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Zach Smith of Anywhere – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Riding bikes by the beach – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn general, the best places to live is anywhere where you can find fresh food, areas where there is relative peace, areas where there is an emphasis on education, and a place where people want to be a productive member of society. You can look at different cultures through that lens and then start to identify parts of the world that are attractive.
 
The Mediterranean, traditionally, has a very good reputation as far as lifestyle and pace of life. There are parts of Mexico and Central America that come to mind. These places are also relatively peaceful. I haven’t been everywhere so it is hard for me to comment about places I haven’t been to but in general, if you want to live abroad, you must pick somewhere that aligns with your values. It is usually cloudy for half of the year in Germany but this country is really organized and you there is great infrastructure, so for some people, living in Germany offers a perfect lifestyle. A best place to live could be on an island of Belize where you wake up in the morning and go snorkeling every day. 
 
(Pictured: potentially, your daily commute.)
Ross of Abroad We Go – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Castle in Segovia, Spain – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFor me, Spain would be one of the best places in the world to live. I love Spain. The cost of living in Spain is less expensive than most of Europe, the people are great, very fun and lively, and the climate is terrific. In Spain, there’s so much to see if you’re interested in castles and medieval history, beaches, and beautiful mountains. The food in Spain is also great. Overall, I find the people as one of the biggest draws to Spain.
 
The second best place in the world to live is Brazil. Brazil has an absolutely stunning natural beauty. It’s absolutely beautiful. In addition, the people are one of Brazil’s best resources and the cost of living in Brazil is much lower than in the United States.
 
However, people are getting a bad impression of Brazil because of the way the press shows crime. The crime in Brazil is not really as bad as people think or say. Brazil is just like Mexico, where you get respected if you mind your own business, do your own thing, and stay out of areas where you shouldn’t be, anyway. I lived in Brazil for over a year and can attest to that based on my experience. I never had one problem at all in Brazil. In fact, I had more problems in New York and Chicago than I had in Brazil. 
 
(Castle in Segovia, Spain, pictured.)
Robert Irvin of The Oaks Tamarindo Condominiums-- Costa Rica – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Beach at Guanacaste, Costa Rica – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFor me the answer is easy: Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
 
While this answer may not apply to you, the way that I reached it may help you find your answer. When I first visited Costa Rica almost 15 years ago, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. It simply was one of those happy accidents that travel brings. Having lived many years in Miami, I found the cultural similarities and differences attractive, and I set out to explore Costa Rica in search of the perfect place for me. Without organizing my thoughts all that well, I found that my guidelines for the best place in the world to live boiled down to three boxes to check, the three Cs: climate, culture and convenience.
 
I was used to a warm subtropical climate in Miami. I loved the heat, the humidity not so much. So climate was my first box to check.  After wandering around Costa Rica, that led me to Guanacaste, hot but not too humid. Check. From late November through March, sunny with no chance of rain. From April through early November, partly cloudy with chance of showers.
 
My second box to check was convenience. I wanted to live no more than an hour's drive from an international airport. Liberia International Airport (LIR) is exactly 48 minutes away from my home and offers direct nonstop flights to Miami and many other gateway cities. Check. That is important to me for my convenience and also for the convenience of other Americans that I knew would be buying or renting condominiums at my resort (which I had not yet developed; that mission was accomplished almost ten years ago).
 
My third box was culture. I had come to love the Latin culture, and also the multinational culture, in Miami. I was looking for the same, only a slower, more relaxed, peaceful version, both Latin and multinational. I found that in Guanacaste, with a local population that is slow-moving and friendly, with one of the world's Blue Zones where people live the longest, healthiest lives. It is a plus that I speak Spanish, but English, French, Italian and German also can be found within 500 meters of my home.
 
For me, Guanacaste, Costa Rica is the best place to live in the world. For you, create and check your own boxes, and in so doing discover your own best place in the world to live. We might become neighbors.
By Edgington – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Biblioteca España, Medellín, Colombia – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingDepends entirely on what you're looking for: Quiet and stimulus free? Cheap and unadorned? Lower cost of living? I can only relate our experience. We lived in Boquete Panama for a year. Then we made the mistake of visiting Medellin Colombia, and fell in love with it. We stayed five days in Medellin, and knew it was the place we wanted to call home. If you're a city person who, like us, loves a good symphony, libraries, parks, public transportation and all other big city attractions, Medellin may be for you. With 3 million people, Medellin hums with activity, traffic, noise (at times) and the usual chaos of city life. But for a city its size, we've never seen one so clean. It has world class public transport, and that feature is very, very cheap. We can go anywhere in Medellin on the Metro for about $3.00 US. There are 40,000 taxis in Medellin (true story) and they, too, are very cheap, two or three dollars at most to go anywhere.
 
