People are like shoes. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. And one size never fits all. The more research I do about living, working, retiring, and doing business overseas...the more apparent it becomes that this is not a "one size fits all" idea. Everyone has different dreams, perceptions, and lifestyle requirements.
In this video, International Living Panama editor Jessica Ramesch talks about her cost of living in Panama City, Panama. Though it’s possible to live (and spend) like a millionaire here, Jessica says it’s easy to live the good life, even if you’re on a budget, like her. Your cost of living can be low in Panama but you can still buy the same groceries as back home.
San Miguel de Allende is one of Mexico's prettiest colonial towns and an expat favorite. But it doesn't have to be expensive. You can find properties there now starting at about $150,000, and enjoy San Miguel's vibrant atmosphere and many amenities. And your cost of living in San Miguel will be low, too.
In this video, IL's Mexico editor Glynna Prentice talks about the cost of living in Lake Chapala, Mexico. Lake Chapala, located in central Mexico, is an affordable expat haven that is one of the easiest places to retire abroad, thanks to thousands of English-speaking expats and US-style amenities. It’s a part of the world where it’s easy to afford a cook, a maid, and a gardener.
John and Sue live in Vilcabamba in southern Ecuador. Known as the Valley of Longevity because it's such a healthy, stress-free place that residents commonly live to be 100 or more, you gotta figure it's a very good thing that living there costs so little. John and Sue, who are right around 50 and have been retired for more than four years now, have a very long life ahead of them.
While Chile may have the highest cost of living in South America, it also has the most developed infrastructure and a solid middle-class. For an ESL teacher, it is a logical destination because the economy is stable. I arrived in July 2010 and started work two weeks later.
The cost of living in Italy can admittedly be high. But even in glamorous Tuscany, they can also be affordably low. As always, much depends on your lifestyle—and also your location. Most people have heard of the Tuscan cities of Florence and Siena. But go to a city like Pistoia and your cost of living will be low.
How much does it really cost to live in Ecuador? I’ve reported in the past about couples living in this country on no more than $500 or $600 per month. Now that my husband and I have been living off and on in Cotacachi for the last couple of years, I’ve put pencil to paper to tally our own cost of living in Ecuador.
One seaside destination in Mexico that’s starting to gain attention is Campeche, in the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s one of the few colonial cities in Mexico that’s right on the ocean. And though there is no beach—the shore is rocky there—it enjoys sea breezes and a tropical climate. To top it off, the cost of living in Campeche is much lower than in many seaside destinations.
On their tour of the valleys outside Quito, Ecuador, IL editors Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher go to Tumbaco, where local schools and cultural groups are singing, dancing, and performing skits to celebrate Recycling Awareness Day.