Part disclosure part egocentric whine.

I've decided to switch my Canadian political tweets and interests to foreign affairs and pension issues for expats. Why the niche issue switch? I've decided to move offshore to a country where I can afford to live and have a decent life.
/1
I live in Victoria BC right now and pay nearly 70% of my income to rent/utilities/internet/phone etc. I am involuntarily ostracized socially due to my low income (can't keep up) and I'm not able to live in my area of choice either- just too damned expensive. Such is Victoria.
/2
Although I can survive, it is a day-to-day struggle, and survival just isn't good enough anymore. I have all the prov and fed subsidies I can find. There is no more there. I don't have an outside social life since restaurants, bars/pubs, movies at the theatres etc,
/3
are way out of my price range. If it's not free or 80% off I don't go. So I nickle and dime my way through every month. I don't own a car and could never own one since insurance rates in BC are, as with most things in Canada, out of my price range.
/4
The world changed for Canadians like me when households became investments rather than homes. Foreign money poured in, Canadian speculators grabbed everything they could get their gloves on and low income Canadians like me were, and are, pushed aside. There's money to be made.
/5
So ,my knowledge of South East Asia is extensive and I have rented a condo in an up and coming country in an attempt to have a decent life. Presently my view is a parking lot with a nice green dumpster. Sometimes a septic tank pumper truck blocks my view of the dumpster.
/6
My new rental is 60M from the ocean, a high floor with a view of large condos circling the bay, small mountains and towns 20 km away. There is a 7km bricked walkway along the waterfront where I can join in the free Tai Chi exercises that are held on the beach each morning.
/7
An apartment like my new retirement pad, furnished, size (47 Sqm,) view and location, if located in Vancouver, rent alone, would exceed 100% of my income.
/8
As an aside: I was contacted by a local rental agent in Victoria 2 years ago who offered me the perfect place for my final years. It was in a large apartment building in James Bay on the 13th floor overlooking Victoria harbour. Awesome in all accounts.
/9
Although the unit was fairly small it had everything I could use at this point in my life. The view (my top requisite) was nothing short of spectacular. I have an excellent credit rating, solid references, my income is carved in stone and I have no debt to carry. I was happy.
/10
Then I got a call and was told corporate rejected my rental app. The rent, though $50 a month less than I pay now was still way over the 40% of income they would allow. My dream of staying in Canada and living a decent life for the rest of my life, ended. I gave up trying.
/11
The location I've chosen is quiet but a 1,200 meter waterfront walk leads to an area full restaurants and entertainment venues. A simple lunch in a local restaurant costs around $2.50. A full Australian style breakfast with all the fixins' is about $4.50.
/12
I don't drink much anymore but, if I want a beer at a local bar it will cost me $2.40. My monthly overhead costs, rent/utilities ($530) high-speed internet (unlimited 40Mbps $28) phone ($12) will be about 60% of my net income.
/13
The reason the % is that high is b/c the Canadian gov punishes those of us who make this sort of retirement move (a lot of people think that's completely fair, I do not.) Not only do we give up our healthcare coverage and all other seniors' benefits both prov and fed but,
/14
Guaranteed Income Supplement is stopped after 6 months. That rule (GIS) was put in place in1967, a world and time away from the world we live in now. If the Canadian government did not end my GIS payments, I would be able to afford private healthcare insurance. Now, I cannot.
/15
My country of choice has a mixed system of public and private healthcare. Public is cheap, private astronomical. But, since I will not be able to afford any coverage, I'm taking a gamble on health/survival. I'm in my 70s and actuarially speaking, nasty things will occur.
/16
If something does go wrong, and once I've maxed out my credit card well...it's my choice to roll the dice. Otherwise, with the 50% drop in income, but the corresponding drop of nearly 70% in overhead, I can have a mediocre life, which is 2 steps above mere survival in Canada.
/17
In-the-end, it's a choice of either a view of a parking lot dumpster with all of Canada's benefits or a tropical waterfront condo with no healthcare or safety net. Worth betting my life on? Yes. I'm tired of living like a mutt.

Roll the bones.
/end
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