This is my idea of my metaphorical HEAVEN! My wish list and it exists …

How do you choose a country to Relocate to or for Retirement?

In no particular order


Connected to the world
I have no problem with New Zealand other than when looking at a map of the world its located in this far right-hand corner. Yes, I know the world is a globe, but it is so remote. There are many reasons why Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), passes through the Old Royal Observatory in the London suburb of Greenwich. (It is the time measured on the Earth’s zero-degree line of longitude, or meridian. This runs from the North Pole to the South Pole-Professor Google)

Have you ever been to Greenwich? Its fun and trendy and buzzes! New Zealand is GMT +12. How do you speak with your granddaughter? She goes to bed and you are still waking up. It is hard to maintain relationships. Besides, how do you get to watch a soccer game or rugby match at a decent hour. Its difficult braaiing at 8am in the morning or cracking a beer.

For me its GMT +3 or -3 max!

 

Tax
I am happy to pay tax provided I get services in return. Fair don’t you think. Why is it that some countries with a good quality of life are able to provide the essential services as required for humans to thrive?

Corporate taxes vary widely from country to country. From typically 10% to 30-35%. Yet when you examine a country with low corporate taxes, they are still able to provide quality essential services. Infra-structure, roads, public transport, healthcare etc. And personal taxes; if you are paying 10-15-20% you do not spend half your day figuring out how to reduce your tax, particularly if you are getting essential services in return.

 

Cuisine
Ah… if you cannot eat well, what is the point of life? Stolid food like bangers and mash is for someone else. Variety they say is the spice of life. No, I want to enjoy all cuisines. No snakes or cockroaches, mainline food, that excludes your fast-food burger, but includes chocolate milkshakes.

 

Quality of Life
It starts  with peace of mind. Knowing that there is the rule of law, that personal rights are respected and enforced. Democracy is non-negotiable; that every 4 or 5 years you can vote in or out politicians (Who aren’t my favourite humans) based on performance and that the electorate has reasonable intelligence to choose.

That there is infrastructure. Potholes, garbage, and such like should be attended to and that municipal billing is fair and correct.



Safety and Security
I have a pistol. It has saved my life once. In a home invasion, the fashionable word for armed burglary. I do not want to carry it, I dislike guns. Yet if you ride your bicycle you are in danger of being seriously hurt or killed for your shoes and a cell phone. Speeding and drunk driving are offences that need policing, but being stopped at the airport at 6am with the confusion caused by COVID restrictions and no signage to direct one, and a Metro policeman tickets you for treating a stop like a yield sign on an enormous speed bump that you crawl over is revenue collection, not policing.

Low walls, no armed response, kids playing in the streets is where I want to be!

 

Hobbies Culture Sport
Retirement is not for wimps! All this free time, what do you do with it? How often do you hear of “Piet” who retired, good pension, no financial worries, dead in 18 months! You have to plan your retirement. When you older you sleep 4-6 hours, and then? Lots of time to fill. Be sure that where you going to spend your golden years there is choice. Activities and an environment where you can integrate and enjoy sports, your hobbies and take in a healthy dose of culture. For those relocating sports and hobbies is the only route to get quickly involved with your community and create relationships. The more international your chosen country the easier it is to integrate.

 

Climate
No sun No smiles. Its as simple as that. Ever notice in your travels that in your colder climes people hardly smile. Vancouver is not for me (GMT -7). Shovelling snow to get out the driveway, plugging in the car to heat it overnight, and avoiding the outside for months is a terrible thought. Give me sun and more sun!



Healthcare
The technology to enable us to live longer exists. They are right now experimenting with growing my new heart form the cell I provided. Seriously, this will be mainstream sooner than you think. Your medical aid will soon provide you with a chip to monitor your vital signs. That is way cheaper than treating you for that stroke! A country that can provide quality healthcare, basically free is where I want to relocate to.

 

Education
I am fortunate that my kids understood that the world of today requires more than just literacy. Do not get me wrong, there are great entrepreneurs with no formal education, but less and less opportunities exist as the techno driven world presides. To succeed you need a foundation of education to understand the ways of the world and to spot the opportunities and commercialise them. A first world education in a first world environment is a must.

So, are you FUTURE ready? To relocate or retire to your HEAVEN?

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