Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
 
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Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the purpose or “mission” of the web site Best Places In The World To Retire?

If you’re considering retiring abroad, Best Places in the World to Retire aims to be your single-stop, credible, organized source for investigating your options. Everything we do is in support of this.

How did Best Places get started?

hammockLike so many other great ideas, Best Places in the World to Retire was started by people who were not able to find what they wanted.

What we wanted was credible on-line information about retiring overseas. What we found instead was a jumble of dispersed information; some credible, some definitely not, and a good amount of marketing and “advertorials.” The more we looked, the more it became clear to us that it would be very difficult for anyone considering retiring overseas to separate the “true” information from information that was “suspect” because the information available at the time was so often part of a sales pitch.

After checking with very reliable sources, we found that literally hundreds of thousands of baby boomers were trying to do the same research that we were, which meant that a huge quantity of them would be as frustrated and “turned off” as us, and as a result, just give up altogether on the idea of retiring overseas. What a shame this was, not only for those who decided not to pursue a retirement overseas because they couldn’t decide who to believe, but also for that portion of vendors who were knowledgeable and trustworthy who otherwise would have had an opportunity to gain a new customer, if only there were a forum for them to display their value and earn their new customers’ trust. Fortunately, some of us had significant experience starting and running successful companies, including companies that were Internet-based, so we had the ability to provide what was needed to both visitors and vendors. BestPlacesintheWorldtoRetire.com was born.

As its first, most important and unalterable mission, BestPlacesintheWorldtoRetire.com is committed to be our visitors’ source for credible information, whether that information leads them to believe that retiring overseas is good for them, or if it leads them to believe that they should not retire overseas. The way we do this is to present our visitors with a site like one we would have liked to have found when we originally tried to do our research: well-organized, unbiased, credible, and where anyone who complies with a reasonable standard of conduct can provide answers to potential overseas retirees’ questions, regardless of if the answers are positive or negative. We hope you will agree that we’ve accomplished our mission and that you find what you’re looking for.

What should I do as a first time visitor?

We’re here to provide you with value and make your visit as useful to you as possible, so we’re glad you asked. As a first step, please visit How To Use This Site, which explains how you can get the most out of your visit with us.

We've tried to make everything very easy and fun to use, but if you're ever confused or don't know what to do next, look for a button to the right with “How Do I Use (whatever area of the site you're visiting)”. After you click the button, your guide will give you more information about that part of the site.

What do the numbers on the trophies next to contributors' pictures mean?

Every single contributor to the Best Places Community is valued.  (We call them “heroes”.)  However, as in every community, there are those who give special effort to be helpful and who deserve special recognition for contributing the most and best.
 
You can easily identify the level of contribution of our “super heroes” by their Contribution Level, which appears in the trophy near their picture.  The higher the number in their trophy, the more contributions they've made to the Best Places community.
 
Here’s how Contribution Levels are calculated:
  • Add a video (4 points)
  • Remove a video (-4 points)
  • Answer a question (6 points)
  • Answer a previously unanswered question (6 points)
  • Have the top rated answer (2 point)
  • Post a story (10 points)
  • Remove a story (- 10 points)
  • Add a comment to a story (1 point)
  • Remove a comment to a story (-1 point)
  • Vote “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on an answer (1 point)
  • Upload a photo (2 points)
 

I don’t see any banners or advertisements or things you’re trying to sell to me on the Best Places site. How do you make any money?

Best Places was created to be a credible, trustworthy site, where potential retirees could find information in an atmosphere free from hype and marketing “come-on’s.”  Consistent with this, we made it so that there’s a complete absence of anybody trying to sell you anything unless and until you are interested.

If you are interested, just go to the Marketplace, which is a separate, low stress, highly credible and useful area for you to contact the vendors you can trust, most likely already known to you as someone who provided you with value by giving a good answer in the Questions  & Answers area or providing a good Expat Story.

How To

How do I use this site?

How To Use This Site

Mary Smith


Meet your fictional guides: Jim Johnson (“JJ” to his friends) and Mary Smith. JJ and Mary are seasoned Best Places visitors, so they can “show you the ropes”

Just click on the buttons of JJ or Mary so they can explain how you can get the most out of the site, whether it’s how to use a particular area of the site, or why some feature may be useful to you.

Jim and Mary recommend that you start at the Best Places Location Advisor, where an interactive, personalized questionnaire will guide you to narrow down which location may be best for your individual needs.

If you would rather go to the Questions & Answers, with thousands of questions and answers about what concerns you most, Jim and Mary will meet you there as well. If you can answer a question, go to that question and click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button.

