Magical Retirement Planning

by : Ernie Zelinski

    PARADISE apparently isn't in the United States, at least for people planning to retire. In fact, almost 500,000 retired Americans live outside the United States, in places like Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, and Portugal. Americans are drawn to other countries for three reasons:

      1. a better climate

      2. a lower cost of living that can mean a much higher standard of living

      3. the adventure of living in a foreign country and discovering its wonders.

    Fortune Magazine in a recent issue says it has found "five idyllic places -- from Patagonia to Phuket -- where you can still live like a king on what you've saved." You can dream on in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Boquete, Panama; Merida, Mexico; and Phuket, Thailand.

    What's more, not so long ago US magazine Modern Maturity [now called AARP The Magazine] sent teams of researchers out in search of exotic locales around the globe to determine the absolute best places to retire -- a home away from home or as a retirement haven for North Americans.

    Modern Maturity graded each destination using 12 categories, ranging from weather, the cost of living, cultural programs, housing, public utility, communication, public health, medical facilities, environment, safety, security, and political stability.

    According to the magazine, the top 15 best places to retire were: 1. Costa Del Sol, Spain; 2. The Cinque Terra, Italy; 3. Provence, France; 4. Boquete, Panama; 5. St Vincent & the Grenadines, Caribbean; 6. County Lare, Ireland; 7. NONG KHAI, Thailand; 8. Crete, Greece; 9. Ambergris Caye, Belize; 19.Tunis, Tunisia; 11. Algarve, Portugal; 12. Cayman Islands, Caribbean; 13. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; 14. Paphos, Cyprus; and 15. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Whether retirement is a distant dream, just around the corner, or if you are already retired, give some consideration in your retirement plan to living and traveling in a country other than where you are today. "The world is a book," declared Saint Augustine, "and those who do not travel, read only a page."

      Four Retirement Quotes Relating to Where to Retire

      He makes his home where the living is best. -- Latin proverb

      Why waste so much time, energy, and money trying to buy the biggest house that your credit rating will allow? Truth be known, a small house can hold as much happiness as a large one. Sometimes it will hold even more. -- from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski

      Go and live somewhere else [in your retirement]. Try doing what you think you've always wanted to do. -- John Osborne, Retirement Seminar Presenter

      If my dreams could all come true paradise/retirement would be -- in a little bungalow -- somewhere by the sea. -- Unknown wise person No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction. -- Samuel Johnson

    NOTE: The above retirement quotes are adapted from: