International Living Daily Postcards
Each day we uncover some of the most desirable--and cheapest--retirement havens on earth. In International Living's free daily postcards, you'll learn about retirement, property, travel and lifestyle opportunities from around the world.
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It’s not difficult to see why so many expats are drawn to El Valle, Panama, a mountain town built in the crater of an extinct volcano.
Pauline Beauchamp wasn’t unhappy with her life in Southern California. She held a good job as a district manager in a lighting and home décor company for 28 years.
It’s funny how slight differences in pronunciation can make a big difference in meaning—especially in a foreign language.
When my wife and I were actively considering moving abroad we created a specific checklist of what we were looking for: a low cost of living…ideal climate…proximity to our family in the States…excellent medical care…cultural activities…and modern conveniences
Bruce and Karen Huss’s move to Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast evolved over time. Their first visit was five years ago, when they spent time in the exclusive Los Sueños resort community in Playa Herradura
I’m making my way down the cobblestones of Arch Street, on my way to meet friends for a glass of wine. As I arrive, the bells of the 17th-century cathedral ring in the hour. Antigua, in the Department of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, is one of Latin America’s best preserved colonial towns. With a population of 40,000 people, it’s full of white-washed and pastel-colored churches.
Life was good in the States. We had a big house, two cars, and a community of friends in our Pennsylvania hometown. We had meaningful work and our weeks rushed by in a whirlwind of activity for both us and our children. We espoused the American view of “work hard, play hard.” But something was missing. The lifestyle we were living was too stressful, too busy, too unhealthy, and too expensive.
In case you don’t know—and some don’t—copywriting means writing ad copy. The headlines. The print ads you see. Billboards. TV ads. And sales letters.
Finally I understood what he was getting at. Many people… even many expats… think that moving abroad is a one-way proposition.
Few places on Earth ignite the romantic senses like Italy—it’s a country people dream of visiting, and once they do, they dream of returning. From the mouth-watering food, the exquisite wine and classic art, to the rolling hills of Tuscany, the glittering Mediterranean Sea and la dolce vita lifestyle, Italy is the stuff of dreams. While most visitors only fantasize about returning, some savvy expat food-lovers have found a viable way to make that dream a reality…
To borrow a phrase from rock group REM, Punta del Este and the Uruguayan coast is, “the end of the world as we know it.” Dig your toes into the silky sand..
Last week, I had one of those moments when I realized how fortunate I am to have the life and career that I do. I am a freelance copywriter living Paris, which means that not only do I live in one the most beautiful cities in the world, I have the flexibility to actually enjoy it and my life here.
If you fall in love with Uruguay, as I did, one thing you’ll appreciate is the high-quality, affordable health care. In Uruguay, medical equipment is modern and doctors highly trained. There are two medical schools in Montevideo, but many senior doctors in Uruguay were trained in the United States, Germany, and Brazil.
The case for owning farmland as a strategy to safely grow or preserve your nest egg has never been stronger. Increasing populations and wealth in emerging economies is the primary driver
I’m a city boy through and through. When I moved recently to Escazú, a suburb of Costa Rica’s capital San José, I figured I’d be enmeshed in urban culture. This is, after all, the biggest city in the country, and the surrounding area is home to three-quarters of the country’s citizens.
Since becoming an expat, my behavior has changed. I don’t greet friends with a handshake anymore; I kiss them on the cheek.
I’m sitting in a few inches of water, eagerly anticipating the next big wave. When it comes, it’s far stronger than I expected it to be. I’m slapped in the face, knocked off my rear and whipped around by its power
Imagine, for a moment, waking up to the sun bursting through a canopy of leaves… the song of tropical birds the only sound piercing the stillness of the morning air….
I love Costa Rica’s easygoing pace of life. It’s a place where people can’t help but slow down.
It was hard to tell over the phone. But I think my mother was in tears when I broke the news that we were moving to Costa Rica. Most of our friends were shocked.
