Americans retiring abroad: Discuss…

Just thought I’d take a moment during that brief gap in the day between coffee and tequila to share an update.

So far the food is amazing. Here’s a picture from the food court across the street from the main airport in Belize:

airport food tents1

I recommend the curry chicken, though I wish I’d had a chance to try the beef and okra.

Running across a surprising number of middle-ish income Americans and Brits who have chosen to retire or semi-retire in Belize. It’s an interesting proposition, but I’m not sure I would ever do it. Thoughts?

 

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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156 comments on “Americans retiring abroad: Discuss…
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  4. rucasdad says:

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  5. rucasdad says:

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/2ah6qo5.jpg[/IMG]

    test

  6. rightonrush says:

    In honor of all my black brothers that had my back in Vietnam.

  7. Tuttabella says:

    In honor of Black History Month . . . he’s a tune from my absolute favorite jazz composer and performer, Duke Ellington, featuring Cootie Williams on trumpet. Yes, I have a preference for the trumpet . . .

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqbv6ykdriY&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DDqbv6ykdriY

  8. glennaa says:

    I took 2 years off to travel the world (2000 – 2002). I am now seriously thinking of becoming an expat. Malaysia, Thailand and Nicaragua are the top 3 on my list. Having no wife and no kids makes it much easier, of course.

    I went to Belize in 2005. Placencia was interesting at the time. There was a large community of Americans that had relocated from Key West, as they said things had gotten too expensive there.

  9. Crogged says:

    More minimum income bait…………and reasons for rethinking ‘regulation’……

    http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2014/02/an-argument-about-regulation/

    • Tuttabella says:

      Thanks for the excellent article — something with substance, to get us to really think. The law in general, including rules and regulations, in addition to serving as guidelines, are based on an overall assumption of guilt — not that everyone is assumed to be guilty, but that the POSSIBILITY of guilt is always there, human nature being what it is.

      I wonder how it would be if the opposite approach were taken — an assumption of innocence — and then going from there? Would it still be possible to catch violators?

      • Tuttabella says:

        I would say this is more a question about human nature — are we “essentially” good or evil, or rather, are we “essentially” strong or weak?

      • Crogged says:

        I’ve always been a worker bee, a ‘taker’ I suppose, and I found goals far more motivating than rules. But to take this observation any further makes the error of the specific to general, I stand only in my shoes (and clearly sometimes I didn’t do a thing because it was against a rule). I’m Augustinian, evil is the absence of good. Poverty and deprivation are simple, the absence of money and rather than worrying about the endless motivations and mistakes which led to the deprivation, cure the deprivation. Some worry that the absence of deprivation removes ambition and motivation, personally I don’t think the connection is so clear.

      • Crogged says:

        Why not cut ALL government involvement, national and local, and just directly give citizens a piece of the economic pie in the form of cash. You are still advocating dictatorship, let them eat green packages………..soylent green is people

      • Tuttabella says:

        Crogged, I understand you’re taking the practical approach — If someone is hungry they must be fed, or if they’re in need of emergency care, they must be treated immediately, without thought to money, motivation, ambition, etc. To focus on psychology and the philosophy of human nature in situations such as these is callous. I agree with you there. However, I do think that at some point we need to look at the risks to the human psyche that might result from too much intervention from the government or too easy access to certain benefits. It’s not a question of punishing people, or testing them, or setting out to prove that they are unworthy of receiving help — only to ask ourselves honestly if this is what is best for them in the long run.

      • Crogged says:

        Tutt, why is the question of ‘what is best for me’ to be answered by anyone other than me? I do know what you bring up is a pitfall, a hammock can be so comfortable as to never leave. And I’m well out there in abstraction world and ignoring the detail devil. We have consistently and persistently advanced the external human condition of protection from predators and the elements, the internal conditions of being human is almost unexplored by comparison.

        http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/02/06/america-and-the-protestant-work-ethic/

      • Tuttabella says:

        Crogged, the question of what is best for you is best answered by you, except when other people’s resources are involved. Then those other people might want some say.

      • Crogged says:

        I do believe taxes are just as inevitable as death, so rather than fritter about on the edges of how much, believe in exploring the what for.

    • DanMan says:

      That whole concept of calculating welfare fraud would go away if we just provided generic food in green packages sitting on the lower shelves at the grocery story instead of EBT cards that don’t require IDs to use.

      Or just take retailers out of it and let the folks pick there food up at the post office or some other g’ment installation.

