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Suggestions for places to live south

  1. #26
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south


    Yeah, Florida would never work for me. Far too hot and humid. Far too flat. And the political climate doesn't come anywhere close to my goals. The more I read about the advantageous FL tax environment the more I realize it's really only advantageous to retirees. If you are still earning income then it maybe isn't so great.

    Expatriating sounds great in theory. I've done some research on the subject and found some issues. The US government is progressively making it harder and harder to live full-time outside the US. Remember that the USofA is one of like two countries that taxes income earned by its citizens earned abroad. Also reporting laws enacted since 911 are making it harder to bank abroad. Just setting up a simple checking account and local debit card can, reportedly, be a huge pain in the ass. Many foreign banks will not want to touch you with a 10' pole simply because of the reporting BS the US gov't requires. All in the name of protecting us from terrorism. And in my case a lot of my retirement $ is tied up in tax shelters (ie 401k). Getting this money out requires decades and planning. But US banks are known to kick you out if you don't have a US mailing address. Just try to access vanguard.com from abroad and note the warnings and such!

    Expatriating has some serious obstacles nowadays.


    Were I not linked to family, work, or home investments I'd be looking to move west. CO, AZ, MT or possibly NM or WY.

    CO would probably be tops on my list. Tons of tech work out there and I loved the climate, geography and weather. Probably the Colorado Springs area and try to get a nice secure job in with a defense contractor. Denver is too urban for me. Boulder is too hippy/hipster. Ft Collins seems sold out to fracking interests. It's a desert climate, but a high-desert one and the heat seems easier to handle without the humidity. Real-estate is still (somewhat) affordable and I'm not sure Co Springs has gotten the traffic of population boom Denver/Boulder got yet.

    Without the expat concerns I listed my first choice by far and away would be to immigrate to New Zealand. That place is just amazing in every way.

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  2. #27
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittenger5 View Post
    Id be willing to bet more houses get significantly damaged by snow every year than hurricanes in Florida.
    That might be true but given the cost for insurance on homes in Florida on the coast vs. those in snowy New England, I'd have to say the actuarial tables point to a higher degree of damage from hurricanes.

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  3. #28
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by TwelveGaugeSage View Post
    ...I've heard a lot of good about Belize as well. Make sure you get out of the touristy areas...
    Belize is high on our list. Been twice now, love it...

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  4. #29
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Of the expats I became friends with when I bought land in Costa Rica, most of Colin's concerns are not an issue for them, because they arent coming back here, ever.

    For some of them (but not all!) there are other reasons why its not difficult to either shit or get off the pot regarding citizenship. In plain English, its not rare for real "committed" expats to have arrest warrants waiting for them at any US customs desk...

    For the ones without warrants, the tax man's arm doesnt reach past the customs desk, so the cost of retaining the right to re-enter the US can be huge, or can be relinquished for free

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  5. #30
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    Of the expats I became friends with when I bought land in Costa Rica, most of Colin's concerns are not an issue for them, because they arent coming back here, ever.

    For some of them (but not all!) there are other reasons why its not difficult to either shit or get off the pot regarding citizenship. In plain English, its not rare for real "committed" expats to have arrest warrants waiting for them at any US customs desk...

    For the ones without warrants, the tax man's arm doesnt reach past the customs desk, so the cost of retaining the right to re-enter the US can be huge, or can be relinquished for free
    I did a lot of research with lawyer and CPA when I was about to move to Switzerland. Besides the islands where you go to get lost FACTA did make it a pain in the ass for Americans aboard. There were only 3 banks in Zurich that would entertain issuing me an account and credit cards and that was with a supporting letter from my (Swiss) employer. There are generous IRS income tax credits and housing deductions for expats but those quickly get consumed, especially in high cost of living areas. Being double taxed because you hold a US passports is BS. There has been an increasing trend through recent years of expats relinquishing their US passport and cutting the cord.

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  6. #31
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    A friend of mine just did it in Switzerland. Took 13 years.

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  7. #32
    Is this thing on? Mr. Kurtz's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    My best friend lives just outside of Raleigh NC, and I just spent a week there. I'd move there in a heartbeat, but he does live in a very nice suburb. I'm sure there are bad areas in the area too.

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  8. #33
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Let's face it, if you have money, it can be great to live almost anywhere. But Latin America gets even better! maids and cooks are expected and make for easy livin.

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  9. #34
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Let's face it, if you have money, it can be great to live almost anywhere. But Latin America gets even better! maids and cooks are expected and make for easy livin.
    My take...and I could be wrong but I don't think so...is that in the not too distant past (like around the late 90s, when I first started traveling to Costa Rica) you could still live like a king in CR on barely more than a subsistence US income...like US social security and just a little more. I'm talking prepared food and professionally landscaped grounds, house cleaners, and forms of hedonism that are well documented. As more and more Americans (and Canadians, and Germans, and other gringos) caught onto how freaking awesome it was, it totally corrupted the whole deal, in a bunch of ways. Property values were driven from cheap as hell to a little cheaper than in the US. When that happened, it didn't sit so well with Ticos because now they couldn't afford to buy anymore, since "rich" gringos were buying up all the property (like me!). The price of everything else went up as well. Food. Cars. Drinks. Ticas. Bribing cops. Surfboards. You name it. All the stuff you might wanna still be spending money on in an awesome tropical retirement. Last I checked, it wasn't much cheaper than just living in Florida.

