Author Topic: Moved Abroad  (Read 10062 times)

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2018, 09:33:02 AM »
we've thought about doing this.
iget the part about the global health insurance  .  we're americans, what coverage should we get while returning to USA to visit?  I think folks from other countries usually get the most expensive/extensive travel insurance they can find for USA trips
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 11:55:03 AM by letsdoit »

cap396

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2018, 03:43:37 PM »
we've thought about doing this.
iget the part about the global health insurance  .  we're americans, what coverage should we get while returning to USA to visit?  I think folks from other countries usually get the most expensive/extensive travel insurance they can find for USA trips

Some international insurance companies, such as IMG, offer two types of plans, one that excludes the US and a few other countries, and one that covers everywhere including the US.  The one that excludes the US is about 20% less expensive than the worldwide plan.  The catch is that you can't be in the US for more than six months.

malacca

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2018, 08:26:27 AM »
Yes, IMG offers a "worldwide" plan that covers you for limited visits to the USA (with higher deductibles / copays). But it is NOT a replacement for US health insurance - don't be fooled.

But you have to know what you are doing with IMG and others. They are not under the ACA rules and "cancel" policies when you need it the most. The US government, especially the current administration, isn't there to help you with your insurance problems.

I still hear people against the ACA yet they already forgot what it was like before it. Insurers had teams of people whose job it was to find any reason to cancel the policy of people with an expensive illnesses.

When I first went abroad as a student I had an internationl policy from Blue Cross / Shield. When I had medical treatment I was required to pay for it myself and then submit it for reimbursement. 90% of claims were denied. They just buried you in paperwork. "Oh, you need blah, blah form signed from the doctor." You get it and then there is a new requirement.

The administration office was in Hong Kong. I had just got a job there (early 90s) and so I rolled over to their office unannounced. Rows of Hong Kong staff (cheap denial letter writers) and two American guys. The Americans guys gave me some bull shit about it had been over 90 days so it is too late, blah, blah. I didn't say a word - I just started smashing shit in the office and kicking shit over. They wrote me a check in a hurry :)



dude

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #53 on: June 13, 2018, 08:47:30 AM »
The way things are going here in the U.S. I'm inclined to take a similar path, perhaps to Costa Rica. We'll see come retirement time (11 months for me).

IndyPendent

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #54 on: June 14, 2018, 09:22:38 AM »
Posting to follow.

So if I, as an American, moved to Spain, wouldn’t I have my foreign tax paid to Spain offset but the foreign income tax credit? Or would I be double taxed? Does that apply to investment earnings or just normal income?


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letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #55 on: June 14, 2018, 11:21:03 AM »
i wondered the same re: taxes.

if you only had capital gains and the like from investments, the US would tax you on that and Spain would tax you on nothing (bc you're not working in spain).  right?

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #56 on: June 14, 2018, 11:23:15 AM »
bc of the timing of life and kids, i was thinking of taking a sabbatical abroad,  i.e., retiring for 2 years and then (somewhat painfully) reconstructing life in the US to work for another 10 years.
is anyone thinking of doing this or has done it?

Hirondelle

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #57 on: June 14, 2018, 01:26:27 PM »
bc of the timing of life and kids, i was thinking of taking a sabbatical abroad,  i.e., retiring for 2 years and then (somewhat painfully) reconstructing life in the US to work for another 10 years.
is anyone thinking of doing this or has done it?

What would your exact plans look like? I did take a gap year (so right after uni, not in the midst of my working career) but am planning to do a similar 6 month - 1 year gap in another couple of years. Spending some time abroad doesn't have to be bad for your CV/employability. Seeing the world is generally appreciated by employers, especially if you've done something useful in addition to just roaming around (volunteering, learning a language etc.). Plus it could be beneficial for your FI journey if you spend your time in a LCOL area or volunteering in exchange for accomodation/food - you can just let the stash grow while living of almost no money.

