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Old 10-08-2016, 09:15   #1
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Retiring... where?

I'm currently investigating retirement options. I'm Canadian, living in Toronto.

The plan right now is to retire in 2020. At that point I should have around $170K in the bank, and a pension of around $2,500 / mo. In Canadian dollars.

Two things I'm seeking: getting out of Canada to someplace warm, and sailing. And not working! Right, that's three things.

I want to retire someplace I can focus on sailing year round, easing into liveaboard cruising in the tropics. I'm not planning to return to Canada, other than visiting once in a while.

I have my own ideas, but if anyone has advice at all for me, or personal experiences to share, or resources that might help me, I would be so appreciative.

I'm not too concerned about moving to a different culture, in fact I'm longing for that. I spent my whole youth up until my early 20's following parents who worked in the diplomatic corps as they moved from one country to another every couple years. They had me in Malaysia, and we subsequently lived in Denmark, Senegal, South Africa, France and Brazil. I miss the immersion into different cultures, and am actually really looking forward to doing that on my own after living in one place for 30 odd years.

Specifically, I'm considering retiring to Panama or Mexico, so far. Mexico west or east coast. Both are options. I've been to Mexico a bunch of times over the years, though always on vacation not to live. I like Mexico. Panama apparently has great incentives for pensioners coming from Canada. Panama, Caribbean side or Pacific side? I don't know.

I don't want to rule out someplace in the Mediterranean or even Asia / Pacific. I just have a feeling those locales are going to be too expensive for my budget. USA would also be an option, but I just don't want to have to worry about returning to Canada or only staying for 6 months at a time, etc. I don't want that stress.

So, any advice on the retirement location? I'm not asking for anyone to tell me what to do, just looking for options I may be blind to at the moment.

Also, with $170K in the bank I'm fairly confident I can get into an adequate sailing vessel for my purposes (liveaboard cruising). I am curious to know what others think, what fraction of that nest egg should I spend on a boat? Obviously not all of it. Somewhere between cheap as possible and about $100K.

A cheap-as-possible vessel means I can make more mistakes before running out of $$? Spending more means, I don't know, safer + bigger + prettier + easier? Maybe buy a cheap boat as a learning exercise, and then after a year or two get a better boat? Barring something unforeseen, I'll be solo.

2020 seems like such a long way off! I can't wait.

The right words aren't coming to me, but I do want to say what a great useful resource this site is for me right now.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:43   #2
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Re: Retiring... where?

Welcome to the forum, DDup.

It sounds like you are on a good path, and yes, you should be good with your budget- something you will confirm as you learn more.

Regarding where... that is what most of us ask ourselves... and often...

From a boating perspective, you might want to peruse Noonsite ['The global site for cruisers'] which is a compendium of useful international information for cruisers by cruisers.

From a land based perspective, you might investigate International Living magazine.

Enjoy your journey! We look forward to following along...

Cheers! Bill
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:48   #3
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Re: Retiring... where?

Not to put a downer on things and as a Canadian I have to ask if you considered the usual things like medical coverage, visas etc. I understand that if you are out of the country for some time you loose Canadian medical coverage? I will definitely be following this thread.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:01   #4
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Re: Retiring... where?

I'd spend no more than about half of the nest egg on a boat as you will spend more than you think buying nice to have's after you buy it.
My understanding is the Gulf side of Mexico is a no go area, West side is good, but once tired of there I guess South Pacific is next logical stop, maybe more so than trying to come to the Caribbean?
I wouldn't consider Florida if I were you, reason is you and a bazillion of your buddies are already there and have driven the prices up, beyond in my opinion of $2,500 Can providing what it can elsewhere.
Might want to consider buying a boat in Fl though, outfitting it and heading out to the Caribbean first to gain experience, then who knows?
That is my plan anyway, I am looking for that place to eventually Retire, I don't know where, maybe I'll find it in ten years, but until then I plan of doing a lot of looking.
I figure just like the boat was, we knew it when we found it, that eventual place to swallow the anchor? We will know it when we find it.

On edit, I'd buy a boat for a couple cause who knows? And my opinion and you will get others but seeing as how the boat money fund is set, I wouldn't buy a starter boat with the idea of buying a better boat later.
That may be the best thing to do, but most of us lose money when we sell our boats, it's very rare to recoup all your expenses, that means significantly less money left to spend on the final boat.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:20   #5
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Re: Retiring... where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mottseng View Post
Not to put a downer on things and as a Canadian I have to ask if you considered the usual things like medical coverage, visas etc. I understand that if you are out of the country for some time you loose Canadian medical coverage? I will definitely be following this thread.
Hi mottseng,

I'm looking specifically at countries that seem to very much welcome foreign pensioners / retirees, like Panama and Mexico. What I understand thus far is that there is a well established path to residency in these places, though I'm pretty sure it does involve giving up Canadian citizenship. I do love Canada, but not enough to keep paying taxes and remain landlocked and cold for half the year.

