Walk Everywhere in Panama City’s Best Neighborhood

Walk Everywhere in Panama City’s Best Neighborhood

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September 28, 2014

To live the big city life for less and enjoy a world-class retirement look no farther than the San Francisco neighborhood of Panama City. I chose to live in San Francisco because of its walkability, its amenities, and just how close it is to the kind of action that makes for a great city life...and from gourmet delis to evenings at the opera, I enjoyed every minute.

It’s True: Ecuador Really Can Improve Your Health

It’s True: Ecuador Really Can Improve Your Health

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September 3, 2014

I realized years ago that, by and large, happiness is a choice. I'll admit that there have been times when maintaining that choice has required significant, conscious effort. But, the choice is easier now that I'm retired and living on Mexico's Riviera Maya. Here it would take considerable, deliberate effort to be anything but happy.

Ecuador’s Natural Weight Loss Plan…

Ecuador’s Natural Weight Loss Plan…

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August 26, 2014

I’m in no way an expert on the subject of health. What I’m about to tell you is simply based on our experiences and those of folks we’ve talked to here in Ecuador. But we are happy with how things have worked out. With good food, more exercise, fresh air, and the relaxing sounds of the waves in the background, there is no doubt that we are living a healthier lifestyle in Ecuador.

Retired and Bored: Panama May Not Meet Your Expectations

Retired and Bored: Panama May Not Meet Your Expectations

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August 14, 2014

As International Living's Panama Editor, I travel several times a year to speak at conferences. Often the image people have is of a country with pretty beaches, plenty of palm trees...and not much else. One of the questions I get most is: "Will I be bored there?" If you're expecting to take it easy and have a quiet retirement, you may want to think again. Bluntly speaking, it's nearly impossible to be bored or even inactive here.

Costa Rica Ticks All the Boxes for Me

Costa Rica Ticks All the Boxes for Me

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August 5, 2014

I still remember the first time I went to the feria, or farmers' market, in Grecia, the Central Valley town I call home here in Costa Rica. It was a bit embarrassing. I was buying some carrots and potatoes and had dutifully handed over my filled-to-the-brim bags to be weighed. The vendor read out the total, and I handed over a 10,000 colones note (about $20). Still adjusting to the exchange rate, it took me a second to realize I owed him only about $1.50—and I was taking all his change for the day! I quickly counted out some coins and handed those over to the grateful vendor instead.

Retirement in Uruguay Is Unique

Retirement in Uruguay Is Unique

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August 1, 2014

Uruguay is a nation of immigrants—which means that if you're looking to retire overseas, you'll fit right in. This unique country's citizens are descended from all corners of the world; about 90% of Uruguayans have ancestors from Western European, with the highest percentages from Spain, Italy, and France. And, because most Uruguayans are descendants of immigrants (and many know and can tell you their family's relocation story) newcomers are generally treated warmly.

Health Care in Colombia: Top Quality and Affordable

Health Care in Colombia: Top Quality and Affordable

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July 30, 2014

Before moving to South America in 2008, I worked independently and couldn’t afford health insurance. Here in Colombia, where health care costs are low, I used to pay out of pocket for medications and basic services, such as a dental checkup, which costs around $25. Even so, I often went without the care I needed to avoid extra expenses.

Popular Costa Rica: Is the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle for You?

Popular Costa Rica: Is the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle for You?

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July 1, 2014

The 2014 Fast Track Costa Rica Conference is over and done with - and as expected, it was a roaring success. I'd wager the people who attended this conference were people who had read and heard about Costa Rica's breath-taking natural beauty, very affordable cost of living, and the Pura Vida lifestyle—and were interested in seeing if it's somewhere where they could enjoy a happier retirement for less than what they are paying at home.