To ship or not to ship? That’s the vexing question many prospective expats face about their belongings when moving overseas. On the one hand, there are the mystery boxes in your attic or basement that have remained sealed since that last move. Then there are the books, the keepsakes, and that comfy chair. The china cabinet you cherish and the china inside it. Can you bear to leave these behind and just start over?
Some people go on vacation to a new country and fall in love with the place, then go home, quit their jobs, and pack up all their worldly belongings to move there. Not me. I have been carefully planning my exit from Canada for the past year. I do it by scouting possible destinations, studying Spanish, and setting up my work as a clinical counselor and travel writer so that I will have an income to support me while I am living my dream.
At 50 years old, Eugene Upham was too young for retirement. But he was too old for second chances—or so people said. Then Eugene had a heart attack. Though he survived, the part of him that listened to those voices didn’t. As Eugene was recovering, New Jersey was blanketed in several feet of snow. And, as his wife Lynne says, “We knew we had to reevaluate our life.”
Sitting off the tip of mainland Malaysia, Penang Island is a special place to live, steeped in history and home to historic mansions and shophouses. Just 114-miles square with a population of 600,000 people, the island is also the unofficial “food capital” of Malaysia and a medical center of excellence. For just $11 you can see an English-speaking specialist here who trained in the U.S.—and you don’t even need an appointment.
First-World cities with every modern convenience, beachfront hideaways, medieval towns, tropical islands, temperate mountain valleys… You can chose your favorite climate, your preferred lifestyle…the place you feel most at home…because the world’s best retirement havens have it all… and for pennies on the dollar, too.
Accurately scoring the world’s top retirement locations is a complex process. So, we’ve broken down each of our categories to give you a “behind the curtain” look at how we put the Index together.
The white-washed town of Istán clings to the slopes of the Sierra de las Nieves (Mountains of the Snows). It’s a truly hidden place—yet stunningly and conveniently positioned. I’ve visited plenty of charming hill towns and villages in Spain, France, and Italy where real estate is cheap. But the downside has always been remoteness. Istán is different.
The morning rush hour spreads through the central business district of Popayán, Colombia. But the rush of activity isn’t the relatively few cars and motorbikes slipping through the narrow lanes of this well-preserved colonial city. It’s the armada of street vendors for whom these lanes serve as a showroom floor.
I don’t think I could have afforded to make this work in the States,” says expat Britini Port. “It is just too expensive and the high cost of living would make this dream unattainable.” But on a cobbled street of the colonial town of Antigua, Guatemala, Britini’s dream of a thriving business selling her own boot and handbag designs is a reality. It started in 2012.
People come to live in Panama for lots of reasons. It’s one of the world’s best destinations for retirees, and if you’re keen on running your own business, it’s got much to offer. But if your dream is to establish a winery, then most folks will tell you to look elsewhere. David Feinstein and Kersti Landeck are not most folks.