9 Critical Issues To Consider Before Deciding To Live Overseas

Resultado de imagen para Live Overseas

By Kathleen Peddicord | live and invest overseas

The first and perhaps most important step you must take to make sure that you arrive where you want to be in your new life overseas is to understand what, really, you want your new life overseas to be.

What’s important to you? What are your priorities? Your agendas? Your preferences?

What are you not willing to give up from your current lifestyle… and what would make you miserable in your new one?

Your challenge, as you begin the process of deciding where to launch your live- or retire-overseas adventures, is to consider the world in the context of your personal circumstances and objectives. Then you can connect the dots between the world’s most interesting and appealing places to spend time… and your own situation.

Step one, though, is to be clear in your own mind what your situation is.

And, critically, if you’re intending to make your move with a significant other, you need to come to these understandings jointly. If you and your significant other have different ideas about what constitutes a dream life overseas, you want to identify the differences and address them sooner rather than later.

Here are the fundamental issues you must consider at this getting-started stage of your go-overseas process:

Critical Issue #1: Are you planning to move alone? With a significant other? With other family members? With children?

As I said, if you’re moving with a significant other or with other family members, you must work to consider every issue and to address every question together, and you must allow all sides a voice. Making a success of a new life overseas requires energy, commitment, and a positive attitude. You don’t want to force someone into it.

If you’re planning to move with children, then at least one of your priorities is clear: The children. You’ll want to take their comfort, care, security, and education into account above all else.

Critical Issue #2: How concerned are you with what your family and friends think?

Your family and friends may surprise you (and me). They may be nothing but supportive and enthusiastic about your plan to launch a new life in a new country.

And probably some of them will be.

Others, though, will think you’ve lost your mind. They’ll forward you media links and State Department warnings to show you how dangerous and ridiculous an idea it is to think about leaving the safety of home and heading off to some exotic foreign land, where you’ll be at the mercy, they’ll assure you, of non-English-speaking thieves and scallywags. Plus you’ll be lonely… homesick…

You need to make up your mind right now that you won’t be dissuaded by any of it. Stay the course. You’re on the road to a future better and brighter than your naysaying friends could ever imagine.

They don’t get it… but that’s OK. They don’t have to get it.

Critical Issue #3: Do you want to live among the locals or in a more private, perhaps gated setting with fellow expats for your neighbors?

If you choose to relocate to an established expatriate community, you’ll have no trouble slipping into the local social scene and finding English speakers who share your interests.

On the other hand, going that route, you might end up with little real experience of the new culture you’re adopting.

This important early decision may not have occurred to you. But I encourage you to consider the question directly, for the answer sets you on one track or another, and they lead to very different places.

It can be easier, frankly, to seek out a place like Ajijic, Mexico, or Boquete, Panama, where your neighbors would be fellow North Americans, where you’d hear more English on the street than Spanish, and where you’d have like-minded compatriots to commiserate with over the trials and tribulations of daily life in a foreign country. Ajijic, for example, could as easily sit north of the Rio Grande as south. It can seem like a transplanted U.S. suburb.

This can make it a terrific first step for some, a chance to dip your toe in the live overseas waters rather than diving in headfirst. In Ajijic, you’re living overseas and enjoying many of the benefits (great weather, affordable cost of living), but the surroundings and the neighbors are familiar in many ways. You can shop at Walmart, meet up with fellow Americanos for bridge on Thursday evenings, and never have to travel far to find English-language conversation.

On the other hand, life in Mexico would be a very different experience residing in a little fishing village or a small colonial city in the mountains where you’re the only foreigner in town. Settling among the locals means you must learn to live like a local.

Is the thought of that appealing, exciting, and invigorating? Or terrifying? Be honest with yourself as you consider your response.

There is no right or wrong reply, and there are pluses and minuses either way. During our 20-plus years living outside the States, Lief and I have gone local, first in Waterford, Ireland, then in Paris, now in Panama. In our neighborhood here in Panama City, English is spoken almost nowhere, and I still struggle sometimes to manage effective communication with shopkeepers, repairmen, and our neighbors.

Living in a gated community, I wouldn’t face that challenge. And, living in a gated community, the streets would be kept cleaner, and the landscaping would be manicured. We’d have access to a swimming pool, a clubhouse, maybe riding stables, and a tennis court. Security at the gate would keep out anyone without permission to pass, roving guards would keep watchful eyes over our property, and our neighbors would likely all speak English just like we do.

