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An older man contemplates the road ahead
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Duke Main Offline
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An older man contemplates the road ahead
I hope this will be useful, or at least enjoyable for some of you. Selfishly, I’m sure I’ll get some valuable feedback that will help me shape some future decisions.

I’m almost 58 years old, in good health, caucasian, airline pilot, father and grandfather. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I find myself in a pretty good position so far. I have a nice 401k nest egg in addition to a military retirement check that will start when I’m 60 and I’ll probably start collecting (US) social security as soon as I can at age 62. On the negative side of the ledger I have to pay alimony for nearly 5 more years and I’m a bit upside down on a piece of land in AZ purchased in 2005.

My job is lucrative and enjoyable most of the time, but I want to retire for a couple of reasons. The job ties me to the USA. I don’t have strong game, and even if I did, it’s rough for us older sports models in the states. The other main issue is health. As I said before, my health is good but I don’t think my job is conducive to long term health. I’m exposed to fumes, chemicals, stale recycled air, microbes, elecromagnetic and gamma rays. During a normal 3 day trip I start to feel like shit on day 3 and have to spend the following day recovering. Then it’s 3 more days off (which is nice) and back at it.

My tentative plan is to keep working for 2 more years, then retire. I can see all this more or less clearly. The next step is a little hazy.

I’d like to retire in SE Asia; Thailand, Vietnam or the Philippines. They each have different pros and cons but they’re all great for an aging westerner. One major drawback that they all have is the inability to own land. I want to live in a rural or semi rural area and have a little organic farm. You can get a long term (25 to 30 years I think) lease, or you can marry a local and buy the land for her. The potential for problems is obvious.

I’m also drawn to S America, specifically western Argentina. I speak Spanish, I enjoy wine culture, I like the idea of living in the southern hemisphere, and I can own the land. I haven’t been to Argentina yet, but so far it seems like the best Latin American location for me based on my preferences. The places I’ve been in Latin America just don’t have the same vibrant social life for an old gringo like SE Asia, and I doubt Argentina is much different in that regard.

I guess that more or less sums up my dilemma. If I have a farm in S America I won’t be able to spend as much time in Asia as I’d like. If I live in SE Asia it will be more complicated to have a farm.

And there’s one more big thing. I’m the main father figure in my oldest grandson’s life. His father died recently, and I want to be in a position to spend a lot of time with him for the next 5 or 6 years. It’s actually another point if favor of S America because if I had a place down there I could probably convince my daughter to live there with me for at least a couple years to give my grandson that experience.

I’ve kind of rambled on. Feel free to comment or give suggestions. I’ll respond and add to this as required.
04-13-2019 10:46 PM
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Bienvenuto Offline
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Post: #2
RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
YMMV with my advice as:

I have never been to the Philippines
I have never been to South America.

Also.. I have Yellow Fever.

I would try visiting Vietnam before trying Thailand.

Spending a lot of time in Thailand kind of poisoned my Vietnam experience as Thailand is far more adjusted to Western expats and the Thais have retained their religion and folklore which I believe has led them to be warmer and more open hearted than the Viet (although there are cultural differences)

If you drop a cent below financially solvent in Thailand it is a brutal experience, they have no tolerance for a broke foreigner (which gives an indication as to the reason for and to the extent of the welcome you will get in SE Asia. It is tied to your wealth and you will always be an alien.)

There's alot of good in Vietnam, its a case of finding where suits you best.

The Philippines I have a relative with a great place in Puerta Galera. He has lived there for 30 years. The corruption and the bureaucratic problems he talks about at length. I get the impression that the violence and corruption is far worse there than Thailand or Vietnam.
But he loves it.

Argentina I hear is very repressed culturally compared to neighbours like Brazil - especially coming from the honeypot for expats that SE Asia is.

Can you speak Spanish? In Thailand the Thais actually resent it if you learn too much Thai. English is fine.
The Viets love it if you learn Vietnamese (hard as balls) but in the main areas you can get by fine with English.

I don't know, in Argentina over time you may get some staunch buddies in a traditionally right wing country with values not unlike the Mid West. But are you going to get the Mujeres in any way that is easier than it was in the states? There's vineyards in the US, there's staunch friendly people in the Mid West.

My two cents.
04-14-2019 01:47 AM
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Thomas the Rhymer Offline
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
Why is land ownership important to you?

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04-14-2019 06:58 AM
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Tully Mars Offline
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
I’d like to retire in SE Asia; Thailand, Vietnam or the Philippines. They each have different pros and cons but they’re all great for an aging westerner. One major drawback that they all have is the inability to own land. I want to live in a rural or semi rural area and have a little organic farm. You can get a long term (25 to 30 years I think) lease, or you can marry a local and buy the land for her. The potential for problems is obvious.

