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Gtlevine

New places to retire, other than Hawaii

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Gtlevine

I was thinking that when I retire I would like to possibly move to a better palm climate and less expensive place than California. My wife is bored in Hawaii unless it's Honolulu, so I am researching other options. I'm in love with Australia but it is too far away from my family, so I am considering Mexico.

I have two friends who moved to a place called San Miguel de Allende. Incredible climate, beautiful city and lots of culture and fun, 40% American and European, completely safe because it is protected by the Mexican Government. Always rated among the best Cities in Mexico and the world to live. Located in central Mexico, easy flight back to San Diego. It looks fantastic, I think I am going to take a trip over there to check it out.

So if any of you plan on retiring somewhere else, where will it be?

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_Rich

Don't want to send this thread wayward - but good palm climate = good growing conditions for that which ultimately becomes narcotics? If so, I would use extreme caution. Afterall, $ talks & the rest walks to the beat of the cartels - government or not. Governments can be bought and tourism dollars are mere pennies to that which elicit drugs can generate. Just my $0.02.

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bgl

Gary,

Even though "growing palms" may be part of your retirement plan, you didn't address this particular (important) issue, and your question, which is an interesting one, is more about retirerment in general so I have to move your thread from "Discussing Palm Trees" to the "Ohana Nui".

Now to your question. First of all, I should mention that "retirement" has a bad connotation for me. It makes me think of someone who has worked hard all their life, then the day comes when they can stop all that hard work, so they transition from "hard work" to "doing nothing" overnight. And croak six months later! Apart from that potentially unpleasant and presumably less desirable outcome, my question really is "what do you want to do with the rest of your life?" To me that's the important issue. I know absolutely nothing about San Miguel de Allende, but to me that question becomes crucial in making such an important decision. What is there to do? I should probably also mention that I got a chuckle out of your "it is protected by the Mexican Government" statement. I can think of a whole lot of comments in reference to that statement, NONE of which would conform with PalmTalk rules, so I'll just refrain. BUT, it does make me think of the Biennial in Costa Rica in May 2008. Every morning I went out for a short run, which took me through a very nice upscale neighborhood, that could easily have fit in anywhere in southern California. Except for the fact that all these nice homes had tall walls. With razor blades and barbed wire on top. And all windows were protected by iron bars. And did I mention the armed guard who was always there? Made me wonder - why are so many Americans leaving the relative safety of their own country to move to another country where they have to live like prisoners?

Anyway, just a couple of loose thoughts! :) I still think Hawaii beats any other place but you already removed it as an option! And forget about Honolulu, unless you have $5 million to spend for a nice house!

Bo-Göran

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MattyB

Costa Rica Gary.

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Justin

Gary, I've given this some thought, and I chose Hawaii, for a couple of reasons. One, I don't need to become an expat, get a new passport, etc. Two, its very close to the West Coast. Three, I don't need to go through customs or immigration when coming to the West Coast.

That being said, here is what was (is) on my shortlist, outside the US:

Perth or its surroundings (like the climate, remoteness)

Buenos Aires (another good climate, relatively safe, great food)

Central Chile (good climate, safe, not very crowded)

Arequipa (excellent weather, very inexpensive, access to a lot of stuff)

Singapore (very safe, easy access to all of Asia, no freezing - but expensive)

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Xenon

Hamakua Coast on the Big Island looks like paradise :drool: :drool: :drool:...actually anywhere in Hawaii is better then here(climatically) .

Other places that might work:

Australia(especially the wet tropics.. Brisbane is ok too)

U.S. territories(American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico etc.)

British territories(Cayman Islands, Bermuda etc.)

French territories(Reunion, New Caledonia, French Guiana etc.)

Singapore(if there's any land...)

South Africa(Durban?)

Japan(Okinawa)

Indonesia(a mountain slope on Bali....:drool:)

Mexico(resort cities on the Yucatan peninsula)

Canary Islands

Mediterranean Coast...

Hong Kong

Then there's Florida, Texas, California, The Gulf States, Arizona...

Maybe my homeland Vietnam depending on the situation in _ years

:) Jonathan

Edited by Xenon

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Jeff Searle

Alot of different things would have to be considered for such a move imo. For me personally, our climate, although is not considered the best, it's pretty damn good. But, because family is so important to me, I would never leave to live somewhere else and be a long distance from everyone and die a lonely man.. But that's me. Where I definitely WILL NOT be moving is to Mexico. Thanks but no thanks, mi amigo.....

