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Retirement options?


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#41 todd

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:58 AM

Cass I presume you mean San Jose del Cabo (never heard of a San Juan del Cabo); it may or not be more violent than when I was last there (2015) but ultimately anywhere you can name has an element of risk associated with it. To that end in some respects I adopt Todd's approach, i.e. at the end of the day I tend not to worry as there are certain things in life beyond my control. My own on the ground experiences in Mexico, in Baja and the Mayan Riviera region specifically, have never been anything but extremely positive. Also admittedly I have a bit of 'biggest guy in the room syndrome': at 280 pounds (a result of weight training and not too many cheeseburgers...) I find more often than not people tend to leave me alone, heh.

 

Bottom line re: Mexico is this: I'm not into drugs; I don't use them nor do I transport or buy them. That said could I be at the "wrong place at the wrong time" one day or night and suffer the ultimate consequences? Sure, no question. Just as assuredly as I could in East Vancouver, or the north end of Regina (per capita the highest crime rate in Canada and I guarantee not a place the average Victorian should ever venture into especially at night), certain sections of LA, Boston, London, Bangkok and a 1000 other places.

 

So while its good to educate yourself about local conditions - crime trends and otherwise - and its likely a very good idea not to run around certain Mexican states like Sinaloa with a tee-shirt that says "Cartels Suck!" at the end of the day and beyond those fairly obvious self truths, I tend to just go about my business and trust that the universe will unfold however its meant to, all the while being mindful about where I am, and who is around me - and of course being constantly on the lookout for good fishing grounds and big waves for surfing...! :)

 

Mindful acceptance.   https://youtu.be/d-diB65scQU


Edited by todd, 08 January 2019 - 11:58 AM.


#42 Cassidy

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 05:21 PM

Cass I presume you mean San Jose del Cabo (never heard of a San Juan del Cabo)...

Yes, spell correct went overboard this time ... I often wonder if the original spelling mistakes are actually far easier to understand, and ultimately better than the unseen auto-corrections?


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#43 nerka

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 05:40 PM

Salta, Argentina

Lake District, Chile (but only for the austral summer)



#44 SimonH

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 10:15 AM

If you decide on Spain contact me. We retired to Spain. I'll give you the scoop.


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#45 AllseeingEye

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 11:18 AM

/\....still a few years away yet Simon as mentioned above, but if you want to PM me anytime with some thoughts, comments, on the ground observations etc., all would be gratefully received.

 

My perceptions of Spain - having not been there myself, (yet) - are a result primarily of long conversations with two different Canadian friends who lived and worked there the bulk of their professional lives, one of whom still does after over 30 years. Neither literally has a bad thing to say about the country, people or the culture. And of course the Forbes article merely stokes the interest....



#46 LJ

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 07:34 PM

If you decide on Spain contact me. We retired to Spain. I'll give you the scoop.

Which area?


Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#47 SimonH

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 01:33 PM

Which area?

We were just off the coast between Fuengirola and Marbella.

 

I'm happy to post my thoughts here on line but to prevent  everyone from suffering brain bleed I'll break it up into 4 posts over the next week. Please note the postings are based on my 7 years living in the Andalusia region.

 

The Good:

 

Its a wonderful country. It is rich in history. Its cities are marvellous, its villages picturebook. It has enough culture to last you a lifetime. It has everything for most people. Great beaches and a pretty good climate on the south coast. Drive north in the winter to Basque, Bilbao and San Sebastian and you would almost think you were in the Swiss alps. Beautiful scenic countryside in between.

 

Did I mention the cities ? Within 2/3  hours drive  of Malaga you have Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Jerz, Cadiz,  Huelva. Portugal is 4 hours drive away.One of the beauties of Spain is its smaller villages, places you will never hear of, not necessarily off the beaten track either. Full of charm, character and totally Spanish. The butcher and the baker arrive once a week in the village and you buy your rations for the week from the back of his van.

 

The Spanish  food is excellent. In the south it derives from peasant/farmer food combined with North African (Moor) . Not many ingredients are used ( except paella) but they manage to create rich and deep flavours.

Wine is plentiful, the reds are very good, the wife never found a white wine she really enjoyed and its cheap, dangerously cheap.

Beer is not for the aficionados however on a hot summers day a cold cruzcampo always managed to hit the spot.

 

Cost of living is low ( in comparison to Canada) Food, drink, utilities, housing transport etc were not costly at all. 

Road and rail transport is modern and safe. Spain took full advantage of EU grants to bring her infrastructure upto modern day needs.  I once clocked 46 kms on  a motorway without seeing another vehicle in either direction. Driving in the cities is very different a bit like a cross between Wacky races and Nascar.

 

Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona airports have excellent international links.

The Spanish people on the whole are very friendly, generous, helpful and welcoming. Very family oriented. It helps if you take the time to integrate and learn the language a little. We studied at Spanish school for 3 months when we first arrived. We only watched Spanish TV ( surprising how good this was for learning the language) and we only frequented Spanish bars, forcing us to speak Spanish. 


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#48 Bob Fugger

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:30 AM

One of my favourite places on the planet is Andalusia - especially Sevilla, Granada and Malaga.  If I don't end up retiring to Toscana, I'd like to end up there - and may well might, as the latter is much more expensive.  Plus we'd all already be EU citizens, to boot.



#49 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:29 AM

/\.....yeah pretty sure I wouldn't mind Marbella. Just have to figure out how to afford it, heh. My teaching friend spent nearly 15 years in Catalonia and is a huge fan of Tarragona in particular, where he actually lived and taught, and Barcelona. One draw in particular for me is the history of the entire region and especially the Roman influence.