    The older I get, and the more places I travel, the more happy I am with just staying here. Every single awesome place I've had an urge to move to carries with it the acceptance of the fact that you will NEVER see someone around town who you've known for decades, grew up with, and you will never be truly accepted as a local, deserving, trusted, dues paid member of the community. The level of sincere acceptance is hard to judge, especially when money is flowing from you to the locals, but I know quite a few people who "moved back home from paradise" because they just got weary of being lumped in with a bunch of rich arrogant ugly Americans (or Yankees, if you are talking about southeastern US, or haoles, if you are talking about Hawaii) who they probably never met but who have spoiled it for everybody.

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    Last edited by Imbeek; 07-06-17 at 01:31 PM.

  10. #35

    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Maybe I should try this:
    Suggest places to live anywhere but South East coast. And go. Lol

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  11. #36
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Costa rica and belize are like that, but latin america is vast. It's still out there. But yes. If you leave ypur birthplace you will always be an outsider. The thing is, you get tje life you create.

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  12. #37
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Any one see the irony in people from the U.S. jonesing to live in latin america yet people in latin america jones to live in the U.S.?

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  13. #38
    Lifer isaac_'s Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Costa rica and belize are like that, but latin america is vast. It's still out there. But yes. If you leave ypur birthplace you will always be an outsider. The thing is, you get tje life you create.

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  14. #39
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Costa rica and belize are like that, but latin america is vast. It's still out there. But yes. If you leave ypur birthplace you will always be an outsider. The thing is, you get tje life you create.
    Agreed, for the most part...but part of my point is that if the place you expat to has been spoiled by others before you who seem/look/speak exactly like you in the eyes of the locals, you DONT get the life you create. You don't get the karma you might deserve, even if you are perfectly gracious and trustworthy and kind 100% of the time, because you are forever a rich shithead invading their place, just because you have cash, just like all the others. You might earn your way out of the stigma with very close local friends over time, but you're gonna have to do it with everyone you meet, forever, and it ain't happening in a year.

    Look, I admit, most of my views in this area have been thru the lens of surf travel, which is a unique limited resource that can only be shared and split so many ways, and so it carries more obvious vibeyness than other resources. But even in North Carolina, inland, as was posted by someone from down there in the other thread, probably best to just live near the other Yankees if you give a shit about feeling accepted and welcome by most people you run into on a daily basis. Some people dont even care about this, but I do. Never even thought it might be an issue, until I spent enough time in some of the places to see it in action, and have an effect on people. I'm not trying to say "hey, anyone ever thinking of moving, you better factor this in!"...I'm saying, for ME, I've come to realize it's a factor I'd place pretty high on my list of criteria.

    And changing gears a bit...it IS still out there in Central America. In Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, El Salvador. But with demographics as they are, and millions of baby boomers having this very discussion and looking for the untainted spots...wouldn't it be likely that those spots would face the same issues in the near future that Costa Rica has already faced? Especially the spots with waves (LOL)

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  15. #40
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    Any one see the irony in people from the U.S. jonesing to live in latin america yet people in latin america jones to live in the U.S.?
    I haven't met too many(any?) Costa Ricans, Panamanians, or Belizeans here in the States. Plenty of Cubans, Dominicans, Mexicans, and Jamaicans though.

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  16. #41
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Okay, you can cross me off the expat list. That's certainly not our intention, at least now anyway. We still plan to summer in good ol' New Hampshire, and the Caribbean isn't set in stone...

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  17. #42

    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    Okay, you can cross me off the expat list. That's certainly not our intention, at least now anyway. We still plan to summer in good ol' New Hampshire, and the Caribbean isn't set in stone...
    Dual citizenship works wonders

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  18. #43
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Dual citizenship works wonders
    Doesn't exempt you from getting fucked over by the US government. Once we get our hooks in you, its for life!
    That wasn't mentioned in the indoctrination ceremony, was it?!

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  19. #44
    Senior Member AEG's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    It is getting more and more expensive to give up the USA citizenship. Uncle Sam is a quick learner when it comes to racket ... er ... taxing.

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  20. #45

    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    How about a Roth 401k cashed the F out while living abroad?

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  21. #46

    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Doesn't exempt you from getting fucked over by the US government. Once we get our hooks in you, its for life!
    That wasn't mentioned in the indoctrination ceremony, was it?!
    Lots of factors which I won't be posting here but it all depends on your planning and goals.
    Yes if your retirement is based on 401k or investment properties in the USA then tough luck.
    But several ways can be used to plan your retirement in another country and the US gov can't touch you.
    It's way easier than you can imagine if you also have a citizenship in another country. It's been getting done for years and it will continue for many years to come.

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  22. #47
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    But several ways can be used to plan your retirement in another country and the US gov can't touch you.
    Care to elaborate? I'm always interested in plans alternate to my own..

    Dual citizenship ain't happening for me. Thus is the card I was dealt*. Even if it were, as has been pointed out here, renouncing that US citizenship and getting free of that IRS group is not as easy as it sounds. I'm not clear on how having an alternate citizenship even protects you. .. Unless you're talking about walking away from the US and never, ever setting foot back in.

    * Worth pointing out that I was dealt a pretty spiffy card overall. My distaste for the way US gov't is restricting its citizens (land of the free eh?!) notwithstanding, I've had some pretty damned good fortune. Future is still so damned bright I gotta wear shades.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 07-07-17 at 08:27 AM.

  23. #48

    Re: Suggestions for places to live south

    Absolutely. But in person. Some stuff is better off the Internet.

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