Great post. I am about 15-20 years behind you. I share a few of your ideas but not the land part. I agree there is no better place to be an older retired man with a decent retirement than SEA. I prefer Thailand more so for the comradery with other open minded men at that stage in there lives. The hard part is keeping a healthy balance and not becoming a full fledge whore monger or booze hound. It takes discipline and hobbies or sports to keep you active. But they are available which is great also at a cheap price.....never understood those that want to retire in a gated golf community in Florida...place you go to die not live! Finally the last warning which You already know is the old saying "never invest in Thailand unless you are prepared to one day walk away from it with nothing in return".


I’m also drawn to S America, specifically western Argentina. I speak Spanish, I enjoy wine culture, I like the idea of living in the southern hemisphere, and I can own the land. I haven’t been to Argentina yet, but so far it seems like the best Latin American location for me based on my preferences. The places I’ve been in Latin America just don’t have the same vibrant social life for an old gringo like SE Asia, and I doubt Argentina is much different in that regard.

I also plan to keep a stake in South America but for me it will be Colombia or possibly Venezuela. I would want a warmer city away from the gringo invasion in MDE.... (Cali, Santader, or Coffee region,).... kicking around a few places in my mind but not settled on one yet. I love the big city life but I feel I will tire of this as I get older as I reside in Bogota.

I guess that more or less sums up my dilemma. If I have a farm in S America I won’t be able to spend as much time in Asia as I’d like. If I live in SE Asia it will be more complicated to have a farm.

This is where I feel you can have the best of both worlds. I have a few retired friends that reside in "tierra caliente" 3-4 hours outside Bogota with nice pieces of land (Fincas)...(in La Mesa, Villeta, Melgar and one married couple that own an amazing piece of land in Villa De Leyva with rentals/eco-lodges) You can always pay the local families to watch the property while away or even rent them out as many do....a bit like a property manager at a reasonable rate. On your retirement it would be more than possible.

And there’s one more big thing. I’m the main father figure in my oldest grandson’s life. His father died recently, and I want to be in a position to spend a lot of time with him for the next 5 or 6 years. It’s actually another point if favor of S America because if I had a place down there I could probably convince my daughter to live there with me for at least a couple years to give my grandson that experience.

I think I gave you advice on this in another thread. The schooling issue will be the biggest stumbling block. Read up on the repat thread with Colin Post. However, flights to and from Colombia are easy and close to USA for long summer breaks or vice versa.

My final plan which is still a plan... is to have a paid for small condo in USA near family and friends. To spend 3-4 months a year late summer-fall. 3-4 months in Colombia-Venezuela, and 3-4 months a year in Thailand. Renting in Thailand, and if I find a small decent apt in an area I like in Colombia/Venezuela buying there.
04-14-2019 08:44 AM
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Sp5 Offline
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
Welcome to reserve retirement at 60! I just recently got that first check and blue ID card, and it's great.

Having spent time in Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam, I wouldn't recommend them as permanent retirement residences.

Supposedly you can own land in Thailand through provisions of the US-Thai trade treaty if you buy through a Thai corporation which Americans can own 100% or at least majority own. I don't know all the details, you'd have to consult a lawyer.

But the whole vibe, police corruption and possible violence, hanging out with burned-out expats, and cultural isolation just wears me down after awhile. I definitely would not live in the Philippines in a rural area.

I don't know S. America, I'm planning a trip later this year.

I have another suggestion: since you speak Spanish and want to farm, why not Spain itself?

1. Rural property and ready made farmhouses can be cheap. You can own land.
2. Decent rule of law. Low crime rate.
3. Polite people, interesting culture, and gastronomy
4. Advanced transportation infrastructure
5. Easy flight connections to Asia, S. America, and USA. Ryanair, EasyJet, etc make going to other parts of Europe super-cheap.
6. Medical care is western standard and you can access with Tricare
7. Climate is varied but in optimal range
8. Two US bases in the south, Rota and Moron, provide access to services, including medical care, PX, and Space-A flights to USA and other destinations in Europe.

I don't think residency visas are a big problem, just proof of income and health insurance.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019 10:06 AM by Sp5.)
04-14-2019 09:24 AM
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Duke Main Offline
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 01:47 AM)Bienvenuto Wrote:  I would try visiting Vietnam before trying Thailand.

Spending a lot of time in Thailand kind of poisoned my Vietnam experience as Thailand is far more adjusted to Western expats and the Thais have retained their religion and folklore which I believe has led them to be warmer and more open hearted than the Viet (although there are cultural differences)

If you drop a cent below financially solvent in Thailand it is a brutal experience, they have no tolerance for a broke foreigner (which gives an indication as to the reason for and to the extent of the welcome you will get in SE Asia. It is tied to your wealth and you will always be an alien.)

There's alot of good in Vietnam, its a case of finding where suits you best.

The Philippines I have a relative with a great place in Puerta Galera. He has lived there for 30 years. The corruption and the bureaucratic problems he talks about at length. I get the impression that the violence and corruption is far worse there than Thailand or Vietnam.
But he loves it.

Argentina I hear is very repressed culturally compared to neighbours like Brazil - especially coming from the honeypot for expats that SE Asia is.

