International Living Daily Postcards

Cuenca, Ecuador  

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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Archives

coronado-panama

Panama’s Best-Kept Secret Caught on Video

Campana National Park may well be Panama’s best-kept secret. That’s amazing considering its location—just an hour west of Panama City, a big sign marks the entrance. It’s on the Pan-American Highway, also known as Highway One, which spans the isthmus (in fact, it runs from Canada all the way down to Argentina, with just one “gap” between Panama and Colombia).

georgetown-penang

Why I Quit my Bank Job and Moved to Malaysia

I’d always wanted to be a writer. It was something I yearned to do for a living. I had worked in banking all my life but in 2008, aged 47, I decided that it was now or never—I would take a chance. So, I quit my job, sold my house, gave away my two cats (to a woman who adored them) and moved lock, stock and barrel with my wife to Malaysia.

Vilcabamba

Why I Moved to Vilcabamba, Ecuador

“You’re out of your mind!” This was one of the milder things people said when I announced that after 30 years of living in the paradise of Maui, Hawaii, I was moving to South America. And at 80 years of age. Alone. Without speaking a word of Spanish.

zurich-switzerland

Why You Should Consider Moving Your Assets Offshore

As a lawyer for many decades now, I know how important it is to read and understand what you read. I also know from experience that Americans have been bombarded for years by class warfare politicians attacking wealthy people as if success in life was a crime.

roatan-honduras

Fish Funerals and Free Caribbean Vacations

I like to travel. I work much of the time from my home in Colorado (where my tax-deductible office is exactly 11 steps from my bedroom and has a million-dollar mountain view). But, I’ve also worked from Vail, Denver, and Leadville… I’ve toted my computer to France, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Germany, and the list goes on (and on).

murcia-beach

The Travel Writer and the Sea Urchin

Saturday night in Murcia City, southern Spain. I’m in El Secreto tapas bar, trying to summon up the willpower to eat a sea urchin. It looks absolutely bizarre. And in all honesty, absolutely vile. But as all vacationers need to eat, food stories are a travel writer’s staple.

le-marche-fossombrone

Live Happily Ever After in the Italian Countryside

Ashley and Jason Bartner were beginning a new phase in their lives. The couple had planned to settle down and buy a home in New York, but during their honeymoon, exploring cozy cafés, cobblestone avenues, and seasonal fruit markets, they fell in love with Italy.

cuenca3

Retirees Wanted to Spend Month in Ecuador–Free

We’re looking for someone to spend a month in the world’s top retirement haven—on us. If you like the idea of relaxing in a spring-like climate, exploring a colonial University city, making new and interesting friends from all over the world, trying new things and maybe even reporting about your adventures…this could be for you.

santa-fe-panama

A Great New Neighborhood in Panama’s Mountains

“Lazy” isn’t quite the right word to describe the village of Santa Fe de Veraguas, located in Panama’s Veraguas province. Other words come to mind: “bohemian,” “quirky,” and “effortless.” A town of about 3,000 people, Santa Fe has no traffic. Even on the main road cars pass infrequently. And everyone—every single person—says hello or buenas as they pass.

panamacity-578x298

Where to Eat in Panama City

Amid the towers of steel and chrome waft the tantalizing smells of seafood and spices. Argentine, Cuban, Swiss, German, Thai, and Indian are only a few of the offerings you’ll enjoy today in Panama City.

burgundy-france

Restore a French Historic Home (Grants Available)

Six years ago, I received a birthday present worth over $70,000. No, I’m not friends with Oprah. We had recently fallen in love with—and bought—a crumbling, pigeon-infested, 150-year old maison bourgeoise in northern Burgundy, France, only two hours away from our apartment in Paris.