      Cut the federal g’ment involvement to the lowest level possible and allow the states to provide as they see fit. This borrowing on the backs of future generations is wrong and everybody knows it.

      • desperado says:

        And what happens to poor people and sick people in a state run by heartless teabaggers like yourself? Texas for instance.

      • Craig says:

        “allow the states to provide as they see fit.”

        Like Southern states provided as they saw fit before 1965.

      • Crogged says:

        Rather than worry if a State or person is ‘heartless’, focus on a solution, the freedom each one of us would enjoy with a minimum income and some bottom level of medical care. It’s kind of like ‘flat’ taxes–the real fight against it doesn’t come from the poor people who would pay a higher percentage than the wealthy, it’s what would we do with all those lawyers and accountants?

      • DanMan says:

        Obama has provided the solution as he and his administration have been crowing about this week. Our government is now promoting happiness by eliminating jobs on purpose so that people are unchained from the terrible phenomena of job-lock.

        It’s a brilliant strategy. Now liberals can quit those soul crushing jobs that once provided benefits and pursue their joy in parks and art studios. This will allow those that actually want to work a better opportunity to do so. Unemployment will drop to historic levels with the new way its calculated and every body will be happier. Yeay!

    • CaptSternn says:

      Haven’t we been over this before? There is already a minimum income established in this nation, and this is how it works … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRRwZDSmTVI

      Crogged asks, “Tutt, why is the question of ‘what is best for me’ to be answered by anyone other than me?”

      Nobody that supports democrats, their platform or their agenda, things like the PPACA (Obamacare), prohibition, Social Security, etc., should even be asking that question. The entire platform of the left, including many in the GOP establishment, believe we are too stupid to make our own choices, that freedom is bad and that the people must be controlled and micromanaged like young children, toddlers.

      Classic liberals, Jefferson liberals, libertarian leaning cojnservatives like those of the tea party movement, believe we are adults and we want to be treated as such. We expect other adults to accept responsibility for themselves and their families. We see how people on the left respond to such ideas all the time.

      • CaptSternn says:

        As to the point of the article from the link, welfare needs to be closely regulated. The people needing welfare, actually needing it, should be taken care of. But it should be run at the state and local levels. That is the best method of avoiding fraud and paying people that are able to work to not work. Get the federal government out of it and fraud will be reduced in a hurry, people that can work need to work. The system as it is now encourages people to not work, among other things.

      • Tuttabella says:

        With respect to the regulation of welfare . . . I am opposed to drug testing as a condition to receive benefits. First of all, there is no correlation between the need for food and the use of drugs. A person who has a drug or alcohol problem should not have to go hungry. Benefits should be based on income level, number of dependents, etc.

        Also, just because some welfare recipients may use their welfare benefits in exchange for drugs, that’s not a reason to demand drug tests from everyone who is on welfare. It’s way too intrusive, and even people on the public dole deserve to keep their dignity intact.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It would also violate the 4th amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 9 of the Texas Constitution, Tutt.

      • Tuttabella says:

        So, does my view that we should not violate the human dignity of welfare recipients make me a liberal or a libertarian?

      • CaptSternn says:

        I think that would make you human, Tutt.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Cap, I would hope that is the case. Why are we so obsessed with labels, then, and political affiliation?

        Me conservative, you liberal !

      • CaptSternn says:

        Because of different views, different beliefs, about the role of governments at all levels.

      • Crogged says:

        And DanMan and the Captain will deny the power of shared risk and insurance and leave in place large government agencies, either ‘federal’ or ‘local’, because of the fools game of determining which of us is deserving. And rather than link to anyone writing anything regarding the subject we get a youtube video? If ‘government’ is the problem it doesn’t matter if the office is in DC, Austin or down the street, is it too much to ask for some sort of logical consistency in argument.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Crogged, I appreciate the concept and the power of shared risk, except when the “sharing” is forced, because then all those people with whom you’re sharing risk have some say over you, in order to “minimize” risk.

      • DanMan says:

        Crogged, that you can’t see the argument against federal assistance vs local is not our issue, it is yours. Obama has so engorged the federal g’ments role in doling out bennies that the backlash when it has to stop is going to be something to see. The economy is teetering and he’s piling on. For a reason.

        Their is no efficiency in having federal programs administer welfare benefits. There is tremendous incentive for politicians at the federal level to have the ability to pick winners and losers.

