. If you wanted to retire to another country why not just move there now?

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TimeRunner
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by TimeRunner » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:27 pm

Maybe check out http://expat.com ?
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randomguy
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by randomguy » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:06 pm

Dontridetheindexdown wrote:There are many areas in the United States where "$200k + social security" will last forever, without the political and social risks endemic to the rest of the world. In addition, within the United States, you will be covered by Medicare after you reach age 65. Note well: Medicare does not cover you outside the United States.
heck who needs 200k. The 75k+/yr that me and my wife should be getting at 70 is more than enough to live on just about anywhere in the US. Living on just my half would be pretty doable in most of the US also.


What they need to publish is what the US equivalents to these numbers are. If you can live for 2k/month in some place in florida, is living in thailand for 1700 cheap enough to make a difference? At some point sure. And obviously they need to define the quality of living. I am thinking a beach front cabin in costa rica sounds nice. But I am guessing I am probably 25 miles form the beach in the photo for 1900/month:)

If I was retiring overseas, my first though would be how often do I expect to see my family. 2nd is what happens when I am like 80 or so. It is one thing to be in one of those countries when you are a pretty spry senior. Not sure how it works when aging really begins to limit you.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by whodidntante » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:14 pm

livesoft wrote:One could move to southern Texas and probably live cheaper than in Central America.
True. I know people who do not identify as retired, but they just never got their motor running. It's stunning how cheap you can live without ambition.

madbrain
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by madbrain » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:24 pm

This is just click bait. Completely void of details. Useless.

200k wouldn't last us more than 3 years most likely in the US and that is really a best case scenario. This is primarily due to healthcare issues. The medical expenses over 30 years before insurance add up to $1.8 million in prescriptions alone. We better find insurers or governments willing to subsidize your healthcare somehow, or move to a place that doesn't respect IP patent laws. Those are becoming fewer and fewer with trade deals like the TPP.

If any details were provided, I believe you would find that medical costs are likely not accounted for, or assumptions are made about government subsidies, or eligibility for cheap private insurance, or paying out of pocket, and about minimal healthcare costs that are very unlikely to remain true over a 30 year period.

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warowits
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by warowits » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:29 pm

Much as I like to pretend I will be living on a beach in the Caribbean, the USA is still my favorite country for retirement. If you live the same lifestyle in Belize as you do in seattle, it will cost about the same. It's cheaper to live those places because their standard of living is lower.

You want to live cheap in the states? Much of Idaho has a per capita income of less than 20k a year.

TravelGeek
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:33 pm

Dontridetheindexdown wrote:There are many areas in the United States where "$200k + social security" will last forever, without the political and social risks endemic to the rest of the world.
How many retirees in the US are starting out with 200k (or more) when they retire? My guess is there are many, many with less.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by lawman3966 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:41 pm

The title appears to assume that SS + $200K is a paltry sum and thus seeks out places where one can live on only that.

I have met several people who live in the U.S. on SS (that term by itself incorporating a pretty wide range of incomes) without any capital in addition to their SS income. That said, SS can range from a low of about $800/month to a high of about $3,000/month.

With a high level of SS income and $200K, it's possible that nearly every country in the world has some region within it that would be affordable, even if not luxurious.

heyyou
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by heyyou » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:36 pm

One way to find decent weather is to look for where altitude helps latitude for steady cooler weather than sea level in the same country. The high country in Thailand, Mexico, and Panama are some of them.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by William4u » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:59 am

radiowave wrote:Belize is an English speaking country, on the Caribbean, not too much to dislike other than lack of US level healthcare facilities.
I would not live in Belize, which is one of the most violent countries in the world according to a number of measures...
https://www.google.com/search?q=Beliza& ... crime+rate

Nicaragua and Costa Rica are much safer. I prefer Nicaragua, which is safe (read this Economist article on how it is one of the safest around... http://www.economist.com/node/21543492 ) and beautiful and cheap. Plus, Nicaragua is not full of tourists and expats. People really welcome Americans in Nicaragua, in part because tourism is still relatively rare there (except in Granada, Ometepe, and some surfing spots). Costa Rica, while also safe and beautiful, is full of tourists and the locals are a bit sick of them (although the locals know they rely on the tourism money, they resent that just a bit). And Costa Rica is much more expensive.

