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.
In International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2017, we ranked and rated the 24 best retirement havens in the world. You can stretch your dollars in any of them and live better than you can back home—for less.
For the last seven years, my husband Gary and I have been enjoying a snowbird lifestyle. For six months each year, we wave goodbye to family and friends in cold, snowy Canada and set out for our home in Panama’s Chiriquí province.
Part of the reason my wife and I chose to begin our Costa Rican adventure in the Central Valley town of Grecia was its proximity to San José and the airport, as well as the beautiful scenery and temperate climate.
Grecia is a popular town in Costa Rica for expats, and for good reason. The town is large enough to have enough variety in shopping to meet almost every need, but it is small enough to be comfortable.
By now it’s no secret that Ecuador is a very affordable place to live. In fact, my life in the little mountain town of Cotacachi is so inexpensive that I can support my family of four as a part-time freelancer.
As I drive east out of San Jose and its suburbs, the gridlock, gleaming shopping malls, and dense urban development of Costa Rica’s capital slowly melt away. Within 30 minutes I’ve found myself in the countryside, following a winding road that hugs a mountainside as it descends into the valley below.
Turquoise waters lap the white-sand beach fringed with casuarina trees. There are no jet skis or banana boats here; just a few stand-up paddle boarders and a kayak or two. There’s not a beach lounger in sight, just some mats and towels strewn in the shade.
"One of the best things about living in Spain is the simplicity," says Fiona Lennol. "Less is expected of you. You're not required to have a fancy car or a big house. You can be yourself and just enjoy life. When you wake in the morning to blue skies and sunshine the day is already good.
Bright beams of sunshine stream in the window... The sounds of a gurgling creek can be heard coming from just over the hill... Woodpeckers drum rhythmically, and the air is full of birdsong... This is what I wake up to every morning.