        You should have seen the traffic to Chicago when Tommy Thompson cut welfare in Wisconsin. It’s going to happen, either when fiscal sanity or fiscal reality hits the federal purse.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Crogged, there are different levels of government with different powers and responsibilities. That was done for a reason. And no, I never said insurance should be illegal. Where do you even come up with that stuff? It should be voluntary, though. Not something people are forced into with the threat of fines, forfeiture and even possible imprisonment.

      • Crogged says:

        There is no ‘efficiency’ in having ANYONE administer welfare benefits and picking winners doesn’t work any better at any level of government. Make a floor, anyone who wants to rise above it, or buy more, can do it, there’s nothing to stop them. I’m still baffled by this worry of running out of money, is the well going to run dry, the mine collapse? No one is forcing anyone to participate in our republic, you can move to a mud hut in West Texas and buy all the health care buy selling the chickens you raise.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-06/how-to-judge-obamacare-alternatives.html

        http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/lonely-death-of-the-republican-health-plan.html

      • CaptSternn says:

        Crogged, we could say the same thing, move to Cuba if you so desperately want communism. And both of your links show that many people don;t have a clue about what healthn insurance and health care are. They are not the same.

        Really want to bring health care costs down? Stop having insurance cover so much. It should be catastrophic coverage only. That would reduce the cost of premiums for insurance. It would also cause people to pay more out of pocket, meaning they wouldn’t seek treatment every time they get a pimple, and it would mean less overhead for doctors. Why else do you think paying directly costs less?

        Yes, there is good cause to have welfare run locally. Cuts down on abuse, and it is constitutional that way.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Excellent my Captain. So much waste going to the doctor’s because an elbow is sore, etc. Major Medical only.

      • Crogged says:

        I haven’t advocated ‘communism’, but I have advocated eliminating all middle men, less government everywhere, including ‘local’. I think not going to doctors would lower expenses, and a quicker lowering into a hole in the ground. If there are no consumers for medical advances, then those advances will quit occurring.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Crogged, amid all the bureaucracy of insurance, we’ve lost sight of how simple health care can really be. I have learned from experience that it’s often cheaper to pay the doctor or hospital directly, out of pocket, than to pay the co-pay. If you can’t pay everything all at once, you can pay in installments. Or you can refuse certain procedures. Not everything is that simple, but it does help to think outside the box. Too many people mistakenly think that once you’re at the hospital, you lose all say, that you just have to allow yourself to be swept away for treatment and sucked into the system. Not so. If you’re conscious, speak up, or have something prepared in writing in advance in case you’re taken there unconscious. The patient has final say, not medical personnel, not the insurance company.

      • Tuttabella says:

        I don’t mean to downplay or trivialize serious, life-threatening illness. Every situation is different. I just think it’s a good idea, in general, to take a step back and consider alternatives. Nothing HAS to be a certain way.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Politician shouldn’t be middle men between a patient and a doctor. But you did advocate that people that don’t want to be forced to buy a service or product they don’t want, need and many can’t afford should lerave society. Guess what, the IRS will still come after you and you can still go to prison. That is wrong, the destruction of freedom, the things only socialists and communists would support.

      • CaptSternn says:

        As for the demand for health care and the advances in that care, there is still a demand so there will be a supply and advances, unless the democrats get their way. They want to deny care to people, shrink the economy, destroy high paying jobs and make people more dependent on the federal government. That allows more control and more freedom destroyed. Tutt asked why we have labels, that is why.

  10. kabuzz61 says:

    Stay At Homer is trying to be glib but the way these poor people are treated is disgusting. I went on a family reunion cruise in 2012. We stopped in Progresso and I just couldn’t take all these children approaching me to purchase trinkets. They had fear in their eyes.

    The liberals, who claim to have the heart, seem to let this abuse just pass as ‘conducting business’. When really you liberals views only hold up until you act contrary to them. Some say liberals have no core, no core belief, if this doesn’t prove it.

    Now here comes Texan with a YOUTUBE comment followed by a rawstory example.

    • rightonrush says:

      Buzz wrote “Some say liberals have no core, no core belief, if this doesn’t prove it”
      AND some say that members of the Tea Party are dumber than a box of rocks….some say.

    • rightonrush says:

      Buzz wrote “We stopped in Progresso and I just couldn’t take all these children approaching me to purchase trinkets. They had fear in their eyes”
      No wonder you saw fear in their eyes. You scared the %ell outta these little kids Buzz.

