Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > New chapter in my life: help wanted

New chapter in my life: help wanted
Thread Tools
jonn804
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 28, 2011, 09:19 PM
 
I am currently planning a new chapter in my life. I'm 52, single male, retired and most of my family has died. I have always wanted to live in some warm paradise with an ocean view. I'm currently fascinated with the Dominican Republic due solely to several episodes of House Hunters International. My requirements are low cost home ownership ($200 to $350 thousand), stable government, pet friendly, decent medical facilities, decent internet access among other things.

Any ideals?
-------------------
Dual G5 2.0, MBP, 23" ACD and 30" ACD, 1 TB storage, iPods
     
Sealobo
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: The Intertube
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 28, 2011, 09:37 PM
 
paradise + ocean view + decent internet access = low cost home ownership

unpossible equation.
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 28, 2011, 09:38 PM
 
Doesn't Atheist live there?
     
Shaddim
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 28, 2011, 11:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Doesn't Atheist live there?
Yep, but I think he's trying to get out.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
imitchellg5
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Washington + Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 28, 2011, 11:46 PM
 
200-350k is low-cost these days?
     
Andy8
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hong Kong
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 28, 2011, 11:52 PM
 
Try Malaysia.

Malaysia Cost of Living

Retirement often brings financial constrains since the income is reduced and future expenses remain uncertain. Therefore; the planning of where to live and retire and how to meet the necessities of life becomes a dilemma. People try to seek shelter after getting retired in some place which would be quite cheaper, where they can spend their last era of life happily and where they can maintain the standard of life.

Malaysia would be a good alternative for those who get to retirement age and want to spend a peaceful life in a beautiful environment with nice warm weather and low taxes. Within Malaysia according to several retirees the cost of living is far cheaper as compared to the western countries like USA and UK. For a retiree in Malaysia, there is great advantage for taxes and no tax is applicable for income earned outside the country. Furthermore; there is no inheritance or capital tax on foreign retirees. The taxes are moderate and the income tax applicable to the citizens of Malaysia provides entitlement to enjoy various benefits and facilities. There is exemption of tax on bringing the personal possessions to Malaysia as a retiree. For bringing VCD and DVDs, however; they charge $4 per item for checking.

English is widely spoken in Malaysia therefore; living there would not create much problem. Malaysia has marvelous infrastructure and a retiree may find all the facilities and luxuries of life they need. Hence you could maintain the standard of living at much cheaper cost than what you are used to.

Malaysia provides very good health services at affordable rates. There are many good hospitals and medical centres which offer marvelous health care at very low cost. The excellent doctors and nurses are always there in the hospitals and medical centres of Malaysia.

Purchasing a property in Malaysia is also far cheaper as compared to UK and USA. A three bed room apartment cost around RM36,000 ($57,000 USD) with the annual assessment of RM58 ($57). Flat rental rates are higher since the landlord has to pay service and assessment charges. Renting a house however; costs less than a flat so that may be the way to go for you.

Utilities are available at much cheaper rate in Malaysia. There is no need for central heating, however; air-condition may be required in the temperate season. With air-conditioning, the total bill of electricity never exceeds from $1000 per annum (yes, $1,000 per year, not per month - compare that to your monthly electric bills). Gas is not supplied to the houses and an LP cylinder of gas costs up to $3. Telephone landline cost is $6 on average per month and the local call rates are $0.004 for the whole minute. The international calls from calling card cost $6 dollars up to 3 and a half hour duration. Postal and airmail charges are also less. The cost of living in Malaysia is cheap!

The Malaysian people are hard working and they give warm welcome to foreigners and retiree to their country. Hence Malaysia would be a marvelous place to spend the life after retirement in order to enjoy all the facilities of life and to avail the benefits at very low rates. Malaysia is truly one of the best places to retire in Asia and around the world.
( Last edited by Andy8; Jun 29, 2011 at 12:09 AM. Reason: added link)
     
el chupacabra
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 12:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
200-350k is low-cost these days?
For a small ocean view apartment style condo north of san diego it's 2.8 million.

350k can buy you one of our ghetto high rise condos with a $400/month-maintenance-fee in central Houston though...

Yeah it's pretty insane what people will pay for things these day; and they say housing isn't a bubble. If you want to get a normal sized house with a yard for the pet, in a safe part of the burbs of a large city then 200k min.