And that could be great, too.

Great, too, but very different.

Critical Issue #4: Do you want to learn a new language?

If the answer is no, your situation is simplified considerably. You’ll need to learn to speak at least a little of a new language in most places you might be thinking about living overseas… but not all. In a handful of the best places in our world to call home, English is the official language, spoken everywhere.

If you don’t want to learn a new language, these are the places where you should focus your attention.

Critical Issue #5: Do you have a health concern?

If the answer is yes, again, your job is simplified, because a number of destinations that might otherwise appeal to you should be taken off your list. Like moving with children and being certain that you don’t want to learn to speak even a little of a new language, having a health issue sets your top priority for you.

Critical Issue #6: Are you disabled in any way?

The reality is that this is perhaps the most limiting situation of all. If you have a health concern like diabetes or a heart condition, you’ll want to be sure that you’re within quick access of international-standard medical care. That’s possible many places around the world.

However, if you have a disability, certainly if you rely on a wheelchair for getting around, your options can be fewer, depending on the size of your nest egg. Most of Europe, for example, is at least as handicapped-accessible as the United States. If you’re looking to make this move on a tighter budget, though, you must understand that most of the developing world, where your retirement funds will stretch furthest, is not disabled-friendly.

Critical Issue #7: What are the things you refuse to scrimp on? What do you absolutely not want to give up?

Make a list. Put the most important things, the things you have to admit to yourself you would be very unhappy to live without, at the top.

Then don’t allow yourself to be persuaded (by yourself, your significant other, or anyone else) to compromise on the two or three things at the top of this list.

You’ll have to compromise. No place is perfect, and no place is going to deliver everything you want. If you’re moving with a partner or with family, the challenge is greater; you’re trying to find a place that satisfies more than one What I Want list.

So, again, you’re going to have to make concessions. But don’t concede on your top priorities, the two or three things you identify as being most important to you.

If you do, your entire adventure could be doomed.

Critical Issue #8: Does currency risk scare you?

If so, consider countries that use the same currency as that of your nest egg or anticipated income. If your funds are denominated in U.S. dollars, for example, consider Panama or Ecuador… or perhaps Belize, which doesn’t use the Greenback but which pegs its own Belize dollar to it.

Now, you may be thinking… but what if the U.S. dollar tanks? What good will it do me, you could wonder, to be living in a country that uses dollars if the dollar becomes worthless?

You’ll be no worse off than you would be if you were still living in the States. Prices for most things will go up, just as they will go up Stateside.

In fact, you’ll have the same inflationary issues from a collapse of the U.S. dollar no matter where you’re living, in a country that uses the U.S. dollar for its currency or in any other jurisdiction.

Say you retire to Colombia on your Social Security check, and, three years later, the U.S. dollar collapses. What happens? The cost of things for you in Colombia in dollar terms will go up… just as it will in dollar-denominated markets. In Colombia, though (and elsewhere), you’ll also have currency exchange ups and downs to consider and ride out.

The key is diversification. If you have any assets beyond a Social Security check, diversify them among more than one currency.

Critical Issue #9: Are you ready to move full-time… or would you like to take the idea of retiring overseas for a test run first by spending part of a year someplace foreign?

This doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You could launch a new life overseas and still spend part or even lots of your time back home.

I make the point in case it hadn’t occurred to you already. The idea of moving to a new country, full stop, full-time, can be intimidating. Selling your current home… off-loading your car, your furniture, your lawn-care equipment… flying off to a new country where you know no one and where everyone you meet speaks another language? Boiled down like that, this live-overseas agenda can seem foolish, even terrifying.

So don’t sell your home. Keep your car if you like it. Lock the lawn mower in the garage. Pack a few bags and head off to someplace that’s got your attention for, say, a month or two. Don’t even think about buying a house or anything else. Rent small and modest. Or arrange an extended stay in a bed-and-breakfast or guesthouse. Keep it low-key and low-pressure.

This doesn’t have to be like jumping off a cliff. You can ease into the idea. Then, if you find the place you take for a test spin disappointing in some way, you can return home (remember, your car’s waiting for you in the driveway)… and begin planning your next overseas holiday. Give someplace else a chance.

