Discussion in 'Wealth Creation & Management' started by Maxwell, Jan 18, 2014.
This pretty much sums up my interest in the region.
It's what the "Sovereign Investor" calls Sigma.
Geez thats a hard one julie it depends on your wants & needs theres hundreds of islands here to choose from. I chose a small island where the air is fresh & the traffic is minimal .
I would steer clear of the major cities because of the pollution & traffic or your dream retirement could turn into a traffic jam choking on the pollution .
I was only coming for a few weeks & decided to stay & look around a bit .then found a piece of paradise in my travels where the people are nice ,crime is minimal ...no worse than a lot of places in the west . My advice would be to spend a few weeks or months travelling around & see if you find anything that suits you .
Theres many westerners living here in a lot of places & most expats here are friendly & relaxed leaving the west behind as a distant memory . Most of them have the same outlook of the high taxes ,loss of freedom,cost of living .over zealous law enforcement,revenue raising etc that their home country has turned into preferring the relaxed feel the phils have. The police are friendly the food & beer is cheap .
There is a lot of pensioners here living a good life eating out ,travelling having drinks with friends which would be impossible in their home countries on a pension & others that seen the opportunities of an underdeveloped country & starting businesses . In the last couple of years theres been more younger people in there 30s & 40s come here & set up businesses not just the oldies .
About $1K a month will give u a solid lifestyle wanting for nothing . Theres many people living on half of that because they invested in property & have no rent to pay
Im not fat !!!
I've been looking around for a while.
The main thing for me is the humidity.
Can't take it.So I've vbeen looking for cool places.
This means the mountains.
Mainly looking at indonesia.
Thailand up north. Chang mai.
But I think the thai aren't really friendly.
They tolerant farang.
Malaysia .lots of English speakers.
Rule of law.
Very few cool places undeveloped.
Philippines very hot.and humid.
Nice people who go out of their way to enjoy life.
You can always run away if something goes wrong.
The law is less certain in some countries.
Do border runs for visa renewal until your sure.
India.some states in north are cool.Very cheap .200 week.
Haven't been there Next place to visit.
The travel shows always omit to show the sweat dripping .
Yep humidity is tough sometimes .You do know they invented air-con & electric fans : . Manual labour is out of the question if your a pasty white guy from a cold area.Most dont come here to work though .
When wages are so cheap you dont need to work A helper or maid can set u back a massive $40 a week (6 days )... less if you give them a room & feed them .Tradesmen about $50 a week
Thanks for ideas everyone.
I really like Thailand but as Petey says, farang are 'tolerated', that's why I'm looking at other countries.
Basically looking for a country that treats you like a grown up and doesn't fine you for failing to put one foot in front of the other.
The average person on the street is very welcoming as you would know, but as you say the government is less inviting to foreigners.
I wouldn't discount the idea of Thailand all together, just don't bring all your money with you. 800k THB will qualify you for the retirement visa which gives you a year long visa, annually renewable. Then park the rest of your cash in a nearby jurisdiction like HK or Singapore.... your money will be safe and you will be able to enjoy sunny Thailand without risking much of your hard earned. You will be easily able to just leave and go somewhere else if/when you have had enough. The foreigners who get bitter here are the ones who dumped everything they had into their life here and now cant afford to get out, even when its clear they have begun to hate the place.
(As I am sure you are well aware this is planting multiple flags at a basic level... you could even split your year between a few different SEAsian countries to move with the seasons somewhat. Much of the literature also suggests you shouldn't be banking/doing business in your 'playground'/place of residence anyway).
As to the question of why Asia and not say NQueensland, I will weigh in (even though I am not a retiree). Life is basically far more interesting over here. Me and my GF eat out in restaurants every night and go away most weekends. Any time of the day or night I can find some nice food to eat, a cold beer, get a massage, watch the football etc etc at a very low cost to me. I have my house cleaned for me. I send all my clothes out to be washed/ironed. If I wanted I could even have all my groceries and restaurant food delivered to my door for free. I cant begin to imagine what level of income I would need to maintain this lifestyle in Aus... here it is possible on under 1500AUD a month (and that is me being lavish).
It is a great life as a young person and I can only imagine that as a retiree it would help to keep one far more active. Sure, if I wanted to go and sit on a property in NQueensland and not do much except potter around my own garden, I could probably live pretty cheap as well. But here you can live cheap AND be out and about doing things every single day. Different people are going to enjoy different lifestyles though, so what I prefer may be different to others.