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Gtlevine

I of course live Hawaii but the wife hates it. Costa Rica is my second choice, incredible place.

I have a Mexican wife and I love the Mexican culture, it's just incredible how happy and nice the people are down in Mexico. Bo, your point is taken but it is total safe in many parts of Mexico. Obviously the drug lords in the border towns scare people, but in most parts of Mexico there us less crime than in San Diego. For me I want to be close to the mainland so Mexico is perfect. Retiring for me is not waiting to die, it's about beginning to live.

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Ken Johnson

Less expensive AND safe? Good palms AND close to home? Brownsville?

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Jerry@TreeZoo

I agree with Bo about Costa Rica. It is a beaufitul place, no doubt about it, but every single home we saw, whether a little cottage or a huge mansion, had bars on the windows. I could be happy in some beach shack there but I couldn't do that to my wife.

Of all the places in the US, (I will exclude South Florida because I am already here)I would like Hawaii the most. The Hamakua Coast as Xenon picked. I like it even better than Bo's neighborhood. After that would be Texas and then maybe someplace on the Red Neck Riviera.

If I choose a foreign country first would be Australia. The Cassowary Coast. Next up would be New Zealand, easily the most beautiful vistas I've ever seen. Chile would top my list of any place in Latin America.

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epicure3

Yeah, there are a lot of non-palm related issues you need to figure out before you pull the trigger on different countries. Such as, medical care, language, quality of life, taxes, infrastructure, etc.... That makes any choice such as Mexico or Costa Rica a tough one to make. If you've got the language down, you're off to a great start. I know German and French, so that doesn't do me much good in tropical places unless you go with some islands in the Caribbean.

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Gtlevine

About your comment Bo that you need tall walls and razor wire in Costa Rica? That surprises me, I thought Costa Rica was safe. In San Miguel you need none of that, it's like being in San Diego.

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LJG

Gary, Thailand is the hot spot in my book. Still cheap, lots to do, great palm growing area, amazing people, etc. When we go on the IPS biennial, come a week earlier with my wife and I. We are heading down to Krabi. You will dig it.

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Gtlevine

I know your right Len, one of my friends at work moved there when he retired. My problem is I want to be close to my kid and future grandkids and my home in San Diego which I would hopefully like to keep. It will be interesting, but I want out of San Diego from November to April every year.

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ariscott

Well, since I already live in Australia, I guess Australia will be one of the place I would retire. If I leave Oz, it would be to find a cheaper & better place to retire - it would be either on the mountain in Bali or Java. Since I am Indonesian, hopefully one day, I was hoping... they will change their immigration law and Scott can get permanent residence there.

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Kim

Is there a reason one must frame this as a single destination? And must one wait for retirement to begin living? Several people I can think of on this board have their primary residence where they work, and a second, sometimes cheaper and more modest residence in a more palm-friendly location.

I can think of other examples. My former manager had a condo in La Jolla and a house in San Miguel de Allende. Like you, his wife was Mexican, and it made her happy, and he didn't mind the tequila. As it happens, he passed away before he ever had the chance to retire, so it was a good thing that they were able to enjoy both places while he was still working. A colleague has a house in San Diego and a ranch in Idaho. Okay, so he grows cattle, not palms! :mrlooney: You get the idea. He has no plans to ever retire because he loves his work.

I should add that priorities change as life progresses, and when the time comes, there may yet be a particular spot in the world that is a good compromise for both of you.

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ariscott

Agree with you Kim... that is why we are here....

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Walter John

Is there a reason one must frame this as a single destination? And must one wait for retirement to begin living?

BINGO, Kim gets the cookie.

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Xenon

Less expensive AND safe? Good palms AND close to home? Brownsville?

:huh: Might as well live in Mexico(10 miles away)..., not that I have anything against Brownsville, it's my favorite city in TX, although I wouldn't live there....

:) Jonathan

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pogobob

I'll stay right here in San Clemente :) People inhabit this whole planet, and they are the same everywhere, as in good and evil. I can roam the roads, rivers, mountains and villiages of the world for the rest of my life, and still find my way back to the best place on Earth!

