When my wife Jen and I decided to move to Costa Rica, like many, we thought we’d end up living in a beach area. However, we wanted to start the...
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.
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.
With a low cost of living, picture-perfect white-sand beaches, friendly locals and fascinating culture, Southeast Asia are so much more than exotic vacation spots. Enticing expats and retirees from around the globe, they still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas. Imagine never having to buy a new coat or pay for home heating ever again. Untouched by our idea of “winter”, each of the countries in Southeast Asia delivers warm, tropical weather and the chance for beach-side relaxation all year round. For many expats, it’s paradise found.
“How can two people who have lived their entire lives in Colorado, move so far away?” That was the reaction from family and friends when my husband, Wes, and I announced our decision to retire overseas. We felt it was a good time for us to have a new adventure. I’d been working for over 30 years as a library employee and Wes had been retired for over a year and was growing weary of the cold Colorado weather. We were in good health and we had worked hard and raised our family when our peers were out exploring (we married young).
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.”
Cambodia’s second-largest city (home to around 250,000 people) doesn’t feel at all like the capital, Phnom Penh; in fact, wandering around Battambang, I felt as if I had traveled back to the early 20th century. While most of Southeast Asia is developing at breakneck speed, Battambang gives the impression that it’s quite content to have settled into an earlier, simpler time.
One of the things my wife and I love about living in Costa Rica is our weekly trip to the feria, the country’s farmers market. Growers from the region meet there each weekend to sell just-picked fruits and vegetables. There are also vendors selling quality meats, poultry, and fish. Not only is the food fresh, the prices are incredible. For example, I can buy three pineapples for just $2, or a kilo of potatoes for $1.50. In addition to the great selection and price of foods there are other reasons we love going there.