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5 of the Best Places in the World to Retire

5 of the Best Places in the World to Retire

If you’re settling down and looking for a place to retire, you don’t have to just head down to Florida like everyone else. Retirement can be a big opportunity to try living in a new place and experiencing new cultures, without having to worry about the burdensome question of finding work in a foreign land.

But if you want to use your golden years as an opportunity to explore the world, there are some factors that any retiree should think about before picking a country or city. Access to good healthcare, a low cost of living, and a pristine environment are just a few things to consider. And most importantly of all, any country you pick has to be one where you will have minimal visa issues and can let you return to your home country quickly and easily.

1. Belize

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    DSC_0289 by mcassidy129 via Flickr

    Want to head south but don’t feel very confident in your Spanish skills? Then head to sunny Belize, an English-speaking country that is one of the most welcoming countries for retirees in the world.

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    Belize offers a Qualified Retirement Program which allows foreigners to become full-time residents of Belize providing that they can transfer $2,000 per month in income. It also offers additional incentives such as an exemption from Belizan taxes and import duties. And once you are in Belize, you can see wildlife sanctuaries, the Belize Barrier Reef, or otherwise enjoy life in pleasant Cayo with its mixture of English and Spanish culture.

    There are some downsides. While Belize offers a low cost of living, the catch is that its infrastructure is not that well-developed and the CDC does recommend that travelers to Belize should receive vaccinations for typhoid and Hepatitis A. But overall, Belize offers a new culture and land that is highly welcoming towards foreign retirees.

    2. Canada

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      Maclean Creek Kananaskis Alberta Canada by Thank you for visiting my page via Flickr

      If you don’t want to move too far away, then there is Canada. Canada’s culture is obviously similar to the United States, and it boasts the best infrastructure and healthcare out of this list. Don’t forget that like the United States, Canada is a massive country where you can see a huge variety in cultures and cities.

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      The biggest challenge with moving to Canada will be getting a visa. Canada does not offer a retirement visa, and permanent residency visas are more biased towards those who work. But if you are well-educated and have plenty of savings, then you should still be able to get a visa without significant trouble.

      3. Ireland

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        St. Anne’s Park & Rose Gardens by William Murphy via Flickr

        Given the importance of Irish culture to the United States, it would be little surprise to see that many American retirees are interested in moving back to their ancestral homeland. Ireland has the advantages of both being a European nation while not being as expensive as the major European nations. It combines urbane civilization along with the beauty of the Emerald Isle and a chance to take a short jaunt to London or Paris.

        If your grandparents emigrated from Ireland, then you can become an Irish citizen. Otherwise, you can apply for a “permission to remain” for three months and can then re-apply for longer periods of time. Like Canada, retiring to Ireland likely requires a strong savings account in order to be let in.

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        4. Thailand

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          Khao Lak Bayfront Resort by Kullez via Flickr

          Thailand is probably the biggest challenge on this list. It is a truly exotic culture where you really will need to try and learn the Thai language to get the most out of living in this Southeast Asian nation. The Huffington Post has just a few examples of some of the cultural concepts which you should understand.

          But Thailand is an incredibly cheap country that accepts expatriates from all over the world. If you want to live someplace that may feel more like home, then the city of Chiang Mai is a great location. You can meet both young foreign workers, retirees, and Thais mixed together in a city that offers a unique culture and can give you a new perspective on the world.

          5. Costa Rica

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            Parque Nacional Corcovado-121 by Christian Haugen via Flickr

            This Caribbean island is repeatedly cited by experts as one of the best places in the world to retire, and for good reason. Like Belize, Costa Rica offers a retirement program designed to attract retirees. Even a mere Social Security check can be enough to qualify for permanent residence and a chance to settle down in Costa Rica.

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            In addition to its retirement package, Costa Rica offers a rich natural heritage unmatched by any other country in the world. The country just announced that it produced all of its electricity using renewable sources for 76 straight days, and it has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean. Costa Rica is more expensive than other countries in the region, but it is still far cheaper than the Western world.

            Costa Rica may no longer be a hidden gem as over 20,000 American expatriates are enjoying life on the island. But that just shows what a fantastic spot it is.

            Featured photo credit: Hector Alejandro via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on November 18, 2020

            15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

            15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

            It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
            Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

            1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
            2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
            3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
            4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
            5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
            6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
            7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
            8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
            9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
            10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
            11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
            12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
            13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
            14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
            15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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