Author Topic: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?  (Read 2420 times)

bilmar

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I FIRED 4 years ago ( mostly from reading MMM ) and all all is good for me . But, I have a friend who is trapped in an all-too-common situation who has asked for my advice.

Background:
He saved next to nothing and never bought property. At 60 he had major heart problems and could no longer work. He took SS at 62. He is renting in KY
with SS about $1500 per mo which strikes me as not too bad but he wants a warmer climate,English spoken and lower COL.
He is talking about Belize and Costa Rica but is moving abroad a real option for someone with poor health and no stache?
Plus, to me his current ACA  plan would seem preferable to anything he could get(ie qualify for) abroad - anywhere.

What do you think?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 04:53:36 PM »
Some info on CR's healthcare system: https://internationalliving.com/countries/costa-rica/health-care/ It's a point of pride for the country- when I did a study abroad there, many MANY people told me about their public healthcare system. There are some very strong expat communities in CR, and in these areas you can get by with no Spanish is my understanding.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 05:42:22 PM »
Belize's QRP program requires a minimum of $2k/mo income.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 05:55:36 PM »
Chaing Mai Thailand  has a bustling expat community, redonkulous low cost of living, and nationalized healthcare.  You might have him check out Jason Fieber's blog at http://www.mrfreeat33.com/ for much that has been written about living in Chaing Mai as an English speaker as a dividend expat including his positive experience with the healthcare system.   I believe Jason is getting by on less than 1500/mo in Thailand.  Weather should be to his liking (tropical).

A recent monthly expense report is here: http://www.mrfreeat33.com/expenses-for-september-2018/ and came in under 1300.  That is with paying for two (girlfriend) for entertainment and meals.  Rumor has it he is shopping for cheaper rent at the urging of GF who thinks he is over paying at 479 for rent/utilities.

bilmar

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 08:04:15 AM »
Good stuff - I'll pass it on.

Thanks

Bill

Livingthedream55

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2018, 10:03:32 AM »
I FIRED 4 years ago ( mostly from reading MMM ) and all all is good for me . But, I have a friend who is trapped in an all-too-common situation who has asked for my advice.

Background:
He saved next to nothing and never bought property. At 60 he had major heart problems and could no longer work. He took SS at 62. He is renting in KY
with SS about $1500 per mo which strikes me as not too bad but he wants a warmer climate,English spoken and lower COL.
He is talking about Belize and Costa Rica but is moving abroad a real option for someone with poor health and no stache?
Plus, to me his current ACA  plan would seem preferable to anything he could get(ie qualify for) abroad - anywhere.

What do you think?

I understand about the wish for a warmer climate but can he share an apartment? Just a quick peak on Zillow showed many 2 BR houses/apartments in KY for $400 a month. If he split that and utilities with a second person $1,500 a month would work.

the_fixer

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 08:06:13 AM »
Costa Rica is expensive from what I have experienced, maybe if you bought many years ago or want to live like a local but to go there today and live somewhat like you do in the US is going to be expensive.

A bunch of people that move abroad for just financial reason end up in worse shape as they do not like it is realize how different it can be and end up stuck or come back so make sure the person understands what life will be like.

How about Florida? if you do not want to be on the beach it can be really affordable.

I am sure there are other places in states like Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Alabama that are warm and inexpensive if you get away from the big cities or popular areas.

Also have they looked into affordable senior housing? I have an uncle living in 55+ affordable housing and they base it off your income and he lives off SS and his apartment costs right at 400 here in a nice town in Colorado including utilities.


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« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 08:10:10 AM by the_fixer »

FIKristen

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2018, 04:23:59 PM »
Costa Rica requires minimum $2,000/month too.    Also there is a growing backlash to "gringos" moving there and other places with lower costs of living to take advantage of these countries healthcare systems without a real interest in learning the language, acting superior to the locals, etc.   

firefamily

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 08:56:37 PM »
We FIREd in Florida in a very affordable town halfway down the Atlantic coast where it's warm. You don't have to leave the us for these benefits.

ckosh

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Re: Looking to Move anywhere to lower COL, but health is poor - suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2018, 04:15:42 PM »
Chaing Mai Thailand  has a bustling expat community, redonkulous low cost of living, and nationalized healthcare. 

I traveled to Thailand on a work trip (I did a lot of international travel for a few years at my job) and then spent a couple weeks on vacation with my husband to check it out as a potential retirement spot since it sounded so good on the internet.  My take away was that it is a great place to vacation--while I was there for work, I stayed in gorgeous hotels--, I would never ever want to live there.  It seems that most people who end up successfully retiring in Thailand and being happy there are single men who get a Thai girlfriend or wife who helps them navigate the culture.

I visited in February (Bangkok, Chang Mai and Hua Hin) and the weather was extremely hot and humid.  Outside of tourist hotels (which I'd advise only staying in for vacation and not for checking out the area for potential retirement) AC is very rare. 

Since it was mentioned that your friend has health issues, I think it would be difficult for someone with health issues if they are mobility related since while there are lots of public transport vehicles, there still is a lot of walking required and dodging of mopeds with crazy drivers.   Also, some of the transportation options will try to rip you off if you look like a tourist/Non-Thai.  Handicapped accessible is not a thing in Thailand.   

Looking non-Thai seemed to make my husband and I targets for a lot of potential scammers and/or sleazy salespeople. 

We stayed in a local hotel/bnb type place in Chang Mai and the electricity hook up made me a little scared. 

Driving is every person for themselves and pedestrians better watch out.

My Thai work colleagues were very polite--I was there to teach a class--but didn't really speak up to ask questions or interact.  My American colleague who was on a 6 month rotation with his wife and toddler told me he hated it there--it was very difficult to get candid dialogue, feedback or problem solving.  The culture is very different than what I was used to.  In most of the countries I visited for work, outside of work when we went on work sponsored dinners or events, I was able to get to know some of my native work colleagues as people but this didn't really happen in Thailand--it felt like there was  barrier. 

Anyway, like with any location--I'd highly recommend that your friend visits --and not the tourist hotels--to make an assessment.  Because Thailand does sound great just from reading internet info and blogs.