You might be interested in reading and seeing Expat Stories from real life expats who’ve already “been there, done that”, and who are willing to share their experiences. If you would like to contribute a Story, thanks! Just go to Expat Stories and click on the Contribute Your Story Button.
 

Picture of Jim Johnson- a guide to this site
If you find that you like the answers or stories of a particular contributor, you'll probably enjoy learning more about them. To do so, just click on their picture. This is a great way to get even more background!

If the contributor represents a business, you need what they offer, and they have a Marketplace listing, just click to send them an email or the button to go to their Marketplace listing. Also, you can also go directly to the Marketplace section.

If you’re interested in Best Places notifying you about the things you’re most interested in, please don’t forget to create an account. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s free.

 

 

How do I use the Location Advisor?

Mary helps explain the Location Advisor
You’re going to love this. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it will help point you in the right direction.

1. From the left menu, click on a category, like “Type of Home” or “Lifestyle".

2. Select one or more of the attributes from the choices that appear that fit your personality.

3. Review the locations that meet your criteria.

The Location Advisor is interactive, which means that you can click your choices in any order, click some, un-click others, and the Advisor will continue to find the best match.  You can even click on additional categories from the left menu bar, in any order you like.

If you find the same location coming up a lot, you may have found your new home. Click on the name of the location to read more.

Enjoy your journey. You’re about to “audition” locations, all to your very own specifications.

How do I use Questions & Answers?

Jim Johnson helps you use the Q & A

If you’re looking for answers or you’re willing to answer questions about moving or living abroad, you've come to the right place! Choose your category until you see the question you want, and then click on the question title.   From there, you’ll see all the answers to the question you chose.

If you’re one of those Best Places heroes who is willing to answer questions that will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people thinking about moving overseas, just go to the question you’d like to answer, and click on the Contribute Your Answer Button.

How do I use Expat Stories?

Jim Johnson helps share expat stories

If you're like me and you love stories about things you’re interested in, you've come to the right place.  Stories help us to get a real feel for what it would really be like to live abroad, don’t you agree?  To read stories of real people just like you who’ve moved abroad, start by category, at the menu bar. If you know a Storyteller, you can search by their name.

Everyone in the Best Places Community really appreciates our Storytellers. If you’re living outside North America, hundreds of thousands of people want to hear your story. Won’t you share with us? It’s simple. To get started, just click on the Contribute Your Story Button.

How do I search for information I can't find?

If you've got a question or would like more information on any topic but can't find it, try using the Search Box.  It's located at the right towards the top of every page.  You can search by text, or by image.

Location Advisor

What is the purpose of the Location Advisor?

The Best Places in the World to Retire Location Advisorwas created to act as your electronic, interactive and knowledgeable guide to help you to narrow down which locations may work best for you.

And just like a good guide, the Location Advisor asks you questions so it can discover what YOU want.  Every time you give an answer, the Advisor either adds or subtracts locations that meet your needs.

Just like some people are more serious and some are more playful, some of the questions are more serious and some are more playful.  Depending on what's important to you, just answer the questions that make sense for your personality.

Please know that, when describing a location, it is impossible to be 100% precise.  For many attributes, two people may view the same location differently. For that reason, look to the Location Advisor as only a rough (but pretty interesting) guide.

If you keep seeing the same locations advised for you, you can either click on the name of the location to read a summary, or go to the Community Q & A to continue your investigation.

How do I use the Location Advisor?

Mary explains the location advisor
You’re going to love this. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it will help point you in the right direction.

1. Choose your category from the left menu bar, such as "Type of Home” or “Lifestyle.

2. Click on the answers in the column to the right of the menu bar that fit your personality.

3. Review the locations that meet your criteria.

The Location Advisor is interactive, which means that you can click your choices in any order, click some, un-click others, and the Advisor will continue to find the best match.  You can also choose from additional categories from the left menu bar.

If you find the same location coming up a lot, you may have found your new home. Click on the name of the location to read more.

Enjoy your journey. You’re about to “audition” locations, all to your very own specifications.

Why should I use the Location Advisor?

The Location Advisor was created to act as your electronic, interactive and knowledgeable guide to help you to narrow down which locations may work best for you.

People tell us that one of the best things about the Best Places Location Advisor is that it made suggestions of places that otherwise would never have occurred to them.  Use the Advisor in the same way to broaden your search.  Who knows?  Maybe the Best Places in the World to Retire Location Advisor will uncover your perfect location, too.

How accurate is the Location Advisor?

