Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

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Tony-S
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Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by Tony-S »

Top 10 is mostly the usual suspects, except for the addition of Malta this year.

1. Costa Rica
2. Panama
3. Mexico
4. Columbia
5. Portugal
6. Ecuador
7. Malaysia
8. France
9. Malta
10. Viet Nam

https://internationalliving.com/the-bes ... to-retire/
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willthrill81
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by willthrill81 »

For me:

Central America? Too hot and dangerous.

Southeast Asia? Also hot, not quite as dangerous, but no way.

Western Europe? That would be alright, but the cost of living is unlikely to be much lower, if any, than some equally nice places in the U.S.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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Tony-S
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by Tony-S »

Yeah, I'm sure "beaches and warm weather" are disproportionately affecting their rubric. :happy

Portugal's relatively inexpensive and provides an easy gateway to EU nations. I suspect France is a little pricy in desirable regions, though.
ondarvr
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by ondarvr »

I'd consider it, but you can normally find a place in the US to retire for a lower, or similar overall cost than the typical overseas location if that's the goal.

I researched it extensively, then visited some locations, the great location can turn into just another place to live, only with more hassles.

Not that you can't go cheap in certain countries, but it takes a certain kind of person, or even more difficult, a couple, to make it work.
protagonist
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by protagonist »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:32 pm For me:

Central America? Too hot and dangerous.

Too hot is subjective (even where I am in Florida is too cold for me today), and the mountains of Central America can get quite cold.

And dangerous? Here is a comparison of crime in Costa Rica vs. the USA. Seems like pretty much a crap shoot to me:
https://www.nationmaster.com/country-in ... ates/Crime

Same with Panama:
https://www.nationmaster.com/country-in ... ates/Crime

In fact, depending on your specific crime concerns, CR and Panama may be safer.
Last edited by protagonist on Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lexx
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by Lexx »

How'd France make the list? I thought France was a HCOL country as is most of Western Europe? Or are we talking about living in a very small village way way out in the middle of nowhere?
investingfan
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by investingfan »

California is actually pretty affordable. We spend 65K a year but 40% of it goes to the mortgage. We pay less than 1K a year on state income tax and making just a little over 100K. The weather is very good here but we are nowhere near the pacific ocean. We took a few vacations in those countries and they weren't cheap. Well, unless you want to live like locals.
protagonist
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by protagonist »

Lexx wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:49 pm How'd France make the list? I thought France was a HCOL country as is most of Western Europe? Or are we talking about living in a very small village way way out in the middle of nowhere?
You have to be careful to compare apples to apples. The USA is also a HCOL country.
Compare Paris to New York City.
Compare a "small village in the middle of nowhere" in France to a similar village in the middle of nowhere in the US, if such a thing exists (in France you are never "in the middle of nowhere" as so many places are in the USA).

It's not easy getting residency status in France as a retiree, and there are Schengen laws governing how much time you can stay there each year. They can be circumvented I suppose, but it requires a lot of effort.
Last edited by protagonist on Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
protagonist
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by protagonist »

I wouldn't discourage anyone from living in another country....I have lived full-time in a few and part-time in others and loved it.
But one consideration ....at least , in retrospect, from my experience:
If you are not very fluent in the language (a daunting task for retirees), and especially if you are also not a visible contributor to the society (via work or whatnot), you will always remain something of an outsider. Think of similar people in your community in the US....they are often relegated to social circles of other immigrants like themselves who speak their language, which further inhibits them from becoming linguistically and culturally fluent and integrated into society.
That may not be an issue at first, but it grows on you if "home" means "connection".
Last edited by protagonist on Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
realclemsongrad
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by realclemsongrad »

Tony-S wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:21 pm Top 10 is mostly the usual suspects, except for the addition of Malta this year.

1. Costa Rica
2. Panama
3. Mexico
4. Columbia
5. Portugal
6. Ecuador
7. Malaysia
8. France
9. Malta
10. Viet Nam

https://internationalliving.com/the-bes ... to-retire/
Malaysia is awesome esp if you move to central part like Cameron Highlands. Weather is cool and away from all hustle..
AlohaJoe
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by AlohaJoe »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:32 pm Southeast Asia? Also hot, not quite as dangerous, but no way.
It is 52 degrees right now in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is also 52 degrees in Dalat, Vietnam, which is 1,400 kilometers away from Hanoi -- further than the distance from Amsterdam to Florence. And Sapa, Vietnam, gets snow every once in a while. (It is currently 38 degrees in Sapa.)
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willthrill81
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by willthrill81 »

