Retired in India and living on USA social security pension


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#31 Jan 27th, 2017, 01:07
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#31
Interesting stories. I posted two long items about my recent trips on the "Journals" page here at I.M. You can carry on updating them whenever you like, so maybe, although not a "travel" journal, that might me a good home for your "Life in Ratlam/India" journal?

Ed.
#32 Jan 27th, 2017, 02:01
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#32
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Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post Interesting stories. I posted two long items about my recent trips on the "Journals" page here at I.M. You can carry on updating them whenever you like, so maybe, although not a "travel" journal, that might me a good home for your "Life in Ratlam/India" journal?

Ed.
thanks! i will definitely take a look tonight. insomnia...............
#33 Jan 27th, 2017, 02:09
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Originally Posted by dillichaat View Post I'm not about to recommend anything illegal but what I did do while living in India when I heard about the illness of a friend of mine who lived in the US and was faced with extortionate bills for prescription drugs (the prefectly legal equivalent of 'sell your house or die like a dog') was pick up the phone, call a doctor at Max Medical and learn that the very same product was available in India at 1/50 th of the US price (US price which was, BTW, 7 times what it cost in the EU). They came over for a visit and I don't think it was only for the pleasure of my company and to see the Taj in Agra. Regrettably, no happy ending, he died. But his widow still has a roof over her head.
the last time i went to usa i took some meds for my son-antibiotics and nose spray, stuff that is over the counter too, and i wondered if the chemist was going to look at me funny for buying so much, so i told him it was for my son because of the expense and i dont get back there often. he said oh yeah, everybody does that, and he was offering me oxycotin as well. i told him 'no, that's ok...just stuff for coughs and colds is good'.

that is why my pension is not enough to live in the us. especially now when i get so many respiratory problems, i would have to spend so much money on stuff for that and how would i buy food? not an option, but fortunately one i am not interested in anyway.
#34 Feb 16th, 2017, 17:05
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When I lived in the US and visited India/Nepal once a year I always stocked up on a year's supply of allergy nose spray and birth control pills. I also buy my prescription glasses when I visit India.

Our plan is also to move to India once this country kicks us out at age 60(10 years from now), provided I can keep my job that long. My husband is Indian and I will be eligible to apply for OCI in July. I worked in the US for 30 years so will be receiving SS, also a small amount($500) monthly from my TIAA account starting at age 65. My husband is from Guwahati but we are concerned about political instability in the NE so we are unsure about where we will eventually settle. We have considered Dehradun but who knows what will happen in 10 years.
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#35 Feb 17th, 2017, 09:42
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#35
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I'm not about to recommend anything illegal but what I did do while living in India when I heard about the illness of a friend of mine who l
Its an interesting trade both ways. Some medicines can't be had in India and can't formally be shipped to India. The legalities are murky. However, I hear people with connections to India can with sympathetic doctors and pharmacists ship to India. Easier from India to the US.Don't know the legalities and probably don't want to. But, registered mail into India and even simple airletters into the US, yada yada..
#36 Feb 17th, 2017, 14:20
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To some extent it's a grey area. There are agreements between rightholders regardijng distribution and pricing but the extent to which these are binding on natural persons???

The problem is that, when sending medicines to India (at least from the EU), you and your MD are basically committing fraud. Reason: everything that's on prescription is either fully or partly reimbursed up front by social security. If you acquire such meds, then simply send them on to India, you're ripping off the system. On top of that, except if you carry normal amounts in luggage, you need an authorisation to export meds. If customs intercept your package then there will be trouble.

When receiving meds from India, normally you also need an import authorisation, except for what you carry in your luggage in normal quantities for personal use. If the package is checked, the stuff will likely be seized by customs. If the package contains controlled substances then not only do you risk seizure, the Man could come knocking at your door carrying a warrant containing language like 'importation of a class x scheduled substance with the intent to distribute' (if the quantity is high enough). That could result in you becoming a guest of the state or federal government and at any rate, any savings will be wiped out by lawyers' fees. Referring to the example mentioned by Selima: I'd never risk shipping stuff like oxycontin (although it surprises me that a pharmacist in India would risk selling that without a prescription).

Neither would I trust any deal that involves ordering meds online in India: there's lots of fakes/inappropriately stored stuff in circulation. Basically you need to have a doctor on the ground who can refer you to a reliable pharmacy, not one of the street corner med shops.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#37 Feb 17th, 2017, 15:47
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#37
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everything that's on prescription is either fully or partly reimbursed up front by social security.
No comprendo, nayi sumujgaya. How does Social Security have anything to with buying medicines? They are two different beasts in the uS of A. Otherwise I agree, I think there is a problem with the thousands of suffocating regulations the Amrikan babu raj comes up outside the legislative process. Go Trump go at that topic (and leave the trade for later, much later)..
#38 Feb 17th, 2017, 16:59
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#38
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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post No comprendo, nayi sumujgaya. How does Social Security have anything to with buying medicines? They are two different beasts in the uS of A.
OT:

Where I am (and in most EU countries) it's part of the same thing. Example: even before taxes, 13.6% of my gross income every month is deducted at source, I never see that cash. It covers 'social security', meaning benefits if you lose your job and health insurance. Your social security status is registered and can be checked at terminals with doctors, pharmacists etc. If a doctor prescribes something and you take the prescription to a pharmacy, they check your status. If a medicine has a price for 'uninsured' persons (e.g. a tourist) of '100' then, depending on whether it's an essential drug or not, I will pay between 0-50 out of my own pocket, the rest is automatically billed to the system and covered by the collective mandatory contributions. An MD can only prescribe to a patient which he examined, the prescription can only be collected by that individual. Hence: fraud if you get a 'fake' prescription, then purchase meds at low cost and ship 'em out.