You could continue like this for years. You’d be enjoying some of the benefits of a new life in a new country (a maybe dramatically reduced cost of living, better weather, cheap medical care, new friends, grand adventures, plus little luxuries you probably can’t afford now—full-time household help, for example), but you’d have a safety net. What you’ll find is that, with each foray overseas, your confidence will build. And your plan will evolve.

Next step, maybe extend the length of each overseas vacation. You could spend three or even up to six months at a time in each new place, depending on the jurisdiction’s tourist visa restrictions, thereby avoiding the residency permit issue altogether.

You could begin renting out your place back home when you’re not using it. This income would help to subsidize the expense of your retire-overseas wanderings.

You could, eventually, invest in new digs in a place you decide you like well enough to want to return to regularly. Again, rent out this apartment or beach house when you’re elsewhere to further supplement your retirement income.

Maybe, eventually, you find you’re ready to sell your place back home, because, as time passes, your connection there seems less and less important. More interesting are the new places you’re discovering, the new friends you’re making, the new adventures you’re having…

Take it one step at a time and let your go-overseas plan develop organically. Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all overseas haven, neither is there a live-overseas plan that suits everyone. This idea is infinitely customizable.

Original Source

3 Creative Ways Retirees Have Become Mortgage Free

By Intenational Living

A mortgage can be one of the greatest expenses we will encounter in our lives. But what if you could forgo slaving long hours to pay off a mortgage and have more time to indulge in your favourite pastimes and have more adventures?

The good news is you can. This is a reality for three expats who have paid off their mortgages in different ways and are now enjoying a debt-free life.

Read on to discover how they did it and how you can too.

Housesitting

house sitting

With housesitting, you can experience what it’s like to live like royalty in some of the world’s most strikingly beautiful destinations…all without paying one cent for your accommodation costs.

When Terry Coles and her husband Clyde decided to retire to Panama in 2011, they thought that would be their forever home. But after their first trip to Europe a few years later, they were overcome with the desire to travel.

“We knew there had to be a way to travel for less—we just needed to figure out how,” she says. “A friend suggested we try housesitting, which we tried while maintaining our home in Panama.”

Homeowners the world over are looking for housesitters—reliable individuals and couples to take care of their properties, and very often their pets, when they’re out of town. In return, the housesitter gets to stay in the home, rent free. In some cases, you may even get the use of a vehicle. It’s not a free holiday—there are responsibilities, of course—but they pale into insignificance when stacked up against the cost savings and local experiences.

“We were enjoying our lives in Panama when we took our first ever trip to Europe and fell in love with its charm. We loved it so much that we sold everything and began housesitting full-time around the world,” says Terry.

“Once we discovered the trick to living rent free around the world, we started our travels close to home in Latin America, since we already spoke Spanish. First stop was the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, where we lived among the indigenous people. From our apartment in the town of Ambato, we could see the smouldering plumes rise from the Cotopaxi volcano.”

Since then, the Coles have embraced the warmth of Costa Rica’s beaches, where monkey-filled palm trees line the sand, and lived in a Mexican casita (cabin) while they ate their way around the Lake Chapala area of Mexico. Their wanderlust also took them to “The Land of Smiles”, Thailand, but it was Europe that stole their heart.

In Tuscany, Italy, they stayed in a medieval, stone farmhouse on a traditional Italian piazza (city square) and in romantic Chianti, their home was a 20-room restored farmhouse, where they enjoyed fresh olive oil and wine from the owners’ private stock.

“Along the way, we fell in love with the idea of living in Europe full-time and that’s when we discovered Portugal. Attracted by its Old World charm, we’ve decided to stay here long-term. And we couldn’t be happier with our decision. We are grateful for the savings housesitting allowed us to make on the way to discovering our new home.”

Selling One Property…A Buying Two

At 57, IL Coastal Ecuador Correspondent Jim Santos decided to call it a day and retire. He and his wife, Rita, sold their house in the U.S.—and were able to buy two other properties. Today, the couple live a mortgage-free retirement.

“In the U.S., we were living in a waterfront apartment,” Jim says. “We had a mortgage, but that was just the start of our expenses. Our condo maintenance fees—in a building with no amenities at all—were just over $1,200 a month. The property taxes on our 279-square-metre home were $12,600 a year the first year, but then dropped a little to $8,400.

“Our monthly expenses were averaging just over $8,400. Clearly, we were living just to work.

“We sold up and were able to pay cash for a smaller ‘safety house’ in the U.S. and our new home in Ecuador.”

Ecuador is a diverse country, from the Galapagos Islands to the Amazon basin and the Andes Mountains, from big, modern cities to small, quaint villages.

On the Pacific lies Salinas, a relatively small town. Despite its 1,508 kilometres of coastline with striking mainland beaches, it is one of the world’s best-value beach resorts.

beach house sitting

Here, Jim and Rita found their ideal home.

“In Salinas, we were able to secure a 186-square-metre, four-bedroom, four-bathroom condo. Bye-bye to the mortgage,” Jim says.

“Today, our monthly expenses average about $2,500 per month.”

Live Large on a Boat

boat house sitting

The dream of living on a boat, exploring the seas, savouring the clear blue waters and gentle rocking, listening to the lapping waves, remains a fantasy for some. But for writer and biologist Bill Streever, it’s a reality.

At 54, he and his wife decided to leave their day jobs. Since then, they have sailed to Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Curacao.

“We love boat life and for us, there is no reason to keep a house ashore,” he says. “We are glad to be rid of the expenses and worries that come with property. Sure, boat life has its own expenses, from marina fees to boat parts, but most of those are discretionary. For example, if marina prices are out of reach, it is almost always possible to anchor out, usually at no cost.”

Although they are on the move, they often stop for months at a time at choice locations. And they leave the boat once or twice a year to visit friends in other parts of the world.

Within the community of cruising sailors, their lifestyle is not at all unusual.

“As to the cost of cruising, we have friends who live well and sail well on less than $2,800 a month and friends who spend almost that much every week,” Bill says. “It really depends on the boat, the location and, most of all, the personalities involved.

“Very few cruising sailors are on boats that they do not wholly own. Of course, it is possible to spend a million dollars or more on a sailboat, but it is also possible to find a boat that is more than adequate for under $70,000.  And those aboard the million-dollar boat have the same experiences as those aboard the $70,000 boat. As often as not, they are anchored in the same harbours and tied to the same docks.”

Original Source

10,000 baby boomers retire every day, and many are coming to Mexico

Resultado de imagen para chapala

By Bill Dahl | Mexico News Daily

Needless to say, the social and political rancor in North America has reached new heights (or lows). In the United States political sphere, the November 2018 mid-term elections resulted in the Democratic Party wresting control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The U.S. president’s approval ratings hover around 38%. The issue of U.S. immigration reform remains paralyzed amidst political acrimony. Yet, the U.S. president remains adamant about his desire to obtain billions of dollars to build a border wall to keep prospective immigrants out of the U.S.

Meanwhile, a new norm has developed.

Obscured by all of the above is the steady flow of North Americans headed south — to Mexico. Frankly, it’s an exodus; or a Mexodus. According to CBS News, the number of Americans retiring outside the United States is growing exponentially. Between 2010 and 2015 the number grew 17% and the figure is expected to rise during the next 10 years as boomer retirement continues.

According to several sources, Mexico is now considered the preferred retirement home for an estimated one million to two million American retirees — more than any other country. According to Senior Livingmagazine, an estimated 10,000 baby boomers will achieve retirement age each day between now and 2030.

“Where should I retire?” is a common question in North America as baby boomers contemplate how and where they might spend the remainder of this life. For tens of thousands, this question includes destinations outside the U.S. or Canada. Oftentimes this process involves mulling over Mexico.

Every January, the publication International Living provides retirees with suggestions using their Annual Global Retirement Index. In 2018, Mexico was ranked as the second best place to retire. Estimates vary, but it’s safe to conclude that a few million Americans and Canadians now reside primarily in Mexico. That’s a lot of gringos who have made the leap.

I completed two two-week visits to the Guadalajara and Lake Chapala areas in central Mexico in August and October-November 2018. The purpose of these trips was to examine the possibility for retirement in this locale, already home to thousands of expat retirees/resident tourists from the U.S., Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom.

What motivated my wife and I to invest in considering Mexico? During these exploratory visits, we had the opportunity to speak with dozens upon dozens of North American baby boomers in Mexico. Some were already residing there. Others were exploring the possibilities as we were.

Our question was: “What inspires retiring North American baby boomers to consider Mexico as their retirement home?” Here’s what they told us:

1. Reduce my cost of living. As study after study indicates, North American baby boomers are ill prepared financially for retirement. HousingWiremagazine says this “lack of financial preparedness” has become the primary cause of anxiety among boomers.

