Things that Make You Go WHAT?!

Those sudden realizations that cause your mouth to drop open as you say WHAT?! have been happening quite a bit lately.

Like today for example . . .

We went to the passport office at the post office today to apply for Arryn’s first passport and to renew Naomi’s passport. We were asked if we wanted regular or expedited service. Expedited service costs more and with not trips planned until the end of the year, there was no reason to pay extra so we went with regular. Then we heard, “The passports should arrive in 10-12 weeks”. WHAT?!!!!

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We’ve applied for and renewed several passports over the years and it’s never taken that long. So we were a bit shocked and can’t plan any out of country trips for the next three months. (Not that we were going to.)

The passport timeline was not nearly as shocking though as other discoveries as of late.

If you’ve been reading my blog over the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing a little about retirement.

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We have friends and family who have been very focused on making sure they are on top of how much money they are setting aside, where that money is invested, what their plans are in retirement and are simply prepared for their retirement years.

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Hubby and I had money taken out of paychecks and put into 401K accounts, put some money in savings and called it a day. Probably not the best approach, but in our 20’s and 30’s, retirement just seemed so very far away.

Hubby utilized a free consultation with a financial planner which is a benefit thru his company. He was given some great information and a tool he could use to help us determine how much more we need to save, how much we can live on in retirement, etc. It’s been an extremely helpful tool and we’ve made some definite changes in how we invest our money and how we look at retirement now.

The moments that have made us go, WHAT?! have been looking at the cost of living in different places around the world.

Let’s start with the U.S.

Retirement Living just released their list of the top 10 most tax friendly states for retirees.

Top 10 Most Tax-Friendly States For Retirement | 2021 (retirementliving.com)

  1. Wyoming
  2. Alaska
  3. South Dakota
  4. Mississippi
  5. Florida
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Nevada
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Kentucky
  10. Georgia

WHAT?! We live in Texas and it’s not on the list.

Money Rate released their list of the best states to retire in 2021.

To determine which states made the list, they looked at economic factors, crime and safety, lifestyle and healthcare. Best States For Retirement 2021 | MoneyRates.com

The following 10 states made the list.

  1. (tied) Iowa and West Virginia
  2. (tied) Arkansas and Mississippi
  3. (tied) Florida and Kentucky
  4. Connecticut
  5. Missouri
  6. (tied) Alabama and Rhode Island

WHAT?! We live in Texas and it’s not on the list.

Right now it doesn’t appear that Texas is the place we ought to be. So we need to load up the truck and move to . . . . .

Now, let’s expand this a bit and look at this globally. What countries are best for retirees.

MSN Money put together a list based on cost of living, climate, healthcare, ease of obtaining residency, etc. and came up with 25 countries. Best countries to retire to in 2021 (msn.com)

In ascending order:

25. Nicaragua

24. Bolivia

23. Croatia

22. Honduras (Roatan)

21. Dominican Republic

20. Belize

19. Italy

18. Thailand

17. Sri Lanka

16. Indonesia (Bali)

15. Peru

14. Ireland

13. Uruguay

12. Cambodia

11. Spain

10. Vietnam

9. Malta

8. France

7. Malaysia

6. Ecuador

5. Portugal

4. Colombia

3. Mexico

2. Panama

And the #1 country for retirees is (drum roll inserted here)

Costa Rica

WHAT?!! We live in the U.S. and it’s not on this list!

Having this information intrigued us so we began watching made by people living in some of these countries.

WHAT?!!!!

It’s not just retirees leaving the U.S. it’s single people and younger families too. And it’s not just people leaving the U.S. They are leaving Canada, Australia, some European countries, etc.

WHAT?!!!!

Why leave a country you were raised in for another country?

Here are some of the possible reasons.

  1. A chance to explore a different part of the world
  2. The opportunity to experience a different culture.
  3. A chance to retire earlier and enjoy family life.
  4. A chance to live near the ocean and actually be able to afford it.
  5. Affordable and good healthcare.
  6. Slower and less stress-free lifestyle.
  7. A lower overall cost of living.

This list could also go on, but suffice it to say, it is something we are taking a serious look at doing. Even if only for a little while.

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