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Old 02.03.2015, 21:22
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Retirement question (location)

I'm going to post this question here since EF is made up of such a variety of people from different backgrounds. I know that there are no right answers, but I am interested in your opinions.


In a perfect world, my husband and I hope to retire in about 10 years. We have no kids and no close family, so we're not tied down geographically or socially. Our plan is to have a simple home "somewhere" but spend most of our time traveling.

I have US citizenship and my husband has Canadian, Swiss and UK citizenships. Therefore we have quite a few options to chose from for our residency What I am wondering about is what would be the best country/region for us to settle down in? I'm thinking along the lines of healthcare, cost of living, climate, closeness to an airport...


What we like: we both like the West Coast of US/Canada (I'm leaning towards southern BC). I was also checking out some little villages west of Glasgow. We prefer cooler weather to hot weather and smaller towns to big cities. That being said, we both love Seattle.


So... if you were to retire somewhere based on the above, what would you chose and why?
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Old 02.03.2015, 21:34
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Well, if you are going to be travelling and just want a base…. the UK would be good for free health care and not extortionate price of living (if you stay out of London).
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Old 02.03.2015, 21:46
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Yep, the UK- but centrally, near fast and frequent short (1hr) trains to London, near M11, M1, A14 and short transport to either Stansted or Luton- so North Northants, South East Leicestershire- with very reasonable and good quality housing.
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Old 02.03.2015, 21:53
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Or near Manchester Airport…. Cheshire, Pennines, Peak District.
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Old 02.03.2015, 22:20
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Re: Retirement question (location)

It greatly depends on your financial position, if I lived in the UK I would pay more in taxes than I spend to live a year.
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Old 02.03.2015, 22:29
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Yes, taxes are also an issue. I should have included that in the first post.

I don't know what our finances will be like by then, of course, but if things are on track as they are now, we should be able to do this without too much strain.



Thanks so far for the replies. And I should have anticipated the heavy lean toward the UK, considering most of you lot are from there
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Old 02.03.2015, 22:39
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Of course many EU countries are an option and also have free health care…. but languages maybe an issue… what languages do you both speak?
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Old 02.03.2015, 22:39
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Somewhere on the west coast if France would be quite nice if you like the coast. Speaking French would be a big advantage if you moved to France though.

UK is also a good option from language and location aspects. The north west as suggested by a few people would be good.
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Old 02.03.2015, 22:45
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Not for me, I would want to be within quick reach of London by train, for the culture, shows, theatre, etc. Where we will retire in UK is just 1 hour by train, with trains every 30 mins till early morning- and with direct connections to Eurostar trains for the whole of Europe. It is also close enough to wonderful Norfolk and Suffolk Coast and the wonderful Cotswolds, Cambridge and Oxford, and both Stansted and Luton. And of course fabulous shopping and multi-cultural Leicester, and Nottigham. The countryside and small stone towns are wonderful.

Last edited by Odile; 02.03.2015 at 23:00.
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Old 02.03.2015, 22:45
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Much as I would like to stay in Switzerland, that's a pipe dream. Retiring in Switzerland as an American citizen would likely be financial suicide.

-----

One thing to be aware of if returning to the US is even a possibility:

If you are still living abroad at 65 you have to enroll in Medicare Part B or when you do return you could face a penalty of a 10 percent increase in your monthly premium for every eligible but unenrolled year. More here, as well as other issues expats contemplating retirement back in the US should be aware of:


https://americansabroad.org/issues/h...bout-medicare/
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Old 02.03.2015, 23:13
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Re: Retirement question (location)

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Not for me, I would want to be within quick reach of London by train, for the culture, shows, theatre, etc. Where we will retire in UK is just 1 hour by train, with trains every 30 mins till early morning- and with direct connections to Eurostar trains for the whole of Europe. It is also close enough to wonderful Norfolk and Suffolk Coast and the wonderful Cotswolds, Cambridge and Oxford, and both Stansted and Luton. And of course fabulous shopping and multi-cultural Leicester, and Nottigham. The countryside and small stone towns are wonderful.
Do you have much culture where you actually retired? Culture as in London, seems like an odd post TBH !
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Old 02.03.2015, 23:17
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Irrelevant dear Watson. but yes, we do, surprisingly, both on the French and the Swiss side- with Neuchâtel and Lausanne less than 1 hour away, and Geneva and Bern just over 1 hour, and also Pontarlier and Besançon and Dijon. Perfect. Oh, and Paris in just over 2 hrs with TGV. Even here out in the sticks, most weeks we have so much choice - plays, concerts, talks and conferences, cine club in 2 towns, and it is just here a few mins away!

But not as in London- which is why I am pushing for the East Midlands, which we visit regularly- and with, as said and really appreciated, quick trains to CULTURE IN LONDON- hurrah. We truly love the contrast!

Last edited by Odile; 03.03.2015 at 12:00.
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Old 03.03.2015, 00:37
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Re: Retirement question (location)

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I'm going to post this question here since EF is made up of such a variety of people from different backgrounds. I know that there are no right answers, but I am interested in your opinions.


In a perfect world, my husband and I hope to retire in about 10 years. We have no kids and no close family, so we're not tied down geographically or socially. Our plan is to have a simple home "somewhere" but spend most of our time traveling.

I have US citizenship and my husband has Canadian, Swiss and UK citizenships. Therefore we have quite a few options to chose from for our residency What I am wondering about is what would be the best country/region for us to settle down in? I'm thinking along the lines of healthcare, cost of living, climate, closeness to an airport...


What we like: we both like the West Coast of US/Canada (I'm leaning towards southern BC). I was also checking out some little villages west of Glasgow. We prefer cooler weather to hot weather and smaller towns to big cities. That being said, we both love Seattle.


