The U.S. government has a pretty dismal record when it comes to computer security. Last year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed that hackers had stolen the personal information of more than 20 million current and former federal-government job applicants and employees. The stolen data included more than 6 million fingerprints, considered the gold standard for proof of identity.
"People find Panama surprising,” says Marianne Tobin, 76, of the country where she now spends much of her time. “Many think only of the canal zone or the beautiful tropical areas. They have no idea that Panama has pine trees and meadows reminiscent of Switzerland.”
Late spring is Nora Kravis’s favorite time of year on her cashmere farm in Tuscany. “The lilacs and wisteria are in bloom,” she says. “Goat kids are just being born, and they gambol and frolic in the green grass like no other time of the year.” And then there are the views from the farm Nora fell in love with years ago. “I have the perfect Tuscan landscape from every window. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. The only night noise here is the wildlife in the woods. I have no TV, no discos, no traffic, and no crowds.”
If you seek the real Mexico—the beating heart that energizes and drives the rest of the country, especially when it comes to fashion, art, music, literature, and (yes, oh yes) food—go directly to Mexico City. Some call it a renaissance city. And I’d have to agree; it’s a city that’s constantly reinventing itself while continually sharpening its edge.
Beautiful, double-decked boats awash with lights ply the river, with couples enjoying a romantic dinner, a glass of wine, and a dance. Along the broad, elegantly paved riverside promenade, lovers stroll hand-in-hand, smooth, soothing jazz music playing from the loudspeakers in the background. Farther along, several couples glide to tango music in perfect unison.
Costa Rica ticks almost all the boxes on anyone’s retirement checklist. It’s conveniently close to home. With many direct flights to two international airports (and a third in the works), it’s close to the U.S. and Canada—less than three hours from Miami. From the temperate Central Valley to the beautiful tropical beaches, there’s a climate for everyone. The World Health Organization praises Costa Rica for its healthcare system and has ranked it higher than that of the U.S., despite Costa Rica spending 87% less on healthcare per capita.
Imagine waking up each morning and, cup of coffee in hand, looking out your window onto acres of uninterrupted forest, ﬁeld, and pasture. Ah…that’s life in the country. Slow, tranquil, and quiet. No honking horns, trafﬁc lights, or rush-hour trafﬁc out here. Every morning or evening, you can enjoy a laidback stroll through the forest, up the wild hills, or along quiet country lanes. You can walk miles without seeing another soul. Perhaps just deer frolicking in the woods and cows munching on grass. And at night, you look up to see what seems like all the stars in the sky.
I was catching up with a high school friend over Skype recently. During our conversation, he shared his amazement that my wife Cynthia and I enjoy what he called our “crazy social life.” He said, “It seems like you two are always busy having fun with friends.” I replied that, since I’d “walked in his moccasins,” I understood his feelings. “Let me ask you,” I said. “I know you recently moved, so how many of your new neighbors have you met?”
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