Author Topic: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI  (Read 5434 times)

Mr Mark

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 Imagine you have your base house and rental, a  $1mill Vanguard portfolio and 401k et al, generating a sweet Mustachian SWR of 50k/ yr. You're financially independent.

But you'd like to live overseas for a while. SE Asia, South and Central America esp. You're still young, and there's a lotta world.

And not as as tourist, but for say a year or 2. With a 9 yr old.

The way I see it, as long as the activity is super 'what you love to do' and just breaks even, this would be great.

But where could I do that? I'd need to be able to legally consult and manage a business, be a resident, get health care and schooling... probably would want to be back here 2 months / yr.

  Suggestions from global and well traveled MMM readers appreciated!




arebelspy

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 10:32:49 PM »
The wife and I have talked about this idea, and it may be in our future.  Living anywhere from 2-6 months at a time in a place.

Germany, Italy countryside, Brazil, Phillipines, Belieze are some places that have come up.

We'd be doing more tourist visas, rather than becoming a permanent citizen, unless we decided to settle down somewhere as expats.

You may be doing this backwards though.. Target a place first, then figure out how to make it work, rather than having a plan of what you want to happen, then trying to make a place fit (and risk not liking that place at all).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 11:05:48 PM »
I'm looking at moving to Edinburgh, Scotland for a few months when I can.  Went there for a week and it rocked. 

Budapest was also fucking sweet.

As were Bamberg, Leipzig, Munich, and Berlin.

TLDR; Europe.

EDIT: Oh yea, and Prague... great city.

Antwerp and Bruges, Belgium.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 11:08:52 PM by Kriegsspiel »

Kriegsspiel

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 11:29:23 PM »
Oh yea, look at the craigslist for apartment costs.  Pretty useful for checking how expensive they'll be.

Will

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madgeylou

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 06:16:30 AM »
Spent a month in Costa Rica this year and it was lovely. We were in a less busy part of the country, the Southern Caribbean coast. Rented a house by the beach for a month and got around on bikes. It's not a particularly cheap country, but on $50k a year it'd be easily doable.

Internet was mostly satellite where we were. If you stayed in San Jose (the capital city) you could probably have more of a traditional office setup.

Found the people there to be mostly very friendly and easy going. Hanging out in the jungle was a trip, and the beaches were like nothing I'd ever seen -- butterflies everywhere, so much space to yourself, and absolutely ridiculously beautiful snorkeling.

Some other places we've discussed spending time in -- Japan, Scotland (husband's folks still live in the Borders), France, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Berlin. I also want to explore America more thoroughly, maybe from a camper van. I love the idea of spending, for instance, a whole season exploring the national parks of Utah.

mushroom

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 08:04:34 AM »
If you're thinking about going somewhere with a low COL, Tim Leffel has a good book called "World's Cheapest Destinations" (where he balances COL with cool things to do). http://www.worldscheapestdestinations.com/index.html

I'd also say that after having spent last year abroad in 25 different countries (http://purplmarsh.wordpress.com) that I was really surprised by how many European countries were cheaper than the U.S. I had real sticker shock when I got back after 1 euro cappuccinos in Greek cafes and fresh 1 euro baguettes in France. That being said, many European countries can be hard to stay in for longer than 3 months thanks to Schengen requirements and the difficulty of getting visas.

Australia is pretty easy to stay in up to a year, though, and Air Asia has frequent great deals between Australia and SE Asia.

Thailand is an obvious choice and has a huge expat community. Malaysia's pretty good, too. You can live luxuriously for very cheap, have fast wifi to manage your business, access to good healthcare, amazing food, etc. However, my husband hated Thailand because of how touristy many parts of the country are. I think it's a tradeoff that the more off the beaten track you go, the cheaper and more unique experiences you might have, but you might have to also deal with less comfort and less access to good healthcare. You have to decide what factors are important to you. I think if we were to choose somewhere in SE Asia, it would probably be Indonesia (not Bali) - very cheap, incredible wildlife, gorgeous scenery with literally hundreds of volcanoes, very friendly people, and a good infrastructure in the big cities for stuff like wifi and healthcare.

I personally find a lot of the food in South America to tend towards the bland side (I was craving bottles of hot sauce after several months in Chile), so it'd be hard for me to imagine staying there long-term. Central America - Costa Rica is probably the easiest and has the best healthcare, but also the most expensive and touristy, so similar tradeoff like I was talking about before. My favorite country in Central America is Guatemala, which I think tends to be really underrated.

You can read all you want about a place, but going there and really experiencing it is going to be a completely different animal. Don't make any year-long decisions about a place before you visit first. Stuff like food is really important to me and the diversity of food that you can find in supermarkets and restaurants was one of the things I missed most about the U.S. while I was abroad.

I would suggest first choosing a region that most appeals to you (SE Asia, Central America, S. America) and then visiting several countries within that region on a preliminary trip to see which you like best. Or you could just wing it and just settle down somewhere once you find somewhere you love - a lot of these countries don't really require much preplanning (it may be easier to find a rental while you're there anyway) and many medium-term people just go for a visa run as needed. Sorry that this post is all over the place, but I think it comes down to what your personal preferences are and what exactly you want to get out of living abroad. After our trip, my husband and I have a much better sense of the places we like, and the next time we do an extended trip we'd like to stay in a place for at least several months at a time, so I think it's awesome you're considering something like this!

