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I thought I would share a little different approach as shared already, which is the Expat path. The expat retirement communities are found all over the globe and can provide a alternative to state side retirement. Can be more affordable for living expenses across the board to include medical.

There are many websites regarding retiring abroad. We chose Chiang Mai, Thailand. Approximately 30K Americans live in our city but a lot are not retired. We built our house 6 years ago planning to retire and it is hard to pull the cord. Our retirement date is set now for 2022. We will not have much SS as most of our work has been as expats and not on US payrolls. I am a veteran. So we have been planning since 2008. We saved minimum 50% of our yearly salary.

Investing approach has been 50% of equities divided with three index etf VOO, VOOG and VTI which are s&p500, s&p 500 growth and the all stock index. The other 50% is comprised of individual stocks. We are buy and holders and do not trade.

I will retire less than 60yrs old and should have retired a long time ago. I would suggest to those who can retire early.

Retiring overseas it is important to look for countries with great affordable health care, safe, low cost of living, good expat communities, offers points of interest, (Yoga, Meditation classes, charitable groups, golf courses, language classes, international university, easy residence permits or long stay visa requirements, good banking system, stable currency, stable government, etc.)

We love the traveling and every year we will travel for 3 months to another country during our retirement. Our original goal was to live in another country every year for 12 months and move to another each year. We still have our list. We want to build up friendships and moving or being a nomad may not provide that bonding. Money should not be a problem for us but you never know what life throws at us.

We have been waiting for one more major market down turn like 2008 and once it was in recovery we would retire but it has not come. We went through several hard ones like all of you and we are fully invested as always. No bonds or cash. Of course not recommended but I find everyone has different tolerances to risk. We have extremely high tolerance because I am still in a high earner period of life and my wife is also in highly sought employable field of medicine which she quit in 2019. She would go back to work if it was required but she is busy focusing on setting up retirement, house stuff, checking out insurance companies, shipping stuff, going back and forth on the house. We will need car(s) or motorbike. She is investigating all of these things to make a smooth transition. Covid is what postponed us to 2022. Being locked up I might as continue to earn.

Sorry for the long post but we love our choice and wish others to look into the possibility as most are very happy with that choice.

Honah Lee
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