As the bus rounds the bend, a town appears in the distance— perched majestically atop a mountain, surrounded by deep green forests, cattle ranches, and coffee farms. White-washed walls reflect the golden afternoon sun and a church bell tower rises into the heavens. Salento, my destination, where expats go to live a stylish country life.
Cariocas, the laid-back residents of sensuous Rio de Janeiro, welcome 1.5-million vacationers a year. But when it’s time for their own vacations, many of them head to the Região dos Lagos, or “Lakes Region,” also known as the Costa do Sul (Southern Coast).
Thailand is one of the world’s most popular locales for good living abroad. And there are lots of reasons why. For pennies on the dollar you get a year-round tropical climate and access to modern comforts and conveniences, including affordable, high quality medical care.
The most popular visa for retirees is the non-immigrant, “O” visa. Applicants must be 50 years old or over and must demonstrate that they have an amount equal to at least THB 800,000 ($25,027) in a local bank account or a monthly income equal to THB 65,000 ($2,033).
I know of only a handful of places around the world right now where you can buy a property for $150,000…and have it throw off $1,000 a month in yield right from the start. These are the rental-yield super-stars.
Europe isn’t ridiculously cheap right now. But it is a heck of a lot cheaper than wading into U.S. blue chips at current levels. It is also packed full of high-quality companies with global reach…and a lot of these businesses are going at fair prices.
You’re considering an international lifestyle. You have a shortlist of overseas havens and you’ve set the date next year when you’re going to make the move. Along with your other research, thorough tax planning can help you save money and avoid hassle. Here are the three things I always talk through with prospective expats…
In 1991 Patricia made the move to the town of Cascais, Portugal, just 30 minutes up the coast from Lisbon. Here each day begins with a long, leisurely beach walk, her two poodles at her side. “I never had pets when I lived in the U.S. I was too busy working. But when I first moved here, I noticed that everyone had dogs and birds, and I thought, yes, it’s so full of life. This is what I want."
"We decided we needed another start,” says expat Hellmut Pedersen. “Our lives in Washington were becoming too complicated. Prices kept going up, bureaucracy became more difficult, and the stress was too much. So we sold just about everything and arrived in Panama in 2005 with five suitcases.”
Wading knee high in the warm waters of Ascension Bay, fishing rod in hand, I squint against the angled rays of the sun to make out the shapes of my quarry. This is my kind of walk on the beach. Except it’s not a beach at all. There are no crashing waves. No undertow.