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Author: HamletsMill Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 63080  
Subject: Overseas: Some responses. Date: 2/9/2007 12:14 PM
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First, thanks for all the replies and votes. I thought I would collect my responses into one single post for simplicity.

MDGluon:
...and I would not do such myself for reasons of personal ethics and morals and a odd perhaps poorly thought out view of being in effect a coward and unpatriotic social leech by doing so.

I think there is a distinction between expatriating and emigrating. The former implies living abroad but not surrendering one's nationality; retaining ties, both tangible and emotional to one's country.
An anecdote: A number of years ago I met a Oxbridge don and his wife (a gifted watercolorist) who had retired, as many other English have, to Portugal. The economics, the weather, and a great deal of the lifestyle worked well for them. However they frequently visited their children and grandchildren in the UK (and took advantage of the National Health), and never thought that they had abandoned their country or their culture. As for patriotism, well…the man had been in the British 1st Airborne, he felt he had paid up in full at Arnhem.


AngelMay:
Most places don't want retirees.
Unless, of course, they bring gazillions of dollars with them and invest them with that country at zero % return for X number years or some such -- or prove that you have a retirement income that is nearly preposterous for most people.

The places that WILL accept you with minimum $$ are hot and filled with insects and bugs. Yuk.


Outside of the small exclusive club of relatively wealthy countries, you'll find that most places do welcome foreign residents, and they don't require evidence of large personal incomes – and many of them are not tropical.
As an example: Uruguay has a mild Mediterranean climate, no personal income taxes, a comparable cost of living that is about 2/3rds of the US (add those two last factors, and the difference in terms of disposable income is quite large). Healthcare services are adequate to superb, and considerably less expensive than the States. The people are friendly, and a surprising number – those that you most likely deal with – speak English (although more British English than American).
There is a tendency I think to see much of the rest of the world outside of the high-income zone as being miserable, sweltering havens of poverty, not necessarily the case.


Intercst, et al:
I'm not interested in living in a foreign country, but I might look in to going to Mexico for dental treatment.

You touched on what I think is a related topic that is growing in interest and importance – outsourcing personal healthcare. As mentioned, going to Mexico for dental work is becoming more and more popular, (and the purchasing of drugs via Mexico and Canada) but in addition to that, there is the development of medical facilities located overseas that are specifically designed to service foreigners. I can't recall the name offhand, but as an example, there is a state of the art hospital and dental clinic in Bangkok with over 200 physicians and dentists, all American board certified. The place offers services ranging from cosmetic and other elective surgery to such dental work as implants at a cost about half what they would run in the States. Even allowing for the cost of travel and stay, the overall difference is more than enough to make it an attractive alternative for many (most of their clients are from the surrounding region, however more and more North Americans are becoming clients).
I suspect that baring some unlikely, and perhaps not really feasible, major systemic reform of the American healthcare system, that – going overseas for quality, affordable, healthcare – is going to be more and more explored by moderately affluent retirees over the next decades.



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