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...relocating to a Latin American nation would you?

A former coworker told us today that he is planning on taking the early buyout his current employer is offering and with his investments he will have around 30k per year in income and showed us an article touting the benefits to U.S. retirees currently available in Panama, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

He said he and his wife figure the buyout package will be enough for the move and they can keep the small mobile home on their property here for summers and holidays and let their son and daughter in law take their current house.

When he asked my opinion I told him while I sometimes imagine traveling to Costa Rica with the hummingbirds for winter, the U.S. retirees evicted from the Baja coast by Fox and forfeiting their retirement home investments a few years back soured me to the idea of retiring internationally.

So would you seriously consider relocating to Latin America in retirement?
 

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No. My hubby keeps saying that when he retires he wants to move out of the country, but I have no desire to do so. My children are here. My friends are here. In fact, my whole life is here. Plus, what do you do if the country suddenly becomes hostile to Americans?
 

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I have a friend, her and her husband live in Nicaragua. They seem to enjoy it there. There are other ex-pats that live there as well - and some they have become friends with. It is definitely something to think about before doing - and learning Spanish would be a good thing. :)

Now if I were to decide to "retire"/live outside the U.S. - I would look at various countries and the pros and cons of each.
 

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I might consider it, but I would never put all my eggs into one basket. At one time most offshore income was protected from taxes but recently that changed. I think of all of the places I have visited I would most like to live in Singapore or Thailand for a while. I just want some kind of fancy dancy escape pod for when things go south. Mexico is actually a wonderful place to visit, I just cannot see the wisdom in buying anything anywhere one is not a citizen.
 

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No, it's not my cup of tea, visiting yes but immigrating no. However, if I were looking, Canada would be my first choice. Portugal would maybe be my second choice. Several years ago I saw an interview of a retired carpenter from Denver who was living very well on social security alone in Portugal. He could not afford the coast but inland about 30 miles he had his own hacienda with fruit and nut trees. He seemed to love it.
 

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No. Most American are mislead by all the rights they have here and, in fact, all the rights given to non-citizens. They think it will be the same elsewhere. Then they find out that, unlike the US, most countries do not extend their privileges of government, of which they probably don't have as much to start with, to non-citizens. They find the idea silly to begin with- imagine disadvantaging your fellow citizens for the sake of foreigners........

Not to mention that once outside of the US, you can easily be the target of blame for whatever, even if you adapt. For all the noise about US intolerance and racism, it is nothing to what most countries find acceptable.

You have to be much more adaptable than most people to find a secure place elsewhere, especially Latin Amerca. It helps if your ancestors are from the same area. But if there is a crisis locally, and many parts of Latin America are volatile, you are at the bottom of the feeding chain.
 

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Thought about it, but.......

Personally couldn't take the heat (weather wise) in Cent America.
Have some trouble communicating with others in English (American) let alone try another lang.
Healthcare is iffy in some of those areas and U.S. insurance companies don't really cover you outside the U.S., other than emergencies.
And the big stopper - as long as you are a U.S. citizen you have to still file and pay taxes (at least fed.). But there are many every year that do the alternative and give up U.S. citizenship which in it's self is another whole can of worms....

Although I would consider Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, maybe England or parts of Spain, and Portugal. Maybe not to "live" there but sure would like to consider extended stays.....
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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Could I retire comfortably on $25k per year?

Yes, absolutely.

I am retired. My pension is much less than $25k. For me that would be an increase in my pension.

After I retired, we migrated to Maine. My wife works in a grocery store, and we earn a good deal more than the average household income in this region.
 

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Voice of Reason
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I might consider retiring in a foreign country if I had a lot of tax liability, but I don't have that problem. I'll stay here for sure.
 

