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Ideal retirement locations

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Primrose Hill
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Re: Ideal retirement locations

Postby Primrose Hill » Tue, 08 Dec 2015 4:43 pm

so anymore insight once we are done here? There are more talks between OH and I that we may just go back to London, as it is easy "to do".

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JR8
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Re: Ideal retirement locations

Postby JR8 » Tue, 08 Dec 2015 9:15 pm

When we are done with this wandering lifestyle, this is something we also have and are considering. It came close to happening last year, and when the probability presents itself, it certainly focuses the mind! But then at the last minute we were offered another c3-year stint away. So, more time to consider the question... The task of considering this question seems to 'fill the time available during which it can be considered'... there is no easy answer that presents itself.

We were recently back in London, just around the corner from my home, and I was quite surprised. The neighbourhood used to evolve so quickly from one year to the next (much like downtown SG does!), I thought I'd feel like an alien there; esp after c5-6 years away. But it hasn't changed that much at all, and even my old Greek barber is still there, and even remembered my name ['Alright JR8, been a while, been away?'] lol :-o/D!
In summary I slotted right back in waaay more easily than I expected. Though my old local [pub] has been turned into some ghastly faux-super-trendy wine-bar/restaurant...

When we considered buying a place abroad, the idea of doing so whilst already based abroad (3rd country) presented something of a mental block. In a similar way I have felt that I've perhaps outgrown London, and been looking at regional UK cities. I can only do this re: other cities I know well; maybe just me. But buying from a distance increases the risk/complexity a great deal. And now add to that that in fact my old neighbourhood fits better today than I expected.

So PH, when did you last return to your home neighbourhood, and how did it feel? Might there be an advantage returning to what you know and taking it from there? Maybe you'll find [after all] you're happy there. Apart from 'sun' have you defined what else you're seeking? Do you have to buy abroad to get it?

Maybe this is akin to the 'Where should I/we live' template, but on a bigger scale? :)
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

Primrose Hill
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Re: Ideal retirement locations

Postby Primrose Hill » Wed, 09 Dec 2015 9:23 am

JR8, I was back in my ole stomping ground in August and Oct. There are more cafes now where a nice old man used to own a small art gallery, the health food store is gone, my old shabby chic caf is gone replaced by "shock horror" gluten free, dairy free café, a vintage furniture shop is now Cowshed. Cowshed!!.
Saying that there's now a butcher which is quite nice. My old GP, pharmacy and newsagent is still there together with 2 others cafes that we frequented. Hampstead High Street & Heath St, many shops have not survived the onslaught of huge rent increase and post financial crisis. In its place are now tons of mobile phone shops and some charity shops. The old couple that used to own and ran the old health food shop is gone. Some of the quirky shops on Flask Walk are all gone other than the secondhand bookshop which I love, a quirky dear friend's place, secondhand designer shop and the flower shop. Mystical fairies, the butcher, tiny gallery on the corner those are all gone. There's a camera shop (yes camera shop) as you go down Fitzjohn Ave that's gone.
French Connections /accessories/Moonson are all gone too - now that's not a hardship.
Going back to NLondon is way too easy. It is akin to slotting back the missing puzzle. Is that what you want, JR8?

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Re: Ideal retirement locations

Postby JR8 » Wed, 09 Dec 2015 4:40 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:Going back to NLondon is way too easy. It is akin to slotting back the missing puzzle. Is that what you want, JR8?


Interesting as I'm familiar with some of the shops and back-lanes off Hampstead High Street that you mention. But that said, I haven't explored up that way for maybe 15 years.

Your question :) Hmmm... is permanently seeking something new, different, perhaps challenging, the natural and perpetual condition? It's not for me, I like the idea of down-shifting. Example: I've never been to Florence Italy but look forward to visiting one day. I got my challenging travel done in younger sprightlier years, and I'm glad I did as I couldn't physically handle much of it now. Not only that I positively could not deal with nor wish for the stress and discomfort.

So, no, I've not going to 1/2-kill myself to buy a home abroad, when I don't know what it might cost, how often I might use it, or even what location might work. I'd prefer to go back to what I know, what I'm happy with and consider it further from there. Once again the idea perhaps has parallels in The Art of War - 'Choose to fight your battles on territory with which you are most familiar'.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Ideal retirement locations

Postby Primrose Hill » Wed, 09 Dec 2015 4:56 pm

JR8, I do not have that thirst of travel or buying abroad now. The SG residence is challenging enough and abroad enough. In my younger days, I had a place in KL, no way will I try that again.
We have never been that expat - 3 years here, 3 years there sort of family. We decamped here to work hard save some money but have a reasonably secure life & lifestyle for our future.
The little one will be going to university in 18 months time. Once she finished and stepped into the working world, the need for us to kill ourselves working, will have loosen somewhat. I would like to continue working but maybe only work part-time; 3days per week. We would like to shift down - in housing as well as working life, set a more relax pace of life, travel more, we love travelling and exploring. I love cooking, so the ability to do more of that at my own pace.
We have thought about stateside, but the idea of green cards etc, did not appeal. So, Europe it is for us. It is just that going back to London, is the easiest option. Does this mean that the reasons that drove us out of UK/London previously no longer exist? However saying that going back to London just seems to be the least hassle. The easiest choice. Slot puzzle back into the missing jigsaw.
Or is it?

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Re: Ideal retirement locations

Postby JR8 » Wed, 09 Dec 2015 10:25 pm

Ah yes I forgot that you own in SG as well as 'back home'. Out of interest what do you do with your London place when you're out in SG? Vacant, let?
I think your ideas for a progressive move towards retirement are likely wise. As instant full-retirement is often an unexpected shock to the system :)
I recall looking into getting a Green-Card, but the idea of reporting tax (to 2 or more jurisdictions a year) and tax on global income really put me off. And certainly if the goal is simply to spend a few months there on holiday a year. Does the US have any kind of retirees holiday visa, or could you get tourism visas, within the rules, that would imitate such a thing?
In your shoes I can't imagine buying a place in continental EU from out in SG. Same way I can't imagine buying in a UK regional city from other than when based back in the UK. The other thing that might figure is CGT on the London place [complex!!]. You used to have to return to your former UK home for say 6/+ months, to re-establish it as your Principle Primary Residence, and i.e. then be entitled to CGT relief during your period of time spent abroad. The rules there have been shifting quite a lot in the last year or two, but perhaps something to consider/investigate. [Though if it's not let, and is your de facto sole UK property it could be you have nothing to concern you there].
For you, moving back to London might not be any kind of 'surrender', or doing so as you have no other plans. I'd consider it more of a short-term stepping stone. Get home, re-group, decide on the next step, etc. maybe you'd not even need to spend a year there [?]. That was my thinking re: London, and the imagined next move afterwards. Such time in London would be something I'd put up with, perhaps no longer wishing to be there, to gain major logistical advantage. Of course now we just popped back there, and I found myself much more comfortable than I expected... finding the next stop thereafter might not be as urgent as I had imagined... ? Quite fortuitous really, as given the cost of moving etc [you've seen the new stamp duty rates!?], moving home and then realising you've made a mistake would be a dreadful financial toll.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Ideal retirement locations

Postby Wd40 » Wed, 27 Jan 2016 11:22 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/goodlife/liv ... ywhere-el/

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