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Living Cheaply Overseas

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by Terry_w, 10th Jan, 2016.

  1. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Australian living costs are extremely high so it is usually much cheaper to live overseas. If you can live cheaper you can retire quicker - perhaps instantly!

    It doesn't have to be a permanent retirement but could also be a mini retirement - living overseas part of the year. Mini Retirements

    I want to keep this as a thread to list good resources on living overseas.

    Here is a TV show that was on last night, {{ meta.ogTitle }}
    It is about a British guy who went to live in Laos, well off the beaten track. He lives on about AUD$4000 pa
     
  2. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    Finally a thread I can help in! I've lived in SE Asia for a long time. Lived in Laos for 3 years, speak the lingo and know the culture. Also lived in Vietnam and travelled extensively.

    Had Living in Laos as an option but in the end chose Australia.

    This is a magnificent idea in theory but in practise there are quite a few catches that you'll need to think about, that you probably won't think about if you're thinking about it....err, if you get my drift. :)

    Happy to answer any (non tax) related questions about living in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam.....
     
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  3. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    @hammer - what ended up being some of the catches? And why did you choose Australia in the end? Sounds like a good tale!
     
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  4. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  5. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Interesting Hammer, I am not too keen about living o/seas, unless it was a proposition where I had 2 houses, perhaps 1 in Italy and my home in Perth.

    However the reality is that I would miss my children, family and friends too much to live abroad permanently.

    Would love to hear more about your experience.

    Marisa:)
     
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  6. nswvic

    nswvic Member

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    Would be interested to know where to find the cheapest and decent nursing home in Australia.
     
  7. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Cheap and be very nasty, That's not a nice thought:p
     
  8. astinus4

    astinus4 Member

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    Quality and access to medical facilities would be my biggest concern.

    My old man's been making noises for years about eventually retiring in Sri Lanka. All that stopped after grand daughter number 1 arrived last year. Now there's zero chance he and mum would relocate to the other side of the world.
     
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  9. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I also wonder for those on pensions living overseas for lifestyle whether there is an issue/cut off in terms of government funding/pensions. That's $ we are losing here in Australia.
     
  10. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    OK, Well this goes for SE Asia as that is my experience...

    The biggest catch is that the vast majority of foreigners I met over there were actually not that happy. Especially the older people. Sure, they were "rich" in a local sense...but not "rich" where it really mattered.

    MTR hit it on on the head ...
    There were exceptions to this rule of course. But in the vast majority of cases that is what I observed.

    Life is tough over there. And even if it's all rosy for you, it sure as hell isn't for a lot of the people you'll come into contact with. I'm not talking tough in an Australian sense, I'm talking tough in that deep down, animal, dark-side sense. That part of you which you all know you have but thankfully, never have to use.

    On the outside everyone is smiling and the vast majority of people are happy. Its a beautiful thing, but its not until you delve into a family that you can appreciate just how tough it is, and just how good we have it here.

    What I found was that when foreigners retire over there, they go through all the stages of homesickness like anyone else, 2 months of honeymoon, 2 months of difficulty before finally adjusting and getting on with "living". Over time though, they tend to get frustrated. The maid is not cleaning properly. Everything is shut for yet another festival. The "leader" in my street is trying to extort more money out of me, the exchange rate isn't as good...etc.

    It all starts to have a large whiff of neo-colonialism.

    This is of course a broad generalisation. Some people "get it" and thrive. But in my experience, the vast majority fall into this unhappy, lonely zone, miles away from family and completely at a loss trying to explain the world around them.

    Yes, they are rich, but not in the most important way.

    That being said.....doing a "holiday" for three months at a time and just touring around would be a damn fine way to do it. You'd get all of the good stuff and remain delightfully oblivious to the bad stuff. :) Just make sure you've got ****-hot travel insurance. Getting seriously ill in a place like Laos or Cambodia is a properly scary proposition.
     
    Last edited: 10th Jan, 2016
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  11. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for sharing very interesting.
    I believe there was a similar thread on SS.

    I think you hit it on the head
    Rich, but not in the most important way.

    I lived overseas when I was younger USA and it was a great experience, but no one needs to tell me how lucky we are.

    Also, I am an animal lover, I just could not cope with how animals are treated in some poorer countries. OK, we have our issues here in Australia wont deny this, but I would just be mess having to deal with this.

    I don't travel to Third World countries anymore for this reason, and some other reasons that I wont go into on this forum, and of course we are all entitled our opinion, no right or wrong here, is what it is.