I believe in Ontario, if you leave the province for more than 7 months out of a given year, you lose your medical coverage. I do find that personally disappointing, seeing as I've given the govt so much of my own money over the years. Regardless, my OHIP apparently wouldn't cover much outside the country anyway.

I have relatives that do the yearly migratory thing, to maintain their Canadian status and medical insurance. That works for them. It just wouldn't work for me. One way ticket with no plans to return, that's for me.

Undaunted, it just means I'll pay for coverage someplace or take my chances. I may hold a minority opinion here, but Canadian govt medical insurance just does not have much value for me. I'd much rather have private insurance, than state run, anyway. Keeping myself in a sort of hostage situation with a government that just wants my tax dollars... it's just not for me. What I see so far is that paying for medical insurance in Panama or Mexico is not actually that terrible or expensive at all!

All that said, I am not an expert in these matters! I may be making a terrible mistake. I'm going to do it, though
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:23   #6
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Re: Retiring... where?

So many old farts cruising Malaysia/Thailand there must be something to it. Sure good affordable health services (better than most of Canada) Spent 20 winters and between moter bikes and heart failures got to test run their system. Always some good buys in blue water? sailboats as skippers check out, or sell and go back to live with their kids because the next port is Africa. I have gotten to hate the longgg flight from Vancouver . So easy now with wifi to travel and book on land (we use Agoda) Check with embassy in Van re long term retirement for farangs. Whole towns and marinas have sprung up to service retirees from Europe .Not many Yanks because ??of fear of leaving home. I prefer Koh Lanta, Krabi,to Phuket and nearby waters. Still relatively uncrowded but changing
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:35   #7
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Re: Retiring... where?

Re health care. Because Im only out of BC for 3/4 months at a time BC Med covers me by reimbursing after the fact. Didn't quite cover time spend in ICU but close .Never had other coverage but it's available and I can afford risking and just paying the shot if/when needed. Cremation is affordable too .
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:38   #8
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Re: Retiring... where?

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Originally Posted by topmast View Post
So many old farts cruising Malaysia/Thailand there must be something to it. Sure good affordable health services (better than most of Canada) Spent 20 winters and between moter bikes and heart failures got to test run their system. Always some good buys in blue water? sailboats as skippers check out, or sell and go back to live with their kids because the next port is Africa. I have gotten to hate the longgg flight from Vancouver . So easy now with wifi to travel and book on land (we use Agoda) Check with embassy in Van re long term retirement for farangs. Whole towns and marinas have sprung up to service retirees from Europe .Not many Yanks because ??of fear of leaving home. I prefer Koh Lanta, Krabi,to Phuket and nearby waters. Still relatively uncrowded but changing
Thanks topmast. Malaysia has a full-circle sort of symmetry that I like, seeing as I was born in Kuala Lumpur. I've looked into it only very little. To be honest, and at the risk of sounding like a bigoted jerk... I stopped looking into it when I realized the Malaysian government sounds at least half a theocracy... and not the tolerant kind if you know what I mean. They're like one small coup away from full on sharia law, or so I've heard. Again, I do apologize as I'm sure the only thing I'm successfully communicating is my ignorance.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:42   #9
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Re: Retiring... where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDup View Post
Hi mottseng,

I'm looking specifically at countries that seem to very much welcome foreign pensioners / retirees, like Panama and Mexico. What I understand thus far is that there is a well established path to residency in these places, though I'm pretty sure it does involve giving up Canadian citizenship. I do love Canada, but not enough to keep paying taxes and remain landlocked and cold for half the year.

I believe in Ontario, if you leave the province for more than 7 months out of a given year, you lose your medical coverage. I do find that personally disappointing, seeing as I've given the govt so much of my own money over the years. Regardless, my OHIP apparently wouldn't cover much outside the country anyway.

I have relatives that do the yearly migratory thing, to maintain their Canadian status and medical insurance. That works for them. It just wouldn't work for me. One way ticket with no plans to return, that's for me.

Undaunted, it just means I'll pay for coverage someplace or take my chances. I may hold a minority opinion here, but Canadian govt medical insurance just does not have much value for me. I'd much rather have private insurance, than state run, anyway. Keeping myself in a sort of hostage situation with a government that just wants my tax dollars... it's just not for me. What I see so far is that paying for medical insurance in Panama or Mexico is not actually that terrible or expensive at all!

