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Author Topic: How to Retire Comfortably  (Read 3321 times)
BayGBM
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« on: August 13, 2010, 09:34:25 AM »

How to Retire Comfortably for Under $1,500 a Month
by Kathleen Peddicord

Jason and Elizabeth Pearce moved from Canada to Belize three years ago. They bought a piece of property on the sea. A year later, they built a house. Today, they live in a beautiful Santa Fe adobe-style home with gardens all around.

The pair lives very comfortably, without wants or financial worries. They've had no trouble making friends in their new community because the folks in Belize speak English. They eat out three or four times a week. They barbecue lobster and filet mignon at home. They have reliable Internet to keep them connected to the outside world. By choice, they do not have a television. "I used to think that the news was important," Jason explains. "But not anymore." The retired couple has a maid and a gardener, each of whom visit once a week.

And here's the best part. Jason and his wife are living on their Social Security income alone. In fact, they're living on Jason's Social Security income alone. Elizabeth's Social Security check goes into savings each month.

Everyone's spending habits are different, but here's a sample monthly budget for a couple living a comfortable expatriate lifestyle in Belize:

--Rent: $300

--Utilities, telephone, and Internet: $500 (Your biggest expense in this country.)

--Groceries: $150

--Health insurance: $50

--Entertainment: $100

--Car expenses: $300

One of the most appealing things about Belize as an overseas retirement choice is that it can make sense even if you're nowhere near conventional retirement age. Through Belize's Qualified Retired Persons program you can establish foreign residency as young as age 40.

Belize is a beautiful little country. It's a peaceful, eco-tourist retreat home to more than 540 species of birds, 4,000 species of flowering plants, and 700 kinds of trees. Nearly 40 percent of the country is protected as parkland and natural preserves. Belize boasts the second-largest barrier reef in the world. This incredible underwater resource teems with colorful fish, coral, and unusual marine life, making the waters off this country's coast a fisherman's and diver's paradise.

Despite all these natural attractions, Belize has managed to remain largely off the world's radar. It's a small country of about 350,000 people. It's also a young country, having gained independence from Great Britain in 1981. There are a lot of market niches waiting to be filled. Living here, you'll discover that life can be not only super affordable, comfortable, and adventure-filled, but also full of potential.

Retirees in Belize are finding many interesting and sometimes lucrative ways to fill their days. Lara Lennon moved to Belize from Philadelphia in 2006 and developed a luxury swimwear line, Lemon Crush Belize. "Sitting on a friend's porch in San Pedro chatting about this and that in our tropical lives, I realized something: There existed nowhere in Belize a place to shop for dress bathing suits, the kind glamorous enough for a beach wedding or special enough for a honeymoon," Lennon says.

Lara's swimwear is now featured in luxury boutiques in Belize and internationally. Starting a business takes drive and determination, Lara admits, but she has found the experience in Belize rewarding. "Best of all, I'm right where I want to be--with my friends on a Caribbean island, enjoying life," Lennon says. "Only now in better bathing suits."


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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 09:47:18 AM »

The above article got me thinking…  Where is the best place to retire and live on a modest amount of money?  Most retirees like warm weather, and I definitely fall into that camp.  I also like being near the ocean so I plan to retire to Florida.  I was sold on the Atlantic Coast, but every time I visit the Gulf Coast, I am liking it more and more...

Where are the other good prospects?  In my view, California is out because it is too expensive, congested, and I suspect it would still feel like a rat race—even in retirement.  Napa and Sonoma Valleys are nice and calm, but they are still expensive as far as real estate and cost of living are concerned.  Other coastal states like Oregon and Washington do not appeal to me.  I’ve never seriously thought of living abroad permanently.  Baja seems like the new "it" place and is likely to remain so during my lifetime so that remains a possibility.  Still, I like living in the U.S. under U.S. laws and customs.   