Uturn

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #58 on: June 14, 2018, 08:23:41 PM »
too many adult beverages tonight to absorb all of this thread.  PTF

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2018, 09:49:16 AM »
bc of the timing of life and kids, i was thinking of taking a sabbatical abroad,  i.e., retiring for 2 years and then (somewhat painfully) reconstructing life in the US to work for another 10 years.
is anyone thinking of doing this or has done it?

What would your exact plans look like? I did take a gap year (so right after uni, not in the midst of my working career) but am planning to do a similar 6 month - 1 year gap in another couple of years. Spending some time abroad doesn't have to be bad for your CV/employability. Seeing the world is generally appreciated by employers, especially if you've done something useful in addition to just roaming around (volunteering, learning a language etc.). Plus it could be beneficial for your FI journey if you spend your time in a LCOL area or volunteering in exchange for accomodation/food - you can just let the stash grow while living of almost no money.

my wife and I are psychotherapists.  the travel itself would be relatively easy.  probably 2 years . the normal possibilities about where to live/slowly travel.   we would have to make sure our licenses did not expire, and then would have to rebuild a life here, starting a business, finding a place to live.  trying to get a good middle school, a hard task in the US, for the little one

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #60 on: June 15, 2018, 12:50:51 PM »
in our case the lost wages and the opportunity cost on them is probably 200k . .  ..
it would be so much more efficient to be able to fully retire before travelling , but oh well

auntie_betty

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2018, 03:42:54 PM »
i wondered the same re: taxes.

if you only had capital gains and the like from investments, the US would tax you on that and Spain would tax you on nothing (bc you're not working in spain).  right?

If you are resident in Spain for 183 days of the year you are liable to pay income tax on all your earnings, 'earned' or 'unearned'(after an allowance that varies by region/which tax advisor you go to etc.). Don't know what the implications are for US citizens though.

Trifele

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2018, 02:38:23 AM »
Great thread @malacca!  Posting to follow.  I am FIREing next year and would love to go on walkabout for at least a year.  Malaysia was never on my radar screen but now I see it should be. 

malacca

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #63 on: June 25, 2018, 07:02:55 AM »
I like the term "Walkabout"!

Just took my kids through Cambodia.

** For people thinking of doping this, keep in mind that your home may provide a good part of the income needed. Mine is paid off of course. I rent it fully furnished on a month to month basis. I get mainly business people relocating or people between houses / building new, etc. My house clears $2300 a month after taxes, whatnot.

On a basic but not down and out budget, $2300 is enough for a couple in SE Asia. I assume also in S America.

Reader

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2018, 09:34:50 AM »
posting to follow.

moresprinkles

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #65 on: September 25, 2018, 12:55:55 PM »
Yes, IMG offers a "worldwide" plan that covers you for limited visits to the USA (with higher deductibles / copays). But it is NOT a replacement for US health insurance - don't be fooled.

But you have to know what you are doing with IMG and others. They are not under the ACA rules and "cancel" policies when you need it the most. The US government, especially the current administration, isn't there to help you with your insurance problems.

I still hear people against the ACA yet they already forgot what it was like before it. Insurers had teams of people whose job it was to find any reason to cancel the policy of people with an expensive illnesses.

When I first went abroad as a student I had an internationl policy from Blue Cross / Shield. When I had medical treatment I was required to pay for it myself and then submit it for reimbursement. 90% of claims were denied. They just buried you in paperwork. "Oh, you need blah, blah form signed from the doctor." You get it and then there is a new requirement.

The administration office was in Hong Kong. I had just got a job there (early 90s) and so I rolled over to their office unannounced. Rows of Hong Kong staff (cheap denial letter writers) and two American guys. The Americans guys gave me some bull shit about it had been over 90 days so it is too late, blah, blah. I didn't say a word - I just started smashing shit in the office and kicking shit over. They wrote me a check in a hurry :)

I almost fell on the floor laughing at this post. Thanks!

Nancy

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #66 on: September 27, 2018, 05:00:38 AM »
Posting mostly to follow. We're carefully planning an exit to Portugal. Looks like she'll move there late next year and I'll follow in early 2020.

How will you handle the tax situation?

