Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

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nick_r
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Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by nick_r »

With a rather international life-style and a current EU resident, I wonder where others plan to live while enjoying the fruits of their labor. Of course every one has his/her own criteria (mine include low capital gains taxes, good health care and lots of social freedoms) so let's hear them: what's your favorite place for the future and why?

LATER EDIT:

Please defend your choice and describe how it relates to your investment strategy. Specifically, how are you going to cash out and how much taxes are you going to pay in your country of retirement?

US residents, we love you, but please note that this is the "Non-US investors < Non-US Investing" forum. If you answer "Good old USA" please at least specify a state, the taxing structure and how it can eventually work for a non-US resident. On the other hand, if you select a non-US retirement country, your answer becomes much more interesting. Go on!
Last edited by nick_r on Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:08 am, edited 4 times in total.
OogieBoogie
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by OogieBoogie »

Portugal, Thailand or Panama.
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Schlabba
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Schlabba »

Great question. I thought about this as well.
  • I wouldn't want to be too far away from my family so it has to be in Europe.
  • I want to be able to speak the language, so it has to be a Dutch / English / German speaking country.
  • Life and taxes have to be reasonably cheap, so that removes The Netherlands and Switzerland from the list, but I haven't been comparing European taxes yet. I only know how it works in England and The Netherlands.
I'll probably end up in England. Low taxes, pub culture, I speak the language, flying to my family takes 45 minutes.
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watchnerd
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by watchnerd »

We're eyeing Hawaii.

It's not really a foreign country, but it sort of feels like one compared to the US mainland.
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mak1277
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by mak1277 »

I'll continue to reside in the US but do a lot of international traveling.
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Tim_in_GA
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Tim_in_GA »

Taiwan. It's my wife's home country. Healthcare is decent and we'll be covered by their NHI.
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JoMoney
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by JoMoney »

USA 🇺🇸
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by livesoft »

I've lived in Europe for many years and travelled extensively to everywhere but South America. But the good ol' USA is where I always come home to, live in now, and will live in the future.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by HueyLD »

Tim_in_GA wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:41 am Taiwan. It's my wife's home country. Healthcare is decent and we'll be covered by their NHI.
+1.
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Didymograptus
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Didymograptus »

Scotland may be our retirement destination. Decent public services, great scenery and coastal walks and housing isn't expensive for the most part.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by craimund »

livesoft wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:58 am I've lived in Europe for many years and travelled extensively to everywhere but South America. But the good ol' USA is where I always come home to, live in now, and will live in the future.
No greater country on earth. :beer to the US of A
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by 7eight9 »

We are giving serious consideration to either Thailand or Malaysia. Both have attractive visa programs for expat retirees.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by JoeRetire »

United States

We still have a lot of this country to visit. And of course our family is here.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by cowbman »

Schlabba wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:29 am Great question. I thought about this as well.
  • I wouldn't want to be too far away from my family so it has to be in Europe.
  • I want to be able to speak the language, so it has to be a Dutch / English / German speaking country.
  • Life and taxes have to be reasonably cheap, so that removes The Netherlands and Switzerland from the list, but I haven't been comparing European taxes yet. I only know how it works in England and The Netherlands.
I'll probably end up in England. Low taxes, pub culture, I speak the language, flying to my family takes 45 minutes.
I'd look into Malta.
H-Town
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by H-Town »

Still 'Merica. :sharebeer

I travel extensively and I imagine that I will do even more traveling after FIRE. I just need a home state that has zero state income tax and minimal state regulation. I will probably live in a city 3-6 month and move on to the next.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

I imagine I'll stay in the US but I've strongly considered setting up a second residence elsewhere, either New Zealand or Portugal.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Watty »

nick_r wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:42 am I wonder where others plan to live while enjoying the fruits of their labor.
The way your question was asked might not have been what you intended since for people that are US citizens retiring in the US is likely a good choice which is why you have gotten responses suggesting the US.

In the US there are so many different areas that most people can find what they want including low cost areas.