jerzu-sardinia

How to Get Free Room and Board Overseas

You can volunteer at an organic farm next to the Podacarpus National Park in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, or on an apple orchard and organic bakery in Mendoza, Argentina. Help make goat cheese on an Irish farm near Ballyvaughan, County Clare in Ireland, learn about wine making on a vineyard in Italy’s Piemonte district while staying in a village house with a view of the Alps…

sihanoukville-beach

The Perfect Job on the Beach

You’ll often hear the phrase “Same Same… But Different” in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. And that phrase sums up the freelance copywriter’s lifestyle in Southeast Asia almost perfectly. Here’s why.

paris-metro

An Easy Way to Live and Work in Paris

I work in Paris, France with plenty of free time to explore this phenomenal city with my children, because of my career. As a copywriter, I work a few hours a day, three or four days per week, and I can think of no better place to live.

guanajuato-fountain

Enjoy Freedom, Opportunity, and Adventure When You Move Overseas

Five years into my expat life, I look forward to downsizing. In fact, I recently bought a small, manageable, lock-and-leave property in Guanajuato, in the Colonial Highlands. It’s a far cry from what I thought I wanted when I first moved to Mexico… Then, I’d wanted a good-sized house, instead of an apartment as I’d had in the U.S.

belize-sapodilla

The Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Retiring Overseas

When my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I moved overseas in 2001, we had no idea how much we didn’t know about living abroad. But we learned quickly. I still remember trying to figure out the nuts and bolts of Spanish hardware…literally.

belize-best-beaches

A House Near the Beach That Pays For Itself

We’ve pinpointed three locations with strong rental potential. Two of them would make fantastic second home destinations. The third would suit investors looking for a mix of good potential rental yield and appreciation.

seville-spain

Use This Skill to Get Work Anywhere

After a few years spent teaching in Ecuador, Brazil, Australia and Thailand I returned to England to catch up with family and friends, but I missed the adventure, learning a language and the creative energy of life overseas. And that’s how I ended up in Spain.

sucre-bolivia

How You Could Pay For Your Next Trip to South America

I’m not a professional photographer, but for over five years now I’ve used stock photography to supplement my income and help cover travel expenses. One of my favorite trips in recent years was to La Paz, Bolivia.

elian-castle-scotland

What a Way to Earn a Living—Whisky, Castles and Scottish Islands

For one of the most breathtaking experiences in the Scottish Highlands, take the A87 highway from Fort William to the Isle of Skye and descend into Glen Shiel to Loch Duich. A few miles farther along the lakeshore, you’ll suddenly come across the iconic sight of Eilean Donan Castle sitting on an island at the point where three of the great Scottish sea lochs meet.

lake-phewa-tal-nepal

Setting up a Successful Business in Nepal

Expat Juliette Cunliffe gets up at sunrise to enjoy the view from her bedroom. With a home perched high on a ridge above Lake Phewa Tal, she can gaze out at the snow-capped Annapurna mountains, look down at the town of Pokhara along the lakeshore, and plan her day in the lush foothills of the Nepalese Himalayas.

pacific-islands

Cutting-Edge Wealth Protection

These islands are an independent country joined in “free association” with New Zealand. It has its own government and court system, the New Zealand dollar is the local currency, and it definitely qualifies as what used to be called a “tax haven,” now replaced by the politically correct term “offshore financial center.” Fifteen in all, their beaches are of white-powdered sands, the waters aquamarine and turquoise, and the climate ideal.

medellin-real-estate

Buy Real Estate Priced in Pesos

When you buy international real estate you can generate income in another currency. All your eggs aren’t in one basket. If the value of your dollar goes down, for example, you might be very happy to have an income stream in Brazilian reais…or Colombian pesos. Diversification…particularly in turbulent times…is just plain common sense.

santa-fe-highway

Panama’s New Highland Hideaway

There’s a highland village in Panama you probably haven’t heard of yet—a handful of North Americans are only beginning to establish a bohemian community. Pines and flowering shrubs, beautifully paved roads and neatly painted houses, where no-one locks their doors and everyone has reliable Internet.