I'd try Nicaragua. You can always take a bus or cheap local flight to Costa Rica if you want...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Nicaragua

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by basspond » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:20 am

I know some relatives that live in rural southern US. Started with a little more than that and a government pension. 20+ years later they are still living comfortably, taken trips when they were younger, had major medical issues, and portfolio still has grown significantly.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by BolderBoy » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:49 am

drawpoker wrote:Doctors are prohibited in Pennsylvania by state law from doing balance billing for Medicare patients. Lots of folks around here go to the Commonwealth for their surgeries and oncology case care for that reason. Another plus for PA, altho I have never heard it cited as a good reason to retire there.
? Does this mean that Medicare patients in PA don't need to have Supplements (F, G, etc)? And won't be billed the 20%?
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by freebeer » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:20 am

warowits wrote:Much as I like to pretend I will be living on a beach in the Caribbean, the USA is still my favorite country for retirement. If you live the same lifestyle in Belize as you do in seattle, it will cost about the same. It's cheaper to live those places because their standard of living is lower...
As someone who's visited every country on OP's list except Panama I think this is very misleading.

Sure if you want to consume precisely the same goods as you do at home and these goods consist of packaged / imported food items, meals out at national-brand chain restaurants, and buying lots of electronic gadgets then these things will cost about the same, or even more.

However, anything you buy that is based on labor and/or locally-source ingredients in season is going to be drastically cheaper in most of these countries.

Avocados cost $2 each in Seattle right now. Home cleaners and gardeners want $30/hour. Car repair shops want $100/hour for labor. A meal out in a neighborhood restaurant is going to be $50+. A 90-minute therapeutic massage is $120. These things are all going to be much much cheaper in the listed countries.

You don't have to live a lower standard of living to live more cheaply in these countries, you can have an objectively higher standard of living (more fresh food, more help around the house, etc.). I'm not saying it's for everyone - and I don't think it's necessarily for me - but if I were strapped for funds it would certainly be something I would strongly consider.

Healthcare is a wild card. Of the countries listed I would be most comfortable with Thailand, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Spain, and probably Panama in that order as being able to get US-level care for major medical issues (and, at much lower cost). Ecuador, Belize, Nicaragua... I would plan to come back to US or go elesewhere for major stuff.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:57 am

Runner01 wrote:South Central Pennsylvania. No state income tax on SS or deferred investment account withdrawals. No state sales tax on groceries or clothing and there is plenty of cheap housing.
But, one of the very few states that charge an inheritance tax.

rgs92
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by rgs92 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:13 pm

Zillow says nice 4 bedroom houses in Harrisburg are around $600,000. It's not outrageous, but it's not exactly cheap. Why is SC PA. considered so inexpensive? There is a nice 3BR/3BA condo there, but it's $695,000: 1500 N 6th St APT 511,
Harrisburg, PA 17102. NYC it is not, but it's not a cheap place it seems to me.
[edit : The Zestimate on the condo is $425K, so that's confusing to me, but I never understand those estimates either...]

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:31 pm

I wonder what methodology they are using in this. I mean, I don't think you can live in Costa Rica for $1900 a month living at US standards. Does this include eating out? Most people like to eat out at least once in a while. What kind of accommodations? How close to a place that has things to do (sports, cultural, etc.)?

Runner01
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Runner01 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:39 pm

rgs92 wrote:Zillow says nice 4 bedroom houses in Harrisburg are around $600,000. It's not outrageous, but it's not exactly cheap. Why is SC PA. considered so inexpensive? There is a nice 3BR/3BA condo there, but it's $695,000: 1500 N 6th St APT 511,
Harrisburg, PA 17102. NYC it is not, but it's not a cheap place it seems to me.
[edit : The Zestimate on the condo is $425K, so that's confusing to me, but I never understand those estimates either...]
It's expensive because you are looking in Harrisburg. Go 45 minutes south to York County and you can buy a 4,000 sq ft all brick luxury home for $600k. Nice single floor condos (more like semi detached) can be had for $100-120k. There are cheaper locales in PA but in the York/Lancaster area you are a short drive from many many things to see and do.

