World’s Top 10 Retirement Havens

10 Best Places To Retire In 2015

Jan. 4, 2015, Panama City, Panama: The Algarve, Portugal, leads the list of 10 best places to retire overseas in 2015.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The secret to taking control of your retirement in 2015 and making this phase of life a grand adventure, even if your retirement nest egg is modest, is expanding your horizons.

Here are your 10 best options for where to retire overseas this New Year 2015:

#1 Algarve, Portugal

Portugal's Algarve is home to more than 100,000 resident foreign retirees. This Old World region on the Atlantic Ocean is the best place in the world to retire that nobody's talking about. Portugal's southernmost province offers the best of Europe, including medieval towns, fishing villages, open-air markets, and local wine, plus some of Europe's best sandy beaches.

This is a land of cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses with lace-patterned chimneys, surrounded everywhere by fig, olive, almond, and carob trees. Thinking more practically, the Algarve also offers great weather, with 3,300 hours of sunshine per year, meaning more sunny days than almost anywhere else in Europe.

The Algarve has a longstanding reputation as a top summer destination among European sun-seekers and as a top winter retreat for those looking to escape Northern Europe's coldest months. Health care is international-standard in this part of the world, and medical tourism is a growing industry.

Thanks to Portugal's strong historic and cultural links with England, English is spoken more widely in the country in general and especially in the Algarve than you might expect.

The Algarve's 100 miles of Atlantic coastline is punctuated by jagged rock formations, lagoons, and extensive sandy beaches, many awarded coveted Blue Flags from the European Blue Flag Association. In addition, the region boasts 42 golf courses in less than 100 miles and is generally recognized as a top golfing destination in continental Europe and the world.

The cost of living in Portugal is among the lowest in Western Europe, on average 30% lower than in any other country on the Continent. A retired couple could live here comfortably but modestly on a budget of as little as US$1,500 per month. With a budget of US$2,000 per month or more, you could enjoy a fully appointed lifestyle in the heart of Old Europe.


Invest In Property In Medellin For Colombian Residency

Invest For Residency And Yield In This Top Property Market (Which Is 25% Cheaper Now Than It's Been In Five Years)

Jan. 2, 2015, Medellin, Colombia

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Right now is the time to act on a property investment in Medellin, Colombia, if you've been considering taking a position in this market. The Colombian peso has moved from 1,850 to US$1 in July to 2,300 to US$1 today. That's a 25% gain for U.S. dollar holders in six months, creating a buying opportunity that I'm acting on and that I urge you to pay attention to, as well.

Generally speaking, I don't recommend that you try to time currency exchange rates when investing in real estate overseas. Waiting for a better exchange rate before acting on a property buy, you run two risks. The price of the property could go up, and the currency could move against you. However, if the currency moves in your favor in a market you're watching, you want to take advantage of the buying window if you can.

In Medellin, I'd draw your attention to one turn-key real estate investment opportunity in particular that allows dollar holders to take advantage of their current exchange-rate advantage while also obtaining Colombian residency. This is the lowest-priced invest-for-residency option available in the country...and it's 25% cheaper in dollar terms today than it was six months ago. The 62 million peso investment requirement amounts to less than US$27,000 right now and means a residency visa in your hand a month after you make the buy.


New Year’s Eve And New Year’s Day Travel

Swap The Party For Big Savings By Traveling On New Year's

Jan. 1, 2015, Orlando, Florida: You can save big on airfares by flying on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Being from Dublin, I've rung in most of my New Year's in Ireland. The celebrations that take place on the Emerald Isle are not notably different from what you might find in the United States, the UK, or in many other Western countries.

People have parties, drink, have a countdown, and hope they'll have someone to kiss when the clock strikes midnight. There are fireworks and renditions of "Auld Langs Syne." It's all usually followed by a string of New Year's resolutions and hopes that the year ahead will be the big one. 

Like everywhere, New Year's Eve is a popular holiday in Ireland. But it wouldn't be my favorite. At the risk of sounding like a New Year's Grinch, I have to admit that I find something a little contrived about the merriment. But that doesn't mean I dread the rival of the last day of the year. In fact, I've found a way of turning it to my advantage.