Real estate values have fallen so far in Ireland…that today, $27,000 puts you in the game. (Spend that much and you get a traditional-style, semi-detached cottage in need of some modernization.) Spend a little over $45,000 and you won’t have the hassle of home improvements. That amount gets you a modern condo.
If it’s Spanish Colonial charm you’re after, you can’t do much better than Granada, Nicaragua. The place is steeped in it.
Patty and Mike Grimm have been in Ecuador for nearly three years. During that time, “we have pretty much covered the gamut of medical care, including dentistry, eye exams and glasses, emergency rooms, colonoscopy, mammogram, gallbladder removal, treatment for ulcers (endoscopes), and serious back treatments,” says Mike.
I checked out of the traditional career path—the “rat race”—about 10 years ago at the age of 35. On the surface, life in Texas was great for me. I’d graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in journalism and worked in the advertising business as an account executive (a “suit”) for about 10 years.
When you live in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, the beach and the blue Pacific become a focal point. Surfers and beach combers hit the shore.
Locals who live in Granada, Nicaragua, are used to tourists—maybe now more than ever, especially since The New York Times recently named Nicaragua #3 on its list of “Places to Go in 2013.” It’s not hard to understand what makes Granada so popular. Less than an hour after landing at Nicaragua’s international airport in Managua…
“I knew when it was time to retire we’d move to the tropics. I was bored with the predictability of life in the U.S….the politics…the franchises,” says 70-year-old Roberta Laidman.
Perhaps the happiest expat couple I’ve met in Ecuador came here with what fit in their suitcases and only two things that didn’t—a guitar and a fiddle.
When you live in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, the beach and the blue Pacific become a focal point.
You’ve probably heard the old joke that the best way to make $10 million in the wine industry is to start with $20 million. But these days in Argentina, nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike other winemaking nations, Argentina is now exporting almost all the wine it can produce. Brazil, the United States, Canada and England are favorite destinations…
Expats have been flocking to the Central Valley for decades. Despite the name, it is actually a high-altitude plateau—above 3,000 feet—that is surrounded by tall mountains. In the middle you have Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose.
For many reasons, Cuenca, Ecuador earns top billing as one of the world’s top expat destinations. The cost of living is low—three-course lunches start at $2.50—the weather is great, usually around 65 to 70 F during the day, and it’s never too cold or hot.
The restaurant, Villas Mombacho, overlooks the lake and the views are of the many little islands and the local fishermen at work. Distant volcanoes fill the horizon and my friends and I are surrounded by palm trees and flowers.
From the Via Costeira (Coastal Way), I descend the dirt path to the beach. Kicking off my sneakers, I jog barefoot south toward the breakwater
I’m from Florida, where a day at the beach means fighting for parking—often for an outrageous fee—struggling to find a bare patch of sand, and spending the day listening to loud music and shouting kids.
Belize has a lot going for it. For a tiny country, it packs a big wallop when it comes to charm and scenery. For the would-be expat—especially if you’re looking for real value—there are many places that deserve your attention. Places where you can live the laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle of your dreams.
Since moving to Belize full-time in 2012, empty nesters Christine Cotten and her husband Tom ease into their day. Morning time for them on Ambergris Caye starts with a coffee on the pier in front of their beachfront condo, watching the sun rise, golden and glowing, in a purple sky.
Their vacations in tropical places left Denice and Robert Key wishing for more out of life and thinking, “What if…?” The couple had traveled throughout the Caribbean and Mexico when they were younger, and they could never quite escape the itch to retire early and move to a warm, exotic destination—something completely different from their Colorado home.
We’d finished dinner almost an hour earlier. But we were still in the restaurant. Our host was back after a few weeks away and it seemed the whole town wanted to catch up.
So there we were, my husband David and I, retired in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, we had a lovely home in a great development and spent our time remodeling, doing volunteer work, and getting on with our lives.