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The Best Places Around the World to Retire in 2017

The Best Places Around the World to Retire in 2017

How often do you find yourself saying “Oh, I wish I could retire right now”?

Retirement seems to be a common topic among all of us no matter how old we are.

With improved medical and healthcare services, we live a longer life, but at the same time, we need to spend more money to sustain a longer life. Also, who doesn’t want to rest and relax after many decades of working?

But where should you go after your retirement? Here are 20 best places to retire with low living cost, stunning natural scenery, and large expat communities.

1. Crete, Greece

    ▲ Agios Nikolaos, a coastal town in Crete. Credit: CruiseMapper

    Usually, places with the lowest living cost are in Asia. Crete might come as a surprise. This island is filled with sunshine, beaches, and great hospitality. It is a highly recommended option for retirees.

    • Cost of living: $1,090
    • Major language: Greek
    • Population: 623,065 (2010 stats)
    • Healthcare services: Free medical care and hospital care in public hospitals if you are covered by IKA National Insurance.
    • Entertainment: Hiking, cave tours, water activities, festivals in summer

    2. Barcelona, Spain

      ▲ Casa Mila. Credit: Barcelona.com

      As Spain’s second-largest city, Barcelona offers a low-cost living experience, with a fully developed public transportation system. You can enjoy pre-Roman architectures, art galleries, museums, and also beaches all in this metropolis.

      • Cost of living: $1,183
      • Major language: Spanish
      • Population: 1.602 million (2014 stats)
      • Healthcare services: Healthcare is largely subsidized in public hospitals if you own a Targeta Sanitaria Individual (TSI) health card.
      • Entertainment: Museums, art galleries, monuments, theaters, beach activities

      3. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

        ▲ Lake Atitlan. Credit: Hop On The Good Foot

        Surrounded by volcanoes, Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Villages around the lake are filled with Mayan traditions,[1] and it is definitely a great cultural experience for retirees.

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        • Cost of living: $700
        • Major language: Spanish
        • Population: 11,142 in Panajachel (in the 2000 census)
        • Healthcare services: Very few funds are allocated to healthcare, while 88% of the population relies on public healthcare system.
        • Entertainment: Hiking, water activities, cultural tours

        4. Santa Fe, Panama

          ▲ Santa Fe de Veraguas. Credit: International Living

          This tiny mountain hideaway is the perfect retirement spot for people from the city. Although English is not commonly spoken like in other more developed cities in Panama, Panamanians still show wonderful hospitality and often lend a helping hand to foreigners.

          • Cost of living: $800-$1,000
          • Major language: Spanish
          • Population: 3,047 (2010 stats)
          • Healthcare services: Panama’s pensionado visa program allows expats and retirees to get discounted healthcare services, like medical check-ups and prescriptions.
          • Entertainment: Hiking

          5. West Des Moines, Iowa, United States

            ▲ West Des Moines City Hall. Credit: RDG Planning & Design

            This might be a shocker for most people. How is a town in the Midwest with snowy winter a possible retirement place? Well, West Des Moines offers excellent healthcare programs, alongside with low living cost and crime rate.

            • Cost of living: $2,230
            • Major language: English
            • Population: 61,255 (2013 stats)
            • Healthcare services: Both the federally funded Medicare and Medicaid programs provide healthcare coverage for retirees, especially those above 65.
            • Entertainment: Music festival, winery and brewery tours, golfing, live horse racing

            6. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

              ▲ San Juan del Sur. Credit: Expedia

              Now let’s jump back to the tropical, beach life. San Juan del Sur is known for it’s sunny weather and great healthcare, with a perennial temperature of 85 to 95 degrees. Also, the country offers an irresistible retiree program (you don’t need to pay any taxes). Fun fact: Nicaragua produces world-class coffee and chocolate!

              • Cost of living: $1,000
              • Major language: Spanish
              • Population: 7,790 (2012 stats)
              • Healthcare services: There’s no health insurance, but the Metropolitan hospital offers two packages with discounts to healthcare services. The general rates per month are: 51-65, $61; and over 65, $65.
              • Entertainment: Water and beach activities, art center, religious festivals and celebrations

              7. Algarve, Portugal

                ▲ The town of Lagos in Algarve. Credit: Investopedia

                For 3 years, Algarve has been the most highly-rated place in the world for retirement. Apart from a low cost of living and rent, the region also offers an extensive expat community with more than 100,000 resident foreign retirees. It has amazing food and wine too!