My response was somewhat facetious and more just challenging the idea that one has to leave the U.S. to live a good lifestyle with "only" $200k in retirement savings and SS.

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Watty
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Watty » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:27 pm

You would need to research each country but getting a retirement visa likely has income restrictions and you may need to transfer money into the country to qualify.

You would also need to be concerned that the exchange rate might change. The dollar is relatively strong now but if it weakens then your Social Security check might not go as far.
basspond wrote:I know some relatives that live in rural southern US. Started with a little more than that and a government pension. 20+ years later they are still living comfortably, taken trips when they were younger, had major medical issues, and portfolio still has grown significantly.
+1

You don't even need to live in truly rural areas either. Here is Georgia there are many smaller cities and large towns where you could buy a very modest but adequate small house for less than $100K and live a comfortable but basic lifestyle.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:25 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
drawpoker wrote:Doctors are prohibited in Pennsylvania by state law from doing balance billing for Medicare patients. Lots of folks around here go to the Commonwealth for their surgeries and oncology case care for that reason. Another plus for PA, altho I have never heard it cited as a good reason to retire there.
? Does this mean that Medicare patients in PA don't need to have Supplements (F, G, etc)? And won't be billed the 20%?
You are confusing the 20% that Medicare doesn't cover under Part B coverage (doctors mostly).
Balance billing refers to the 15% that some providers who accept Medicare but decline Medicare assignment can charge.
So, no, Medicare folks in PA still need Supplements F, G etc. if they want to be fully covered for OOP.

New York state does not prohibit balance billing but that state's law limits it to no more than 5% (over and above the already-understood 20% for Part B services)

It is confusing for folks new to Medicare as they wrongly assume if a doctor says, yes, we take Medicare, that means they accept assignment. There are 2 kinds of Medicare participating providers - those that accept assignment (no balance billing of the extra 15%) and those who don't. So, unless you live in PA or NY, better ask first if you don't like unpleasant surprises and you aren't carrying C, F or G Medigap.

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JoMoney
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by JoMoney » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:37 pm

As others stated, there are very affordable places to live even within the U.S. especially if you're willing to live away from the coast or major cities.
People can (and do) live in the U.S. on social security alone.
Something to consider:
https://www.thestreet.com/slideshow/135 ... style.html
... Although retirement abroad can be a great money saving tactic, it's also an enormous lifestyle decision. The world is littered with what Prescher called "economic refugees," expats stuck in a foreign land not because they want to be there but because they can't afford to go home. Don't let that happen to you; if you go, do so for the adventure and the thrill of new cultures. ...
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:55 pm

JoMoney wrote:......
People can (and do) live in the U.S. on social security alone.
. ...
Not so sure if I would call that "living".
More like just "existing"
Even if drawing the max on old age benefits - there is still insurance premiums to be paid, property taxes, maintenance and upkeep. The house, the car, your health. Something is always breaking down sooner or later.
Perhaps these people living on social security alone are also living in tiny apartments? Taking public transportation everywhere? Still covered under a generous retiree health package from a former employer? Never taking vacations or trips abroad?

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JoMoney
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by JoMoney » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:07 pm

drawpoker wrote:
JoMoney wrote:......
People can (and do) live in the U.S. on social security alone.
. ...
Not so sure if I would call that "living".
More like just "existing"
Even if drawing the max on old age benefits - there is still insurance premiums to be paid, property taxes, maintenance and upkeep. The house, the car, your health. Something is always breaking down sooner or later.
Perhaps these people living on social security alone are also living in tiny apartments? Taking public transportation everywhere? Still covered under a generous retiree health package from a former employer? Never taking vacations or trips abroad?
Perhaps, but there are plenty of working class people who spend most of their life without taking trips abroad, using public transportation, only health care is what's provided by the government (or none at all). Sometimes people on here seem to have a "let them eat cake" mentality.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

TravelGeek
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:20 pm

random Google search:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pe ... e-2016.asp

"The average sixty something has an estimated median of $172,000 in the bank."

