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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 August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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