                • Cost of living: $1,500-2,000
                • Major language: Portuguese
                • Population: 451,006 (2010 stats)
                • Healthcare services: Services are available for registered legal foreign residents, and if you are working in Portugal, you are automatically entitled to the publicly funded National Health Service (Serviço Nacional de Saúde, SNS).
                • Entertainment: Golfing, mountain-biking, beach activities

                8. Nha Trang, Vietnam

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                  ▲ Po Nagar Cham Towers. Credit: Vietnam Travel Deals

                  If you are looking for a low-cost, affordable retirement spot in Southeast Asia, Nha Trang would be the best place to stay. This sandy, rural town is fused with historic temples and exotic cuisines that will satisfy foodies.

                  • Cost of living: $650-$800
                  • Major language: Vietnamese
                  • Population: 402,000 (2015 stats)
                  • Healthcare services: Medical costs in Vietnam are low, and there might not have English-speaking doctors, but the healthcare system is developing. Some expats and retirees will seek medical care in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore.
                  • Entertainment: Water activities, temple tours

                  9. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

                    ▲ Tanjung Aru beach. Credit: Nomad is Beautiful

                    Other than Nha Trang, the tranquil Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia is also a great place. It is a small, walkable island with a low cost of living and a high standard of healthcare. You can also travel to nearby islands to explore what nature has in store for you.

                    • Cost of living: $1,200
                    • Major language: Malaysian
                    • Population: 207,214 (2010 stats)
                    • Healthcare services: Foreigners are recommended to look into international health insurance plans. Public hospitals are inexpensive with high medical standards, while private hospitals are more expensive with a shorter wait, but they both provide the same quality of healthcare services.
                    • Entertainment: Water activities

                    10. Vilcabamba, Ecuador

                      ▲ Vilcabamba. Credit: Ancient Origins

                      The hustle and bustle may often bring negative impacts to our health. An alternative to excellent healthcare is living in a stress-free and organic environment. With clean air and constant sunshine, Vilcabamba attracts expats and retirees because of such healthy lifestyle.

                      • Cost of living: $1,100-$1,485
                      • Major language: Spanish
                      • Population: 1,293 (2005 stats)
                      • Healthcare services: Health insurance programs are of low costs, and hospitals and doctors are available even in small towns.
                      • Entertainment: Hiking

                      11. Cayo, Belize

                        ▲ Xunantunich Mayan ruin. Credit: Live and Invest Overseas

                        For those who are adventurous risk-takers, Cayo could be your retirement spot. As Belize is less developed than most countries, the country provides many opportunities for exploration, especially in rainforests and jungles.

                        • Cost of living: $1,100
                        • Major language: English
                        • Population: 73,202 (2010 stats)
                        • Healthcare services: The healthcare program in Belize is less developed, and for more serious medical issues, most retirees choose to leave the country to seek care.
                        • Entertainment: Hiking, nature adventures

                        12. Abruzzo, Italy

                          ▲ Abruzzo. Credit: Paradoxplace

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                          Abruzzo is a secret garden for retirees. It is sparsely populated, with rusty and historical architectures, and also provides entertainments all year round (you can enjoy the beach in summer and ski on the mountains in winter). This secluded town also provides homey, hearty cuisines for you to enjoy.

                          • Cost of living: $1,500-$1,700
                          • Major language: Italian
                          • Population: 1.328 million (2015 stats)
                          • Healthcare services: Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), the national health service in Italy, provides free or low-cost medical treatment to public facilities. EU nationals can use European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access public healthcare services.
                          • Entertainment: Beach and water activities, skiing

                          13. Buenos Aires, Argentina

                            ▲ Buenos Aires. Credit: Architectural Digest

                            This vibrant Argentinian city offers endless entertainment with 20 colorful and boisterous festivals every year. It also provides an affordable yet high quality medical healthcare program.

                            • Cost of living: $800-$1,500
                            • Major language: Spanish
                            • Population: 2.891 million (2010 stats)
                            • Healthcare services: Healthcare in Argentina is cheap, and with high quality and standards of medical services due to a surplus of doctors.
                            • Entertainment: Opera, symphonies, theaters, museums, and endless bookstores, and festival celebrations

                            14. Chiang Mai, Thailand

                              ▲ Doi Inthanon. Credit: PlanetWare

                              With abundant health-related services, Chiang Mai is one of the most popular spots for retirees to stay in. And if you still wish to get involved in the community after your retirement, Chiang Mai offers different job opportunities at schools, tourist spots, and medical facilities.

                              • Cost of living: $1,100
                              • Major language: Thai
                              • Population: 148,477 (2008 stats)
                              • Healthcare services: Similar to Vietnam, the quality healthcare services and insurance plans are cheap in Thailand.
                              • Entertainment: Night market, boxing

                              15. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

                                ▲ Las Terrenas. Credit: TripAdvisor

                                The Dominican Republic welcomes foreigners, and same as Chiang Mai, it provides many job openings for expats. The country is also known as a cultural melting pot with Afro-Antillean, European, North American, and Latin cultures. If you want to immerse yourself in a diverse culture, Las Terrenas is your pick.