hiking-Danny-Warren

How to Make Money on Every Trip Abroad

Several years ago, my wife and I took a quick trip to Calgary, Alberta to visit some close friends who had recently given birth to twins. As an avid photographer, and someone who was breaking in the world of stock photography at the time, I couldn’t go without my camera.

baja-mexico

Affordable-living in La Paz, Mexico

I’m in an SUV in La Paz, in Mexico’s Baja California Sur. The sun is hot and we’ve rolled down the windows as we drive through town. We go at a leisurely pace, stopping at street corners to obey the four-way stop signs; La Paz is too low-key to need many stop lights.

placencia-belize3

Happy and Healthy in Caribbean Belize

In 2004—the day after returning from a sailing adventure in Placencia, Belize—Lucky made a routine trip to the doctor’s office. “His blood pressure was normal. The doctor was shocked,” says Erin. Belize was the reason. That helped focus the couple on a permanent move. They sat down and made out a five-year plan, developed a strict budget, and began downsizing.

playa-carillo-best-climates

The Best Climates on the Planet

Months ago, our far-flung editors and in-country advisers began collecting all the data and details that inform our just-released Global Retirement Index 2012. For the Index, we narrow down the countries we focus on to the top 19, and consider each across eight crucial categories: real estate, special retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate.

dominical-costa-rica

The Most Affordable Places in the World

The country that takes the number-one spot in the Annual Global Retirement Index 2012 is also the clear winner in our cost of living category. A couple watching their spending here can live well on $800 a month.

samara-costa-rica

New List Reveals Best Countries to Live in 2012

Look at the right places beyond our borders today, and you’ll find you have more good choices than ever for a comfortable—even a pampered—retirement. In any one of our top 19 havens for 2012, a lifestyle well beyond your reach in the States could be yours for pennies on the dollar.

panama-city-retirement

Why This is the World’s Best Retirement Haven

No matter where you choose to live in the country that takes top honors in IL’s 2012 Annual Global Retirement Index, there is no better retirement haven in the world. Across all eight of our crucial categories it scores strongly. It outright wins two.

Find Your Perfect Place Overseas in 2012

Find Your Perfect Place Overseas in 2012

The quiet turquoise waters of the Caribbean…a mountain retreat with views of snow-capped peaks…an elegant pied-à-terre in one of the world’s most historic cities…where is your ideal “live overseas” location? Take our 45-second quiz and instantly discover your ideal overseas haven. Plus, you’ll get a free country report you can use right now. It takes less than a minute.

Have We Found The World’s Best Job?

Have We Found The World’s Best Job?

Richard Brady goes by Ricardo these days…he’s been in Panama since 2001 and has no plans to return to Florida. That’s probably because he spends his days surfing at one of the best sites in the region. When he’s not surfing, he’s out on Elizabeth, a gleaming white 25-foot skiff, from which he’s spotted everything from manta rays to howler monkeys.

A New Life and a New Business in Panama

A New Life and a New Business in Panama

Erica and Kevin Moore didn’t want much…a quiet setting where they’d be able to run a business and be a part of a welcoming community. In Panama, they found dozens of towns with potential…but the tiny village of Santa Fe de Veraguas called to them.

Solid Advice About Moving Overseas

Solid Advice About Moving Overseas

Years ago we’d talk confidently about the benefits of Mexico versus Argentina…or Ecuador versus Costa Rica. I’m finding that we don’t do that as much these days.

Teaching English in Costa Rica

Teaching English in Costa Rica

It’s easy to find yourself surrounded by lush green jungle, a kaleidoscope of flowers, and a menagerie of animals. You can have this in your backyard if you wish. For me, this is a huge part of the magic of Costa Rica and the main reason I chose to live and work here.

Ecuador's Coastal Gem

Ecuador’s Coastal Gem

When my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I visited the Ecuador coast recently, one of the nicest surprises was Bahia de Caraquez. It’s hard not to describe this little city of 20,000 people as a gem.

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