Author Topic: Where did you retire abroad?  (Read 4974 times)

tnsstud

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Where did you retire abroad?
« on: September 16, 2020, 10:23:40 AM »
Staches!

Where?

Why?

Positives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners?)?

Negatives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners)?

Married, 4 kids (youngest is 8), year #2 of FIRE.

Thank you!!!!

Padonak

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 10:57:38 AM »
following

billy

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 01:34:23 PM »
Well as we wait to hear from fire folks, you could check out youtube channel our rich journey.

Knapptyme

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 08:45:09 AM »
Where?

Ecuador

Why?

New language and culture for the kiddos. Andes Mountains, Amazon Rainforest, Pacific Beaches, Galapagos.

Positives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners?)?

Not officially retired. Having a reason (job) to enter the country during a pandemic and stay there for 3+ years is easier for immigration. Taxes seem reasonable for in-country things. COL is fantastically low for a big city like Quito. Being the capital, foreigners are fairly common and well accepted. Health care seems adequate and affordable (even without insurance).

Negatives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners)?

No one else in the world is as stupid free as people in the US when it comes to coronavirus restrictions. Moving here was a huge step backwards in freedoms, but probably for the betterment of everyone. Taking money out of the country is heavily taxed unless you can funnel it through expats with PayPal or some other means. If you want to consider the majority of the country is homogenous as a negative to diversity, so be it. Other ethnicities are represented, but more like minorities in the MidWest.

I'm still learning a lot about the pros and cons, but I do know cash is king here. No more credit card optimizing, although some bigger establishments take them.

Married, 3 kids, youngest is 1.5.

Sandi_k

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 01:50:35 PM »
We're considering Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Portugal. But only once the parents are gone.

texxan1

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2020, 12:34:42 PM »
Not retired let, but did a sample tour of living abroad in 2018.

Im going to either retiring to the to the Philippines or Thailand in the next few years.. My fiance is from PI, but we are thinking thailand

Thailand is my first choice... They make it a pain in the arse to stay long term, but there are a few ways to do it. 
Healthcare is cheap and top notch ( comparable to the states)
a nice condo can be bought for 25K USD ( i already bought mine for alot less and in the current climate one can be had very cheap)
Living is easy.. wake up, have some coffee, jump on the motorbike and cruise the moutains, go to a lake swim, go hikding, birdwatching, fishing.. watever you want
FOOD is GREAT and CHEAP

The only negative thing i could say about thailand is that the Thai language is not easy.. spending a year there, i can certainly speak some minor conversational thai, but you getoutside the major area's and no one speaks much english.. I fully entend to continue to study thai at a language school once i get back.. .You speak the language and the world is your oyster



friedmmj

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 01:23:32 PM »
Well as we wait to hear from fire folks, you could check out youtube channel our rich journey.

Here is another interesting article on this topic

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4363016-how-one-of-readers-retired-early-without-needing-millions?v=1600865243&comments=show


martyconlonontherun

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2020, 02:12:47 PM »
Not retired let, but did a sample tour of living abroad in 2018.

Im going to either retiring to the to the Philippines or Thailand in the next few years.. My fiance is from PI, but we are thinking thailand

Thailand is my first choice... They make it a pain in the arse to stay long term, but there are a few ways to do it. 
Healthcare is cheap and top notch ( comparable to the states)
a nice condo can be bought for 25K USD ( i already bought mine for alot less and in the current climate one can be had very cheap)
Living is easy.. wake up, have some coffee, jump on the motorbike and cruise the moutains, go to a lake swim, go hikding, birdwatching, fishing.. watever you want
FOOD is GREAT and CHEAP

The only negative thing i could say about thailand is that the Thai language is not easy.. spending a year there, i can certainly speak some minor conversational thai, but you getoutside the major area's and no one speaks much english.. I fully entend to continue to study thai at a language school once i get back.. .You speak the language and the world is your oyster
Mind sending over the listing or a similar listing in the area so I can day dream?

solon

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2020, 02:17:58 PM »
Not retired let, but did a sample tour of living abroad in 2018.