                                • Cost of living: $1,200
                                • Major language: Spanish
                                • Population: 39,221 (2012 stats)
                                • Healthcare services: The medical care is not as well-equipped as other larger cities in the country, but Las Terrenas is improving its services and provides affordable aids at its new hospital.
                                • Entertainment: Beach activities, hiking

                                16. Medellin, Colombia

                                  ▲ Medellin. Credit: Vogue

                                  Medellin has come a long way in terms of its security and safety. As the most progressive city, drugs and crimes are no longer issues in Medellin. The city is both a industrial, financial center, and artistic city with jazz concerts, book fairs, and poetry festivals.

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                                  • Cost of living: $1,755-$2,000
                                  • Major language: Spanish
                                  • Population: 2.464 million (2015 stats)
                                  • Healthcare services: 1/7 of the best hospitals in Latin America are located in Colombia, and there are many insurance plans offered, but some do not provide services for retirees or those above 60.
                                  • Entertainment: Jazz concerts, tango festivals

                                  17. Sarasota, Florida, United States

                                    ▲ Sarasota Opera House. Credit: See Sarasota Live

                                    Sarasota and other cities in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico are great options for an after-retirement life. Apart from its cultural and musical scenes, the decent weather in Sarasota makes it one of the best spots for retirees in the States.

                                    • Cost of living: $2,575
                                    • Major language: English
                                    • Population: 53,326 (2013 stats)
                                    • Healthcare services: Both the federally funded Medicare and Medicaid programs provide healthcare coverage for retirees, especially those above 65.
                                    • Entertainment: Opera, theater, water activities

                                    18. Valletta, Malta

                                      ▲ The skyline of Valletta. Credit: The Independent

                                      For the mentioned places, English might not always been the most common language spoken, but in Valletta (and the rest of Malta), you don’t have to worry about any language barrier.

                                      • Cost of living: $1,290
                                      • Major language: Maltese, English
                                      • Population: 5,721 (2013 stats)
                                      • Healthcare services: The service in Malta is excellent, and all international visitors should have their own personal medical insurance policy.
                                      • Entertainment: Maltese cultural festivals, historical sightseeing, water activities

                                      19. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

                                        ▲ Playa del Carmen’s Central Square. Credit: Pinterest

                                        If you want a strong, well-established expat community, you should consider Playa del Carmen. The Mexican town is home to more than 10,000 foreigners, who are mainly North Americans.

                                        • Cost of living: $700-$1,300
                                        • Major language: Spanish
                                        • Population: 149,923 (2010 stats)
                                        • Healthcare services: Basic medical care is inexpensive and the line is fast, but for retirees, you don’t get the local medical coverage IMSS unless you work.
                                        • Entertainment: Beach activities, night bars and clubs

                                        20. Paris, France

                                          ▲ Eiffel Tower. Credit: Eiffel Tower

                                          This might be the most surprising spot in the whole list. Paris, really? Yes. You are probably thinking how could a place with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Luxembourg Gardens be affordable to retirees. Well, public transportation is cheap, and necessities are not as expensive as you think.

                                          • Cost of living: $1,290-$1,930
                                          • Major language: French
                                          • Population: 2.244 million (2010 stats)
                                          • Healthcare services: Medical care in Paris is considered one of the best, yet one of the cheapest in the entire Europe, and services are provided to everyone.
                                          • Entertainment: Museums, monuments, jazz night, shopping

                                          Reference

                                          [1] adventurouskate: The Towns of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

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                                          Frank Yung

                                          Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

                                          Your Future Self Will Thank You For Starting To Do This For Only 10 Minutes Every Day 10 Best Standing Desks That Are High in Quality and Cheap in Price Finally, a Way to Avoid Jet Lag: The Jet Lag Calculator The Best Places Around the World to Retire in 2017 Take 5 Minutes To Read And Improve Your Writing Skills Forever

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                                          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                                          How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

                                          How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

                                          Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

                                          However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

                                          Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

                                          Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

                                          Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

                                          In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

                                          What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

                                          To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

                                          The Biology

                                          Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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                                          Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

                                          The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

                                          A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

                                          Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

                                          So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

                                          Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

                                          Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

                                          Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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                                          Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

                                          The Psychology

                                          Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

                                          Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

                                          Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

                                          Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

                                          What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

                                          Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

                                          Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

                                          1. Identify Your Habits

                                          As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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                                          2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

                                          Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

                                          It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

                                          3. Apply Logic

                                          You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

                                          Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

                                          4. Choose an Alternative

                                          As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

                                          Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

                                          5. Remove Triggers

                                          Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

                                          Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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                                          6. Visualize Change

                                          Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

                                          For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

                                          7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

                                          Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

                                          Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

                                          Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

                                          More About Changing Habits

                                          Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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