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Retirement options?


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#1 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:31 PM

As Mrs ASE and I move inexorably toward retirement - I'm 58 and she's 54, and neither of us particularly relishes the idea of working to 70 or beyond as many people I/we know believe they must in order to survive in this area - we find ourselves increasingly intrigued with the idea of retiring somewhere else other than Victoria, the island, or even Canada.

 

In an ideal world I'd like to quit the career rat race while still relatively young and healthy enough to enjoy at least a few years before finally being shipped off permanently to a retirement home. :)

 

Those folks who I know personally and went to school with here in this city and that have recently or are in process of retiring - I see their joyous FB posts increasingly it seems, trumpeting their last day on the job, lol - all have one thing in common: they all have had long careers in the public sector (RCMP, military, teaching etc.,) and thus have those pensions to look forward to. Even then I note with interest that few of them opt (or are financially able?) to retire in Victoria; those who do remain 'local' relocate up island typically north of Parksville. Others have retired as far away in this country as Newfoundland. 

 

This week I was perusing the Forbes 2018 list of most desirable (country) retirement options, some of which I have firsthand experience with including Mexico and Costa Rica, however there are several on this list I do not: 

 

https://www.forbes.c...8/#7b7becae6c3e

 

Looking at the list as neither of us are big fans of Asia particularly, Malaysia for example is not an option we would consider; Columbia (yeah surprised me too it made the list!), does not appeal at all.

 

Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America (Panama and Costa Rica) OTOH all definitely interest us for a variety of reasons, including weather, culture, the fact time-wise they are a reasonable flight back to Canada to visit friends or family, and because our conversational Spanish is passable and as languages go its a relatively easy one to learn given the time and effort put forth. Ditto in terms of interest in Spain or Portugal, and because I have friends who have lived in both of those countries and can't say enough good things about each of them generally.

 

I'm wondering for other VV's who are roughly in our age bracket though what your thoughts are re: retirement - on balance do you expect to retire in Victoria, or at least on the island? For those with firsthand travelling or ideally living experience in say Panama, Spain or Portugal are those places you would consider retiring to, or not? Why or why not?

 

 



#2 LeoVictoria

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:28 PM

 

 

Even then I note with interest that few of them opt (or are financially able?) to retire in Victoria; those who do remain 'local' relocate up island typically north of Parksville. Others have retired as far away in this country as Newfoundland. 

 

This makes very little sense to me.  If they are of retirement age and have a public sector pension, then they likely have been here for many years.  That means they likely bought a house when they were still very cheap and thus have probably paid it off.

 

So how would someone with a good pension and a presumably paid off house not be able to retire here from a financial perspective?   

 

I wonder if this is just a coincidence that you've seen a few people choose to move elsewhere recently?   

 

To answer your question, we will likely retire either in Victoria or up island.    If the place hasn't been flattened by an earthquake by then.



#3 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:56 PM

This makes very little sense to me.  If they are of retirement age and have a public sector pension, then they likely have been here for many years.  That means they likely bought a house when they were still very cheap and thus have probably paid it off.

 

So how would someone with a good pension and a presumably paid off house not be able to retire here from a financial perspective?   

 

I wonder if this is just a coincidence that you've seen a few people choose to move elsewhere recently?   

 

To answer your question, we will likely retire either in Victoria or up island.    If the place hasn't been flattened by an earthquake by then.

Actually to be precise what I said was I knew them from here, and that they were born and educated here, but did not necessarily work or live in Victoria during their professional lives; the RCMP officer was never posted closer than Nanaimo, and actually spent the bulk of his career in Alberta and the BC interior.

 

My teaching friends professionally after getting their degrees at UVic, taught in Spain and Vancouver in one case, and in Winnipeg and Vernon in another. At no time did any of them own a house - paid off or otherwise - in Victoria.

 

The RCMP buddy is the one who retired to Newfoundland - houses, even waterfront in St John's, are dirt cheap compared to here. I know that because I have extensive family in the Maritimes, Nova Scotia to be precise, and am well aware that the cost of housing is a fraction of Victoria's. Another friend dating from elementary school spent 31 years in the VicPD, just retired before Christmas, and is settling just south of Campbell River with her husband on waterfront acreage purchased a few years ago, in a brand new prefabricated house, again all at a fraction of the cost of land/housing here.