To the OP: Consider some of the islands west of big island Hawaii. If you don't mind vog consider big island.
     
olePigeon
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 02:57 AM
 
Hawai'i is nice.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Atheist
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Back in the Good Ole US of A
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 08:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Doesn't Atheist live there?
That I do! Punta Cana / Bavaro area. Stuck here until they repeal DOMA or pass the UAFA.

To the OP.... gimme a few and I'll follow up with another post with some info on the area and can also provide some insight into living in a developing country. It's not for the feint of heart.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
It's not for the feint of heart.
The more I thought about it, the more I laughed
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
boy8cookie
Mac Elite
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: I'll let you know when I get there...
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 01:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Hawai'i is nice.
Also has the highest cost of living of any state.
     
finboy
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Garden of Paradise Motel, Suite 3D
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 02:22 PM
 
Costa Rica?
     
OAW
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Costa Rica?
That's what I was going to suggest. Low cost of living. Great beaches. And a lot of US ex-pats.

OAW
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 29, 2011, 07:40 PM
 
Key West.
     
Shaddim
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 30, 2011, 12:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Key West.
I doubt $300k would buy a trailer on Stock Island now. Property values are still pretty crazy down there.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 30, 2011, 02:06 AM
 
Cheaper than Hawai'i.

But less plate lunch.
( Last edited by subego; Jun 30, 2011 at 10:34 PM. )
     
The Final Dakar
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 30, 2011, 09:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
Also has the highest cost of living of any state.
...
JERRY: I hear it's ah beautiful there.

MAESTRO: Well if you're thinking of getting a place there don't bother. There's really nothing available.
     
jonn804  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 30, 2011, 08:17 PM
 
Costa Rica is very attractive. Thanks!
-------------------
Dual G5 2.0, MBP, 23" ACD and 30" ACD, 1 TB storage, iPods
     
design219
Professional Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 2, 2011, 11:18 AM
 
This is fascinating. I sometimes wish I could just up and go.

Is there no career / job requirement for the location you seek?
__________________________________________________

My stupid iPhone game: Nesen Probe, it's rather old, annoying and pointless, but it's free.
Was free. Now it's gone. Never to be seen again.
Off to join its brother and sister apps that could not
keep up with the ever updating iOS. RIP Nesen Probe.
     
Atheist
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Back in the Good Ole US of A
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 3, 2011, 03:48 PM
 
jonn804, It's all about educating yourself and managing expectations. I have never been to Costa Rica so I can't really give you any insight. However, there is one difference between Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic that I can speak to. Costa Rica has relatively strict visa requirements. You can only stay 90 days on a tourist visa and must leave for 72 hours before returning. I lived in Sint Maarten with the same restriction. It seems minor but gets costly (especially since there were 2 of us) and there is always the possibility that they will deny you entry upon seeing a series of entry stamps in your passport. Costa Rica has a visa specifically for retirees that requires either a significant investment or proof of a retirement income or investment income. The Dominican Republic has no requirement. It's basically the Wild West here. There have been grumblings for years that this would change but it seems pretty low on the list of priorities. You can stay as long as you want under a tourist visa and when you leave, you pay a tariff based on how long you've been here. It's not very much. If you stay a year and a half it's about US$100. If you choose to get residency, it'll end up costing well over $1000 with the help of a lawyer. I couldn't recommend doing it on your own. This is a developing country (PC for Third World) and things are NEVER as they seem or work as you would expect.

As far as properties are concerned, you could get a very nice place in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. Cost of living is a mixed bag. Local foods and vegetables are inexpensive. Anything imported to the island is crazy expensive. Especially things like electronics. Expect to pay double what you would pay in the States. And don't even think about shipping things into the country. You'll pay a 60% duty plus the shipping costs. It's rarely worth it. (That's one thing I miss about Sint Maarten. They have zero import duties and no sales tax.) Electricity in the East (Punta Cana / Bavaro) is 4 times what I paid in the States but it's pretty much the only place on the island that has 24/7 service. Elsewhere you will have daily outages and will have to have an inverter for backup electricity. If you live on the ocean you'll probably be fine without AC. I'm several miles away and sometimes the heat is oppressive and I can't really afford to use the AC. Make sure you get a propane stove/oven (that is if you cook). My partner and I cook a lot and unfortunately have an electric stove/oven. Our last electricity bill (one month) was over $350. We do use a small AC unit in our bedroom at night. Gasoline is about $6 per gallon. If you move to this area, it would be very difficult to get by without a car. As with electronics, cars are double what you would pay for in the States. The water that comes out of your tap is not potable. You will have to buy bottled water. Most people buy the 5 gallon bottles and have a water cooler/dispenser. It's about a buck-fifty for a single bottle. Now... all that said, you can live on-the-cheap here if that is your bag. But if you want any semblance of your life in the States, it's going to cost you.

