I have a bit of an embarrassing problem every time I go to Nicaragua. For at least half the first day, I’m constantly asking waiters to repeat the price for a beer, cocktail, or meal, thinking I misheard. Could it really that low? They give me a weird look and reassure me it is. Then there’s the next embarrassing part—I’ve just come from the ATM and only have big bills— that’s a lot of change...
My friend Michael was in shock. It was understandable since he'd never seen me "work" in the traditional sense of the word. With all the time I spend eating out, going to concerts and exploring the downtown shops of Cuenca, Ecuador, he thought I was a member of the idle rich.
An affordable lifestyle was definitely one of the reasons why my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I became expats more than a decade ago. The opportunity to halve our cost of living and still get better weather, healthier food, lower-cost medical care, and a truly relaxed, "off the treadmill" pace of life was one we couldn’t pass up.
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.
We tell you often about the low prices in Ecuador and how a couple can live the high life for as little as $940 a month. Well, we've recently been in contact with lots of North Americans living in Ecuador right now. Turns out the cost of living isn't as low as we thought...it's even lower!
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.