For someone from the EU at least financially the US would likely be a terrible place to try to retire unless you had some special situation like you have family in the US and you wanted to be near your family.
nick_r wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:42 am ...what's your favorite place for the future and why?
It is hard to beat living near family since as you age you may need someone to at least arrange for you to be moved into a nursing home if that is needed and to pay the bills(with your money). There have been long threads discussing how people without reliable family members should arrange for someone to handle their affairs if they are not able to. There are not many good answers to that question.

If you move to some of the more remote countries that were suggested that will be even more difficult so you also need to figure out how that will work if you are in some place like Thailand when you need assistance. For example you might move to Thailand you might be doing great for ten years then one morning have a major stroke and end up in a hospital and need extended care. You need to have a plan for things like that.
Last edited by Watty on Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
DJN
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by DJN »

Hi,
this piece in Wiki has a look at alternatives for EU residents with some good tax advantages: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/EU_non- ... _residence
Who wouldn't want to live in Sardinia and pay 8% taxes?
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greg24
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by greg24 »

The United States of America.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by andrew99999 »

7eight9 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:46 am We are giving serious consideration to either Thailand or Malaysia. Both have attractive visa programs for expat retirees.

Regarding Thailand, I suggest you speak to people who have lived there for at least 5 years.

There are problems you simply are unaware of until you have settled there for a while.

On the visa front, you can never get more than a year at a time, they change rules very often, and there is no permanent residency. People have been leaving steadily over the last 10 years as they have changed the rules. Beware of this if you have made it your home for many years without close ties elsewhere and have to leave.

The corruption is something you can't really understand for a long while after you arrive. The country is now effectively a dictatorship in case you were unaware.
There have been something like 19 military coups in 70 years because any time a govt gets in who is not aligned with the military they just take over power by force.
During the most recent military coup they fired real bullets into the crowds to disburse them even though publicly they said it was rubber bullets. The way it is known they used real bullets is that a French reporter died from one of their bullets and it was the same bullets used by the Thai army.

in 2016 during this latest coup the military dictatorship decided to have a referendum asking if the public would like the military to have half of the 500 seats in parliament permanently which would effectively remove democracy. If anyone publicly explained what the referendum was for, they were taken into custody, yet the military was allowed to publicly tell the public to vote it in. The public remains uninformed due to the extremely poor education coupled with the propaganda, country-wide internet firewall, and laws against free speech.

They also disallowed international bodies who asked to watch over the vote counting. The result was that even in parts of the country that have historically voted the other way, voted it in (ie voting was fixed).

This past year they switched out from military rule back to government rule but of course it is meaningless now. Also the leader of the military decided to run for government office. He decided that for anyone who does not show up for voting, the vote will go to him. 7 truckloads also went "missing" during the election.

It just goes on and on.

The US won't intervene because they need the strategic land to base themselves as closely to China for bigger issues affecting the US and Thailand knows this.

I'm curious how much of this (if any of it) you know about to have decided to include Thailand in your list of countries to retire to?
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by nisiprius »

I've occasionally thought about this in a dreamy kind of way.

It is my sincere and authentic belief that if you are seriously worried about a financial collapse in your home country, the only meaningful action to take is to make serious, costly, specific preparations to be ready to move. That means not only choosing a country, but also opening bank and brokerage accounts in that country and transferring a chunk of assets to them--because when countries undergo financial collapse, they are like to put currency controls in place and limit moving assets out of the country. It means having researched the immigration laws of that country. It means knowing the career situation and already having a jobseeking network in place. It means learning the language well enough to function in whatever job you think you can get.

What I mean to say is that if you live in the US and the US collapses, having a few years' salary invested partly in stocks, part of which is invested outside the US, part of which is in countries whose economics are not coupled to the US economy... may leave you incrementally better off than an all-US investor, but it isn't going to rescue you.

And every time I start thinking about this, I remember the lovely ten days we spent touring Venezuela in 1971. Those were the days when Ian Fleming's fictional supervillain kept all of SPECTRE's assets invested in "in the Swiss francs and Venezuelan bolivars in which for reasons of prudence--they continue to be the hardest currencies in the world--we convert all our takings."
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FrugalConservative
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by FrugalConservative »

watchnerd wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:33 am We're eyeing Hawaii.

