Best countries to retire to

190 posts in this topic

I stand no chance against these two well-named and worthy gentlemen, Beuel!!

( Mind you..my Spanish moniker..Juan Pistola.. worked wonders in the wrong bars in my younger days!!! :D )

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:D I can well believe it. I mean the second sentence, not the first..

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...the first " wrong " bar was in Mexico, Beuel!! Had a dictionary with me..didn´t find " Gunn " but " gun " was there!! " Pistola "...didn´t know it had two meanings in Spanish!!! ( Found out, t :D hough!!)

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Panama, NoBull: back in the 70´s..the Panamanians on the street gave me a hard time as an " American ".." gringo de mierda" so went to the " American " sector..those GIs wouldn´t let me put my sleeping bag down for a well-earned kip! So I buggered off to Colombia and got mugged the first day in Medellin!!!

 

Mohammed Ali in Lima, hepatitus In Ibarra, mugged in Cali, attempted rape in Cartagena, busted for weed In San Andres, Colombian jail, miracle release ... Pufft. I can beat you guys any day.

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Were you the woman in the " wrong " bar, arundasi?!!! :D ( yep, you beat us guys anytime, by the way! )

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1) Florida, America

2) Barbados

3) Cyprus

4) France

5) Italy

6) Mauritius

7) South Africa

8) Spain

9) Switzerland

10)Turkey

 

I guess if you are looking for warm countries you should probably scrape Switzerland, France and maybe Italy too.

 

The ten best places to retire overseas.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/retirementproperty/8497588/The-10-best-places-to-retire-overseas.html

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As a lusophile I second everything Lensman says - but beg to differ on the comment about paella being arroz de marisco... however, the Russians (the wealthy ones) have also discovered Portugal and are there in great number apparently... the hinterlands are Europe's best kept secret but not for much longer... Galicia in Northern Spain would also be worth looking at...

 

My wife (the tuga) begs to differ as well. IT'S SEAFOOD STEW PEOPLE! Sorry. Of course it is different. Not the same at all. Just as Dutch is obviously not a low German dialect.

 

The Algarve and Lisbon crawl with Russians, but Oporto is still relatively tourist free. People have started showing up with the cheap Ryanair flights from Karlsruhe and Hahn, but it still isn't too bad.

 

Last summer in Porto I took my two German freinds to a restaurant across from the Bolsa. We each had Arroz de Marisco (the NOT Paella), an appetizer, coffee, a dessert, and a jug of Vinho Verde, all for 18 euros. This was 18 euros from all three of us, not 18 euros each.

 

Go.

 

Now.

 

They really need the money.

 

Also, they are nicer than Spanish people.

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Coimbra is a great city too. The Heidelberg of Portugal. ;) Sort of.

 

I have to agree with Lensman, Portugal is a great country to live in. The seafood is incredible and the fish isn't molested with cream sauce. The cod ovaries weren't so great though. I really like the Portagees, especially the ones on Family Guy.

 

post-43089-13569016280494.jpg

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Hi,

 

I am from Malaysia (now in Germany) and we are seeing a rise in foreign nationals opting to retire here. The positives being medical care is good and reasonably cheap, most citizens speaks English, food variety is fantastic and perhaps one factor most don't realise is the ability to have a live-in maid to help around in the house. It costs only around 150-200 Euros per month to hire a live-in Indonesian, Cambodian or Fillipino maid (domestic helper), and it is not uncommmon for families to have 2 maids in one house. For families with many kids or aging parents, it makes a big difference to have maids in the house to help around. I have friends from Malaysia who rejected £100k pa jobs in UK because they realised that you won't be able to afford maids in UK even with that income, and to them, having a maid at home has become a necessity.

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Granted, the Portuguese do tend to think that if one is serving a vegetarian, then cutting up the meat into very small pieces counts.

 

That being said, the cuisine of Portugal has an extraordinarily wide range of choices. Like all European countries, they have your standard range of meat dishes (and like all European countries save France, their beef sucks). There are hundreds of types of sausages. They have the best single dish in the world ever, carne de porco alentejano which consists of cubes of seared pork, golden caramalized potato chunks, braised clams, and sh#tloads of garlic.

 

They also have insane amounts of fish. All sorts of bivalves (they have like 40 different names for the thing that I call a "clam"). Lobster, langostine, the best octopus in the Universe. Dried Codfish,(Bacalhau, of wich there are supposedly 365 different recipes). Fresh Codfish, Swordfish, arroz de marisco which is actually Paella, but don't call it that as they tend to get all snitty when you call stuff by its spanish name.

