The Cost of Quality of Life

The subject line would work for a quality of life (QoL) substantially defined by materialism. My concern is the QoL somewhere with a higher crime rate than Thailand. Appears to me the only systematic violent crime against foreigners here is against drunk or unaware ATM users in the most heavily visited tourist areas. Non-trivial theft or property crimes are so infrequent they either never get reported on the expat forum or they’ve slipped my memory.

I’m concerned about crime in the Latin American places I’m researching. Now an obligatory time out to counter responses before they’re made. 1) ‘Crime is everywhere’. Yes, but the crime rate, officially or anecdotal, is a continuum, so it’s the relative crime rates which matter. 2) ‘I’ve lived in (place) for # years and have never been a victim’. Congratulations, you just proved you don’t understand the concept of crime rate. 3) ‘Just do it. Going through life scared is no way to live’. I’m not scared, I can’t afford to lose $2,000+ worth of camera and lenses. If I can’t walk around at sunset with a camera without fear of it being stolen, I don’t want to live there.

Thinking about QoL jumped to the cost of QoL and my trump card. All, and I mean all, my retirement planning excluded my expected SS benefits. Why? It’s a Plan B in case my financial projections are wrong, or I have huge unexpected and unavoidable expenses. Now I’m thinking about what QoL would be possible I added SS because it gives me a greater selection of places to live.

I turn 60 in a few months. Maybe that’s why I’m finally thinking about planning beyond being financially prepared. Until now, thinking about death was in the context of sticking to safe practices while rock climbing, hang gliding, riding a motorcycle, etc. Now I’m aware that my personal decline in physical ability, mental ability and health is slowly steepening and will continue to do so. It can be slowed or delayed but the process is inevitable. Why not enjoy a higher QoL in my 60s and then live simpler afterwords?

One good thing about turning 60 is I now look good in grey shirts.


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