Americans living abroad

Dec 31st, 2003, 03:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,924
Andrea, where would you retire to?? just curious. or would you pick a rotating list of countries. (by the way, I use your gift to me EVERY day. it holds my digital camera, in my purse. thank you!!)
flygirl is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 665
That's why with all those perks, one had better be saving! Yes, the risks are higher, but hopefully, the rewards are, as well.

SloJan is offline  
Jan 1st, 2004, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 426
Jan is right - saving is the key! (I should also mention that *WE* don't get all those exact benefits - that's an average!)

It is horrible to think about the possible risks, and my heart goes out to people who have had such misfortune to have their companies default on their contracts and have little or no legal recourse.

But in posting my original response, I was only trying to add an element (financial) that hadn't been mentioned before - I did not mean to imply by any means that we are here for the money. While we were looking for jobs to get us over here, we seriously discussed whether or not we were willing to come over with no jobs to see if we could find something, just to get the experience of living overseas. We do it for the adventure, and we love it.

Flygirl - we WOULDN'T really retire, it's just the security of knowing that we have enough saved to last us & that we won't have to worry. Husband jokes around that he'd get a degree in archeology and join some digs! Who knows? If (knock on wood) all goes according to plan, the ideal plan would be to live in the US part time and travel the rest of the time. There's still so much of the world left to see!!
Andrea_expat is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
SloJan, that's a rather condescending answer and assumes that the salaries offered to Europe are much higher to those living in the U.S. when in fact the opposite can be true. For example, the job I held in Belgium at a major pharma paid about half what it paid for the exact same job in Philadelphia.
Moreover, even if one were saving, it would be very difficult to make up for a $50,000 tuition bill in addition to rent, medical and other cost of living expenses plus pay about the $10,000 it would cost to move a family and its possessions back to the States. If you think you can save $80,000 after two years in Europe, well, you're not living anything REMOTELY like the typical expat experience.
My point: becoming an expat is not automatically a world of golden handshakes and golden parachutes and la la la financial windfalls. You do it for the adventure, for the experience, and hopefully, to begin the process of building a life overseas. But it has its risk and it's necessary to take off any rose colored glasses before embarking on such a major change in life.
BTilke is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 04:54 AM
Posts: n/a
People become expats for many reasons -some good and some not so good.

I'm in no way condoning this, but I know several guys who apparently a serious had mid-life crisis and went abroad just to drink, party and chase young girls. Can you imagine such crass, revolting behavior?

Thankfully, my "little wife" grabbed one of my big, floppy ears and pulled me off the plane before I could leave with them!
Jan 2nd, 2004, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 665
I understood your point. You have made it several times here. The answer was not condescending. It may have been flippant but it was very on point.

There is financial risk and reward in moving overseas, esp. depending on the country you 'choose'. When you go to a 'hardship' country, the financial rewards can be tremendous. Most countries in Asia, Russia and some of Eastern Europe fall into that catagory. Belgium is not considered a hardship post and I am aware that salaries may not be so different.

Still, when one is with a corporation with all of the perks, it makes sense to save due to the risk involved. When one has the schooling and esp. rent paid for, one's costs are lower. I have seen many cases where the $$ are frittered away. Hence, my comment.

Regardless, careful financial analysis is warranted.

SloJan is offline  

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