In what sense? Portugal has a one-time 10-year "non-habitual resident" scheme that we plan to apply for if it's still around. Assuming no earned income in Portugal, we'd pay tax in the US on Roth ladder conversions (living off freed up home equity when we sell our place). Even if we had to pay Portuguese taxes, we'd apply any amount paid as a credit to US taxes, so the net effect should be zero. If the taxation situation changes between now and then so that it's really unfavorable to us, we'll plan to spend less than 183 days in any one country, and just pay taxes in the US as we would had we stayed there.

From everything I've been able to read, capital gains on investments are not excluded as part of the 10-year NHR resident scheme, and the capital gains tax is a flat 28%. Have you found information to the contrary? Living in Portugal has been my plan too, so I'm keenly interested.

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #67 on: September 27, 2018, 09:23:50 AM »
do you have EU visa/passport ?
for NHR it looks like you have to spend more than 183 days per year, if you were on regualr schengen visa , you'd have to time to time 3 trips in/out just right to amass that many days

FamilyGuy

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2018, 09:33:13 PM »
Very useful thread for us. We are looking same path in future. Will be settled abroad in India.

Freedomin5

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #69 on: October 11, 2018, 03:51:57 AM »
bc of the timing of life and kids, i was thinking of taking a sabbatical abroad,  i.e., retiring for 2 years and then (somewhat painfully) reconstructing life in the US to work for another 10 years.
is anyone thinking of doing this or has done it?

What would your exact plans look like? I did take a gap year (so right after uni, not in the midst of my working career) but am planning to do a similar 6 month - 1 year gap in another couple of years. Spending some time abroad doesn't have to be bad for your CV/employability. Seeing the world is generally appreciated by employers, especially if you've done something useful in addition to just roaming around (volunteering, learning a language etc.). Plus it could be beneficial for your FI journey if you spend your time in a LCOL area or volunteering in exchange for accomodation/food - you can just let the stash grow while living of almost no money.

my wife and I are psychotherapists.  the travel itself would be relatively easy.  probably 2 years . the normal possibilities about where to live/slowly travel.   we would have to make sure our licenses did not expire, and then would have to rebuild a life here, starting a business, finding a place to live.  trying to get a good middle school, a hard task in the US, for the little one

@letsdoit You could also use something like icouch.me to offer e-therapy. Thst will prevent the gap in your CV and boost income for the two years you’re abroad. Also, in some countries there is a huge demand for US licensed psychotherapists. Here in China, in a major city like Beijing or Shanghai, you can make around USD $200K - $250K (gross income) if you’re willing to work full time and you are good at your job.

malacca

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2018, 07:52:30 AM »
Well, now is a great time to move abroad. Politics suck at home. The dollar is strong. Life is short.


We are in Taiwan now for a while. See my other post about Taiwan.

As some people have mentioned, a good way to move towards FIRE is to get an Expat job and keep all of the benefits. As an Expat you generally get a good housing, travel and car allowance.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2018, 07:05:40 PM »
do you have EU visa/passport ?
for NHR it looks like you have to spend more than 183 days per year, if you were on regualr schengen visa , you'd have to time to time 3 trips in/out just right to amass that many days

Yep, pretty lucky that my wife is a citizen of one EU country (and one soon to be former EU country).

aspiringnomad

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2018, 07:10:23 PM »
Posting mostly to follow. We're carefully planning an exit to Portugal. Looks like she'll move there late next year and I'll follow in early 2020.

How will you handle the tax situation?

In what sense? Portugal has a one-time 10-year "non-habitual resident" scheme that we plan to apply for if it's still around. Assuming no earned income in Portugal, we'd pay tax in the US on Roth ladder conversions (living off freed up home equity when we sell our place). Even if we had to pay Portuguese taxes, we'd apply any amount paid as a credit to US taxes, so the net effect should be zero. If the taxation situation changes between now and then so that it's really unfavorable to us, we'll plan to spend less than 183 days in any one country, and just pay taxes in the US as we would had we stayed there.

From everything I've been able to read, capital gains on investments are not excluded as part of the 10-year NHR resident scheme, and the capital gains tax is a flat 28%. Have you found information to the contrary? Living in Portugal has been my plan too, so I'm keenly interested.

