Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

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Dodger
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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Dodger » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:15 pm

I have always accepted the federal tax and health care laws America imposed regardless if I agreed with them or not because there was never anything I could do to change them.

I was faced with two choices 18 years ago when I started working independently: A) work full time until retirement and have a ton of cash when I retired. or B) Consider myself semi-retired, only work 6 months per year and party my ass off in Thailand the other 6 months and only have half the cash when I retired. After giving this a great deal of thought (which took all of about a minute) I decided on option "B". I did a little arithmetic and came to the conclusion that if I chose option "A" I would be stuck paying the IRS a bunch of money every year after retirement which I wanted no part of. I wanted FREEDOM when I retired and that included not being handcuffed to the IRS anymore or forced to be a victim of the American Health Care Scam.

In a few weeks I will be filing my 2018 taxes which will be the last time I will ever have to pay the IRS a dime. I have a healthy social security income, small pension and a cash nest egg none-of-which are taxable. I never once paid a nickle into the American Healthcare Scam and remained totally uninsured for 18 years. According to most people this was of course insane - but I've always had this deep thorn in my side about hospitals charging people (or insurance companies) thousands of dollars just to remove a sliver from their finger and decided the just say "fuck em". Well as luck had it I was never in a position where I needed health care other than a few aspirins for my hangovers in Thailand and saved approximately $130,000 in the process.

An ace I've always had in my pocket is that I knew unconditionally that I would be retiring in Thailand when the time came and the income I would be receiving along with my personal savings would me provide me with a comfortable life considering the low cost-of-living in Thailand as emphasized earlier in this thread.

I haven't even thought about voting. Maybe that means it's not on my priority list anymore. Maybe it's time to let the younger generations in America carry that flag. Maybe it's time to just enjoy life and put American politicians in the same bucket where I tossed the IRS and American Healthcare Scam.

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Gaybutton
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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Gaybutton » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:10 pm

Dodger wrote:I have always accepted the federal tax and health care laws America imposed regardless if I agreed with them or not because there was never anything I could do to change them.
I have 2 problems with your post:

1. Social Security is taxable unless your combined income is less than $25,000 per year.

2. When you talk about not voting and say things like, " Maybe it's time to let the younger generations in America carry that flag," that is precisely the kind of voter apathy that gets people like Trump elected. People think in terms of "my one little vote won't matter."

Yes it does matter. It's no major effort to cast an absentee ballot. I hope you will do that and help vote that piece of shit out of office.

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Jun
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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Jun » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:43 pm

fountainhall wrote: National Health Service. I do not believe this should be an automatic right. The NHS is partly paid for by contributions from citizens which are either deducted from wages and salaries or paid voluntarily (as in my case). It is also - for the time being - available to other EU citizens on the basis of reciprocity. Fair enough. But for it to be available to a vast umber of recent immigrants and tourists who have paid nothing and yet denied to citizens who, despite living outside the country, have paid their contributions in full, then something is clearly very wrong.
I agree with you. However, there are some desperately naive citizens in the UK who happen to think the NHS should treat anyone who shows up, even if they are not British citizen. They don't consider that British citizens have to pay for treatment abroad in any country where there is no reciprocal agreement.
I would stick to the reciprocal agreements and send anyone else away, unless they choose to get the credit card out

Incidentally, the NHS system is very hit and miss. The state decides which GP practice you go to, but they don't allocate the resources properly, so some have people queuing out in the street to see a GP whilst somewhere 10 miles away has appointments available.
Some doctors fail to request necessary tests and therefore fail to diagnose cancers. Or miss out desperately low blood cell counts, because they didn't request a blood test. These examples are immediate family (I have more such examples).

When the first doctor screws up and you have to go back hoping to see someone who is OK the next time, it is not efficient. But such is life with a state controlled monopoly.

You are probably better off if you can afford healthcare in Asia.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Daniel » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:49 am

Jun wrote:I would stick to the reciprocal agreements and send anyone else away, unless they choose to get the credit card out . . . The state decides which GP practice you go to.
Visitors from the EEA and those ordinarily resident in the UK are entitled to free health care from the NHS. Non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control are not classed as ordinarily resident unless they have indefinite leave to remain and must pay for treatment. Some services are free to all, e.g. accident and emergency treatment (not including emergency treatment if admitted to hospital), treatment for most infectious diseases, including STDs.

As for the State deciding which GP practice you go to, that changed in 2015

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-se ... practices/

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by fountainhall » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:30 am

I'll make just one further point and then shut up on this subject.

I have a Hong Kong Chinese friend whom I have known for 38 years. He is now in his early 60s. He spent 4 years studying in London starting in the late 1970s. Being from Hong Kong and living in the UK for a few years, for whatever reason he was then entitled to a UK passport. Apart from being in the UK personally, his family had no UK connection whatever. He also received a National Insurance number and was able to use the NHS free. Fair enough! He was a student living in a cheap rental with almost no funds.