It's not really a foreign country, but it sort of feels like one compared to the US mainland.
What a great choice. I would love to live there. So unique and special.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by ohai »

Eh. Have you guys ever lived in Thailand or Panama or somewhere like that? People from those countries want to come here. Safety, education, amenities, and quality of life are far better in developed countries. The higher living cost is worth it for anyone with average or above average US financial means.

The one benefit that people seem to like is that expats, especially white westerners, are treated like VIPs in other countries. Mass media builds up western culture and white people are so rare that just meeting you is a special occassion.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Schlabba »

andrew99999 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:29 am
7eight9 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:46 am We are giving serious consideration to either Thailand or Malaysia. Both have attractive visa programs for expat retirees.

Regarding Thailand, I suggest you speak to people who have lived there for at least 5 years.

There are problems you simply are unaware of until you have settled there for a while.

On the visa front, you can never get more than a year at a time, they change rules very often, and there is no permanent residency. People have been leaving steadily over the last 10 years as they have changed the rules. Beware of this if you have made it your home for many years without close ties elsewhere and have to leave.

The corruption is something you can't really understand for a long while after you arrive. The country is now effectively a dictatorship in case you were unaware.
There have been something like 19 military coups in 70 years because any time a govt gets in who is not aligned with the military they just take over power by force.
During the most recent military coup they fired real bullets into the crowds to disburse them even though publicly they said it was rubber bullets. The way it is known they used real bullets is that a French reporter died from one of their bullets and it was the same bullets used by the Thai army.

in 2016 during this latest coup the military dictatorship decided to have a referendum asking if the public would like the military to have half of the 500 seats in parliament permanently which would effectively remove democracy. If anyone publicly explained what the referendum was for, they were taken into custody, yet the military was allowed to publicly tell the public to vote it in. The public remains uninformed due to the extremely poor education coupled with the propaganda, country-wide internet firewall, and laws against free speech.

They also disallowed international bodies who asked to watch over the vote counting. The result was that even in parts of the country that have historically voted the other way, voted it in (ie voting was fixed).

This past year they switched out from military rule back to government rule but of course it is meaningless now. Also the leader of the military decided to run for government office. He decided that for anyone who does not show up for voting, the vote will go to him. 7 truckloads also went "missing" during the election.

It just goes on and on.

The US won't intervene because they need the strategic land to base themselves as closely to China for bigger issues affecting the US and Thailand knows this.

I'm curious how much of this (if any of it) you know about to have decided to include Thailand in your list of countries to retire to?
In any other country than my home country I would stay very far away from politics, protests, voting, activism, public opinions on any kind of social media, and so on. This is just general good advice for 90% of the world we live in.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by EddyB »

Schlabba wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:03 am
andrew99999 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:29 am
7eight9 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:46 am We are giving serious consideration to either Thailand or Malaysia. Both have attractive visa programs for expat retirees.

Regarding Thailand, I suggest you speak to people who have lived there for at least 5 years.

There are problems you simply are unaware of until you have settled there for a while.

On the visa front, you can never get more than a year at a time, they change rules very often, and there is no permanent residency. People have been leaving steadily over the last 10 years as they have changed the rules. Beware of this if you have made it your home for many years without close ties elsewhere and have to leave.

The corruption is something you can't really understand for a long while after you arrive. The country is now effectively a dictatorship in case you were unaware.
There have been something like 19 military coups in 70 years because any time a govt gets in who is not aligned with the military they just take over power by force.
During the most recent military coup they fired real bullets into the crowds to disburse them even though publicly they said it was rubber bullets. The way it is known they used real bullets is that a French reporter died from one of their bullets and it was the same bullets used by the Thai army.

in 2016 during this latest coup the military dictatorship decided to have a referendum asking if the public would like the military to have half of the 500 seats in parliament permanently which would effectively remove democracy. If anyone publicly explained what the referendum was for, they were taken into custody, yet the military was allowed to publicly tell the public to vote it in. The public remains uninformed due to the extremely poor education coupled with the propaganda, country-wide internet firewall, and laws against free speech.