Im going to either retiring to the to the Philippines or Thailand in the next few years.. My fiance is from PI, but we are thinking thailand

Thailand is my first choice... They make it a pain in the arse to stay long term, but there are a few ways to do it. 
Healthcare is cheap and top notch ( comparable to the states)
a nice condo can be bought for 25K USD ( i already bought mine for alot less and in the current climate one can be had very cheap)
Living is easy.. wake up, have some coffee, jump on the motorbike and cruise the moutains, go to a lake swim, go hikding, birdwatching, fishing.. watever you want
FOOD is GREAT and CHEAP

The only negative thing i could say about thailand is that the Thai language is not easy.. spending a year there, i can certainly speak some minor conversational thai, but you getoutside the major area's and no one speaks much english.. I fully entend to continue to study thai at a language school once i get back.. .You speak the language and the world is your oyster
Mind sending over the listing or a similar listing in the area so I can day dream?

Hear, hear!

How do I look up condos and other real estate in Thailand?

Padonak

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2020, 02:23:55 PM »
Im also wondering where in Thailand you can still buy a condo for $25k. In Bangkok, try $250k. In smaller cities like Chiang Mai you are looking at $60k or more in a good neighborhood.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2020, 02:50:52 PM »
Im also wondering where in Thailand you can still buy a condo for $25k. In Bangkok, try $250k. In smaller cities like Chiang Mai you are looking at $60k or more in a good neighborhood.

I've looked at Thailand and I am with you on these numbers I'd even say a little less in BKK and more in Chiang Mai then if you get down to the south and the islands it's $$ but still certainly reasonable in comparison to the same in the US or even Europe

Lukim

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2020, 08:35:47 PM »
Im also wondering where in Thailand you can still buy a condo for $25k. In Bangkok, try $250k. In smaller cities like Chiang Mai you are looking at $60k or more in a good neighborhood.

Can foreigners actually buy a condo in Thailand?  I thought foreigners restricted to leases or using a Thai nominee.

I have lived in South East Asia for more than 20 years but plan to retire in Australia. 

Padonak

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2020, 08:56:13 PM »
Im also wondering where in Thailand you can still buy a condo for $25k. In Bangkok, try $250k. In smaller cities like Chiang Mai you are looking at $60k or more in a good neighborhood.

Can foreigners actually buy a condo in Thailand?  I thought foreigners restricted to leases or using a Thai nominee.

I have lived in South East Asia for more than 20 years but plan to retire in Australia.

Foreigners can buy condos but can't buy land. There is a foreigner quota in each condo building, up to 50% if i remember correctly. Units available to foreigners are more expensive than those available to locals but i don't think the difference is huge.

There are also ways to buy houses with land using companies with nominal Thai owners but i wouldn't do it because i don't trust them.

expatartist

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2020, 09:28:44 PM »
Relatively straightforward to buy a condo there, and healthcare is brilliant and affordable. Many int'l insurance plans accepted. I go there annually for a top to toe checkup (not this year though).

The living can be easy, it depends on what you're looking for out of life, and what you're willing to ignore.

texxan1

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2020, 01:06:56 PM »
The things you see for sale on the internet for thailand are aimed at expats who are not boots on the ground.....You gotta get on the group and walk it.... facebook marketplace is pretty decent and there are facebook pages dedicated to most bigger places.. I myself, Love Chiang Mai...... but also have looked at reasonable condos in Pattaya.... A condo i looked at 2 years ago in Pattaya was 45000 USD , now the same condo is 25000k USD....     

Certain places, like chiang mai have WAY to many condos available..... even in 2018 when there were TONS of tourists and digital nomads in chiang mai , there was still an over abundance of condos..

anyways, if you guys want to look.. Check out the facebook pages for real estate for Chiang mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Udon Thani etc etc and check it out for yourself.

One big advantage to retiring to thailand and buying a condo.. No taxes after the purchase... Ever   You may have to put certain thing sto the condo when they do upgrades, but it really ends up being cheap cheap

Tex

texxan1

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2020, 01:19:06 PM »
hey guys, one other thing to note.... for those considering retiring abroad....

In thailand for example...  Say you buy a Condo for 30k USD..... its yours, you can do with it what you want.. You can remodel how you like etc etc...

keep in mind that a condo in thailand can rent for as cheap as 200 USD.... so that 30k you just spent.... well if you rented, thats enough money to rent for 10 plus years lol.