I haven't found anything to the contrary. To be honest, haven't looked into it in awhile, though there was a time when I was studying Portuguese tax law very carefully. Will have to do a refresher soon.

Freedomin5

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2018, 09:20:39 PM »
Well, now is a great time to move abroad. Politics suck at home. The dollar is strong. Life is short.


We are in Taiwan now for a while. See my other post about Taiwan.

As some people have mentioned, a good way to move towards FIRE is to get an Expat job and keep all of the benefits. As an Expat you generally get a good housing, travel and car allowance.

Not to mention comprehensive health global health insurance

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2018, 11:10:37 AM »
bc of the timing of life and kids, i was thinking of taking a sabbatical abroad,  i.e., retiring for 2 years and then (somewhat painfully) reconstructing life in the US to work for another 10 years.
is anyone thinking of doing this or has done it?

What would your exact plans look like? I did take a gap year (so right after uni, not in the midst of my working career) but am planning to do a similar 6 month - 1 year gap in another couple of years. Spending some time abroad doesn't have to be bad for your CV/employability. Seeing the world is generally appreciated by employers, especially if you've done something useful in addition to just roaming around (volunteering, learning a language etc.). Plus it could be beneficial for your FI journey if you spend your time in a LCOL area or volunteering in exchange for accomodation/food - you can just let the stash grow while living of almost no money.

my wife and I are psychotherapists.  the travel itself would be relatively easy.  probably 2 years . the normal possibilities about where to live/slowly travel.   we would have to make sure our licenses did not expire, and then would have to rebuild a life here, starting a business, finding a place to live.  trying to get a good middle school, a hard task in the US, for the little one

@letsdoit You could also use something like icouch.me to offer e-therapy. Thst will prevent the gap in your CV and boost income for the two years you’re abroad. Also, in some countries there is a huge demand for US licensed psychotherapists. Here in China, in a major city like Beijing or Shanghai, you can make around USD $200K - $250K (gross income) if you’re willing to work full time and you are good at your job.

thanks,

malacca

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #75 on: November 02, 2018, 05:25:10 AM »
Anyone out there in Spain now?

Taiwan is OK but I need a change. I want to head to Spain in the next few months on a scouting mission (housing, school for kids, quality of wine, etc.)


letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #76 on: November 02, 2018, 09:23:16 AM »
Anyone out there in Spain now?

Taiwan is OK but I need a change. I want to head to Spain in the next few months on a scouting mission (housing, school for kids, quality of wine, etc.)

i've never been to south of spain but my friend lived in las afueras de granada, and loved it
i dont know what town she was in

auntie_betty

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #77 on: November 03, 2018, 01:10:24 PM »
I'm in Eastern Andalucia.

We have housing, schools and good wine :). Very good wine actually at less than €4 a bottle.

Seriously - housing very good value, particularly if long-term renting off the immediate coast. Schools I have no real knowledge off except the younger the child the quicker they integrate, and some senior schools teach solely in English as it's considered so important (a good level of English is required for all uni courses I believe).

Climate is EXTREMELY hot in summer but absolutely gorgeous at this time of year and spring. Winters vary from being a little cold (in a very relative kind of way!) to gloriously sunny and warm.

Oh, and did I mention the wine???????
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 01:38:28 AM by auntie_betty »

Padonak

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #78 on: November 03, 2018, 01:40:49 PM »
I'm in Eastern Andalucia.

We have housing, schools and good wine :). Very good wine actually at less than €4 a bottle.

Seriously - housing very good value, particularly if long-term renting off the immediate coast. Schools I have no real knowledge off except the younger the child the quicker they integrate, and some senior schools teach solely in English as it's considered so important (a good level of English is required for all uni courses I believe).

Climate is EXTREMELY hot in summer but absolutely gorgeous at this time of year and spring and autumns vary from being a little cold (in a very relative kind of way!) to gloriously sunny and warm.

Oh, and did I mention the wine???????