Can you speak Spanish? In Thailand the Thais actually resent it if you learn too much Thai. English is fine.
The Viets love it if you learn Vietnamese (hard as balls) but in the main areas you can get by fine with English.

I don't know, in Argentina over time you may get some staunch buddies in a traditionally right wing country with values not unlike the Mid West. But are you going to get the Mujeres in any way that is easier than it was in the states? There's vineyards in the US, there's staunch friendly people in the Mid West.

My two cents.

I really enjoyed Vietnam on my short 2 week visit to Saigon and Nha Trang. I need to check out Dalat.

Thailand has high quality medical care available, more so than it's neighbors. This could be a big factor. I have several Thai friends and I feel very comfortable in Thailand.

Filipinas are a lot of fun and they speak English. One possible scenario for me would be a Filipina LTR going back and forth between the Philippines and Thailand.

I speak Spanish. I still need to get boots on the ground in Argentina as I'm only speculating now.
04-14-2019 09:37 AM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
Duke, if you're interested in Argentina or rural living in South America I would suggest making an account on workaway.info when the time comes and volunteering on a few farms first. Even at your age it doesnt matter, people are happy to have the help. Rural South America is a whole different ball game. I spent time on farms in western Argentina. Beautiful country, but before committing to buying a plot of land to farm on it would behoove anyone to seriously spend some time and see that side of the culture and all of the idiosyncrasies and strangeness that we as Americans leave us scratching our heads in frustration. I'm talking about work ethics, laziness, treatment of animals (horses in Argentina are great, but instead of being terrified, they're Argiefied, heh) theft, people seeing you as a walking dollar sign, people selling their kids off, trash everywhere, incompetent legal system. And just general incompetence all around. On one farm I was at there was a pretty serious fire, and the local fire department wasn't answering their phones! We had to use buckets of pool water. Siesta culture in the pampas is nice, but not always. I knew an Aussie man in Argentina who naiively bought a small farm without even stepping foot in Argentina beforehand. He said it was the greatest single mistake of his life and as far as I know he's still trapped there because no one wanted to buy it.

But not only can you familiarize yourself with a part of the culture many don't see, you can learn your farming skills in the process and have a retirement adventure and make some priceless memories.

God speed.

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(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019 09:55 AM by Spectrumwalker.)
04-14-2019 09:38 AM
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Duke Main Offline
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 06:58 AM)Thomas the Rhymer Wrote:  Why is land ownership important to you?

I like the idea of having a "bolthole" in a country far away from the USA, Western Europe and China. Billionaires go to New Zealand apparently, but I can't afford that so S America is my choice for now.

I want to be able to manage and change things to my specifications which is more problematic with a lease.

I want to trade some of my US dollars for something tangible that can't be inflated in to oblivion.

Having said all that, there's an argument to be made in favor of renting and being able to move at the drop of a hat.
04-14-2019 09:43 AM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 09:43 AM)Duke Main Wrote:  
(04-14-2019 06:58 AM)Thomas the Rhymer Wrote:  Why is land ownership important to you?

I like the idea of having a "bolthole" in a country far away from the USA, Western Europe and China. Billionaires go to New Zealand apparently, but I can't afford that so S America is my choice for now.

I want to be able to manage and change things to my specifications which is more problematic with a lease.

I want to trade some of my US dollars for something tangible that can't be inflated in to oblivion.

Having said all that, there's an argument to be made in favor of renting and being able to move at the drop of a hat.

I'm 8 years behind in age you but ready to check out of being stuck (nearly) full time in an office in the US (less than a year left before I start on the expat trail in earnest). I like the idea of renting versus owning in foreign countries because, as you mentioned, it does allow for flexibility. In addition, renting allows you "buy more" in the sense of access to higher quality neighborhoods and properties where outright purchasing may restrict you. Further, if quality dating options are important to you (they are critical to me), then staying flexible by renting does allow you to move your home base to where you can take advantage of "love" arbitrage if a particular dating market is or becomes unfavorable to you. As Tully touched on, if Medellín reaches saturation where I find it difficult to meet and mate with sexy women, relocating to Eje Cafetero or Cali is easily done.

Regarding investments, I do have several cash-flowing properties in suburban Washington, D.C. which act as a retirement lifestyle enhancer and partial inflation hedge. Smartly, it sounds like you have a "bucket theory" of investing where you have several buckets of funds and/or streams of income. That should really be all you need for a pleasant lifestyle outside of the western world.
04-14-2019 10:30 AM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-13-2019 10:46 PM)Duke Main Wrote:  I’m almost 58 years old, in good health, caucasian, airline pilot, father and grandfather. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I find myself in a pretty good position so far. I have a nice 401k nest egg in addition to a military retirement check that will start when I’m 60 and I’ll probably start collecting (US) social security as soon as I can at age 62. On the negative side of the ledger I have to pay alimony for nearly 5 more years and I’m a bit upside down on a piece of land in AZ purchased in 2005.