According to International Living, you can live on US $1,865 per month in Mexico including rent, utilities, groceries, entertainment, health care, household help and incidentals. For a couple, the figure is $2,500 per month.

Again, costs are relative. Want to live in a tourist area near a Mexican beach on the sea? Your costs will be significantly higher. The same is true for areas in Mexico where North American retirees are already well established like the Lake Chapala/Ajijic area and San Miguel de Allende. The current peso to the dollar foreign exchange reality makes reducing the cost of living even more practical.

2. A better climate. For many, the motivation to move toward a better climate and retire the snow shovel, winter clothing and umbrella, and avoid sleet, ice, humidity, excessive heat and the like was a common reply. Of course, Mexico is a massive geographic area. However, the variety of improved climate choices within the country make it attractive to retiring baby boomers.

3. More affordable health care. Mexico, particularly when compared to the U.S., has a vastly more affordable health care environment. Of course, this depends upon one’s current medical requirements and those that may arise in the future.

No, Medicare is not valid for medical treatment outside the U.S. Thus, you must rely on cash and qualifying for available Mexican health care coverage for those who hold both temporary and permanent visas. Of course, for treatment requiring Medicare coverage you can return to the U.S. for the same.

4. A cultural adventure. A common response was the desire for a cultural adventure. Mexico’s proximity to Canada and the U.S. provides just that. From food to landscapes to architecture, language, the arts and the people, Mexico possesses what North American retirees seeking new cultural experiences are after.

Baby boomers have been characterized by Alexis Abrahamson as those who “make smart decisions based on available resources.” They are independent and “make up their own minds and determine what is most valuable or significant.”

Moving to Mexico for retirement appears to have become the new norm for North American boomers. There is no wall that can prevent the flow of North American retirees relocating to Mexico — along with their substantial economic contributions to the Mexican economy.

Original Source

Wondering where to retire? Here are the spots with the best weather

By Annie Nova | CNBC

Many people nearing retirement and craving warmth think of Florida. Yet some destinations offer even more idyllic weather — if you’re willing to look beyond the U.S.

A new report by International Living, a guide to retirement abroad, ranks destinations to spend your later decades by their weather. Of course, not everyone loves the heat.

“The sort of weather you prefer is a very personal thing,” said Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of International Living. “And one of the strengths of our highest-scoring countries in the climate category is that they all offer a variety of climates, so retirees can find the spot that best suits their tastes — from steamy beaches to cooler highlands.”

Here are the top five places on the list.

1. Ecuador

Older Couple Hugging

Julia Davila-Lampe | Moment Open | Getty Images

Jim Santos, a correspondent for International Living, said Ecuador has “some of the best weather on the planet.”

The beaches are warm year-round and there are places in the hills where you don’t even need a heater or air conditioner, according to International Living.

2. Costa Rica

Costa Rica, Puntarenas, Dominical. Posa azul waterfalls in Uvita.

Atlantide Phototravel | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images
Costa Rica, Puntarenas, Dominical. Posa azul waterfalls in Uvita.

Appreciate both the heat and a breeze?

In Costa Rica’s Central Valley, you’ll find “eternal spring,” according to International Living.

“It’s warmer on the beaches and cooler on the higher mountains, but you can easily find several degrees of variation even in the same town just by going up, down or even around a hillside,” said John Michael Arthur, correspondent at International Living.

3. Colombia

A woman in the Andes town of Villa de Leyva on the Andes Mountains in Colombia

Devasahayam Chandra Dhas | E+ | Getty Images
A woman in the Andes town of Villa de Leyva on the Andes Mountains in Colombia

No need to check the temperature in the morning here. The weather in Colombia — warm and tropical, or with spring-like temperatures, depending on the region — is consistent all year, according to International Living.

“January looks and feels the same as June or October,” said International Living correspondent Nancy A. Kiernan.

4. Mexico

The hidden beach in Marietas Islands, Puerto Vallarta. Mexico.

Ferrantraite | Getty Images
The hidden beach in Marietas Islands, Puerto Vallarta. Mexico.

Mexico’s weather varies greatly by region. In the north, it’s cooler in the winter; in the south, temperatures stay about the same throughout the year.

Still, there are no extremes to worry about.

“The entire country is warm and mild, with small amounts of snow falling only on the highest peaks,” said Don Murray, International Living contributor. “Just a light sweater will add some comfort on the few chilly evenings.”