The downside? Due to its geographical siting, Medellin does have a significant air quality problem. City officials are addressing it in novel ways. For example, all those taxis I mentioned are required to have LP gas instead of gasoline. The buses are in line for that conversion as well. So the air is getting cleaner.
 
All in all, and again for us, Medellin is the best place we've found thus far.
 
(The  stunning architecture of the library, Biblioteca España in Medellín, Colombia, pictured.)
John Gilbert of PanamaKeys – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The Gilbert girls gather leaf matter from their property for their chicken coop, Volcan, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWithout ascribing names to which places are the best places to live in the world, first of all, I would say that you would have to align your goals for yourself and your family with the goals of the place you’re looking at living. For example, if you’re looking for a freedom-loving country, or if you want to have or feel like you have more personal freedoms and liberties, you must look at a country that has that on the table. For example, people looking for more freedom and liberty in their life are not necessarily looking to move to Iran. 
 
Personal freedom was high on my list, and that’s why I chose a country that had that, or had the ability to have that. My family and I wanted to live in a place where my wife and I could raise our children and where I could live my life with little to no government intrusion, which we found here in Panama, which was a great fit for us.
 
In general, Panama is a little bit more socialistic than the US regarding labor laws. There are a lot of labor rights that the people working for a company get to have. They’re actually a little bit on the oppressive side toward the business, but when you’re looking at the country as a whole, Panama has a bicameral legislature, a president, a supreme court, and a stable and steady judicial system that is blind to your nationality- whether you are a Panamanian or a foreigner. 
 
Here in Panama, there are true property rights, and titled property and land rights. As a foreigner, I can invest here in Panama freely in the real estate market whether in my own name or under a corporate name.
 
The territorial tax system in Panama is advantageous. In the United States, I am taxed on my income on a certain percentage. If I live outside of the United States for 330 days a year, my wife and I get the advantage of a US credit of more than $100,000 for each of us against each of our income taxes. That means that if we’re married and we file separately, we can double up on that exclusion. Being here in Panama where they have a territorial tax system, my income earned in the United States is not taxed up to the amount of the exclusion. That makes it tremendously advantageous for high-income US wage earners who have the ability to work remotely from Panama.
 
In a lot of these countries, though the government wants to get more involved in your business, they can’t because they don’t have the ability to do so. Irrespective of how socialist the country may or may not be, like Nicaragua for example, a government with few resources will just leave you alone because they don’t have the ability to get into your business. 
 
Here in Panama, there’s no FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS, OSHA, or any of these other three-letter or four-letter organizations that what we have in the United States that when taken individually may not be an inherently oppressive system, but when taken macro economically, you’ll see all the many different ways that America tries to control your life and makes you start to realize that maybe you’re a slave to the system without even knowing it. Maybe you don’t have the freedoms any more than you thought you did, because you existed alongside these little three-letter entities. 
 
I didn’t want to feel like that anymore, so I came to Panama where those things don’t exist. Here in Panama, I can be myself and I can do whatever I want without worrying about looking over my shoulder. For example, if I annoy someone by accident, or if I said the wrong words, I’m not going to be ostracized by the community because that just doesn’t exist here. 
 
All the things that exist in America, such as the Black Lives Matter Movement and the crazy Leftist ideologies, are not systemic and epidemic here in Panama. They’re simply not part of the equation.
 
(The Gilbert girls gather leaf matter from their property for their chicken coop, Volcan, Panama, pictured.)
Robert Adams of Retirement Wave – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Presented with permission from Bob Adams, of Retirement Wave
 
 
People often ask me why I came to Panama, but I’d like to talk about something more general today, whether you choose Panama or some other country, something that’s drawn from my own experience.  In 1967 when I was the ripe old age of 22, I set off as a Peace Corp volunteer to the Philippines.  And for the 43 years since then, with the exception of two or three, I spent all of my professional life working all over the world-- 40 to 50 countries.
 