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we are considering retiring to Belize or Mexico but leaning more towards Mexico. We are going down in Feb for 16 days to check things out.
We can retire on our SS and never touch our retirement money unless we want to travel
 

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Dallas
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DW's sister and her significant other retired almost 2 years ago and moved to Panama.
They have a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom luxury penthouse condo right on the beach (Pacific ocean) for $800 a month, weekly maid service for $60 a month (yes $15 per week), they go out to eat for most meals (at least 5 days a week, twice a day), and have a thriving ex-pat community they socialize with- and they are putting money in the bank from their retirement pay (both were teachers and have decent pensions)
We've visited them and while it was fun for a few days, there's no way I'd move to Central America myself.
Laying on the beach and drinking is not my idea of what I want to do when I retire - it apparently works for them - OK to be fair that's not all they do, but I couldn't stay busy enough to be happy there.
 

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The health care, sanitation, and rule of law are lacking in many of the places with low cost of living. It is a calculated risk. I certainly have considered it though. I'd probably go to India before Central America. They speak English there, have some decent health facilities if you can afford them, and if you have a background in any of the outsourced industries there you might be able to pick up some part time consulting work to keep your brain active during retirement.

The major upside to living in a poor country is the price of labor is so low, you can afford to hire some help as you're slowing down and can't do it all yourself any more. You could probably even afford an in-home nurse for your final years. But you always run the risk of the locals taking advantage of you or the political climate turning ugly.

You could consider a second career working for a mission or NGO. You'd get a more primitive lifestyle, engaging work, basic expenses covered, and a home team to back you up if something goes wrong. You don't get a lot of freedom to do your own thing though. The donors behind the organization want results...
 

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Never. I was born 2 miles from here and will never leave. We live very comfortably here, on way less than 1/4th that. We also have a very good support system here as we grow older. We know no one outside the U.S. I can not fly and get very car sick after a short trip, if not driving....James
 

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Having lived for quite a number of years in other countries I would give retiring to a foreign country a qualified yes. You have to be very selective in the country you pick, quality of medical care, stability of government, personal liberty, corruption level, etc. You really, really need to speak the language. The ideal situation is a spouse that's local and can integrate you into the local community. Frankly, I know a number of countries where it's possible to pick up a nice, bouncy local spouse to take care of you in your old age without a whole lot of problem. Of course, your current spouse is not going to be happy about that. If I were going to do it, Costa Rica would be high on my list, Thailand will do, Portugal is nice, Ireland is intriguing. Wouldn't touch Mexico with a barge pole.
 

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It's a little farther south than most of you have been talking about but if I had to pick a place to go make a new life, I'd be having a serious look at Chile. Yes, I'd have to learn a new language.

What I'm trying to figure out is what you need in the US that a $30k/yr income wouldn't cover. There are a lot of people who never make that in their entire lives, some of which seem to do pretty well. Without the constraints of having to be in a certain location for a particular job, $30k/yr would allow for some pretty good living, in my opinion. Then again, I have no interest in fancy houses or expensive cars or extravagant restaurants or happening nightlife.

To each their own.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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... What I'm trying to figure out is what you need in the US that a $30k/yr income wouldn't cover. There are a lot of people who never make that in their entire lives, some of which seem to do pretty well. Without the constraints of having to be in a certain location for a particular job, $30k/yr would allow for some pretty good living, in my opinion. Then again, I have no interest in fancy houses or expensive cars or extravagant restaurants or happening nightlife.

To each their own.
I made a lot more when I was working. My Dw and I agreed to strictly budget ourselves to spending only a small portion of my income, while we invested the bulk of my earnings.

I retired as soon as I qualified for pension, we bought our homestead, and now we do well on a small income.

However as you said: "To each their own", many others would insist that they can not survive on any less.
 

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However as you said: "To each their own", many others would insist that they can not survive on any less.
The more you have, the more you spend. I know I spent way less when I had less, and it didn't hurt that much. I didn't have as many flashy toys, but I had a functioning computer and plenty to do. I had a smaller house and we kept it pretty cold. I ate more beans and rice. I thought about each purchase more. ...but living on the income I have now, it's hard to see where all that extra money is going and how on earth we'd get by without it.
 
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