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warowits
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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by warowits » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:37 pm

freebeer wrote:
warowits wrote:Much as I like to pretend I will be living on a beach in the Caribbean, the USA is still my favorite country for retirement. If you live the same lifestyle in Belize as you do in seattle, it will cost about the same. It's cheaper to live those places because their standard of living is lower...
As someone who's visited every country on OP's list except Panama I think this is very misleading.

Sure if you want to consume precisely the same goods as you do at home and these goods consist of packaged / imported food items, meals out at national-brand chain restaurants, and buying lots of electronic gadgets then these things will cost about the same, or even more.

However, anything you buy that is based on labor and/or locally-source ingredients in season is going to be drastically cheaper in most of these countries.
I think you are making my point for me. My Gardner/house keeper/Mechanic budget in in the USA is $0, so you aren't going to find any savings there by moving. Really the only thing Belize has at great prices that I really want is tropical beachfront property.

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by chrisam314 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:17 pm

Gambler wrote:http://www.nextavenue.org/slideshow/8-c ... nt/#slide1

$200k + social security will last 30yrs in:

1) Ecuador -> Monthly expenses for a couple including rent $1500
2) Nicaragua -> $1200/month expenses
3) Thailand -> $1750/month
4) Beliza -> $1500/month
5) Panama -> $2550/month

6) Costa Rica -> $1900/month

7) Malaysia -> $1550/month
8) Spain -> $2300/month

So whats the downside of each country (besides having to be able to speak Spanish in most of them)?

i'm thinking costa rica myself (after taking an immersion spanish class)
Have you been to CR before? I've been twice(and to Spain once) and here are my downsides:

1) Daily Life/Culture - Simple things like driving are much different.
1b) Infrastructure in CR is not very good.
2) Digestive system- on that budget, hello pinto gallo, and adios about everything else...
2b) Hungry in Spain before 9pm? Hopefully you can find a McDonalds.
3) Hopefully the Spanish immersion class is a Costa Rican Spanish class if thats where you want to live.
4) I don't buy the prices you listed. Maybe to live in a dump in each country, but I did not find Spain or CR to be "cheap". Maybe renting there is dirt cheap in undesirable locations, as it is in the US. Tapas is some regions is cheap and others were above what I would pay for a normal meal.
5) Safety - US rule of law

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Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Dimitri » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:49 pm

If you don't have a mortgage or rent it isn't too difficult for a couple to live in America on under $20,000.

Our expenses last year (rounded):

Food - $3,300
Rx - $1,000
Clothing - $300
Gasoline - $1,300
Car Maint - $200
Gifts - $500
Landline phone - $200
Electric - $700
Nat Gas - $400
Internet - $300
HOA - $3,900
Car Registation & Ins - $1,800
Prop Tax - $1,200
Home Ins - $300
Home Repairs - $2,900

Right around $18,300.

And this is accounting for unexpected home repairs - new water heater, garage door spring and hot water circulator. Take those out and we are taking $15,400. That is less than poverty level of $16,020 for two people - https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines
Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun.

freebeer
Posts: 2009
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by freebeer » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:27 pm

warowits wrote:
freebeer wrote:
warowits wrote:Much as I like to pretend I will be living on a beach in the Caribbean, the USA is still my favorite country for retirement. If you live the same lifestyle in Belize as you do in seattle, it will cost about the same. It's cheaper to live those places because their standard of living is lower...
As someone who's visited every country on OP's list except Panama I think this is very misleading.

Sure if you want to consume precisely the same goods as you do at home and these goods consist of packaged / imported food items, meals out at national-brand chain restaurants, and buying lots of electronic gadgets then these things will cost about the same, or even more.

However, anything you buy that is based on labor and/or locally-source ingredients in season is going to be drastically cheaper in most of these countries.
I think you are making my point for me. My Gardner/house keeper/Mechanic budget in in the USA is $0, so you aren't going to find any savings there by moving. Really the only thing Belize has at great prices that I really want is tropical beachfront property.
Uh, I think you are making my point for me. So you are spending your time doing your own gardening, housecleaning, and car repair ... but you think if you move somewhere where you can have these things done for you cheaply your standard of living will somehow be lower?? Also, don't forget the cheap avocados... :D

lynneny
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:23 pm

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by lynneny » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:02 am

I worked in Europe and Latin America for a long time, and will probably retire somewhere in Latin America in a few years. For me, the combination of living well on less money, and enjoying warm, sunny weather year-round is appealing (I hate winter). I also find it comforting that, in a place I might grow old in, I'll be able to afford as much household help and other help as I need.

