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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 September 18, 2020

                                          How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                                          How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                                          Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

                                          Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

                                          Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

                                          How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

                                          Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

                                          Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

                                          What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

                                          1. Create an Exciting Vision

                                          If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

                                          You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

                                          What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

                                          Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

                                          Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

                                            Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

                                            Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

                                            Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

                                            2. Build a Strategic Plan

                                            Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

                                            Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

                                            You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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                                            The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

                                            The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

                                            These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

                                            3. Get on Goal Planning

                                            Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

                                            Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

                                            Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

                                            This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

                                            Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

                                            These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

                                            Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

                                            Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

                                            4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

                                            You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

                                            But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

                                            Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

                                            You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

                                            One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

                                            Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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                                            Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

                                            It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

                                            5. Completely Commit to Your Success

                                            If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

                                            Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

                                            Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

                                            Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

                                            How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

                                            When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

                                            And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

                                            6. Focus on Your Strengths

                                            To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

                                            What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

                                            Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

                                            If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

                                            Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

                                            Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

                                            7. Embrace the Present

                                            Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

                                            Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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                                            We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

                                            Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

                                            8. Calm the Whirlwind

                                            The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

                                            Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

                                            There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

                                            Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

                                            Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

                                            Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

                                            Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

                                            In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

                                            Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

                                            Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

                                            9. Take More Time off

                                            This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

                                            If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

                                            You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

                                            The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

                                            Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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                                            Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

                                            Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

                                            Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

                                            10. Celebrate Wins

                                            Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

                                            You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

                                            Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

                                            If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

                                            Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

                                            11. Give Yourself More Space

                                            When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

                                            Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

                                            Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

                                            If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

                                            In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

                                            A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

                                            Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

                                            This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

                                            The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

                                            More on How to Be Self-Assured

                                            Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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