That's pretty cool. What cities/towns would you recommend? What's a resonable monthly budget for a single person?

auntie_betty

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #79 on: November 04, 2018, 02:04:26 AM »
I'm in Eastern Andalucia.

We have housing, schools and good wine :). Very good wine actually at less than €4 a bottle.

Seriously - housing very good value, particularly if long-term renting off the immediate coast. Schools I have no real knowledge off except the younger the child the quicker they integrate, and some senior schools teach solely in English as it's considered so important (a good level of English is required for all uni courses I believe).

Climate is EXTREMELY hot in summer but absolutely gorgeous at this time of year and spring and autumns vary from being a little cold (in a very relative kind of way!) to gloriously sunny and warm.

Oh, and did I mention the wine???????

That's pretty cool. What cities/towns would you recommend? What's a resonable monthly budget for a single person?

Have edited my post as the bit about the seasons was goggledygook!

Almeria is where I am and we love it - mountains, sea and desert all within 20 minutes of me. But I'm not near a city and the towns are not large. How big a 'city' are you thinking of?

Places I would recommend:
Cartagena in Murcia. haven't spent much time there but seems quite cosmopolitan, nice port, lot of history.
Malaga. Suffered from a bad reputation as that's the airport the 'beer swilling Brits' and criminals use to get to the Costa del Sol but it's lovely, lots of history and pretty hillside towns around it. However, that whole area is busier than up north.
Cordoba and Seviila (my personal favourite) are fabulous to visit but brutal in summer - well over 110 is normal.
Lovely places like Cadiz on the south coast but can get very windy and gets a lot of rain in winter/spring. Less days of rain than Granada but more of it and it has been known to rain for a week at a time.

In many ways my pick would probably be Granada:
Very pretty, loads of history, beautiful setting at the foot of the Sierra Nevada (so skiing on the doorstep). A proper range of temperatures as well. Personally it's too cold for me in the winter, but it's manageable in summer.

               Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec
High °C   11   12   15   17   22   27   32   32   28   21   15   11
High °F   52   54   59   63   72   81   90   90   82   70   59   52
Low °C   1   2   4   6   9   13   16   16   14   9   5   2
Low °F   34   36   39   43   48   55   61   61   57   48   41   36

https://www.holiday-weather.com/granada/averages/

As to budget - well, where we are we have friends who live, as a couple, on less than €1,000 a month including rent of around €300. They live well enough, eat out once or twice a month etc. They are pretty mustachian in their ways and are just settling down for six months of the year, spending the other six travelling, following a period of five years backpacking (hence the low monthly budget).  That is too frugal for us. We spend over double that with no rent.......... but hey we can afford to so why not?

The country is fabulous with so much to explore. I'm glad we retired when we did (53 for me, 54 for OH) - early, but we have accumulated enough that we can afford to travel a bit without pennypinching (though still looking for good deals!). Off to Malaga this week for a few days and walking this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caminito_del_Rey for the second time. Life is good :)

Padonak

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #80 on: November 04, 2018, 12:44:39 PM »
auntie_betty,

Excellent, thanks for your detailed reply!

Do you speak Spanish? Would you recommend this region to someone who doesn't speak Spanish or only knows a few basic phrases?

auntie_betty

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2018, 01:44:51 PM »
I speak a little and am trying to improve. In the cities you will find people speak some English, especially younger ones. However, in more rural areas there is little English spoken. I'd recommend learning asap. Oh, and just to add, in rural Eastern Andalusia there is a very strong accent, which doesn't help with understanding it!

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #82 on: November 05, 2018, 07:27:24 AM »
do you send your kids to public school in andalucia, or private?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #83 on: November 06, 2018, 05:18:14 AM »
Well, now is a great time to move abroad. Politics suck at home. The dollar is strong. Life is short.

Can you Americans living abroad use your right to vote and do the rest of the world a favor by making a change?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #84 on: November 06, 2018, 05:21:19 AM »
I'm in Eastern Andalucia.

<...>

Climate is EXTREMELY hot in summer but absolutely gorgeous at this time of year and spring. Winters vary from being a little cold (in a very relative kind of way!) to gloriously sunny and warm.

