When I was kid, my grandparents left Long Island and moved to Florida. At first, I was incredulous. My grandparents moved so far away from me! (I had really thought that their world revolved around me. Apparently not.) But when we took our first trip down to visit them on a school break, I began to like the idea of having grandparents in Florida.
As we start contemplating our retirement, many of us will opt to move. Some of us will stay in the same town and move to smaller digs, others will finally move to that new dream location or someplace where our dollars will go further. Figuring out the perfect location is a big challenge and no one place is right for everyone. But, rest assured, there is a lid for every pot.
The first thing that strikes many about Barcelona is how quickly and easily you can explore the city, Spain's second-biggest, thanks to its compact, well-laid-out design. And, indeed, there is so much to explore, including fantastic art and architecture from pre-Roman to Modernista, plus galleries, monuments, theaters, restaurants, and shopping. In addition, you have easy access to the beautiful Costa Brava to the north and the Costa Dorada to the south.
If you want to retire to the beach, to a warm, sunny, tropical beach, but don't want to spend your entire savings in one fell swoop, consider the Texas Gulf Coast. It's not top of mind for those of us who have never visited or lived in the South, but when you combine affordability with natural beauty, it's surprising it's not up there with Florida as a top retirement destination.
Your cost of living will depend on your lifestyle, of course. In the new book we've just written, we explain just what this means, and we share details about how you should be able to reduce your living expenses by as much as 30-50 percent over what you may be spending in the U.S. or Canada. . . maybe more, depending on where you choose to live.
Arizona has been a big retirement destination for many years, and for good reason. In fact, the very first Active Adult Community in the US, Sun City, was developed there over 50 years ago. But the reasons to choose Arizona are more than just the obvious. While AZ has hundreds of days of abundant sunshine and tons of golf courses, it has a lot more going for it than only sun and golf.
If you were a backpacking scuba diver in the 1960s, you may have drifted through the Bay Islands of Honduras on a quest for Caribbean adventure. Many fitting that description did. Offshore from Roatan, in particular, the largest of the Bay Islands, was (and is still today) some of the best diving in the world.
No border marks the entry to the Basque region of France, but you'll know when you've crossed it. The most obvious change is the architecture. Every house -- and I don't exaggerate -- is painted white and Basque red. You can buy the paint at any Home Depot-type store, and the can will be labeled 'Basque Red.' In this part of the world, there's just one red.
There's so much we've learned by living overseas. The nuts and bolts alone can be overwhelming. What about Social Security? (Yes, you can still collect it when you live overseas.) Do you have to give up your U.S. or Canadian citizenship? (No, never... unless you choose to officially do so.) What about Medicare?
If the retirement lifestyle you're day dreaming about features a view of the Pacific Ocean and the sound of the crashing Pacific surf, the following countries, all boasting long and dramatically beautiful Pacific coastlines, should be on your search list: Nicaragua, Panama, and Mexico. Which could be the best choice for you?
If you are thinking about where you might like to retire and want an area with four seasons and beaches, then the Jersey Shore is a great option. One word of caution: New Jersey taxes are high, so you'll have to factor that in. Also, if you hail from other parts of the U.S., you may find the prices in the northeast a little hard to swallow.
A friend in Poland years ago learned that Burger King was planning to open up shop there and needed warehouse space for its supplies. My friend bought a warehouse. Burger King became his client. In time, he expanded his storage business to include other clients and other products... and he made a nice living for himself in the place where he'd decided he wanted to live.
When many of us think of retirement locations, we think of warm balmy breezes and palm trees, or the hot craggy terrain of the Southwest. But some people, especially those who have spent their lives in New England, opt to find a little piece of heaven right there. People actually do retire in Maine, although many have an escape plan for January and February for someplace to warm their toes.