Retirement dreams?


My favorite city from all of my travels is san sebastian. We joke about moving there all the time, but retiring might be the likelier option. It isn’t the most affordable place to live, but what a city.


The HGTV show House Hunters International always makes me wonder how some of the people moving to a foreign country expect to live. Sure, some move with good jobs but those are approved, often the SO is told they will not be allowed to work. And some people move on what they think will be a permanent basis. I assume if you have enough money you can do it and the government involved will be happy to have you.

Having said that, Spain or Portugal seemed to me to be nice places to live.


If you travel out of Spain by car but stay in the EU then you don’t need to show your passport to anyone so the Spanish wouldn’t know you’re gone.


You’re right, I hadn’t even thought of that.


Hey, there’s always Thailand. You can retire there at age 35 if you have like $500k in the bank and live like an emperor. Got to go with a spouse though, because you know, the implication.


I’ll pass on Thailand. The language challenge would be too much for me now.


I dunno, think about it, it’s nice and hot, and old fogeys get cold!


Yeah, hot is not a feature. I’m living at 9,000 feet now.


Have you considered Tibet? It is quite chilly. What are your feelings on salted fermented yak milk?


Please, everyone knows you don’t salt the fermented yak milk. You feed the salt to the yak before you milk it.


Dude, what is it with you and Thailand? Do they pay you a marketing fee?


There are only 100 resident visas handed out to foreigners per year. You can’t own property there, and you pretty much have to work if you want to stay.

Also sex tourism is only a thing in certain parts of the country. Thailand is quite lovely, and also not as cheap as you might think. Go to Cambodia for some cheap SE Asia living.


This reminds me, I have to renew my Dutch passport before I lose my Dutch citizenship.


This is what we call a high-class problem.


Well, if you do, let me know!!

While Donostia/San Sebastian is reaaaally expensive (but beautiful indeed, my mother was born there so I know it well), the smaller populations in the Basque Country are more affordable.

However, you probably want a bigger city with more social life. Bilbao could work, obviously Barcelona and Madrid. Many places in the South are beautiful and cheap, but for retirement the Basque Country would give you the best care (and the worst weather).

As for health insurance, 300€ a person should give you full coverage at 60 years old (I’m paying 50€ a month now, but I mostly use the public system).


Thanks, Juan! We were in Madrid, Sevillia and Granada for 4 weeks last year. We’re coming again some time this year — combined with a trip to South Africa — to check out some smaller cities.

Edit: The rail makes it really easy to explore Spain, one of the things we really like about it.


Check the North!! Galicia (la Coruña might fit) Asturias or the Basque Country (as I said, Bilbao or Donostia/San Sebastian.

It’s my favorite part of the country (I enjoyed the south too, but the north is where my heart’s at). Rains more often, but food is unbeatable and people are really nice. And those landscapes.

Rail wise, the high speed lines from Madrid make a lot of travel very easy, yes. The road infrastructure is also really first class.


Will do, thanks!


San Sebastián you just have to see. It’s perhaps the most beautiful city I know (although I don’t think I would love to live there, a little bit on the too small side, and very bourgeois.


Well, yes, it is a bit of a sticky wicket. But I shall try to take care of it the spring. It means making an appointment with the Embassy in DC.

As for retirement in Europe, my father (who is a US citizen) was able to get Irish Citizenship through his grand parents, and now as an EU citizen, lives in the Netherlands. Is that perhaps an option?