P.S. you may want to consider deferring social security withdrawals until age 70 when your benefit will increase considerably, especially if 401K and military pension support your lifestyle goals until that time. Might want to run the numbers on the SSA site to be sure.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019 10:41 AM by ManOfTheTimes.)
04-14-2019 10:37 AM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
1. Country

Having been to all 3 countries, if it's between Thailand, Vietnam or the Phils then Thailand will win hands down on virtually every front.

Phils would come out ahead in two areas: English speaking ability and ridiculous ease of getting laid like a rockstar (even as an older dude).

But nowadays in the main cities of Thailand you don't really need to speak Thai, they speak English.

There's a lot of beautiful rural land available and you can pick locales that are close but not too close to major hubs. Down in Phuket you've got the beach but there are also jungles and beautiful areas up in the hills, including folks who grow all sorts of crops like pineapple, rubber, all kinds of fruit, lettuce (this is mostly done hydroponically), etc.

Thailand also has the best infrastructure and you can get nice Western amenities. The younger generation takes some of its cues from Western hipsters and there's good coffee, organic food, etc., to be found.

Thailand also has a wide diversity of different types of land and topography. Up in the North there are tons of farms growing absolutely everything including great coffee and I'm told great opium. The main negative up there is the slash and burn farming has become so prevalent that it makes the province of Chiang mai and surrounding provinces virtually uninhabitable due to the insanely bad air quality during the burning season. And really, even outside of the burning season there are people burning stuff and the AQI is never better than 'moderate' on the AirVisual app.

I would say the North, Chiang Mai in particular, is probably the most universally livable place in Thailand. And Bangkok, the islands, the beach, etc., aren't more than an hour or two by air.

Bangkok is pretty cool but only if you're loaded and only if nature isn't a huge priority for you. But once you get out of the metro area there's a lot of wonderful land. Chonburi for example is famous for its Durian farms. Pattaya is famous for its nightlife and ridiculous abundance of working girls. But it's also a very beautiful place with tons of land (mostly being snapped up by Russians) and beaches and generally very pleasant.

In the South you've got Phuket as the main city but if you go just north of Phuket you get to Phang-nga which is absolutely stunning (https://www.google.com/search?q=phang+nga => select images). Tons of land there of all kinds.

There's also Samui island which is small enough to be quaint and remote, and big enough so you don't feel like you're totally in the sticks. Pristine beaches, jungle canopy, mountains and waterfalls all in one gorgeous place.

The people of Thailand have many facets, some of which are unpleasant. But on the whole they are absolutely lovely, warm, playful, caring and simple people. And the way they continue to welcome foreigners and retain a smile despite the horrid representatives some expats and tourists make to their home countries, is almost saintlike!

Pinoys are nice enough (half of my family is pinoy) but they're more confrontational. Viets can be downright pugnacious although perhaps the most direct, and consequently the most "real".

Based on my experience, and I admit it could be broader especially as concerns the Phils, but based on 7 years in SEA I will say that Thailand wins hands down, it's not even close.

There's also plenty of international schools and good education to be had but you need to pony up the cash to get it. You can't own land officially but unofficially you can. You can own buildings outright (just not the land that they sit on). And as with all things in Southeast Asia, if you pay the right people you'll be fine.

I don't think you'd have any trouble convincing any of your family members to come spend time in Thailand. It's a playground. And not to mention, you have many more options to travel internationally within Asia from Thailand as a base, than from Argentina. Which as a pilot I'm sure you know perfectly well but it bears repeating for other readers.

Finally, Thai women are great. They've got their flaws and quirks but if you are a good leader, a good provider, and have a lot of patience, a Thai woman will take very good care of you.

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(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019 10:42 AM by VincentVinturi.)
04-14-2019 10:41 AM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
Am posting these links because this guy did pretty much what you wanted in Thailand, making himself self sufficient in Thailand growing his own food and building his own natural home on a little homestead.

You might have to root around on his blog or his Youtube channel to get the particulars of his situation, but I am pretty sure that he befriended some Thais and they let him do all his natural building and Permaculture mad science projects on their land.

Quote:In 2005 Owen fell in love with Thailand and decided to live there permanently. Along with continuing to pursue his interests in natural building, he taught English as a second language at several learning centers in Thailand. He established a close relationship with a Thai family and experimented with several earthbag projects on their property. Owen also established a productive food forest and became an advocate for sustainable agriculture.

http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/owen-...lishments/




His homestead channel:





His natural building channel:






He seemed to have no problem getting access to land and doing whatever he wanted to do on it, though he didn't own it.

Unfortunately, and this is the cautionary aspect of the story, he got sick while traveling to Cambodia to deal with visa issues, and returned to his hometown to the hospital in his village in Thailand and died there.

This was a report on his situation just before he died:

Quote:Owen Geiger could use our help. He is currently in a hospital in Sakhon Nakhon, Thailand, the town where he has made his home for the last dozen years. Owen fell ill in mid August, 2018, while traveling in Cambodia in order to comply with visa requirements. He became very weak while treating what he thought was intestinal parasites and eventually had to be transported by ambulance to a local hospital. The Thai family that Owen had been living with immediately responded by helping him return to his home town via several other ambulance trips.



