Where To Retire In France And Argentina

French Dreams And Argentine Drama—More Personal Bests

Yesterday I shared some of our editors’ revelations for their personal top retirement and lifestyle picks worldwide. Today, more biased, nonobjective, 100% unscientific and personal recommendations from key Live and Invest Overseas correspondents, this time in Europe and the Americas…

Euro-Correspondent Lucy Culpepper: France

During the past three years as managing editor of the Overseas Retirement Letter, I have been inspired by so many correspondents’ reports. The locations that have intrigued me most and that will join my must-visit-in-the-next-10-years list are Medellin, Colombia; Na Trang, Vietnam; Pai, Thailand; Christchurch, New Zealand; Johor Bahru, Malaysia; and Belize (all of it!).

A country I visited many years ago that I’d like to explore again is Chile, especially the Lake District. It was one of the most beautiful, tranquil places in the world, and my guess is that it still is.

However, my personal current favorite place for living and retiring overseas would have to be France. Why France in general? I love the history, the culture, the language, the markets, the hugely varied, beautiful landscape, and the ease of travel within and to other European countries.

Where specifically? It’s hard to pin down one place, so I’ll share my France dream: I’d have an apartment in Paris, a home on the Atlantic coast near Biarritz, and a home in the Languedoc region, specifically the tiny village of Roquebrun for its beautiful light and tumbling river.

An added bonus of the Languedoc region is that it’s just three hours’ drive to my joint-favorite European city, Barcelona!

Lief Simon: Medellin and Buenos Aires

I prefer cities over more rural areas. Two of the best cities in Latin America to spend time in, whether it’s full- or part-time living, are Medellin, Colombia, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In Medellin, the weather is pleasant year-round—though some would argue that it isn’t “spring-like” weather as it’s generally referenced to be. Temperatures regularly break 80 degrees. Having grown up in Arizona, that’s like winter weather for me. In other words, it’s all relative.

It’s pleasant enough to walk around Medellin, which is important to me, though I wouldn’t call this a walking city.

Medellin has First World infrastructure and amenities (also important to me), and museums, festivals, gardens, and parks all add to the variety of activities available in this city of about 3.5 million people. And, to make the point, despite its history, Medellin is fairly calm these days unless you wander into the gang neighborhoods.

Bigger and livelier is Buenos Aires, which also has four seasons. I like change and contrast, so I like this part of the world a lot. Argentina rides an economic roller coaster that cycles harder and faster than economic cycles in any other country I could name, thanks to general and gross mismanagement by the government.

Argentina is right now close to another breaking point. I’m watching for the coming next crisis, which will be another good time to be considering an investment here.

From a lifestyle point of view, Buenos Aries offers all the activities that Medellin does and more. It’s a city of about 15 million people (around one-third of the total population of the country). It has a tremendous variety and diversity of restaurants, shopping, museums, and parks and does qualify as a walking city—though it’s too big to walk across in one go. For me, Buenos Aries’ core neighborhoods of Recoleta and Retiro offer an ideal way of life.

Just be prepared for big ups and downs and lots of drama. For me that’s all a big part of the charm of this place.

Kathleen Peddicord

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