I am in Chiang Mai now. I meet very friendly Thai people n a daily basis, never had any problems. They are much nicer here than down South if the islands are your only experience.... those tourist islands attract the scum of Thailand that just want your money.
Dabloodymess, do you mind me asking what you and your girlfriend do for income? You can be as specific or non-specific as you like.
I teach history at an international school and she works at a technical college.
I have an additional income stream of copy writing which is location independent, but it doesn't return much yet (I could probably live off it if I dedicated all my time to it though).
Thanks for the interesting comments!
How do you deal with the language barrier? I understand a lot of locals who live around areas where foreigners are established have some rudiments of English - does that get you by?
Well I have learnt enough Thai to conduct basic daily tasks, it wasnt that difficult really and I have 0 aptitude for foreign languages. Some of my foreign friends are almost fluent (spoken) though - if I retired here I would want to get to this level.
Most people have some English. I was particularly surprised when I found out my elderly neighbour was fluent in English with barely an accent. If I need to sort out something more complicated than my Thai allows for, I have a few Thai friends I can call to help or the school secretaries.
I find this thread absolutely intriguing
Thanks to all
Its got the cogs ticking over
Balipod is an xpat forum I recommend.
Update on tourist visa times for the philippines
You can now stay 3 years on a tourist visa before you have to fly out & back to get an entry stamp to start the 3 year cycle again
$25,000 USD will buy you an investment visa in Ecuador. It then takes another two years to get permanent residency at which point you only have to spend 1 day in Ecuador every 18 months to keep it. Ecuador also doesn't have any capital gains tax. While immigration laws change all the time, this one is at the top of my SHTF overseas plan.
Heres what a day in the phils can be at times .
My better half had a doctors appointment on a neighbouring island & had to be there at 9am .The earliest boat from our end of the island left at 7am & didnt arrive until 9am leaving no time to get to the appointment from the port . So in my infinite wisdom after i checked on the websites of the ferries i decide to drive to the other end of the island an hour & a half drive away .
Ok up at 4am get ready leave at 5 were up there just before the first boat is sheduled to leave at 6.30 & the boat has left early !!! ( a miracle in the philippines everything is late ) ok can we have a ticket for the 6.45 (another carrier) "sorry sir the boat is cancelled" ....ok the 7am then ? "sorry sir its cancelled too " ,the next boat is 7.45 .So through gritted teeth i agree & buy the tickets .
We hang out in the smelly waiting shed at the port for what seemed like eternity watching the clock thinking its ok we'll only be 15 minutes late ....anyway the boat chugs in at 7.45 ...yep were going to be late now .Could have stayed in bed & caught the 7am from near our house not happy .15 minutes later the people have off loaded & the guard rushes everyone out to get on the boat . We all rush out thinking we leave soon then theyre not letting anyone on the boat for some unknown reason . So were all standing in the sun baking like souffles for another 15 minutes until they fixed whatever it was . Ok another 15 minutes were all on the ferry & i use the word ferry loosely .
Ok we're off the boat leaps into action ... well not really it crawled away vibrating like a cheap chinese dildo with all the locals blessing themselves & praying the POS made it to our destination . So it was supposed to be an hour trip but it took an hour & 15 because it was overloaded & groaning to gain speed . We arrive all thanking god the said POS made it without us having to use our scuba skills to surface for air.
Time to catch a taxi ..Anyone whos been to asia knows thats a feat in itself to find one that uses a meter & doesnt try to scam you with a fixed price .
After beating off half a dozen we found one & got in headed to the quacks ...great were thinking ...ummm no were not ! Traffic jam ! another thing you need to experience for yourself if you never been to a large asian city. anyway we finally get there get out of the cab & walk in to find out the moron took us to the wrong place !!! Great just fkn great now we're really late I was just about to have a conniption when like magic another cab dropped someone off & we got straight back in ..in a matter of 2 minutes ...Things are changing for the better ... You know where this is i ask he says yep & were off again !! ...nope !!! 100 metres up the road he gets on his ham radio to ask for directions & no one wants to answer him (all the time the meter is running ) suddenly amongst the noise a voice comes on & says something i didnt understand & he takes off ok cool were going now ...NOPE !!! he drove around the corner to ask somone on the street !!!! anyway he takes off this timelike a maniac ....not really more like a herion addict on valium bcoz he was to scared to get lost becoz of the agitated foreigner in the back ....We finally turn a corner into a back alley & were there .. finally.