In the mid-1990s, not having lived in the UK for more than 15 years and having no residence whatever there, he developed a chronic illness. He decided to see a specialist. He called a Harley Street clinic in London (where many of the top specialists have their offices/clinics), made an appointment, bought a cheap air ticket and received treatment on the NHS using his old NI card. Not a penny of payment. He never paid a penny in tax. Since then he has used the services of the same specialist at last three dozen times. Never a penny of payment.

Ten years ago his partner purchased a flat in London and put it in my friend's name. He rented that apartment for the income. He was never in the UK for more than 2 months a year. Now he has purchased his own apartment there, although again he is never in the country for anything like the minimum of 6 months to qualify for free NHS treatment. But then he has been getting that free for more than 22 years!

How the system can keep him on the books as entitled to free treatment when he has never paid one penny in NH contributions and does not qualify as a UK resident, totally beats me! The system is broken!

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Dodger » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 am

Gaybutton wrote:1. Social Security is taxable unless your combined income is less than $25,000 per year.

2. When you talk about not voting and say things like, " Maybe it's time to let the younger generations in America carry that flag," that is precisely the kind of voter apathy that gets people like Trump elected. People think in terms of "my one little vote won't matter."
1. I'd better talk to my tax accountant to gain a better understanding of this because he informed me last year that social security payments are not included in a tax report as gross income and thus not taxable, although If any other income, i.e., pensions, IRA's, 401K etc. exceeded certain limits then 85% of my social security would than be subject to getting taxed. Due to the fact that my pension is my only other source of income and it is under the set limit he advised that after 2018 I would still have to file an annual a tax report but would not be taxed.

2. Many Americans (including myself) were (and still are) completely disgusted with the way the government has been run. I know many people who voted all their lives who stayed home on voting day because the choice they were given, i.e., HILLARY or TRUMP was just totally unacceptable. We know that things are all screwed up with Trump - but who's to say that things would be any better with Hilary. People have just had enough and are willing to take big risks to get the government they want operating back in Washington.

I've spent my whole life working, paying my taxes and supporting political candidates I liked, but now I'm retired and much more interested in enjoying my hobbies and this naked brown boy I have laying in the bed behind me as I type. I'll always be concerned for America but quite intentionally detached.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by fountainhall » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:53 am

Dodger wrote:People have just had enough and are willing to take big risks to get the government they want operating back in Washington.
You could say the same about London. Yet politics has become so toxic in recent decades. "People" are now far more divided than ever before. So what in fact do "people" want"? Even if that could be identified, I have no idea how that end is achievable now.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:42 am

fountainhall wrote:politics has become so toxic in recent decades.
Seems like a good reason for UK people to also 'flock' to Thailand, although based on the posts over the years it seems easier for Americans to retire here than it is for UK citizens.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Dodger » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:59 am

fountainhall wrote:"People" are now far more divided than ever before. So what in fact do "people" want"?
I'm not sure what the people in America want either but one thing that I know is that this division between people and all the political battles and disagreements are exactly what the media wants. People are more involved and informed (or misinformed) than in any time in history and the media knows exactly how to capture their attention. I prefer Al Jazeera over CNN, Fox, CNBC, etc. for the mere fact that it's the only news outlet I can find that actually provides unbiased facts versus that biased over-dramatic made-for-Hollywood bullshit that the other news outlets provide. BBC is my second choice.

I still don't think this is a motivating factor behind more Americans flocking to Asia, but have to admit that living abroad gives me a sense of detachment from U.S. politics which is refreshing to say the least.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:09 pm

Dodger wrote:I'd better talk to my tax accountant to gain a better understanding of this
I'd do that if I were you:
____________________

How is Social Security taxed?

AARP

October 10, 2018

If your total income is more than $25,000 for an individual or $32,000 for a married couple filing jointly, you must pay income taxes on your Social Security benefits. Below those thresholds, your benefits are not taxed. That applies to spousal, survivor and disability benefits as well as retirement benefits.

The portion of your benefits subject to taxation varies with income level. You’ll be taxed on:

up to 50 percent of your benefits if your income is $25,000 to $34,000 for an individual or $32,000 to $44,000 for a married couple filing jointly.
up to 85 percent of your benefits if your income is more than $34,000 (individual) or $44,000 (couple).

Say you file individually, have $50,000 in income and get $1,500 a month from Social Security. You would pay taxes on 85 percent of your $18,000 in annual benefits, or $15,300. Nobody pays taxes on more than 85 percent of their Social Security benefits, no matter their income.

For purposes of determining how the Internal Revenue Service treats your Social Security payments, “income” means your adjusted gross income plus nontaxable interest income plus half of your Social Security benefits.

All of the above concerns federal taxes; 13 states also tax Social Security to varying degrees. If you live in Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Vermont, Utah or West Virginia, contact your state tax agency for details on how benefits are taxed.

Keep in mind:

If your child receives Social Security dependent or survivor benefits, those payments do not count toward your taxable income. That money is taxable if the child has sufficient income (from Social Security and other sources) to have to file a return in his or her own name.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is never taxable.

If you do have to pay taxes on your benefits, you have a choice as to how: You can file quarterly estimated tax returns with the IRS or ask Social Security to withhold federal taxes from your benefit payment.

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social- ... taxed.html

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