It’s not difficult to see why so many expats are drawn to El Valle, Panama, a mountain town built in the crater of an extinct volcano.
Arguably Mexico’s best-known Spanish-town, San Miguel has been a top haven for decades. And today, you can buy real estate here at bargain prices, down as much as 55% from highs in 2007/2008. But you’d better move fast. On a recent visit to this most sophisticated of pueblos, I found that—here, at least—the recession induced real estate slump is over.
Fancy a few hours battling a half-ton striped marlin Hemingway style? The fish can get so big off the coast of Costa Rica that the skipper straps you into a chair to fight them.
"I knew when it was time to retire we'd move to the tropics. I was bored with the predictability of life in the U.S....the politics...the franchises," says 70-year-old Roberta Laidman.
Perhaps the happiest expat couple I’ve met in Ecuador came here with what fit in their suitcases and only two things that didn’t—a guitar and a fiddle.
At ages 67 and 72, we became senior nomads. We had taken stock of our lives and realized that we were happier on the road than anywhere else—and that becoming home-free would give us the flexibility we needed to experience life in other cultures. Since then, we’ve lived in nine countries, and we have no plans to stop until the wheels fall off!
For such a small country, Belize packs a big punch in terms of what it offers expats. It tops IL’s list for ease of integration, with expats reporting that they fit easily into the local community there.
Like a winter coat in a swimming pool, conventional wisdom can drag you down. Don’t have enough to retire on? Work longer, it says. Want to live well? You need a big house, a big car, and a massive budget.
So many interesting things to do—so little time...Living in Panama for only six months of each year is simply not enough for my husband, Gary, and me.
The market opens daily, but Sunday is when it’s at its busiest with buses bringing tourists to check out the bargains on offer. But after the last vacationer leaves at 5 p.m., the town returns to its usual state: quiet, easy and relaxed.