Why Westerners Retire in Asia? (Infographic)




Why Westerners Retire in Asia

While the people from the east relocate to the west to earn, the retirees from there migrate to the east to save money and also to spend a peaceful life towards the fag end of their life. There has been a recent increase in this trend of migrating from the west to the east.

In spite of many attractive retirement spots all across the world with specific retirement visa policies, Asia still seems to be the place considered by many people. Cultural adjustment although is a big barrier, is dwindling down gradually with the increasing rates of migration and policy changes by the governments of the Asian countries.

Some of the encouraging aspects to shift to the Asian countries are apparently:

  • Tropical Islands
  • Friendly people
  • Low crime rate
  • Business opportunities
  • Affordable great lifestyle
  • Carefree attitude
  • Entertainment and nightlife
  • Incredibly tolerant society
  • Affordable health care services
  • Fresh & Nutritious natural foods

Among the Asian retirement spots, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore seem to offer an inexpensive life, the rest seem to be relatively high in cost. Go through the infographic for specific details.

Courtesy of Living in Asia and Designed by Graphs

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London for Lovers: Discover Best Places to Romance in London



English: House in Hampstead occupied by poet J...

Are you in a mood for love? And, searching few romantic spots in London where you can get dating opportunities? There are several dating venues in London where couples feel conducive to romance. Some are very popular and few are secretive, giving you plenty of time to romance together and explore the city. Read on to know more about places where you can romance in London:

Sun Rise in Trafalgar Square

Have some early morning fun by heading to London’s Trafalgar Square, where you can spend some quality with your loved one watching sun rising from the East. Dawn breaks early at Trafalgar, when you can lift your spirits and inspire the feeling of watching rising sun. You can even find few deckchairs lying in Trafalgar Square to do a little bit of sunbath during your vacations. However, to be there on time you need to reserve your own room in a Central London hotel lying in the nearby area. You can book fabulous range of budget hotels from londonhotels4u.com.The comfort and flawless service at these hotels will make your romantic break look more fascinating.

Events at Keats House, Hampstead

Located in Hampstead, Keats House is former residence of poet John Keats. He resided here between 1818 and 1820. The setting of this house inspired him to write some of his memorable poetry. While writing his magnum opus, ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, he fell in love with girl next door, ‘Fanny Brawne’. Keats House lies in a unique part of City of London and is famous for varied events taking place every month. In 2013, start your romantic journey by attending some of the best events lined up here. You can read, listen, and discuss poetry at these events while spending quality time with your partner.

Have Lunch and Catch Up A Show At BFI, Southbank

The revamped BFI auditorium at Southbank will make you feel intimate and add pleasure at same time. Take your dear one to Southbank and eat lunch together at Benugo’s Riverfront Café. It is a buzzing restaurant where you can have artsy conversation along with some deliciously cooked food. Once you finish your lunch, disappear into the darkness of auditorium to watch some great romantic classics, usually filmed during Valentine’s Day. Weekday matinees start from £6.40 for non-members.

Dine With a View

Celebrate your romance in London by exploring the city’s skyline. Once you finish watching your weekday matinee at BFI, head straight to have dinner at one of the best rooftop restaurants in Southbank. Electrolux Cube in Southbank Centre is an award-winning rooftop restaurant, which provides unique dining experience along with dramatic views of the city. You will have magnificent sights of London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, and Thames River from this restaurant. It is an intimate dining venue, featuring cosy seating, secret menu, and a price tag of £215.

See Sir John Soane’s Museum by Candlelight

First Tuesday of every month is your time when you can be at Sir John Soane’s Museum to explore extraordinary exhibits on display here. You can enter between 6 pm and 9 pm to see this house lit only by candles. See few Oriental objects, furniture, Egyptian antiquities, stained glass, neo-classical sculptures, and intricate timepieces in the candlelight. Entry to this museum is absolutely free, making your trip more exciting.

