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Subject:  Re: What about retiring overseas Date:  8/7/2003  2:07 PM
Author:  mazske Number:  154 of 5268

What are the advantages and disadvantages of retiring overseas?

My wife is from Panama so I've given this question a lot of thought.

Currently, I live 3 1/2 hours from the closest family member and we rarely see them. Her family lives in Panama and we go about 5 years in between visits. That means both of us are use to living away from our families.

Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and some of the other Central American countries are all possibilities for someone like us to retire to. The advantages are that we like the warm weather and the relaxed atmosphere. The cost of living is much lower than here as well, so our dollars would go farther.

Some of the disadvantages are the fact that health care is not on the same level as in the US to my knowledge. That would be a big concern of mine as I get older. Unless, I was in Mexico and I could easily and quickly get back to the states.

Another disadvantage is the fact that I'm a "gringo". If I were to retire to Panama with my wife, word would quickly get around that the gringo has some bucks. Why would this word get around. Well, if we were to retire to Panama, we would use our "extra" dollars to live in a nicer house. We would probably drive a decent vehicle as well. Those two facts combined with the fact that I'm American would cause most locals to automatically assume that I am filthy rich.

As time passes and I grow older, would this attract some young bucks to try to break into my house to rob me? This could happen anywhere in the world, but as a blue-eyed American in Central America with a nice house, I think the odds would increase.

Time changes everything, but the way we think now we will FIRE inside this country somewhere. Of course, don't take this the wrong way, if all the Mexicans keep coming to the US, maybe there'll be some nice places in Mexico that us old Gringos could go to.

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