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More Retirees Seek The Good Life Outside the U.S.

With the first wave of 78 million American baby boomers reaching retirement, many will be lured abroad by a lower cost of living and higher quality of life. Some will want to return to their ancestral countries or to places where they once vacationed, worked or studied. Others will be enticed by retiree perks and tax incentives.

With literally dozens of appealing countries to choose from, narrowing the possibilities can be a daunting task. Here are three alternative destinations to consider.

If you hadn't yet placed formerly unstable Panama on your short list, you might want to. "The Caribbean and Pacific coast of Panama is like Florida," but less crowded with property prices about a tenth of the cost in many cases, says Chuck Bedsole, a Latin America real estate specialist with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Panama offers affordable real estate, a warm climate and great beaches. The Panamanian government has put together an impressive list of benefits, including 20-year tax-free status and discounts on everything from public transportation to restaurants to doctor's visits.

If you don't mind a little cold, Nova Scotia, Canada can be an attractive place to retire. "In addition to universal health care, inexpensive prescription drugs, and the last stretch of affordable oceanfront real estate in North America, Nova Scotia has the picturesque charm of historic New England," says Jo Davenport, an American who immigrated to Nova Scotia two years ago. "The weather is surprisingly milder than in most northen states", she adds.

Ever dreamed of owning a villa in the European countryside? Skip Italy and France. Both are overpriced. Instead, Jan Blazej, a journalist with eTurboNews in Zagre, Croatia, is keen on Eastern Europe for its low cost of living. Croatia, she predicts, will become a "new retirement haven". "More than eight million foreign tourists visited Croatia last year and the Croatian government is expecting more than 10 million in the next years." Indeed, its "Black Sea Riviera" is already attracting Hollywood types and other A-list celebrities.

No matter where you consider settling, do your homework. Make an exploratory visit and stay for a few months before purchasing an property. Be sure to talk with locals and expatriates living there. Most importantly, consult competent real estate and legal professionals before signing on the dotted line.


The Global Life A newsletter covering international living, retirement and travel www.thegloballife.net

Passport to Canada: The Complete Guide to living and Retiring in Nova Scotia www.nsliving.net

About the Author
Phillip Towsend is an international relocation consultant and author.




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