They also disallowed international bodies who asked to watch over the vote counting. The result was that even in parts of the country that have historically voted the other way, voted it in (ie voting was fixed).

This past year they switched out from military rule back to government rule but of course it is meaningless now. Also the leader of the military decided to run for government office. He decided that for anyone who does not show up for voting, the vote will go to him. 7 truckloads also went "missing" during the election.

It just goes on and on.

The US won't intervene because they need the strategic land to base themselves as closely to China for bigger issues affecting the US and Thailand knows this.

I'm curious how much of this (if any of it) you know about to have decided to include Thailand in your list of countries to retire to?
In any other country than my home country I would stay very far away from politics, protests, voting, activism, public opinions on any kind of social media, and so on. This is just general good advice for 90% of the world we live in.
And quite possibly in one’s home country, too!
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nick_r
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by nick_r »

Thanks for all the great answers! I do believe there is an obvious separation between US and Non-US retirees (like on this whole forum after all) due to all the visa&tax implications.

Home country will always be an option, but only if things do not derail too much. Travel will always be part of it, as long as health allows. Then, towards the end, family.

But financially the biggest deciding factor should be the capital gains tax, since my income will be generated from selling ETFs... There is a huge difference between 0% tax on that income in, say, Bulgaria and >50% in some western country. All other things being equal, of course, which of course they aren't :D

Thanks!
Last edited by nick_r on Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Godot »

OogieBoogie wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:10 am Portugal, Thailand or Panama.
Thailand is a little shy on the social freedoms, to say the least.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Godot »

EddyB wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:21 am
Schlabba wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:03 am
andrew99999 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:29 am
7eight9 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:46 am We are giving serious consideration to either Thailand or Malaysia. Both have attractive visa programs for expat retirees.

Regarding Thailand, I suggest you speak to people who have lived there for at least 5 years.

There are problems you simply are unaware of until you have settled there for a while.

On the visa front, you can never get more than a year at a time, they change rules very often, and there is no permanent residency. People have been leaving steadily over the last 10 years as they have changed the rules. Beware of this if you have made it your home for many years without close ties elsewhere and have to leave.

The corruption is something you can't really understand for a long while after you arrive. The country is now effectively a dictatorship in case you were unaware.
There have been something like 19 military coups in 70 years because any time a govt gets in who is not aligned with the military they just take over power by force.
During the most recent military coup they fired real bullets into the crowds to disburse them even though publicly they said it was rubber bullets. The way it is known they used real bullets is that a French reporter died from one of their bullets and it was the same bullets used by the Thai army.

in 2016 during this latest coup the military dictatorship decided to have a referendum asking if the public would like the military to have half of the 500 seats in parliament permanently which would effectively remove democracy. If anyone publicly explained what the referendum was for, they were taken into custody, yet the military was allowed to publicly tell the public to vote it in. The public remains uninformed due to the extremely poor education coupled with the propaganda, country-wide internet firewall, and laws against free speech.

They also disallowed international bodies who asked to watch over the vote counting. The result was that even in parts of the country that have historically voted the other way, voted it in (ie voting was fixed).

This past year they switched out from military rule back to government rule but of course it is meaningless now. Also the leader of the military decided to run for government office. He decided that for anyone who does not show up for voting, the vote will go to him. 7 truckloads also went "missing" during the election.

It just goes on and on.

The US won't intervene because they need the strategic land to base themselves as closely to China for bigger issues affecting the US and Thailand knows this.

I'm curious how much of this (if any of it) you know about to have decided to include Thailand in your list of countries to retire to?
In any other country than my home country I would stay very far away from politics, protests, voting, activism, public opinions on any kind of social media, and so on. This is just general good advice for 90% of the world we live in.
And quite possibly in one’s home country, too!
All more (or less) true. On the positive side, Thailand remains very inexpensive relative to western countries, the food is phenomenal, and it has stellar hospitals and western educated medical professionals (in big cities). Although some ex-pat retirees have left due to changing visa requirements, tens of thousands remain. Also it's within shouting distance of Vietnam and Malaysia, both boasting increasing numbers of western retirees.
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
3504PIR
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by 3504PIR »

Great question and I’m looking forward to reading the range of answers this question brings!

