El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ok....seriously.....can you guess which country this is?

And the Winner Is...
By Eoin Bassett

Exotic tropical islands, temperate mountain valleys, miles of deserted beaches, First-World cities packed with ultra-modern amenities, and ancient vineyard-shrouded hill towns...
Among the top retirement spots in the world this year, you’ll find great variety in the cultural offerings, climates and lifestyles.
Each destination is desirable in its own way, but they all offer something increasingly hard to come by at home: A good quality of life for a reasonable price. Among these 22 destinations, you’ll discover places where you can save tens of thousands of dollars on world-class health care administered by English-speaking and U.S.-trained doctors...find beachfront condos for less than $90,000...and see that a couple can live well on just $900 a month excluding rent.
Now, no "formula" can spit out the name of the place that’s just right for you. After all, your priorities are uniquely yours. You need to consider what’s most important to you—maybe climate, maybe language, maybe cost, maybe distance from home—and use this index to target accordingly the places you want to explore. The only way you’ll really know if a destination makes sense for you is to go and see it for yourself.
Each year as we compile this Retirement Index, we strive to improve it. We collect more—and more diverse—data. We interview more—and more varied—expats to get the real-world information that keeps our assessments current. This index is, by design, subjective. It wouldn’t be half as helpful if it weren’t. We bring to it more than three decades of expertise and the insights from an international network of correspondents living overseas today and scouting the world on your behalf.
But only one destination could come out on top. And, as expats there tell us, our winner deserves its place.
"Our life here is everything we hoped for," says expat Mike Grimm, who made the move two-and-a-half years ago with his wife Patty. "We’re totally happy and plan to live here the rest of our lives."
There’s so much to choose from, that whatever your taste or budget, you’ll find somewhere to call home here. Whether you’d prefer to live alongside a gently flowing river in a scenic valley, or favor the cosmopolitan lifestyle of big-city living, or want to relax in smaller communities...our winner exceeds even the loftiest expectations. And wherever you go, you’ll meet friendly locals who are happy to welcome you to their beautiful country.
Moving here is easy. For a start, you can import your household goods duty-free. And this country offers some of the best-value real estate in the world. But for many, the true draw is the perfect climate.
The country also boasts top-notch hospitals, clinics and well-trained physicians. All residents are eligible to participate in the country’s Social Security health care system for incredibly low monthly premiums.
Out-of-pocket expenses for doctor visits, procedures, and drugs are a fraction of what you would pay in the U.S. When our insider visited his GP recently, it cost just $25—no waiting—and follow-up visits were free.
And that’s not all that’s cheap here, he says.
"You’ll have dinner out for $2.50, an hour-long massage for $25...a beer costs $0.85 and I know couples living on less than $900 a month excluding rent."
If you want to keep busy with work, it’s one of the best countries for an expat start-up. There are expats here running restaurants, gyms, schools and making money through import-export.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you’re respected in this country as a senior. Seniors who are residents qualify for half-price entertainment and local transport, discounted airfares, and refunds of sales tax. They’ll even let you cut in line at the store!

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