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      Buzz…I’m trying to connect you dots between liberalism, having folks provide a service while on vacation, and having no core…but not surprisingly, the dots don’t connect.

      Just exactly how are liberals letting abuse pass by more than any other political group?

      So, while I’m on vacation, paying folks in a foreign country a pretty decent amount to provide a service suggests that I have no core or no core beliefs? I’m just not sure how you make that connection.

      On your cruise, the little kids with fear in their eyes (are you that scary?) probably made more profit than the folks in the bowels of your cruise ship doing your laundry.

      When I’m in the US, I’m generally paying people to provide a service at restaurants, stores, or just about anywhere.

      Our nanny is paid the general going rate for Houston, and that amount is well above average for the starting salary of teachers in Texas. It is above average for the salary of most experienced elementary school teachers. How crazy is that? I think liberals probably find that distressing, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean I should pay my nanny less.

      Sincerely Buzz…I’m happy to talk about liberals’ core beliefs (or lack thereof). I’m sincerely not sure what your evidence is.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        You are not as ignorant as you are trying to make out. Good try though.

      • GG says:

        So tell us, Buzzy, what exactly did you do to help those poor, frightened little Mexican children?

        Frankly, your faux outrage isn’t coming across as genuine at all. Merely another attempt to blame something on those “liberals” that actually has nothing to do with liberals or conservatives.

  11. Tuttabella says:

    When Cap and I discuss retirement, we talk of moving to a small Texas town, most likely in East Texas, someplace that is not touristy, where we can find Peace and Quiet, retiring our gadgets and disconnecting completely, living simply. Viva minimalism.

  12. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    We (wife, twins, sister, brother-in-law, and me) are heading to Belize in March. We VRBO rented a house on Ambergris Caye generally only accessible by boat. It is a bit of a baby-moon before our new arrival joins our 18 month old twins. We are looking forward to as much lounging around in the sun and on a beach as is possible with 18 month old boys running around.

    The house rental comes with a cook and a boat captain/dive master that live in the house.

    My liberal sensibilities are not at all feeling hypocritical by being in the global 1% and keeping the “little people” down in other countries. Heck, we have a 5-day a week nanny and someone who cleans the house once a week in Houston.

    I like to think of myself as a “job creator” in Houston and in foreign countries. Maybe I’m a Republican at heart.

    Like other job creators, if you lower my taxes by 5%, I’m not going to hire more nannies, and if you raise my taxes by 3%, I’m not going to fire the one I have. Why, it is almost as though tax rates do not significantly impact hiring rates.

    • Tuttabella says:

      Cap would hire someone to make him mint juleps all day long and turn the AM radio switch on and off and pay them slave wages, but he’s a very private person and would worry that they would find his arsenal, so no outside help allowed.

      Just kidding!

      • CaptSternn says:

        Definately can’t have people poking around at my compound or messing with my arsenal. 😉

      • rightonrush says:

        You are good for the Capt Tuttabella. I sincerely hope you both find all the happiness in the world.

    • Tuttabella says:

      HT, so you’re one of the benevolent 1% who says, “Here. Take all my money.”

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Tutt…I noted the global 1% as a distinction from the US 1%.

        My family’s taxes (depending on how bonuses work out in any given year, my wife makes more money than I do) would certainly go up under any reasonable tax reform plan. I am 100% A-OK with that, and it is silly that it has not already happened. In addition to a nice tax increase, I also believe spending should be cut smartly rather than with an “across the board” chainsaw.

        All of the silly flat-tax plans would wonderfully cut my taxes, and if my taxes are getting cut, it means some families with less income than mine are going to see their taxes raised. It is hard to see how that makes any sense.

        Let me go ahead and channel Buzz in here, “Well, then, Mr. Lib, you are free to write a check of whatever amount you think you should be paying to the gov’t, but don’t make everyone else do it too”.

        In the history of the world, voluntary taxation generally has not worked all that well. I’m going to use the word “coercive” here, but without the coercive power of the gov’t, there is not much chance of having the significant tax revenue needed to fund this very wonderful country that has provided me with opportunities over and over again.

        I even realize that I “did not build that” as I think back to my public elementary, secondary, college, and graduate schools (paid for in part by folks who had no kids in those schools), the airports into and out of which I fly under the auspices of the FAA (which is funded through some tax dollars that my never-have-flown-in-a-plane grandmother paid), and the court systems that helps protect agreements, contracts, and copyrights.

