Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

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flyingaway
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by flyingaway »

Valuethinker wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:54 am
CoastalWinds wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:56 pm Antarctica. No tax, no regulation, vast real estate, and I love penguins.
Ahhh. More like a lunatic colony out of Robert A Heinlein.

You can't live in Antarctica without being an employed citizen or official personnel of one of the Treaty Nations.

Everybody on that continent has a job and a reason for being there. See the Werner Herzog documentary which is fascinating.
I guess that they must have free health care in Antarctica.
H-Town
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by H-Town »

flaccidsteele wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:40 pm Canada

Peace-of-mind healthcare
Robust social safety net
Low crime
Neighbour to USA
I have a couple of questions:

1) Does a U.S. citizen need to apply visa to live in Canada?
2) What is the tax implications (earned income, dividends, capital gain) for a U.S. citizen live Canada if all the sourced income is from U.S.?

We've been to Victoria and Vancouver and we love it there. We exploring the possibilities of living in Pacific Northwest.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

cap396 wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:11 am We FIRE'd 18 months ago and have spent our time traveling around the world looking for where we might want to settle down one day. We have visited Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Thailand. We'll be going to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia soon. We still want to visit Ecuador, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Croatia. We also want to go back and revisit Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica.

If we had to choose now, it would probably be Thailand or Uruguay. The retired expat community in Chiang Mai, Thailand is very well developed and it's very easy to meet people. Uruguay has great weather, food, and people.

It's possible we'll end up picking 3 or 4 places then rotate through all of them each year instead of just choosing one place to settle. That way we don't have to worry about residency/immigration/visa issues. There is no perfect place, and each has benefits that the others don't have, so by rotating through we would get to experience everything.

We are in our mid-late 40's now and may end up going back to the US when we get older (depending on our finances). We're flexible, so who knows....
Love to hear more. Got a blog? ;)
Buy Low, Sell High
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unclescrooge
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by unclescrooge »

Valuethinker wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:19 am
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:29 pm
Valuethinker wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:39 am
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.
⁷Brexit

Do you have British or Irish citizenship?

Without. No right to remain.

In a points based system as Canada and Australia use there is heavy discrimination against over 45 year olds. Our builder took all the advanced trade exams in Australia to try to stay there. And building trades are in short supply in Oz. But he still had to come back. Over 45.

We will want workers not pensioners with health problems.
So British citizens can move to Australia without issue, or do they still face the point system and age discrimination?
As far as I know there is no preference for people from "the old country" in Australuan immigration laws.

As the example of our builder showed.

Why did you think differently?
Just more of an assumption. I was wrong.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by unclescrooge »

HomerJ wrote: Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:49 pm
Dude2 wrote: Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:38 am Probably will stay in the US (Florida), but recently vacationed in Thailand. I feel it has much to offer. Public transportation in Bangkok is decent, i.e. the skyway -- anything to stay off the roads, but cheap and efficient to use. Low cost of living. I could eat an excellent meal for the equivalent of $5. I went to a dentist for a cleaning for $30.
Why in the world did you go to a dentist for a cleaning on vacation?
So you can write off the trip under medical expenses? 🤔
GR8FUL-D
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by GR8FUL-D »

rchmx1 wrote: Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:27 pm San Miguel de Allende, GTO.

Another bonus of the long standing expat population is the several reshippers in business down here. I continue to shop from all my preferred online retailers in the US, and receive the packages a week or so after they arrive in Laredo. It's a pretty cushy lifestyle and one that is pretty unique to SMA.
I just got back from a nearly two month trip to Mexico--I spent most of the time in central Mexico, but went as far south as Oaxaca & Puerto Escondido. The primary purpose of the trip was simply travel-related fun, but also to scope out possible places to eventually retire to. While no place is perfect, I'm of the opinion that Mexico is not nearly as dangerous a place to live as most Americans assume it to be, and as a retirement destination, for a host of reasons, my current thinking is that Mexico is probably the easiest & best option for most North Americans. That said, as others have alluded to, it's the last half of retirement (the truly geriatric years, when one is in their 80's and 90's) that I think retirement overseas gets exponentially trickier & more complicated to navigate.

While I really enjoyed SMA, in many ways it really is a small town, and I imagine the population of gringo expats your age is quite small. I would think Mexico City would be an enticing location for a young American, it's a much more cosmopolitan city than those who haven't visited there recently likely realize.