 

That's just the local stuff. As well, they have all the cuisine of the old empire. Food from Angola and Mocambique is common in Lisbon. Brazilian restaurants can be found everywhere but in the outback.

 

Indian food is a legacy not of hipster foodies, but of the 450 years that Portugal controlled Goa. Some indian food is so integrated into Portuguese life (like Samosas) that most Tugas doen't even realize that they are foreign.

 

When you buy cream cakes or custard tarts at a chinese bakery in New York, you are likely encountering a dish that has arrived on Canal street from Lisbon, via the torturous route of Macau, and Canton. The Chinese were introduced to sweet baked goods by the Portuguese, and you can find their proto-versions in bakeries all over the country. Portuguese desserts tend to be far less sweet than other european countries, but are quite good.

 

In Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Braga, and Coimbra they have the full range of non-Portuguese- Thai, Italian, etc.

 

Coffee is divine. And cheap as dirt. An espresso at a non tourist place should set you back 55-60 cents in Porto. Even at a super expensive place like Majestic in Porto, it is still cheaper than Starbucks in Germany. And doesn't taste like burnt rectum.

 

Cafe Majestic

 

Cafe culture in Portugal is amazing. You simply must see it.

 

Alcohol. Good lord, this may be the best country in Europe to drink in.

 

The Wine tends to be dry and "wurzig"- much like Spanish wine. But they have some good whites as well. Spain may have good whites, I have never drunk a spanish white. Again, the wine is cheap. Dirt cheap for quality stuff.

 

A bottle of port wine can be had for next to nothing. A good standard Ruby costs five euros. In Porto, you can pick up a Burmeister 1985 (the best vintage of the 20th century) for 50 euros! You can also find white port, which most people don't know exists. Also rose port, but this is a newfangled thing, so the jury is still out.

 

Hard liqour exists in abundance. I had a glass of aguardente (Portuguese grappa) at the local cafe in my wifes village just last week. I asked for the best one he had. He pulled out an unmarked bottle, and filled the snifter with a generous amount. It was super smooth, alcoholic as hell but with very little burn, and with an excellent finish. The 3 cl glass cost 45 cents.

 

If you think that eating and drinking in Portugal lacks "choice" then, respectfully, I sugges`t that you get the @#$% out of the brit soaked tourist spot in the Algarve and look around a bit. If you aren't roaringly buzzed and stuffed to the gills, you're doing it wrong.

 

Thanks for straightening me out on that.

 

Fortunately, we chose a spot not anywhere near any Brits.

 

We chose to avoid the typical fat-arsed, fish & chips, steakpie, roast beef & pud types who go abroad and incessantly complain that nobody speaks english or that you can't find boddingtons. We chose a decidedly "native" area where it is rare to hear any other language than the local dialect, so you can kiss that entire notion goodbye. Sorry to let you down.

 

What I can tell you is that in any supermarket or bar/restaurant district anywhere around Basel, I have 20 times the choices of food, drink and other necessities than I could ever find in the area where our house is in Spain, unless of course, I were in Madrid or Barcelona, or other major metropolitan area.

 

I respect that you wish to defend a place that you enjoy, but frankly, I'm sensing that you're the one who may be leaning a bit far out the window.

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Hi Arundanasi,

 

The domestic helpers in Malaysia are live-in. I.e you provide a room and food for them in addition to the 150-200 Euro per month wage. They typically get one day off every fortnight. In that respect, one helper is considered round the clock, i.e. they wake up at 5am, prepare breakfast etc etc.. and go to bed at 10-11pm at night. The good thing is you get someone to clear up all the mess, and can indulge in messy things like BBQ parties and so on.. but without having to prepare and clear up the mess. My grandparents are over 90, and they live in a house with two domestic helpers doing all the chores at home and also taking care of them. Not bad for 400 Euros per month for two helpers.

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But I don't need a maid; I need people experienced in the care of the disabled, physically strong as well as of patient character - I don't think €200 would cover it. Anyway, I guess time will tell. I do lean strongly towards Malaysia, the downside being that I've never actually lived there or even been there before, which I consider essential in order to know a country's downside and if you can handle it or not. I received a long PM from a TTler who told me Malaysia's downside, so at the moment I'm standing back a bit. I'd need to go and properly explore first! But thanks anyway.

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Seriously, that's what irks me in the matter, SP. so many Indians settle in GB (and USA) for a better life, yet the favour is not returned. I could understand them not wanting people of working age who might take jobs from Indians, but retirees bring foreign revenue and actually offer jobs. They pay generously, and also give a lot to charity. They add value.

