Expatriation as retirement

I’ve been watching this back and forth now on Events for a long time and like K. Mattox says, it really never changes. A bunch of people with iron-clad opinions that never change if for no other reason than they only believe evidence that sees it their way   And, of course, I’m guilty of that as well.

But cut to the chase, I think the Presidential race is largely inconsequential. The dire straits the country has entered is largely a result of bad decisions made by a very large number of incompetent decision makers over a very long period of time. And there remains the possibility that no matter who was making any of these decisions, the evolutionary process would not have altered much or for long. The Presidential race gets a lot of visibility, but I’m not convinced any of them can do much more than make promises they have no power to keep. And the various factions are now simply committed to getting absolutely nothing done unless it’s with their interest group. Stalemate is now the order of the day, and Romney can’t avoid it anymore than Obama did.

Many of the problems we now face probably can’t be fixed by anyone. Call it whatever you want, the weather is dramatically changing and in that process, our food and water supply will change (for the worse) with it. The US economy is largely service oriented, with fewer interesting in purchasing those services. Half the world is at the throat of the other half and most of them have nuclear weapons now. We are already deeply in debt to factions that have no problem using that debt to our detriment.  The global economy is in serious trouble and there is no realistic cure for it.

I think people dwell on a Presidential candidate to fix all that because of the media visibility, but the reality is that they are all slightly more manipulative observers than the rest of us. Obama is a altruistic ideologue trying to create a safe haven for most of the country at premium prices.  Romney is a rich white guy trying to get back to his glory days of saving the Olympics. They both like flying around in Air Force One and waving at the crowds.  But in the end, I suspect none of them will alter the inevitable path we’re on. Our bed was made through a long period of time and like it or not, we’re going to sleep in it.

I continue to wonder if becoming an expatriate is not a viable option at my stage in the game. I have enough money in my retirement accounts to live quite comfortably without Social Security.  If I went on the cheap, I could make it till age 90. If I continued to blow money on stuff I like as long as I’m spry and healthy enough to enjoy any of it, I could probably make it to 80 and beyond. When it’s all gone, I could see myself with a room on a Personal Care Home with photos of the glory days on the wall, a cable TV and a laptop. As long as I could keep up with the world, I’d be OK with that. If I couldn’t do any of that, I’d make sure I had a deal with someone to take care of that situation.

I continue to wonder if the most enjoyable course is to move out of the country, not in a fit of pique because of the rule of a political candidate but simply because I don’t have much faith in where the country’s going no matter who’s in charge.  Re-locating to a burned out country out of the way of political upheaval seems like an interesting deal. A small area of a burned out country that no one in any power base cares about and is likely to maintain no matter what happens in the global situation.

I was in the South of Spain motorcycle riding a few years ago. The guy that owned the small motorcycle rental was a German expat, formerly an engineer of some kind.  He moved to a beautiful small town right on the Southern coast of Spain and set up shop. Potential renters flew into Malaga, he drove over and picked them up for an hour’s ride through the countryside.  I took a few days and rode all over the area. It was phenomenal and no one paid any attention to what was going on over the rest of the world. In this small town, satellite cable was available and an International airport (4th busiest in Spain) was an hour away. He was happy as a clam and spent a lot of time lying around the beach ogling pneumatic babes.

When I was in Morocco, the guy that owned the tour I went on (specialized for one or two individuals with specific interests) was a former professor at a Kansas university that did actually leave in disgust over the political situation a few years ago (conservative Republican afraid of Obama).  He had a nice deal there and was busy enough to make a living.  He said Morocco was a very nice, safe, comfortable place to be for expats. Totally apolitical. When I was there,  met three physicians actively planning to relate permanently to Jerusalem. I see more activity toward expatriation than ever before.

More people just don’t want to live in the maelstrom anymore. They just don’t care. The more political attack ads I see (and actively avoid seeing-) now about every twenty minutes on TV, the more resolved I am to get away from all of it. I could see myself purchasing a small out of the way bungalow somewhere in Scotland or England, near enough access to London and airports if needed, Cable TV, Satellite Internet, bikes and a car parked out front. I could find a LOT to do with the time I have left. When that time’s up, none of it matters anymore.

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