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.
Do you long to laze on a sunny Mediterranean beach? Explore historic buildings and ground-breaking architecture? Or just indulge in a simple cup of coffee, paired with a tasty churro? Then maybe Spain is the perfect place for you.
Ecuador…the small South American country that sits right on the equator…is blessed with many advantages—particularly its diverse, gorgeous terrain, and fantastic climate. No matter what you're looking for…from lush rainforest to majestic mountains to sun-kissed beaches, you'll find it here. And about that climate…daytime temperatures in the Sierras—along the Andes Mountains range that cuts through the country from north to south—rarely top 75 F. On La Costa—the coast—temperatures typically top out in the mid 80s F. El Oriente (the eastern rainforest) fares about the same.
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.
Deserted white-sand beaches, lush jungle-covered mountains, and a bustling UNESCO-listed capital…welcome to the island of Penang. I had heard that this was an island rich in tradition and culture…but it really does have to be seen to be believed. As I wandered around the bustling market streets of the capital George Town, I saw the melting-pot heritage that Penang is famous for.
Imagine stepping out on your balcony and taking in the deep blue waters of Panama Bay. You can see some of the city's most iconic towers across the water. In the distance, there are a few boats, perhaps making their way to the famed Panama Canal. Glance down and you see your building's gym and spa area…the sun-warmed pool beckons.
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.