Kamis, 13 Juni 2013

....WHAT'S PEOPLE DREAMING...??? IS IT TRUE...?? .... Antigua's Santa Catalina Archway ?? ...... “But I live down here ten months of the year,” she continued. “It's beautiful, it's cheap and frankly...I just couldn't stand it anymore up there. At least down here you don't have the state breathing down your neck!” She had plenty of other gripes too, from tax codes to job prospects to nationalized healthcare -- and a few other colorful remarks not fit for these pages....>> ...Retire Like a King Overseas..??

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Retire Like a King Overseas

http://outsiderclub.com/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go

By Jimmy Mengel   

I spent the last week in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala. It was founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century and serves as a living monument to Catholicism. Antigua is flanked by three massive volcanoes hovering like gods over the city center. The cobblestone streets snake around dilapidated churches, monasteries and shrines. The town is alive with blessed charisma and an almost ghostly charm.

guatamalan archAntigua's Santa Catalina Archway

Needless to say it was a nice respite from the day to day analysis of chaotic financial news. But alas, even in the warm embrace of an exotic vacation, I was unable to stray too far from turmoil at home...
After our first day of taking in the earthquake ravaged architecture, my wife and I slipped into a side street restaurant to outline the remainder of our trip. We were both enchanted by what we'd seen -- and feeling a little warm and fuzzy after some Guatemalan rum -- so we began to imagine what it would be like to move to place like Antigua in our 'golden' years. We could rest, relax and live like kings for a fraction of the cost of the United States...
We had basically sold ourselves on the move by the time we finished off our fried plantains and pollo en jocón. It was then that I heard a woman shout, in perfect English: “They won't even let us drink large sodas anymore!”
A fired-up lady in her late fifties was talking to a fellow Yank at the table behind us...and she didn't seem pleased. As our check arrived, I asked the pair where they were from, she said New York; he answered Northern Virginia.
“But I live down here ten months of the year,” she continued. “It's beautiful, it's cheap and frankly...I just couldn't stand it anymore up there. At least down here you don't have the state breathing down your neck!” She had plenty of other gripes too, from tax codes to job prospects to nationalized healthcare -- and a few other colorful remarks not fit for these pages.
The gentleman told me he was riding his motorcycle across Central and South America and didn't seem to have a care – political or otherwise – in the world. Yet he also praised the lifestyle he could afford in Guatemala and mentioned that he intended to settle in neighboring Belize after his bike trip was over.
Now, Guatemala’s government is a crooked as a three-legged street dog. The fact that a place like this is more attractive then the grand old U S of A is a crying shame. But time and time again, we ran into Americans that had either settled in Antigua for their retirement or opened up a business in a place where it was friendly to do so...
In fact over three million Americans are currently planning retire overseas for these exact reasons.
For those in the U.S., Latin American is an obvious starting point for locational and logistical reasons. These countries are cheap, gorgeous and ready for visitors. International Living has released their 21st annual index of top retirement spots for erstwhile Americans:
Here they are:
  1. Ecuador
  2. Panama
  3. Malaysia
  4. Mexico
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Uruguay
  7. Colombia
  8. Spain
  9. Thailand
  10. Malta
All of these countries have an attractive combinations of low costs of living, affordable real estate, decent health care, retirement infrastructure and copius entertainment options. Bascially everything you need for a fullfilling retirement -- and likely what you may be missing by retiring here in the States.
Take Dan Prescher, who moved to a gated community in Cotacachi, Ecuador. His home has a glorious view of the Andes mountains and it only set him back $50,000.
"Every now and then, [my wife and I] think it would be nice to have a place in the states, so we run the numbers," Prescher told the Wharton School of Business. "But because of the high taxes, medical costs and insurance, we just can't figure out a way to live as affordably as we do here. The cost of living is half of what it would be in the U.S."
And he's not kidding, check out some of these cost comparisons from the Wharton School of Business:
Real estate in San Jose, Costa Rica, for instance, is 57% lower than in Philadelphia. Consumer prices in Chiang Mai, Thailand, are 59% lower than in Boston. Groceries in Seville, Spain, are 36% lower than in San Francisco.
If you've found yourself in the position of millions of Americans whose retirement savings aren't measuring up to the quality of life you want and deserve, then expatriating may be well worth a good, hard look. We'll highlight some of the best "escape hatch" destinations in the Outsider Club in weeks to come.
Godspeed,
Jimmy Mengel Signature
Jimmy Mengel for the Outsider Club

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The Scores and How Our 2013 Retirement Index Works

The Scores and How Our 2013 Retirement Index Works
Our editors, correspondents and in-country experts were busy collecting the details for this latest edition of the Index months ago. Our in-house number crunchers have been analyzing the results for weeks.
Here we focus on the top 22 retirement destinations in the world, considering them across eight crucial categories: real estate, special retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate.
We’ve looked at everything from Internet penetration to the price of a beer. We’ve paid attention to the discounts and benefits you receive as a retiree. And we’ve asked important questions like: How easy is it to stay in touch with the folks back home? Is it easy to make friends? What is there to do? Is a car necessary?
This is a qualitative assessment exploring what matters most to you when you consider an overseas retirement spot. We don’t just look at hard numbers. We talk to the expats living there and ask for the details. What are the roads like? Is there a local health-care system? Would they—or do they—use it? How much does it cost?
When it comes to costs we looked at everything from the price of utilities, groceries, cable TV and a maid to real estate and rentals. In fact, when it comes to property, not only have we asked “how much?” We’ve also asked our real estate experts if that represents good value.
The results in this table tell the story.

Country Real Estate Special Benefits Cost of Living Integration E&A Health Ret. Infra Climate FINAL SCORES
Ecuador 99 99 90 90 95 83 79 100 91.9
Panama 83 100 86 93 95 85 81 88 89.0
Malaysia 89 77 92 90 100 93 85 75 87.6
Mexico 92 71 82 100 100 84 74 78 85.1
Costa Rica 89 85 87 90 94 86 73 71 84.4
Uruguay 87 72 69 83 94 91 82 92 83.7
Colombia 94 75 70 90 82 84 83 86 83.0
Spain 87 57 80 83 96 80 93 83 82.5
Thailand 82 57 97 87 96 81 77 81 82.3
Malta 87 82 71 100 68 82 77 75 80.1
Portugal 75 69 86 67 81 82 95 85 80.1
Nicaragua 94 63 89 90 77 83 68 73 79.7
Ireland 78 79 67 97 84 73 85 73 79.5
France 72 82 57 64 100 89 87 85 79.5
Philippines 78 57 100 87 79 83 84 69 79.5
New Zealand 82 74 57 90 88 71 86 87 79.3
Italy 76 77 66 74 98 70 89 83 79.0
Brazil 80 70 80 60 76 84 69 85 75.5
Chile 85 69 81 57 88 78 83 57 74.8
Honduras 76 85 80 87 64 76 67 62 74.6
Belize 78 72 85 83 57 79 66 64 73.2
Dom. Rep 91 63 70 64 74 68 75 64 71.0



*E&A = Entertainment and Amenities;
Ret. Infra. = Retirement Infrastructure
See the 2013 Retirement Index article here.
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