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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are wondering if there are any countries left that will:
(1) allow Americans citizenship;
(2) Have a substantially less Cost of Living than the USA;
(3) Allow Americans to own their house/home;
(4) Have a moderate climate;
and,
(5) Are relatively free of military 'conflict'.

We are looking for yer basic paradise, on the (somewhat) cheap, with no worries about a home being 'liberated' or otherwise lost to politics, and where the people in general are friendly to American (middle aged -63? lol) couples who are wanting to live quietly.

Any suggestions as to where to begin to look? Most places I can think of are either EU only or limited time on a visa.

Thanks for any help on this.
FatFreddiesCat
 

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Not sure who you've been talking to, but until you get fussy about the climate, most western countries fit your criteria these days. The trick is in getting the initial long-stay visa, but once you're past that hurdle, staying there is not usually a problem.

I'm not aware of too many countries that have restrictions on foreigners owning property, especially homes. Normally you'll be on an equal footing with everyone else - though local lending customs may not be quite as generous as those you got used to in the US over the last couple of decades.

And reports of foreigners being "hostile" towards Americans are vastly exaggerated in the US press. I've been living in various parts of Europe for 20 years now and I just haven't encountered any wide spread anti-Americanism.

The one big issue, though, that you need to consider is that of language. As a foreigner (of any persuasion), you'll be resented if you don't make a visible attempt to learn and use the local language. Very few governments bother translating their various forms (especially tax forms) into English or anything else.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Bev. Its like this: I'm sick of the gaming posture of politicians (and politics) in the US of A. I'm getting tired of watching the local pols throw the taxpayers money down the brown tube. I want to locate to a country that appreciates and values home, family, friends and is grateful when they have the money to eat, pay bills, etc. I also do not really know where that might be. I have lived in Hawaii, St. Croix, stayed in Canada (beautiful Calgary) for about 6 months, and have traveled in and out of Mexico for years, when I was younger. Mexico used to be nicer, but now, the drug wars (and yes, they are REALLY kidnapping and killing Mexicans and Gringos) and the political unstability is a cause of alarm for me. And, I could let my hyper-active mouth write checks my body cannot cash, like 'The Norwegian Countries, or somewhere the snow mounts taller than I am, but I am really trying to stay real in what would be comfortable. I'm mid 60's, and my wife 'ain't far behind!' So, I'm waiting for someone to suggest a place that isn't TOO cold, nor TOO hot, where the air is clean, the doctors good, and the housing extra-affordable. Any hints?
Thanks again so much for the reply,
Fred

Not sure who you've been talking to, but until you get fussy about the climate, most western countries fit your criteria these days. The trick is in getting the initial long-stay visa, but once you're past that hurdle, staying there is not usually a problem.

I'm not aware of too many countries that have restrictions on foreigners owning property, especially homes. Normally you'll be on an equal footing with everyone else - though local lending customs may not be quite as generous as those you got used to in the US over the last couple of decades.

And reports of foreigners being "hostile" towards Americans are vastly exaggerated in the US press. I've been living in various parts of Europe for 20 years now and I just haven't encountered any wide spread anti-Americanism.

The one big issue, though, that you need to consider is that of language. As a foreigner (of any persuasion), you'll be resented if you don't make a visible attempt to learn and use the local language. Very few governments bother translating their various forms (especially tax forms) into English or anything else.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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When you find that mythical country, I'd hush up about it - because it sure sounds like someplace loads of people would be anxious to move to. ;)

Climate aside, there's always something. While I share your disdain for the antics of the political class back in the US, there never seems to be a shortage of waste, stupidity and foolishness in the politics of any country in the world these days. There's an old joke here in France that says that the reason politicians are more willing to spend money on prisons than on schools is because it's not likely any of them will be going back to school any time soon.

We've got lots of expats in the south of France who moved here primarily for the climate. This winter, they've been treated to significant snow and cold - at times worse than what we've had in the north of France. So even that's not for certain anywhere these days.

Good luck finding your ideal home. It won't be easy.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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My wife and I are wondering if there are any countries left that will:
(1) allow Americans citizenship;
(2) Have a substantially less Cost of Living than the USA;
(3) Allow Americans to own their house/home;
(4) Have a moderate climate;
and,
(5) Are relatively free of military 'conflict'.

We are looking for yer basic paradise, on the (somewhat) cheap, with no worries about a home being 'liberated' or otherwise lost to politics, and where the people in general are friendly to American (middle aged -63? lol) couples who are wanting to live quietly.

Any suggestions as to where to begin to look? Most places I can think of are either EU only or limited time on a visa.

Thanks for any help on this.
FatFreddiesCat
FFC...

IF there were some UTOPIA out there as you describe, then ask yourself.... "Why would they tell me about it?" Wouldn't they want to keep it all to themselves? All kidding aside, most of us are looking for that ideal area. The next best thing is to ask yourself, what area "best" fills my needs/desires. I am also sick and tired of government where the politicians work for one term and get a life long pension with great health benefits for spending our tax dollars on things that simply are not needed. It really is a legal form of theft in which they steal from the citizens without our permission.... Hope you find your Utopia.
 

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For me below 80f is chilly. Many countries have a special type of visa for retiring you simply come up with the money required for the visa. The visa is much like a resident status. Sometimes the money is held in a bank and sometimes you can use that money to buy property or another asset. Some countries require a partner or shareholder of a local citizen before you own property or a business. Sometimes you can only lease.

Many places that are good deals in the area of cost of living lack in the quality of other things such as healthcare. Even though the healthcare is cheaper than the US it may be less in quality and you will be charged 5x the local price. Medicines found at CVS may be a premium in that country. Health insurance may not be available for sale to the foreigner.