#50 SimonH

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:21 PM

Part 2 ( of 4)

 

The Bad:

 

Petty crime. Its constant and its everywhere. You can't go out have a coffee without constantly checking that your wallet, purse, car keys are still with you. I was pickpocketed twice once on a escalator and second time on a train, both times I caught and confronted them. Bad move, they work in teams and they made sure I wasn't going to make a fuss over it. Sitting in a bar or cafe my wife had to literally tie her handbag around the table leg and hold onto it at all times.  

 

Expats : Over a quarter million Brits live in Spain, then there's the rest of northern Europe Scandinavians, Russians, Germans. They all tend to clique together but you can't avoid them. Some are OK but the rest are a "type" never integrated, don't really like their hosts, critical of everything back home (they don't live there anymore) and you really get the feeling they are just seeing their days out until death.

 

Driving: I've driven all over the world yet nothing compares to the Costa del Sol I guarantee you are taking your life in your hands. Forget courtesy, forget safety, forget everything you have learned about driving. Buy a large SUV for safety, do not buy a new vehicle other drivers have no respect and will certainly dent it. Drink driving at all times of the day is the norm.

 

Property: Build quality is awful ! Our "luxury" penthouse apartment consisted of one layer of brick and a plaster coating on each side. In the winter with marble floors almost impossible to heat efficiently. No soundproofing, you don't just hear your immediate neighbour you hear everyone in your block.

 

Manana: You know the attitude, it'll get done tomorrow. I accept that's the way of life out there but after a few years its a pisser. Tradesmen don't turn up, the utilities guy never shows then turns up 2 days later, leaves a note asking why you weren't in and meanwhile you still don't have water.

 

Health care:  The state run health care: You'll hear differing reports some good some bad. I swear to this day one of my close friends died needlessly in a Spanish hospital so I can't say anything good about it.

We had private health care and on the one occasion we needed it they were excellent.


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#51 Gary H

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:05 PM

Part 2 ( of 4)
 
The Bad:
 
...

 

Sounds like paradise.   :thumbsup:


Edited by Gary H, 11 January 2019 - 05:06 PM.


#52 LJ

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:36 PM

 

We had private health care and on the one occasion we needed it they were excellent.

Is that "out of country" medical you bought here or is that another optional type you can purchase in country?


Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#53 Rob Randall

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:38 PM

Property: Build quality is awful ! Our "luxury" penthouse apartment consisted of one layer of brick and a plaster coating on each side. In the winter with marble floors almost impossible to heat efficiently. No soundproofing, you don't just hear your immediate neighbour you hear everyone in your block.

 

I spent a couple weeks in Spain in 2001 and made the following observation:

 

HOW TO CONSTRUCT A SPANISH BUILDING

  1. Build wood frame
  2. fill space between wood with rocks and loose, sandy mortar
  3. apply stucco and paint
  4. wait for stucco to crumble and mortar to disintegrate
  5. repeat every 100 years, or as necessary

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

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#54 Rob Randall

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:51 PM

Reviewing my notes I see that I was in Spain when ETA terror bombings were a weekly occurrence. In fact, a lot of the countries I visited were wracked with terrorism. I was in Italy shortly after the Mafia bombed the Uffitzi in Florence and in western Turkey during a spate of PKK bombings aimed at tourists. This was years ago, things have calmed down since.


"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#55 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:16 AM

terrorism bombings decreased after you left each country?

#56 tjv

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 07:08 AM

A couple other issues to consider if you are looking to relocate down south. For a relatively small investment, small countries will give you a passport. Some countries allow you to purchase and own property without being a permanent resident. Some countries offer very favorable taxation regimes.

I've thought about exploring that - 6 months in the tax havens of the Caribbean and 6 months back here



#57 Rob Randall

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 07:51 AM

terrorism bombings decreased after you left each country?

 

Intriguing possibility so I looked it up. I was in Florence in 1993 and according to Wikipedia Mafia violence petered out by '96. I was in Spain in 2001 and apparently separatist bombings gradually stopped by 2011 so I will take that as a half win. Turkey has suffered non-stop violence, unfortunately. So clearly, I have had a net positive effect on world peace.


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"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#58 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:06 AM

since you came to victoria how many parliament building bomb plots have there been compared to before you came here?

rough numbers are fine.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 12 January 2019 - 08:07 AM.


#59 SimonH

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 03:42 PM

Is that "out of country" medical you bought here or is that another optional type you can purchase in country?


It was purchased in Spain, think it was Sanitas

#60 MarkoJ

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 04:08 PM

I was born in Croatia, so a bit bias, but I love it there. I am 30+ years from retirement but if I had the means to retire today I would retire there.

 

- Part of the EU; modern highways/roads.

 

- Solid serious health care (ICUs in larger cities can go toe to toe with ICUs here) plus cheap private health care. You can literally see a specialist in a matter of days for less than $200. 

 

- No terrorism threats, very low crime, almost no homeless people, very few hungry people.

 

- Condos (mid-grade and up) are built like tanks....this is my place in Zagreb. The partion walls are solid block, none of this staggered stud wall crap...plus check out the porcelain tilled garage -> http://markojuras.com/zagreb-condo/

 

- Food is great and fresh

 

- If you are on the coast in a place like Split or Dubrovnik winter weather is solid. A bit too hot in the summer.

 

- Easy to get to anywhere in Europe by plane. 

 

The bad would be bureaucracy is annoying (like dealing with paperwork to get a driver's licence for example) and getting crap done like renovations, etc., is a pain. Also, small country too so the expat communities would be super small and unless in three of the bigger cities it is pretty dead in the winter time. 


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