 

The guys who come up with the laws have no qualification to be framing or passing the laws. Most of them are just knee jerk reactions.

 

The average Indian couldn't care less as to who is coming into the country, they are way too busy with their lives. I can't really think of a job where a non-Indian would be preferred or there is a shortage of qualified Indians (there are a billion+ of us!), so the worry of someone taking over their jobs is non existent. The only foreigners we are worried about coming into our borders are Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (only the ones who are out to cause trouble).

 

I used "they", "their", since I dont live or work in India now.

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@Arunadasi. You should seriously consider the Western Cape province of South Africa. Fantastic weather, beautiful scenery, excellent food and wine for any taste affordable prices and crime is less than anywhere else in South Africa and if you stay out of the areas where the super rich live, you can get a really nice house or apartment for under 200 K euro.

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I respect that you wish to defend a place that you enjoy, but frankly, I'm sensing that you're the one who may be leaning a bit far out the window.

 

Defending Spain! NEVER! I am contractually obliged to never defend Spain- I think it is on the marriage document, right after the section about raising the kids as good Catholics.

 

I'm going to glide past the part about living amongst the "natives" in Spain or Portugal, although as the initiators of the age of discovery that kind of created the category of "native" vs. European it is a bit odd.

 

I'm definitely not overstating what life is like in Porto, Lisbon, or Coimbra. Of course rural Portugal has none of the sorts of amenities that you would expect to find in Basel. It's rural Portugal, it doesn't have much in the way of amenities even by Portuguese standards. Neither does Mississippi- they don't have Boddington's either and also don't Savvy the Ingiliz.

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@BigIg

 

'crime is less that anywhere else in South Africa' does not inspire confidence, unfortunately. Is it actually reasonably safe on a sort of 'normal' scale of expectation?

 

I was going to suggest it myself, my father has happily retired there, but crime has been rife in all the places we have visited, not including the area you have suggested, hence my question...

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1) Florida, America

2) Barbados

3) Cyprus

4) France

5) Italy

6) Mauritius

7) South Africa

8) Spain

9) Switzerland

10)Turkey

 

I guess if you are looking for warm countries you should probably scrape Switzerland, France and maybe Italy too.

 

The ten best places to retire overseas.

 

http://www.telegraph...e-overseas.html

The list above mentions Cyprus. I lived there 4 years before moving here in Germany. Find below a list of pros and cons about Cyprus from my own experience.

 

Pros:

 


  • Nice weather. Mostly more then half year of proper sunshine
    Sea and mountains really close
    Good infrastructure
    Very cheap sundays market fruits and vegetables (you can ged fres bananas for < 1 euro/kg, clemantines < 50 euros / kg )

 

Cons:

 


  • No public transport. This means you are dependent 100% on your car. If car brakes, you are doomed
    No heating in houses. Only AC. Electricity bills will bite you. Same story with hot water.
    Very high prices for housing (for buy or rent).
    Locals complains about crisis (usually foreners are blamed for that) and 'what a paradise Cyprus used to be before joining EU'
    You will need good greek when dealing with public structures (general hospitals, public schools, public insurances). Very important papers are greek only. Beware of that.
    Local are just too relaxed, i.e. vacation mode. Even when dealing with life or death issues (like emergency in hospital, car accident).
    Very bad schooling system. They all study abroad.
    June, July, August are just very very hot. Usually it gets easy > 40 C.

 

 

Conclusions:

 

Cyprus is not a paradise as they like to advertise it (for tourists).

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Interesting list, 4times. UNfortunately, a cold climate really is a deal breaker, no matter how lovely the country is otherwise -- and Switzerland really is gorgeous.

I have to rule out the USA as well, even though I have relatives and friends in Florida and have been there.

 

Barbados: Been there several times, and it's just too touristy. Though once, a few decades ago, I stayed in a little beach house near Bridgetown which belonged to a hotel owned by my aunt. It was a wonderful time. The beach was right on my doorstep, in a little private bay. I've been back a few times since then and the beach house has always been empty, and in a state of disrepair. I last went earlier this year. The house is still empty. The hotel belongs to someone else. I've seriously considered asking if the new owners would sell me that house. I spent several intransit hours on that beach and it remained empty. The only downside is that main road that runs past it (though invisible) and that there are a lot os seaweed deposits. But it's almost like a private beach.

 

But I just don't like touristy places. That's why I like Trinidad -- all the tourists go to Tobago, so the main island remains tourist-free and "normal". I will be checking out Trinidad seriously next time I go to Guyana.

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