The world's best place to retire? There's no way to answer that question, so we don't try. Instead, in this new survey, we grade each of what we have identified as the world's 21 best places to think about enjoying this phase of life in each of 12 categories.
If you're old enough to collect Social Security, there may be no better place to live right now than Latin America.
Our children gasped and our friends were speechless when we sold our beautiful California house along with most of the furniture, put our treasures in storage, and set out to live internationally without a home base.
As we bobbed in the warm cerulean sea off the coast of the Dominican Republic, a stately row of palm trees on the beach our only companions, we couldn't help thinking about how misguided Christopher Columbus had been.
How many American retirees live overseas? Why is it nearly impossible to come up with real numbers? One reason has to do with deciding who is an American.
If you like spending time in the garden, love to eat healthy, organic food, and enjoy traveling, there's a way to combine these passions. Best of all, you can do all this for free.
There may be no better place to retire in Nicaragua than Granada.
Chances are very good that your friends and family aren't going to understand. When you tell them you're thinking about moving to a new country for your retirement, their responses will likely range from bemusement to shock and horror. They'll think you've lost your grounding and are over-indulging in fantasy... or, worse, that you've flat out lost your mind.
So, you're thinking of retiring to Latin America, are you? Then you'd best learn some Spanish. At least a little, por favor. Pantomime works, yes, but only so far -- and at what damage to your self-respect?)
The poshest and most popular Central Valley destination -- for foreigners and locals alike -- is Escazú, just a few miles west of San José. Several foreign embassies are located here, as are the residences of the U.S. and British ambassadors, and you're as likely to hear English spoken as Spanish.
Residency and citizenship are not the same things. This is one of the most common causes of confusion we've found among future expats. You don't give up citizenship in your home country when you move to another country.
So can you live a good life on your Social Security income when you live overseas? Yes. We know people who are doing it. And while no one is happy about the idea of budget cuts to Social Security and Medicare... frankly we're not worried. Our retirement strategy has always been to do just what we're doing now. Live better for less overseas. Now that's security!
Neither Nancy nor Mike spoke Spanish when they made their decision to relocate to Medellin. But the couple ignored the stereotypes and tackled the practical hurdles with determination.
When we lived in NYC, we used the four basic methods of inner-city transportation: foot, subway, bus, taxi. Here in the Greater Puerto Viejo area, your basic travel options are a bit broader: bike, moto, bus; car, golf cart, ATV, horse, surfboard and the occasional ox cart.
Yep, if you've got a yen for island living, we can't think of any island that delivers more than this one.
Lucy Culpepper's children were ages 6 and 9 when she and her husband decided to take them on a yearlong scouting trip.