5. Peru or Portugal, tied

A pescador (fisherman) waits to ride a wave to shore on his reed boat at Huanchaco, in northern Peru. The fishermen ride atop the boats called caballitos de totora (little horses of reeds) and use a segment of bamboo for a pad

Andrew Watson | AWL Images | Getty Images
A pescador (fisherman) waits to ride a wave to shore on his reed boat at Huanchaco, in northern Peru. The fishermen ride atop the boats called caballitos de totora (little horses of reeds) and use a segment of bamboo for a pad

Peru also offers spots for people who like all different types of weather. “Almost every climate zone in the world can be found somewhere in Peru,” said Steve LePoidevin, at International Living.

In the northern coastal city of Trujillo, it rarely rains and the temperature averages around 70 degrees. In the popular southern city of Arequipa, nights are cool.

Original Source

Everything You Need To Know About The Top 5 Spots For 2019

Imagen relacionada

By Jennifer Stevens | Grit Daily

Savvy American retirees are passing on “traditional” U.S. retirement destinations like Arizona and Florida and opting in greater numbers for better-value choices abroad.

Today—incentivized not only by lower costs but also a love of travel, the pull of an adventure, and the prospect of a lower-stress life in a place where the climate is good and the landscapes are beautiful—American retirees are embracing life overseas, both full- and part-time.

At home, advisors regularly tell folks with nest eggs more meager than they’d hoped for that to retire with any confidence, they’ll need to work longer, save more, and dial back their expectations.

But that conventional wisdom sets people up for the prospect of working full- or part-time out of necessity, or of traveling less than they hoped they would or, in fact, of never retiring at all.

But take a meager nest egg to a good-value locale abroad, and the buying power expands—sometimes exponentially. On a budget that would require scrimping and saving at home, a retiree can, instead, live large—often affording perks like a housekeeper, a gardener, and meals out every day.

Not all locales are created equal, however. And just because a spot is cheap doesn’t mean you’d want to live there. So our 2019 Annual Global Retirement Index identifies the top five spots we at International Living recommend folks consider today. They’re all places that offer a high standard of living for much less than a comparable life would cost in the States.

But, beyond that, they also provide benefits like good weather, attractive climates for entrepreneurs, attainable visa structures, a certain ease of integration, top-quality healthcare, and more.

International Living’s top five places for Americans to retire to abroad in 2019 are…

# 1 Panama

Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Sitting below the hurricane belt, Panama offers expats a lot a variety—warm beaches, cooler rural highlands and a modern, cosmopolitan capital city.

It’s an easy place to go as the currency is the U.S. dollar, the tax burden is low, the medical care is both low-cost and high-quality with lots of English-speaking doctors.

Panama is also a business mecca—a place where expats who have big ideas for their retirement can explore their options. Major organizations and businesses from all over the globe come here to take advantage of low costs, scant taxes, and the best strategic location for expanding into the Latin American and Caribbean markets.

A couple can live very comfortably in Panama on a budget of $2,000 a month. You’ll find Americans doing so in lots of communities, including Panama City, Coronado, Boquete, and beyond.  

Expat Robyn Cole sums up Panama’s appeal this way, “It’s a democracy, the water is drinkable, the locals are used to expats…the electrical systems are the same, the driving is on the same side of the street, many doctors are U.S.-educated.”

Her husband continues, “I can golf with my friends twice a week at the country club and work out in the fitness center. I have time for reading, time for bridge…and time to just sit on my rear end and meditate!”

# 2 Costa Rica

Surfers in Tamarindo beach, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica attracts visitors with its tropical climate, low cost of living, top-notch, affordable medical care and good-value real estate. Plus with such the natural beauty it makes for a superb place to work remotely.

The Central American gem is a steady choice—a safe, long-standing democracy that’s been welcoming expats for generations.

A couple can live comfortably on $2,500 a month (or less). You can eat at a little local restaurant for just $4 or $5. A housekeeper will come and clean once a week for $50 a month, and a visit to a physician will set you back $50 or less.

Costa Rica also has an outdoor loving culture—with activities from fishing to golfing to horseback riding to hiking to diving to yoga. Plus, there’s an abundance of locally grown fruits, vegetables, organic eggs and endless seafood.

Many communities welcome expats, particularly those in the central highlands and along the Pacific Coast from up north in Tamarindo to down south in Dominical. Expat Paul Maxfield, living on a Pacific beach, describes the benefits of life there this way, “It feels good to know that we can live comfortably in this beautiful beach setting…and still have the resources to travel and spend time with family back home.”