If you have cheap labor but need to pay for a job to be done twice in order for it to be your standards it wasn't that cheap. These are the things I would evaluate before I even applied. The surface expenses plus all the other stuff.

I've had things thrown at me because of my nationality. I've had people try to take advantage of and rip me off like you wouldn't believe. Of course this wan't everyone but enough to know we would not retire in that country (SE Asia).

We always joke that if we want to save money we head back to the US. In order to live cheaply you adjust your quality of life or live like a local. Look for a country that doesn't have cultural hassles or resentment toward Americans. Once there you might be able to ignore their political issues (everyone has them).

Many countries have special regulations to recruit foreign retirees. I've recently had friends move to Belize and Penang. We are thinking of 10-15 years retirement abroad and then back to the US, unless you find someplace better!
 

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Throw all to the wind, and go live in Belize :)
 

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This is an interesting one since I've spent most of my entire adult life traveling (and short term living) internationally I'm pretty familiar with most places (bit weak on sub-Sahara Africa except for Kenya/Tanzania/South Africa and a few South/Central American countries). My #1 pick ALWAYS is PARIS but let's keep France out of the list (cause it would be a very short list).

OK, Big City Living - VANCOUVER (if you can handle the rain), BUENOS AIRES - Paris with flat tires and running on petrol fumes. Still, there's something about this place, it DOES have a kind of run down Paris feel to it and Tango is wonderful to watch. Way down in San Telmo late into the evening with just a little too much great Argentinian wine in the old belly. Tango is not a for tourists dance, it's for real with the peeps in BsAs.... the Passion is just amazing to watch, very emotional..... I'm gonna stay away from Europe cause the dollar is SO weak..... I would stay away from Brazil, too violent, check out the gun stats.... It's a great country, been there all over about 5 times but would NEVER live there.

I'm not the biggest fan but I was in Costa Rica many years ago and it's a peaceful , beautiful little country with a lot of American Expats, never been to Belize but it sounds very interesting. They had an episode of it on House Hunters International (HG channel) and the beach looked fantastic. I hear the capital, BELIZE CITY, is a pure dump so beware. Panama has kinda become the big rage. I don't know, it had a weird vibe but I was there a long time ago. HH International had an interesting Panama City episode and I must say, the Apartments had so much character, like Havana in a few years from now when things change and the money pours in. Beautiful apartments and one of the guys was opening a bar that I bet Bogart, Hemingway, and Jim Morrison were all hiding out back..... if I ever go back I must find that place....

On the SE Asia side of things it's hot and humid but I think BALI is just magical, also feel the same about parts of Thailand but not as strong - still a wonderful, beautiful country with great people and food. I would skip Singapore and Malaysia due to their silly censorship rules (I wouldn't be able to bring in half of my fine art photography book Collection because they have exposed breasts in the shots. NO ONE takes Zoom's Andre Kertesz, Helmut Newton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Richard Avedon Photography books away from him)

OK, what's left. How about getting a few friends or family, a salty old skipper/chef and go in financially on a used 45 - 49 foot Jeanneau Sail boat. OK, before you laugh too hard check out the video link at the end of this. Buy a used one and start, say, in the Canary Islands, over to West Africa, up to Spain and France. Dock it in Nice for the winter and do part 2 - Italy, Malta, Greek Islands the next year. Keep it in Greece for the winter (near Athens so you can hang in wonderful Plaka) than do Turkey, North Africa and zip over to the Caribbean the next summer/fall/winter. Now THAT'S an idea Zoom would kill for (well, almost). Think about it, it's possible (I'm kinda working on the idea for years from now, gotta start early) - check out this video. Be sure to Subscribe to International Living in print AND on Line and remember, if all else fails there's always PARIS !!

Sun Odyssey 49i Voiliers Chantier Naval JEANNEAU : constructeur voilier, bateau de plaisance, bateau moteur, barque pour croisire, pche, comptition
 

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Germany - a secret haven ?

I'm retired accountant , same age as you folks I think , in SW Germany for the last 20 years , and here meets most of your criteria .
Citizenship - dunno about : but after 10 years working here we, as Brits, all got permanent residence , and had no problems buying a house in the first year . Cost of living is cheaper Than UK , and weather is good : not too hot, and when it's cold - like now , it's dry , not damp . As for revolutions etc - no way !
Trouble is , we'd like a little variety .
Like a regular visa length stay in various countries - starting for us USA , UK ,
Germany , and for some excitement -Thailand /Cambodia / New Zealand ...
How about a group of 3/4 retired couples moving around the world into each others houses ? so no wasted empty properties, costs etc . Like a big homeswap .
Probably doesn't answer your question exotically enough , but I expect it's not too easy to get permanent visa somewhere new over 60 unless you're seriously loaded ! .

Medrey




My wife and I are wondering if there are any countries left that will:
(1) allow Americans citizenship;
(2) Have a substantially less Cost of Living than the USA;
(3) Allow Americans to own their house/home;
(4) Have a moderate climate;
and,
(5) Are relatively free of military 'conflict'.

We are looking for yer basic paradise, on the (somewhat) cheap, with no worries about a home being 'liberated' or otherwise lost to politics, and where the people in general are friendly to American (middle aged -63? lol) couples who are wanting to live quietly.

Any suggestions as to where to begin to look? Most places I can think of are either EU only or limited time on a visa.

Thanks for any help on this.
FatFreddiesCat
 

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Aloha Jynxgirl

Throw all to the wind, and go live in Belize :)
Hi there! My name is Cheryl and I really want to come to Belize and check it out. I have been living in Hawaii for a long time and am currently in SF. Looking for a room/share situation while I get acclimated. Any suggestions would be more than welcome. I am new at this and hope this goes through. Thank you for you time. Mahalo nui loa.
 
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