A forgiving climate works wonders for your health and complexion. But what’s too hot or cold for one person can be just right for another. In looking for the countries with the best climate for our 2017 Global Retirement Index, we assessed not only the hard data, temperatures, rainfall and humidity, but we also assessed the comfort level of each destination’s climate by talking to the expats and our own correspondents on the ground in each country.
“My job required me to travel the globe and it was then that I discovered the world is a big, interesting place,” says Toronto native Jim Pierson of his past life as an engineer. In the mid-90s, a chance encounter on a commuter flight from Chicago to Toronto brought Jim and his wife Helen together.
Many expats come to Costa Rica to escape harsh winters somewhere far north of here, but in Tamarindo, regular sunshine and consistent temperatures are just a few of the many reasons people stay. There’s a great sense of community in Tamarindo.
I awake to the sound of gentle rain on the roof. Its chilly but not cold. It's never cold. Even sweat pants give way to shorts by mid-morning on most days.
Food is cheap—and very tasty. Rents are affordable even for those on super-low budgets—$200 to $400 gets you a nice place in a great neighborhood. The climate is comfortable…the people friendly…there are modern services…and the vibrant mix of music, festivals, indigenous culture, and colonial history is evident everywhere you turn. It should be an option for anyone considering a retirement in Latin America.
There are plenty of valid reasons to rent a home before you buy when you relocate overseas. For those who choose to live in Panama’s Western-most province, Chiriquí, one major reason is to check out the weather in various locations to find what suits you best. Despite being a small country in the middle of the tropics, you’ll find Panama has a variety of climate zones and even within the province there are variations in temperature, rainfall, wind, and cloud cover.
My wife Rita and I had a very good life in the United States. We lived in a beautiful riverfront condo a few hours from Washington, D.C. We had a boat, good friends, and access to great seafood and fresh produce in season.
Our daughter in New Jersey hasn’t seen her yard for months because it’s covered with snow. Our son in North Carolina finished raking leaves a while back just in time to get out the overcoats in preparation for the frigid weather ahead. My wife Cynthia and I, we’re weather junkies, who, like Goldilocks, want our weather “just right”…not too hot and not too cold…
Moving to Panama was "a bit of an adventure" for expat James Bloomfield. "When I first moved to the capital, I was out exploring nearly every weekend," he says. He fell for the coastal area of Pedasi, just 200 miles west of Panama City. It's a region of pristine, uncrowded beaches and abundant waters just teeming in tuna, wahoo, dorado, and more.
After enduring too many cold winters I decided it was time to move overseas. Shoveling snow just to get to work and more shoveling to get back into the garage at night was exhausting. It was adding more time to my work day, meaning less time for relaxing at home. Plus I hated how the cold dictated how and when I did everything. It would take twice as long to get anywhere. And my cost of living was going up and up and my heat bills just kept rising. Then there was the worry about the wear and tear on the car due to the freezing temperatures, frozen pipes, downed power lines, and power outages.