# 3 Mexico

San Miguel de Allende, Colonial Highlands, Mexico.

Whether your dream retreat is a graceful colonial home with lavish gardens, a simple beachfront bungalow where you can prop up your feet and watch the tide roll in, or a clifftop villa with sunset views and cool, steady breezes, you are likely to find your dream home in Mexico.

Mexico is culturally rich—expats can enjoy all the benefits of fine-dining, theater, and art in abundance. You’ll find Americans all over Mexico—from San Miguel de Allende to Lake Chapala, to Los Cabos and lots of places in between.

It’s an easy place to winter over as folks can stay for six months on a tourist visa. A couple can live well here on between $1,500 and $3,000 a month.

Jack Bramy, a transplant from San Francisco, says from his place close to the beach in Puerto Vallarta, “The cost of living allows me a fun life on my Social Security check.”

He doesn’t scrimp. “There are great restaurants and tons of cool bars on the promenade. My rent is $575 a month for a two-bedroom apartment with a great modern bathroom and nice kitchen.”

# 4 Ecuador

Salinas, Ecuador.

Ecuador lies in the north-western corner of South America, bordered by Colombia to the north, Peru to the south and east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. At just 175,807 square miles (about the size of Nevada) Ecuador’s small size belies its incredible diversity.

The Land of Eternal Spring has some of the best weather in the world, and something for everyone. There are warm, sunny beaches and temperate-weather mountain options. Folks can pick the climate they like best, and this ecologically diverse country has so much to satisfy expats.

There are many popular enclaves of expats living around the country—in places like Cuenca, Salinas, and Vilcabamba. One of the great benefits for foreign residents living in Ecuador is high-quality, low-cost healthcare.

Ecuador offers great-value living—a couple can enjoy a really high quality of life on as little as $1,620 a month.

“When my wife Rita and I moved to Ecuador, all we were really looking for was a nice climate,” says International Living’s Coastal Ecuador Correspondent, Jim Santos. “After years of shivering through snowy Maryland winters, followed by hot and humid summers, we wanted to live somewhere that is comfortable year-round.”

They found this on Ecuador’s Pacific coast, in Salinas. The beach is wide, sandy, and clean, bordered by the blue, calm waters. Located at Ecuador’s western-most point, Salinas is sometimes called “Little Miami Beach.”

“We knew that we would spend less money, as well,” says Jim. “We traded property taxes of $5,000 a year for a tax bill of $279. Our condo maintenance fees in Maryland were $1,000 a month; in Salinas, just $197.

“Plus our health has improved due to the better lifestyle and abundance of fresh, unprocessed foods.”

# 5 Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia.

Conjuring up all the mysteries of Southeast Asia, Malaysiais a colorful former British colony. With English the unofficial first language and online infrastructure top-notch, it’s not surprising Malaysia is a great spot for digital nomads. It may be far away, but it’s easy to stay in touch with life back home.

The island of Penang, off the coast of Malaysia, has been a firm favorite among savvy expats for decades. Known as a foodie haven, Penang’s capital, George Town, is home to eclectic architecture, a vibrant art scene, and what many call the best street food in the world.

Here, a couple can live really well—even luxuriously—for between $1,500 and $2,500 a month.

Expat Bob Jackson, who lives in Penang with his wife, says, “Our home here [in Penang] is a large two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with sea views. Our complex includes a modern and well-stocked gym, an exercise room where we have yoga three mornings each week, and a small restaurant serving up beef rendang and other Malaysian delights for just a few dollars.

“Outside, the pool area features a sand beach and a lazy river which connects all the various swimming spots. It’s like having a five-star resort just downstairs. Our rent is $950 a month and that includes Pay TV. Our apartment is fully furnished, right down to the widescreen TV.”

Original Source

Is It Safe to Travel in Mexico?

Resultado de imagen para travel mexico

By Jason Holland | International Living

If you were to listen to the mainstream news, visiting Mexico doesn’t sound like a great idea. Previously it has had a bad reputation for crime—frequent headlines of narco-violence and regular travel warnings.

But don’t let sensationalist news stories deter you from travelling to this vibrant Latin American destination. Aside from dangerous areas along the U.S. border and other regions where cartels operate, Mexico is mostly a safe country. In general, if you’re not taking part in illegal activities you don’t have anything to worry about.