        I’m not sure I see a ton of focus on what this person makes versus what that person makes. The 1% versus the 99% is just a catchy slogan. Most liberals like making money.

        I think generally people are even are OK with or at least accept that the deck is stacked in favor of those making boatloads of money. I think folks get upset when the deck is stacked in one direction, and then the table gets tilted further in that direction, and then the whole house is shifted in that direction.

        Given the greater and greater concentration of wealth at the upper ends and the decrease in mobility up the economic ladder, it certainly is starting to feel like that house is shifting.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, sounds like you are now opposing the PPACA, where “everybody has some skin in the game”. Really, if you support such a thing, you woud support everybody paying the same tax rate, having some “skin in the game”. People that can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars to insurance companies, companies dictated to by the federal government on what they will cover and what they will spend and what they can make as profit, must now pay those premiums or face possible loss of other property and even prison.

        Does supporting a flat tax mean I would support Obamacare? Of course not, as long as the taxes are used for consttutionally granted powers. I would rather do away with income tax and go with a national sales tax. Make more, spend more, pay more. But nobody should be forced to buy things.

        As for lower tax rates, the more disposable income a person has, the more they might spend, boosting the economy. Don’t you want to help the economy?

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Let me see if I’m following your line of logic here…”If this, then Buick?”.

        It is a shame that we have the winter Olympics right now ’cause you could be making a significant impact in the long jump (of conclusions) in the summer Olympics.

        Arguing that poor folks do not have some skin in the game is kinda silly when many many poorer folks have higher overall tax rates than do many many wealthy folks.

        A national sales tax would be the most wonderfully regressive tax. Wealthy folks don’t generally spend all of their income, so their effective tax rate is smaller than the poor folks who have to spend all of their income on silly stuff to survive.

        Cut my taxes, and that money is going to sit quietly in a bank. Cut the taxes of poorer folks, and that money is immediately dumped back into the economy.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Cap – Careful with your choice of words when you’re around HT. He will “essentially” latch onto a word he likes and run with it. “Silly,” isn’t it?

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Tutt…I’m certainly seeing my silliness, but not sure where the essentiality (probably not a word) of it is.

      • DanMan says:

        People that say they want to pay more taxes but don’t do so voluntarily are liars…they want everyone else to pay more taxes because they believe government owns the wealth.

        The whole concept of income equality is really the rational of thievery. That guy has it, we want to give his to you, vote democrat.

        Progressives do not empowered their followers, they enslaved them in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victimhood and anger instead of ability and hope.

    • Tuttabella says:

      Seriously, though, HT, I think it’s silly for everyone to be so obsessed with the concept of the 1% versus the “little people,” to focus so much on what the next guy makes. Nothing but politics. I’m guessing you make more than I do, but to quote Mrs. Clinton, “What difference does it make?” We earn what we earn and should do our best to live within our means, whatever that may be. Those who are in dire need of help should receive it, courtesy of the government. You should not have to seek approval and explain to the world that you’re a job creator. No one is saying that having so much money gives a person carte blanche to pollute the air and the water with the chemicals from their industry, either. Let’s just both go about our business.

      • flypusher says:

        HSAH hit upon a real sore spot above. It’s not so much that rich people have more $ that galls many. It’s that they can and often do use that $ to get considerations/ treatment that the average person doesn’t. Consider the case of John Goodman in FL for example. Or the ” afluenza” kid.

        ( and, yes I put Ted Kennedy in the same category)

        And then there’s that little matter of being able to buy access to elected representatives to stack that deck even more…….

      • Tuttabella says:

        Fly, not that this makes it ok, but wouldn’t you use everything at your disposal if it involved something as serious as keeping yourself or your kid out of prison? In cases such as these, it would be “silly” to take the high road, unless you’re the ultimate idealist.

      • flypusher says:

        “.. but wouldn’t you use everything at your disposal if it involved something as serious as keeping yourself or your kid out of prison? ”

        If I or the kid were actually guilty, I would hope not! I freely admit that it’s a far different thing to say that as a thought exercise as opposed to actually facing that situation in real life.

        But for the sake of argument, let’s say I did what Goodman did, and I fail my test of character. I go to trial, I get convicted, and I find grounds for appeal. The problem is that I most likely would have to stay in prison during that appeal, but Goodman can buy his way out. It is grossly unfair that rich people convicted of DUI homicide get better treatment than poor or middle class people convicted of DUI homicide.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Fly, I would say the entire judicial procedure of releasing people upon payment of a bond should be revisited, since by its very nature gives wealthy people the advantage. As for whether it’s unfair that some people can afford better legal representation . . . I will have to get back with you on that.