Over here, governments are not exactly trusting: they don't simply allow you to receive your gross income, then wait for you to file a declaration and send a tax bill. The estimated amount of taxes due (about 45% of gross, in my case) is deducted at source. Part of that also funds collective medical expenses etc. The income tax bill which one gets get merely concerns a settlement, most people get back money that was deducted in excess. If you add it all up you see why it's not exactly light on the wallet over here:

gross income 100
social security: - 13.6
balance 86.5
taxes witheld -38.925
net income: 47.575
(then if you purchase anything you pay either 6 or 21% VAT). In addition to the above, the employer also pays a tax equal to a healthy chunk of the salary to the govt).

But: a visit to a doctor costs 5 Euro out of pocket, cancer medicine that would cost thousands doesn't cost anything becaus it's essential, open heart surgery costing 50k will cost maybe 1.5 k etc. If, like me, you earn well and are in good health they you become a lifelong net contributor and are 'worse' off than with private insurance. If you earn little and are in bad health the system saves your bacon.
#39 Feb 17th, 2017, 18:26
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Quite a while back we had a member from Australia who, according to himself, was dying of a well-known disease.

After a visit to Chennai (wow! people came to meetups in those days!) he asked if we could send him a supply of some medicine which was very expensive in Aus, and quite affordable here. Even though it was not the sort of thing that people would usually buy across the counter, we got a pharmacist to order it and despatched it by post.

Some time later, he got a communication from Aus customs that they had confiscated the shipment, but hey, decided not to prosecute him
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#40 Feb 17th, 2017, 21:27
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#40
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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post No comprendo, nayi sumujgaya. How does Social Security have anything to with buying medicines? They are two different beasts in the uS of A. Otherwise I agree, I think there is a problem with the thousands of suffocating regulations the Amrikan babu raj comes up outside the legislative process. Go Trump go at that topic (and leave the trade for later, much later)..
In Web1.0, the most productive sites were canadian Pharmacies fulfilling prescription drugs and shipping across the border. At that time, legal but...

As to Trump... Go look at his appointees.
#41 Feb 17th, 2017, 23:27
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#41
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post In Web1.0, the most productive sites were canadian Pharmacies fulfilling prescription drugs and shipping across the border. At that time, legal but...

As to Trump... Go look at his appointees.
i thought people in usa just drove across the border to canada and bought their meds there. it never occurred to me if they needed a prescription. they also drive across the border into mexico for surgery and dental care. obamacare did not give everyone in america insurance coverage, though it was a start.

does anyone need a prescription to buy meds in india? i mean some dont and can get any lab tests too. they ask who is the doctor or who prescribed or ordered this or that and you can say 'self' and they are ok with that.
#42 Feb 18th, 2017, 04:10
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#42
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Where I am (and in most EU countries) it's part of the same thing.
Nah distinctly different here. As mentioned before you can get SS sent to you in India. But, Medicare doesn't travel to other countries as it has a distinctly different structure. Given the tax rates quoted it makes Amrika sound better than expected.

As for appointees well who else could you get. The Ed Sec. is good, no bought & paid for agent of the bureaucracy. Take a memo Don, eliminate the unconstitutional D.O. Education and just give the money to the states. It would be hard for them to do worse with the dough. The Supreme Court nominee was actually sane and sober. The dems. should be thankful there (me too). I'll dodge Nat. Security.

And yes you do require prescriptions in Canada even for mail order. However, they have in house docs that ask a few questions first. I imagine the first is, how are you paying for this? We have that only for Marijuana not medical drugs, hmm..
#43 Feb 18th, 2017, 04:40
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When I had my bag of goodies stolen in India last autumn, I went to a chemist and just bought replacements over the counter for anti malarials, and two types of blood pressure tabs.

(I did without the prozak. )

Edwin.
#44 Feb 18th, 2017, 08:58
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#44
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Originally Posted by salima View Post i thought people in usa just drove across the border to canada and bought their meds there. it never occurred to me if they needed a prescription. they also drive across the border into mexico for surgery and dental care. obamacare did not give everyone in america insurance coverage, though it was a start.

does anyone need a prescription to buy meds in india? i mean some dont and can get any lab tests too. they ask who is the doctor or who prescribed or ordered this or that and you can say 'self' and they are ok with that.
For some meds you do, if you don't believe me, try buying sleeping tablets without one.
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#45 Feb 18th, 2017, 09:36
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Originally Posted by JOHNLORD View Post For some meds you do, if you don't believe me, try buying sleeping tablets without one.
I do buy them, no problem. I'm referring of course to mild stuff such as zolpidem (Nitrest) (Ambien in the US) or diazepam (Calmpose) (Valium). If one store won't sell it at all, the next one will after a little hemming and hawing.

Now barbiturates are another matter, I don't think you can get barbiturates in India even with a prescription.
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