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Old 05-30-2017, 12:44 AM   #1
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To which country to retire - revised version

I just went through the other thread I have started about retirement on another continent. It has certainly went to a different direction and become political about immigration, and such.
This was not my intention, so let me try it again. I will ask specific questions.
First; I just want to decide, if I should buy a boat in the US, or buy it where I plan to retire?
Second; my main interest is expenses. Daily expenses. The country has to be safe and friendly. Ballpark numbers are fine.

So.
1/ mooring/month-year and hookup charges?
2/ diesel prices - steady, or increasing tendency?
3/ facilities and charges, including boat yards for repairs?
4/ anchoring allowed, or not?
5/ land transportation plenty, or scares?
6/ nearby airports, how far?

I am sure there are lot more questions, but this is a good start.
I must say that I have visited over 60+ countries in my life, so I am familiar with the political and demographic structures, in many places. I do not wish to discuss those.
I just want to know, what can I afford, and where? I am trying to picture a monthly budget for a simple life in a marina, or on anchor.
Any answer to the list above is very useful to me.

Here are my choices as of today:
USA - Florida
Latin America - Yucatan, Beliz, Colombia,
Europe - Adriatic Sea, South France, Holland,
Asia - Japan remote villages, Thailand, Pacific Islands, Philippines.

I can legally live in Europe, so visa is not a problem.
Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:39 AM   #2
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You sound like a traveler. How about live on your boat and therefore you can retire to every single one of those countries?
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:14 AM   #3
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While there is nothing wrong with your questions, it would seem far fetched to think any of us really has the knowledge or experience to give you an answer. One thing I would think about is language, specially, in dealing with boat yards. It is difficult enough dealing with yards in English in the USA. Another thing is even within a state like Florida, there could be significant differences depending on where you are located.

Good luck on getting information on this.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:07 AM   #4
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There would seem to be a big advantage in buying a boat locally in several of the zones you have proposed. Of the four zones you mentioned two are fundamentally 120v North American electrical zones and two 240v European. Japan is a third electrical zone with 100v.

A traveler can make do with having a boat electrically equipped for a different zone. Someone buying a boat to live permanently in one zone shouldn't start out with the wrong electrical base. This is more than just having adapters and step-down/step-up transformers. If you need to replace a coffee pot, or TV and your boat's electrical system does not match the local electrical pattern then you will be importing all your replacements. Also when you go to sell the boat you will have an oddball boat more difficult to sell.

A second reason to buy the boat locally is that there may be expensive taxes and difficult clearance issues. if you take a North American boat to the EU you will pay the VAT (22%?) sooner or later.

A third reason for buying a boat locally is that the regulations for a boat vary from country to country. You may find you need to make expensive modifications if you import a boat that doesn't meet the local regulations. If you take a boat to Japan you may have a difficult time with importation of a non-Japanese made product.

Good luck
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:05 AM   #5
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You sound like a traveler. How about live on your boat and therefore you can retire to every single one of those countries?
I do plan to live on board full time and be as much sustainable as possible.

I had enough traveling already. Few short trips would be fine, but I am planning for retirement. Warm weather, beautiful surroundings, nice people, clean sea, simple life.

Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:08 AM   #6
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While there is nothing wrong with your questions, it would seem far fetched to think any of us really has the knowledge or experience to give you an answer. One thing I would think about is language, specially, in dealing with boat yards. It is difficult enough dealing with yards in English in the USA. Another thing is even within a state like Florida, there could be significant differences depending on where you are located.

Good luck on getting information on this.
Yes, I did not expect to have all the answers. I just want to hear from people, who spent longer period of time, at one place.
As of Florida, one place I really liked is St. Augustine. I would be happy to live there.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:11 AM   #7
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There would seem to be a big advantage in buying a boat locally in several of the zones you have proposed. Of the four zones you mentioned two are fundamentally 120v North American electrical zones and two 240v European. Japan is a third electrical zone with 100v.

Good luck
Bay

This is a very important point. Although, I plan to be sustainable, it is crucial to have workable ... everything. I did not think about this deep enough. Thank you.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:38 AM   #8
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Regarding electrical, Euro is 50hz, half of Japan is 50hz. USA is 60hz. A boat designed for one will not work right on the other. No way to convert without using a very expensive inverter based system. Or by replacing expensive electrical machinery. This is a major PITA for boats. Makes another vote for buying a boat local to the area.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:10 AM   #9
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Electricity differences, To illustrate what a pita it is to have a boat equipped for one electrical zone in another electrical zone I mention several stories. We have European friends in the Eastern Caribbean (European electricity basically) who have bought North American boats. Several times we have brought down with us to St. Lucia and Martinique American coffee pots, hairdryers and microwaves for our European friends who cannot find replacements for these items either at home or in say Martinique.

I keep on board a spare coffee pot, toaster and tea pot just to avoid this problem if one of these fails on Bay Pelican.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:05 AM   #10
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Regarding electrical, Euro is 50hz, half of Japan is 50hz. USA is 60hz. A boat designed for one will not work right on the other. No way to convert without using a very expensive inverter based system. Makes another vote for buying a boat local to the area.
Yes, it seems that buying locally is the safest way to go.
How much does it cost to install an inverter system like this?
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:28 AM   #11
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We spent 4 months in Colombia. We had a great time but it's very controlled. Even to go out for the day you have to sign out with the Port Captain. Colombia was also the only country of the 47 we have checked into by boat that we had to use an agent. To move from Cartagena to Santa Marta we had to use an agent(s) even after we had checked into the country. There are also no West Marines or anything close. The local recreational boaters pretty much all come from some wealth so what it costs isn't an issue. We didn't go to Colombia for the cruising but for the land travel and culture.

