Personal Finance

Are you considering a retirement in a third world country?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 6th, 2018 10:20 pm
[OP]
Penalty Box
User avatar
Dec 13, 2016
2364 posts
1811 upvotes

Are you considering a retirement in a third world country?

Just curious as over the years I have seen a few posts from people who do.

I am of an opinion that it's a huge mistake and you should only do it if you are bored and extremely wealthy. I will lay out my reasons if the discussion develops, but would like to hear from RFD posters first.
218 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2014
1402 posts
449 upvotes
YVR, BC
I was thinking of buying a place overseas spending 9 months out of Canada per year in retirement? probably about 5-7 yrs from now.
Newbie
Jan 19, 2018
45 posts
9 upvotes
We have thought about it, though not sure as retirement is far away...
Though primary factor is quality of healthcare in the country and cost of living...
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
3010 posts
792 upvotes
Ottawa
604nation wrote:
Sep 6th, 2018 8:33 pm
I was thinking of buying a place overseas spending 9 months out of Canada per year in retirement? probably about 5-7 yrs from now.
9 months outside Canada? You'll lose your health benefits, and Canada will question your residency status.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
3010 posts
792 upvotes
Ottawa
I am retired, and would never consider living anywhere else. Family (including our dog, Maggie) and friends are all here! We travel about a month/year, it's great being retired!
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2014
1402 posts
449 upvotes
YVR, BC
OttawaGardener wrote:
Sep 6th, 2018 9:01 pm
9 months outside Canada? You'll lose your health benefits, and Canada will question your residency status.
3-6-9 months it would be fluid.....

We have friends who bought a condo in Malaysia, good health care, money goes far and a excellent jumping point for travel - when they are back in Canada they Airbnb the place and cover 50% of the costs.
Deal Addict
May 15, 2013
1418 posts
264 upvotes
Montreal
OttawaGardener wrote:
Sep 6th, 2018 9:01 pm
9 months outside Canada? You'll lose your health benefits, and Canada will question your residency status.
Lol. If you retire abroad means your new place of residence is not anymore in Canada where when you come back is as a visitor - non resident.
You are supposed to have access to the health system of the country you are living in.
Deal Addict
May 15, 2013
1418 posts
264 upvotes
Montreal
BiegeToyota wrote:
Sep 6th, 2018 7:58 pm
Just curious as over the years I have seen a few posts from people who do.

I am of an opinion that it's a huge mistake and you should only do it if you are bored and extremely wealthy. I will lay out my reasons if the discussion develops, but would like to hear from RFD posters first.
I'd do it only to the country I was born because I have family and friends and the life is cheaper. However, I don't think I would move permanently just living there around 4 months per year. There are other factors to be taking in consideration.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 3, 2008
6791 posts
2662 upvotes
Malaysia (specifically Kuala Lumpur, or a suburb like Klang, PJ, etc.) has a great mix of affordability, modern healthcare, shopping/malls/infrastructure, cheap and fast mobile data and tasty food. Loss of access to Canadian healthcare is a con, but healthcare insurance may give you access to private healthcare services and much shorter wait times.

The only catch is that it's hot and humid year-round. And you'll miss shoveling snow after a while.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 19, 2016
649 posts
198 upvotes
Toronto
Can you define "extremely wealthy" ?
Is that someone worth $500,000 or $1m or 2m or ?

BiegeToyota wrote:
Sep 6th, 2018 7:58 pm
Just curious as over the years I have seen a few posts from people who do.

I am of an opinion that it's a huge mistake and you should only do it if you are bored and extremely wealthy. I will lay out my reasons if the discussion develops, but would like to hear from RFD posters first.
[OP]
Penalty Box
User avatar
Dec 13, 2016
2364 posts
1811 upvotes
So, basically it all comes down to western lifestyle, prices and healthcare.

I was calculating how much I spend as a single guy in Toronto a month (which is supposed to be an expensive city) vs how much I spend in Bangkok.

After paying off my mortgage my expenses are

396 for condo fees which includes electricity

130 for property tax

45 for unlimited internet

10.99 plus tax for netflix

(I didn't get a cable or a phone as I might be leaving soon)

700 a month on food which includes a lot of organic stuff (something you will not find easily overseas).

That's $1,282 total.

One could say you have no life on this amount, but the thing is you wouldn't have it in a third world country either.

Anyway, this is roughly what I spend in Thailand on food only which does not even come close to quality and variety I have here in Canada. In Thailand I have housing taken care of and I don't even pay any utilities.... yet I spend more. Of course, if you want to live like a poor Thai, eating noodles and developing all kind of diseases because you will....as you have been pampered all your life in Canada then it is possible to live on a lot less.

I suffer from a non stop acid reflux, so I am absolutely convinced that Canadian food quality standards are about million times better than in Asia.

The biggest issue is healthcare. It is not cheap. You may get away with small things for cheap like broken leg, food poisoning and other minor aliments (provided there are no complications), but if you develop anything even remotely serious which requires hospitalization, expect your savings to dry up really fast. Cancer treatment will definitely bankrupt you, because unlike in Canada where you will receive a multi million treatment free of charge in a foreign country they will try and find ways to pad your bill and rip you off. BTW, I have spent some time in Kuala Lumpur also. While a bit cheaper than Thailand, the healthcare is not cheap.

But, but.... there is insurance you say. Except for anyone over 60, there really isn't. Very few insurers will insure expats over 70 (and very often over 60) and if they do you will pay huge premiums and the stuff like cancer treatments will often be excluded. This is a cold hard fact that many expats with insurance are not even aware of.

There is a lot more. This is just the stuff off the top of my head.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 6, 2017
180 posts
57 upvotes
Definitely. Scram out during winter months(3-4) and be back for Late spring/summer/fall.
Just one more deal.... :twisted:
[OP]
Penalty Box
User avatar
Dec 13, 2016
2364 posts
1811 upvotes
^

That's a vacation. You will still be a resident of Canada.

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