A 10-year expat in Las Terrenas, Larry Stroup is a central figure in the expat social scene in this Dominican Republic beach town. Larry's originally from Ft. Lauderdale, so it wasn't the great weather that attracted him to Las Terrenas. What got Larry's attention is the cheap and relaxed lifestyle.
More expats live in Bangkok than in any other city in Southeast Asia. Who would retire to Bangkok? To answer that question, you need to spend some time here. Your first impressions of Bangkok likely will be that this is a huge city with some tourist attractions. If you stick around, though, your perception will change.
Friends returned recently from an extended stay in Thailand. They'd also recently spent time on the west coast of the United States (Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle) and a month in Paris. Their conclusion? That at street level Paris costs roughly double the west coast of the United States. The United States in turn costs roughly double Bangkok or Chiang Mai in Thailand.
Many retirement destinations are promoted on the basis that they're 'just like the United States'... touted for the fact that living there you'd be in familiar surroundings. That's not the case with Cuenca, Ecuador. Walking these cobblestoned streets past the historic Spanish architecture and the old colonial churches, you know that you're not in Kansas anymore.
A midlife crisis -- if you fully embrace the stereotype -- can be expensive. Fancy car... trophy spouse... new body... new career. But -- as with so many things -- your buck buys you more when you take your midlife crisis to a tropical paradise and teach it to dance the salsa. Consider these alternatives...
The point is that in many cases, 'offshore' isn't about banking and secrecy... it's really about internationalizing your life. It's about taking the best possible advantage of perfectly legal opportunities and structures in other countries that allow you live a better quality of life for less money.