Are any retired or retired to be considering living abroad? In my travels I've found former eastern block countries, like Prague of the Czech Republic, intriguing culturally. Also, the quality of life seems to be superb. Currently I'm considering and leaning towards the Tuscanny area of Italy. Any thoughts? By the way, in the earlier discussion about 'where to live', someone posted that Alaska is a high tax state. Not true. We have no income or sales tax. Furthermore every man, woman and child receives an annual check from our 32 billion dollar permanent fund. Last year every person(including babies and children) in Alaska received a check for $1769. Actually if one can tolerate the long winters this would not be a bad place to retire.
tricomi, one thing you must consider if choosing to retire overseas is health insurance. Medicare will NOT cover you outside the US and the territories. You may want to consider cultural differences as well as language. If one chooses to live in a country, one should be prepared to learn the local language. Many Americans are choosing countries south of our border in Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize etc. One would worry about safety, but we aren't all that safe in our own country any more (if the gun grabbers have their way, it will only get worse). I have lived in several foreign countries but was always glad to get home. I don't know how I'd feel about it after we were retired. A slower pace would certainly be more acceptable..hope these opinions help. Florence
<<one thing you must consider if choosing to retire overseas is health insurance. Medicare will NOT cover you outside the US and the territories.>>True. Neither would an HMO or PPO type of insurance. Even if you were younger than Medicare age, you would need the old fashioned (high price) fee for service type of insurance. My experience is Europe is that they charge whatever they want, usually far higher than limits set by their own countries.
Re #3301, Tuscanny area of Italy. Great part of Italy. Scenery is fabulous and food is marvelous but expensive. Primative housing, water supply. Take care about availability and quality of medical care and medicines. High (outrageous) cost for clothing, food and gasoline. Off the main path; many tombs to see, if you are into that. Most if not all DO NOT speak English. Gasoline about $4-5/gal and AutoStradda tolls are out of sight. Good rail system. Random strikes of postal workers or bank workers or rail workers, etc. Water sometimes only available for certain hours. Small refrigerators and washers. Often no dryers. Fabulous weather. Lovely people, if you can TALK to them.
I am posting this response from Christchurch, New Zealand where I live for six months of the year. The other six months are spent in Roseville, Ca. I am 65 and on Medicare and receive SS benefits which I took at age 62. I have a Medicare Supplement plan of insurance that will reimburse me in full for dental as well as medical expenses incurred while in NZ. This supplemental insurance was part of a retirement package that also included LTC. My cost is quite modest. Other than the long flight from LA (14Hrs.)living in NZ part of the year is a blast. English is spoken, high standard of living, beautiful scenery, super people and a fantastic exchange rate. BTW -if you are a wine drinker-----try some of the NZ whites---they are excellent.BigLon --Retired Fool
BigLon, you are indeed blessed. Most folks who even have a retirement plan that supplements Medicare can't use it in the next state, muchless another country. For those of you unaware, HMOs are not transportable outside your area. Some PPOs are.Give us some examples of living expenses please. I've been in a lot of parts of the world but never THAT far west. A cheap cafe or diner type meal? A gallon/4liter gasoline? Income taxes? Apartment rent with amenities lilke full size fridge and washer/dryer and dishwasher? What option do folks have who don't have portable health insurance? How long does it take to get a phone? Price of a current movie? etc.My brother may have to retire from the RR soon (depending on how the results of Tues. shoulder surgery goes) and he is looking to be able to live with some semblance of quality of life. He was thinking about Portugal. Personally NZ appeals to me.
The present exchange rate is 50 cents US to the New Zealand dollar. In the 9 years that I have been going to NZ it has never been higher than 64 cents US to the NZ dollar.Gasoline is more expensive than in the US at $2.00 per gallon, but just about everything else is less. You can rent a furnished three bedroom two bath townhouse or home for $500 to $600 per month in an excellent location. This is in the South Island. North Island is higher. Other examples: Pork-----$1.10 lb---eggs---$.75 per dozen-----bannanas----$.75 dozen----whole frozen chicken---$2.00-------bread-----$.75 loaf----current movie-----$4.00----- I have converted all the foregoing to US dollars and converted litres and kilos where appropriate.Current movie costs $4.00-----The medical care is excellent and quite affordable even if one had to pay out of their own pocket. There is a 12.5 % GST on EVERYHING and all goods and services include the GST.There is NO TIPPING in NZ and a full course meal including wine at a top eatery would be about $30 for two. I avoid NZ income taxes by staying only six months, November to May (spring through summer). The following web site is quite good for those interested in learning more about NZ.http://www.vnz.co.nz/BigLon in NZ
BigLon in NZ: Thx for the detailed report on NZ. Would you have any recommended contacts for renting a furnished place there for 2-3 weeks? What's the deal on no tipping? What is the weather (daily highs/lows) and the relative humidity like in the NZ summer? Also, have you any info on car rental costs? How is the local culture (arts, opera, symphonies, etc)? Is is safe to walk around (for older folks)? What about public transportation in town and between towns? Wld you recommend the city rather than the country, and any recommended "favorite" places? We are in the late 60's and need comfort and not too much walking. Thx for the info. NZ sounds great for a visit or a longer stay!!!!!!!!!!
While we are on the topic of NZ, has anyone out there ever lived in Ireland for significant periods of time? I have visited there 3 times so I am generally aware of the pros and cons of the Emerald Isle, but I know actually living there (or anywhere) is a lot different than visiting. Any input would be appreciated.jtmitchPS I am speaking of the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland which I have also visited and which is beautiful.
To Telone Re: New ZealandTipping has never been customary in Australia, New Zealand and most of the South Pacific, except by American tourists that don't know any better. If you are serious about 3 to 4 week rental in NZ, you can email me through MF. The answer to your other questions are better answered by http://www.vnz.co.nz/.BigLon
Thx, BigLon, for the info. If and when we decide to go, we will send you a note.
I am posting this response from Christchurch, New Zealand where I live for six months of the year. The other six months are spent in Roseville, Ca. I am 65 and on Medicare and receive SS benefits which I took at age 62. I have a Medicare Supplement plan of insurance that will reimburse me in full for dental as well as medical expenses incurred while in NZ. This supplemental insurance was part of a retirement package that also included LTyes I live in christchurch, biglon.Do you have your own house there or what? What the heck do you do forsix months in this place at 65yrs?Regards
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