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.
A spouse who's not in favor of discovering what life might be like somewhere else can be a deal-breaker for the idea altogether. You can't very well pack your better half's suitcase for him (or her), take him by the hand, and lead him out the door (as we did with our then 8-year-old daughter when she made it clear, on the eve of our planned departure for Ireland years ago, that she was not on board with the whole moving-to-a-new-country thing).
Quirkiest retirement haven in the world? That'd have to be Belize. Belize City's roadways are built around a system of roundabouts (thanks to her British colonizers), but shops alongside them sell rice, beans, and tortillas still ground by hand. Everyone you meet speaks English (it's the country's official language), but this belies the stories of their origins.