Over the first couple of weeks Owen was sustained by tube feeding and artificial breathing, as he seemed to have an infection in his lungs. Now he is breathing and eating on his own, but is still quite weak and can barely talk. He does seem be slowly improving. All of this medical attention has cost Owen and his Thai family several thousand dollars.



Unfortunately the clock is ticking with how long Owen can remain in Thailand under his current visa situation. Even though Owen has found his home in that country and has created a homestead with an amazing food forest with a caring family, the government still considers him a tourist. What he needs in order to become a permanent resident with a retirement visa is about $25,000 in his personal bank account.

https://permies.com/t/92942/Crowdfunding...manitarian

I would hate to fall sick so far from home mostly among strangers, and for all the great stuff he did for himself and others around the world, it all vanished in a puff of smoke in a very short time.

Could happen at home too, but it's at least at home.

This isn't to put a damper on your idea because you will probably have things sorted better than he did and more money, and it sounds like his death was pretty bad luck too.

Just couldn't post all the other videos without including that part.

Still tons of good videos on his channels, and his blog was really good too:

Quote:We’ve been making steady progress on our recycled wood house and forest garden. Some of you might remember my earlier blog post about this project. The primary goal of our homestead is to become largely food self sufficient due to all the chemicals and other unhealthy things in the food supply today. A secondary goal is to have a little country house where we can hang out on weekends and days off. So far we’re fairly close to our hoped for budget even though the house grew a bit here and there (don’t they always).

[Image: recycled-wood-house-Nov-2013.jpg]

http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/cost-...ood-house/

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(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019 12:32 PM by debeguiled.)
04-14-2019 12:18 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-13-2019 10:46 PM)Duke Main Wrote:  I hope this will be useful, or at least enjoyable for some of you. Selfishly, I’m sure I’ll get some valuable feedback that will help me shape some future decisions.

I’m almost 58 years old, in good health, caucasian, airline pilot, father and grandfather. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I find myself in a pretty good position so far. I have a nice 401k nest egg in addition to a military retirement check that will start when I’m 60 and I’ll probably start collecting (US) social security as soon as I can at age 62. On the negative side of the ledger I have to pay alimony for nearly 5 more years and I’m a bit upside down on a piece of land in AZ purchased in 2005.

My job is lucrative and enjoyable most of the time, but I want to retire for a couple of reasons. The job ties me to the USA. I don’t have strong game, and even if I did, it’s rough for us older sports models in the states. The other main issue is health. As I said before, my health is good but I don’t think my job is conducive to long term health. I’m exposed to fumes, chemicals, stale recycled air, microbes, elecromagnetic and gamma rays. During a normal 3 day trip I start to feel like shit on day 3 and have to spend the following day recovering. Then it’s 3 more days off (which is nice) and back at it.

My tentative plan is to keep working for 2 more years, then retire. I can see all this more or less clearly. The next step is a little hazy.

I’d like to retire in SE Asia; Thailand, Vietnam or the Philippines. They each have different pros and cons but they’re all great for an aging westerner. One major drawback that they all have is the inability to own land. I want to live in a rural or semi rural area and have a little organic farm. You can get a long term (25 to 30 years I think) lease, or you can marry a local and buy the land for her. The potential for problems is obvious.

I’m also drawn to S America, specifically western Argentina. I speak Spanish, I enjoy wine culture, I like the idea of living in the southern hemisphere, and I can own the land. I haven’t been to Argentina yet, but so far it seems like the best Latin American location for me based on my preferences. The places I’ve been in Latin America just don’t have the same vibrant social life for an old gringo like SE Asia, and I doubt Argentina is much different in that regard.

I guess that more or less sums up my dilemma. If I have a farm in S America I won’t be able to spend as much time in Asia as I’d like. If I live in SE Asia it will be more complicated to have a farm.

And there’s one more big thing. I’m the main father figure in my oldest grandson’s life. His father died recently, and I want to be in a position to spend a lot of time with him for the next 5 or 6 years. It’s actually another point if favor of S America because if I had a place down there I could probably convince my daughter to live there with me for at least a couple years to give my grandson that experience.

I’ve kind of rambled on. Feel free to comment or give suggestions. I’ll respond and add to this as required.
OP you have no reason to own land and owning property is always risky in a 3rd world country. That being said I would recommend Philippines for you. I never have been there but for YOU it would be best because they speak English and as a military retire I heard hospitals TAKE your health insurance and you will have other military retirees to hang out with.
04-14-2019 03:03 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
I'd vote for Thailand, it is old man paradise, is cheap, cheerful and has great medical and the beautiful thai people and culture.

But before you make a big decision, its very easy to just try before you buy.

Take a six month lease, and check out the long term look and feel.

You can buy property on 99 year lease. Do not under any circumstances buy through a wife or the fake corporation route - these may backfire on you.

As good as it sounds to go rural, I'd suggest you would be happier in a 100K condo 100m from the beach, with restaurants, massage, bars and entertainment all within 5 mins walk.