The annual migration that kicks into gear either side of Christmas makes this the most expensive time of year to travel. There's also a particular pinch point around the first weekend after New Year's Eve when everyone is trying to get back in time for work or school. As a result, if you're willing to skip the New Year's celebrations, you can enjoy great savings. 

Take this year. I made plans for an editorial scouting trip around the Caribbean that would involve flying from Dublin to Barbados via the United States in early December. From there I was on to St. Kitts, Antigua, and Montserrat, then back to Ireland shortly after Christmas.


Connecting The Dots To Find Your Ideal Retirement Haven Overseas

How To Retire Overseas, Step 2

Dec. 31, 2014, Orlando, Florida: Here’s how to connect the dots between the world’s top retirement havens and your lifestyle objectives.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

You've got your list. (If you missed yesterday's issue, catch up here.)

Now you need another, shorter list, one that includes the destinations that might support the lifestyle you seek. 

How do you choose your ideal retire overseas haven from among the 200+ countries in the world? To help focus your thinking, here are our picks for the world's top 22 overseas retirement havens as we move toward New Year 2015: 

In Central America

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize
  • Cayo, Belize
  • Granada, Nicaragua
  • Northern Belize
  • Pedasi, Panama
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Samana, Dominican Republic


In South America

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • La Serena, Chile
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Mendoza, Argentina


In Europe

  • Abruzzo, Italy
  • Algarve, Portugal
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Istria, Croatia
  • Pau, France


In Asia

  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Dumaguete, Philippines
  • George Town, Malaysia
  • Nha Trang, Vietnam


Now, here's the problem. I can't take this conversation much further. You've got your list of what matters to you...and now you've got a list of the world's top retirement havens right now. 


Step 1 To Retiring Overseas Is Making A List

It's Time—Here's How

Dec. 30, 2014, Orlando, Florida: The first step to retiring overseas is making a list of your priorities and preferences, likes and dislikes, everything that will be important to you in your new life.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

With just two days remaining until New Year 2015, I challenge you to get up and get going. It's time.

If you've been considering the idea of launching a new life in a new country, today is the day to get started making that dream come true. Here's what you do:

You take out a piece of paper and a pen. Go on. I'll wait.

Now, find a comfortable chair, settle in, and make a list.

Write down everything that's important to you. Consider all aspects of your life, big and small. What do you enjoy? What would you miss if it were gone from your life? What makes you crazy? And what would you like never to have to deal with again? Write it all down on your piece of paper.

Here...I'll make some suggestions to get you going...

Think about the weather. What do you prefer? Year-round sunshine? Four seasons? Low humidity? Minimal rainfall?

Consider things related to infrastructure. How important to you are wireless Internet and cable TV?

Think about health care. Would you be comfortable being examined by a doctor who didn't speak English? Do you have an existing health concern that could require emergency medical attention? In that case, it's important to you to be within a, say, 20-minute drive of a First World hospital.

How do you like to spend your free time? Do you like to surf? Boat? Fish, dive, play golf?

Or are you more interested in gallery openings, live theater, foreign flicks, fine dining, and pleasure shopping?

Do you like to move around? That is, would your ideal retirement life include lots of travel? In that case, it's important to you to be within easy commuting distance of an international airport. We weren’t when we were living in Ireland, for example, and we regretted it every time we made the long drive to Dublin.

How do you like to eat? In restaurants three or four nights a week? Or do you prefer to cook? If cooking is a passion and a pastime, a big and fully equipped kitchen is a priority.

Do you enjoy Aunt Jemima syrup on your pancakes and French butter when you bake? (That's ok, so do I.)

Do you intend to invest in a place to live in your new home overseas? Then restrictions on foreign-ownership of property as well as the costs of buying and selling it are important to you.

Do you want to own a car in your new home overseas? Usually, you're better off if you don't. But if you aren't going to have a car of your own, local public transportation becomes important to you.

Will you want to be able to return to the States to see your grandkids often? Then the cost of a round-trip ticket from where you'll be living to where you want to visit is important.

Do you intend to live full-time in your new country? Then the available options for establishing legal residency are important.

Would you like to start a business as part of your new life? Then you care about things like the quality, diversity, and cost of the available local pool of labor, as well as the country's general doing-business climate.


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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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