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To Achieve the American Dream, We Are Going to Have to Leave the United States...

By Ponderer
August 16, 2021 11:20 am
Category: Politics

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For pretty much our entire twenty years together, Donna and I have understood that our retirement years, when we reached them, were not going to be very well funded.

We've worked hard our entire lifetimes, but at nothing that ever made us much money. We were never able to buy property. We never played the stock market. We've always saved up what we could, but emergencies and just life would always keep it from ever getting to be very much at all. We feel rich anytime our "estate" hits the five-figure mark. We realized early on that our retirement funds would in all likelihood consist of little more than our two monthly Social Security checks. So we didn't spend much time planning anything out.

But now things are different. The fat lady is warming up as I am about to start getting my early SS next month and Donna just hit the 65 mark. And as that and our spinal situations are cattle-prodding us into retirement, options are playing out as we now have some hard numbers to play with.

So here are the top 5 retirement options we have been seriously considering of late that are within our budget:

• Buying a very cheap mobile home in some very cheap mobile home park here in southern California, packed in like sardines next to other mobile homes, next to some freeway somewhere.

• Getting on waiting lists for subsidized senior housing and eventually taking whatever dinky apartment comes available first. Although I don't know what we'd do during the years until that happens.

• Buying a large travel trailer and having it towed to different places we can afford to park it in for a few months at a time before moving it and ourselves to some other area.

• Moving into my sister's "extra" house in Leavenworth, Kansas at a greatly reduced rent.

• Emigrating to Costa Rica, even though we have never been there before, and turning our retirement into the easily affordable and wondrous adventure of our lifetimes.


To be honest, I had considered Costa Rica in the back of my mind for a long time, but since we started seriously thinking about and researching that last option on the list, we have completely and totally lost all interest in the other four. They don't even come close. No contest. I have been doing tons of research. I've been chatting with dozens of expats already down there who have been giving me a wealth of information. I have become entirely enamored of the place and of the idea of spending the rest of my days there.

We are currently focused on the area in and around Atenas. Since the climate is one of our primary concerns about anywhere we end up, it seems like the best place to start there, from what I've gathered. It has a lot of other things going for it too. Only a half hour away from San Jose, the Big City of Costa Rica. Lots of expats there to befriend and network with. We may move around from there, but it's where our first night in the country will be.

Our exploratory mission will happen just as soon as we can manage it. Hopefully by or before the beginning of next year. If our one or two week trip there results in us still loving the place, Phase Two will happen a few months later when we pack up what we want to keep in the States as a fallback, move it to my sisters enormous outbuilding on the property she just bought, and move to CR with just a few suitcases and begin living there for at least a few months. If we decide to stay, Phase Three will involve coming back to ship what we want to CR and putting down stakes there when we get back.

F*ck me for taking French in high school.


Cited and related links:

  1. atenasvacationvilla.com
  2. scontent-sjc3-1.xx.fbcdn.net

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Comments on "To Achieve the American Dream, We Are Going to Have to Leave the United States...":

  1. by Ponderer on August 16, 2021 11:22 am
    • that should be a bullet point.


  2. by Ponderer on August 16, 2021 11:28 am
    .....


  3. by HatetheSwamp on August 17, 2021 1:27 pm

    Congrats and good luck!


  4. by islander on August 17, 2021 2:44 pm

    ” We've worked hard our entire lifetimes, but at nothing that ever made us much money. We were never able to buy property. We never played the stock market. We've always saved up what we could, but emergencies and just life would always keep it from ever getting to be very much at all.”

    Sad to say, Ponderer, this is the reality of how the American dream has turned out for so many many Americans today. Know that I am rooting for you both and hope that this works out for you.


  5. by Curt Anderson on August 17, 2021 3:00 pm
    That Costa Rica lifestyle looks idyllic to me! Honestly, if I can a have good internet connection and phone reception, I could be happy in a lot of places with decent scenary. I would like a place where I run, hike and walk without being mugged or attacked by bugs, snakes or animals.

    A person can fly from LAX to San Jose, Costa Rica for under $300, so you can maintain connections with American friends.


  6. by HatetheSwamp on August 17, 2021 3:15 pm

    Just curious. Do they have OCare in Costa Rica?

    Bahahahaha.


  7. by Ponderer on August 18, 2021 2:31 pm
    Curt, at the altitude we're looking to be at in Atenas, bugs aren't too much of a problem. Not even mosquitos. No one even has screens on their windows. Many homes are partially "outdoors" even.

    Atenas has a reputation for having the Best Climate In the World. According to Nat'l Geographic ages ago anyways. You'd also find a lot of hilly curvy roads to run on.....


    No pb, They have better. Once we attain a Pensioners Visa and full-time residency, we can get on the national program. About $200 per month for both of us. Includes everything. No deductibles. No co-pays.


    Thanks, Isle! Great to see you again. Heard you'd been lurkin' about...


  8. by HatetheSwamp on August 18, 2021 3:55 pm

    Before you leave, check out the Medicare Advantage programs. I'm sure these things vary according to state regulations but our Medicare Advantage program has better terms than you describe.

    Maybe you should move to Pennsylvania. Ha!


  9. by Ponderer on August 18, 2021 4:59 pm
    Donna is checking out the Medicare Advantage plans right now.


  10. by HatetheSwamp on August 18, 2021 5:14 pm

    Good. We did Medicare for one year. We were stunned by Medicare Advantage. We went with Aetna but several were impressive. But, each state has its unique regs, even though it's a federal program.


  11. by HatetheSwamp on August 19, 2021 6:20 am

    Sheri and Donna,

    Let Evie and me know, one way or another, how Advantage works for you.


  12. by Donna on August 19, 2021 9:54 am
    I spoke with someone from a non-profit group on Tuesday which I found out about through Medicare. He highly recommended Advantage coverage and thought I'd be better off with Kaiser's or SCAN's Advantage plan than with regular Medicare and supplemental "gap" and Rx plans. In fact he was supposed to follow up by sending me an email with links to those plans, which I have yet to receive, but I can find that info on my own. I'll probably take a look at those Advantage plans this weekend.


  13. by islander on August 19, 2021 11:29 am

    Good to see you again too Ponderer!

    My wife and I spent a little time in Quito, Ecuador before heading over the Andes mountains and down into the Amazon Basin for a trip into the rainforest traveling along the Napo and Tipotine rivers in a dugout canoe. We loved Quito, even though it is on the Equator, being almost 9,000 ft in altitude, climate-wise, it’s like the part of Costa Rica you guys are thinking about, Quito too had a near perfect climate. Mid 70’s during the day and cooling off into the 50’s at night year round! We even thought, “what a wonderful place to live”! Your thoughts on Costa Rica sound very exciting to me and I think it would be wonderful if you are able to bring them to fruition!




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