Perhaps you like the idea of stretching your retirement dollars as far as possible (who doesn't?) and reducing your cost of living and of health care, while at the same time enriching and enhancing your quality of life, but you're not up for learning a new language or putting up with the day-to-day challenges and frustrations of life in the developing world. Fair enough.
Over the years Barry and Claudia Leon lived happily all over the States. They both had full and varied careers in psychology, college teaching, business, and biology. But after retiring to their 56-acre ranch in Texas, the couple decided they wanted to add another place to their long list of residences.
It's certainly still possible to find a place to eat overseas that will make you sick, but over the past dozen years of living in and traveling around Latin America, we've found that many of the stomach problems expats get come from two common sources that have nothing to do with poor food preparation or foul water.
Let's face it, dumping your old life and taking off to live -- even part time -- in Ecuador or Belize or any other likely foreign haven is not what most folks do. They may dream about it. But actually doing it is not something most folks seriously consider. It isn't what most people would call "normal."
I cannot believe how much fun I'm having thinking about where I might like to live, once the kids are gone and my husband and I are in a position to think about retiring. Well, maybe not retiring exactly, but doing something different than the same old thing. We very well may continue working but I'd like to have a new adventure.
The Retire Overseas Index that my Live and Invest Overseas group published this year ranked Panama as the world's top retirement haven. I'm not alone in this idea. For the past half-dozen years at least, this country has been recognized by many as the best place on earth to think about living or retiring overseas.
Pizza is essentially comfort food. For many, if not most, U.S. citizens, it carries with it a lifetime of associations with happy times and full stomachs... parties and get togethers, congenial late-night work sessions, relaxing weekends watching sports, special evenings at that favorite little Italian restaurant with family and friends.
Those facing Catch-55 approach the end of their careers, meaning no need to worry about a move overseas limiting your career options. So why not see if you could get an overseas assignment? I'd say all -- well, maybe nearly all -- workers could benefit from an overseas job, whether they face Catch-55 or not.
You won't find the huge resorts of other Caribbean destinations in Bocas del Toro, Panama... just an easygoing, water-lover's paradise, where snorkeling, island-hopping, and beach-combing are the order of the day. This is the Caribbean as it should be -- clean, white-sand beaches; the freshest fruits and seafood; colorful wildlife; and smiling, laid-back locals.