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.
When Enron imploded in 2001, it was a kick in the gut for U.S. investors. People were steaming mad about the corruption. And rightfully so. Politicians felt they had to respond.
Expats love living in Atenas, mostly for three reasons: the mild weather, its great location on the western end of Costa Rica's Central Valley, and its friendly, small town community. These are the reasons that drew my husband, Rolando, and I here seven years ago.
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.
As a child, I dreamed of living on a farm. I wasn't much interested in tractors and combine harvesters, but the thought of a life that revolved around animals thrilled me. Alas, my parents both grew up on farms in the Midwest and had no interest in running one of their own.
"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."
Sprawled along a valley between towering green mountains, Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a multi-cultural and vibrant city. It offers museums, fine arts, restaurants of many cuisines, modern malls—and some great places to live. Here are just a few examples from three of Quito's most popular neighborhoods.
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.