The Best Places in the World to Retire Location Advisor was designed to be a fun, interactive way to get a rough idea of which locations may fit your personality, budget, needs and wants.  As with any software like this, it is very difficult to be absolutely definitive on any of the answers.  So, use the Location Advisor as a good guide, and have fun with it.  If you find that the same location keeps coming up as being right for you, you’ve probably got a good match.  To find out more about this location, go to the Best Places Questions & Answers.

Questions & Answers

What's special about Questions & Answers?

Best Places Questions & Answers is based on two principles:

  • The best way to get authoritative, credible, and non-biased information is to ask a question to a large and diverse community, allow those who want to answer it to do so, and then to allow the community to vote on the answers.  That way, the best answers tend to “float to the top”.
  • Just like in “real life,” many times, for many types of questions, there is no one “right” answer.  For example, if you ask two people “How good is the lifestyle in New York City?” you could get two different answers, based on what each person describes as “good”.  While a person who loves the excitement and density of city life could say that the lifestyle in New York is great, someone who wants to go mountain biking every day in the desert won’t like it at all.  Because of this, Best Places encourages many people to answer, and to give the reasons for their answer. That way, you can decide which answer best suites your own needs.

How do I use Questions & Answers?

Jim Johnson explains how to use the Community Q & A

If you’re looking for answers or you’re willing to answer questions about moving or living abroad, you've come to the right place! Choose your category until you see the question you want, and then click on the question title.  From there, you’ll see all the answers to the question you chose.

If you’re one of those Best Places heroes who is willing to answer questions that will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people thinking about moving overseas, just go to the question you’d like to answer, and click on the Contribute Your Answer Button.

What's the fastest way to find a question I'm looking for?

There are many ways to look for particular questions, and each way is good, but for different purposes.

If you have a general question about moving abroad, click on the menu for "Worldwide".

If you've got a question about a particular country or a particular region of a country, we recommend you use the menu options to locate the place you're interested in, and then browse the question categories for that place.

If you're interested in a specific question or answer and can't find it using the menu items, try using the Search Box for the entire Best Places site.  It's located towards at top of every page to the right.  You can search by text, or by image.

Can I trust the answers in Questions & Answers?

The Best Places in the World to Retire Questions & Answers was designed to be as trustworthy as any source could be. We do this in three ways:

  1. We get a diversity of opinion.  Multiple people can answer the same question, and anyone can answer in any way he or she pleases.  Best Places does not edit, change, or remove answers, consistent with our Conditions of Use policy.
  2. The Community votes on the quality of each answer.  That way, the “best” answers tend to go to the top. (Please keep in mind, however, that “best” is a subjective term, and some very good and accurate answers may not get as many votes.)
  3. No one is in the process of selling you something with their answer. (Contrast this to sites that give answers in the process of trying to get you to make a purchase.)  On the Best Places site, lots of diverse people answer questions.  Some don’t represent any company whatsoever, some represent a non-profit and some represent a more traditional company.  Everyone’s answer, including those of vendors, can be valuable to you, and we recommend that you read them all.  (In fact, our experience has been that vendors provide some of the best and most accurate answers.)  For every question a vendor answers, you’ll see his or her name and company name, so you know who they are and go to their profile, but, in keeping with the non-commercial status of Community Q & A, no vendor contact information is allowed in this area.  If you want to contact someone representing an organization (and we hope you will, to repay the vendor’s kindness in answering questions honestly), you can contact vendors directly in their Marketplace listing.

Why should I answer a question?

People answer questions (and also post Expat Stories) because they want to be helpful.

In addition, if you’d like us to, we’ll include your name and your company name next to every question you answer, so answering questions can be great publicity for you and your business.  That way, assuming you give a really good and complete answer, you’ll get credit for contributing to the Community, and, for each question you answer, you’ll get free publicity and enhanced credibility for you and your company, all in front of hundreds of thousands of just the people you’d like to meet.

How can I answer a question?

Thanks for asking!  Every time a knowledgeable person answers a question, the entire Best Places Community benefits.  To answer a question, just go to Questions & Answers, find the question you want to answer, and depress the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button.

What are the guidelines for writing a good answer to a question?

