For many, retirement is their chance to live the kind of life they’ve always dreamed of. Throughout their working lives they count down the days to when they can leave the 9-to-5 behind and focus on living their ideal lifestyle, in a location that’s perfect for them.
“Rent before you buy.” I’ve been interviewing expats in Panama since I began writing for International Living in 2006, and this may well be the phrase I hear (and repeat) the most. It’s good advice when moving to a new community…whether it’s across the country or across the world.
The colonial city of Antigua in the Central highlands of Guatemala has a thriving expat community. It’s no surprise that foreigners choose to live here full- or part-time. They enjoy the history-steeped cobbled streets and a vibrant culture. Visitors often extend their stay, swapping family home stays or hotel accommodation for short or long-term rentals in Antigua.
Most of us dream of owning a beach property—where we can ride out the cold winters back home, enjoy beach living year-round, or even as a bolthole for a few weeks at a time. The good news is that, in some places, your dream beach home costs a lot less than you might think.
Playa del Carmen lies about midway between the all-inclusive resort hub of Cancún and the up-and-coming, low-key, and still somewhat bohemian destination of Tulúm. It’s a happy medium between those two extremes and a favorite for those seeking to live an active retirement in an atmosphere that is sophisticated, yet laidback at the same time.
The best beaches in Mexico are just 70 minutes down the coast from Cancun. Some are still deserted, dotted only with coconut palm trees and curious iguanas. Seabirds duck and dive overhead. It's a place of utter beauty and tranquility—azure blue water and total silence except for the roar of the surf. But it's not just about white-sand beaches here.
In 2013, Lisa and Sam Chiodo, along with their two children, Carina and Luca, came to the tiny medieval hamlet of Borgata Malpertus, nestled at the foot of the Italian Alps, in search of a simple and affordable life.
I have eaten my way around the world spending as little as $5 day on food—in Mexico...Barcelona...even Paris. If you follow a few simple tricks you can save a fortune on your daily expenses and get a real taste of the local culture.
For many expats, renting may be a better option than buying when looking for your dream home in Ecuador. For example, you may not be sure about where to settle, and want the flexibility that renting affords.
I'd heard what people said about Salinas before I visited. "It kind of looks like Ecuador's version of Miami." I didn't take much notice of it. After all, how could a little beach city in Ecuador, almost 2,000 miles away from Florida, look anything like Miami?