World’s Top Retirement Havens For 2014

10 Best Places To Retire Overseas In 2014

Aug. 27, 2014, Nashville, Tennessee: Live and Invest Overseas’ just-released 2014 Retire Overseas Index names the world’s top 21 places to retire overseas.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Drum roll, please...

The top 10 places to retire overseas today, as reported in our just-released 2014 Retire Overseas Index, are:

#10: Istanbul, Turkey

Megacity Istanbul straddles the shores of both Europe and Asia and is the only city to have been a capital to both Christian and Muslim empires, as evidenced, inside its great Roman walls, by an architectural legacy like nothing else anywhere on earth. Though not the country's capital, Istanbul is Turkey's beating heart, offering the best of any European capital city, from lattes to the latest Hollywood releases in English, but with an edge and an energy that can be lacking in Continental Europe. Istanbul is a place to watch the world go by beneath a skyline of minarets and modern office blocks while ships from across the globe pass up and down the Bosphorus.

The best part is that this world-class city is also exceedingly affordable, perhaps the best place in the world to enjoy the best of city living on a budget. A couple could retire here on a budget of as little as US$1,100 per month.

#9: Panama City Beaches, Panama

The most developed, established, and fully appointed beach community in Panama is what's referred to as the "City Beaches" area, those Pacific coast beaches that lie one to two hours west from Panama City. This fast-growing region offers a high-quality beach lifestyle with all the amenities and services you could want. Coronado town has developed into a busy commercial center that makes for a turn-key retirement choice, and, indeed, this is the direction this former weekend retreat is evolving, into a full-fledged retirement community with an established population of full-time foreign residents supported by a developed infrastructure, including good medical facilities.

Plus, Panama uses the U.S. dollar, international-standard health care is nearby in Panama City, and Panama's pensionado retiree residency program is one of the world's best.


Retire Overseas Location Choices

11 Places Not To Retire Overseas In 2014

Aug. 26, 2014, Nashville, Tennessee: Here are 11 places we don’t recommend as top choices for retiring overseas in 2014.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

In our 2014 Retire Overseas Index, out this week, we have rated and ranked the 21 best places to retire overseas right now. Some of the results may surprise you.

That is, some of the destinations we feature, including the destination that places number one overall, are not as widely publicized as others that we have chosen not to include.

Why have we omitted some of what are typically thought to be the most desirable overseas retirement havens from our Index? Why have some of 2013's top destinations been cut from the list?

Some insights follow.

Note that this is not to say, in any case, that these would be "bad" places to live or retire; simply that they do not count among the world's best today...

Why Not Loja Or Otavalo?

We chose to feature Cuenca in our Index over other, also-popular Ecuadorian choices. Why? First, the existing expat community. Although other towns in Ecuador have begun to attract foreigners, Cuenca is the hub for expat retirees in Ecuador.

We also like the city itself, prefer it over its competition. This is a colonial gem, an architecturally beautiful city with a great deal to offer by way of culture—opera, theater, museums, galleries...


Monthly Budgets For Retiring To The World’s Top 21 Retirement...

Counting The Costs Of A Retirement Overseas

Aug. 25, 2014, Nashville, Tennessee: The cost of living, of renting a home, and of purchasing property are three critical figures to understand for any location where you’re considering retiring overseas.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

How should you go about choosing where to reinvent your life in retirement overseas? Best made, this is a thoroughly personal decision. You should think about retiring to another country because you feel at home there and enjoy the way of life on offer. Bottom line, your heart should lead the way.

However, your head should have a say, too, of course. That is, while the best place for you to retire overseas is the best place for you simply because your gut tells you it is, you do want to look at more practical factors when considering your options.

For many, cost is key, both the cost of living and the cost of real estate. You may intend to purchase a home in your new situation overseas or only to rent one. Either way, this housing expense will be a significant part of your overall budget and should be considered separate from other monthly costs.

That's why, for our hot-off-the-presses 2014 Retire Overseas Index, we look at three pieces of critical data for each of the 21 destinations featured—the cost of living minus housing; the typical cost of renting; and the average cost per square meter to purchase property.

For the purposes of this Index, we created a starter-budget template that includes utilities (gas, electricity, landline phone, cable television, and internet), groceries, and entertainment. These would be your basic costs (in addition to housing) retired anywhere in the world. You could, of course, add costs, depending on your lifestyle and priorities. Maybe you'd like to have help around the house. In many places around the world, household help can be a bargain, making full- or part-time help with the daily chores a potential big benefit of retiring overseas. The cost could be US$150 (in Nicaragua, for example) to US$300, say, per month. However, maybe you don't want to make that investment.


The World’s Best Places To Retire Overseas In 2014

This Just In: 2014 Retire Overseas Index

Aug. 24, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Live and Invest Overseas Announces The Best Places To Retire Overseas In Their 2014 Retire Overseas Index.

"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."
--Mark Twain

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

This week we reveal the results of our 2014 Retire Overseas Index, our annual survey that rates and ranks the 21 destinations worldwide we have identified as offering the best current options for the would-be retiree overseas.

As we remind you often, though, in fact, it's impossible to name a single world's best place to retire. There's no such thing. It's a matter of priorities and preferences. No place is perfect. The advantages we perceive in one place could be turnoffs for you, and things that make a particular place intolerable for you could be the very reasons we enjoy spending time there.

But that sounds like a cop-out, doesn't it? We think so, too. That's why for this Annual Retire Overseas Index we set aside the disclaimers and take firm stands. This place is better than that one for these reasons, we say in this once-a-year survey, and this place is best of all.

To produce this Retire Overseas Index, our editors spend months collecting data, crunching numbers, questioning statistics, arguing results, and defending favorites.

For each of the 21 locations featured, we count doctors, hospitals, miles of paved road, frequency and duration of power outages, international airports, road accidents, cellphone providers, inches of rainfall each year, sunny days per annum, theaters, museums, libraries, residency visa options, burglaries, the number of expats in residence, the percentage of the population that speaks English...


How To Make Money Investing In Timber And Fruit Trees

The Key To Agricultural Profits

Aug. 22, 2014, Panama City, Panama: The key to making money from agriculture is identifying a buyer for your harvests.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The Chinese couldn't source enough walnuts for their recipes so they started substituting pecans. A colleague from Georgia, where they grow tons of pecans, explained this to me earlier this week when I told him I'm more interested in agricultural investments than ever and aggressively trying to source new opportunities.

Pecans can be so profitable, my colleague continued, that some farmers who had been paid not to farm their land (gotta love government farming subsidies) have planted pecan trees and paid the government back its subsidy along with a 300% penalty. This despite the fact that the pecan trees they've planted won't generate cash flow for about five years. That's how great the eventual profits are expected to be.

Of course, to make money from trees (fruit or timber), you have to have a means to sell them. I own with partners a 10-hectare parcel on a river in Panama that had teak planted on it when we bought it. We made the investment for the location and the development potential of the land. The teak was a bonus...or so we thought.

One of the partners who owns this piece with me also owns thousands of hectares of teak in Panama's Darien. When we made the purchase, he figured that, when it came time for the next thinning of his Darien plantation, he'd simply have the company buying his trees come harvest ours, too.

No luck. After much discussion, his Darien buyer simply refused to make the detour to harvest our little parcel. We didn't have enough volume to warrant the effort. The good news is that the trees continue to grow while we try to figure out what to do with them.

Still, this situation makes the point. The end market is the place to start when considering an investment in any agricultural product. The projections for profits from whatever crop you intend to grow can be phenomenal on paper, but they won't materialize if you don't have a buyer for your harvests.


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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.


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