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Old 02-05-2015, 19:31   #1
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USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

I'm trying to find a good reason not to sell the boat. http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ng-141599.html

I'm on a retirement income, not married anymore, have a boat and a large RV, and I'm researching things to do, or places to go. So, what are some good ideas for a man in my situation? Where's a good place to live for sail boat owners that doesn't have cold winters?
I've been in the SF Bay Area for over a year now, off and on. But it's not looking too good. I'm a gunk-holer, and the bay here is very limited. I've been thinking some U.S. Territory in the Carib. And Mexico is changing now. But I've never been there so I need advice. I've given up on the S. Pac. I've grown tired of the culture and looking for someplace more favorable.
I really loved the PNW but the cold and wet has turned me away in my later years. So, I'm open to suggests and comments.

Del
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Old 02-05-2015, 19:46   #2
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Hey delmarrey,

Why don't you give the Sea of Cortez a go? You won't run out of gunkholing spots. Good cruiser crowd. Inexpensive so that will help stretch the retirement income. We did a charter there in 2012 & loved it. The people are fantastic. Mexico has its issues widely discussed on CF & elsewhere, but if the circumstances were right we would spend time there.

Check out Steve & Lulu Yoder's blog. They have sailed and RV'ed this area extensively and from all I've read it has been nothing but positive. They have spent time on both Baja and mainland sides.
https://yodersafloat.wordpress.com/

Another one to look at is Tom & Jeanne's blog called Big Left Turn. They are from the PNW and have been in this area a long time and now make La Paz their home where they run a business.
What a great day fishing | Eagle's Big Left Turn

Best of Luck to you!
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Old 02-05-2015, 19:53   #3
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.
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Old 02-05-2015, 20:03   #4
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.
Ya, both these couples are pretty cool cats and I'm sure would help you with any advice you needed. When we were planning our charter I emailed both Steve and Tom with some questions and they gave me some great advice!

PS. Don't sell the boat, head south instead!
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Old 02-05-2015, 20:29   #5
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

If I had to do it again, I'd choose Uruguay. It's a long ways off though.

-you can apply for permanent residency the day you get there. right now, it costs me a fortune to maintain visas and national id in Colombia.

-Uruguay is light years more safe than Central America.

-A beautiful country, especially around Punta del Este.

-You can buy a Touristica Tarjeta in Uruguay for your medical/dental care. In Central America, you'll be raped in medical charges.

-A country very easy on boaters.
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Old 02-05-2015, 20:47   #6
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?
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Old 02-05-2015, 21:14   #7
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Panama is another spot worth researching. They have a program (Pensionado Visa) that ecourages and gives some financial benefits to attract expats.

Panama's Pensionado Visa

Expat Exchange - 10 Tips for Living in Panama - Expat Panama, Living in Panama, Expat Bocas del Toro
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Old 02-05-2015, 21:50   #8
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

I might call myself an expat, or my friends (of varying skin colors) expats, but the locals in Hong Kong are still going to call us what they like - "gweilo" being the most frequent and "polite" terms - which, if you don't know, means "ghost man" AKA "barbarians." They certainly aren't calling us expats.

And here in Shanghai, I'm still calling myself an expat, and the locals are now calling me a laowei, which means "old foreigner" and can be taken either as a term of endearment or criticism. There are worse things they call us as well.

You know something you don't do when you move to a foreign country? Bring your easily offended Western world expectations with you. Unless you just like being offended...

So, I ask, who cares if I call myself an expat and identify with a group of people who are calling themselves the same? Don't know about everyone who calls themselves this, but at least in my (very large) expat group, it's meant to describe someone who is working overseas *temporarily* as opposed to an immigrant, who one assumes has moved somewhere for life. Maybe this is different when you're an expat in a place where people go primarily to retire?


Anyway, on topic: If I was going to choose a place to retire where sailing was a big part of the life... Thailand, Malaysia, and surrounding areas would be my first choice. All the old retired dudes I've met there have the biggest smiles
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:48   #9
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Greetings fellow senior.

I will be 69 in a few days and live full time on a 32' sailboat presently 200 miles inland on a river in Alabama doing upgrades and will wait out hurricane season here.

My lady and I also have a small rv in Holland. for the last several years we have cruised and GUNKHOLED (love that word) the rivers from Kentucky to Mobile bay so far and back up river for this season.

Around early Sept. we use our airmiles and fly to Holland, get in our camper and spend about 10 weeks land cruising Europe. We paid less then 5,000 Euros for the camper and 275/year to store it in a covered, private area.

We have a blog with pictures and video as well as stories. So far we have done 10 weeks in Holland and France sampling cheese and wine and 10 weeks in Germany sampling wine, beer, and great German cuisine. This year we plan to visit the Worlds fair in Milan 9only a 10 hr. drive) and cruise N Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

So sell your motorhome, buy one in Holland, come to this side of the continent and look into the "the great loop". Being over here gives you access the the ICW, Bahamas, (700 islands) the rest of the Caribbean and Central America. Gunkhole for years and years.

I have even managed to get a few jobs along the way to help with the cruising kitty.