Oh, and did I mention the wine???????

Doesn't the north of Spain have an issue with little drinking water? I've heard from someone who lived there that there were limitations on how long you could/should shower and he had some trouble having his foreign guests to follow up on that.

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #85 on: November 06, 2018, 11:50:09 AM »
Well, now is a great time to move abroad. Politics suck at home. The dollar is strong. Life is short.

Can you Americans living abroad use your right to vote and do the rest of the world a favor by making a change?

agreed, but remember that things are stacked against us, it is not that simple for many people to vote.

maizeman

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #86 on: November 06, 2018, 11:57:39 AM »
For those of you who are outside the USA, please do keep in mind that the democrats will need to win the popular vote by a margin of ~5.5% in order to have a reasonable chance at actually controlling the house of representatives after the election (see the 6th figure on this page.)

So there is a non-trivia chance that the headlines come Wednesday and how the majority of americans view the rest of the world will be telling opposite stories.

auntie_betty

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #87 on: November 06, 2018, 03:15:10 PM »

[/quote]

Doesn't the north of Spain have an issue with little drinking water? I've heard from someone who lived there that there were limitations on how long you could/should shower and he had some trouble having his foreign guests to follow up on that.
[/quote]

I haven't heard of that and I have travelled in the north of Spain the last two summers. More likely to be an issue in the south where there is little rainfall but no real problems for householders.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #88 on: November 07, 2018, 12:32:19 AM »
Well, now is a great time to move abroad. Politics suck at home. The dollar is strong. Life is short.

Can you Americans living abroad use your right to vote and do the rest of the world a favor by making a change?

agreed, but remember that things are stacked against us, it is not that simple for many people to vote.

I know it is difficult. I have an American colleague who cannot vote because it is too complicated for him to register as a voter. While he is a normal person without criminal record and such.

Compared that to me. I am Dutch and am able to vote each time in the Netherlands from abroad. I was some fuss to start with, not not really difficult.

malacca

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #89 on: November 07, 2018, 08:46:27 AM »
Voting for Americans Abroad: It can be done. If you still have a residence in the USA it makes it easier. If not, then you will most likely need to head to an embassy. US Embassies, in general, suck Donkey.

Message to World from Americans: Yes, some of us screwed up and voted for - gosh how to put it - a guy who is something less than stellar (keep in mind we had only two choices and he didn't even win the popular vote). It is a one time mistake (with help from the Russians). It won't happen again, we promise. Don't hold it against Americans - we were duped. Just two more years to go! Unfortunately this election would not allow a change in the Senate (it was very close though). The house of course went to the Dems - even given the assinine redistricting by the Republicans. Again, just two more years to go!

SPAIN: auntie_betty - thanks for the info on Spain. I want to make a scouting visit to Andalucia soon! I am just about settled into Taiwan and will be 'free' soon. As stated in this post, I have two young kids and they are attending a local Taiwan school so the overhead of this and that is quite a lot.

I would like to come for two weeks or so - maybe in December or February. What kind of accommodations are available? I really don't like hotels. I prefer to cook some of my meals and wash my own clothes. And how hard is to rent a vehicle for 2 weeks? A mustachian solution would be great.

When I was in college I spoke basic Mexican. It is somewhere in the back of my brain! Hopefully it will find its way out quickly in Spain. And hopefully I can get rid of the Mexican accent!

What I really need more detail on is the WINE. Of course the 'official' reason for me wanting to move my family to Spain is for my kids to learn Spanish and Spanish culture.


mpvmd

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #90 on: November 10, 2018, 07:44:37 AM »
A slightly different perspective, same sentiments overall. I left the US 13 years ago for work and moved to Switzerland - truly a wonderful place to live but certainly not the bargain of Malaysia or Spain/Portugal. Works for me though: safe, reliable, world's best public transport, politically neutral on the world stage, cosmopolitan and yet devoted to its own culture.

