International Living: 3 Great Places to Live and Retire Abroad

Ever dreamed of owning a foreign vacation home, living or retiring in an exotic land? You’re not alone. An ever increasing number of Americans and Europeans are being lured abroad by a lower cost of living and higher quality of life. Some are returning to their ancestral countries or to places where they once vacationed, worked or studied. Others are being enticed by generous retiree perks and attractive tax incentives. Outside of reading about it, you probably have never given the notion any serious thought. These three beautiful and affordable slices of paradise could change your mind.


Not all expatriate destinations are created equal. If you’re on a budget, tired of crowded beaches and packed supermarkets, love seafood, and have a 19th-century mindset, you may want to consider Nova Scotia, the Canadian province which is becoming one of the most sought after vacation home and retirement havens in North America.

Nova Scotia is beautiful. With some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, it boasts something for every taste: historic small towns, picture-perfect countryside, and a bustling capital with attractive suburbs, not to mention 3,600 miles of enchanting coastline dotted with charming fishing villages, inexpensive lots to build on, and opportunities for outdoor recreation of virtually every type. Deeply steeped in Scottish, Irish and Acadian (creole) heritage, the province feels like New England 100 years ago, and the entire province’s population is less than one million so the place is anything but crowded.

But that’s not all. With government-funded healthcare, comfortable spring and summer temperatures (with milder and less snowy winters than many northern U.S. states) and real estate prices considerably lower than anything on the coast in the United States, Nova Scotia is well worth considering. The growing American and European expat population obviously agrees.

For Sale: Your own slice of the breathtaking coastline and tens of thousands of acres of quaint countryside at unbelievably low prices. Live like a prince in a peaceful and private haven. Enjoy universal healthcare, friendly people and Cuban cigars (they’re legal here). All this in a pristine, under-developed storybook setting. But hurry…the word is out now (you’re not the only one reading this article).


Inexpensive real estate, a low cost of living, breathtaking scenery and First-world perks should put Panama at the top of your list if you’re considering living or retiring abroad.

Home to Central America’s most vibrant and attractive capital (Panama City), Panama is slightly larger than the state of Florida. Bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, it is one of those places that can seduce you through its sheer natural beauty. The seemingly endless stretches of picturesque coastline, lush green valleys, near-perfect weather and friendly people make it one of the most livable places in the world. If you like Florida and the Caribbean, you’ll love Panama.

Outside of its scenic charms, Panama is one of the best places anywhere for expatriate and retirees today, offering one of the world’s best discount programs for retirees. AARP rated Panama “the fourth best retirement place in the world.” When stacked up against traditional Latin American retirement havens such as Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, Panama has more amenities, lower costs, and less crime, red tape and government interference.

In addition, Panama has put together an impressive list of incentives to attract newcomers, including:

Expatriates who buy or build a new home pay no property taxes for 20 years.

No taxes on foreign-earned income (Social Security, pensions or business profits).

Investments in the tourism industry are exempt from import duties, construction materials and equipment costs, and income, real estate and other taxes for a period of 20 years.

The pensionado (retiree) program

You don’t need to be retired to qualify for the program (anyone over 18 may apply for benefits). The only requirement is a guaranteed income of $500 per month ($600 for a couple). It must be a pension from a company or government agency (e.g. Social Security, disability, military pay, etc.). After becoming a Panamanian resident “pensioner,” you are immediately eligible for the most comprehensive program of expatriate benefits in the world, including discounts on everything from doctor’s visits and mortgage closing costs to restaurant meals and entertainment (movies, theaters, concerts, sporting events, etc.).

Other perks of life in Panama are its proximity to the US (only a 2½-hour flight from Miami), the US dollar is the de facto currency, and English is widely spoken and understood in major cities (Spanish is the official language).

Right now, the three best places to purchase real estate in Panama are Panama City, the capital which boasts First-world infrastructure and is home to virtually every large American brand-name chain; Boquete, a scenic and growing expatriate hideaway in Panama’s mountainous region; and the Pearl Islands, a chain of over 90 islands and 130 islets in the Caribbean.


The Caribbean is synonymous with hedonism — from the popular tourist Mecca of the Bahamas to the off-the-beaten-path divers’ paradise of Bonaire. What you might not know about the Caribbean, however, is that it’s also home to one of the most appealing — and inexpensive destinations in this hemisphere. So if you’re searching for a tropial paradise as it should be, duck the crowds and head to Dominica.

With no direct flights from North America or Europe, Dominica is welcome retreat of peace and quiet in the Caribbean’s sea of mass tourism. Roughly halfway between Martinique and Guadeloupe, the island is splendidly underdeveloped. A land of waterfalls, rivers (365 of them), hot springs, and lush rain forests, Dominica is the Caribbean’s most rugged isle. Instead of luxury resorts and long stretches of crowded sand, you’ll find volcanic mountains, intimate beaches, little-explored reefs and charming small hotels.

And if you think that living in the Caribbean full- or part-time is a luxury only A-list celebrities can afford, think again. Dominica’s prices are refreshingly down-to-earth: A modest but comfortable home can be built for as little as 25K (naturally, you could pay much more, but why bother).

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Work From Home And Retire With More Money Than You Will Ever Need

lanning for your future involves some of the most important decisions in your life. Everyone’s future will be different, but the result is still the same. What ever you want now and for your future requires money, and usually lots of it. From a young age we are told to start saving for the future, but sadly, we are not really taught how to do it. That is left for us to figure out ourselves, and for many people that means just making it up as they go along. Living from week to week, pay cheque to pay cheque, will not provide you with a retirement fund, it barely provides you with the basics for getting by.

If what you are doing now is not working, then clearly you need a change or a different direction. Don’t leave it up to chance, or hope that someone will do it for you, and those that are waiting for that ‘lucky streak’ to kick in, well, it could be along wait. Instead of hoping things will get better, you must take control and do it yourself. Don’t waste time thinking about it.

We are fortunate to live in the century of technology and communication. The internet is like having the whole world at your doorstep, and computers and electrical devices are a normal part of life. Having all this technology at our disposal has made working from home a viable option for many people. There are endless home based business opportunities available, and most of them involve the use of all this technology in some way.

If you are interested in the world of the internet, there are many home businesses that offer on-line shopping stores and you can run it right from your home. Working from home means low overhead costs, no boss, no employees, and allows you to decide when you work and how much you earn. If you want to start making an income that will set you up for a comfortable, early retirement, then working from home is a good way to start.

When looking for a home business look for these important facts:

Low start-up costs
A company that provides full training and support
Solid compensation plan that includes residual income
A home business that includes on-line shopping can open up your market globally. Imagine doing business all over the world, from your lounge room! And if your business generates a residual income, then you have all the requirements for increasing your income. When set up correctly and if you continue to grow your business, residual income can and will grow to enormous proportions. You can literally have more money than you ever imagined. The satisfaction of knowing that your future is secure and money will not be a problem, is something we should take very seriously. If you like the idea of having more money than you ever thought possible, then act now and start creating your future.

I am an independent business owner with a company that I believe offers the best income opportunities, including bonuses and residual income. It offers an on-line store set up and focuses on the three biggest trends in the 21st century, deregulation, essential services and social networking. This business concept offers all owners full training and ongoing support, and you make money and have fun. The personal growth program that is a part of the business is outstanding, and the income poten

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