Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Gale writes: I’ve lived in Nicaragua (south Pacific coast) and have a 1998 Honda Civic; for about nine years, the only cost per year is for insurance, on a declining scale, which is now around $40 per year. There is no license or inspection fee. Our electricity bill is also extremely low, even though the cost per kilowatt-hour is around 8.5. This works out to appx. $45 per month. In remote Texas, the kWh rate is way lower – but our bill still goes from $150 to $250 per month! With no a/c!
My reply: You’re right. The main reason it costs so much to live in the Unite States isn’t the cost of utilities; it’s the cost of Uncle. My monthly power bill is about the same as yours; maybe about $20 more in the winter (gotta keep the koi from freezing). But very manageable.
My biggest expenses are: Property tax on my place (about $160/month) and the insurance-or-else I am forced to buy to “cover” my car, truck and the bikes (works out to about the same as the property tax on the house). So about $350/month in cost-to-live I shouldn’t have.
And my costs are a fraction of most people’s costs.
Even so, I am compelled to generate about twice the amount of money I’d otherwise need to live … in order to be allowed to live. It’s sickening – makes a mockery of the idea that Americans are “free.”
If you never have to stop worrying about money – no matter how modestly you live – no matter that you’ve long ago “paid off” your home and have no debts – you cannot ever truly be free.
So, I get expating – and have given it much thought. The main reason I haven’t expated is because I’m not 25 anymore and all my friends are here. As loathsome as things have become in this country, the prospect of being a middle-aged stranger in a strange land, without friends or family, depresses the Hell out of me.
And so, I stay.
I know I will probably regret it.
. . .
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