Now retired, I have lived half of my life abroad - mostly in Europe, with a chunk of Asia thrown in. Ten years ago, living again in Europe for an extended period we fully intended to retire in the UK. Not for financial reasons, but for social reasons as our best friends in the world are there. As time went by the way into the UK for us became more difficult as I wanted to work there to establish ourselves and build from that. As luck would have it, it didn’t work out in our favor and a move there became more challenging for us. We ended up in the US in a situation which closely mirrored our intent for the UK. We live on a small horse farm and have a great life. In hindsight, it was probably for the best and we are happier than I could hope for and feel very fortunate to be in the situation we are in.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by flyingaway »

ohai wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:39 am Eh. Have you guys ever lived in Thailand or Panama or somewhere like that? People from those countries want to come here. Safety, education, amenities, and quality of life are far better in developed countries. The higher living cost is worth it for anyone with average or above average US financial means.

The one benefit that people seem to like is that expats, especially white westerners, are treated like VIPs in other countries. Mass media builds up western culture and white people are so rare that just meeting you is a special occassion.
You have to distinguish the persons who have money and want to enjoy retired life from those who are poor and need to find a place to make money.
Thailand is a good place for retirees if you have some money (but not fatFIRE) and single, and like warm weather. I also agree that being a white person is also an advantage in Southeast countries.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by OogieBoogie »

andrew99999 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:29 am I'm curious how much of this (if any of it) you know about to have decided to include Thailand in your list of countries to retire to?
Yes, I do and still Thailand is the best. You can handle the visa part with the Elite program, but that will cost you. The country is so rich on culture, incredible food variations, great people with very positive religion. Definitely a top 3 destination on the globe for me.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by ohai »

flyingaway wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:12 pm
ohai wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:39 am Eh. Have you guys ever lived in Thailand or Panama or somewhere like that? People from those countries want to come here. Safety, education, amenities, and quality of life are far better in developed countries. The higher living cost is worth it for anyone with average or above average US financial means.

The one benefit that people seem to like is that expats, especially white westerners, are treated like VIPs in other countries. Mass media builds up western culture and white people are so rare that just meeting you is a special occassion.
You have to distinguish the persons who have money and want to enjoy retired life from those who are poor and need to find a place to make money.
Thailand is a good place for retirees if you have some money (but not fatFIRE) and single, and like warm weather. I also agree that being a white person is also an advantage in Southeast countries.
I'd rather work a normal job in the US for longer than move to Thailand young and hang around doing nothing in a worse country, but maybe that's me.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Godot »

ohai wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:24 pm
flyingaway wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:12 pm
ohai wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:39 am Eh. Have you guys ever lived in Thailand or Panama or somewhere like that? People from those countries want to come here. Safety, education, amenities, and quality of life are far better in developed countries. The higher living cost is worth it for anyone with average or above average US financial means.

The one benefit that people seem to like is that expats, especially white westerners, are treated like VIPs in other countries. Mass media builds up western culture and white people are so rare that just meeting you is a special occassion.
You have to distinguish the persons who have money and want to enjoy retired life from those who are poor and need to find a place to make money.
Thailand is a good place for retirees if you have some money (but not fatFIRE) and single, and like warm weather. I also agree that being a white person is also an advantage in Southeast countries.
I'd rather work a normal job in the US for longer than move to Thailand young and hang around doing nothing in a worse country, but maybe that's me.
Most retirees I know, both young and older, don't "hang around and do nothing." I certainly don't, but maybe that's just me. Have you ever been outside of the US?
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by kramer »

ohai wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:39 am Eh. Have you guys ever lived in Thailand or Panama or somewhere like that? People from those countries want to come here. Safety, education, amenities, and quality of life are far better in developed countries. The higher living cost is worth it for anyone with average or above average US financial means.

