Summer is such a great time of year. The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and the barbecue grills are working overtime. It’s one of the most anticipated seasons for most folks, and who can blame them?
I can’t stay silent any longer. There are some things that expats don’t warn you about before you make the decision to move to Salinas, on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. In the interest of full disclosure, I feel you have the right to know these seven things that expats don’t like to mention, but will surely happen to you as a full-time resident.
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...
My first year in Panama City—known to locals by its airport call letters, PTY—I started my mornings with a 15 cents cup of strong, dark coffee. For breakfast I would buy a little bag of fried plantains or corn fritters (torrejas de maiz) for 25 cents.
Nothing beats the diagnosis of an incurable disease for putting the spurs to a plan. When my wife Christine and I left the neurologist’s office in Charleston after being told she had Parkinson’s disease, our trip home to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina began in tears and anger, but then turned to some serious strategic planning…
My husband Paul and I first traveled to Costa Rica’s Central Valley in 2008 with the intention of discovering whether or not we might want to retire there. We visited big towns and small towns, looked at apartments, condos, and houses…some very basic and some built to U.S. standards.
A good friend emailed me the other day to say he was disappointed in me. He’d just visited a Latin American city and had fallen in love with it. He went on for several paragraphs about how it reminded him, not only of one of his favorite mountain towns in Italy, but also of one of the Paris neighborhoods he loves the best.
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.”
What makes for a good retirement destination? For those on a budget (and those who aren’t) a place with a lower cost of living is key. But it’s not only about the money. You want to be comfortable and feel safe. Modern services like high-speed internet, top-notch medical care, and good value real estate are also important. And if you’re from a northern climate, the benefit of warm weather year-round (no more coats, no more snow tires) might be the biggest motivator.
It’s another leisurely morning in paradise for Helen Murphy, as she strolls through the garden of her tropical-island home. She repots her plants and reorganizes her purple orchids. She has all the time in the world to spend, as she plants new seeds in her nursery and takes photos of the latest blooms to post online later.