Drawbacks: while you can visit for 3 mos at a time, getting work is not easy. Neither is getting a visa, esp for non-Europeans. You basically have to start with a job that will sponsor you, and renew every 5 years.  Get used to registering for everything - your location, your health insurance, your permit....etc etc. Apartment living is the norm. down side is expense, up side is rent control. examples: (Note the CHF is roughly equivalent to the USD as I post; the 'natural' rate is ca. 1.13 CHF to USD.

    • I took my 100sq meter flat 10 years ago, 2200CHF including utilities - very expensive then. 13 years later, same rent -now ca. 40% below market rate.
      • Basic health insurance is mandatory (equivalent to the old major medical plans  in the US) - rates set by the government. Mine is topped up with e.g. worldwide semi-private hospital room,  vision and dental care, own choice of doctors etc - ca. 730CHF/month. Normal lunch out is easily 25/30 CHF, unless you get a sausage from a street vendor for 6CHF. Dinners average 60CHF+ for one drink, water, main, dessert, coffee.
        Language can be a challenge - in the big cities you can get by in English, but depending where you live, you may need to learn German, French, Italian or Romansch.
        Taxes are higher than the US but not terrible -ca. 30-35%. Compare that to Germany/France, where they can run 50/70% or more, and it looks pretty good. Of course US taxes everything differently so you will still give a pound of flesh to the IRS most years
      .

      Can you Mustache here? absolutely! I live near the German and French borders - it's easy to hop over for less expensive groceries. Public transport is ca. 900/CHF year in my city, 3000 chf/year for all public transport in the whole country. and it's clean, reliable, safe, and can get you to every town and village in the country. No car required! Bicycle friendly streets though bikes must also be registered (with expense).

      Love it here, would not change it for the world.

      And votefromabroad.org makes it easy to register and vote

DoNorth

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #91 on: November 10, 2018, 11:11:37 AM »
We moved to SW France 6 months ago.  I was FIREd in Michigan, but a really easy, high paying job and the opportunity to let my kids learn another language and my family travel more of the world convinced us it was the right move at the right time.

Our town is not particularly expensive--a nice two or three bedroom apartment can be had for 600-700€, groceries are a little higher overall than the US, so we shop at LIDL for basic staples and supplement at other groceries.  Wine/beer are considerably less.  Everything is walkable and I bike to work every day.  Kids sports/activities seem to be a lot more economical.  My employer covers all my living expenses except cell phone and internet with a tax free allowance and they give me an educational stipend for my kids' school tuition and language tutoring.  We've met lots of great people and have felt very welcomed. I would do it all over again in a minute.

auntie_betty

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #92 on: November 11, 2018, 12:42:53 PM »


SPAIN: auntie_betty - thanks for the info on Spain. I want to make a scouting visit to Andalucia soon! I am just about settled into Taiwan and will be 'free' soon. As stated in this post, I have two young kids and they are attending a local Taiwan school so the overhead of this and that is quite a lot.

I would like to come for two weeks or so - maybe in December or February. What kind of accommodations are available? I really don't like hotels. I prefer to cook some of my meals and wash my own clothes. And how hard is to rent a vehicle for 2 weeks? A mustachian solution would be great.

When I was in college I spoke basic Mexican. It is somewhere in the back of my brain! Hopefully it will find its way out quickly in Spain. And hopefully I can get rid of the Mexican accent!

What I really need more detail on is the WINE. Of course the 'official' reason for me wanting to move my family to Spain is for my kids to learn Spanish and Spanish culture.

Your best bet would be to rent an apartment on a website like booking.com, most places at that time of the year I'd expect you could get a decent choice for €500 to €550. I'd choose that over airbnb solely for flexibility. However, I'd look for one with parking - obviously free if possible or subsidised. Parking is free in most Spanish towns but very expensive in cities - we've just come back from a break in Malaga and parking was €23 a day. Alternatively, if you are going to be mainly city based, only rent a car when you want to explore outside the city. If you flew to Malaga for instance you can get the train from the airport into the city for around €2 and I think the bus to  Granada from that airport is also cheap.

Car hire is usually very reasonable but the additional CDW insurance etc is very dear. I don't know how easy it is for you to arrange a separate annual car excess insurance - when I was based in the UK and travelling to Spain for holidays it was much cheaper to do it that way (warning - they will block about €500 off your credit card till the car is returned if you do your own insurance).