So... if you were to retire somewhere based on the above, what would you chose and why?
I do not know Seattle. Without that knowledge I would agree with you on BC. Canada is a great county & surely would suit you both if one from W. Coast of US and other Canadian. There is a lot of traveling you can do within Canada and US from that location.

I have no idea of your ages, your health or your finances, your finances are non of my business or this forum, only perhaps in a vague sense for advice.

There are so many things for you to think of, you have no close family, what about close friends?

We all need routes of one kind or the other. What happens when the time comes only one of you is left, what friends or familar scenes are left to support the one?

There are complications where you decide to settle in that I believe there is maybe a 6 month+ rule to claim one country as the one when you want to travel at the same time.

I suspect as no children, your planned retirement in 10 years maybe somewhat below the normal retirement age.

Maybe something else to complement is simi retirement, not to give up entirely paid work/employment.

Re UK and free healthcare, well in England as you get older it is not so good if you get seriously ill, can be a bit of a lottery. Scotland and Ireland are far better.
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Old 03.03.2015, 08:45
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Ticino.

Close to several airports, and life is pretty cheap now that we've bought our place.

But, as a US citizen, it's probably best to be based in the US.

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Much as I would like to stay in Switzerland, that's a pipe dream. Retiring in Switzerland as an American citizen would likely be financial suicide.
The same can be said for ANY country other than the US if you are both US citizens, Switzerland is nothing special in this regard.

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 03.03.2015 at 10:56.
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Old 03.03.2015, 10:32
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Some random thoughts from one who retired in Switzerland after 26 years of living here.

It's no secret and vital to maximise your income and minimise your outgoings.

Health is important and Switzerland has a wonderful health system, but you pay for it. Whatever people say, Britain's National Health system is not as good and for non-urgent treatment is abysmal.

It's dangerous to retire somewhere new. What if after a short time one of you dies?

Likewise moving somewhere totally new will require an effort to make local contacts - maybe this is no problem. But you should analyse what your hobbies are what contacts you have and imagine living somewhere without them and trying to establish now ones. This is what kept us in Canton Zurich...
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Old 03.03.2015, 10:48
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Have you noticed that most of us are recommending the places we come from?

The OPs prefer the Vancouver area, so why not go there?

However, beautiful areas are usually areas without towns and facilities, and as you get older you need to live near facilities, and getting older means you won't be going fishing, hunting or on long walks anymore.

Maybe retire somewhere with good public transport? As you get older you will need transport to see friends, to the shops, doctors and clinics, and if you cannot drive anymore, and family are not around, you might be relying on local taxis.
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Old 03.03.2015, 11:35
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Re: Retirement question (location)

LOL, I certainly do NOT come from the East Midlands ... but my choice is based on proximity to great road, rail and air transports, different cultures, proximity to London, fabulous countryside and coast/sea (and yes I lived there for a very long time, and loved it).
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Old 03.03.2015, 14:07
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Re: Retirement question (location)

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It's dangerous to retire somewhere new. What if after a short time one of you dies?

Likewise moving somewhere totally new will require an effort to make local contacts - maybe this is no problem. But you should analyse what your hobbies are what contacts you have and imagine living somewhere without them and trying to establish now ones. This is what kept us in Canton Zurich...
Excellent point.

Retirement planning should encompass not only the active years, but also the end-of-life stages. It is in this stage that one will need support, which means one has to either have family on hand or to be part of a supportive community - something that often takes years to develop.

So think ahead not only to where you wish to be while actively enjoying your retirement but also where it is best to be at the end.

I spent the last 10 years with eldercare for my parents and inlaws in the US as the primary focus of my life, and I'm now finding myself sort of stepping into that role again for a friend here because she has no one in Switzerland. These experiences have shown me all too well that it is absolutely critical to have an advocate to help navigate the very confusing waters of the elder years.

We have no children, and will have been out of the US for 20-some years by the time OH retires so we will have no ties left at 'home'. Frankly this terrifies me, as we will have no one to turn to should we become vulnerable.

So finding a community that offers the support services we might later need will be paramount for us. We can always travel to more exciting climes in the meantime.
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Old 03.03.2015, 14:15
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Re: Retirement question (location)

Oh I so understand why you are saying. I spent so long looking after elderly parents from afar, trying to juggle career and older teenagers, etc- I'd never want to impose this on my own (adult) children. And yet we have moved here... go figure (which is where my roots are, and lots of family and friends too). However, we are taking steps to ensure our house is equipped for emergency and 'elderly' care- so we could live downstairs only if necessary one day. It's easy to get support and staff here, with good structures in place. But we also have discussed with our (adult) kids that if push comes to shove, we will move back to the UK so they don't have to constantly worry about us. We still love England, and have so many friends and family there- so there would be no regrets there- and we only left 5 years ago. Can't imagine how much more difficult it would be with huge distance like in the USA- and with a much longer gap.

And I feel it hugely re-assuring (and I know many of you do NOT agree about this)- that in Switzerland we have that 'other' option, EXIT- if and when. I certainly would not want to live into very old age without quality of life and be a huge burden on my children, that is for sure.

Last edited by Odile; 03.03.2015 at 14:28.
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Old 03.03.2015, 14:31
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Re: Retirement question (location)

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It greatly depends on your financial position, if I lived in the UK I would pay more in taxes than I spend to live a year.
Well yes, I get that. But as Meloncollie says- do you have loved ones, family and friends there? Might not matter that much now you are in your (perhaps 50s?) and able to jump on a plane whenever you feel like it. But once you get into your 70s and 80s- it won't be the same. This is, for us, a lot more important. A choice (and of course we have grand-children in the UK, which also makes a huge difference for us). OH will be 70 next year- and it does make you think- I am 5 years younger.

Last edited by Odile; 03.03.2015 at 19:01.
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