Mr Mark

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 08:52:44 AM »
Thanks for the great suggestions and advise.

It triggered a realisation too wrt the Caribbean: the parts that are actually European territory, like Martinique, might be promising, as I have a euro passport.

And Vietnam has always sounded pretty interesting, and with good food too.

Indonesia would be promising too, except for Jakarta and Bali...

Schooling and quality of life for our child would probably be a big part of the decision. We have some time to plan and investigate, unfortunately!


Paul der Krake

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 12:39:42 PM »
I am also lucky to have a European passport, meaning I can move to any country within the EU zone on a whim.

OP, don't worry about your nine year old. When I was a kid, we would country-hop for my dad's job every couple years. Children are a lot more adaptative than we think.

All I know is wherever I end up, it will be warm.

Richard3

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 12:45:38 PM »
I think you need try before you buy. Moving countries is a big commitment.

By manage a business do you mean in the local economy or over the intertoobs?

Jamesqf

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 01:53:37 PM »
But where could I do that? I'd need to be able to legally consult and manage a business, be a resident, get health care and schooling... probably would want to be back here 2 months / yr.

This brings up a question: are you talking about 1) working abroad, 2) managing your own business (remotely) while living abroad, or 3) being retired abroad?  In most cases, the requirements are very different.

In most cases, the only effective way to do #1 is to be pretty darned good at some skill that's in demand in the destination country - good enough so that an employer effectively headhunts you.  (That's how I wound up living in Switzerland for a while.)  #2 can be easy, if the business suits.  If you can do it remotely in the US, you can do it anywhere in the world with decent internet connections.

I've no personal experience with #3, but from what I've read it's usually just a matter of having money.  Most places seem to make you fairly welcome if you're going to be spending, rather than taking a local job.

mlipps

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 02:42:20 PM »
Work Holiday visa or Skilled Migrant Visa for Australia & NZ come to mind. They're expensive places to live but the wages are high so if you worked a bit you could probably offset it. They're both so awesome it's worth the extra spending.

travelbug

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 07:05:52 PM »
There are many people living in foreign countries, some are working a net-based PT self-employed job, some are living on investments.
We will be doing the same as of July 4th this year.
I will add a few links of people's blogs. If you want more specific please PM me.

http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2012/03/how-to-finance-long-term-travels-with-advice-from-many-bloggers/

http://www.soultravelers3.com/blog-index.html

http://edventureproject.com/blog/

http://www.raisingmiro.com/

http://www.escapeartistes.com/

http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/

http://thenomadicfamily.com/

http://www.discovershareinspire.com/2012/03/you-have-to-be-special-like-us-if-you-want-an-awesome-life/

Many of these are families who have children.

This one isn't:

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/

Happy reading.


We are choosing to spend the first part of our trip travelling slowly around Europe, predominantly UK, France and Italy. by slow travel I mean stay one month plus in places.

Then we will also live in Asia for the Winter often.




lhamo

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 07:11:23 PM »
Depending on your skillset, I would keep eyes/ears open for an expat assignment or long-term consulting gig.  Why?  Because at the upper management/skilled consultant level those often come with excellent packages (typically cover health/evacuation insurance for the whole family, school fees for the kids, annual home leave trip, cost of your household goods being shipped in/out housing allowance, and often "cost of living differentials" which can be RIDICULOUSLY LUCRATIVE if you are willing to live a more local lifestyle). For US companies the package is often based on what State Department employees get.  Here in Beijing, someone at the Embassy with my level of education/experience gets a package that is roughly 3-4x my annual compensation -- I joined my organization as a "local expat hire" so all I get is a decent salary, good retirement plan, and health insurance.  DH and I still manage to save about 50% of our combined income, and we have a hefty mortgage, so imagine what we'd be saving if we had a package like that!

Going it alone gives you more freedom, but the visa piece can be a challenge depending on the country -- in China it can be cheap if you are willing to use dodgey approaches, very expensive if you want to go the fully legal route and set up a Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise.  Certain schooling options may be closed off to you unless you do it the proper route -- the two top international schools here in Beijing will only take kids whose parents are on proper work visas, for example.  Oh, and they cost $30k+ a year a kid.  Hence the high value of the expat packages, which cover those fees in total.

Good luck working it all out.  While living in China has its challenges, we have mostly enjoyed our expat life for the past decade.



Kriegsspiel

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Re: foreign places to enjoy for mustashian long term adventures when FI
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 09:33:47 PM »
There are many people living in foreign countries, some are working a net-based PT self-employed job, some are living on investments.
We will be doing the same as of July 4th this year.
I will add a few links of people's blogs. If you want more specific please PM me.

http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2012/03/how-to-finance-long-term-travels-with-advice-from-many-bloggers/

http://www.soultravelers3.com/blog-index.html

http://edventureproject.com/blog/

http://www.raisingmiro.com/

http://www.escapeartistes.com/

http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/

http://thenomadicfamily.com/

http://www.discovershareinspire.com/2012/03/you-have-to-be-special-like-us-if-you-want-an-awesome-life/

Many of these are families who have children.

This one isn't:

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/

Happy reading.


We are choosing to spend the first part of our trip travelling slowly around Europe, predominantly UK, France and Italy. by slow travel I mean stay one month plus in places.

Then we will also live in Asia for the Winter often.

I'm a fan of ilikegoingplaces.com.  He and I share the same philosophy for travel.