As far as shipping goes, it's my understanding that Amazon Prime is available on some level in Mexico--yes/no/it depends?
GR8FUL-D
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by GR8FUL-D »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:17 pm
cap396 wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:11 am We FIRE'd 18 months ago and have spent our time traveling around the world looking for where we might want to settle down one day. We have visited Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Thailand. We'll be going to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia soon. We still want to visit Ecuador, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Croatia. We also want to go back and revisit Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica.

If we had to choose now, it would probably be Thailand or Uruguay. The retired expat community in Chiang Mai, Thailand is very well developed and it's very easy to meet people. Uruguay has great weather, food, and people.

It's possible we'll end up picking 3 or 4 places then rotate through all of them each year instead of just choosing one place to settle. That way we don't have to worry about residency/immigration/visa issues. There is no perfect place, and each has benefits that the others don't have, so by rotating through we would get to experience everything.

We are in our mid-late 40's now and may end up going back to the US when we get older (depending on our finances). We're flexible, so who knows....
Love to hear more. Got a blog? ;)
+1 re: blog

I have been to nearly every country on your first two lists, but none of the countries on your last "want to visit" list. While I enjoyed Uruguay and did not stay there long enough to say for certain, based on first impressions it would not be on my short list of places to retire to.

Congrats & awesome that you were able to FIRE at such a young age...presumably either you don't have kids or they are already living independently...either way I think your idea of living in a country for 3-4 months of the year and then rotating on to another place is a great idea.
rchmx1
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by rchmx1 »

GR8FUL-D wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:19 pm
I just got back from a nearly two month trip to Mexico--I spent most of the time in central Mexico, but went as far south as Oaxaca & Puerto Escondido. The primary purpose of the trip was simply travel-related fun, but also to scope out possible places to eventually retire to. While no place is perfect, I'm of the opinion that Mexico is not nearly as dangerous a place to live as most Americans assume it to be, and as a retirement destination, for a host of reasons, my current thinking is that Mexico is probably the easiest & best option for most North Americans. That said, as others have alluded to, it's the last half of retirement (the truly geriatric years, when one is in their 80's and 90's) that I think retirement overseas gets exponentially trickier & more complicated to navigate.

While I really enjoyed SMA, in many ways it really is a small town, and I imagine the population of gringo expats your age is quite small. I would think Mexico City would be an enticing location for a young American, it's a much more cosmopolitan city than those who haven't visited there recently likely realize.

As far as shipping goes, it's my understanding that Amazon Prime is available on some level in Mexico--yes/no/it depends?
Nice! It's a great part of the world to travel around in. And absolutely, there's lots of fear mongering related to Mexico that Americans get exposed to. Regardless of where a person lives, life requires common sense awareness of all relevant variables. Mexico is as easy a place to do what you can to minimize your risk as anywhere else.

Regarding SMA, the younger popular has increased since we moved down, but it still probably wouldn't be my first choice if I was my age and single. The expat popular absolutely skews older. Mexico City is really a phenomenal city, it would be a great choice for someone who wants a cosmopolitan experience. And in terms of Amazon in Mexico, I'd describe it as a roll out that started around 4 years ago, initially with the tiniest selection of random products, with the variety increasing every year. But it's still not a 1-1 option. Some products will shop from Mexico, some must cross the board first, and prices can vary significantly between amazon.com and amazon.com.mx, so it's still necessary to hunt around for the cheapest way to receive what you want down here.
cap396
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by cap396 »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:17 pm
Love to hear more. Got a blog? ;)
Yes we do: snailtravelers.com
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 1126
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

cap396 wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:36 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:17 pm
Love to hear more. Got a blog? ;)
Yes we do: snailtravelers.com
Excellent. Thanks & congrats!!
Buy Low, Sell High
coffeeblack
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by coffeeblack »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:17 pm
cap396 wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:11 am We FIRE'd 18 months ago and have spent our time traveling around the world looking for where we might want to settle down one day. We have visited Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Thailand. We'll be going to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia soon. We still want to visit Ecuador, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Croatia. We also want to go back and revisit Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica.

If we had to choose now, it would probably be Thailand or Uruguay. The retired expat community in Chiang Mai, Thailand is very well developed and it's very easy to meet people. Uruguay has great weather, food, and people.

It's possible we'll end up picking 3 or 4 places then rotate through all of them each year instead of just choosing one place to settle. That way we don't have to worry about residency/immigration/visa issues. There is no perfect place, and each has benefits that the others don't have, so by rotating through we would get to experience everything.

