Nothing beats the diagnosis of an incurable disease for putting the spurs to a plan. When my wife Christine and I left the neurologist’s office in Charleston after being told she had Parkinson’s disease, our trip home to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina began in tears and anger, but then turned to some serious strategic planning…
The Social Security program is misunderstood by most people...and this can lead to claiming mistakes that commonly cost single people tens of thousands of dollars in cumulative lifetime benefits.
Millions of baby boomers qualify for valuable Social Security claiming options that can provide tens of thousands of dollars in additional benefits. Yet most will never receive these benefits, even though they qualify for them. How can this be so? It’s because there are so many rules, they are complicated, and people don’t understand how they work.
Graham Cooper first became an expat when he moved from his native England to Toronto, Canada in 1972, to pursue what would be a long and prosperous career in mechanical engineering. When he became eligible for retirement after 30 years with the same employer at the age of 55, he didn’t hesitate. “I figured, why would I work any longer if I can retire now,” Graham reflects. “My company offered me a nice retirement package including my pension and health benefits until I die, so I took it and planned to pursue my passion for travel.”
My lifestyle has changed significantly since moving to Central America three years ago. One reason my wife Jen and I moved here was because the American Dream was killing us. We both had successful careers and no children; this meant we had a lot of disposable income. We had the large house (occupied only by two people and a dog), two cars, and all the possessions we could want. We had all the things that define “making it” in the U.S.
It’s another leisurely morning in paradise for Helen Murphy, as she strolls through the garden of her tropical-island home. She repots her plants and reorganizes her purple orchids. She has all the time in the world to spend, as she plants new seeds in her nursery and takes photos of the latest blooms to post online later.
There are many places in Costa Rica’s Central Valley where you can experience what the country is all about, maybe too many. When my wife and I have friends visit, we often have a hard time deciding what to show them. That being said, we always save one day for what I call the dynamic-duo of the Central Valley—Poas Volcano and La Paz Water Gardens. These two iconic destinations are close enough to each other to visit in the same day and they provide a wonderful experience.
As attorneys in Detroit, my husband Kurt and I worked excessive hours. But we always had a plan to retire early to paradise. We traveled extensively around the world in search of that paradise and Costa Rica had what we were looking for.
Sailing into the sunset to start a new life in a tropical paradise is the stuff of many retirees' dreams. However, sometimes the fear that they'll also be leaving behind First World amenities holds them back. But there's a place where you can forget those worries...Cebu City, on the island of Cebu in the Philippines, is that place.
Diana Moore and Tim Nutley are thrilled to be living on a Caribbean island. “Our lifestyle now is ‘chillaxed’, as people here say. We are no longer working long hours and then trying to get everything done on the weekend,” says Diana. “We like living here for simple reasons. The atmosphere is awesome. No one is in a hurry. There are no automobiles here. We get around on bikes. So there’s no polluted air or road rage.”