The one benefit that people seem to like is that expats, especially white westerners, are treated like VIPs in other countries. Mass media builds up western culture and white people are so rare that just meeting you is a special occassion.
This post really shows a misunderstanding of what it means to live abroad. The difference for retired expats is that they are retired, not trying to scratch out a living in a place with low wages, and they have lots of spending money compared to local residents. It's why most people who go abroad to work from these countries return when they retire, because they prefer to live in their original country. They only had to go abroad to make a better wage. And yes, I have lived in places like that, including Thailand, Colombia, and Mexico. Also, there are many reasons to live abroad that do not include striving for the best amenities, etc.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by slick_dealer_05 »

ohai wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:24 pm
flyingaway wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:12 pm
ohai wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:39 am Eh. Have you guys ever lived in Thailand or Panama or somewhere like that? People from those countries want to come here. Safety, education, amenities, and quality of life are far better in developed countries. The higher living cost is worth it for anyone with average or above average US financial means.

The one benefit that people seem to like is that expats, especially white westerners, are treated like VIPs in other countries. Mass media builds up western culture and white people are so rare that just meeting you is a special occassion.
You have to distinguish the persons who have money and want to enjoy retired life from those who are poor and need to find a place to make money.
Thailand is a good place for retirees if you have some money (but not fatFIRE) and single, and like warm weather. I also agree that being a white person is also an advantage in Southeast countries.
I'd rather work a normal job in the US for longer than move to Thailand young and hang around doing nothing in a worse country, but maybe that's me.
Probably just you. When I add up the cost of health, car, umbrella, home insurance, and property taxes in USA for us, it's over $20000/year. Can easily live a comfortable lifestyle in most countries in South America or Asia for less than that.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by kramer »

I think everyone, including the OP, has to make their own criteria. And match that against what is available. For instance, visa and tax considerations are very important and often not considered enough (I can rule out a nice country like Spain on these criteria alone). I wish I had thought more about visa considerations early on in my retired traveling adventures. Health care is another huge consideration that young retirees often don't pay enough attention to.

For me, personally, there is no place in the US with a winter climate that I like, so I quickly concluded that I would never spend winters in the US except for visiting family. So even if I am based in the US in the future, I will travel for those months outside the US as much as possible -- and I might even live in a less warm place in the US knowing that I will hopefully never spend winter there.

Applications like AirBnB have made long term travel a lot easier now. I just did a two month stay in Mexico using only AirBnb and it would be easy to do that for four or five months every year, for instance ... no lease, no setting up utilities, no deposit, no hassle. This has cut the gordian knot in places with a thicket of house leasing procedures like Mexico.

My favorite countries based on my own criteria are Mexico and the Philippines. It helps that I speak Spanish.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by GAAP »

Interested people may find The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget: How to Live Well on $25,000 a Year https://www.amazon.com/International-Li ... 118758595/ useful.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by whodidntante »

Peru was really nice. Beautiful, nice people, and just unbelievably cheap even in Lima. However, it is essential that you speak Spanish to feel at home there. My terrible Spanish was better than their terrible English, most of the time. It also helps tremendously when negotiating prices.

India and China were also enjoyable for me. The same with the Czech Republic. I'm going to either Thailand or Vietnam soon. Heck, one could live in Mississippi for almost nothing.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Trader Joe »

nick_r wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:42 am With a rather international life-style and a current EU resident, I wonder where others plan to live while enjoying the fruits of their labor. Of course every one has his/her own criteria (mine include low capital gains taxes, good health care and lots of social freedoms) so let's hear them: what's your favorite place for the future and why?
I will stay in the United States. My favorite country to live in - by far.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Nicolas »

FrugalConservative wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:33 am
watchnerd wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:33 am We're eyeing Hawaii.

