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15 Great Places to Retire in 2017

15 Great Places to Retire in 2017

After a long career of working hard and likely living in just one town or city, retirement becomes a great opportunity to not only stop working but to also experience new places.

By retiring to locale outside of where you worked, you’ll see new cultures and taste new foods. Travel is always great but it’s even better if you can turn your getaway into a permanent paradise. Here are a few options to consider when searching for your 2017 retirement location.

1. Phoenix, Arizona

Generally speaking, when seeking retirement locations, climate is a major factor in the decision … and the warmer the better. Phoenix is sunny for the majority of the year and offers a low daily cost of living. This is also a great choice for the dedicated sports fan as most events are easily accessible.

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2. Algarve, Portugal

Lined with beautiful beaches, this city is marked by great weather and a low cost of living. There is also a strong expatriate community that will help you ease into your new neighborhood a bit easier. And despite being in Portugal, you can survive just by using English. There are also a variety of architectural sights and natural beauty to take in.

3. Budapest

Located in Hungary and with many locations listed as part of the UNESCO World Site, Budapest is a beautiful and historic European city. Highlights include the Gellert Baths (a massive spa with an open air wave pool); Margaret Island, which is located in the middle of the Danube River; and the House of Terror, which has displays of Hungarian history during its fascist and communist regimes. With so many great options, your retirement here will be filled with lots of different things to do.

4. Cape Coral, Florida

Of course Florida is among the choices of places to retire. But Cape Coral is lovely and unique because it’s made up of more canals than roads. It is called the “Waterfront Wonderland” because of this. While slightly expensive, the beautiful scenery and aquatic activities make it a great choice for those seeking to be close to water but not on a beach.

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5. Abruzzo, Italy

Abruzzo is one of the loveliest spots in Italy, offering a selection of both mountains and beaches. So if you’re into getting a tan while sipping drinks on a beach or glide down a mountain on skis, you have the option for both. It should also be noted this city is fairly quiet, not having a large seasonal tourist population or any modern industrial additions to ruin the scenery. And like most of the other cities of the country, food is important and crafted carefully.

6. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is known as foreigner-friendly and offers a setting of abundant green jungles, superb beaches, gorgeous mountains and a laid back, casual lifestyle. The country also has affordable and highly rated healthcare services, which is a great selling point for retirees. Just make sure to swap out your tourist visa for one of long-term residency.

7. Caen, France

Offering up such sights as the Abbey of Sainte-Trinité, the Mémorial de Caen, and the fine arts museum located in Château de Caen, this is a great and quiet city marked with historical significance. Besides the art museum, there is another that documents Normandy’s history, before and during wartimes. Caen is definitely a place to relax and unwind from those working years.

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8. Sliema, Malta

While exceptional in terms of sunshine (more than 3,000 hours per year), Sliema is a popular and crowded place to live. Despite that, the warm temperatures make it a very attractive location. This is also a place where just speaking English will be enough. And if you ever feel claustrophobic, Malta’s sister island Gozo is short ferry trip away.

9. Colorado Springs, Colorado

This city has a marked military presence with Peterson Air Base, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Schriever Air Force Base to name a few.  But it is also home to some wonderful universities if higher education is part of your retirement goals. And if not, you can simply enjoy the skiing or other natural attractions like Seven Falls, the Cave of the Winds or Pikes Peak.

10. Puerto Vallarta, México

Coming from America, this Mexican city offers a host of familiar creature comforts. Take all of what you enjoy about where you live (Internet, easily accessible flights to and from the United States, great infrastructure and even familiar retail chain stores) and put it all in a nice, lush tropical setting. The cost of living is also quite low.

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11. St. Andrews, Scotland

It makes sense that the birthplace of golfing would be a great and desirable spot for retirees. Whether playing or just watching, St. Andrews offers a variety of choices for the golf fan, from the novice to the most experienced.  There is also an inviting charm found here that surrounds the city and makes everyone feel welcomed.

12. Panama City, Panama

Built by fantastic examples of modern engineering, the Panama Canal is just a short ways away from Panama City and makes a great attraction. There are also museums, an array of French monuments and Indian villages. The city also offers a special visa, called a Pensionado that is available to anyone whose pension starts at a minimum of 1,000 per month.

13. Granada, Nicaragua

Named after Spain’s ancient city of the same name, modern Granada still maintains some of its early colonial charm and architectural style. It has a large expat community and several upscale areas filled with great restaurants and well-maintained buildings.

14. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

Located in the Caribbean and sporting warm, turquoise seas lined with white sand beaches, the Dominican Republic is a great, diverse retirement option. Because of its location, it is a collection of several cultures, ranging from North American to Afro-Caribbean. And with an extremely cheap cost of living, you can actually move fairly easily from one island to another.

15. Cuenca, Ecuador

This is a charming city where you can get a coffee in a café that still has its old world Spanish-colonial style. The climate is outdoor activity friendly but recent economic shifts make this a more expensive choice. Even so, comparatively, the real estate market is still low and open enough for you to own where you spend your retirement.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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