Nothing is more important on our site than your answers to visitors' questions. Here are some guidelines to make the experience great for everyone:

  • Answer as many questions as you can.  (You can certainly come back at later, if you run out of time.)  The more questions you answer, the more you’ll be helping our visitors and the more you’ll be recognized as an expert.
  • If a question has already been answered by someone else but you can add something to it, add your answer to the group.  The site is designed to have many answers to each question, because people have different opinions and different perspectives, all of which is appreciated by our visitors.  The more answers to each question, the better.
  • Don't just "copy and paste" content from somewhere else, even if it's from your own site.  If you don't make changes to content that already exists elsewhere, the search engines won't give you credit for your answer.  If you want even more credit, write something new.
  • While everyone appreciates any sized good answer, longer, more complete answers with context are prized even more.  If you can add videos or pictures, please do so.  Our visitors love them!  Also, don’t be afraid to add personal experiences.  The more complete you are with your answer and the more of your personality you reveal, the more useful it is to our visitors.
  • In order to maintain the credibility of everyone’s answers, this part of the site is non-commercial, so no links, e-mail addresses or numbers are allowed.

(If you'd like to learn how to upload a video, click here to go to YouTube's homepage.)

How can I ask my own question?

The Best Places Community loves it when new people ask questions.  In order to ask your own question, go to Best Places in the World to Retire Questions & Answers and type your question into the box underneath “Ask Your Own Question” to the left of the screen.  Assuming the question hasn't been asked before, we’ll post it, and if you subscribe to it, you'll know when its been answered.

How can I edit or delete an answer I provided in Questions & Answers?

It is not possible for a contributor to edit their answer in Questions & Answers.  The reason is that, after the community has voted on the answer, it could be misleading to allow contributors to change the content of their answer.

Contributors also cannot delete an answer.  If you would like to delete your answer, please send an e-mail to Customer Service.

Expat Stories

Why should I visit the Expat Stories section?

Our visitors told us that, in addition to just having answers to questions, they wanted more; they wanted real stories by real people just like themselves.  Our visitors told us that stories provided context and helped them to understand on a deeper level what it would be like to live abroad, just like talking with someone who’s “been there, done that”.

To see for yourself, visit Expat Stories.

Why should I post an Expat Story?

We call the knowledgeable, diverse and generous people who provide Expat Stories “heroes”!  These Storytellers and those who answer questions are the heart of the Best Places Community, and distinguish us from other sites where just a few paid people publish information of questionable value while in the process of trying to sell you something.

If you’re willing to contribute by providing an Expat Story, all of us thank you.  If you’re not a vendor, we won’t ask for a company name.  If you are a vendor, we are very happy to have you include the company you represent.  That way, we can give you free publicity and add to your reputation, all in front of hundreds of thousands of people you’d like to know you better.

How can I post an Expat Story?

Thanks for asking. Just go to Expat Stories and click on the Contribute Your Story Button.

What are the guidelines for writing a good Expat Story?

Contributors like you make our site great.  Here are some guidelines for writing a good Expat Story:

  • Nothing helps to tell your story like pictures and videos.  For example, if you live in Volcan, why not walk around your house, tell us what we’re looking at, and upload the video?  People will love it!  (If you'd like to learn how to use YouTube, go to the YouTube homepage by clicking here.)
  • If you’ve had a great experience with a particular vendor, tell the community about it!  (You can name the vendor and his or her business, but in keeping with the non-commercial nature of this area of the site, you can’t include any links, e-mail addresses or phone numbers.)
  • If you are a vendor, while you’re not allowed to put in any phone numbers or links, you’ll still get the credit you deserve by everyone recognizing your name and company name.  The more quality content you contribute, the better your reputation. Write a lot, write often, and upload those pictures and videos!  It's easy.  The community thanks you, and will recognize your contributions.

What's the fastest way to find a particular story or a particular Storyteller?

The fastest way to find an Expat Story about a country or a topic that interests you is to use the Expat Stories menu.  (On computers and tablets, its on the left.)

If you're looking for stories by a particular writer, enter that writer's name in "SEARCH BY WRITER", towards the top.

If you're interested in searching the entire Best Places site, you can always use the search box located towards the top of every page, towards the right.  There, you can search by text, or by image.

 

How can I edit or delete an Expat Story I've posted?

First, log in.   After that, go to the Expat Story you'd like to edit or delete.  You can do this many different ways, including 1) navigating to it from the Expat Story menu; 2) searching for your own name in Search by Storyteller; and 3) clicking on the Expat Story you posted from your own account.   Once you're at the correct Expat Story, you'll see the "Delete" and "Edit" icons.   (Note: you won't see these icons if you're not logged in.)

Creating A New Account and Logging In

Why should I create an account?

