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The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget: How to Live Well on $25,000 a Year


Reinvent your retirement

Imagine retiring 5 or 10 years early to a charming villa with a guest house, an ocean view, a weekly home cleaning service, and fresh milk and flowers delivered every morning. Now imagine living this life on $2,000 a month or less while expanding your horizons and having the grand adventure of a lifetime. This is no fairytale—this is the reality that millions of baby boomers are discovering as they enter or near retirement. In this book, you’ll discover where to find the good life at a price you can afford, and how you can make this dream future your own.

Authors Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher are a married couple who, over 12 years ago, left Omaha, Nebraska in search of a new life. Ever since, they have written about their expatriate experiences for International Living magazine, the only print magazine in the United States that focuses on living better for less overseas. In the pages of this book, their expertise is at your disposal, along with the most current information on purchasing property, securing health care, documentation requirements, banking, and more.

The first step to relocating to paradise is finding the post-career haven that’s right for you. The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget is a practical and inspirational manual for imagining a new life—and then making it happen. With the little-known information, tools, and insights in this book, retirement can be everything you always hoped it would be. Live your adventure!

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SUZAN HASKINS and DAN PRESCHER have been writing about life outside the United States for more than 12 years. Suzan and Dan ran a marketing firm in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2001, they moved to Quito, Ecuador to write for International Living. They have traveled and lived in numerous locations in Central and South America.

Bill Bonner ix

What if you could retire better, more affordably, and even earlier than you expected? xi

Part one
Contemplating an Exciting Move . . .1

Chapter 1
Can You Afford to Retire Where You Live? 3

Chapter 2
Can You Really Live (Well) Overseas on $25,000 a Year? 15

Chapter 3
What’s Your Deal Breaker? 23

Chapter 4
The Most Common (and Avoidable) Mistakes Expats Make 33

Chapter 5
Health Care: Myth versus Reality 39

Chapter 6
The Challenges of Language and Culture 53

Part TWO
Making the Move: It’s a Big World . . . Where Should YOU Go? 61

Chapter 7
Belize: No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem (and It’s All in English!) 63

Chapter 8
Costa Rica:Your Easiest Choice 73

Chapter 9
Ecuador: Something for Everyone 87

Chapter 10
Mexico: The Top Foreign Destination for U.S. and Canadian Retirees 103

Chapter 11
Nicaragua: Ready for Prime Time 117

Chapter 12
Panama: The World’s Best Retirement Program (and Much More) 131

Chapter 13
Uruguay: More First World Than the United States? 145

Chapter 14
Europe: All the Ingredients for the Good Life 157

Chapter 15
Southeast Asia: Exotic and Affordable 175

Chapter 16
Boots on the Ground: Zeroing In on the Community That’s Right for You 189

Chapter 17
You Found Your Paradise. Now What?: Should You Rent or Buy? And How to Know When Halfway Isn’t the Wrong Way 199

Chapter 18
Once You Know Where You’re Going: Put Your Plan in Action 207

Once You Get There: Adjusting to Your New Life 217

Chapter 19
Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitude: Maintaining the Bridge between Your Past and Present Lives 219

Chapter 20
When the Hammock Gets Boring: What to Do after You Retire and Move Overseas 227

Chapter 21
Moving On: This Is Not a One-Way Highway 239

If We Knew Then What We Know Now 245

Index 251