All that said, I am not an expert in these matters! I may be making a terrible mistake. I'm going to do it, though
My hat is off to you and I am inspired. Have been giving some thoughts along the same lines. I was looking into Belize and believe they are very welcoming and have a stable government. Like I said I will be paying attention to this thread. Good for you, go for it!!
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:06   #10
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Re: Retiring... where?

Feel the same about Malaysia . Most boats just touch in Langkawi for duty free /visas and head back to Paradise Most farangs make a quick trip to the border just for that (call it visa run. ) AS a boater ,the politics don't touch but always glad to be north of the border and now we get long term visas from embassy before we fly .Wandered Caribe and central America a bit and prefer asia for interest and the food
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:21   #11
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Re: Retiring... where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I'd spend no more than about half of the nest egg on a boat as you will spend more than you think buying nice to have's after you buy it.
My understanding is the Gulf side of Mexico is a no go area, West side is good, but once tired of there I guess South Pacific is next logical stop, maybe more so than trying to come to the Caribbean?
I wouldn't consider Florida if I were you, reason is you and a bazillion of your buddies are already there and have driven the prices up, beyond in my opinion of $2,500 Can providing what it can elsewhere.
Might want to consider buying a boat in Fl though, outfitting it and heading out to the Caribbean first to gain experience, then who knows?
That is my plan anyway, I am looking for that place to eventually Retire, I don't know where, maybe I'll find it in ten years, but until then I plan of doing a lot of looking.
I figure just like the boat was, we knew it when we found it, that eventual place to swallow the anchor? We will know it when we find it.

On edit, I'd buy a boat for a couple cause who knows? And my opinion and you will get others but seeing as how the boat money fund is set, I wouldn't buy a starter boat with the idea of buying a better boat later.
That may be the best thing to do, but most of us lose money when we sell our boats, it's very rare to recoup all your expenses, that means significantly less money left to spend on the final boat.
Thanks a64pilot. Everything you say harmonizes with me thinking at the moment.

Especially the knowing-when-you-find-it, for boats and locales.

Buying a boat in FL or CA or TX and then heading south with it sounds like a great thing to consider. The used boat market in both those locations seems far and away more abundant than any other spots near the tropics. I wonder if I could buy a boat in one of those locations and then pay a crew to sail it, with me, down to either Pacific Mexico or the Caribbean.
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:26   #12
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Re: Retiring... where?

I would suggest that you take a look at the Dominican Republic. Specifically the North coast including Samana and Cabarete. Many expats there including fellow Canadians, very affordable, warm all year, and excellent sailing with many options available. For some direct information from expats there, try Dominican Republic News & Travel Information Service. Check out and ask your questions on their forum. Happy Retirement.
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:31   #13
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Re: Retiring... where?

You can hire crew of course, but why? Boat you want to single hand, maybe hire a pro Capt for a week to train you, but you want a boat that you can handle alone, right?
I had never sailed before I bought our boat and since I had 10 days to get her from Daytona to Panama City, I hired a pro Capt to help. Wasn't cheap, but wasn't that much either, since we stayed in no Marina on the way around, the trip was pretty cheap really.
I'm still learning of course, but believe I have the basics down, most of it seems logical, meaning what makes sense or would seem the correct way, usually is.
It ain't Rocket Science, and unlike flying you can slow the boat down to gain some time to think and it won't stall and sink
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:54   #14
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Re: Retiring... where?

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You can hire crew of course, but why? Boat you want to single hand, maybe hire a pro Capt for a week to train you, but you want a boat that you can handle alone, right?
I had never sailed before I bought our boat and since I had 10 days to get her from Daytona to Panama City, I hired a pro Capt to help. Wasn't cheap, but wasn't that much either, since we stayed in no Marina on the way around, the trip was pretty cheap really.
I'm still learning of course, but believe I have the basics down, most of it seems logical, meaning what makes sense or would seem the correct way, usually is.
It ain't Rocket Science, and unlike flying you can slow the boat down to gain some time to think and it won't stall and sink
Yes! Single handed is crucial to the whole plan! Thank you for pointing that out.

Because I am in awe: Daytona, FL to Panama City, in 10 days? That is a long way to go, with a short time to get there. Wow. (So, as I'm typing this, I'm realizing that there is a Panama City, Florida... and that you probably didn't mean Panama City, Panama. )
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Old 10-08-2016, 16:27   #15
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Re: Retiring... where?

Yes PC Fl. sorry forgot the Fl
Motored almost all of it, much to my dismay, sailed maybe half a day


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