Many an old western guy has had the time of his life with this set up.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019 04:22 PM by RatInTheWoods.)
04-14-2019 04:21 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
Hey Duke,

I'm about your age. Congrats on a good life.

I'm going to vote for whatever is best for your grandson. He needs you. Everything you can do for him will be paid back to you tenfold, in joy and expansion of your own soul.

Remember that kids are in bad shape these days. We've left them an economy that is a shadow of what was handed to us by our parents. Because his father died, your grandson is in pretty bad danger, to put it bluntly. Nobody in US society is on "his side" -- quite the opposite. Every single thing in our world today is laid open to trap and destroy his life. It's the reverse image of the world you and I grew up in. He could end up in jail, drug addicted, homeless, etc. The military isn't even a refuge any more in many cases.

I don't know the particulars so apologies if this is overstating the case.
04-14-2019 06:28 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 08:44 AM)Tully Mars Wrote:  My final plan which is still a plan... is to have a paid for small condo in USA near family and friends. To spend 3-4 months a year late summer-fall. 3-4 months in Colombia-Venezuela, and 3-4 months a year in Thailand. Renting in Thailand, and if I find a small decent apt in an area I like in Colombia/Venezuela buying there.

Thanks for a great response. I like the idea of 2 or 3 bases of operations (3 might be too much hassle the older I get). Ideally those places would be closer together than Argentina and Thailand, but we'll see how things shake out.
04-14-2019 08:26 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 09:38 AM)Spectrumwalker Wrote:  Duke, if you're interested in Argentina or rural living in South America I would suggest making an account on workaway.info when the time comes and volunteering on a few farms first. Even at your age it doesnt matter, people are happy to have the help. Rural South America is a whole different ball game. I spent time on farms in western Argentina. Beautiful country, but before committing to buying a plot of land to farm on it would behoove anyone to seriously spend some time and see that side of the culture and all of the idiosyncrasies and strangeness that we as Americans leave us scratching our heads in frustration. I'm talking about work ethics, laziness, treatment of animals (horses in Argentina are great, but instead of being terrified, they're Argiefied, heh) theft, people seeing you as a walking dollar sign, people selling their kids off, trash everywhere, incompetent legal system. And just general incompetence all around. On one farm I was at there was a pretty serious fire, and the local fire department wasn't answering their phones! We had to use buckets of pool water. Siesta culture in the pampas is nice, but not always. I knew an Aussie man in Argentina who naiively bought a small farm without even stepping foot in Argentina beforehand. He said it was the greatest single mistake of his life and as far as I know he's still trapped there because no one wanted to buy it.

But not only can you familiarize yourself with a part of the culture many don't see, you can learn your farming skills in the process and have a retirement adventure and make some priceless memories.

God speed.

*Edit...post theme music.


Thank you for the specific info about western Argentina, and for the theme music LOL. I want to check out some smaller towns around Mendoza. Have you read any of Bill Bonner's material. He has a big ranch in a remote corner of Salta province. It sounds like he has some good workers but the problems stem from the indigenous people who want "their" land back. It seems like you could avoid this by having a smaller property closer to civilization but I'd like to get your opinion. I'll check out the volunteer website you mentioned.
04-14-2019 08:40 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 10:37 AM)ManOfTheTimes Wrote:  
(04-13-2019 10:46 PM)Duke Main Wrote:  

P.S. you may want to consider deferring social security withdrawals until age 70 when your benefit will increase considerably, especially if 401K and military pension support your lifestyle goals until that time. Might want to run the numbers on the SSA site to be sure.

I think I have a good shot at making it to age 90+ in which case deferring ss payments would make sense IF you believe it will still exist and the payments will meaningfully keep up with inflation. I have my doubts about all of that, but that's another thread.
04-14-2019 08:46 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 10:41 AM)VincentVinturi Wrote:  1. Country

Having been to all 3 countries, if it's between Thailand, Vietnam or the Phils then Thailand will win hands down on virtually every front.

Phils would come out ahead in two areas: English speaking ability and ridiculous ease of getting laid like a rockstar (even as an older dude).

But nowadays in the main cities of Thailand you don't really need to speak Thai, they speak English.

There's a lot of beautiful rural land available and you can pick locales that are close but not too close to major hubs. Down in Phuket you've got the beach but there are also jungles and beautiful areas up in the hills, including folks who grow all sorts of crops like pineapple, rubber, all kinds of fruit, lettuce (this is mostly done hydroponically), etc.

Thailand also has the best infrastructure and you can get nice Western amenities. The younger generation takes some of its cues from Western hipsters and there's good coffee, organic food, etc., to be found.

Thailand also has a wide diversity of different types of land and topography. Up in the North there are tons of farms growing absolutely everything including great coffee and I'm told great opium. The main negative up there is the slash and burn farming has become so prevalent that it makes the province of Chiang mai and surrounding provinces virtually uninhabitable due to the insanely bad air quality during the burning season. And really, even outside of the burning season there are people burning stuff and the AQI is never better than 'moderate' on the AirVisual app.

