cheapest, safest paradise to live?

What area/island/nation/place is the cheapest, safest paradise? Seems that the nice spots in the US caribbean are getting pricey and crime is high in some idyllic spots. So just wondering. Thinking of selling my condo, taking the 100k from that (got lucky) and just retiring for a decade somewhere if GWB wins.

How about Puerto Rico? The problem here is that you want rich-country protections and luxuries at poor-country property values - it’s difficult to get that. Perhaps coastal Mexico would be good.

Luxury isn’t needed, just reasonable safety, transportation and health care.

How crowded is PR and what’s the crime there like?

I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. There is a perfect spot but one of its many advantages is that it’s not crowded. So I’ve been sworn to secrecy.

Try Costa Rica

I have heard the Costa Rica is quickly changing from the cheap paradise it once was and is becoming too developed. Apparently people that are looking for the extremely cheap paradise are moving to Panama, which is cheaper and less spoiled but also less safe.

Sorry, no cites.

You’re correct about Costa Rica. It’s turning into the new Cancun.

I would try the Greek Islands.

What about Belize? Is it over developing?

Dunno. I only know about Costa Rica because the SO and I were planning a trip down there so I did some research.

Switzerland. They havent had a war in almost 500 years, no hurricanes, and they have very little crime.

They have a few Muslim fundamentalists, but I would try somewhere like Koh Samui, Koh Tao or Koh Phi Phi, islands off the coast of Thailand. I don’t know about health care, but it is dirt cheap, it is absolutely beautiful, there are lots of European and North American expats (especially divers) around, the food is great, the country is reasonably stable at least for that part of the world, you don’t need much transport except for a motorbike. We rented a bungalow on Koh Tao for $5 a night. It wasn’t air conditioned and it was hot as hell, there was only 6 hours of electricity a day, but you get used to that. And for the cost, you can set yourself up with a nice air conditioned condo with a private generator and indoor plumbing and the like. If you want to avoid Muslim fundamentalists, maybe keep away from the more Southern islands like Koh Phi Phi, but Koh Samui and Koh Tao should still be fine.

The other nice thing about Switzerland is how cheap it is. Hell, a Swiss holiday is so cheap it is almost free.

But is it boring? I recall watching a play in the 1980s and a diplomat in the play mentioned how bored he was there.

It’s as interesting as it is inexpensive.

(You were being whooshed. It’s the most expensive place in the world, after Japan. On the other hand, it’s not quite as boring as its reputation would suggest, and has a modestly-progressive attitude to marijuana.)

Some Greek Islands are as close as I’ve ever seen to paradise - kudos to Neurotik for suggesting them. However, since they are EU and the dollar s rather weak against the Euro, your 100k will will be nowhere near enough for a nice house near the coast and a decades’ spends.

I don’t know much about the Caribbean - I’ve been to Cuba and Tobago, both being beautiful, although obviously only the latter would be up your street.

Malaysia or Thailand would be my suggestions: Thailand is cheaper but Malaysia more safe (the island of Langkawi must be seen to be believed). However, even here a decade on $100k might be stretching it a bit.

To live like a king in a beautiful, safe, Anglophone place, I’d suggest Kerala, South India. (The government will actually help you build your ideal home, I believe).

How about Tasmania or New Zealand? Chile has quietened down a lot, too.

Thailand has been considered a paradise destination for years, if you’re into the tropical scene. It is (mostly) affordable, although the places you really want to be in are not. You can’t beat the Thai beaches, sun, sea, and cuisine, they are all absolutely top rate. It is, however, a bit of a totalitarian state – speak a word against the royals and you could find yourself bundled away by the police to serve a long spell in one of the world-famous Thai correctional institutions. They’re a nation of peace-loving Buddhists, but they have some really brutal kick-boxing and the death penalty. They produce some of the best marijuana in the world, but it is severely illegal and goodness help you if they even suspect you of carrying drugs. They used to have the most outrageously amazing sex entertainment, especially in Bangkok, but it was decreed immoral a year or two ago and a crackdown followed.

The people tend to be very friendly, the women can be extremely attractive, and so can the Katoey (if you spot a scantily-clad gorgeous 6"1’ Thai woman, take note!).

Medical facilities by and large are OK, and one of the finest hospitals in the entire region is in Phuket. If you’re a man looking to become a woman, I understand that this establishment is one of the very finest in the world.

The main problem with Thailand is how overrun by tourists it is. High-class tourists go to stay in luxury establishments of unparalleled opulence and comfort and bitch about the dirty backpackers. Tourists on tighter budgets trudge around or linger, often for months, bitching about how commercial everything is becoming. Thailand has set very few controls for the development of a healthy tourist industry, nor against the blatant exploitation of natural resources (just as they were initially reluctant to address the very serious problem of sexually transmitted diseases a decade or two ago). Koh Pipi (where they filmed The Beach is almost unrecognizable. Phuket is acquiring the feel of an overdeveloped resort town on the Italian Adriatic, and Koh Samui is supposed to follow suit in the next few years. However it is a sizeable country and tourism spots can be avoided, at least to date – but you will have to spend your holiday hot, sweaty, dirty, and with a high probability of regular food poisoning if your gut is unaccustomed to Asian bugs.

Oh, and the organized crime – never mess with those smiling tattooed guys renting out jet-skis and the like on the beach, because they will A) beat the daylights out of you, B) come back for you in the company of a bribed policeman who will “confiscate” your passport until you cough up substantial cash, C) all the above.

I’ve been around a bit and I love Thailand, but I think a paradise is dictated by what you are looking for, for how long, and what you can afford. Bangkok is closer to hell than it is to paradise, but it’s an experience; the jungles and the seaside of Thailand are definitely some of the most beautiful spots on Earth, but they are being irresponsibly exploited (in Phuket they still have open sewage draining directly into the sea) so they may not be around much longer. Still, there are places of great beauty all over this part of the world, even in China; Vietnam is developing quite nicely.

The Greek islands may actually be found throughout the region, no need to confine yourself to Greece – check out Turkey and southern Italy for places just as amazing. Or go to nearby Montenegro for the most dramatic coastline and great food.

Any more insights on Mexico?

Actually, to invest your money wisely, I’d suggest the Croatian coast. It is not in the EU yet and so the Croatian dinar’s exchange rate is highly in your favour. The property prices will rocket, especially if Croatia ever joins the EU.
You could even buy your own [url=]island[/urk].

Pop. 3.9million, land area 3500 sq. mi., but includes one large metropolitan area and a few medium cities so it’s not a uniform density. Crime’s about the same as some states – the last FBI crime stats report I read had us about 27th-ish in the list of US states and territories in violent crime, although sadly San Juan itself was right up there with DC as cities go.

We are not a low-cost destination, though. And as for fleeing GWB as per the OP, we’re just as stuck :frowning: