Do you speak any foreign languages? If just english then try (in no particular order)
Belize is warm cheap and safe(ish) - most fo the people there are relaxed but there is a growing drug courier culture through the country which has led to a gang culture for the young men. - not sure what the healthcare is like though? but it is a commonwealth country, so may be reciprocal. Lots of walks and a generous retirement scheme (you have to be over 45) to encourage pensioners to move there. Met a really nice couple over there a few years ago, but he was attacked by one of the drug gangs who thought he had money and has now moved back to the UK, but that is the exception rather than the rule.
British Virgin Islands, was sailing there over Christmas, its full of british and US expats, very relaxed and laid back and safe - off the beaten track, commonwealth country - the ale is cheap, but that's about it really, food is expensive (if you are a tourist) - might be cheaper places if you are a local.
Sweden - its warm in the summer (between July and September) can get up to 40C in stockholm and hardly any rain - colder in the winter like! And down south they all speak very good english and they are all very relaxed about things, massive country with a relatively small population - especially further north where towns are virtually empty and they are crying out for immigrants - good healthcare. Ale is expensive though... er... and so are most things, but you can live cheaply - with the high taxes there most people have to.
Cornwall - warm in the summer, speak moderately good english and ales realtively cheap - you can get fish and chips on the sea front which is a bonus.
Somewhere warm that uses English would be best. Cornwall or the South West is not a bad idea. You have to fluent in language to be able argue the toss with anyone in authority that you might come up against.
I spent two summers in Sweden but I did have a job, weather is fantastic and hardly any darkness in high summer but it is expensive.
The early part of these jaunts is the worst, it sounds silly when you are asked how long have been away and you say two weeks, but as time goes by and you can say months you start being taken seriously and get more assistance.
Corfu- cheap, warm and safe - and a lot of english speaking - they even play cricket in corfu town square (true!)
Cyprus - similar with excellent healthcare - no cricket though
I'd second Malta... because I've actually come across a couple of older folks in the same situation as yourself, spending up to 6 months there. A Maltese guy told me how he'd rented out his holiday apartment to a British couple who kept beating him down, over and over again, until the price they paid for each week was actually less than you'd pay to hire a bicycle for a week! They speak English there, and now that they've joined the EU, I guess your European Health Insurance Card (issued free at www.ehic.org.uk) will stretch that far. To see what you can and can't get abroad... check www.nhs.uk/healthcareabroad
Apart from that... it's usually sunny... and despite being densely populated there are some very interesting and scenic places to explore, without having to over-exert yourself. You can read more of what I think about Malta here!
Before you decide on leaving the UK I'd get some advice on potential benefit entitlement. You may have savings but there are contributory and non means-tested benefits you might be able to claim (contribution based Employment & Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance to name two) and even with capital you may still be entitled to some means tested benefits. Contact your local welfare rights office, law centre or CAB for more information.
Thank you, everybody.
Sorry I'd not replied till now: been hospitalling (as opposed to hostelling); and coming to terms with the fact that today [whoops, I mean yesterday] I had to pay a damn' great self-emp' tax-bill despite not having had any income for seven-and-a-half months (and counting).
Which brings me back to that last post. Thank you, Sam Harney: yes, I must look into my rights (to aid). I've been so careful to attend to my responsibilities that I'd rather overlooked the fact that benefits are my due. Lord knows I've paid for them. It's just that my long-term injuries have led to low spirits. Frankly, I can't be dealing with the monolithic face of the State, the state I'm in.
But your helpful suggestions embolden me and give me heart. Thank you.
Would the person with the pushy pandas ask his diving-instructor mate on Malta just the one question, please? If he were starting-out there, where would he stay while he looked about him to secure a longer-term perch, please?
And Bedouin, should I decide to go completely the other way, literally - because I tend to be like that - do you have specific parts of rural India in mind, please?
Oh, and while I'm at it: Jim Parkin, did you rule-out the US because of the cost of healthcare? (It's possible I mistook you, there.)
Again, thank you, everyone.
You didn't misunderstand me AF...
Somewhere where 75% of medical bankruptcies occur to people who had medical insurance at the beginning of their illness.
Good grief, Jim, I didn't know it was that savage 'over there'. Thank you for what they so obliquely dub 'the heads up' (which I just call, 'telling me').
And as PaddyDillon also so helpfully points-out I wouldn't get medical insurance for my existing conditions in the first place.
'Don't go west, old man.'?
I hadn't seen that before, Kish.
Here is the news story that I took that from - the study estimated that medical bills were behind 60% of all US bankruptcies (and of this 60%, three quarters had insurance but were overwhelmed)
If you actually want the academic paper the PDF is here
Not that I fund the US system utterly shocking, or anything. OK, I do.
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