I would say the North, Chiang Mai in particular, is probably the most universally livable place in Thailand. And Bangkok, the islands, the beach, etc., aren't more than an hour or two by air.

Bangkok is pretty cool but only if you're loaded and only if nature isn't a huge priority for you. But once you get out of the metro area there's a lot of wonderful land. Chonburi for example is famous for its Durian farms. Pattaya is famous for its nightlife and ridiculous abundance of working girls. But it's also a very beautiful place with tons of land (mostly being snapped up by Russians) and beaches and generally very pleasant.

In the South you've got Phuket as the main city but if you go just north of Phuket you get to Phang-nga which is absolutely stunning (https://www.google.com/search?q=phang+nga => select images). Tons of land there of all kinds.

There's also Samui island which is small enough to be quaint and remote, and big enough so you don't feel like you're totally in the sticks. Pristine beaches, jungle canopy, mountains and waterfalls all in one gorgeous place.

The people of Thailand have many facets, some of which are unpleasant. But on the whole they are absolutely lovely, warm, playful, caring and simple people. And the way they continue to welcome foreigners and retain a smile despite the horrid representatives some expats and tourists make to their home countries, is almost saintlike!

Pinoys are nice enough (half of my family is pinoy) but they're more confrontational. Viets can be downright pugnacious although perhaps the most direct, and consequently the most "real".

Based on my experience, and I admit it could be broader especially as concerns the Phils, but based on 7 years in SEA I will say that Thailand wins hands down, it's not even close.

There's also plenty of international schools and good education to be had but you need to pony up the cash to get it. You can't own land officially but unofficially you can. You can own buildings outright (just not the land that they sit on). And as with all things in Southeast Asia, if you pay the right people you'll be fine.

I don't think you'd have any trouble convincing any of your family members to come spend time in Thailand. It's a playground. And not to mention, you have many more options to travel internationally within Asia from Thailand as a base, than from Argentina. Which as a pilot I'm sure you know perfectly well but it bears repeating for other readers.

Finally, Thai women are great. They've got their flaws and quirks but if you are a good leader, a good provider, and have a lot of patience, a Thai woman will take very good care of you.
Thank you for that response, but I found a glaring discrepancy in your first 2 sentences. I kid. But getting laid and English proficiency are pretty important to me.

One of my best friends is married to a great Thai lady. She's lived in the US for 20 years and communicates with ease in English but her accent is still very strong. I find myself getting frustrated often when communicating with Thais. It's mild frustration, but it adds up over time.

Other than that, I agree with most of what you said. Thailand has more "civilization," the Philippines has horny English talkers, and Vietnam has something intangible that I really like and I need to go back and spend some time there.
04-14-2019 08:58 PM
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Post: #20
RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 12:18 PM)debeguiled Wrote:  https://permies.com/t/92942/Crowdfunding...manitarian

I would hate to fall sick so far from home mostly among strangers, and for all the great stuff he did for himself and others around the world, it all vanished in a puff of smoke in a very short time.

Could happen at home too, but it's at least at home.

This isn't to put a damper on your idea because you will probably have things sorted better than he did and more money, and it sounds like his death was pretty bad luck too.

Just couldn't post all the other videos without including that part.

Still tons of good videos on his channels, and his blog was really good too:

Quote:We’ve been making steady progress on our recycled wood house and forest garden. Some of you might remember my earlier blog post about this project. The primary goal of our homestead is to become largely food self sufficient due to all the chemicals and other unhealthy things in the food supply today. A secondary goal is to have a little country house where we can hang out on weekends and days off. So far we’re fairly close to our hoped for budget even though the house grew a bit here and there (don’t they always).

[Image: recycled-wood-house-Nov-2013.jpg]

http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/cost-...ood-house/
I never heard of that guy. It's interesting because there was another falang farmer/youtuber in northern Thailand who died around the same time (a Brit who died of heart disease). I know another American who is trying to farm in N Thailand who I fear is on a similar path. SE Asia is not a good place to be a falang with no safety net.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019 11:08 PM by Duke Main.)
04-14-2019 11:04 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-14-2019 06:28 PM)MrLemon Wrote:  Hey Duke,

I'm about your age. Congrats on a good life.

I'm going to vote for whatever is best for your grandson. He needs you. Everything you can do for him will be paid back to you tenfold, in joy and expansion of your own soul.

Remember that kids are in bad shape these days. We've left them an economy that is a shadow of what was handed to us by our parents. Because his father died, your grandson is in pretty bad danger, to put it bluntly. Nobody in US society is on "his side" -- quite the opposite. Every single thing in our world today is laid open to trap and destroy his life. It's the reverse image of the world you and I grew up in. He could end up in jail, drug addicted, homeless, etc. The military isn't even a refuge any more in many cases.

I don't know the particulars so apologies if this is overstating the case.