We are in our mid-late 40's now and may end up going back to the US when we get older (depending on our finances). We're flexible, so who knows....
Love to hear more. Got a blog? ;)
This is a great way to look for a place to settle down. :sharebeer
msk
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by msk »

cap396 wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:36 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:17 pm
Love to hear more. Got a blog? ;)
Yes we do: snailtravelers.com
:sharebeer
Pudu
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Pudu »

I'm originally from non-EU Europe, have been living in Chile for the last 5 years and plan to stay here. I also lived for a while in Thailand and the US plus visited some rich EU countries as a tourist.

Chile is not cheap but US$2,000/mo will provide a good life for a relatively frugal couple. The infrastructure and healthcare are great: you'll find modern clinics, nicely paved roads and electricity in the most remote regions. The individual taxes are low, you'll pay less than 10% for US$5,000 per month (and there are 3-year tax vacation for the foreigners with income from abroad).

It's also safe: the current protests are large but they are not dangerous for persons – protesters focus mostly on big corporations' and government's properties. Outside of the protests, most of the crime is burglary and theft, robberies are quite rare and usually non-violent. The homicide rate in Chile is 4.3 (like in Latvia) while the US have it at 5.3 nationwide.

What else? Amazing nature, good food, stable economy, friendly society, and a possibility to integrate if you learn Spanish and don't act arrogantly towards locals (this one seems to be a big problem for the "first-world expats"). Retirement visas "para jubilados o rentistas" are easy to get and you can apply for a permanent residency after a year or two.

Here's a table from a site about Chile, it's probably dated a bit but puts things in perspective nicely:

Image
likegarden
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by likegarden »

Wherever you plan to retire, you have to make sure that you have 100% reliable income and health insurance there for your age above 60. In that country you also have to have reliable access to very good hospitals. And that should be independent of your passport. In case you have a US passport then, think about that politics in that country could change such that you would have to leave to the US. So to be on the safe side, savings, health insurance, pensions, social security and passport should be in / from the same country.
I therefore became a US citizen at the age of 47, though I came from Europe, but had all of these in the US.
MichDad
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by MichDad »

My wife and I are retired and live six months each year in the EU. The six months we're not in the EU, we're either in our USA home or we're traveling to non-European countries (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, and South America). We rent an apartment in the EU and I've obtained permanent residency status so I can reside there beyond the 90 out of 180 days that non-residents can stay. My wife is a dual citizen. We both speak the language. We have many friends there and my wife has several family members there. We use our EU apartment as our base for traveling throughout Europe. We have a bank account there and local SIM cards for our iPhones. My inexpensive cellular plan there also includes unlimited calling between that country and the USA. A highly-respected tax attorney in the EU country has reviewed our situation and has advised us that, in accord with the relevant tax treaty, we need pay taxes only in the USA. We don't even need to file any tax documents in that country.

The cost of living in our EU country is lower than where we live in the USA. The EU country offers many excellent cultural activities, many for free. Because of my age, I travel within the country mostly for free on trains, and half price on buses, trams, and trolleys. Restaurants, wines, and beers are excellent and much less expensive than in the USA. Food sold in grocery stores and in markets is of much higher quality than in the USA. We can see first run Hollywood movies in the local cinemas in English with local language subtitles. Movie ticket prices are about 40 percent of tickets in the USA. Our high speed Internet and cable TV package is about one-third the cost of what we pay in the USA, but it offers fewer English language channels (CNN, BBC, Sky, Euro Sport and a few others).

We're still physically fit and active so we enjoy traveling to the mountains and hiking. We also enjoy visiting some of the wonderful castles, spas and wellness facilities in this country.

We have found Charles Schwab to be an excellent brokerage/bank to work with for this lifestyle. Among other things, we use our Schwab debit card to withdraw the local currency in ATMs. The exchange rate is excellent and Schwab reimburses all ATM fees worldwide. We also use our Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa card for most of our purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee and we get a very nice rebate each month. We've set up standing wire instructions between Schwab and our local European bank so we can wire money into our local account. I have Schwab make the conversion into the local currency before wiring the money because I trust Schwab to give me a favorable exchange rate.

Health care is not as good in this European country as in the USA. However, we maintain an evacuation insurance policy with MedJet Assist so we could fly to any medical facility in the world if necessary. My federal health insurance plan (GEHA Standard Option) covers us outside the USA. All medical visits are treated as if we have visited a Preferred Provider. That's not a big issue because the cost of health and dental care is far lower there than in the USA. Medicare does not cover participants outside the USA. I've decided not to opt into Medicare Part B and will avoid the surcharges.

We have a magnificent apartment in Europe and our friends and family from the USA come visit us there.

This year, 2020, will be our third year living this lifestyle. We love it. Actually, each year's been an improvement over the last and I'm confident that 2020 will be the best so far. I encourage adventurous souls out there to consider living outside the USA.