 

What do you think will ultimately determine whether you stay in the city or head up-island?

 

If we decide to retire on the rock it will almost certainly also be up-island, "ideally" somewhere between French Creek and Courtenay-Campbell River, but certainly not in Victoria.



#4 spanky123

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 07:39 AM

I know lots of people who have "moved" to Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras and Belize. I say moved simply because they do the minimum required to maintain their Canadian citizenship but for all intents and purposes live elsewhere. There are a lot of beautiful places in the world with nice climates, decent healthcare systems, an affordable lifestyle and friendly people. 

 

My recommendation would be to take an extended vacation at a few potential places and then decide if one of them would be somewhere you would like to relocate to on a more permanent basis. 


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#5 Rob Randall

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:01 AM

Local healthcare was a major factor in my folks' retirement plans.

 

They had a stunning mountain-side home built near Little Qualicum Falls but a sudden health scare with a happy outcome reminded them that an emergency trip to the hospital could be up to an hour away. 

 

After learning the hard way that pensions aren't carved in stone, they downsized to Qualicum and then to a gated seniors' development in Comox, just a couple of minutes away from the brand new hospital They are quite happy in Comox and have great neighbours. They were never big on international travel and have zero interest in living outside BC, even part time.


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#6 tjv

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:24 AM

My plan is to retire to Mexico and live 6 months down there during our winter and then 6 months back here.  I'm already thinking of starting out slowly and taking winter vacations for 2 months and run my business remotely, but I just not sure

 

I'm still in my early 40s so I have a few more years to work


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#7 spanky123

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:30 AM

Local healthcare was a major factor in my folks' retirement plans.

 

 

Very important I agree. Many people believe that healthcare in "developing" countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica is substandard to ours, but in fact in many cases you can get a comparable level of care for far less money and much faster. 



#8 lanforod

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:38 AM

I'm too young to think seriously about the 'where' yet, though am thinking we may tour North America in an RV for a couple years before putting roots down. I'm intrigued with the idea of the Caribbean, eg. Turks and Caicos. Wish Canada would make it a territory, it'd be so much easier then.

 

A lot of it for me, and likely for most people depends on the family situation at time of retirement. Are your kids here in Victoria, are they or do they have kids you want to see regularly? If your kids have moved away, particularly any with kids of their own, your biggest ties to staying are gone.


Edited by lanforod, 07 January 2019 - 08:39 AM.

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#9 Wayne

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:49 AM

We moved to Victoria with the intent of retiring here. Having lived all across Canada, Victoria was our first choice. Qualicum, Comox and Salmon Arm (Blind Bay) were options. We had enough of the winters and our joints/bodies have thanked us.

 

Your selections should revolve around what you like to do (I golf) and can afford.

 

Looking outside of Canada, like Spanky said, try an extended holiday first,  Winter and summer.

 

Currently we travel to Mexico (PV) 3-4 months every winter. Love it. We are also looking to Spain and Portugal for winter trips.

 

BTW, one of the first things I did was in retirement was get a very part time job. 9-15 hours a week with winters off. Its at a golf course and supplements my golf.

 

Good luck.


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#10 RFS

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:53 AM

Retirement is foolish. Work till death, that’s what humans are designed for.
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#11 rjag

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 09:00 AM

Huge difference between the Central American countries and Spain/Portugal. Definitely the Eu countries may be a bit higher cost of living but they are also very modern with access to anywhere in Eu within hours. Lots of UK expats sold up and bought in Spain, we're talking 300,000 plus. All fine and dandy when it is the Eu and your pension is simply deposited into your bank account and you can live anywhere in the Eu without applying for immigrant status etc...until Brexit. Now there are 300k Brits who have no idea what their status will be, they have no property in the UK and could never sell and buy back in as Spanish property is a lot less and there will be an economic shock when extra tens of thousands of apartments all of a sudden get listed.

 

Another country to consider is Chile, very stable political climate and they have a mild temperate region thats relatively inexpensive. 

 

I've read that Medellin in Columbia is very stable these days and has an amazing climate and very good infrastructure and medical access. Lots of places to check out, but for me I'm a West Coaster, I may consider Australia in particular the Gold Coast if my Daughter moves there. (for some reason she said yes to this guy from Oz and they are both in Eu doing their Masters, she's in London and he's in Munich but I bet they move to Oz or stay in Eu as they both have Eu passports)



#12 todd

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:19 AM

Retirement is foolish. Work till death, that’s what humans are designed for.


