Jingthing

USA -- low budget repatriation specific locations that aren't horrible

917 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

I'm starting to more seriously consider repatriation to the USA. Not right away but it's becoming more clear it's more probable to be in the cards. Not exactly what I want but I feel external forces pushing me back.

Imagine if you needed to repatriate and the place needed to be a lower budget place, the lower the better, but still not horrible. If that exists. Imagine if you didn't have strong connections to friends or relatives back in the USA which would probably be where most people would go first. Frankly, I do have a place like that but I want to consider wider options.

What specific places would you consider?

Personal experience with these places would be more credible other than just the idea of a place.

I realize age and a variety of specific personal circumstances come into play but I'm open to hear a wide range of ideas.

I don't really need the ocean or mountains or anything specific like that, but very cold weather is out. I also prefer a state with Obamacare expanded Medicaid (I'm under Medicare age) but sadly many of the milder weather states don't have that. I like cities but smaller sized cities might be better. Small towns if they are far from cities I think not.

I don't need hopping nightlife but a diversity of ethnic food is important to me.

FYI: Here is a map of the U.S. showing which states have expanded Medicaid:

http://familiesusa.org/product/50-state-look-medicaid-expansion

Edited by Jingthing
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ID: 3   Posted (edited)

I have never been there, but a good friend of mine, told me that if he had to move back to usa he would go to Houston, Texas

due to the food, and the low cost of living there..

Just an advice,

Good luck.

That's funny because there was recently a big feature in the Washington Post about what a great FOOD city Houston has become. The most distinctive thing bizarrely is a mixture of Vietnamese food and Cajun!

Oh, here it is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2015/11/10/the-search-for-americas-best-food-cities-houston/

Edited by Jingthing

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ID: 8   Posted (edited)

Thanks for the responses so far.

Yes, I would probably need to work but frankly at this point I'm probably (more like definitely) unemployable (gaps the size of the Holland tunnel).

Thus the emphasis on low cost.

I assume it being the U.S. some kind of car would be needed almost everywhere.

Except for places like San Francisco (seriously can't afford) or Chicago (like it but TOO cold).

If it comes to this, I'm sure gonna miss the baht buses. Even the drivers!

Edited by Jingthing
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ID: 9   Posted (edited)

Are you going to work?

Houston is big. Would you have a car (more $)?

If I didn't have to work and wanted to stay in the USA full time I would get a rig like a 4x4 pickup with a small camper and live a nomadic outdoor lifestyle in the western states. It's not expensive once you have the vehicle.

Good luck.

Yeah I understand that is a dream of many, but knowing myself, I'd probably be happier in some roach infested slum digs than being on the road all the time.

If it sounds like I don't WANT to do this, go back to the USA, that is exactly right. I'm resisting the forces driving me back but the writing on the wall is telling me in the long term I won't win.

Looking on the bright side, I'm sure there are some things I will love being back there. Like good Vietnamese pho.

Things change, even for long term expats. Moving here for life? You never know!

Edited by Jingthing

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I think that Florida or Texas would be appealing. Arizona is nice but does have a state income tax, while the other two do not. I am partial to Washington state of course, but Spokane, where we spend half our time, does have four distinct seasons. I like that, but my wife, not so much. And again, no state income taxes in Washington, although sales taxes are fairly high.

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I'm not completely averse to a place that has a winter. But there are limits.

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With low income the income tax might not be such a big issue. Texas is not signed on for the low income medicaid mentioned as a priority.

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Not sure about this, but worth looking into maybe. Puerto Rico doesn't have Obamacare but it has a locally funded social heath care system which i believe covers mostly everyone. Cost of living. cheap. Ethnic food, tons.

Just a thought

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I have looked into Puerto Rico and also I have known Anglos who have lived there. My research says you need to learn Spanish, that's fine, but what's not fine is that the cost of living is actually quite high.

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With low income the income tax might not be such a big issue. Texas is not signed on for the low income medicaid mentioned as a priority.

Yes. Maybe I can delay this until I'm 65 though. Not likely. Texas near the border is good for runs to Mexico for cheaper medical care and medications.

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ID: 16   Posted (edited)

I have looked into Puerto Rico and also I have known Anglos who have lived there. My research says you need to learn Spanish, that's fine, but what's not fine is that the cost of living is actually quite high.

I am Hispanic and speak Spanish, but I've been to PR a couple of times and I don't think the Spanish thing is a necessity. As for the cost of living; now granted this is a few years back, but it depends what you want. If you are looking to live like you would in Miami, I'd probably say it's higher. For something mid way between high end Miami and full blown third world, I'd still say it's cheaper. It's a little like Hawaii and Alaska, you pay for the imported stuff

Edited by GinBoy2

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ID: 17   Posted (edited)

You've hinted a couple times but I'll bite, only because I'm interested in the motivation for international migration - what's driving you back?