There is nothing that says you have to Buy if you want to retire abroad.... There is Nothing wrong with renting there..... Both have advantages

I bought in Chiang Mai because  my company was giving me 900 USD a month to pay for my rental, so for me it was a no brainer to use that money and just buy a condo.... I think in total my condo cost me around 21K after purchase and remodel work i did.... so my company paid 15300 USD of that cost..... Easy decision for me, and it always gave me a place to go if i wanted too... Even though i have not been there since january, its well taken care of by a freind for 20 bucks a month lol

tex

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2020, 08:03:15 PM »
hey guys, one other thing to note.... for those considering retiring abroad....

In thailand for example...  Say you buy a Condo for 30k USD..... its yours, you can do with it what you want.. You can remodel how you like etc etc...

keep in mind that a condo in thailand can rent for as cheap as 200 USD.... so that 30k you just spent.... well if you rented, thats enough money to rent for 10 plus years lol.

There is nothing that says you have to Buy if you want to retire abroad.... There is Nothing wrong with renting there..... Both have advantages

I bought in Chiang Mai because  my company was giving me 900 USD a month to pay for my rental, so for me it was a no brainer to use that money and just buy a condo.... I think in total my condo cost me around 21K after purchase and remodel work i did.... so my company paid 15300 USD of that cost..... Easy decision for me, and it always gave me a place to go if i wanted too... Even though i have not been there since january, its well taken care of by a freind for 20 bucks a month lol

tex

That's pretty AWESOME!!! As I said I've looked and not seen prices like that but I wasn't looking when I was there and going this year, well that got scrapped!

One question, kind of related to some of the above comments; my understanding is you don't own the property it's basically a 99 year lease? Not that any of us are living more than that but just curious

Actually two questions second being, did you get permanent residence from when you lived there? If not do you just extend your visa and then leave for a few days on a cheap flight and go back, when you go back for long periods (if you do)?

texxan1

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2020, 08:41:55 PM »
when it comes to condos, you own the condo.. period.... You can not own land as a foreigner. There are all kinds of schemes for actually doing long term leases and then owning the property you build, but i dont have much faith in the thai laws when it comes to that.. I do however have complete faith in owning a condo there... As those laws are pretty simple.. most complexes can be owned by 49% foreigners and the rest are owned by thais.  So if you have a complex of 100 condos, 49 can be owned and deeded for foreigners and the rest to thais...

Also, just for the sake of transparency about condos... everyone seems to want to get the newer high priced ones but there are many buildings that dont look perfect on the outside but have totally awesome bigger NICELY done condos on the inside.. Thats the beauty of buying a cheaper one and doing what upgrades you want on the inside.. Mine, is quite big and i spent a few thousand redoing it on the inside.. another nice thing, labor is dirt cheap....

as for residency and visa requirements, I did not have to endure that as i worked 28 days on 28 days off so i only spent my time off work there.. my work was actually in another country.
If i was going to move to thailand permanantly i would get a Thai Elite visa, which is basically allows you a 1 year visa stamp each time you enter the country... Its not cheap though but you only have to leave the country 1 day per year effectively




khizr

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2020, 04:04:22 AM »
Where?
- Spain, and now Portugal.

Why?
- Lower cost of living.
- Amazing food and experiences.
- Amazing weather.
- Amazing biking/road trips.
- Higher quality of food controls.
- I don't want my kids to grow up in the USA. And, I am not happy with the direction of the USA when it comes to achieving the American dream if you are in a lower economic bracket, health care costs, college costs, paid vacation, maternity/paternity, high military spending, unchecked gun violence, high cost of daycare, broken unemployment system to help people get back to work, no planning for climate change on a national level, poor environmental safeguards, too much licensing and monopolies in the economy, etc etc.

Positives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners?)?
- Great health care system.
- Great cost of living.
- Friendly safe environment.
- Better future for my kids in Europe.
- Crazy good tax scheme in Portugal called NHR.

Negatives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners)?
- Public schools still push memorization instead of critical thinking in some places, but changing.
- Job market needs some serious reform but slowly getting there.
- America is almost the only country to tax citizens who don't live there. It makes it very complicated. We had to leave Spain because of that after a few years because each has taxes that break the others in a weird way (rare situation due to my work).


Married, 1 kid, entrepreneur/fire so a bit different there.

keyvaluepair

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2020, 10:42:03 AM »

Positives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners?)?
......

Negatives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners)?
- Public schools still push memorization instead of critical thinking in some places, but changing.
- Job market needs some serious reform but slowly getting there.
- America is almost the only country to tax citizens who don't live there. It makes it very complicated. We had to leave Spain because of that after a few years because each has taxes that break the others in a weird way (rare situation due to my work).