MichDad
scubadiver
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by scubadiver »

U.S.A. 100%

I would probably spend some time visiting other countries though.
friar1610
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by friar1610 »

Very unlikely we would live outside the USA. If we were to, the following countries would be very attractive, based on visits there:

1. New Zealand
2. Ireland
3. Spain
4. Canada

I know very little about the residency requirements or tax/financial implications of living in any of them.
Friar1610
Templeton
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Templeton »

We will always retain a base in the UK, for a variety of family and other reasons. However, it is our intention to spend most of the year living overseas, mostly in South East Asia (Vietnam, Thailand) but possibly Central and South America. As we get older, we will probably focus upon spending more time elsewhere in Europe.
ncbill
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by ncbill »

larsm wrote: Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:51 pm Being a US citizen realistically it is difficult to retire abroad once you reach the magic age of 65 and gain access to Medicare: unless you're well into eight figure net worth territory.

Unless I am mistaken it is not cheap to cover medical expenses unless you're willing to consider some off the beaten path places to retire.

Currently, half heartedly, exploring a number of non-US locales that would allow a route to emigrate through Investor Class. But I suspect realistically it is a royal pain so US, with travel, will continue to be "home".

Love to hear if I've got this scoped out incorrectly...
Plenty of expats down in Mexico buy into the national plan as catastrophic insurance (few hundred bucks annually) and buy traditional insurance (inexpensive since it only covers "outside USA/Canada") or pay out of pocket for more routine medical expenses.

Once Medicare eligible plenty elect to start paying Part B so they can return to the U.S. for treatment unavailable locally (e.g. one I read online returned for a liver transplant)
larsm
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by larsm »

ncbill wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:05 am
larsm wrote: Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:51 pm Being a US citizen realistically it is difficult to retire abroad once you reach the magic age of 65 and gain access to Medicare: unless you're well into eight figure net worth territory.

Unless I am mistaken it is not cheap to cover medical expenses unless you're willing to consider some off the beaten path places to retire.

Currently, half heartedly, exploring a number of non-US locales that would allow a route to emigrate through Investor Class. But I suspect realistically it is a royal pain so US, with travel, will continue to be "home".

Love to hear if I've got this scoped out incorrectly...
Plenty of expats down in Mexico buy into the national plan as catastrophic insurance (few hundred bucks annually) and buy traditional insurance (inexpensive since it only covers "outside USA/Canada") or pay out of pocket for more routine medical expenses.

Once Medicare eligible plenty elect to start paying Part B so they can return to the U.S. for treatment unavailable locally (e.g. one I read online returned for a liver transplant)
Personally, Mexico is not of interest, but I recognize a lot of senior Americans make Mexico work from a healthcare perspective.

There are a number of Countries like Mexico (Thailand, for example) where Medical can be worked out, but are not "first world" enough for me personally. Obviously many disagree with me...
BeanCity
Posts: 81
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by BeanCity »

MichDad wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:35 pm My wife and I are retired and live six months each year in the EU. The six months we're not in the EU, we're either in our USA home or we're traveling to non-European countries (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, and South America). We rent an apartment in the EU and I've obtained permanent residency status so I can reside there beyond the 90 out of 180 days that non-residents can stay. My wife is a dual citizen. We both speak the language. We have many friends there and my wife has several family members there. We use our EU apartment as our base for traveling throughout Europe. We have a bank account there and local SIM cards for our iPhones. My inexpensive cellular plan there also includes unlimited calling between that country and the USA. A highly-respected tax attorney in the EU country has reviewed our situation and has advised us that, in accord with the relevant tax treaty, we need pay taxes only in the USA. We don't even need to file any tax documents in that country.

The cost of living in our EU country is lower than where we live in the USA. The EU country offers many excellent cultural activities, many for free. Because of my age, I travel within the country mostly for free on trains, and half price on buses, trams, and trolleys. Restaurants, wines, and beers are excellent and much less expensive than in the USA. Food sold in grocery stores and in markets is of much higher quality than in the USA. We can see first run Hollywood movies in the local cinemas in English with local language subtitles. Movie ticket prices are about 40 percent of tickets in the USA. Our high speed Internet and cable TV package is about one-third the cost of what we pay in the USA, but it offers fewer English language channels (CNN, BBC, Sky, Euro Sport and a few others).

We're still physically fit and active so we enjoy traveling to the mountains and hiking. We also enjoy visiting some of the wonderful castles, spas and wellness facilities in this country.