Hawaii is awesome… but again, pricey.  And then there is that potential feeling of isolation!  Undecided

So, yeah, it’s FL for me.  Cool


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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 12:20:41 AM »

I read that article too and as I'm 6-8 yrs away from calling it quits, always have my ears open for a good place to retire. I'm in Texas and the Texas gulf doesnt appeal to me, the water is just not clear enough. Florida used to be pricey but the economy knocked the crap out of it if I can believe the news reports. The Riviera Mayan area of Mexico is a possible. Costa Rico, Panama, are some others..   
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 02:03:17 PM »

Have you ever lived in Latin America?  How is your Spanish?  I have lived in Mexico before and while I love visiting LA countries I do not see myself retiring to one.  It is one thing to visit a place when you are young, energetic, and healthy.  It is quite another to be there when you past your prime, might want/need specialized care or conveniences that you take for granted in the US.  I think retiring to Baja is a reasonable option as it is basically an extension of Southern CA, but retiring to permanently live in LA country?  I’m not sure I’d do that. Undecided
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2010, 03:05:42 PM »

this is fun to do.


we should start a list of locations.

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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2010, 01:09:36 PM »

Latveria is the place to be!  Doom has spoken.
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 08:41:51 AM »

Spanish is improving all the time. Should be fluent before I retire. My future spouse is spanish speaking and grew up in Mexico before LEGALLY moving to the US and graduating UT (Hook "EM Horns!) What I will probably do, which is what some of my coworkers have done is keep my home in Austin, (which will be paid for,) as a home base, and rent or lease a house in the country I want to visit for a few months at a time. This way I can vary the places I get to visit, come home and regroup and go again. I may find the utopia I'm looking for while doing this and I can always sell and move if I want.
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 12:44:17 PM »

This (above) actually makes a lot of sense to me.  If your significant other is from X country and you enjoy visiting or being in X country, have a second or retirement home there. Cool

If you live in a boarder state and/or are very comfortable with Mexico it seems like a good plan. Mexico is still very affordable by U.S. standards.
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010, 10:16:21 AM »

People think the mexican migration to the north in the biggest of the century. It's the other way around you guys are gonna flock south to the gulf. It's gonna be a major industry of the century. It's the only way many Americans are gonna be able to afford to retire. Of course they'll bring health care tech with them as well as go to english speaking areas, but most americans around 30 should expect to move south.
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2010, 11:54:58 AM »

5 Great Cities For Retirees
by By Caitlin Dewey

Striking a balance between a high quality of life and low cost of living can be a difficult challenge for retirees. With that in mind, we offer five destinations that seniors might find attractive places to live in the second half of their lives... http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/5-great-cities-for-retirees.html


Charlottesville, Va.
PROS: Mild climate, proximity to golf courses, parks and wineries, active art and theater scenes, developed downtown district
CONS: Above-average cost of living and moderate tax breaks, mid-sized public transit system

Dothan, Ala.
PROS: Proximity to parks and golf courses; two-hour drive from the Florida Gulf Coast, four hours from the Atlantic Coast
CONS: No regularly scheduled public transit, high tornado risk, limited cultural offerings

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
PROS: Warm climate, proximity to international airport and major cruise port, huge range of outdoor activities
CONS: Small public transportation system, high hurricane risk

Pittsburgh, Pa.
PROS: Low cost of living, low housing costs, low taxes for retirees, proximity to international airport, stunning downtown riverfront, strong art and sports scenes, large public transit and library systems
CONS: Snowy winters, less-than-glamorous reputation (which you'll soon forget about)

San Francisco, Calif.
PROS: Proximity to international airport, unparalleled leisure and lifestyle, efficient mass transit, huge network of beaches and parks, wide range of leisure activities
CONS: High taxes, high cost of living, high crime rate, a rainy season


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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2010, 11:20:03 AM »

Good info Bay.

What city in Fla do you plan on retiring in? I myself have lived in Fla twice and am actually visiting LA, Ca next month to scout out some properties to potentially move there later this year. I know the cost of living is sky high but the outdoor activities + warm sunny weather + beautiful mountain, ocean views are unmatched anywhere else in the country.
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 01:36:27 PM »

On the Atlantic coast of Florida, I’d prefer between Lauderdale and Juno Beach.  On the Gulf Coast, I don’t think it gets much better than Longboat Key.  By the way the Keys are nice too, but rather isolated.