AlohaJoe wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:56 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:32 pm Southeast Asia? Also hot, not quite as dangerous, but no way.
It is 52 degrees right now in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is also 52 degrees in Dalat, Vietnam, which is 1,400 kilometers away from Hanoi -- further than the distance from Amsterdam to Florence. And Sapa, Vietnam, gets snow every once in a while. (It is currently 38 degrees in Sapa.)
It's not just the heat; it's the humidity. I breathed hot soup in the southeastern U.S. for many years and wouldn't do it again by choice.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
tfunk
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by tfunk »

Owned a house at the beach in Costa Rica for 26 years. In 1992 it reminded me of the US in the 1950's. Not many people, few tourists, low prices. Sure there were some inconveniences. Good hospital 4 hours away, one grocery store 40 minutes away, airport 3 hours away. Our only local grocery was about 200 square feet. Very, very safe as far as physical, but some theft and scams to watch out for.

After a few years, it became apparent that it was very hot and humid - we eventually added air con to every room after "roughing it" for many years. Prices increased. Four grocery stores came to town - with high quality, high priced goods. International airport opened up 30 minutes away. Many, many condo developments with upscale amenities sprouted up as word got around. All the local, cheap places to eat on the beach disappeared replaced by businesses like Hard Rock Cafe.

Bottom line - if you want to live the same lifestyle you are used to in the US, it will cost pretty much the same or slightly more. Just that you can be near the beach, wear flip flops and t-shirts every day, and learn about a different culture. Have to say though, if you want to live like a local, it can be very reasonable.
flyingaway
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by flyingaway »

Tony-S wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:21 pm Top 10 is mostly the usual suspects, except for the addition of Malta this year.

1. Costa Rica
2. Panama
3. Mexico
4. Columbia
5. Portugal
6. Ecuador
7. Malaysia
8. France
9. Malta
10. Viet Nam

https://internationalliving.com/the-bes ... to-retire/
I have been to 8 of them, other than Ecuador and Malta.

Believe me, if I have enough money, I will choose to live in the U.S. and travel to those countries to see how the expats are doing there.
flyingaway
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by flyingaway »

tfunk wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:34 pm Owned a house at the beach in Costa Rica for 26 years. In 1992 it reminded me of the US in the 1950's. Not many people, few tourists, low prices. Sure there were some inconveniences. Good hospital 4 hours away, one grocery store 40 minutes away, airport 3 hours away. Our only local grocery was about 200 square feet. Very, very safe as far as physical, but some theft and scams to watch out for.

After a few years, it became apparent that it was very hot and humid - we eventually added air con to every room after "roughing it" for many years. Prices increased. Four grocery stores came to town - with high quality, high priced goods. International airport opened up 30 minutes away. Many, many condo developments with upscale amenities sprouted up as word got around. All the local, cheap places to eat on the beach disappeared replaced by businesses like Hard Rock Cafe.

Bottom line - if you want to live the same lifestyle you are used to in the US, it will cost pretty much the same or slightly more. Just that you can be near the beach, wear flip flops and t-shirts every day, and learn about a different culture. Have to say though, if you want to live like a local, it can be very reasonable.
That is so true. Many expats just live like the locals, which are inexpensive for their reasons. You can spend $1,000 per month to live in Vietnam, but you will not have T-bone steaks to eat.
bradshaw1965
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by bradshaw1965 »

I have family in Mexico and have thought about spending significant time in a colonial city like San Miguel de Allende.

I've also thought about making Spain or Portugal a base of operation to explore Europe.

SE Asia has always called my name but seems a little more complicated then the last time I thought about it.

I have no illusions about the tradeoffs necessary, I probably will not full time expat for the rest of my life.
Lexx
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by Lexx »

When it comes down to it, outside of Canada, US, and maybe a few western European countries, there's really nowhere else I'd like to live. Our plan right now is once the kids are off to college (probably Canada), we'd maintain our US residency and live on the mainland 1/3 of the time, 1/3 in Vancouver (since my wife will inherit her parents' home), and maybe 1/3 a mix of travel around the world. Of course it all depends on our health at the time. Got to do it now otherwise once you turn 80, it's impossible to get good travel insurance.
7eight9
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by 7eight9 »

Good to see Malaysia and Vietnam on the list. Those are two of the countries we are considering (along with Thailand). Now we just have to wait for international borders to open up.
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Re: Intern'l Living's 2021 retirement countries

Post by LadyGeek »

I removed a post conjecturing on political positions of several countries.

This thread has run its course and is locked (not personal nor actionable - the OP does not intend to move to a non-US country). General comment threads are off topic in the forums with "Personal" in the title. See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT

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If you have a specific question, please ask directly and provide sufficient information for members to supply appropriate advice.

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to live).
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