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rozpalm

If I had to make my choice today and I couldn't chose Hawaii, it would probably be Costa Rica. Now if you have some time to wait before finding your retirement location you may want to consider Cuba. As crazy as it sounds right now, there are big changes going on in Cuba that eventually should precipitate normal relations with Washington and open up the island nation to US tourism once again. My guess is that in the next 10-15 years Cuba will have a decent size American expat population.

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Gtlevine

Kim, were not debating the meaning if life or framing this one way or another. Simple question for those that may be interested in moving to another place some day.

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Gtlevine

Rozpalm, awesome suggestion with Cuba. If Cuba ever opens up it would be incredible.

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ariscott

Australia is pretty good though Gary. And you never know... by then, the airfares would be cheaper!! And since you are an engineer (if I remember correctly), you can always pick up work part time if you feel like it...

Regards, Ari :)

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Really full garden

I think Guatemala is an incredible place to live.I could never afford two acres on the Pacific when I lived in the US. Most foreigners live in the old colonial capital of Antigua.It has a very vibrant community and is somewhat insulated from the woes faced in other parts of the country.I have lived here now for 22 years and never plan to retire in the tradional manner.

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iamjv

Although Brownsville is a decent option (IMHO), there are many smaller communities down in the Rio Grande Valley that I would choose. You even have the climatic difference of living on the coast with it's high humidity and more rainfall or westward, towards McAllen where it reminds me a lot more of a Phoenix or Tucson climate, being much drier and warmer. Cost of living is very reasonable, personal security is very much like that in any small to medium sized city and hard freezes are truly 20 to 50 yr events (1980s being the exception). Jv

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edbrown_III

Philippines is nice --- I bought a hectare there to retire on and grow palms and plants I cant grow in North FL.

Not to bad of medical facilities around Subic--- prices are cheap and I have some relatives there ---

Best regards

Ed

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Tassie_Troy1971

Gary your place looks like the perfect place to retire ! :drool:

Some places in Mexico i have seen on travel shows look really nice but the only way to experience it is first hand by living down there for a few months .

Coastal Australia is beautiful and from Kiama just south of Sydney (where colin is from ) all the way up to Cairns one could grow a good collection of palms although it can be very expensive on the coast .

here check out this Hacienda in Byron bay

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-acreage+semi+rural-nsw-byron+bay-106905226 :D

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aussiearoids

THE CASSOWARY COAST is a very nice place to live [ thanks for thinking of it Jerry ] and I have retired here :rolleyes:

Some relatively cheap places for sale , esp. compared with that place in Byron !

Those pesky floods don't worry us much .

And things grow so quick , you appreciate cyclone blowing a few biggies down to make way for something new :unsure:

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_Keith

Gary, you could always retire living in a van, down by the river. No property taxes, minimal upkeep.

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BS Man about Palms

AT least you'll get a pension... you can AFFORD to retire..... lol

They will have to wake me up to tell me its time to go.......

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Gtlevine

Australia would be a dream but I would be heartbroken away from my family that much distance. I have six years to decide, but I want to move somewhere. Many of the options here look promising. Another great option is Baja California, the whole coast line is amazing and you can grow coconut palms. Prices are reasonable and you can take a short flight or drive back to the U.S. Cycads would also love the semi arid environment of Baja.

Australia is pretty good though Gary. And you never know... by then, the airfares would be cheaper!! And since you are an engineer (if I remember correctly), you can always pick up work part time if you feel like it...

Regards, Ari :)

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Gtlevine

AT least you'll get a pension... you can AFFORD to retire..... lol

They will have to wake me up to tell me its time to go.......

That pension is my ticket, but I put a ton of money into it so I deserve what I get Bill.

Gary

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Urban Rainforest

Gary, This is a very interesting post to me as it is something my wife and I talk about often. I love Cali but I don't see us retiring here. There taxing us to death here and I have a runaway water bill that will only increase in years to come. I probably can't add alot to help as I have not been to that many countries. Steph and I went to Tahiti and Moorea for our 10th anniversary and absolutely loved it but they are small islands and I could see myself getting rock fever. We kind of bought our place on the big island with retirement in mind but with kids and jobs timing is everything. It could happen as soon as a year or as long as who knows? I do not plan on retiring but simply spend more time doing what I want to do in life and less time doing what I have to do. For me the big island has it all. Friendly people, warm weather and water, activities like snorkeling, surfing, hiking and exploring, fishing, kayaking and FREE WATER! Also because it is a big island I will not get rock fever! Good luck in what ever you decide Gary. Wherever you decide stay there often and check under the hood before you buy.