And the wine is great - rioja, ribera, verdejo, albarino :)
 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #93 on: November 11, 2018, 01:39:59 PM »
Anyone out there in Spain now?

Taiwan is OK but I need a change. I want to head to Spain in the next few months on a scouting mission (housing, school for kids, quality of wine, etc.)

I just spent some time there and was most impressed by Valencia. Beautiful city with an old part and new futuristic part. A park that runs through the old riverbed. Spain’s third largest city but not overcrowded like Barcelona or Madrid. Has a beach. And bike paths everywhere.  I have no idea about schools or daily living but would definitely spend time there to see if living full time is an option.

yyc-phil

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #94 on: November 11, 2018, 02:12:01 PM »
This is badass. My wife and had the concrete plan to be there as well a few years back (we also looked at Spain, Okinawa where she is from, Thailand, Mexico and a few other places we really liked, likely alternating from country to country a year at the time), unfortunately, life has thrown a monkey wrench in our plans (one adult son is not doing well and can't be left on his own...) so we must stay put for the time being. Hopefully, not too long, and he will get back on his feet soon, as I am 60 and she 44. Still young, but time flies quicker than we realize. Right now, we travel overland and wild camp every winter between Canada and Central America in 4 to 6-month increments so life could be worse...

letsdoit

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #95 on: November 12, 2018, 04:12:00 PM »
We moved to SW France 6 months ago.  I was FIREd in Michigan, but a really easy, high paying job and the opportunity to let my kids learn another language and my family travel more of the world convinced us it was the right move at the right time.

Our town is not particularly expensive--a nice two or three bedroom apartment can be had for 600-700€, groceries are a little higher overall than the US, so we shop at LIDL for basic staples and supplement at other groceries.  Wine/beer are considerably less.  Everything is walkable and I bike to work every day.  Kids sports/activities seem to be a lot more economical.  My employer covers all my living expenses except cell phone and internet with a tax free allowance and they give me an educational stipend for my kids' school tuition and language tutoring.  We've met lots of great people and have felt very welcomed. I would do it all over again in a minute.

are you near bordeaux?

would you move there if you didnot have a job, but you had enough to retire there ?

auntie_betty

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #96 on: November 13, 2018, 03:21:32 PM »


I just spent some time there and was most impressed by Valencia. Beautiful city with an old part and new futuristic part. A park that runs through the old riverbed. Spain’s third largest city but not overcrowded like Barcelona or Madrid. Has a beach. And bike paths everywhere.  I have no idea about schools or daily living but would definitely spend time there to see if living full time is an option.

I have to be honest, Valencia is my least favourite city so far, but I accept that's probably because I visited it during Las Fallas in March. The whole city was heaving and so very, very noisy (even by Spanish noisy standards!) with firecrackers going off literally all day and night (and yes, I DO mean literally!!!). It has a different look to all the other cities I've visited - more modern and bright somehow - and I'd like to visit again at a different time of the year, but I prefer others.

Zaragoza is also lovely btw..........

kenmoremmm

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #97 on: November 13, 2018, 09:09:30 PM »
can one move to one of these countries using the retirement visa, and still do contract work with companies back in the US? i'm pretty sure i can work from abroad for my current company for a good long while while making the transition to FIRE. we're not there yet - maybe 10 years out. but, if we cut the COL by going abroad, and sell the primary residence, that would certainly accelerate things.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Moved Abroad
« Reply #98 on: November 14, 2018, 03:51:12 AM »
can one move to one of these countries using the retirement visa, and still do contract work with companies back in the US? i'm pretty sure i can work from abroad for my current company for a good long while while making the transition to FIRE. we're not there yet - maybe 10 years out. but, if we cut the COL by going abroad, and sell the primary residence, that would certainly accelerate things.

You will likely have to pay income taxes to that new country. Not sure you Americans will find that a bargain, if I sometimes read that Americans find 15% tax on higher incomes very high. Welcome to the rest of the world.