PM me and I can give you links to our website and the camper Co. in Holland.

We Travel with the Idea That If we have no schedule, we aren't late. If we don't care where we are, we aren't lost. If we have no itinerary we're exactly where we ought to be. If we can't see it this trip, we'll see it next time.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:58   #10
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Well Said...catshopper
We Travel with the Idea That If we have no schedule, we aren't late. If we don't care where we are, we aren't lost. If we have no itinerary we're exactly where we ought to be. If we can't see it this trip, we'll see it next time.
You guys are in step with a great retirement plan...
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:04   #11
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Del,

Keep the boat, the Sea of Cortez is closest to you.
I loved the years we spent there.
It's like a desert version of the PNW, only bigger and way less populated.
You can daysail to different anchorages.
I'd recommend following the sun though.
Summer in the sea can be brutal and winter can be windy.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:09   #12
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

If I may add to the OPs question, or perhaps clarify, where are the best locations for living aboard? Most of the links in the previous posts point to living abroad on land. I'm interested in staying afloat.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:12   #13
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

Go South to mexico amigo
And then when done, sell the boat there and buy that RV in Europe.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:29   #14
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

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Originally Posted by krafthaus View Post
Panama is another spot worth researching. They have a program (Pensionado Visa) that ecourages and gives some financial benefits to attract expats.

Panama's Pensionado Visa

Expat Exchange - 10 Tips for Living in Panama - Expat Panama, Living in Panama, Expat Bocas del Toro
+1. Lots of positives to Panama. We've spent most of the last several years here...part of the year cruising and part of the year living up in the highlands with a perpetual Spring-like climate.

Almost infinite gunkholing opportunities on both Carib & Pacific coasts. We're currently in the San Blas and I expect will spend at least another season or two crusing here.

I've also lived in Belize & Guatemala. Each have their pros & cons. Belize also has a retirement residency program with good benefits and its coast has nearly infinite gunkholing/cruising opportunities. Guate has a retirement residency, but no associated benefits. It is an amazing country for inland travel, and has the ultimate hurricane hole in the W Carib (Rio Dulce), but limited cruising opportunities...good news though, Belize is just a day sail away.

I really like Nicaragua too, but it has limited crusing opportunities (if you exclude the beautiful, but dicey Moskito Coast).
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:38   #15
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Re: USA Expat-a Good Place to Go?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
I'm trying to find a good reason not to sell the boat. http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ng-141599.html

I'm on a retirement income, not married anymore, have a boat and a large RV, and I'm researching things to do, or places to go. So, what are some good ideas for a man in my situation? Where's a good place to live for sail boat owners that doesn't have cold winters?
I've been in the SF Bay Area for over a year now, off and on. But it's not looking too good. I'm a gunk-holer, and the bay here is very limited. I've been thinking some U.S. Territory in the Carib. And Mexico is changing now. But I've never been there so I need advice. I've given up on the S. Pac. I've grown tired of the culture and looking for someplace more favorable.
I really loved the PNW but the cold and wet has turned me away in my later years. So, I'm open to suggests and comments.

Del
Except for the RV, our experience and wishes are very similar.

The truth is, there aren't a whole lot of options.

First, if we want to continue our sailing lifestyle, the challenges and associated costs are only increasing in locations outside the States. I looked into Ecuador and discovered the only feasible marina is very expensive, exposed to swell and the only authorized agent you must use is a greedy....... No anchorage.

Most South American possibilities share the same imperfections. Anchorages if they exist are exposed, have poor holding and or, are in locations with poor access and security. Marinas? Because I prefer anchoring, I can't really say. I looked into a couple of major ports though and came away with the impression marinas are most often quite distant from business centers with food stores and other stuff we may need.

Were it not for the emerging and existing religious and political conflicts in Thailand and Malaysia, they'd probably be toward the top in a list of possibilities.

Australia would be at the top of my list were it not so difficult, nigh impossible, to obtain a residency permit. The Queensland coast in particular is a sailor's nirvanna with Brisbane located safely enough below the hurricane zone. Wonderful city!

If you could tolerate the South Pacific cultural quirks, there's always the option of entering into an agreement with a local landowner. You build a house on your nickle on their land and they'll allow you to live there for life. Ownership of the house passes to them upon your demise. Sooner or later...

If you have issues with culture in the South Pacific, tolerating anywhere in the Caribbean will be problematic. Including the USVI.

I don't know anything about residency requirements in Africa, but there are some possibilities. Cape Town is a first class metropolitan area with a minimum of problems we'd normally associate with Africa. There are marinas in Cape Town and Hout Bay. Anchorages in S.A. are few and far between, but do exist.

Madagascar? Would be toward the bottom of my list unless I spoke French and wanted to risk becoming a victim of crime or disease...

It's easy for folks to recommend Mexico's Sea of Cortez. Then they mention the caveats of which there appear to be an increasing number.

Finally, were it not for hurricane danger there'd be many other possibilities I'd consider.

Other places I've not been to or know enough about to discuss surely exist.

Good luck.
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