London is a city for lovers, where you can enjoy plenty of romantic options. Just plan to stay at best hotels in London and enjoy your day out on the streets of the city

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Are You Looking For Dental Implants For Less?



Tooth loss is something many of us will have to go through as we age. Whether due to gum disease, injury or just the passage of time, tooth loss isn’t something we should simply live with and there are many options for replacing missing teeth to restore out damaged smile. In the past patients who required restorative dental work had to make do with loose and uncomfortable dentures, but this isn’t the case anymore.

Today dental implants are becoming the number one treatment of choice for the replacement of missing teeth, able to restore a single, several or an entire set of teeth. By not only replacing the missing tooth, but also the tooth root with a titanium post, dental implants are solid and secure restorations, which enable you to eat, talk and laugh with confidence.

However, dental implants are an incredibly expensive treatment within countries such as the US and the UK and many patients are unable to afford the high cost of treatment.

If dental health is a high priority on your list of retirement needs then a move to Europe may be a great choice, with countries such as Poland, Hungary, Turkey and Romania all offering high quality dental implant treatment, up to 75% less than those found in the USA or UK.

Research is always your biggest ally when finding a dentist abroad, but the majority of European practices provide outstanding treatment practised within clean, state-of-the art clinics, by qualified and skilled dentists. When selecting your dentist, first see if you can seek the recommendation of a friend or family member before conducting thorough Internet research.

Choosing to move to Europe may require a little financial backing at first, but with the ability to save tremendous amounts on your medical and dental care it could be the most cost effective and healthy move you ever make. Visit www.dentalimplant.co.uk for more information on dental implants.

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How to Retire in the French Countryside on a Budget



Reprinted from: US News Money

By: Kathleen Peddicord, Publisher in  US News Money

One corner of France is so tucked away that even the French find it hard to place on a map. The Béarn region has a long and colorful history, from Roman times to the Renaissance to the days of Belle Époque and then Art Deco. This lovely region is often overlooked by foreigners, even though the locals are very welcoming of newcomers.

This land of rolling wooded countryside, friendly people, and delicious wines and food is also notable for another reason: It qualifies as one of the most appealing and affordable retirement choices in all of France. This is a region of France where a retiree on a budget of as little as $2,500 per month could consider settling down to enjoy the best of French country life.

The Béarn region is the birthplace of a great French king and a one-time seasonal favorite locale for royalty of all nations. It was once named as “the center of the sporting world,” and is home to the first-ever Grand Prix and the Wright Brothers’ flying school.

The Béarn area is also where Napoleon founded the first national stud farm and the British designed beautiful gardens and parks. Rightly proud of its past, this area has also embraced the present and now has impressive 21st century architecture, technology parks, sporting facilities, and a trailblazing communications infrastructure.

The Béarn region is located in the northwestern corner of the Pyrenees-Atlantic department in the region of Aquitaine in southwest France. The majestic mountains of the Pyrenees dominate the views, and beautiful beaches are just a short drive away.

There is 3,000 meters between the highest point in the Pyrenees and the lowest on the Plein de Nay. But despite all this variation in geography, the Béarn has a gentle climate. During the winter months, temperatures hover between 32 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Springtime is mild, and summers are generally a pleasant 77 degrees.

The even precipitation and regular sunshine make this a beautifully verdant region and explain the area’s success in agriculture and wine-growing. There is an amazingly wide variation of plant life. You’ll see palm trees swaying alongside pine trees with the snow-capped Pyrenees rising up behind. The capital city of Pau is often called the green city or garden city and has one of the highest ratios of greenery per square meter per person of any city in Europe.

Pau is also sometimes called English city, referring to the English who settled here during and after the Napoleonic Wars. They were generally well-received, as are English-speaking expats today, and left their mark on the architecture, gardens, and parks that flourish still in this city of 85,000.

With so many pretty little towns in the region, it can be difficult to choose a favorite. Morlaas, however, stands out. It is not too big or small and is very welcoming to foreigners and retirees. Plus, Morlaas offers every facility and service you could need, has an interesting historical center, and is set amidst beautiful countryside.

Morlaas lies 12 kilometers to the north of Pau, overlooking the Plain of Pau. To the south are views of the Pyrenees, and to the north the undulating wooded farmland continues on toward Bordeaux, 200 kilometers north. Some 4,100 inhabitants, known locally as Morlanais, live in this town that is connected by bus and road to Pau city center, and it’s just 15 kilometers from Pau airport.

After the Roman city of Beneharnum was destroyed by the Vikings in 840, Morlaas became the capital of the ancient province of Béarn. During that time, it even had its own mint. Money from Morlaas was a sought-after commodity and used in the Navarre region, Aragon, and Italy. Morlaas remained the capital until the 12th century, when Orthez took over. Since 1154, Morlaas has been on one of the St. James of Compostela routes and was one of the original stopping points for pilgrims. Today’s travelers are welcomed at a small dormitory-style resting place or the municipal campsite.

As you drive into town, off to the right is the main sporting area (rugby and soccer), the open-air market, and the farmer’s market. On through toward the main high street you pass centuries-old buildings before coming to the steps of the 12th-century Romanesque gateway of Ste. Foy church. To the side is the main square surrounded by ancient buildings that now house the post office, the Mairie’s office, and the town hall.

You’ll find everything you need for daily living in Morlaas, including three large supermarkets and a medical center with family doctors, radiologists, physiotherapists, and dentists. There’s also a veterinary center, an animal protection center, schools, banks, bakeries, butchers, newspaper shops, and florists. Morlaas has a very active community center offering classes ranging from classic dance, to swimming, to guitar. There’s something for everyone and every age and interest.

The Béarn area’s position is one hour from the sea and one hour from the mountains, with lots to do in between. Plus, the people are friendly and very open-minded to expats, and there’s virtually no crime. The cost of living for the quality of life would be hard to match elsewhere.

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Retire on the Pacific for $1,200 per Month



Reprinted from: US News Money

By: Kathleen Peddicord, Publisher in  US News Money

Panama qualifies as one of the best places in the world to think about retiring overseas for many reasons. Its location is at the hub of the Americas and the country has developed, near-first world infrastructure. The U.S. dollar is the currency, which makes relocating much easier for expat Americans. There are also international-standard medical facilities and many affordable options for health insurance.

Another reason Panama is appealing to retirees is that it offers up many distinct lifestyle options. There is urban life in Panama City, cooler mountain climates, and a number of beautiful and tempting beachfront choices. The trouble is that many of this country’s top beach options have become discovered and, therefore, more expensive than the typical retiree on a budget can afford.

One important exception is Las Tablas, on the Azuero Peninsula. This is the first town of note along what is emerging as this country’s Gold Coast. Other beaches are easier to access from Panama City, but these “city beaches” have gotten expensive. Panamanians like to be able to leave work on Friday afternoons and reach their places on the water by dinnertime, and they are willing to pay a premium for that privilege. Properties at these Panama City beach areas have appreciated in value over the past several years, and retirees may not find them worth the high housing prices.

It’ll take you four hours to reach Las Tablas from downtown Panama City. The good news is that you can travel along a well-maintained highway door-to-door. Once you’ve made the drive, you are greeted by a charming and lively town center, a welcoming local population, and a long-established community of Panamanians and expats who savor their ultra-affordable seaside lifestyle.

You could join them on a budget of as little as $1,200 per month. Of course, you could always spend more, especially if you travel often to Panama City to enjoy the distractions of the big city. But if you’d be happy with a modest life, sticking close to home, passing your days fishing and swimming, and enjoying the company of your neighbors, Las Tablas could make a charming retirement spot.

At the heart of Las Tablas is the town square and the centuries-old Iglesia Santa Librada. Fanning out from this point are neighborhoods of modest, Panamanian-style houses. Each is painted a different bright color. Las Tableños favor pink, purple, and blue, making for a vivid landscape. Beyond these small houses, you pass a handful of cantinas and a large open area that is the site of outdoor discotecas during the Carnaval and New Year’s celebrations. Just outside downtown Las Tablas are the turn-offs to the nearby beaches. These are the main attraction.

In Las Tablas, life alongside these Pacific beaches is laid-back, friendly, welcoming, and safe. It can also be almost unbelievably affordable, largely due to low housing costs. You could spend less for rent than on groceries each month. It is possible to find a small but comfortable two-bedroom house within walking distance of the beach available for rent for as little as $400 per month. You won’t likely find rental bargains like this on the Internet or working with a real estate agent, but searching via word-of-mouth, you can.

The quality of life doesn’t reflect the low costs. Las Tablas is a quintessential small town, that is compact enough that you can get around it on foot. You could walk anywhere within the town limits in about a half-hour. Many local residents make their living as fishermen, and their lives revolve around the sea, beach barbeques, and fish fries.

As development along this country’s Pacific coast continues, this stretch of coastline has increasing levels of amenities. The cellular phone and Internet services are reliable, and cable TV is available.

Known as the birthplace of Panama’s most important folkloric traditions, no part of the country is more authentically Panamanian than Las Tablas. Dozens of street vendors have stands along the main street in front of Igelsia Santa Librada offering traditional woven hats, leather sandals, and polleras, the national dress of Panama. This white lacy dress, which is reserved for special occasions and festivals, is hand-embroidered with multicolored threads by women taught the skill by their mothers and grandmothers. Because it is handmade, a single dress can take nearly a year to complete.

Life in Las Tablas could best be described as slow, but that is the charm of this colonial city. Although some developed-world comforts are lacking, you could enjoy an interesting and comfortable retirement in this region of Panama on even a very modest budget.

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Cheap Places to Travel Abroad



Reprinted from: Cheap Places To Retire

Traveling is always a good way to spend your money. But there are a lot of things to consider before choosing the right destination for your travel. The most important thing is budget. Money will be a very important factor in your trip. When you travel, you are expected to spend money for the fares, the services, and the food and so on. With the current state of the dollar today, it is most important to choose destinations that will fit right within your budget but at the same time, enjoy a very good vacation as well.

Trips especially those with international destinations do not always have to be expensive. Sure there are places that are more costly than the rest but you can always choose a cheaper destination but still have a great time. There are a lot of places in the world that you can travel with a tight budget. In these places, your dollars will still go far and there are a lot of things that you can do with your money.

Cheap places to travel – Vietnam

If you want cheap places to travel abroad, a group of countries that you can consider are those in South East Asia. The countries in this area offer great culture and commodities are cheap. You are given a variety of choices from local gourmet and western influence too.

One country on the list is Vietnam. Vietnam is a great cultural country which is gaining more popularity to western tourists by the year. Although generally underdeveloped, Vietnam offers the cheapest accommodations, food and transportation. The local markets also offer unique handcrafted items that you can bring home to your friends. Ho Chi Minh is a popular city in Vietnam where urbanization sets in. There are also great panoramic islands and beaches in Vietnam. Ha Long Bay is a very nice tourist spot which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well.

You can also go caving at Ha Long Bay and visit the Marble Mountains. With all these great places, the best part of it is the fact that you do not have to spend a lot! Transportation is cheap so you can easily go around. If you are the adventurous type, you can test out the local delicacies on the streets and get a meal for a very cheap price.

Cheap places to travel – Cambodia

Cambodia is another country in South East Asia that is definitely worth visiting. If you want a decent room with a clean bathroom, you can easily get it in less than 5 dollars. Traveling around the country will not cost you much too. One positive thing about traveling to Cambodia is the currency. The country is actually using the US dollar too. But even if you are traveling with the same currency, a dollar in Cambodia can get you a long way.

There are a lot of things that you can buy in Cambodia that are extremely cheap. And you do not have to worry about having your cash converted and the conversion rates for the day. There are a lot of tourists visiting the country every year making tourism the country’s second driver in their economy.

The most popular tourist spot in Cambodia is the Angkor Wat. The Angkor Wat is also one of the World Heritage Sites and is known for its unique and interesting architecture. Aside from Angkor Wat, you can also visit Sihanoukville which offer great beaches and resorts.

Another great country to travel to in South East Asia is the Philippines. This country offers a diversity of culture and tradition. The Philippines is a cheap country as well and the cost of living is fairly low. Retirees even choose the Philippines for them to stay. The people in the Philippines called Filipinos are very welcoming and friendly. The currency used is the Philippine Peso. You can get a decent meal for as low as 2 dollars which is already a very good deal. Transportation is also cheap. You can easily book flights to any of the thousands of islands in the Philippines.

Most of the people there are used to Americans and Western travelers. Almost everyone can speak English too. The most popular tourist spots in the country are the beaches. This archipelago offers thousands of miles of white sand beaches where you and your family can relax and unwind. You just have to be careful since some of the people there might take advantage of westerners and change the price for tourists.

If you are looking for Cheap Places to travel outside the US but don’t want to go too far away, you can choose to travel in the nearby Central America. Most of the countries in Central America offer cheap accommodations. These countries also have a low cost of living and are a perfect choice for retirees and expats. Aside from being cheap, these countries also offer wonderful tourist spots. Since their cities are not yet very well developed, you will be drawn to the spots outside the urban area.

The beaches in Central America are great and some historic sites can be found in Guatemala too. These countries are generally peaceful and the people are very warm and friendly. Central American countries also have great weather which is perfect for traveling and moving around from place to place. There are a lot of adventurous things that a tourist can do there too like diving, rainforest trekking, mountain climbing and volcano watching.

If you want to go to Europe, the best way to find cheap places to travel there is to go east. The farther you go, the cheaper it will get. Places like Budapest and Prague are wonderful places to visit because of the historical feel and the old world charm that these places possess. Compared to other European areas, Eastern Europe will be the best for medium budget travelers.

Although more expensive compared to South East Asia, these places are great places to visit if you want to go to Europe. When you have chosen places to visit, it is important to know how much a dollar is worth to the country’s currency.

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Travelers Paradise (USA) Attracts Millions of Tourists



If you are looking to go on vacation to places that will not cost you a fortune, you first need to have a plan. Understand that it is best to plan ahead and get your tickets and accommodation handled beforehand. This will allow you to save a good amount of money and still enjoy your trip. You will also need to choose a place that is near you yet still worth flying to. Here are five of the best places for a low cost trip.

San Francisco

The nice thing about San Francisco is that you do not have to pay a fortune to be able to enjoy everything. With Fisherman’s Wharf just around the corner and amazing views, you will never get sick of San Francisco. The flights that take you to San Francisco are also very affordable and you will definitely enjoy every minute in the Bay Area.

Orlando

This city in Florida has always been known for a great place to relax without having to spend a lot of money. Though Disney World is just around the corner, there are still plenty of other places to visit and things to do in Orlando.

New York

A lot of people look at New York as the place for glitz and glamour but it is actually a great place to unwind. By looking at the nice views and simply walking around the city, you will realize that you can have a great time without your wallet. The nice parks and historic landmarks will have you taking pictures for hours. The flight may not be the cheapest but you will certainly find it to be very worth it.

Most people who are looking to go on vacation will have trouble with trying to find a good place because they have no idea where to go. However, if you are looking to really find a cheap place to visit, then these are definitely the cities that you should check out. With just a small budget, you will still be able to enjoy everything that these cities have to offer you without ever making a dent in your wallet. Before you are able to go to these places, you must first make sure that you get your ESTA US Visa. All you need to do is fill out your ESTA Visa Application and then you will soon get your ESTA US Visas.

About the Author:

Written by Robert Hall a Tech writer with a travel obsession – catch me @travelplex

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Best Countries for Americans to Live Abroad



Reprinted from: Mintlife

By: Nicholas Pell, publisher in Mintlife


It’s not for everyone, but some Americans prefer to live abroad, particularly as they reach retirement age. Retiring abroad can be a way to live in luxury on a budget, making it perfect for those on fixed incomes.

However, not all international destinations are created equally. If you’re looking to live in the lap of luxury on a modest income, these are the places you should be house hunting.

Non-Economic Considerations

Before choosing a country overseas to make your home, you need to consider factors other than the exchange rate. When selecting the right place for you think about culture, language, crime rates and political stability. Remember that you’re going to live there, possibly for years. This means a lot more planning goes in than simply having a vacation.

Ecuador

You might not be thinking “Ecuador” when looking for a retirement home, but you might want to. Not only is the cost of living low (common in Latin America), real estate is also very reasonably priced (more exotic).

International Living reports that a couple with a spartan lifestyle can get by on about $800, while those looking to live in the lap of luxury will be hard pressed to spend more than $1500. It’s easy to get by on nothing by the Queen’s English and there are a number of benefits for retired people, such as discounted utilities, transportation and entry to artistic and cultural events.

Mexico

South of the border is another place you likely hadn’t thought of retiring, but consider the following: Not only is real estate cheap, the weather is great and there’s a huge expatriate community. The largest is around Lake Chapala, where there are over 80 interest groups for expats living in Mexico.

Perhaps the best part? You can just drive there. Load up your minivan, get yourself a place with hired help who speaks English and start living the good life.

Malaysia

Malaysia isn’t just a place where you can retire on the cheap. The big cities also have all the amenities that Americans need when they decide to retire abroad.

Good cell phone coverage? Check. High-speed Internet? Of course. Quality, easily traversed roads? Yep.

Perhaps most attractive of all, Malaysia can be an easy place for Westerners to integrate. Malaysians are eager to practice their English, and American film is quite popular over there. The government has a program called My Second Home designed to encourage foreigners to retire in Malaysia, so take advantage.

New Zealand

Looking for a place to retire where you don’t have to learn a new language or try and decipher what people speaking English as a second language are trying to say? New Zealand might just be the place for you.

If you’ve ever seen Lord of the Rings you know just how beautiful New Zealand can be. The land of the Kiwis also appeals to the active health nut. It’s also one of the least-polluted countries in the world.

Got money to throw around? Split your time between the U.S. and New Zealand — it’s winter here when it’s summer there and vice versa.

Spain

Spain was the only country in Europe to be identified as a top place for expat retirees by International Living. Not only is it inexpensive, it also offers much in the way of cultural and artistic pursuits for the retired person looking to stay active. Art and architecture are literally everywhere, and you can score a top-notch, three-course meal for the cost of a $20 bill.

One word of caution: The European debt crisis could easily make this one of the worst places for expats to live. For the time being, however, you can get great food and a taste of international culture on a shoe string budget.

Logistics

Getting you, your family, and your stuff abroad can be a challenge. However, with the cost of living as cheap as they are in the above-listed countries, you might find it more prudent to sell the farm lock, stock and barrel, purchasing new stuff when you get to your destination. Always investigate local emigration and visa laws to ensure that your stay is fully legal.

Then enjoy the benefits of living somewhere that the dollar is still strong.

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Five Stellar Retirement Locations



Reprinted from: MTL

By: Hollywatson, Publisher in MTL

Planning for retirement is a critical step in anyone’s life. The question often becomes where to live to enjoy the remaining years of one’s life. The sunset of your life should be a time to relax and do things that you may have missed while working and raising a family. Though it may seem expensive, moving outside the United States can be the most cost effective and peaceful option available. Take a look at these five countries that have much to offer American seniors.

Canada

Canada has some distinct financial and cultural advantages for retirees. The Canadian system for retirement savings is similar to the United States, but with significant tax differences. For example, the Registered Retirement Income Fund allows you to take a tax deduction every year you participate and contributions can be made until you are 71. Canada also provides a countrywide healthcare system that is unparalleled.

Besides the financial benefits, Canada has landscape that will appeal to retirees. Halifax, for instance, sits on the southeast Atlantic coast near New York and surrounds one of the largest, natural harbors in the world. Those more culturally inclined can consider Stratford, home of Shakespearian and music festivals plus a diverse selection of art. Canada is close to home, which makes finding moving services easier and visiting the States easier. The summer weather is mild and the lifestyle is similar to the U.S.

Panama

Panama may seem like an unlikely retirement option, but is, in fact, one of the top spots today. The cost of living in Panama is low and the real estate is affordable. What will buy a small home in the United States can buy you an ocean front condo with security and amenities in Panama.

The diversity of the landscape is another reason Panama makes the list. You can enjoy the nightlife in Panama City, travel to the beaches on the coast and visit the mountains all in a few days. Panama has a stable, democratic government and guaranteed territorial sovereignty from the U.S. Between the balmy breezes and sweet economy, Panama should be way up on your list for possible retirement destinations.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country known for its stable, democratic government and peaceful environment. The cost of living in this picturesque country is lower than what you would find in the United States and even in most Central American nations.

When it comes to climate, there is no better place than Costa Rica. The weather tends to remain warm and breezy all year round. Costa Rica is the right place for seniors who are nature lovers. In the capital city of San Jose, you can visit INBio, part museum and part nature park then make a stop at the Rainforest on your way back. INBio is just one of a number of nature reserves to see in Costa Rica.

Argentina

Argentina is for the retiree who wants fine dining and entertainment to go along with the beaches and a low cost of living. For nightlife, culture and the best restaurants, Buenos Aires, a city known internationally for its entertainment and friendly people. The climate in Argentina is similar to what you would find in other Central American countries, warm and balmy.

Argentina is still expanding, which makes the real estate very attractive. Much like other countries in this area, you can live in Argentina for less and get more.

Mexico

Mexico has a little bit of everything. This would be the place to move if you enjoy diversity. You can travel to Cancun for beaches, celebrities and entertainment, move on to the vibrant city of San Miguel de Allende for culture and history and do some silver mining in Guanajuato. May Mexican cities are full of Mayan ancient ruins, museums, Spanish art and authentic Mexican restaurants.

Mexico is known for a low cost of living, inexpensive healthcare and friendly natives. The weather stays comfortable year round. Between the beaches and the culture, Mexico is a top retirement country for Americans.

Whether you want art, nightlife or just a quiet breeze while lying on the beach, chances are you will find it cheaper and better in a country other than the United States. When investigating your retirement options, look abroad for the perfect place to settle.

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The Most Romantic Place to Retire in Mexico



Reprinted from: Yahoo! Finance

By: Kathleen Peddicord, publisher in Yahoo! Finance

The silver mines in Mexico‘s central highlands provided the incredible wealth that propelled Spain to world prominence in the 16th century. It also created Guanajuato, the crown jewel of Mexico’s colonial cities.

Though it’s located just two hour’s flight time from Dallas and Houston, Guanajuato has remained relatively obscure compared with the nearby and much more discovered expat destinations of San Miguel de Allende and Ajijic. Guanajuato is arguably more charming and romantic than either of those cities. It’s also temptingly affordable.

Perhaps Guanajuato’s steep canyon walls and twisted up-and-down alleyways have discouraged those expats who can’t imagine life without an automobile or who have trouble getting around on foot. If neither of those descriptions applies to you, you’d do well to take a look at what this historic city has to offer, from its welcoming plazas filled with the omnipresent melodies of mariachis and troubadours to its old world architectural marvels.

Guanajuato has been called the most romantic city in Mexico, and the infectious sentiment is apparent everywhere. You’re likely to see kissing students in the parks and retirees, expats, and Guanajuatenses alike strolling along hand-in-hand along the cobbled streets. One American couple, Mike Anderson and his wife, Ana, has been living in Guanajuato for about 20 years. “For us, this city is the small-town Latin incarnation of Hemingway’s moveable feast,” Anderson says. Some expats compare Guanajuato to the small, medieval towns of Tuscany and Provence. However, Guanajuato is more animated and less expensive than those other top choices for the romantic retiree.

An expat couple can expect to live well in Guanajuato on a budget of about $1,300 to $1,700 per month, including rent, entertaining ,and dining out. Anderson says his costs for groceries, restaurants, and entertainment are 20 to 30 percent cheaper than in his last U.S. residence, Huntsville, Ala. “Our cost of living in Guanajuato is notably cheaper than it was where we lived in the American south and southwest,” says Anderson. “Property taxes are negligible, and themoderate weather translates to low utility bills.” He can also walk everywhere, so transportation costs are minimal.

The combination of a southern latitude with a high altitude (about 6,500 feet) means moderate weather throughout the year. Anderson wears shorts and T-shirts in March through November and jeans and long-sleeved shirts December through February.

Anderson says he doesn’t feel unsafe living in this part of Mexico. “Guanajuato is a long way away, both physically and mentally, from the narco-violence affecting the northern border of this country,” he says. “We are just as perplexed as our friends back in the States by the news reports of the violence in that region of Mexico.”

The university and state and city governments sponsor many cultural activities throughout the year including theater, concerts, dance, chamber music, and film and food festivals. Many of these activities are free or low-cost for residents. Some local museums host art or artifact expositions several times per year. “There are book and art inaugurations in the museums, private shops, and restaurants, most of which provide tasty complimentary snacks,” says Anderson.

TV buffs have the choice of cable and three satellite systems, with some programs and many movies in English. Avid readers of books in English will find several thousand volumes in the English library, and an American woman runs an English bookstore and coffee klatch in the historic center. The daily English newspaper, The News, published in Mexico City, is sold in local newsstands.

Everyone living in Guanajuato’s center gets daily exercise by virtue of their regular errands. To get anywhere, you walk, often along sometimes steep streets and alleyways. For the more energetic, there is hiking, rock climbing, swimming, bicycling, dance classes, aerobics, and yoga. Valenciana hosts Guanajuato’s only golf course, but the nearby cities of León, Irapuato, and San Miguel de Allende provide nine more courses. A local bicycle group makes countryside excursions most weekends, and small hiking groups coordinate via community websites.

U.S.-style shopping is available at the modern mall located on the south edge of town, a five-minute bus ride from the center. The nearby town of León has the big-box stores familiar to North Americans including Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, and Office Max, as well as upscale Mexican boutiques. León is the leather manufacturing capital of Mexico, with hundreds of shoe and leather goods stores.

In the evenings, it’s difficult to escape the street music in the center of town. In the social plaza, the Jardin Unión, the mariachis and norteños bands vie with each other for paying customers sitting in the sidewalk cafés. It’s not uncommon to see two or three bands playing simultaneously just a few yards apart, a cacophony that the Mexicans seem to love. They dance among the tables.

In front of the nearby San Diego church, the troubadours of the callejoneadas assemble their audiences of Mexican and foreign visitors by singing romantic serenades imported from 19th-century Spain, then they stroll through the alleyways singing, telling jokes and stories, and dancing. It’s a contagious performance that rouses the Mexicans and a few uninhibited foreigners to sing and dance along. In other plazas, charro minstrels (gentlemen cowboys) move among the sidewalk cafés, offering rancheros (Mexican romantic songs), some excellent and some awful, for a tip. And, for a modest fee, you can still hire the mariachis to serenade that special someone.

A popular weekly event in the Plaza San Fernando is the danzon, a slow ballroom-style dance that only the Mexican seniors dance well. These retirees are incredibly energetic, mixing danzon with mambo and bolero.

 

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