      • flypusher says:

        Tutt, my gripe with the representation thing isn’t so much that rich people can buy a legal dream team, but that too often the indigent get the shaft with over-worked and underpaid public defenders. It’s especially bad if it’s a capital case- if we’re giving the state the power of life and death, it ought to exercising every molecule of due diligence. One of the worst cases I can think of is one where the defense lawyer dozed off in court during parts of a capital murder trial. Even worse, on the first appeal, one of the judges opined that it was no big deal, the lawyer might have been aware for the important parts. The defendant may well have been guilty as sin and deserving execution, but the actions of the state and the appeals court were inexcusable here.

        I think the SCOTUS did the right thing and gave the guy a new trial- I’ll have to research it when time permits.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Fly, I don’t know the numbers, but I would think that public defenders are outnumbered by prosecuting attorneys. You never hear of prosecutors falling asleep during proceedings. Why do more people opt to work for the prosecution? Is that in itself a sign of an assumption by aspiring lawyers that defendants are most likely guilty, or likely to be found guilty, so they may as well work for the “winning” side? It seems like a vicious cycle (circle?) — to be discouraged from working as a public defender because it’s a lost cause, making it even more likely to be a lost cause. I think we should start by increasing the pay and resources of public defenders.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Fly, if I were charged with DUI and I was guilty, and I was offered the option of house arrest versus jail time, I would choose house arrest in a heartbeat. Anyone who would choose jail time knowing they could easily get house arrest would be incredibly “silly.”

      • flypusher says:

        “Anyone who would choose jail time knowing they could easily get house arrest would be incredibly “silly.” ”

        Quite true, but the point here is that having the option to choose between the two is contingent about having a whole lot of $. Goodman gets that choice. The non-wealthy person who is convicted of the same crime doesn’t.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        The person offered house arrest is usually based on solid, responsible employment. They can go to work but that’s it. If someone who is poor, has a minimal job or no job will be offered jail time only. Makes sense to me. Why make a company suffer for the acts of one?

        I will say, liberals are just completely obsessed with money. Other peoples. On every topic, the first thing they mention is money. They want it, they need it, others shouldn’t have it. Whining and envy.

      • flypusher says:

        So Buzzy, would you characterize Goodman as “solid & responsible”? Do you even know his history?

        When $ leads to special, preferential treatment under the law, pointing that out isn’t “obsessing” or “envy”. It’s letting in the sunlight.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Kabuzz, I have to disagree with you there. I don’t think the offer of house arrest should be based on whether you’re rich or poor, or whether or not you have a job. What if it involves a housewife accused of DUI? She would get automatic jail time just because she doesn’t work outside the home?

        It should be based on criminal history and whether or not one is a flight risk. A wealthy person might actually be more of a flight risk because he/she has the means to flee.

    • goplifer says:

      We’re staying on Ambergris Caye at a place on the mosquito coast just south of San Pedro. It’s beautiful. I’m finding the whole business of having a ‘staff’ really awkward and uncomfortable, but the place is amazing. You’re going to have a great time.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        I think we are going to be north of San Pedro. The house having a cook and a boat captain/dive master almost made us take a different property. Having someone cook for us will be odd, but we can utilize that service as much or as little as we would like. After listening to folks who have stayed there, it was not awkward and everyone loved it. My hunch is that is will seem a bit like staying at a Bed and Breakfast where we feel we are guests at her house.

        Having the boat captain/dive master will be great. A couple of us are divers, and even though I get boat sick very easily, we may try some fishing as well. They also can take us to calm secluded spots with the babies. Plus, you need to boat to do anything (e.g., get food/groceries), so having one at the house is very helpful.

  13. Tuttabella says:

    A friend of mine from college who became a doctor moved to Haiti and opened his own clinic there to help the local community. Now THAT’S making a difference in the world.

    • Tuttabella says:

      He came to mind with all this talk of moving abroad to third world countries and earlier discussions about making a difference by blogging and/or being active in politics. Perhaps we can combine both concepts.

    • RightonRush says:

      I applaud your friend Tuttabella. He’s a very special person and no doubt making a huge difference to people that have so little.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Rush, it’s sad that the people of Haiti have to depend on the kindness of strangers and foreign governments for basic care, that their own government is unable to do so. I do believe that government in general should provide a basic level of health care for its people. How far this care should be taken is where you and I may differ.

