“I never imagined I’d be staying in the homes of people I didn’t know, taking care of their pets and valuables in exchange for free accommodation,” says Denny Rudin. “If someone had mentioned it to me five years ago, I would have thought they were crazy.”
As the managing editor of International Living's Daily Postcards, I hear from our editors and correspondents on the ground in the world’s top retirement havens on a daily basis about what makes these countries perfect…their affordability, the great weather, good-value real estate…the friendly people.
The highland areas of Panama are favored destinations for expats, retirees, tourists, and local residents alike. The combination of spring-like weather and stunning rainforest scenery are an unbeatable attraction for many.
International Living editors and correspondents are constantly on the road seeking out the best-value retirement havens. All that travel means they’re pretty savvy when it comes to getting the best deals and saving money while on the road.
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.
On the Eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, 80 or so very special miles of palm-infused, sugar-sand beach is known as the Riviera Maya. This postcard-perfect stretch of paradise is bathed by the warm, turquoise-green, clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Living in the tropics is a dream for many, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, is still a popular destination for those seeking a year-round hot climate, along with a low cost of living. Although far from any white sandy beaches, Chiang Mai still has plenty of activities to keep you busy, both in the city and the surrounding countryside.
“I’m going to write a book about living in Arenal,” Christine Baskin told me. “And I’m going to call it 50 Shades of Green. I mean, just look at all those colors,” she exclaimed as we drove around the huge Lake Arenal.
Many expats come to Costa Rica to escape harsh winters somewhere far north of here, but in Tamarindo, regular sunshine and consistent temperatures are just a few of the many reasons people stay. There’s a great sense of community in Tamarindo.
The Central Valley is a popular retirement destination in Costa Rica. Over 70% of Costa Rica’s population lives here. They are drawn to it by the superb quality of life that the Central Valley offers. Here are five things that you can attribute to the better quality of life in Costa Rica’s Central Valley.