You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.  And, unlike many other sites, Best Places allows you access to almost all functionality without having to register.  There’s no “secret club” or “enhanced membership” you need in order to access better or more complete information.   However, if you’re interested, we ask you to create an account to do any of the following:

  • Ask a question.  We want to limit the possibility of people asking irresponsible questions.
  • Answer a question.  We want to limit the possibility of people answering irresponsibly.  Also, if you want credit, we need to know your name and if you’re a vendor we need to know your company name in order to let people know who you are.
  • Vote on a question.  We want to limit the possibility of people voting more than once and voting irresponsibly.
  • Contribute a Story.  We want to limit the possibility of people irresponsibly posting in Stories.  Also, if you want credit, we need to know your name and if you’re a vendor we need to know your company name in order to let people know who you are.
  • Get newsletters.  We need to know where to send the e-mail.

We will NEVER sell or use your account information irresponsibly.

To create an account, click here.

How do I create a new account?

To create a new account, click here.

Newsletters

What does the newsletter include?

The newsletter contains the question or story of the day, our newest questions and stories, and our newest contributors, all great ways to keep informed of fresh, usable information about moving overseas, doing business overseas, or just visiting overseas.

Also, it's free!

How can I change how often I receive newsletters?

At the bottom of every newsletter, there's a link to follow to tell us how often you want to receive it.

How do I tell Best Places to remove me from the newsletter list?

At the bottom of every newsletter, there's a link for you to click if you would like to be removed from our newsletter list.

Marketplace and Vendor Q & A

Why do vendors answer questions and post Expat Stories?

Vendors answer questions and post Stories for the same reasons that other people do: as a group, they have an enormous amount of valuable information and experience, and they want to share it in order to be helpful to you.   Best Places allows vendors to include their company name so that, if you find value in the answers or Stories of a particular vendor, you’ll know what company he or she represents.  You get the information you need, and the vendors can get some free publicity.

Can I trust vendor answers and the Expat Stories they post?

We’ve constructed the Best Places site so that it is especially in the interest of vendors to give you complete and accurate information, because the Best Places Community will let you know how good the vendor's information is.  No vendor wants to have his or her name and company name associated with an answer that gets a lot of “thumbs down” votes in Community Q & A or bad comments or questions in Expat Stories.

To the contrary, vendors compete to get “thumbs up” votes in Community Q & A, and nothing but good comments in Expat Stories.  The reason is that, each time this happens, the reputation of these vendors with people like you (their potential customers) gets better, and you’re more likely to buy from them, if and when the time is right.   It is in this way that Best Places and the Best Places Community helps to weed out the bad vendors.

That’s why we say with confidence “Only the best vendors are Best Places vendors.”

I want to contact a vendor who answered a question. How do I do that?

For any vendor who has a Marketplace listing, it's easy.  Just click on the email button in the vendor's profile, or next to each of their answers and stories.

If you want to learn more about a particular vendor as a person, click on their picture.  If you want to learn more about their business, click on the "About..." button in the vendor's profile, or next to each of their answers and stories.

If you just want to go to the Marketplace section to search for vendors by what services they provide and where they're located, click here.

 

What is the Marketplace?

Marketplace has complete vendor information, including what they offer for sale, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, website addresses, pictures and videos.

The way most people find out about vendors on our site is through first reading an answer or story posted by a vendor.  Then, if the visitor to our site fwants to know more about a particular vendor, he or she may look at that vendor's personal profile.  Each vendor's profile tells the visitor a little more about the vendor as a person.  If the visitor feels comfortable with the vendor and may want to do business with him or her, we provide email addresses and links to the vendor's Marketplace listing.

The most reputable vendors love this transparency and way of doing business, because it helps them to distinguish themselves from their less reputable competition, and it encourages potential customers to have enough confidence to even call in the first place, as opposed to just having a listing somewhere else, where potential customers would not have this familiarity and confidence to call. The vendors with the best answers and Expat Stories will get the most “thumbs up”, while the less reputable vendors will go elsewhere, and try to get business by advertising just on their site or on other sites.  Isn't the Best Places way better than just looking at an advertisement and blindly calling or just not trusting anyone and not calling at all?

Combine all this information and you’ll have a really good idea of the character, integrity, and competence of the person you’re considering doing business with.  It’s for this reason that Best Places believes that there is no other site that has better vendors, and vendors more deserving of your consideration.

For vendors, the Marketplace is where you can gain the most from your well-earned reputation.  You're able to meet with, interact with, and promote to thousands of potential clients, each of whom is actively searching for answers in your area of expertise and each of whom already, in some way, knows you.  Everybody wins.

If you’d like to be a vendor, just register, or, if you'd rather, send an e-mail to BusDev@BestPlacesInTheWorldToRetire.com

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
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Phone: (US) 520-498-0427