Retirement in Romania
No Dracula…but Romania more than makes up for that…it has gorgeous cities like Bucharest and Sinaia--the former being the exquisite, gothic Romanian capital, the latter being the “Carpathian Pearl” and the summer residence of the Romanian Royal family. In Sinaia, the Neo-Renaissance Peles Castle is one of the best-preserved in Europe… You can hike or ski in the Transylvanian Alps (the Carpathian Mountains).
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- Population: 21,790,479
- Capital City: Bucharest
- Climate: Temperate, cold winters with snow, hot summers with thunderstorms
- Time Zone: GMT+2
- Language: Romanian, Hungarian
- Country Code: 40
- Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine
Bram Stoker never visited Transylvania. Instead, the Irish-born novelist relied on dusty old volumes from London’s libraries and second-hand stories from Ármin Vámbéry, a Hungarian writer and traveler with whom he was well acquainted, to inspire and inform his neck-biting masterpiece, Dracula.
Romania acceded to the European Union back in 2007… just in time for the global financial crisis to bite it in the neck. GDP growth, which at a robust 6% to 7% during the previous few years had been among the highest on the continent, promptly collapsed. The economy contracted by a whopping 6.5% in 2009 and remained in the red the following year. It’s been in a state of tentative recovery ever since.
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If you’re looking to add an Eastern European layer to a property portfolio, there are plenty of reasons why Bucharest deserves your attention.
Something’s happening on the north coast of Brazil.
A great machine is coming, a machine of property developers and promoters who learned their trade on the costas of Spain, the Persian Gulf coast of Dubai, and anywhere else the European investor cast an acquisitive glance across a border. I know, because I’m a small cog in that machine.
Five years ago, you could buy an 800-square-foot apartment in some parts of Bucharest for less than $12,500. By the end of 2006, buyers struggled to find anything much in Romania’s capital for less than $100,000.
For the fifth year in a row, Panama has taken top honors in our Annual Global Retirement Index. It comes out on top in every category, including the Special Benefits (for retirees) category, boasting the world’s best pensionado program, better than the famed Costa Rica program of the 1980s. Plus it boasts a low cost of living, affordable real estate, great weather in the interior, and, extraordinary and unique in this part of the world, First World Panama City, with infrastructure that works, U.S-style shopping malls, nightclubs, restaurants, cafes…even Dunkin Donuts and The Colonel’s fried chicken.
The world according to International Living: Where should you be thinking about spending your time and your money right now? Following are the top 25 places on our radar screen: