Zipping along Portugal’s A6 high-way from the historic walled city of Evora to the popular beach resort of Cascais, just outside Lisbon, I marvel yet again at how easy it is to get around this European retirement haven. I’m coming to the end of a week-long scouting trip in North-ern Portugal. I started in the city of Porto, the country’s second-largest and home of port wine...
"The main difference between my life now and when I lived in the U.S. is the level of stress,” says Robert Reed, 60, of his retirement to Costa Rica’s Central Valley. “Since retiring to Costa Rica, I’ve downsized my possessions and living style."
It’s not unusual for political leaders to meet untimely deaths. Usually what follows is a huge funeral and lots of attention. But not so for a twice former president of Ecuador, Gabriel García Moreno.
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Pura Vida...it's Costa Rica's slogan, as well as being a way of life. The direct translation is "pure life" but it's so much more than that. It's living the good life...cherishing simple pleasures...spending time with loved ones...and enjoying a slow, relaxed pace of life.
“When you get here, I’ll pick you up from your hotel and show you my favorite parts of the city”…this was a message I got from IL Panama Editor Jessica Ramesch when I told her I’d be visiting Panama City last week. I’m off the plane having spent 10 days exploring all that Panama has to offer. And it offers so much…the cost of living is affordable; I know couples who are enjoying life on $1,600 a month. Good-value real estate abounds…you can pick up a three-bedroom house, with a swimming pool, in a Pacific coast beach town less than an hour from Panama City, for $150,000. And then there’s the stunning beaches, picturesque mountain towns, and the best retiree benefits program in the world…all reasons why we picked Panama as the world’s number one retirement destination for 2016. And the reason I came here.
It’s a sun-drenched morning as I stand at a lookout point above the town of Mijas. Below me, the gleaming white buildings, with their roofs of rust-red tile, tumble down the mountainside. The pine-covered hills of the Sierra de Mijas mountain range reach up into the clear sky to my right. On my left, I can see the Costa del Sol—the Sun Coast—with the glittering Mediterranean Sea stretching to the horizon. It’s a comfortable 66 F here in Mijas, which is located in southernmost Spain. With more than 2,800 hours of sunshine a year around these parts, it’s the perfect place to escape a harsh winter back home.
Towering sand dunes, an expansive, golden-sand beach that goes on for miles, kite-surfers battling the strong, but warm, Atlantic wind…although Spain’s tourist hub of Marbella is just 63 miles to the east, here at Punta Paloma it feels a world away.
My foot hovers over the brake of my little black Peugeot rental car as yet another hairpin bend comes into view. There’s a sharp intake of breath from my front-seat passenger, who is clinging to her seat as she tries not to look out her window at the steep cliff edge. By contrast, my back-seat passenger is furiously taking photos of the stunning scenery below us.