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Boquete, a small highland town in the Chirquí Province of Panama, has everything a retired expat could want. Those who live here enjoy a low cost of living, a year-round spring-like climate, and breathtaking 360 degree views of coffee planted hills and greenery.
This life could be yours. Plenty of everyday people are choosing to live on the water full-time—in their retirement, no less. After a bit of training and hands-on experience at home, they're tying up beside mega-yachts in the Mediterranean...finding large floating communities of like-minded expat sailors in the Caribbean...and island hopping in the Gulf of Thailand, heading wherever their fancy takes them.
Right in the heart of the Philippines archipelago, on the Southwest corner of the island of Negros Oriental, lies Dumaguete. The name means to “snatch” and legend has it that pirates used to come to the island to abscond with not just the treasures of the land but all the beautiful unwed ladies living there.
In many of the world’s best retirement havens, embracing a healthier lifestyle just comes naturally. And it’s easy to see why. With warm weather year-round, it’s easy to get out and about whenever you feel like it. Abundant fresh air fills your lungs with each breath. With everything you need within walking distance, many expats can get by just fine without a car. And those extra yards you walk each day add up to a shrinking waistline over time. Lower costs make it much easier to eat healthily, too.
Situated on Nicaragua’s southern Pacific coast, San Juan del Sur is a funky beach town—with around 1,500 expats from all over the world. Stroll through town, and you’ll see colorful buildings of all different sizes flanking the ocean. They house surf shops, bakeries, beach clothing stores, hotels and hostels, from basic to top-dollar. Buy hand-made jewelry from artists from every continent. Take a swim in the beautiful bay; watch the multi-colored sunset.
There is more to Peru than Machu Picchu. But with its spectacular views, larger-than-life stone architecture, and various scenic ways of approaching the site, it definitely ranks high on the list of things to do. Peru has one of the most diverse landscapes in the world...
There are several categories of residency for those seeking to live and/or retire in Costa Rica. Although it can be quite bureaucratic, the process to obtain your cedula (the Costa Rican “green card”) is actually pretty straightforward. Most expats who retire to Costa Rica and live here full time choose pensionado status.
The tiny five-island archipelago of Malta is an increasingly sought-after retirement destination among expats these days—and it’s no surprise why. Situated just 100 miles south of Sicily, the Mediterranean island offers an incredible charm.
Wherever you are in Vietnam, you’ll find that the cost of living is very low. Even in the most expensive cities—Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi—two people can live well for less than $1,500 per month. If you’re hoping to find an even lower cost of living than that, my advice is to head for the beaches.