Here in the East, it's a little different than elsewhere in the DR. This is because it's primarily made up of All-Inclusive resorts and little else. We receive around 4 million tourists per year yet at times you'd think you were in a ghost-town. That's because the majority of tourists never leave the resorts. There is a small unorganized ex-pat community. Once you become familiar with the area, you will find that there is plenty of things to keep you occupied. The beaches are great. Things have definitely improved recently. In the past 6 months we've had 2 large supermarkets open up as well as a new Shopping plaza with a 7 screen cinema (that even shows movies in 3D). Prior to that you had to buy your food in the tiny mini-markets or drive an hour to Higeuy or 2 hours to La Romana to do your shopping. If you want a taste of a big city you can make the 3 hour drive to Santo Domingo. My partner and I do that a few times a year. It's worth it.

The people are a mixed-bag. One the surface, Dominicans are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. However, what you will soon realize is that culturally they are people pleasers. They say whatever they think you want to hear. So asking for someones advice or opinion is hopeless. And getting a straight answer is next to impossible. Also realize that although you can strike up a conversation and have a pleasant time with the locals you will find you have little in common with them. They are very poor, in almost all cases have never left the DR (and likely never will), are poorly educated, and will see you as their very own ATM. They will invariably have a relative in need and ask for assistance. When I first came, I helped a couple of people out (just as I would in the States) but realized quickly it was a huge mistake. They just keep coming back for more.

If sex it what you are looking for. You've hit the jackpot. Although they are devoutly catholic (they have a freakin' bible on their flag), they are very open with their sexuality. Men are expected to spread their seed everywhere and frequently have children with multiple women. You will have no trouble finding a women for a few pesos. As a "rich" foreigner, you could hit the jackpot with a nice PYT to call your very own. Bear in mind that what these girls really want from you is a green card to the US. But you can have as many of them as you want.

We actually have pretty decent medical facilities and you can get good insurance as well. Definitely pet-friendly. There is a very good vet right in El Corticito. Internet is very reliable and affordable now. I work from home and rely on the internet.

Elections are coming up and the Presidency is probably going to change hands to the opposing party. Many are predicting bad inflation however since you will have an income in dollars it's not going to affect you much. Corruption here is rampant and at all levels.

I've never been concerned about my safety. There has been one death of a tourist in the 2+ years I've lived here. It was a 19 year old guy from Canada that was killed by other Canadians. Bear in mind that it is not uncommon for the Policia Nacional to try to extort a few bucks from you. If stopped, I just speak English, put a stupid look on my face like I don't understand what they are saying and they ultimately just get frustrated and wave me on. It was intimidating at first but now I find it merely a nuisance.

You can get buy without speaking Spanish but it's best you learn a little bit.

If you want to hear more about the DR, I would suggest you visit the DR1 Forums. Bear in mind you will get a widely varying degree of responses...some warning you to stay away, others saying it's the greatest place on earth. I say you should come down and visit several times before you decide to make the move.

Would I recommend this to you? I can't say until I know more about what you expect to find. What do you anticipate your daily life to be like? I'll say it again... this is a developing country and what you see is not always what you get. But as long as you know what you are getting in to, it can be an awesome place to live.

Hope this helps.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 5, 2011, 06:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
It was a 19 year old guy from Canada that was killed by other Canadians.
Typical Canadians.
     
Doofy
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vacation.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 5, 2011, 07:13 AM
 
Uruguay. I saw a beach-front 2 acre plot go for $800 not so long back. That's $800, not $800,000.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Phileas
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 5, 2011, 08:54 AM
 
Uruguay is a great choice. Stable, liberal, mild weather, decent medical facilities. If ever I were to find myself in a situation where I'd want to live somewhere on a beach it would be in my top three choices, together with Chile. You do need to speak Spanish though, otherwise it's hard to get by.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 5, 2011, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
Hope this helps.
You know, I'm not planning on moving anywhere, but it helped me by being interesting and informative.
     
Doofy
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vacation.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 5, 2011, 09:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
You will have no trouble finding a women for a few pesos. As a "rich" foreigner, you could hit the jackpot with a nice PYT to call your very own.
So, just like the good old US and A then.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:15 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,