    Marisa:)
     
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  12. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    $4000 pa in Laos is no longer possible. You'd really need 30k pa. Remember you'll need to come home occasionally, go to the hospital, pay insurances and a whole raft of other costs that you won't have here. 4k pa in Laos will seriously shorten your lifespan.
     
  13. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    I would only move to a country that had a similar living standard to ours. I don't even like going on holidays to poorer places because I feel like i am lording over people. No way i would be comfortable living there. Cheap yes but cheap for a reason.
     
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  14. York

    York Finance Broker Business Member

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    A couple I know who have retired spend about 4 months every year in Greece. They would spend longer there but they miss their family so come back. They are comfortable financially but they love the lifestyle on the Greek island they go to. They have some friends/family there also.

    For about the last 4 years they have been renting a small place until this year they decided to buy a house which compared to Oz is very cheap. It's central to about everything they need and all within walking distance including the beach.

    They eat out every day at least twice and they say it costs no more than about 200 euros per week to live.

    It's probably not suited to everyone but these people are simple with what they want in retirement so it suits them fine. From time to time from Greece they make a short flight to Paris where they also have accommodation for free and spend a week there just to break up the trip a bit then return back to the island.
     
  15. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    I was reminded of this when I went to visit my parents last year. Live in Australia is so much simpler. In my home country, you can get the best of the best as long as you have the resources, but you'll also see right next to you, how tough it is for those who doesn't have any. It's a very complex community in which unless you can grow appreciation on, you'll find it difficult to live permanently.
     
  16. sonic98

    sonic98 Member

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    You're not alone with that and it's entirely reasonable. I'm exactly the same way and choose my travels accordingly. Not looking at the horrors doesn't stop them from happening, but when you have zero control over helping matters, it's too difficult. I found going to Kenya difficult at times just seeing the condition of donkeys and stray dogs and cats, and that was very mild by comparison to other places/situations.

    I would not want to live anywhere else other than Australia. But if I had a second choice it wouldn't be somewhere cheap... maybe in a tiny mountain valley somewhere in NZ, or Hawaii. :)
     
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  17. radson

    radson Well-Known Member

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    Great post hammer. I was transferred to Central Sumatra in Indonesia and then spent 12 years in Indonesia and Thailand. I think you provide quite an accurate summary of the trials and tribulations of living in SE Asia, especially the more rural areas.
     
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  18. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    We are on the same page:)

    You know what, I am pretty certain you can buy cheap property in NZ, whether it is desirable is another question. Perhaps the Marlborough region??

    Marisa
     
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  19. Paterson00

    Paterson00 Well-Known Member

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    I just discovered how cheap you can buy property for in New Zealand. Not sure on the cost of living there though. I'm told it's cheaper too.

    I really like the idea of travelling when I'm older. You can house swap for any amount of time that is mutually convenient anywhere in the world so, so long as you own a property somewhere in the world you can join that bandwagon.
     
  20. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    I've lived in Japan and Thailand. Japan has a higher standard of living than in Australia, but space is much more limited. Living in a house 10min from Osaka is similar to living in Paddington in Sydney, but smaller yards.

    Costs are much cheaper than Australia. Rents would be about half, food is cheap, trains are amazing and clean and run on time. Major signs are written in roman transcriptions - like all train stations so getting around is easy, but still complex because of the number of train lines. Hospitals are excellent. One of my daughters had an operation there and the service and care was excellent. There are heaps of universities where you can do long or short courses and the academic quality is high. The crime is low and customer service is excellent. If you were to lose your wallet with $100 in it you would find it again with all money intact.

    Thailand is great, it is very expensive in some aspects, but many things are cheap. The hospitals there are excellent and I would much rather be sick in a Thai hospital than an Australian one. All doctors there would speak English, unlike in Japan where not many do. Thailand living standards can be much higher than Australia - shopping centres are far superior, trains in Bangkok make Australia seem 3rd world. But there is wide spread inequality. You see super rich and super poor. It is a feudal society with harsh laws where you can be imprisoned for 15 years for liking a facebook post criticising a royal dog. Defamation is also a criminal offence and if you criticise someone you could end up in prison and facing a civil suit. Many people in tourist areas speak English too.

    Accommodation in Thailand can be very cheap, especially away from Bangkok. You can eat out for $1 per meal, you could have a maid for a few hundred dollars per month. The beaches are beautiful. Another benefit is that Thailand is in the middle of Asia. You can drive to Lao and Cambodia, Malaysia (not recommended) and Myanmar now. it is also just a cheap flight to surrounding countries.

    If I had a choice I would probably rather live in Japan and travel to Thailand for a month at a time.
     
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