Having said that, people who retire to foreign countries purely to live more cheaply tend not to be the happiest retirees. It really helps to have a genuine interest in other cultures and making new friends, and a willingness to learn another language. It's not for everyone.

It's a good idea (and fun!) to spend vacation time exploring countries you might want to live in. There are also lots of blogs and books written by expats that you can learn a lot from (for Mexico, for instance, I recommend Barry Golson's "Gringos in Paradise"). And if you do make the move, and decide after a year or two that it's not the right place, you can try a different country, or return to the U.S. It's not like they confiscate your passport. I know a number of people who have retired abroad and lived in several countries before they found the one that was the right fit for them.

naha66
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by naha66 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:29 am

I'm surprised the Philippines didn't make the list. English is also widely spoken here. I have a 2 bedroom apt,along with all utilities (elect,cable,internet and water for about $375. We have one big and one small mall less than a 10 minute walk. We even have a TGIF, 2 Starbucks,Seattle Best, and other american food. There is a lot of Japanese , Korean and other Asian restaurants .We have 8 movie screens with new US movies. I use to live in one of those LCOL area in the midwest or the south. Its no fun living in rural parts of anywhere. I walk to to the fresh food market 3 or 4 times a week. My hobbies are billiards and golf. I can play golf here for a lot cheaper here, granted the courses aren't as good as US courses. The course I play the most is the one i learned on 51 years ago. Best of all it never snows here. :sharebeer

nova1968
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 12:00 pm

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by nova1968 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:13 pm

I have been to all the countries posted except Ecuador. Nicaragua would be the most economical, its what Costa Rica was 20 years ago. Costa Rica is saturated with Ex Pats and has gotten expensive. If you like Asia I would consider Thailand or the Philippines. The Philippines is affordable and they speak English, Thailand has better looking Women in my opinion. Malaysia is nice but not a place for a non law abiding citizen. Getting arrested for DUI, Vandalism or smoking weed can result in severe consequences. On a positive note Malaysia has very little crime, Go figure.
Services in these countries are very cheap, Haircuts, Massages etc but automobiles, or luxury clothing items can be expensive, for example a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt that goes for $50 in the States can go for $150 in Panama.

drawpoker
Posts: 2809
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:33 pm
Location: Delmarva

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by drawpoker » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:34 pm

Dimitri wrote:......Our expenses last year (rounded):

Food - $3,300
Rx - $1,000
Clothing - $300
Gasoline - $1,300
Car Maint - $200
Gifts - $500
Landline phone - $200
Electric - $700
Nat Gas - $400
Internet - $300
HOA - $3,900
Car Registation & Ins - $1,800
Prop Tax - $1,200
Home Ins - $300
Home Repairs - $2,900

Right around $18,300.
This is a rather puzzling list.
First thing that jumps out - you didn't list anything for health insurance. Just prescription drugs. No Medicare premiums, or supplemental? No co-pays for doctor visits are listed either. This suggests you (& spouse) are covered under a very broad and generous retiree health package. Or, you are going without insurance.
What you put down for food works out to less than $32 per week per person. That's pretty bare, even if you are shopping at a co-op or Big Box with lower prices. And, of course, it pretty much precludes any restaurant meals unless you count fast food as restaurant dining.
Most puzzling of all is your housing.
If you are paying $325 a month in HOA dues -- not some crummy development but clearly a more affluent area. Yet you list only $1,200 a year in total property taxes? If that is the case, surely you must be covered under some generous state or local tax credit program? Monthly HOA dues that high just don't jibe otherwise.
$300 a year for homeowner's insurance? Is that a typo? Even with auto alarms, sprinklers, non-smoking, and every other conceivable discount, a premium that low (unless it is also subsidized?) suggests a dwelling with a replacement value of way less than $100,000. Unless you have taken out some very very high deductible?
I just can't make much of it jibe.
Care to elaborate?