I'm feeling similar pangs of indecision, driven by conflicted feelings with my yearly trips back on holiday. I like it, it's my country, I understand everything and, for instance, I have an accident, or my car breaks down, or I some other domestic chore... communication on that level of detail is important, and familiar, and comforting.

But after a couple months in the US, I'm not bummed to return to LOS. It's certainly got its charms, and its draw backs of course.

Not old enough yet but NEVERSURE mentioned he wouldn't go to Florida because of some Medicare qualification issue. I don't understand it (yet), but somebody else mentioned it above, and it might be an issue for consideration if you are thinking of long term/final destination.

We've got a visitor with us now. She lives in Panama City Beach, Florida. Hasn't been to Thailand in 10 years and is shocked at the cost of "things". Says life down there is pretty reasonable, and that's a tourist town. Dunno, I'm also mulling this over...

Work? Ugh! sad.png

Edited by 55Jay
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If you're under 65 and economically challenged, expanded Medicaid (since Obamacare) is a great option but generally not on offer in states controlled by right wing republican governors. The law was designed to make it optional. Obvious the intention was for 50 states but it didn't work out that way for political reasons. Everyone at 65 becomes eligible for Medicare. Yes Florida is one of the many states without expanded Medicaid.

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I think daytime or 75-85F in the summer and 45-65 in the winter is the range I would like to live in

and not much humidity ,

Then you can live without Air Co or central heating (put on a sweater) , this keeps the costs down,

Cook 80-90% of your meals ( includes zapping in microwave)

Have a mid size Van - AstroVan is good , you can travel some in it (few days at a time)

Problem will be where to rent a place , and your personal safety

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Sorry to hear this, Jing. There are lots of reasons why Thailand may not ideal, but I don't get why you would go back to the USA? Is it because you found living in a foreign culture too stressful? Other than familiarity I don't see many advantages. Certainly not healthcare, which is often of low quality and always too expensive.

If I were to have to return to the US I wouldn't go back to NYC which is the only place I have recent experience living in, because of the cost factor. But it would have to be a city because I refuse to own or drive a car. It couldn't be a place where the American redneck Republican mentality dominates, which rules out the South and much of the West. Maybe Seattle or Portland, OR. I think Washinton state had a very good healthcare environment even before Obamacare, but don't remember the details. People like Austin, although it sounds like it's for the young and it is undeniably surrounded by Texas, after all.

But what happened to Cuenca, which sounds very appealing? I liked the Ecuadoreans very much when I visited and the food is great. Spanish is a lot easier than Thai. Buenos Aires has always interested me because it has long been the sweet spot for expats with a high standard of living and low cost as well as having the urban advantages. It's now almost 10 pesos to the dollar. Very cheap. Before their crisis in 2001/2002 it had parity with the dollar.

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I suggest :

1. Las Vegas

2. Somewhere in Texas

3. Why not take a look at Guam?

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Florida and Texas may be good places. I lived in the panhandle of Florida (Ft Walton Beach-Pensacola area) for three years...nice...and no state income tax. Also there is a big active duty and retired military presence in that Florida area in case you have access to military benefits such as BX/PX, medical, etc. Numerous places in Texas are the same. Southwest VA and Northeast TN are also good people and low cost areas...don't get really cold during the winter most of the time.

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Not old enough yet but NEVERSURE mentioned he wouldn't go to Florida because of some Medicare qualification issue. I don't understand it (yet), but somebody else mentioned it above, and it might be an issue for consideration if you are thinking of long term/final destination.

I don't recall that. I'm over 65 and well covered by Medicare "F" aka Medigap. It would move to Florida because it's federal.

JT, you want good weather and Medicaid. I think that's Arkansas. In a rural area land is cheap. There you could do the scooter thing as they do in LOS. In many states if the scooter is under 50cc you don't need a license or insurance. A 50cc Honda will go 45 mph.

If I was running short of money I'd buy a cheap piece of land and a 25 - 30 foot travel trailer and have someone park my trailer for it. I'd make sure it had water, a septic tank, electricity, and you can get internet via satellite if necessary. The closer you get to a city the more expensive it is.

I am SO GLAD I kept my home and car (F150 Supercrew) in the US and kept the home fires burning.

Don't forget that you have to be a resident of the state where you want Medicaid. Each state has different rules and time frames to establish that. Check it out.

I'm in Oregon and the West Coast is comparatively expensive. I don't think it's truly expensive, just as compared to places in the South. Southern Tennessee in the Appalachians is my favorite place but I have too many friends in Oregon, and for you Tennessee doesn't have the Medicaid deal.

Good luck.

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BANGKOK 24 March 2017 07:05
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