Ibarra: Ecuador’s “Secret” City

Ibarra: Ecuador’s “Secret” City

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December 4, 2017

There's a small city in Ecuador that you might never have heard of. But if you're looking for a retirement destination, it's got a lot to offer. Called Ibarra, it's Ecuador's northernmost mountain city. You're not alone if it's unfamiliar to you. Though I, and several hundred other expats, live just 30 minutes away in the small town of Cotacachi, Ibarra gets too little attention considering how attractive it is as an expat destination. Why doesn't it get the recognition it deserves, you ask? Well, it's partly because Ibarra lost much of its original colonial architecture to an earthquake over 100 years ago. Not that you'd notice much—the buildings that replaced the wrecked ones are a pretty good replica of colonial style.

Beach Town Life in Cabo Frio, Brazil

Beach Town Life in Cabo Frio, Brazil

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November 17, 2017

With 4,655 miles of coastline, Brazil boasts scores of lovely beach towns. One of my favorites is the small city of Cabo Frio (pop. 200,000), which lies in the Região dos Lagos (Lakes Region) northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Cabo is a popular getaway for residents of Rio, which is quite a recommendation. Cabo is located two hours by good roads from Rio and Galeão International Airport. Sandwiched between the South Atlantic and Araruama Lagoon, Cabo offers a range of water activities, from laid-back to exhilarating. The principle beach is Praia do Forte, or Fort Beach, named for Fort São Mateus at its extreme eastern end, built between 1616 and 1620 to safeguard these waters from the French and other interlopers. Praia do Forte sprawls wide and unbroken for more than four miles.

Culture, Climate, Food: Three Great Reasons to Live in Italy

Culture, Climate, Food: Three Great Reasons to Live in Italy

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October 17, 2017

Have you taken the public ferry that calls into the flower-bedecked lakeside villages around Lake Como? Spent a day shopping for the perfect turquoise leather purse in Milan? Bathed in the thermal pools of Saturnia? Wandered pilgrim paths through the chestnut woods of northern Tuscany? Eaten pumpkin tortellini in Bologna or cuttlefish risotto in Genoa? Lolled under a shady ombrellone on Lido di Metaponto’s golden beach? Enjoyed opera under the stars at Verona? Seen glow-worms lighting the fields at night as you walk back from San Gimignano of the medieval towers?

Living Internationally: How to Enjoy a Roving Retirement

Living Internationally: How to Enjoy a Roving Retirement

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September 25, 2017

Advances in technology have opened up the world. Planes, trains and the Internet are all getting faster and—if you know where to look—you can embrace these changes and make your dream of exploring dozens of overseas destinations come true. Right now, living internationally...

Property Bargains in Italy’s Basilicata Region

Property Bargains in Italy’s Basilicata Region

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August 21, 2017

Because the area has lost residents in the past half-century, there are lots of properties available, but you have to make an effort to find them. Most towns don’t have real estate agents. We found our little 300-year-old casa in the village of Trivigno thanks to the village’s former mayor. We paid just $32,000 for the habitable house with three separate stone-hewn cantinas, used to store firewood and wine.

Orvieto: Life Is Sweet (and Affordable) in This Medieval Italian Town

Orvieto: Life Is Sweet (and Affordable) in This Medieval Italian Town

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August 19, 2017

The aroma of freshly-brewed cappuccino is an essential ingredient of the Italian morning. While this morning delicacy can be enjoyed anywhere in Italy, a quiet café in a small Umbrian town provides an opportunity to truly savor la dolce vita—the sweet life. Tucked away in the southwest corner of Umbria and exuding the same Italian charm of nearby Tuscan towns, Orvieto is a wonderful alternative to its more famous and sometimes overly pretentious neighbors.

What Does Luxury Mean to You?

What Does Luxury Mean to You?

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August 11, 2017

Ever since my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I wrote our book, we've been getting the same question from book reviewers and interviewers. The name of the book is The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget: How to Live Well on $25,000 a Year. And the question is: "What do you mean by 'well'? What kind of lifestyle could you possibly have on just $25,000 a year?"

$490 a Month Rent and a Richer Life in Costa Rica

$490 a Month Rent and a Richer Life in Costa Rica

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July 6, 2017

Minimalism was a concept I never thought would fit me. But retiring and moving to Costa Rica has changed me for the better. I no longer buy “things” to be happy. Through our move from Colorado to Costa Rica in November 2015, my husband, Wes, and I exchanged our 2,700 square-foot home and three-car garage for a home with under 1,000 square feet.

The Little-known Stretch of the French Riviera

The Little-known Stretch of the French Riviera

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July 3, 2017

Although southern France comes with a medieval legacy of troubadour poets, I never expected to see a poetry shop. But there's one in the harbor town of Cassis. Framed and written on marbled paper, there are over 4,000 poems on love, life and friendship to choose from. Dominated by a fortress castle and with a back garden of vineyards, Cassis is the unhyped Riviera...