What do you do?

#13 jonny

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:35 AM

One problem with any place in Central or South America is things can go tits up in a heartbeat. I would not put down permanent roots in Central America. 



#14 spanky123

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:49 AM

One problem with any place in Central or South America is things can go tits up in a heartbeat. I would not put down permanent roots in Central America.

True but it is not like life is certain here either. Helps was on twitter this morning cheering on a proposal in the US to raise taxes on the wealthy to 80%! Now that may sound a good idea to many people until they realize that owning a home or having savings makes you “wealthy”!

I am exaggerating to make a point but the point is that things can change no matter where you live.

Edited by spanky123, 07 January 2019 - 11:50 AM.


#15 RFS

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:51 AM

One problem with any place in Central or South America is things can go tits up in a heartbeat. I would not put down permanent roots in Central America. 

 

True but it is not like life is certain here either. Helps was on twitter this morning cheering on a proposal in the US to raise taxes on the wealthy to 80%! Now that may sound a good idea to many people until they realize that owning a home or having savings makes you “wealthy”!

I am exaggerating to make a point but the point is that things can change no matter where you live.

 

To be fair, America is fast becoming south america 



#16 jonny

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:00 PM

True but it is not like life is certain here either. Helps was on twitter this morning cheering on a proposal in the US to raise taxes on the wealthy to 80%! Now that may sound a good idea to many people until they realize that owning a home or having savings makes you “wealthy”!

 

I was referring more to when the cartels and federales are literally having gunbattles on the streets and gringos can't leave a gated complex lest they get robbed. 

 

I just have too many friends who fled Africa and Central America due to these sorts of issues. 

 

I also know a couple who retired to Hawaii but came back within 5 years or so. It was just too isolated. Coming home to visit was very expensive. You're forever a mainlander, even if you've lived there for years. Eventually the vacation wears off and some people just want to be home. If you full on leave NA, coming back is incredibly expensive. 

 

Now, getting a timeshare in Cabo or renting a place for the winter, that's different IMO. 


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#17 Rob Randall

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:07 PM

One problem with any place in Central or South America is things can go tits up in a heartbeat. I would not put down permanent roots in Central America. 

 

My dad traveled to Central America for business a couple of times. He was shaken out of bed by a big earthquake once but the big fright was when he and his colleagues were on a bus tour and they got stopped at a road block and some fellows armed with AK-47s jumped out and ordered them all off the bus and lined them up at the side of the road. Dad thought this was adios but they checked their papers and sent them on their way. Maybe because they were part of a government-sponsored delegation.

 

Mind you, this was the 80s when things were hairy but jonny's point is to be careful. Look at Ortega in Nicaragua. Back in the 80s he was the young rebel overthrowing the corrupt dictator--now he's the corrupt dictator and who knows what's going to happen next year or into what neighbouring country a rebellion spills into.


Edited by Rob Randall, 07 January 2019 - 12:09 PM.

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#18 sdwright.vic

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:30 PM

One problem with any place in Central or South America is things can go tits up in a heartbeat. I would not put down permanent roots in Central America.


For the last 30 years of my life I have known people that have headed south to retire. That has always been an argument against, yet seems to not really ever happen.
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#19 jonny

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:38 PM

For the last 30 years of my life I have known people that have headed south to retire. That has always been an argument against, yet seems to not really ever happen.

 

Huh? Systemic ongoing issues in Nicaragua, Honduras and vast swaths of Mexico now come to mind immediately. Not to mention the never ending issues with corruption and violence throughout the region. 

 

Anyway, my point is I personally would not put all of my eggs in the Central America basket, so to speak, but if you do, I don't care. 


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#20 jonny

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:42 PM

I think the bigger question is: what do you like to do?

 

Ski? Scuba? Motorcycle? Golf? Volunteer? Fish? Exercise? 

 

Some people are perfectly happy parked in front of the TV or napping poolside with a book week in and week out. 

 

Are Sunday family dinners important to you?

 

Do you want to be in your grandkids week to week lives?

 

Do you despise your family and just want to disappear?


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