Married, 1 kid, entrepreneur/fire so a bit different there.

Thanks Khizr: Why does "acceptance of foreigners" have a question mark next to it. Spain also has a wealth tax that is likely to be onerous so POR seems a better choice for us. I'm also Indian-American so I have concerns about acceptance....

stoaX

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2020, 02:50:33 PM »
Posting to follow and hoping to learn about places that aren't hot and humid.  Also the quality of health care and how it is financed by an American ex-pat is always interesting. 

DocToDisco

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2020, 10:52:49 AM »
I've been retired exactly for 1 year and 2 days now. 


Where?

Part-time in Barbados (~4 to 6 months in total but intermittently, not continuously)

Why?

Positives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners?)?

My husband was born in Barbados, but raised in the US.

Built-In family is wonderful!  It's so comfortable laughing and joking with them.  Hearing stories about all the different family members and especially stories about my husband when he was a kid are priceless and great blackmail material (hehehehe).

Bulit-In friends (great resources especially since it's a very small country (a little under 300K).

Immigration - the process took little over a year, but would have been shorter if we didn't have a pandemic. It was relatively easy paper work.  Communication was great, since the country is so small, everyone knows everyone and they know how to find you if they need you (hehehehe).  I don't quite remember how much, but at least $800.00 US and I had to be "related" to Barbadian (my husband). 

Taxes - hmm, not sure, can't comment yet.
 
In 2018, we purchased and renovated a property that we turned into a multi-unit across the street from a great beach on the Caribbean side.  We currently rent out the top and back units for short-term rentals and the business has been picking up lately.

Healthcare is dismal there- most people who stay for an extended period of time get healthcare in their "home" countries like Canada, the US & the UK mostly.

Diversity - the vast majority of Barbadians are of African Descent.  They are some of the WARMEST people I have ever encountered.  They are very helpful but also chatty and gossip-y, which I guess speaks to how small the country is.  They are extremely polite to visitors and to each other too.  My theory is that since it's such a small country, you are bound to interact with one another or some how related to one another, therefore they keep it super polite.  I really like this about their society, people have decorum and manners. 

What I also enjoy about the Island is that we live in a vacation place where there are many different people in my neighborhood.  For example, the house to my right is a native Barbadian who's family has been in that house for over 200 years, behind me is a cousin of his who lives in the UK, on the left of me and behind are short term rentals and then Sweedish people behind them.  I like that there are lots of activities to participate in when you feel the urge to party, but also the "sleepy beach" aspect is a welcomed feature I also enjoy.  I love the peace and calm that my early dawn beach walks bring to me any time I want. 

Negatives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners)?

Expensive/Lack of choices - food, transportation, etc.  The grocery store prices are comparable to California which ain't cheap.  Also, the different choices are not so great especially the vegetables.  In my opinion, they eat a very limited variety of vegetables, so that took some getting used to.  They drive on the opposite of the road for me, so I didn't drive there for a while, but now I feel comfortable driving.  Car insurance is very expensive and used cars are relatively expensive, forget about owning a new car, it would be like a small mortgage (mostly due to import taxes).

Slow-motion - everything is on slow-mo.  Standing in line.  Waiting for government documents.  The slowest by far was the real-estate process.  We had to get a lawyer, luckily my husband's family had a family friend who happens to be a retired Supreme Court Justice (hahaha, yup - my lawyer was a retired supreme court justice - that's how small the country is hehehehe).  In the US closing takes about 1 month, two months at the longest.  Not in Barbados!  It took almost 9 months! Ridiculous I tell you!  Renovations - again a little lucky here because we used an established contractor on the Island who happens to be my husband's first cousin- so we trusted him and he is very experienced, but it still took what seemed like for-evvvvvvveeerrrrr!  This was NOT our first rodeo as we have flipped houses in the past and are land-lords.  But golly - what would have taken us about 3 months in the States took about 1 year in Barbados!  However, I really can't complain because the work was spectacular!  They take pride in their craftsmanship and they are really talented, polite and want to do a good job for you.  So in the end - working with family and the varied artisans was actually a great experience and we all became closer as a family.

The final benefit that is very important to me is that we don't lack visitors because everyone wants to come visit a tropical island (hehehehe).  I've really enjoyed hosting friends and family.  Reconnecting with them on "slow-mode" has been absolutely wonderful and memorable.  But when they leave, I get a nice little break, so best of both worlds!

