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Latino Daily News

Monday July 26, 2010

MEXICO and PANAMA: AARP Travel Magazine Selects Them As Top Places to Retire Abroad

Experts in celebrating the next chapter in life, AARP The Magazine traveled the globe to discover the ultimate retirement destinations abroad.  Factoring climate, expat community, cost of living, housing, health care, access to the U.S. and culture and leisure, AARP The Magazine reveals the top five locales in its September/October issue

1.  MEXICO—Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is the undisputed number one destination for American retirees.  With its rich Indian and Spanish culture, lavish beaches and affordable real-estate, Puerto Vallarta offers the low-cost, laid back lifestyle retirees seek to find in a community. 
Some Reasons we love it:
• Climate: Winters—sunny, pleasantly warm; summers—rainy, humid hot
• Expat Community: Estimated at 50,000 American retirees
• Access to the U.S.: Excellent

2.  FRANCE—Languedoc-Roussillon
Once remote, the Languedoc-Roussillon region is now just three hours from the bright lights and bustling energy of Paris via high-speed train.  The area is steeped in history and art.  Languedoc-Roussillon is also a destination for the outdoor crowd with picturesque hills and beach along its Mediterranean seashore.
Some Reasons we love it:
• Climate: Mediterranean—hot and dry summers; cool winters
• Cost of Living: Not cheap, but a comfortably frugal life can be had for $30,000 a year
• Heath Care:  Excellent.  French health care has been named the best in the world by the World Health Organization

3.  PANAMA—Boquete
Panama is a smart choice for retirees who want it all.  Not only does it feature attractive retiree destinations, Panama also offers an unbeatable package of retiree benefits and discounts. Boquete has a unique range of back-home amenities, from a golf course to high-end gated communities.
Some Reasons we love it:
• Expat Community: An estimated several thousand
• Housing Costs: A small house goes for $175,000; in a gated community, $250,000 and up.  Rentals: about $600 a month for a two bedroom house
• Culture and Leisure: Rainforest hiking, river rafting, bird watching and coffee plantation tours keep Panama a bustling location for leisure

4.  PORTUGAL—Cascais
Many wonder why Portugal has long been overlooked by American retirees.  A plentitude of golf, beaches, resorts and trendy cafe life makes Portugal one of Europe’s most pleasant surprises for retirees.
Some Reasons we love it:
• Cost of Living: A comfortable life can be had on $25,000 a year
• Health Care:  Good.  Nearby hospitals include the well-regarded British Hospital in Lisbon
• Access to the U.S.: Excellent.  Direct flights to-and-from the U.S. fly out of Lisbon

5.  ITALY—Le Marche
Le Marche, bordering the Adriatic, is beautiful region with vineyards, snow-capped mountains and beaches a plenty.  It also prides itself on the best fish dishes in the country and is trendy enough to have snagged Dustin Hoffman as a tourism spokesperson!
Some Reasons we love it:
• Climate: Mostly sunny
• Expat Community: Relatively few; an international mix
• Culture and Leisure: An incomparable mix of open-air opera festivals, Renaissance painting and architecture, wine tasting and nature reserves

To avoid red tape, culture shock and language barriers, AARP The Magazine shares seven questions future retirees MUST ASK THEMSELVES before starting the exciting process of retiring abroad.  For more information and an extended list of AARP The Magazine’s “Best Places to Retire Abroad.