The Kicks and Perks of Life in Ecuador

The Kicks and Perks of Life in Ecuador

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November 27, 2013

The very thought of moving abroad seems like such an adventure, doesn't it? The world is full of so many intriguing locations. Which country would you choose? Which city? If you actually pull the trigger and relocate, then the adventure truly begins. Everything is new, exciting, interesting, frustrating, and exhausting all at once. You're meeting new friends—maybe learning a different language—adapting to a foreign culture, and exploring surrounding areas.

Are You Among the 23% Entitled to a Second Passport?

Are You Among the 23% Entitled to a Second Passport?

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November 26, 2013

By now, you know that I advocate acquiring dual citizenship. Dual, even multiple citizenship, for Americans has been upheld as a legal right by the U.S. Supreme Court in several cases. A second passport is solid insurance against tyrannical government. And although Switzerland has been smeared as a haven for tax dodging and money laundering, of all passports, the Swiss is one of the best. It offers visa-free travel to many countries. However, acquiring Swiss citizenship is difficult, usually requiring years of residence to qualify, and even then may be subject to local canton approval.

An Unusual Way to Get to a Second Passport

An Unusual Way to Get to a Second Passport

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November 25, 2013

Tucked away 150 miles east of Puerto Rico, you'll find one of the Caribbean's most beautiful jurisdictions—St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts is the larger and more populous island, but I prefer the less hectic pace of life in Nevis. With densely forested mountains, brilliant tropical flowers and crystal-clear waters, there's plenty of reasons you'd want to own a home on Nevis.

The More I Got to Know Cuenca, Ecuador, the More I Fell in Love

The More I Got to Know Cuenca, Ecuador, the More I Fell in Love

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November 24, 2013

It was Christmas vacation 2009. I turned on my computer and clicked on Yahoo where a headline caught my attention: "The Top 10 Places in the World to Retire." I had never heard of the number one city listed, Cuenca, Ecuador. But as I perused the other nine cities, I found something wrong with each of them. They were too hot or too cold, or hot in the summer and cold in the winter, which was just what I wanted to leave behind in Chicago; or they were too far from the U.S.

A Tour-Guide-Free Waterfall Adventure—Thanks to Spanish

A Tour-Guide-Free Waterfall Adventure—Thanks to Spanish

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November 21, 2013

When I first moved from the U.S. to Uruguay, I didn't speak Spanish. And while some English-speaking expats get by without learning any Spanish, my experience is, the more Spanish I learn the richer my expat experience becomes.It took just a little study to learn to greet people and show respect. Now, after a little more study and practice I can express my needs and wants and I’m starting to build rapport with my Uruguayan neighbors. More and more, it feels like I’m getting ready to take off my Spanish "training wheels" and learning to communicate like a local.

Five Expat Havens in Thailand Offer Low Costs and a High Quality of Life

Five Expat Havens in Thailand Offer Low Costs and a High Quality of Life

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November 20, 2013

“Thailand is one of the world’s most popular locales for good living abroad,” says InternationalLiving.com writer Heather Van Deest, who has lived there with her family for the past eight years. “For pennies on the dollar expats gain a year-round tropical climate and access to modern comforts and conveniences, including affordable, high-quality medical care.”

The 3 Best Reasons to Learn Spanish

The 3 Best Reasons to Learn Spanish

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November 12, 2013

When I started learning Spanish in Spain some years ago, I never envisioned how helpful it would become. Mostly, I just wanted to know how to order food, talk to people a bit and avoid embarrassing myself as much as possible. The more I learned, however, the more I discovered how much of a key that speaking the language is. Spanish has opened many doors for me—in Spain, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba and Mexico.

Is Ecuador the Right Place for You?

Is Ecuador the Right Place for You?

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November 5, 2013

Ecuador has been at the top of so many international retirement indexes and lists in the past few years that folks are beginning to wonder if there isn’t some kind of conspiracy at work. After all, how can a single country meet every one of the requirements that retirees are looking for overseas? Simple answer—it can’t. No place can.