With an impressive skyline that glistens in the midday sun, Panama's capital looks modern and sophisticated. It's not uncommon for me to hear visitors comparing it to other cosmopolitan destinations like London or New York. Of course, with a population of just under 2 million, Panama City is much smaller.
I used to believe the retirement fantasy propagated by the financial industry, corporate America, and the government. Then I realized I had been bamboozled. I made a deliberate decision to wrest control of my retirement destiny away from anyone who was trying to sell me down the river.
As we so often recommend at International Living, renting before deciding to buy or build your dream home can be a good way to familiarize yourself with the lay of the land in your new home.
Not long ago, when someone said "income investing," they were probably talking about investment-grade bonds and bank CDs. Back then, it wasn't hard to find a safe, steady 5%-plus yield.
Next month, for her 65th birthday, Karen Vrilakas is taking a trip to Morocco, Monaco, and India. "The great thing is, that when I return, I get to come back to my beautiful home in Ajijic," she says.
"I've always believed that work should be something you enjoy and love," says Joanna Gillan, who funds a life of freedom and travel with her website dedicated to the study of ancient history. "If you do something you love, no matter what your background or experience is, it will always be successful."
Kristin Simmon-Lowman has found she can live her life just as she desires in Ecuador. "I'm a routine person," she says. "I spend eight hours a week taking Spanish lessons and that's something I enjoy a lot. Also, I teach English twice a week to 11- and 12-year-olds through a local education program, Uno a Uno," she says.
Retiring to Costa Rica was an easy choice for me and my wife, Jackie since we had been vacationing there for several years and loved the simplicity and natural beauty of the country. We also decided that the best option for us, initially, was to rent rather than purchase our home.
What I love best about living in Atenas, Costa Rica, is how peaceful it is. The capital city of San José is only an hour's drive to the east. But whenever I have to go there, like just the other day, I always breathe out a big sigh of contented happiness when I turn off the highway and onto the main road into Atenas where we live.
"Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning." Those are the famous directions to Neverland—a magical place, overflowing with adventure, where you don't grow old.