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I think Tre is right.
Malaysia is English-speaking like the Phils, but more varied. If I had your bankroll I would go there. Check into residency but I bet you can work it out. Without residency it's just a place to visit, no longterm tourism allowed.
Great base for Asia.
You would love Phils also but I think if you land there they will hook you up so fast that you will never get to see anywhere else. Malaysia you can use as a base for travel. Good airlines, and arguably a better place to live.
Don't understand those suggesting Russia. As a place to live on 2k a month? Well, I suppose... Sounds not-too-luxurious.
^^^Exactly. You can get residency in Malaysia which is a pretty easy country to adjust to. They have the Malaysia My Second Home program: http://www.mm2h.com/
You can live a convenient life in Malaysia and use the airport to springboard into Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.. If you decide you like the Philippines, Thailand or some other country and want to LIVE there long-term, you can always move. However, if you want to travel and explore, Malaysia IMO is a perfect place to begin the journey....
Very interesting replies gentlemen - thank you. And I appreciate the kind words of support.
I'm intrigued with what was said about Malaysia and Vietnam. We hear much about Thailand and the Philippines, but Malaysia and Vietnam are two places I'd never seriously considered.
I would have assumed Vietnam was too backward and quite possibly too dangerous.
As for Malaysia, being an Islamic country I wouldn't expect the women to be very approachable. Muslims tend to keep their women locked down pretty tight and certainly don't let them date kaffirs (not that I can particularly blame them). Perhaps Malaysia is more open in this respect?
Someone asked me to picture the kind of life I would want to live abroad. The picture in my mind is a loving family environment. A pretty wife, kids, doting grandparents and lots of love to go around. Basically the American dream I was never able to realize here in the USA. I don't want to bang a bunch of women, honestly. I've done that already; just leaves you feeling empty in the end (and you worry about STD's the whole time). No, truth is I just want to find the right girl and live happily ever after. So yeah, that's my dream.
I don't have any great desire to bring a girl back over to the US either; I'd just as soon settle down abroad if possible. I wouldn't want my future wife to be corrupted by US cultural rot and I don't think America's a great place to raise children anyways. So my ideal country would make it easy for US citizens to reside there for extended stays.
As for practical matters, high speed internet is a must. I'm not crazy about hot, humid weather nor am I overly fond of mosquitoes. Although being from N Texas I'm certainly used to my fair share of both. I don't mind warm, it's just that I'd prefer the average daily highs not be over 90F or so. That's when I start to get miserable no matter what I'm wearing. But ultimately I'd adapt to most types of weather; my years in the Army gave me a pretty thick skin when it comes to personal comforts. As for language, widespread English is definitely preferable; it just makes it so much easier to connect with the locals when they can truly converse with you.
I'm looking forward to more of your responses. You guys in this forum are one of the most interesting groups of people on the internet.
I should have clarified that better - what I meant was that taken over the course of a year, I'm averaging about $2k/mo net profit after expenses. Some months I might have all my profit eaten up by an unexpected expense like somebody's AC dies or their rotting fence blows over in a storm. That sort of thing... as you know there are good months and bad months, and sometimes man when it rains it pours.
But overall my rental houses do have positive cash flow (like I said about $2000/month with me doing the managing and many of the repairs myself). If I contracted a management company I'd lose at least 25% of my profit. This is where I come up with the theoretical $1500/month income.
I also have stock and dividend income when the market's good, though I don't currently have my cash invested because this year's not looking very good for equities. So even thought that's theoretical income I don't want to count it because it's not guaranteed.
I'm shoving off next month in a far less advantageous position financially -- $900-1000 passive income per month, $40K as cash reserve -- but I expect no financial problems if I can pick up a couple extra bucks teaching English. And I'm heading to Europe, preferring the look and intellects of the women over there.
You can live very cheaply in the Balkans and parts of eastern Europe. And your concerns about hot weather would be alleviated. I spent a summer in Prague, and didn't once need air conditioning or a fan, and I'm someone who needs it cool to sleep.
Of course, most of Europe becomes very gray along about October, so I plan on following the sun. I'll be three months in and out of the Schengen Zone, with winters spent in places like southern France, Spain and Greece.
I'll have to find fairly cheap places to live on airbnb, but I don't mind that. You have more flexibility. You could live in very expensive cities such as Paris, London or Moscow, if you wanted, though not as high on the hog as you could in, say, the Balkans (which is a very nice corner of the world, by the way, where most people speak some English).
Your tone sounds like you're feeling a little beat up by circumstances, but look at what you've got: the opportunity and financial wherewithal for a whole new life, one of your choosing. You can check out several different places until you find one, or several, that you like. Not too many people have that.
$200,000 is a good start, but not enough to embark on an early retirement. If I were you, I would continue to work for five years, but integrate foreign travel into your routine. Perhaps take 4 exploratory vacations per year.
Perhaps in 5 years you could have $300,000 or more, a health care policy that treats you while overseas, and a better idea of where you want to settle down.
Sounds like you are on the cusp, but I know guys like you who ended up homeless in Ukraine after several years of spending their nest eggs like never before.
Malaysian women are likely not nearly as approachable as women from the Philippines. Their religion will make it tougher for you to date them (although not all of them follow the Muslim religion). However, Malaysia is an easier place to begin your journey, a place to ease yourself into Asia. You may not want to settle there indefinitely, but it's a great springboard to travel all over Asia. I'd move there if I could as I am certain I'd have little difficulties with anything after living in a variety of environments in the USA and also in Singapore. Philippines may be where you end up, but it's NOT a great place to start if you are not used to it IMO. If you are used to 3rd World and are used to being without conveniences, then you could skip Malaysia and go straight to Philippines, Vietnam, etc. However, it sounds like you'd like some place a bit more convenient (good internet, conveniences, etc). Due to that, I really think you'd do best if you ease into Asia and then explore further to see what you can and can't deal with. Malaysia has good internet, conveniences and English is widely spoken. It's probably the only place in Asia that has that combination, except for Singapore....which is too expensive.
If you want to safely never work again, I'd be careful tapping your nest egg any more than you have to. Realistically, I'd pull 4% out a year and leave the rest invested, while relying primarily on your properties for income. You won't be able to manage your own property realistically, so you're going to need a management company. This gives you $8,000/year in drawdown from your nest egg, and $1,500 a month from your properties, for a total of $2,166.66 per month to live off of, more than enough for most of SEA or SA.
Vietnam is an interesting place. You can get an OK hotel room with breakfast included in a big city for $15 to $20. Smaller towns are less. The people are friendly and open, perhaps a little bit shy. Women are interested in you but they will not come on to you, so you must be able to initiate a conversation. The more educated ones and the ones working around the tourist industries speak some English. They love to practice English with a native-speaker so that is a great in.
My overall impression of Vietnam is that the people are good-natured and hard working. In general, the women seem to be sweet and very traditional.
As in most, if not all of Asia, there is a constant low-level hustle going on, constant attempts to overcharge you. For the most part it is minor. I found it to be less of a problem in Vietnam than in Thailand.
Prices are quite reasonable. Not 1/25 of US prices (look at the source on that nugget of wisdom), but reasonable. A train trip in a soft sleeper from Hanoi to HCMC is a little over $100.
Here is one example of a place to eat in HCMC. $1USD equals about 21000 VND. The meal also included a good-sized bowl of soup and a vegetable
How about Dubai, i myself is in a similar situation and have business in the works there is that a good place if i have 200k and I am trying to leave USA asap like in 2-3 months due to fears of a collapse on the horizon