      • rightonrush says:

        My nephew is a Doc http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ He’s now in the South of Sudan.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Rush, congrats for having such a special nephew. I have several cousins who are doctors, here in the US and in Mexico. One of them works for a government entity here and supports Obamacare. Another has a private practice here and opposes it. I guess it makes sense.

      • rightonrush says:

        I support whatever makes life easier for humanity and those that are less fortunate than I have been. It’s the little kids that break my heart. No child should go without medical care or hungry. Doesn’t matter what the political affiliation.

  14. Tuttabella says:

    So, Lifer, do you plan to move there one day, or do you prefer to just live out of a valise in Belize?

    • goplifer says:

      No. This is not for me. It’s a lot of fun, but I’m a first-world guy. I’m already missing Chicago a little.

      For the few people here lucky enough to earn a living elsewhere there’s a lot of luxury, but the poverty creeps in under the door. There are virtually no taxes, no infrastructure, school is mostly available up to eighth grade then goes away. Health care is iffy, public life is nearly non existent, and the people born here live on the edge of survival while all the country’s meager resources are drained into the hands of a few well connected families.

      If that sort of thing appealed to me why would I have left Houston?

      • flypusher says:

        Agree 1000% with preferring the 1st World situation. Also I really don’t like the whole notion of being waited on. I prefer to carry my own bags and park the car myself when I’m on the road.

        Although if my Mom wants to make me breakfast when I am visiting, I will humor her! 😉

      • rightonrush says:

        I got enough of the tropical jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to last a life time. I do a lot of business in the M.E., have a son, daughter in law, & grand kids that recently moved to Haifa (daughter in law’s home). We have spent some time there, and now my wife is looking for a place in Caesarea on the coast. Property there is WAY to expensive, but it’s not 3rd world. IF I were to truly move to a place (country) I love besides Texas it would be Turkey. I did lots of security work there before the fall of Berlin and made lots of good Turkish friends.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Rush, were you ever in Turkey or did you have Turkish friends while in Berlin to regale you of the wonders of their country? I was stationed in Izmir, Turkey and it was the best duty of my entire time in the Army. The country and people were beautiful, everyone was so friendly, food was excellent, language was easy to learn, the climate was mild like Houston but without the humidity. There was so much history to see there. A lot of archaelogical ruins. I really miss it and wish I could go back soon to visit.

      • flypusher says:

        I would so love to go explore Istanbul.

      • rightonrush says:

        Bubba, our base of operations was run out of Istanbul. I’ve been all over Turkey and yes, been in Izmir many times. We had installations next to communist countries so I spent a lot of time with country Turks that had never met an American.

      • DanMan says:

        Rush, you mentioned serving in Viet Nam the other day. Thanks, that was a bit before my time but I had a couple of brothers serve during that war. One was 1st Cav in Bin Hoa. He’s got some incredible pictures of Puff the Magic Dragon at work.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Rush, thanks for the clarification. Now I understand your reference to the fall of Berlin. I only got to spend one night in Istanbul while PCS’ing on my way out. I loved the hustle and bustle of that “dirty” city and old world charm. Actually reminded me a little of Rome. I know I lucked out living and working in a tourist resort area that Izmir was even though I was there during the Cold War era also. I met guys who were stationed remote (in probably the same places as you were) that weren’t too thrilled with their assignment. Funny aside, I was working in a supposed “top secret” location but on the occasions I had missed the NATO shift bus, I would just mention the name of the “top secret” location to a cabdriver and he would take me right up to the guard shack entrance of that place whose name and location are “unknown”.

      • rightonrush says:

        Dan, I was in and out of Bin Hoa many times during the conflict. Old Spooky was a killing machine. I’ve seen the mop up operation, bet your brother saw it to.

      • rightonrush says:

        Bubba, I kept an apartment in Istanbul in the Levent. I loved it there, even if the rats were larger than the cats that roamed the streets. One morning there was a knock on the door and there stood a guy I went to high school with. He was passing through on his way stateside. I asked how he found me and he said “I asked a Dolmush driver”.

  15. objv says:

    Lifer: You asked where I had lived in Venezuela. My family and I made our home in the Barcelona/Puerto La Cruz area for a very happy 2 1/2 years.