We have found Charles Schwab to be an excellent brokerage/bank to work with for this lifestyle. Among other things, we use our Schwab debit card to withdraw the local currency in ATMs. The exchange rate is excellent and Schwab reimburses all ATM fees worldwide. We also use our Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa card for most of our purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee and we get a very nice rebate each month. We've set up standing wire instructions between Schwab and our local European bank so we can wire money into our local account. I have Schwab make the conversion into the local currency before wiring the money because I trust Schwab to give me a favorable exchange rate.

Health care is not as good in this European country as in the USA. However, we maintain an evacuation insurance policy with MedJet Assist so we could fly to any medical facility in the world if necessary. My federal health insurance plan (GEHA Standard Option) covers us outside the USA. All medical visits are treated as if we have visited a Preferred Provider. That's not a big issue because the cost of health and dental care is far lower there than in the USA. Medicare does not cover participants outside the USA. I've decided not to opt into Medicare Part B and will avoid the surcharges.

We have a magnificent apartment in Europe and our friends and family from the USA come visit us there.

This year, 2020, will be our third year living this lifestyle. We love it. Actually, each year's been an improvement over the last and I'm confident that 2020 will be the best so far. I encourage adventurous souls out there to consider living outside the USA.

MichDad
Which country do you live in?
halfnine
Posts: 1277
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by halfnine »

larsm wrote: Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:51 pm Being a US citizen realistically it is difficult to retire abroad once you reach the magic age of 65 and gain access to Medicare: unless you're well into eight figure net worth territory.

Unless I am mistaken it is not cheap to cover medical expenses unless you're willing to consider some off the beaten path places to retire.

Currently, half heartedly, exploring a number of non-US locales that would allow a route to emigrate through Investor Class. But I suspect realistically it is a royal pain so US, with travel, will continue to be "home".

Love to hear if I've got this scoped out incorrectly...
One would definitely not need 8 figures to retire abroad in the developed world. It's definitely in the 7 figure zone though. And, obviously, some countries will require more than others. And obviously it would also be less if one has citizenship/residency ties or is only looking to live there on a partial basis each year. I imagine for most people, though, it will probably take at least 50% more than whatever their US retirement number is for them to be willing to pull the trigger.
WhiteMaxima
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by WhiteMaxima »

Favorite country. Austria, Hungary , Portugal, Spain, to name a few. Between FIRE to 65 is the best time to retire abroad. You are able to walk, explore and enjoy eat abroad. After 65, come back to USA to claim your medicare and live abroad partial time.
KATNYC
Posts: 490
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by KATNYC »

We had always discussed retiring to Costa Rica (we visited Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio) but they have no military so that is a concern, being invaded. I just started following a family of 4 online who retired early (39/41) to Portgual from California (after living abroad previously). Portugal tops a lot of lists from living abroad with good healthcare for expats. They are likely members of this forum since they recommend the Bogleheads book. https://youtu.be/KR_eIoIo2vU
Starfish
Posts: 2015
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Starfish »

WhiteMaxima wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:42 pm Favorite country. Austria, Hungary , Portugal, Spain, to name a few. Between FIRE to 65 is the best time to retire abroad. You are able to walk, explore and enjoy eat abroad. After 65, come back to USA to claim your medicare and live abroad partial time.

Speaking the language is a major consideration for me.
I can learn Spanish and Portuguese, not sure about German, but I could't learn Hungarian for the life of me.
Starfish
Posts: 2015
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Starfish »

KATNYC wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:31 pm We had always discussed retiring to Costa Rica (we visited Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio) but they have no military so that is a concern, being invaded.
Invaded by whom? Panama is in the South, they have no army either. Nicaragua? no way.
My main issue with Costa Rica is that, from my limited travel there, it's not much to do. Unless you live close to the ocean and you do water sports all the time, it's pretty hard to have an interesting life.
I like Panama more. At least it has a real city, it's less commercialized, and it seem more interesting to me.
KATNYC
Posts: 490
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by KATNYC »

Starfish wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:48 pm
KATNYC wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:31 pm We had always discussed retiring to Costa Rica (we visited Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio) but they have no military so that is a concern, being invaded.
Invaded by whom? Panama is in the South, they have no army either. Nicaragua? no way.
My main issue with Costa Rica is that, from my limited travel there, it's not much to do. Unless you live close to the ocean and you do water sports all the time, it's pretty hard to have an interesting life.
I like Panama more. At least it has a real city, it's less commercialized, and it seem more interesting to me.
Not invaded by anyone in particular. Just the idea that they have no military.
We are a family of veterans so it's a consideration for a move abroad.
CedarWaxWing
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by CedarWaxWing »

