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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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