So we go upstairs & explain what happened & the receptionist says thats ok take a seat ...so we do ...for an hour !!! then calls the missus name & in she goes only to come out a few minutes later with enough forms to resemble a small novel All written in the amazing miniature english on all forms in the phils you need a magnifying glass to read it .
So she fills in the forms in duplicate. then hands them back ...ok take a seat ...she does .We wait another hour & a bit then need to have lunch becoz of our early start . So we rush out have lunch & are back in no time thinking we be served soon WRONG !!! we sat there on steel chairs so long my arse was numb until they finally called her name & in she goes to get weighed measured eye test etc then back out to wait again ....
Half hour later we get escorted around to the xray dept to see a line longer than the one we were in before omfg Then fill out a few more miniature forms anyway we wait & wait & wait finally get called for the xray & blood test around an hour . Ok nearly finished ...nope !!! back to the other office for the urine test ....sure easy! ....get the container ...where is the toilet ? "next to the xray" Oh fk me couldve done it while we were there b4 but no.no.no back there we go do the jazz & back to the other office .
Great we be finished soon i ask where we pay ..NO!!! she needs to have a full medical ..oh great more waiting . So we wait for another hour or more when a lady doctor turns up looking like she just come to work .& guess what SHE DID !!! thats why we waited for so long they tell you to come in the morning when the doctor isnt even there !!! .
Alright now were in & medical done in under 10 minutes . great we're outta here ..NO !!! "can you go across the road & get a copy of your xray & check to see if your name is spelled correctly on the xray? " WTF !!! couldnt you read your own miniscule forms did you forget your magnifying glass ? Ok we smile & agree to go & get them & check We go across & get given directions then get there & wait at another window & miniature forms then she tells us its not at that window its across the hall & screwed said miniature form up & threw it away ...i could have strangled her but smiled again .
So here we go again across the hall & a doctor punched in her name & like magic out pops a copy of the xray in 1 minute & we thank her & leave .
Finally were going home ...WRONG !!! we needed to catch a cab to the port it was nearly 5pm &peak hour .. Trying to find a taxi in peak hour is like finding the hand of faith nugget under your door mat . so we wave like a pair of retardeds trying to get a cab . We get one & finally make it back to the "boat of hope " to get home just in time i might add .
Anyway we get home around 9pm
Another day in paradise .
Thats a condensed version i had more written earlier about the cab ride traffic jams & trip home in the car dodging livestock, motorbikes with no lights etc but got timed out & lost it all . .
Sometimes I feel Sydney is going that way. Obviously no where near as bad, but sometimes its hard not to vent about all the annoying screwups, delays, over-bookings, population growing faster in services, people who just do the absolute least possible for their job, decaying infrastructure, pointless bureaucracy, endless duplication of forms, public transport f**kups, doctors MIA after I make an appointment.... man oh man. Well, at least its not as bad as you experienced.
I believe you have to stay in Ecuador 9 months of each year for the first two years. Ecuador would have been at the top of my list if not for Correa. He has done a lot of good, but he is taking things too far. He has a tendency to take assets from companies/people and to demonize those he is taking it from, including the native tribes. Since he has been overspending and China appears to be cutting off the credit card, that worries me about seizure of foreigner assets. The key would be to keep most of your assets outside of Ecuador.
CL, I am not sure how well Ecuador would do in a SHTF scenario as they use the USD for their currency.
For those looking at Latin America, there are several options.
Panama and Costa Rica are also relatively easy to get retirement visas and Panama has tax breaks for those starting businesses.
I believe Columbia's investment visa is around $35,000 USD.
For me, it isn't really about SHTF scenarios. It is about trying a different lifestyle and experiencing another culture.
I wouldn't own any assets in Ecuador. I already have an offshore bank account and bullion in storage overseas. I would only keep enough money in an Ecuadorian bank for general expenses and only stay in the country for the minimum requirements to obtain and maintain residency. I'm aware of the 18 months in the first two years for residency. The rest of time I would spend either in Australia or bouncing around as a PT after obtaining residency.
If the USD collapses then so will most if not all other fiat currencies imo.
Panama is not the country it use to be. Since FACTA has come into effect it's turned into a bureaucratic nightmare of a country for expats/foreigners as its slowly caved to the US government's demands. Just opening a bank account in Panama is messy these days and it also uses the USD as its currency.
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