P.S. Didn't you also leave "air travel" off your list? You know, that plane trip you took from Las Vegas to Denver last year? :wink: :wink:

Dimitri
Posts: 427
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 10:51 pm

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Dimitri » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:43 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Dimitri wrote:......Our expenses last year (rounded):

Food - $3,300
Rx - $1,000
Clothing - $300
Gasoline - $1,300
Car Maint - $200
Gifts - $500
Landline phone - $200
Electric - $700
Nat Gas - $400
Internet - $300
HOA - $3,900
Car Registation & Ins - $1,800
Prop Tax - $1,200
Home Ins - $300
Home Repairs - $2,900

Right around $18,300.
This is a rather puzzling list.
First thing that jumps out - you didn't list anything for health insurance. Just prescription drugs. No Medicare premiums, or supplemental? No co-pays for doctor visits are listed either. This suggests you (& spouse) are covered under a very broad and generous retiree health package. Or, you are going without insurance.
What you put down for food works out to less than $32 per week per person. That's pretty bare, even if you are shopping at a co-op or Big Box with lower prices. And, of course, it pretty much precludes any restaurant meals unless you count fast food as restaurant dining.
Most puzzling of all is your housing.
If you are paying $325 a month in HOA dues -- not some crummy development but clearly a more affluent area. Yet you list only $1,200 a year in total property taxes? If that is the case, surely you must be covered under some generous state or local tax credit program? Monthly HOA dues that high just don't jibe otherwise.
$300 a year for homeowner's insurance? Is that a typo? Even with auto alarms, sprinklers, non-smoking, and every other conceivable discount, a premium that low (unless it is also subsidized?) suggests a dwelling with a replacement value of way less than $100,000. Unless you have taken out some very very high deductible?
I just can't make much of it jibe.
Care to elaborate?

P.S. Didn't you also leave "air travel" off your list? You know, that plane trip you took from Las Vegas to Denver last year? :wink: :wink:
I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Health Insurance - I'm not retired. As such, this just represents out of pocket costs for an employer paid health plan (I lumped all medical expenses together - not just pharma). Not knowing anything about Medicare I can't really say what a retiree's medical expenses would be and probably should have omitted this category.

Food - I like a bargain. Here in Las Vegas we have a plethora of grocery stores - both typical ones like Vons and Albertsons as well as some more ethnic ones like 168 Market and Cardenas. There is a lot of competition. To a degree it is a game to get a good price - for example this week Cardenas has onions on sale - 7# for 99c http://weeklyads.cardenasmarkets.com/en ... s-vegas-27. But you are right, we rarely eat out and when we do it is likely a casino buffet or fast food.

Housing - I receive no subsidy on my taxes. The numbers I show are not atypical for condos out here. For example:
$156,000 asking price - $268 HOA - $1,058 taxes - https://www.lasvegascondomania.com/info ... ls=1530295
$189,000 asking price - $265 HOA - $1,058 taxes - http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/La ... ?3col=true

Insurance - Not a typo. It is a HO-6 condo policy written by Safeco. $1,000 deductible. Actual price is $314/yr - I rounded down.

Las Vegas can be affordable. And of course there is no state income tax.
Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun.

Spirit Rider
Posts: 12252
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Spirit Rider » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:58 pm

drawpoker wrote:Most puzzling of all is your housing.
If you are paying $325 a month in HOA dues -- not some crummy development but clearly a more affluent area. Yet you list only $1,200 a year in total property taxes? If that is the case, surely you must be covered under some generous state or local tax credit program. Monthly HOA dues that high just don't jibe otherwise.
Fully 1/2 of states have average property tax rates < 1.00% with ten <= 0.62%. A dozen states have < $1200 taxes paid on the median house price. If this is a condominium, many associations have fees > $300/month. This is especially true if they build capital reserve funds for major expenses rather than assessments at the time.
$300 a year for homeowner's insurance? Is that a typo? Even with auto alarms, sprinklers, non-smoking, and every other conceivable discount, a premium that low (unless it is also subsidized?) suggests a dwelling with a replacement value of way less than $100,000. Unless you have taken out some very very high deductible?
I pay less than 0.2% of my house value in homeowner's insurance with a 1% deductible.