Stevo

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BS Man about Palms

AT least you'll get a pension... you can AFFORD to retire..... lol

They will have to wake me up to tell me its time to go.......

That pension is my ticket, but I put a ton of money into it so I deserve what I get Bill.

Gary

Wait Gary. I think Len and I and some others helped pay for your pension too.... :lol:

Its OK, for you I don't mind.... :D

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Lowey

Come to Aus Gary, North Queensland is not expensive, heaps to do and one of the safest places in the world and as Michael pointed out, things grow extremely fast here :) The flights arent that long to the US :lol:

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Jason Baker Portugal

I think it is important that the climate is agreable for a pensioner and is mild. That is why I wouldn´t go for the tropics. In advanced age it is just too hot and muggy. A nice, mild climate with spring-like weather and maximum palmgrowing potential would be the island of Madeira. What about LHI or new caledonia?

Cheers Jason

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amazondk

About your comment Bo that you need tall walls and razor wire in Costa Rica? That surprises me, I thought Costa Rica was safe. In San Miguel you need none of that, it's like being in San Diego.

This is an interesting thread. I also really find it hard to think about retirement. Especially since I am 59 years old and have two baby boys. But, that being said I am where I want to be anyway. If one lives in Latin America, for the most part they need to accept the way things are. For one the police are frequently as much of a problem as the criminals. That is the case in Brazil and for sure it is also in Costa Rica. I left Brazil on vacaction to get robbed in Costa Rica. While in San Jose waiting to get our documents in order as they were all stolen I taliked to quite a few people about crime and life in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has many of the same problems as Brazil and in many respects maybe even worse. The police are not efficient, in fact the afternoon I spent at the police station after being robbed was interesting. The police there are much more poorly equiped than the ones we have here. The legal system gets people out of jail quickly, and when in jail they are not re habilitated. As here jail is a school of crime. One of the reasons for razor wire fences and electric wire fences is that you can not count of the police. So, you have to protect yourself. Electric fences have become very common here. I do not like them, but they are effective for the most part. No one even mentioned Brazil in this thread. But, for beautiful tropical places to live Brazil is hard to beat. It is expensive in USD today. And, despite the security problems has a vital urban life that can be very enjoyable. I personally love Manaus and Amazonia. Manaus probably could not be considered much of a place to retire though. It is a city of 2 million, growing quickly, and most americans probably would not adapt too well.

I guess home is where your heart is. I love the fact that in a half an hour from town I have to watch the trail to make sure a jaguar does not jump on my back. And, I live on the most beautiful river in the world, the Rio Negro.

dk

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Kim

Kim, were not debating the meaning if life or framing this one way or another. Simple question for those that may be interested in moving to another place some day.

Oh, YES we are! :lol:

If that was too philosophical for you, what will you do with your time in (what some might call) artsy-fartsy San Miguel de Allende at 6500 ft elevation? Write crime novels by the fireside? And Mexico is not cheap anymore, prices are not so different from the US.

My own pick for Mexico would have to be coastal, and where it's warm at night, like outside Puerto Vallarta. (See Oside Terry's photos from his trips there.)

Obviously I have already made my choice in Hawaii. Have you and your wife visited Maui? Could that be a compromise? Enough city life to keep her entertained, but enough rain and warmth for your palms? Much easier to get to than SM de A, too, and plenty of cheap direct flights from San Diego. Book now! Get out of town! I can tell you've got the winter blues.

Best of luck with your search, I hope you find your dream location.

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Gtlevine

Come to Aus Gary, North Queensland is not expensive, heaps to do and one of the safest places in the world and as Michael pointed out, things grow extremely fast here :) The flights arent that long to the US :lol:

I agree, Australia is pound for pound the most beautiful place in the world for what I like. I would definately choose north Qns by the ocean. If things work out well where I can afford to keep my ranch in San Deigo so I can spend a few months at a time here with my kids, then i'll be your neighbor. I have six years left to work this out when I retire. The other thing I like about Australia is the way you guys talk, that alone is worth moving there. Australian accents and use of the english language is a riot to us Americans, in a good way.

Gary

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