He won't be the only factor I consider, but he will be #1. I'll communicate closely with my daughter to come up with a plan.
04-14-2019 11:14 PM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead




He mentions south America: Colombia Paraguay
Also mentions eastern Europe: Hungary Serbia Georgia Armenia

Thailand sounds nice if you can stay there
04-15-2019 08:02 AM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-13-2019 10:46 PM)Duke Main Wrote:  And there’s one more big thing. I’m the main father figure in my oldest grandson’s life. His father died recently, and I want to be in a position to spend a lot of time with him for the next 5 or 6 years. It’s actually another point if favor of S America because if I had a place down there I could probably convince my daughter to live there with me for at least a couple years to give my grandson that experience.

I'm an older model vehicle myself, I'm 53.

I also have responsibilities to my kids who still live in Canada, they are adults, but I never want to be too far away, which is why I chose to stay in the Americas. I thought long and hard about the decision, about where I wanted to end up, and what shape the rest of my life would be. I wanted to be somewhere that wasn't too difficult for people to come and visit. Panama is pretty civilized and easy to get around. Most North Americans can pick up Spanish quite easily. Panama City itself is fairly expensive, but the rest of the country isn't.

I ended up in a remote part of the Panamanian Caribbean, where I do have a small 8 acre organic farm, as well as 2 other companies, one of which is a warehouse business. I really enjoy the farm, I grow bananas, plantain, potatoes, yucca, and next year I'll be starting some cash crops. I carved most of the farm out of the jungle myself (I have a small 2 man crew). Some days I don't feel like going to the farm, so I drop the crew off and pick them up at the end of the day. It's my perogative I guess. It's a lot of work keeping the jungle at bay, but it's very satisfying hacking away at the land with a machete. My bananas are delicious. Some days I sit around with a couple of buddies and just drink beer. There is a small gringo population of about 300 - 400 people, and there are always surfers and backpackers coming through. The island is only a half hour boat ride from the mainland, so it's easy to get to.

Panama is great for stability, the U.S.A. will never allow anything to happen to it. A person can also invest their money here without fear of strange things happening to it. You can own land here, you can start a corporation fairly cheaply here as well.


I thought about Colombia, but at the end of the day I chose to move to Panama for reasons of stability. I want to leave a legacy behind for my kids when the time comes to shake this mortal coil.
04-15-2019 08:45 AM
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Post: #24
RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
I'm quite a bit younger than you.

Can you really see yourself retiring in Asia? I've dated a few asian girls and they were great. I lived in Jakarta for a bit and it was ok.

I could never see myself retiring there though. The culture and people are too different. And it's ok if you have money but if you have any misfortune (e.g. health or financial) I believe those countries will become cold quick.

What about central / eastern europe? I've been in Kiev for the last 9 months and in EE overall for the last year and a bit. I could definitely see myself retiring somewhere here (I'm very interesting in eastern orthodoxy though which is major factor for me).
04-15-2019 09:27 AM
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RE: An older man contemplates the road ahead
(04-15-2019 08:45 AM)Brother Abdul Majeed Wrote:  
(04-13-2019 10:46 PM)Duke Main Wrote:  And there’s one more big thing. I’m the main father figure in my oldest grandson’s life. His father died recently, and I want to be in a position to spend a lot of time with him for the next 5 or 6 years. It’s actually another point if favor of S America because if I had a place down there I could probably convince my daughter to live there with me for at least a couple years to give my grandson that experience.

I'm an older model vehicle myself, I'm 53.

I also have responsibilities to my kids who still live in Canada, they are adults, but I never want to be too far away, which is why I chose to stay in the Americas. I thought long and hard about the decision, about where I wanted to end up, and what shape the rest of my life would be. I wanted to be somewhere that wasn't too difficult for people to come and visit. Panama is pretty civilized and easy to get around. Most North Americans can pick up Spanish quite easily. Panama City itself is fairly expensive, but the rest of the country isn't.

I ended up in a remote part of the Panamanian Caribbean, where I do have a small 8 acre organic farm, as well as 2 other companies, one of which is a warehouse business. I really enjoy the farm, I grow bananas, plantain, potatoes, yucca, and next year I'll be starting some cash crops. I carved most of the farm out of the jungle myself (I have a small 2 man crew). Some days I don't feel like going to the farm, so I drop the crew off and pick them up at the end of the day. It's my perogative I guess. It's a lot of work keeping the jungle at bay, but it's very satisfying hacking away at the land with a machete. My bananas are delicious. Some days I sit around with a couple of buddies and just drink beer. There is a small gringo population of about 300 - 400 people, and there are always surfers and backpackers coming through. The island is only a half hour boat ride from the mainland, so it's easy to get to.

Panama is great for stability, the U.S.A. will never allow anything to happen to it. A person can also invest their money here without fear of strange things happening to it. You can own land here, you can start a corporation fairly cheaply here as well.


I thought about Colombia, but at the end of the day I chose to move to Panama for reasons of stability. I want to leave a legacy behind for my kids when the time comes to shake this mortal coil.

Thank you for this. I had been looking at bit at Panama (and Baja Mexico) and this is interesting.
04-15-2019 12:20 PM
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