Colombia ranked in the top five of several categories in International Living’s 2017 Global Retirement Index, including healthcare and climate. The country’s turbulent past is well behind it, and today it’s a country that’s gaining the attention of people wanting to retire outside of the U.S. either full- or part-time.
I don’t wear a watch. I have one (of course), but I don’t need it. In fact, I haven’t worn a watch in six years because our retirement in the Ecuadorian mountain city of Cuenca has given me back the gift of time. My husband, Mark, and I are so much more laidback; we’ve forgotten what stress feels like. The only time we feel it is when we go back to the States to visit family and friends.
Costa Rica has been a destination for retirees and other expats going on four decades now. The benefits that drew those first pioneers all those years ago are still very much part of life in this little Central American gem. It ticks a lot of boxes. You can’t beat the weather, especially when you’ve just endured another chilly North American winter.
My wife and I live in one of the most beautiful and temperate spots on the planet right now. As I write, birds whistle and warble back and forth to each other in the lush woods surrounding our tidy little rental in the lakeside town of Ajijic, on the Central Mexican Plateau.
For six months of the year, Owen Hughes spends his days wandering down to palm-tree-lined Sosua Beach, one of the most beautiful in the Dominican Republic. Sitting at a table in the shade of the palm trees, or enjoying the occasional swim or snorkel in the warm, turquoise water is a nice contrast to the cold winters back in Ontario.
No matter the season, it always feels like spring to me here on the sunny shores of Lake Chapala in the heart of Mexico. It's the colors, I think. The robin's egg blue sky, the soft green leaves on the trees and vines.
"It was the best move of my life," says Michael Harris of his new life in Costa Rica. "I feel like I'm living in technicolor now." Back in the States, Michael worked as a director for an IT company but was laid off in a corporate take-over.
"I think commuting is a waste of time. And I don't like fluorescent lights or uncomfortable business socks," says Jon Anderson, who works remotely in the field of IT. "The internet came around when I was first starting my career.
Paula has been in love with San Miguel, an artsy town in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands, ever since she first visited in 2012. The town’s vibrant arts scene, colonial architecture, and temperate climate kept her coming back for years before she moved down permanently last year.
Nicaragua opened up a whole new world for Paul, Marisa, their two kids Owen, 11, and Abigail, 8, and their three dogs…not least in slashing their cost of living. “Comparing our expenses in the U.S. with Nicaragua is pretty comical,” says Marisa.