Don't assume your particular circumstances represent the model for the rest of the country. $150K in much of the country will get you a quite respectable middle class house or condo with those property taxes and insurance.

michaeljc70
Posts: 6073
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:06 pm

Dimitri wrote:If you don't have a mortgage or rent it isn't too difficult for a couple to live in America on under $20,000.

Our expenses last year (rounded):

Food - $3,300
Rx - $1,000
Clothing - $300
Gasoline - $1,300
Car Maint - $200
Gifts - $500
Landline phone - $200
Electric - $700
Nat Gas - $400
Internet - $300
HOA - $3,900
Car Registation & Ins - $1,800
Prop Tax - $1,200
Home Ins - $300
Home Repairs - $2,900

Right around $18,300.

And this is accounting for unexpected home repairs - new water heater, garage door spring and hot water circulator. Take those out and we are taking $15,400. That is less than poverty level of $16,020 for two people - https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines
Do you track each expense? I do and have for many years (in Quicken). There are a LOT of expenses you don't think of that add up. Do you have a cell phone? Do you buy a new tv or electronics or appliances ever? Do you buy toilet paper and napkins? I could go on and on.

And are you going to keep that car for the rest of your life? If not, you need to replace it. That costs money.

$5 a day per person to eat is not a lot. I could see how you could do it, but that would mean you never drink alcohol and probably don't buy anything even medium priced like shrimp or good steak.

Dimitri
Posts: 427
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 10:51 pm

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Dimitri » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:27 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:Do you track each expense? I do and have for many years (in Quicken). There are a LOT of expenses you don't think of that add up. Do you have a cell phone? Do you buy a new tv or electronics or appliances ever? Do you buy toilet paper and napkins? I could go on and on.

And are you going to keep that car for the rest of your life? If not, you need to replace it. That costs money.

$5 a day per person to eat is not a lot. I could see how you could do it, but that would mean you never drink alcohol and probably don't buy anything even medium priced like shrimp or good steak.
I'll do my best to answer your questions.

I track all expenses diligently. I don't that there is much that I miss.

Cell phone - For years I had a T-Mobile flip phone - paid $100 for 1,000 minutes initially and then $10/year to keep it active. My employer gave me a smart phone. Then they offered a subsidy if I bought my own. The subsidy exceeds the cost of the phone (amortized over a single year) and plan. I actually make money on it - it covers my wife's phone too. But your point is taken. Many couples would probably include $35+/month per person in their expenses for a phone.

Last year we bought no electronics or appliances. Some years we do but the ones we buy aren't anything special or very expensive.

Admittedly last year was a relatively inexpensive year. In 2013 and 2014 we bought new cars so those years were both app. $21,000 higher. That said, the cars they replaced were 15 and 17 years old respectively.

I do drink alcohol but my taste is rather simple - I'm perfectly happy with Natural Light beer or Charles Shaw wine. Shrimp and steak absolutely but only when they are on sale. Believe it or not, $5/day spent well goes pretty far. This month I've been eating Kashi cereal - one box a week - that I bought for $1/box.

The point I was trying to make is not that necessarily $15-16K/year is what a couple should live on but it is something that a couple could easily live on. If we were retired there are also some expenses that would likely be lower (i.e. gasoline for commuting) and others that could be eliminated (second car and ancillary expenses associated therewith).
Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10811
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:27 pm

drawpoker wrote:PA? Cost like Heck to heat your house in the winter
My electric bill (we have central air) last month was $400. Massachusetts is pretty close to the mountains of Penn climate wise. I cut and burn hardwood in the winter in a forced hot air wood furnace in the basement plus oil. I spent less than $800 on oil all last year.

I'm a cold weather guy anyways. If it's cold, I put on a sweatshirt. If it's hot, what do I do? Put on clothes with lots of pockets and fill the pockets with ice? Anything over 70 degrees F is too hot for me. 10 degrees F is fine to fire up the snowmobile and cruise around for an hour.

For me, Pittsburg, NH would be a great retirement location. No sales or income tax. Low property cost. Plenty of winter activity.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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