KATNYC wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:55 pm
Starfish wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:48 pm
KATNYC wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:31 pm We had always discussed retiring to Costa Rica (we visited Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio) but they have no military so that is a concern, being invaded.
Invaded by whom? Panama is in the South, they have no army either. Nicaragua? no way.
My main issue with Costa Rica is that, from my limited travel there, it's not much to do. Unless you live close to the ocean and you do water sports all the time, it's pretty hard to have an interesting life.
I like Panama more. At least it has a real city, it's less commercialized, and it seem more interesting to me.
Not invaded by anyone in particular. Just the idea that they have no military.
We are a family of veterans so it's a consideration for a move abroad.
FYi... the last time Panama was invaded.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-his ... des-panama
Starfish
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Starfish »

KATNYC wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:55 pm
Starfish wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:48 pm
KATNYC wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:31 pm We had always discussed retiring to Costa Rica (we visited Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio) but they have no military so that is a concern, being invaded.
Invaded by whom? Panama is in the South, they have no army either. Nicaragua? no way.
My main issue with Costa Rica is that, from my limited travel there, it's not much to do. Unless you live close to the ocean and you do water sports all the time, it's pretty hard to have an interesting life.
I like Panama more. At least it has a real city, it's less commercialized, and it seem more interesting to me.
Not invaded by anyone in particular. Just the idea that they have no military.
We are a family of veterans so it's a consideration for a move abroad.

To me that's a big plus.
If a country des not have military it's for a reason.
Besides I don't want my money to go to military like they go in US.
Lynette
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Lynette »

I wonder how many who dream of living somewhere else have had to deal with the complexities of countries different tax laws, currency issues, visas, inheritance, assets in different countries. After living in the US, I still have to deal with the complexities of the different systems. It is so time-consuming and frustrating that I am still trying to consolidate all of my finances in the US. Maybe the US financial institutions are easier to deal with but then one had to migrate the finance system and bureaucracy of another country.
Last edited by Lynette on Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
manatee2005
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by manatee2005 »

friar1610 wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:34 pm Very unlikely we would live outside the USA. If we were to, the following countries would be very attractive, based on visits there:

1. New Zealand
2. Ireland
3. Spain
4. Canada

I know very little about the residency requirements or tax/financial implications of living in any of them.
Canada is too cold. Ireland is too rainy. Spain and New Zealand are good.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by manatee2005 »

MichDad wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:35 pm My wife and I are retired and live six months each year in the EU. The six months we're not in the EU, we're either in our USA home or we're traveling to non-European countries (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, and South America). We rent an apartment in the EU and I've obtained permanent residency status so I can reside there beyond the 90 out of 180 days that non-residents can stay. My wife is a dual citizen. We both speak the language. We have many friends there and my wife has several family members there. We use our EU apartment as our base for traveling throughout Europe. We have a bank account there and local SIM cards for our iPhones. My inexpensive cellular plan there also includes unlimited calling between that country and the USA. A highly-respected tax attorney in the EU country has reviewed our situation and has advised us that, in accord with the relevant tax treaty, we need pay taxes only in the USA. We don't even need to file any tax documents in that country.

The cost of living in our EU country is lower than where we live in the USA. The EU country offers many excellent cultural activities, many for free. Because of my age, I travel within the country mostly for free on trains, and half price on buses, trams, and trolleys. Restaurants, wines, and beers are excellent and much less expensive than in the USA. Food sold in grocery stores and in markets is of much higher quality than in the USA. We can see first run Hollywood movies in the local cinemas in English with local language subtitles. Movie ticket prices are about 40 percent of tickets in the USA. Our high speed Internet and cable TV package is about one-third the cost of what we pay in the USA, but it offers fewer English language channels (CNN, BBC, Sky, Euro Sport and a few others).

We're still physically fit and active so we enjoy traveling to the mountains and hiking. We also enjoy visiting some of the wonderful castles, spas and wellness facilities in this country.

We have found Charles Schwab to be an excellent brokerage/bank to work with for this lifestyle. Among other things, we use our Schwab debit card to withdraw the local currency in ATMs. The exchange rate is excellent and Schwab reimburses all ATM fees worldwide. We also use our Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa card for most of our purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee and we get a very nice rebate each month. We've set up standing wire instructions between Schwab and our local European bank so we can wire money into our local account. I have Schwab make the conversion into the local currency before wiring the money because I trust Schwab to give me a favorable exchange rate.