If you can afford it, California is definitely a great place to live!  Pick your poison: San Diego, LA, Santa Barbara, San Francisco—all are great places to live, work, and play.  Come to think of it, Santa Barbara is a great place to retire as well (if you can afford it).  Close to LA without the rat-race feel.  Hmm, I better add Santa Barbara to my list!  Tongue


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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 01:40:02 PM »

Including San Francisco in a thread of where to retire comfortably on $1500 is a little off the mark  Wink

I read that article and my impression was, they probably could have picked a better top 5 list with a little more effort.

I live in Austin, which along with San Antonio usually breaks the top 20 and occasionally the top 10 on places to retire, depending on who does the survey.  I agree they are wonderful cities but Austin's cost of living is an anomaly for Texas as we have had a lot of California people migrate here in the last 10 yrs for the hi-tech industry and the only reason I would move away after retirement is to have a better cost of living.  
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2010, 02:08:27 PM »

Um, this thread is really about desirable places to retire—not about where to retire on $1500/mo.  That figure was based on living in Belize--which is what the original post was about (an article which came from a Yahoo).

San Antonio?  Austin?  Not exactly my idea of "paradise" but to each his own. Undecided
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2010, 02:19:41 PM »

San Antonio not so much.. Austin .. I never set foot in Austin before taking this job 17 yrs ago... Was never on my radar, but I have to admit it's a pretty cool place. Several lakes in the area, and as far as water sports, I prefer lakes to ocean. Then there is 6th street (Live music capital of the world blah blah blah), Barton Springs, the hill country, South Congress, etc etc. It's just the friggin cost of living that kinda sucks, though it doesnt compare to NYC or SF but it's Texas for Christs sake..
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2010, 06:44:01 AM »

Best Places to Retire
Your post-work years are a time to improve your golf game, take up a new hobby, or just enjoy a well-deserved break. In these great college towns, you can expand your intellectual horizons too.

10. Tucson, AZPopulation: 541,811
% over 50: 28%
Median home price: $156,000
State income tax: 4.54%*
Where to take classes: University of Arizona

9. Austin, TXPopulation: 799,267
% over 50: 22%
Median home price: $196,600
Where to take classes: University of Texas at Austin

8. Huntsville, ALPopulation: 176,645
% over 50: 35%
Median home price: $137,625
State income tax: 5%*
Where to take classes: University of Alabama, Huntsville

7. St. Petersburg, FLPopulation: 245,314
% over 50: 36%
Median home price: $150,000
Where to take classes: Eckerd College

6. Boise, IDPopulation: 206,431
% over 50: 29%
Median home price: $140,100
State income tax: 7.8%*
Where to take classes: Boise State University

5. Bellingham, WAPopulation: 82,654
% over 50: 30%
Median home price: $258,450
Where to take classes: Western Washington University

4. Prescott, AZPopulation: 42,265
% over 50: 49%
Median home price: $230,500
State income tax: 4.54%*
Where to take classes: Yavapai College

3. Lexington, KYPopulation: 291,201
% over 50: 29%
Median home price: $144,200
State income tax: 6%*
Where to take classes: University of Kentucky

2. Hanover, NHPopulation: 8,516
% over 50: 25%
Median home price: $401,000
State income tax: 5%*
Where to take classes: Dartmouth College

1. Durham, NCPopulation: 223,284
% over 50: 25%
Median home price: $163,000
State income tax: 7.75%*
Where to take classes: Duke University

Durham would rank as a retiree Mecca even without Duke University's stellar lifelong-learning program. Residents enjoy four seasons -- but without them being too extreme. Homes are affordable, the area is dotted with golf courses and parkland, and the region is home to a renowned university medical center.

This former tobacco town also is a budding cultural haven. Duke's Nasher Museum of Art has a growing contemporary art collection. Concerts and Broadway hits, such as Billy Elliot and the Lion King, frequently make their way to the newly built 2,800-seat Durham Performing Arts Center.