As one of the world’s top tourism destinations, 40 million people visited Mexico in 2017, while 2018 saw a record 10.6 million tourists in the first quarter alone. It’s also a popular expat destination, particularly among North Americans. It’s estimated that more than 1 million Americans and hundreds of thousands of Canadians live in the country full-time or part-time.

Mexicans welcome foreign visitors with open arms. They’re a very friendly people who will go out of their way to help you. And because “gringos” (people who are not Hispanic or Latino) have been visiting for so many decades, they’re used to having us around. In fact, many Mexicans speak English, especially in areas frequented by tourists. Although you will have a richer experience if you learn some Spanish.

If you’re worried about visiting a specific location, it pays to research that area before you book your travel. Join Facebook groups dedicated to living in and travelling to Mexico. Most areas and towns popular with expats and travellers will have their own page. You can network with residents to gauge the level of safety—who better to give you the reality than somebody who lives there?

Those groups are also handy if you want to find out about activities, get recommendations for good neighbourhoods or restaurant suggestions. Local knowledge can ensure that you make your trip the best it can be…and you already have some friends when you arrive.

Original Source

Retire To Another Country Without Worrying About Money

Resultado de imagen para loreto

There is no doubt that the United States is the greatest country on Earth. Everybody around the world wants to come here and experience their own version of the American dream. We Americans have no idea how well we have it when it comes to fundamental rights and the opportunity to thrive economically.

Still, not everything in this world can be pitch perfect. Parts of the United States have been struck by gentrification making the rents and the property values of certain areas to rise and local businesses to close or move.

Living in the United States has become increasingly more expensive each year, and I expect this to continue happening in major cities. Because of this increasing costs, many Americans are choosing to retire at an older age.

Cost of living in the United States has become higher making adults think twice about moving away from their parents home making retirees spend their remaining years taking care of their children. While this is certainly a problem that needs to be dealt with, there is another way in which American retirees can enjoy their retirement.

It is true that housing costs and the cost of living have gone through the proverbial roof in some parts of America, but the dollar has been on a strong path going up in value in most countries around the world.

For this reason, American retirees are making the choice to retire overseas. The dollar is so strong in some countries that retirees can live in a foreign nation with what they have saved in their 401K or with what the government sends them. Here are some countries where if you choose to retire you will never have to worry about money anymore.

MEXICO

The best option, in my opinion, for American retirees is our southern neighbor. Mexico recently had a new president making the dollar go up in value significantly. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are already calling Mexico their home creating large communities in the states of Jalisco and Baja California.

Large parts of Mexico are fluent in English so you won’t have to worry about that. While it was true that at one point Mexico had a massive insecurity problem, things have changed. Mexico has become safer than ever with the new government and things are looking good.

The best part of retiring in Mexico is that you don’t have to spend much to live a comfortable lifestyle. You can have a house, car, gardener, cleaning lady, groceries, medical care, for less than 900 dollars a month. A major plus is Mexico’s proximity that Mexico has with the United States.

PANAMA

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you to know that American retirees love to retire in countries that are known for their beaches. Panama has been called home by many retirees for decades now.

Americans are loved in Panama, as they inject a decent amount of money into their economy each year by living and traveling to Panama. Living in Panama is a little more costly than living in Mexico, but a couple can live a comfortable life in Panama with 2,200 dollars a month.

THAILAND

For those Americans that want to get the farthest away from the United States possible, and live on a budget, Thailand is a fantastic option. Thailand has one of the most diverse landscapes of any country. You have exotic beaches, big cities with a vibrant feel, small quaint towns.

Thailand is also one of the cheapest places there is to live. To put this into perspective, a complete meal in Thailand can cost you less than 3 dollars. You and your wife can have a great life in Thailand for less than a thousand dollars a month.

COSTA RICA

One of the best places in the world for American retirees has to be Costa Rica. It’s proximity to the United States and that fact that it’s the most educated, most stable, and safest country in the Caribbean, make Costa Rica a top choice for American retirees.

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise where everybody speaks English. The warmth of the people will make you stay in the country for a long time. To live a comfortable life in Costa Rica with your partner you don’t need more than 2,000 dollars a month.

These are just a few options of many available. Every American has a different idea of how they want to spend their remaining years. Send us a message and we will make your dream of retiring overseas a reality.

Original Source