Health care is not as good in this European country as in the USA. However, we maintain an evacuation insurance policy with MedJet Assist so we could fly to any medical facility in the world if necessary. My federal health insurance plan (GEHA Standard Option) covers us outside the USA. All medical visits are treated as if we have visited a Preferred Provider. That's not a big issue because the cost of health and dental care is far lower there than in the USA. Medicare does not cover participants outside the USA. I've decided not to opt into Medicare Part B and will avoid the surcharges.

We have a magnificent apartment in Europe and our friends and family from the USA come visit us there.

This year, 2020, will be our third year living this lifestyle. We love it. Actually, each year's been an improvement over the last and I'm confident that 2020 will be the best so far. I encourage adventurous souls out there to consider living outside the USA.

MichDad
Can you tell us the name of the EU country? If not, can you give the general location, ie West or East Europe?
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by gougou »

China. No capital gains tax. Affordable and abundant products and services. Some of the best doctors available with reasonable prices.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by craimund »

gougou wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:50 am China. No capital gains tax. Affordable and abundant products and services. Some of the best doctors available with reasonable prices.
When naming countries to retire to, people seem to be placing more value on free stuff from government/cheap healthcare than individual liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process rights and the right to keep and bear arms (i.e., self defense) which, to my knowledge, are only truly guaranteed (i.e., via a written constitution and a long history of respect for such liberties) in one country - the United States.

Also, the reason we (i.e., the US) have such a large military is, in part, because the other Western democracies have largely stood down since WWII and currently have near zero capability to defend themselves from foreign invasion. The only reason many Americans can even consider retiring to such exotic locales is the result of the ability of the US via its "large" military to project power abroad.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Schlabba »

craimund wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:29 am
gougou wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:50 am China. No capital gains tax. Affordable and abundant products and services. Some of the best doctors available with reasonable prices.
When naming countries to retire to, people seem to be placing more value on free stuff from government/cheap healthcare than individual liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process rights and the right to keep and bear arms (i.e., self defense) which, to my knowledge, are only truly guaranteed (i.e., via a written constitution and a long history of respect for such liberties) in one country - the United States.

Also, the reason we (i.e., the US) have such a large military is, in part, because the other Western democracies have largely stood down since WWII and currently have near zero capability to defend themselves from foreign invasion. The only reason many Americans can even consider retiring to such exotic locales is the result of the ability of the US via its "large" military to project power abroad.
You can choose what you care about. I have no intention of protesting or trying to change society, so I don’t need freedom of speech or freedom of the press. (To be clear, press is always politically biased including in western europe).

I wouldn’t count the right to bear arms in my decision of where to retire. I would certainly consider safety.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by Surdelsur »

Pudu wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:08 pm I'm originally from non-EU Europe, have been living in Chile for the last 5 years and plan to stay here. I also lived for a while in Thailand and the US plus visited some rich EU countries as a tourist.

Chile is not cheap but US$2,000/mo will provide a good life for a relatively frugal couple. The infrastructure and healthcare are great: you'll find modern clinics, nicely paved roads and electricity in the most remote regions. The individual taxes are low, you'll pay less than 10% for US$5,000 per month (and there are 3-year tax vacation for the foreigners with income from abroad).

It's also safe: the current protests are large but they are not dangerous for persons – protesters focus mostly on big corporations' and government's properties. Outside of the protests, most of the crime is burglary and theft, robberies are quite rare and usually non-violent. The homicide rate in Chile is 4.3 (like in Latvia) while the US have it at 5.3 nationwide.

What else? Amazing nature, good food, stable economy, friendly society, and a possibility to integrate if you learn Spanish and don't act arrogantly towards locals (this one seems to be a big problem for the "first-world expats"). Retirement visas "para jubilados o rentistas" are easy to get and you can apply for a permanent residency after a year or two.

Here's a table from a site about Chile, it's probably dated a bit but puts things in perspective nicely:

Image
Chile was great, I felt I was going to be here for ever, but they have ruined it, it will drift toward socialism and end up being the same nasty, resentful place as almost all the rest of latin america **sighs**

But until then, it had everything going on for it. Great weather (although water is going to be an issues from the center to the north), great hardworking and honest people, solid economy, great food (and wine), and an incredible variation of natural atractions.

Still can´t believe what they have done to this wonderful country... I feel so frustrated.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by billthecat »

Surdelsur wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:15 am
Pudu wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:08 pm I'm originally from non-EU Europe, have been living in Chile for the last 5 years and plan to stay here. I also lived for a while in Thailand and the US plus visited some rich EU countries as a tourist.

Chile is not cheap but US$2,000/mo will provide a good life for a relatively frugal couple. The infrastructure and healthcare are great: you'll find modern clinics, nicely paved roads and electricity in the most remote regions. The individual taxes are low, you'll pay less than 10% for US$5,000 per month (and there are 3-year tax vacation for the foreigners with income from abroad).

