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On A Jet To The Best Foreign Retirement Possible

Sep. 16, 2016 2:03 PM ETCCL, MAR, MPW, OHI, RCL, VAC, WYN12 Comments
Kevin Wilson profile picture
Kevin Wilson


  • Many people dream of exciting travel in retirement, but others want to be fully immersed in a foreign culture, and are willing to actually live abroad.
  • Practical matters like the cost of living, tax rates, natural beauty of the country, language, type of political regime, and prevalence of disease and other natural hazards are major factors.
  • Other considerations include the level of difficulty and cost of buying a home, the quality and cost of medical care, crime rates, and proximity to other ex-patriots.
  • A review of data compilations and global maps for many factors serves as an example of how to cull one's list of foreign locations in choosing where to live.
  • Investors might want to consider owning CCL, HQH, MAR, MPW, OHI, PJP, RCL, VAC, and WYN.

Source: irsmedic.com

Often for those who have saved enough to have choices, one of the big decisions is where to live in retirement. While many people dream of exciting travel in retirement, others want to be fully immersed in a foreign culture, and are willing to live abroad in pursuit of that goal. Over the years I have spoken with or visited a number of people who were living as part-time or even full-time ex-patriots in countries like Indonesia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, Bermuda, Fiji, Australia, Brazil and South Africa. There was often a lot of work done by these people in preparing for a foreign retirement, and then in executing their plans. A common consideration is often the cheaper cost of living in some countries, and of course yet another consideration is the natural beauty of the new surroundings.

There are other important considerations, such as the cultural activities available in a new location, the language, the type of political regime, the nature of the climate, the quality and cost of medical care, the prevalence of disease, the prevalence of dangerous animals, natural hazards like earthquakes, crime rates, and proximity to other ex-patriots. In this posting all of these issues will be discussed in a survey of some of the data available to help in such decisions.

If one is fortunate enough to be wealthy at the time of retirement, the cost considerations are perhaps less important, but foreign and US taxes may be a major consideration. It is well known that some countries have tax benefits for Americans that others do not. For example, there is a foreign housing exclusion (up to $100,800 in 2015) available on US taxes on earned income for certain countries of residence, including Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK. The amount varies with both the country and the city you live

This article was written by

Kevin Wilson profile picture
Kevin was the CEO and founder of Blue Water Capital Advisors, which he sold and retired from in late 2017. He is now working on a book about natural history, and writing once in a while for Seeking Alpha. He was in the financial advisory business for 25 years. This was not his first career. He was a petroleum geologist and academic research scientist for 17 years before joining the financial industry. Kevin’s keen sense of risk-reward dynamics was developed during his geological career when he served as an exploration team leader and senior manager in the oil and gas exploration business. He drilled over 100 wells on his own geological interpretations and found millions of barrels of oil. This was a very high risk kind of business, and Kevin learned a great deal about how risk really works from his experiences in exploration geology. He was also an instructor at The University of New Hampshire and an Asst. Prof. at Bryn Mawr College for several years and has published 12 papers in international scientific journals and books. Highlights of Kevin’s geological career include surviving a violent well blowout, working as a consultant to Phillips Petroleum, Texaco, Exxon, and numerous independent firms, acting as a Principal Investigator on a dinosaur dig in Montana, working as a team member and lead author on paleoclimate research, diving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, teaching and advising students, receiving numerous research awards and grants, and conducting funded scientific research on sedimentology, paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, geochemistry, and global plate tectonics. Kevin left his geology career when the global oil price collapse finally caught up to him in 1992. He went into the financial advising industry because his father had been a nationally-ranked leader in that field with a major national firm, so he felt comfortable with making the transition. Over the years he was awarded the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation and completed about half of the coursework for a Master’s degree in Financial Services. Kevin served as a Trust Officer and Vice President for a major Midwestern regional bank for seven years, and served as a Senior Vice President at National Bank of Commerce in Duluth, MN for four years. He was a member and board member of the Arrowhead Estate Planning Council for a number of years. He has a refined sense of the big economic picture that is grounded in his ability to differentiate meaningful information from “noise,” as he once did while working in science and petroleum geology.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long HQH. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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