Costs? Pretty much US prices. Anchoring out, that depends. There are still lots of drugs moving through Colombia so daily stops by authorities is the norm not the exception plus there just aren't that many good anchorages. You can anchor in Cartagena but it's a very dirty anchorage. You don't go swimming off of your boat. All the diesel is a blended bio-diesel. Haul out yards, limited. Also, because of the drug trade, we couldn't buy acetone anywhere and believe me we looked. The only acetone we found was by buying fingernail polish remover.

I don't want to sound negative, we loved it there but as a retirement destination on a boat? There are better places IMHO.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:14 AM   #12
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We spent 4 months in Colombia.
I don't want to sound negative, we loved it there but as a retirement destination on a boat? There are better places IMHO.
Understand. I love Colombia, but I have seen it only on land. Great people!

What about San Andres Isla? Is there any marina, or anchoring? I spent few days there, but did not have time to drive around.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:37 AM   #13
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We didn't go to Colombia's northern islands.

Question. What are looking for? To live at anchor? In a marina? Year round or 6 months per year? What languages are you fluent in besides English? We're fortunate that French was Lena's first language and she speaks Spanish and some Italian. Myself, just a little Spanish. Living out side the US, which we did for 12 years, without being fluent in the language can wear you down. There are lots of expatriates that you can hang around with but why leave the US if you're going to do that? The subtle cultural differences can get magnified pretty easily.

Back to your cost questions, for estimating I would use US prices for dockage and marine services. For living expenses, I'd go online and find a site that does country comparisons. It will probably be more accurate with current information that what we can give you here on the Forum.

Good luck on your quest.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:46 PM   #14
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We didn't go to Colombia's northern islands.

Question. What are looking for? To live at anchor? In a marina? Year round or 6 months per year? What languages are you fluent in besides English?

Good luck on your quest.
I think you are correct. I should just stick to places, where they speak English. I only know little bit of Spanish.

I plan to live there permanently, where ever it is. It will be either the USA, or another country. I have not decided, yet. I have few years to decide.
Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:50 PM   #15
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I think you are correct. I should just stick to places, where they speak English. I only know little bit of Spanish.

I plan to live there permanently, where ever it is. It will be either the USA, or another country. I have not decided, yet. I have few years to decide.
Thanks.
The good and the bad about living somewhere else permanently.

Good

-If you were living on land, you might save some money. That savings may be less living at a marina.
-You may find a pace of living you prefer, or an environment you really like. The beauty of a place like Bocas del Toro.

Bad

-Medical care may or may not be as good, but you won't be under any program in the other country and Medicare won't pay.
-Much depends on your income but you'll still be subject to US taxes in all likelihood. Not knowing you wealth, you could be subject to additional taxes in changing residence.
-Obtaining legal status could be a challenge and then it impacts your US legal status.
-The pace you love at first might be overcome by frustration that things aren't done the way you're use to.
-Language barriers
-Being away from friends and family

We don't know enough of what you're after to tell you where.

I'd start with a premise asking why do I want to leave Seattle....

Then, where in the US would be my first choice and seems yours is Florida.

So then it's looking at each of the other places and asking specifically what to they offer better and what worse.

In most of the options you mentioned some aspects of boating will be less expensive but some will be more so I don't think the cost of boating as a whole will vary that much.

Spend a good while checking out any place you consider and get the feel for living there. Might not be as you imagined. When we think of things like living elsewhere we might think of a private island in the Bahamas. Sounds great except we'd miss everyone and everything. That's the huge factor for us, our "home" is in South Florida and that's where those important to us are (except the ones with us). If not for that, we might move. Honestly, we don't know, can't know, because the people are in as a factor.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:01 PM   #16
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The good and the bad about living somewhere else permanently.

I'd start with a premise asking why do I want to leave Seattle.....
Rain/Clouds and than more Clouds/Rain.... lol

I lived in Florida many years ago. I know the place.
I also lived in Hawaii and I know what island living means.

Taxation? - I am not wealthy, so it should not be a big deal.
Family ties? - none
Free? - yes

All opinions are greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:16 PM   #17
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Rain/Clouds and than more Clouds/Rain.... lolnn

I lived in Florida many years ago. I know the place.
I also lived in Hawaii and I know what island living means.

Taxation? - I am not wealthy, so it should not be a big deal.
Family ties? - none
Free? - yes

All opinions are greatly appreciated!
Do you prefer a place with activity or solitude?
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:19 PM   #18
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...First; I just want to decide, if I should buy a boat in the US, or buy it where I plan to retire...
If it were me, before I'd commit to buying a boat locally or buying in the US, then getting it there, I'd fly to my chosen destination and rent a place. If the place sings to me, yahoo! Then I'd figure out the best way to get the boat I want there. The other option wouldn't be a lot of fun.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:21 PM   #19
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I lived in Florida many years ago. I know the place.
Depending on how many years is "many years", you might not find Florida today to be what you expect or what you think you know. It is probably the third most populous state in the Union now. There are areas in the center of the state and in the north part of the state that have escaped growth but most areas along the coast are very densely populated except for the big bend or should say the big swamp. Steinhatchee anyone???
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:31 PM   #20
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Do you prefer a place with activity or solitude?
Not solitude, of course, but I am not a social person anymore. Parties are not important to me and there is so much to do otherwise, either solo, or with a partner. I love the ocean and nature first of all. So, no, I don't want to live in a busy place, where lot is going on. I don't need it. Maybe 40 years ago....
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