Cotacachi, Ecuador: Paradise at the End of the Rainbow

On a hill above Cotacachi, at a bend in the road overlooking an impossibly green valley, someone has painted a sign on a post. It says Dios esta aqui.?? God is here. No matter what your religious beliefs, this place makes you believe in a higher power. This is the Andes, where magical things happen. And this is where I live. On the day of the summer solstice, not one… but two… rainbows appeared in the sky, one above the …

If I Retire Abroad, How Do I Pick Where to Live?

My husband, Dan, and I will soon celebrate 11 years of living the expat life. Weve lived in seven different locations (in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Ecuador) and spent a considerable amount of time in many, many more especially Belize and Costa Rica. Believe me, weve learned a lot in the past decade! Importantly, weve learned that its impossible to compare and contrast the merits or disadvantages of entire countries. And if youre thinking about retiring to a foreign …

If I Go Abroad, What Happens to My Medicare?

No matter what happens this November or in the four years that follow, one thing is for sure: your Medicare coverage wont be going with you should you decide toretire overseas. Luckily, though, there are many countries where, as a legal resident, you can qualify for a local health care plan thats often even more comprehensive and less costly than Medicare. Heres what you need to know:?Medicare doesnt normally cover health care costs outside the U.S. (And the governments definition …

Why Retiring Abroad Could Save You Money

In a previous blog post, I wrote about one of the key perks of living in Latin America affordability. I wrote that you can live quite comfortably in Latin America on your Social Security benefits, despite the fact that those benefits have only risen 3.6 percent in the last three years. For a retiree in 2012, the average Social Security benefit is $1,230. One of my favorite treats, I mentioned, is that in Ecuador, I can afford to hire …

From Omaha to Ecuador: Can You Live Abroad on Social Security?

This year, 2012, marks the first year since 2009 that U.S. retirees will finally see a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of +3.6 percent in their Social Security benefits. In other words, along with suffering through a tough global economic situation, retirees who depend on Social Security endured three consecutive years without a cost-of-living raise. This was an historical event, mind you the first time in three and a half decades that no cost-of-living increase was forthcoming. And while news of …

From Omaha to Ecuador: Convincing Your Spouse to Retire Abroad

I first met Laura and Joel (not their real names) a decade ago on the shores of Mexicos Lake Chapala where they were vacationing. He was retired and she was happily working as a network television sales executive. He wanted her to quit her job and move to Mexico with him and she was having none of it. A few months later Laura accepted a prestigious promotion and assignment in Hawaii. Joel supported her decision, but made it clear he …