It's not really a foreign country, but it sort of feels like one compared to the US mainland.
What a great choice. I would love to live there. So unique and special.
I want to retire there too but my wife disagrees. She says we’d be culturally isolated and too far from family. So we’re not going. Actually she said I can retire there if I want to but she’s not going. :( We’ll still vacation there though.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

HueyLD wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:59 am
Tim_in_GA wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:41 am Taiwan. It's my wife's home country. Healthcare is decent and we'll be covered by their NHI.
+1.
I might add that, besides the developed western Europe, America and Canada, only Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore have living standards/facilities on par with the West. Not cheap, but you pay for what you get.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Mr_Alex »

My thoughts are that it very much depends on your circumstances, in terms of how far you want to be from your old friends and family, what languages you speak, which cultures you enjoy, and what rights you expect in terms of visa and home ownership etc.

Comments made on Thailand are out of sync with my own experience there. I’m there monthly for work and find the news and usually western take on Thai politics not understanding of the history and culture. Thailand can be a fantastic place to live. That said, you’d need to take care of what rights you have for home ownership and longer term visa etc.,

Bali Indonesia is another location many Nomad friends have chosen and there also a long term visa not easy and therefore rights to live and work are limited. Many people doing “visa runs”.

Plenty of beautiful places on earth. For me The cost of living comes second to access to sophisticated culture, friends and family, and having right to live settle.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by andrew99999 »

Godot wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:18 pm All more (or less) true. On the positive side, Thailand remains very inexpensive relative to western countries
It has gotten much more expensive but it depends what your home country is.

The USD has gotten extremely strong against the world's currencies over the past decade and therefore the Thai Baht seems to continue to be relatively inexpensive even though it has also gotten very strong also.

Take a look at the cost of living for those from other countries such as the UK, much of Europe, Australia, and you will see the cost of Thai Baht is much higher. An Australian around a decade ago was getting 33 baht to the dollar and is now getting 20. That is a 60% rise in the cost of living.

Yes it is still less than back in Australia, but the definition of "cheap" is becoming arguable.

The USD has risen and fallen over time relative to the worlds currencies (as all currencies do). When the USD mean reverts, if the Thai baht does not revert at the same time, US expats retired in Thailand will get the same as non-US expats have had over the last decade.

At some point the political uncertainty, never ending visa problems, massive corruption (yes this corruption finds its way into your visa problems as they find ways to reject visas based on asinine reasons to force you to use a visa agent whereby they get money under the table) make it not worth it, and I think few people are really aware of the extent of the problems to make a judgement call.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by 02nz »

South Africa could be an interesting option. Good climate, food, scenery. Low costs. Lots of disadvantages, too, like distance to the U.S., and governance is far from perfect, to put it mildly.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by AlphaLess »

watchnerd wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:33 am We're eyeing Hawaii.

It's not really a foreign country, but it sort of feels like one compared to the US mainland.
It's foreign if you are not American.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by AlphaLess »

What features are we looking for?

I heard things are really cheap in Venezuela and North Korea.

I also heard that more than 65% of people in Russia want to emigrate.

Pick your countries carefully.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by flaccidsteele »

Canada

Peace-of-mind healthcare
Robust social safety net
Low crime
Neighbour to USA
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by bhsince87 »

nick_r wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:42 am With a rather international life-style and a current EU resident, I wonder where others plan to live while enjoying the fruits of their labor. Of course every one has his/her own criteria (mine include low capital gains taxes, good health care and lots of social freedoms) so let's hear them: what's your favorite place for the future and why?
Capital gains taxes are zero in the US for many people.

Health care in the US is probably the best in the world. But not always cheap. Depends a lot on your income and age.

Social freedoms are also the best in the world in many areas. But that's a local thing.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Cycle »

Somewhere that is safe to walk and isn't a car sewer, so that rules out USA. Perhaps Spain, if can avoid wealth tax .
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by 02nz »

bhsince87 wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:41 pm Health care in the US is probably the best in the world. But not always cheap. Depends a lot on your income and age.
The U.S. has many advanced treatment facilities and top-notch doctors (as do most other developed countries). But per capita we spend almost triple the developed world average, and the outcomes (e.g., longevity) are worse than many other countries. So it's hard to justify the statement that "health care in the U.S. is probably the best in the world."
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