    We shared ownership of a used boat and spent many weekends (when the boat wasn’t being repaired) taking trips out on the Caribbean swimming, snorkeling and going to various small island beaches. The beaches in town were nice, but sewage from the cities was being let out in the water, so we were advised to avoid them.

    My husband and kids also spent quite a bit of time scuba diving. If you ever want to visit the area, a good contact would be Gina Malpica.

    http://www.amormargarita.org/about%20us.htm

  16. texan5142 says:

    Some tips with dealing with kabuzz.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Calm-Your-Angry-Cat

  17. kabuzz61 says:

    Crime is way up in Costa Rico. I also am enjoying all of you cheering the exploitation of the citizens of these countries working for almost nothing with fear of being replaced at any time for anything. You liberals sure do have double vision.

  18. John Galt says:

    They’re not really retiring to Central America. They’re on an extended vacation in a tropical spot. The first time they (1) get caught in the aftermath of a hurricane in a third world country or (2) have a heart attack and experience emergency medicine, tropical style, they will be back, checking out “senior living” communities within a few miles of one or more of they kids.

  19. lomamonster says:

    If you get a chance, pop over to Ambergrize Caye. It’s just a short hop from the airport over to it, and there is a famous diving reef there as well as nice restaurants and rental condos to be had. Most of the places that you will go will be by small motor boat taxis at that point, so take something that breaks the wind, eh?

    Well, you know what I mean! Hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!
    Have a great time…

    • GG says:

      I was going to go to Caye Caulker this March but instead I am in the process of buying investment property to flip or turn into a vacation rental so no vacay for me right now. It’s just a short boat ride from Ambergris but more laid back and less people.

  20. texan5142 says:

    I thought of this Chris when you said you are at Belize.

  21. Texan5142 says:

    I could live in a grass hut on the beach in Belize, but my wife would not.

  22. Tuttabella says:

    Do not even THINK of calling those people EXPATS. That is one of my major pet peeves. They would be IMMIGRANTS.

    The use of the word EXPAT versus IMMIGRANT should be based on whether they plan to live there temporarily or permanently, but it seems the use of those words is usually based on class and country of origin.

    Somehow, Americans, Britons, and Canadians are usually referred to as expats, while the rest of the world are considered immigrants, no matter whether their stay is temporary or permanent.

    • goplifer says:

      It’s interesting you mention that because it touches on one of the odd things I’ve seen. None of these people are immigrants. Everybody so far remains tied to their home country. It is as though these folks are on some ersatz vacation excursion in which you pretend to live in a poor country for a few years. The Americans, Canadians, and Europeans are referred to as expats because that’s what they are. It is kind of strange.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Lifer – Mexicans are notorious for keeping strong ties to their native country, setting up insular communities here, speaking their native language almost exclusively, yet they are still referred to as immigrants. When Americans do the same in Mexico, they are called expats. It smacks of classicism to me.

        Also, where are the complaints about concentration of wealth from some on this thread who celebrate being able to enjoy cheap labor — maids, gardeners, etc — if they were to retire to a third-world country?

      • flypusher says:

        I might visit one of those countries for a change of pace, but I can’t see myself living there. I like what I’ve got going on here too much. Plus I don’t need maids or gardeners.

  23. GG says:

    I’m toying with the idea of one day retiring abroad. Perhaps Indonesia, where I have family, who like it and you can literally live like royalty for very little. The relative who lives there with his family has a maid, cook, driver and gardener. The combined cost of paying them runs about 250 a month. When I visited I definitely found I could live very happily having a staff and waking up to my coffee and breakfast already made.

  24. Craig says:

    I’ve looked into retiring to Costa Rica. Even if they do have that evil so-she-lized medicine. They have a fairly large American ex-pat community there and the income requirements are very reasonable. It’s definitely an option worth consideration to me.

    • GG says:

      I have a neighbor who lived there and he said good old fashioned bribery works well with the police. 🙂

    • Turtles Run says:

      I read Costa Rica is getting expensive to live in now with all the expats moving there.

      • GG says:

        Probably right TR. I watch a lot of House Hunters International and people are starting to go to Honduras and Panama. If they would hurry and make nice with Cuba more Americans would go there too.

  25. Turtles Run says:

    Every time I visit my doctor I am sure two things are going to happen. 1) bad jokes and 2) his place in Panama he is going to retire too..

    Apparently, people that retire there get a lot of tax breaks to incentive moving to those countries. I have actually looked at the many websites dedicated to this topic and it seems interesting, Language is not a barrier but missing family would be a bit much for me and my wife.

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