It's also safe: the current protests are large but they are not dangerous for persons – protesters focus mostly on big corporations' and government's properties. Outside of the protests, most of the crime is burglary and theft, robberies are quite rare and usually non-violent. The homicide rate in Chile is 4.3 (like in Latvia) while the US have it at 5.3 nationwide.

What else? Amazing nature, good food, stable economy, friendly society, and a possibility to integrate if you learn Spanish and don't act arrogantly towards locals (this one seems to be a big problem for the "first-world expats"). Retirement visas "para jubilados o rentistas" are easy to get and you can apply for a permanent residency after a year or two.

Here's a table from a site about Chile, it's probably dated a bit but puts things in perspective nicely:

Image
Chile was great, I felt I was going to be here for ever, but they have ruined it, it will drift toward socialism and end up being the same nasty, resentful place as almost all the rest of latin america **sighs**

But until then, it had everything going on for it. Great weather (although water is going to be an issues from the center to the north), great hardworking and honest people, solid economy, great food (and wine), and an incredible variation of natural atractions.

Still can´t believe what they have done to this wonderful country... I feel so frustrated.
Maybe the drift to socialism happens everywhere, including the US.
Alexander Fraser Tytler wrote: A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.
We cannot direct the winds but we can adjust our sails.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by EddyB »

craimund wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:29 am
gougou wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:50 am China. No capital gains tax. Affordable and abundant products and services. Some of the best doctors available with reasonable prices.
When naming countries to retire to, people seem to be placing more value on free stuff from government/cheap healthcare than individual liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process rights and the right to keep and bear arms (i.e., self defense) which, to my knowledge, are only truly guaranteed (i.e., via a written constitution and a long history of respect for such liberties) in one country - the United States.

Also, the reason we (i.e., the US) have such a large military is, in part, because the other Western democracies have largely stood down since WWII and currently have near zero capability to defend themselves from foreign invasion. The only reason many Americans can even consider retiring to such exotic locales is the result of the ability of the US via its "large" military to project power abroad.
If that’s really part of your thinking, I would encourage you to explore it. You may be right in respect of firearms, but your suppositions about free speech, freedom of the press and due process are not even remotely true. You may also want to look at various international comparisons of how those rights operate in practice, too (e.g., I’ve seen numerous assessments that conclude the US press is less “free” than in many countries). Of course, the US does not guarantee a right to education, as many other countries do.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by gougou »

craimund wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:29 am
gougou wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:50 am China. No capital gains tax. Affordable and abundant products and services. Some of the best doctors available with reasonable prices.
When naming countries to retire to, people seem to be placing more value on free stuff from government/cheap healthcare than individual liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process rights and the right to keep and bear arms (i.e., self defense) which, to my knowledge, are only truly guaranteed (i.e., via a written constitution and a long history of respect for such liberties) in one country - the United States.

Also, the reason we (i.e., the US) have such a large military is, in part, because the other Western democracies have largely stood down since WWII and currently have near zero capability to defend themselves from foreign invasion. The only reason many Americans can even consider retiring to such exotic locales is the result of the ability of the US via its "large" military to project power abroad.
OK, China seems to be able to defend itself. China is generally safe. The liberty part is hard to measure.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by flyingaway »

gougou wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:42 am
craimund wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:29 am
gougou wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:50 am China. No capital gains tax. Affordable and abundant products and services. Some of the best doctors available with reasonable prices.
When naming countries to retire to, people seem to be placing more value on free stuff from government/cheap healthcare than individual liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process rights and the right to keep and bear arms (i.e., self defense) which, to my knowledge, are only truly guaranteed (i.e., via a written constitution and a long history of respect for such liberties) in one country - the United States.

Also, the reason we (i.e., the US) have such a large military is, in part, because the other Western democracies have largely stood down since WWII and currently have near zero capability to defend themselves from foreign invasion. The only reason many Americans can even consider retiring to such exotic locales is the result of the ability of the US via its "large" military to project power abroad.
OK, China seems to be able to defend itself. China is generally safe. The liberty part is hard to measure.
I don't think Americans should retire and live in China. You might be treated suspiciously even if you are really an innocent person. They routinely boycott products from certain countries based on current nationalism sentiments, foreigners might get caught in the cross fire.
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Post by manatee2005 »

gougou wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:50 am China. No capital gains tax. Affordable and abundant products and services. Some of the best doctors available with reasonable prices.
How’s the air quality there?
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Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

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