Overall, I absolutely love spending my life part-time in Barbados.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Where did you retire abroad?
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2020, 07:14:57 PM »
I've been retired exactly for 1 year and 2 days now. 


Where?

Part-time in Barbados (~4 to 6 months in total but intermittently, not continuously)

Why?

Positives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners?)?

My husband was born in Barbados, but raised in the US.

Built-In family is wonderful!  It's so comfortable laughing and joking with them.  Hearing stories about all the different family members and especially stories about my husband when he was a kid are priceless and great blackmail material (hehehehe).

Bulit-In friends (great resources especially since it's a very small country (a little under 300K).

Immigration - the process took little over a year, but would have been shorter if we didn't have a pandemic. It was relatively easy paper work.  Communication was great, since the country is so small, everyone knows everyone and they know how to find you if they need you (hehehehe).  I don't quite remember how much, but at least $800.00 US and I had to be "related" to Barbadian (my husband). 

Taxes - hmm, not sure, can't comment yet.
 
In 2018, we purchased and renovated a property that we turned into a multi-unit across the street from a great beach on the Caribbean side.  We currently rent out the top and back units for short-term rentals and the business has been picking up lately.

Healthcare is dismal there- most people who stay for an extended period of time get healthcare in their "home" countries like Canada, the US & the UK mostly.

Diversity - the vast majority of Barbadians are of African Descent.  They are some of the WARMEST people I have ever encountered.  They are very helpful but also chatty and gossip-y, which I guess speaks to how small the country is.  They are extremely polite to visitors and to each other too.  My theory is that since it's such a small country, you are bound to interact with one another or some how related to one another, therefore they keep it super polite.  I really like this about their society, people have decorum and manners. 

What I also enjoy about the Island is that we live in a vacation place where there are many different people in my neighborhood.  For example, the house to my right is a native Barbadian who's family has been in that house for over 200 years, behind me is a cousin of his who lives in the UK, on the left of me and behind are short term rentals and then Sweedish people behind them.  I like that there are lots of activities to participate in when you feel the urge to party, but also the "sleepy beach" aspect is a welcomed feature I also enjoy.  I love the peace and calm that my early dawn beach walks bring to me any time I want. 

Negatives (immigration process, tax's, health care, COL, diversity, acceptance of foreigners)?

Expensive/Lack of choices - food, transportation, etc.  The grocery store prices are comparable to California which ain't cheap.  Also, the different choices are not so great especially the vegetables.  In my opinion, they eat a very limited variety of vegetables, so that took some getting used to.  They drive on the opposite of the road for me, so I didn't drive there for a while, but now I feel comfortable driving.  Car insurance is very expensive and used cars are relatively expensive, forget about owning a new car, it would be like a small mortgage (mostly due to import taxes).

Slow-motion - everything is on slow-mo.  Standing in line.  Waiting for government documents.  The slowest by far was the real-estate process.  We had to get a lawyer, luckily my husband's family had a family friend who happens to be a retired Supreme Court Justice (hahaha, yup - my lawyer was a retired supreme court justice - that's how small the country is hehehehe).  In the US closing takes about 1 month, two months at the longest.  Not in Barbados!  It took almost 9 months! Ridiculous I tell you!  Renovations - again a little lucky here because we used an established contractor on the Island who happens to be my husband's first cousin- so we trusted him and he is very experienced, but it still took what seemed like for-evvvvvvveeerrrrr!  This was NOT our first rodeo as we have flipped houses in the past and are land-lords.  But golly - what would have taken us about 3 months in the States took about 1 year in Barbados!  However, I really can't complain because the work was spectacular!  They take pride in their craftsmanship and they are really talented, polite and want to do a good job for you.  So in the end - working with family and the varied artisans was actually a great experience and we all became closer as a family.

The final benefit that is very important to me is that we don't lack visitors because everyone wants to come visit a tropical island (hehehehe).  I've really enjoyed hosting friends and family.  Reconnecting with them on "slow-mode" has been absolutely wonderful and memorable.  But when they leave, I get a nice little break, so best of both worlds!

Overall, I absolutely love spending my life part-time in Barbados.

I go to Barbados frequently to surf (stay at Zeds heís pretty well known there). Itís a magical place. And I love that I can take public transportation! Even if I am risking my life in those little vans haha.