Sunday, June 14, 2015

Decisions, decisions!

We've recently started to think about where we will live when we retire. We are lucky to be able to choose, but it does become overwhelming when you are faced with too many options.

I'm currently sitting on a swing on my deck. Its 8AM, its warm and sunny and the birds are chattering. The only noise other than that is the occasional drone of the air conditioning kicking on.  Its been this way every day this week. Glorious weather, and the best part is we know it's not a one off, for the most part it will continue like this through to end of September. Whats not to like?

The winter. Months of endless snowfall and below zero temperatures day and night. Endless snow clearing. House-bound for weeks because its too cold to go for a walk, and even if you decide to brave it, its dangerous because there are no sidewalks, the roads are narrow and visibility is poor due to the snowbanks either side.

Then theres Britain. Winters rainy but mild, and pretty much over and done with by February. Summers can be nice, but it rarely gets hot and the clouds & rain are never far away.

Standard of living in the US is high. Clothes, electronics, cars, furniture and even houses are cheaper. In this part of the US, theres room to have a big house and yard. Even the most modest of houses have space around them. No rows of terraced houses like in Wales, even semi's are unusual. But you won't find a selection of good pubs, or anything like a city center unless you live in Boston, which is prohibitively expensive. And theres no public transport network, cars are pretty much essential - a downside of living in the suburbs

Healthcare in the US has been, in our experience, excellent but the insurance is so expensive and the paperwork that goes with it is incredible. We have been told that you have to allow around $10000 - $15000 (7000-10,000 GBP)  per year to cover a couple. Thats a big chunk out of your retirement pot. The NHS, for all its faults, has a lot going for it and I think Britain doesn't realize what a benefit it is.

So there you go. Hot summers, freezing winters, cheap cost of living, expensive health insurance? Or mild weather and pubs and Marks & Spencer?
Decisions, decisions?

What would you do?

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