Duke's 33-year-old senior learning program is one of the largest in the country, with more than 1,500 members. There are 100-plus courses offered every term, covering topics from Introduction to China to Alexander the Great. Plus, because most courses are offered on campus, members can mix with the younger generation in the student center, libraries, and dining halls.

http://custom.yahoo.com/lifelonginvesting/slideshows/sets/344/the-best-places-to-retire.html?mod=fidelity-livingretirement
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2010, 05:24:25 PM »

i hear ecuador is goof too
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2010, 11:12:30 AM »

10 (more) Great Places to Retire in the U.S.
http://finance.yahoo.com/retirement/article/111018/great-places-to-retire;_ylt=AuetYM.Tp4h4OaK8THGBS0QvBa1_;_ylu=X3oDMTByY2NqNXF1BHBvcwM3BHNlYwNhcnRpY2xlTWFpbgRzbGsDMg--?mod=retire-planning

Naples, Fla.
Price: $175,000
Area median price: $175,000

Features
• 4 bedrooms, 2 baths
• 2,272 square feet
• Double garage
• 2.3 acre lot
• Cathedral ceiling
• Large kitchen island

In Naples, the median price of $175,000 could get you into this contemporary four-bedroom, two-bath, 2,272-square-foot home built in 2002 on 2.3 acres, says Mark Weber, broker and owner of White Sands Realty in Naples.

Don't count on an easy walk to the beach or Old Naples at the median price. This home and others in the same price range are likely to be 30 or 40 minutes from the beach, Weber says. "A home in a great location about eight minutes from the beach goes for around $375,000 (used to be $840,000 in 2006). An older condo right on the sand with a Gulf of Mexico view goes for around $700,000 (formerly more than $1 million in 2006).

Ranked as both a "top 10 beach town" and a "top 10 art town," Naples' home prices vary, depending on proximity to the beach. High-end homes are going for about half of what they did in 2006, says Weber.

"Naples is very appealing to second-home buyers and northerners," Weber says. "We have extremely low crime to the point that many native Neapolitans still leave their doors unlocked when they take a walk. The palm-lined streets of Old Naples are home to outdoor cafes, boutique shopping and some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world."


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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2010, 03:46:31 PM »

San Antonio not so much.. Austin .. I never set foot in Austin before taking this job 17 yrs ago... Was never on my radar, but I have to admit it's a pretty cool place. Several lakes in the area, and as far as water sports, I prefer lakes to ocean. Then there is 6th street (Live music capital of the world blah blah blah), Barton Springs, the hill country, South Congress, etc etc. It's just the friggin cost of living that kinda sucks, though it doesnt compare to NYC or SF but it's Texas for Christs sake..

Austin is a great town.  I grew up in TX and it's the only place in TX I'd consider if I were going to move back.  My brother lives a mile or so from Barton Springs.   
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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2010, 12:13:21 PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0-El7XvWA4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0-El7XvWA4</a>
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2010, 02:46:18 PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0-El7XvWA4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0-El7XvWA4</a>

Unfortunately, this is the extent of most people's retirement plans  Cry

When one fails to plan, ...they're simply planning to fail.
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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2010, 06:27:08 PM »

I love the guy from Yonkers.  Ha ha ha - my stomping grounds. 
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2010, 11:14:25 PM »

On the Atlantic coast of Florida, I’d prefer between Lauderdale and Juno Beach.  On the Gulf Coast, I don’t think it gets much better than Longboat Key.  By the way the Keys are nice too, but rather isolated.

If you can afford it, California is definitely a great place to live!  Pick your poison: San Diego, LA, Santa Barbara, San Francisco—all are great places to live, work, and play.  Come to think of it, Santa Barbara is a great place to retire as well (if you can afford it).  Close to LA without the rat-race feel.  Hmm, I better add Santa Barbara to my list!  Tongue

My uncle lived on Longboat Key. Wow... What a place...
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