I did most of my work in nutrition and agriculture but all of it was in economic development.  I worked for the United Nations for various agencies, I’ve worked for the US Foreign Aid Program, I’ve worked for a whole variety of non-profits and humanitarian agencies and I’ve worked for business firms.  Most of my work was directly associated with economic development; in fact all of it was in one form or another.  I would work in one country one year and then three years later I’d come back to do another job in the same country and I often found that a country had made no progress.  Some of them had slid back.  Some had made a little progress.  Some made a fair amount of progress over time.  And, like so many people with my background, especially since economic development is our professional field, we’d like to know why it is that in some countries, it seems to “take” and in other countries, it does not.  What differentiates these two groups of nations?
 
My determination after all these years is really a simple one, and it’s fairly easy to test.  If you talk to enough people in a country, and you ask them to tell you about their country, one group is going to talk with you about past glories that are no longer the case.  Their wonderful history, or what they were like 500 years ago or 100 years ago or 50 years ago.  Others will talk about some horrible war that was lost, a battle that was lost, or something terrible that happened in the past that they feel has made their lives miserable ever since.  Some of these events are a thousand years ago.  It’s astonishing to hear people talk about them.  Others may 30 or 40 years ago.  The critical issue is that these folks invariably, when they have a general topic to discuss regarding their country, focus on the past.  Whether it was a beautiful, wonderful past or a horrible, terrific past, it was the past.
 
In another set of countries where I ask the same question, people will talk about how thing are today, what they’re doing now, but they will talk especially about the future; what they’re planning to do or what they’re looking forward to.  Now if I ask them about their past, they’ll tell me about it, just as they will in Panama.  In the other countries that don't progress, if I ask about their future, they’ll talk about it, even though they’re not very positive about it most of the time.  But the critical thing is that, left to their own devices, one group chooses to talk about the past, while the other group chooses to focus on the future.  Do I need to tell you which group in my experience over 43 years has made the real progress?  Well, if you haven’t figured that out, it’s the group that’s focused on the future.
 
If you think you’ve got a future and your country’s got a future, you’re feeling positive and moving forward, you get things done, you’re willing to try new things, to look at other possibilities and alternatives, you're flexible and you work around things  If you’re buried in the past and all you can do is sit there and complain about something that happened that you had no control over or that was five generations ago, or 500 generations ago, its not going to take you anywhere. 
 
Panama is one of those countries that is very future oriented.  They talk about what they’re doing today and what they will be doing.  Panama is a country that had a dictator, it was invaded by a foreign power, it had a very difficult period after that, and it had to get itself reorganized.  It did a very good job of it but it wasn’t easy; it was very difficult.  In 2000, 2001, they had a very serious recession here.  They’ve had all sorts of things they could talk about in their past.  They’ve got plenty of them.  But that’s not what they talk about.  They talk about today and tomorrow.  Very much focused on the future.  I like that.  I appreciate that, and I can see that in the government’s activities, whether its one administration or another one, one political party or another, it doesn’t make any difference.  It’s their future-orientation that’s extremely important.  And I find it among the population as a whole.  This is radically different than in some countries that we will leave unnamed where it’s exactly the opposite.
 
Those other countries may be richer in some ways, but they’re not going forward; they’re moving backwards.  Panama is moving forward, and I really, really appreciate that.  I wouldn’t live here if that were not the case.  I just have too much experience with the other kind of country.  Oh, the other kind of country may have cheap land or cheap housing or really cheap cost of living, because there isn’t much to buy, anyway.  But they’re not going anywhere.  They’re not a happy country.  There are social problems, there are political problems, and people are blaming somebody.  They’re always looking for somebody to blame for their problems.  The future-oriented countries are just much more involved in trying to figure out what to do next.  They may argue a lot; this is a democratic country and there is constant debate going on about what to do next, but it’s all about that future.  What’s the best way to move forward.
 
That’s one good reason to be in Panama.  And it’s one thing to keep in mind wherever you go, whether it’s Panama or another country.  You need to go to a country that is focused on the future.  That country has a future, likely, a much better one than the country where you sit and people tell you how unfair life has been for them.
 
You know something?  I’ve discovered that it works exactly the same for individuals.  But that’s a little hint here too, for me, as well as for you, that countries are nothing more than collections of human beings, and so they exhibit human behavior.  If you and I, regardless of where you live or what I do or choose to do or whatever, if you’re looking to the future and you’re building a future, and you’re interested in the future and that’s where your focus is, you’re much more likely to make some real progress and to be happy and to see improvements; a better life.  If you’re going to be buried back in what it used to be like when you were younger, or had this job or that job or when there was some terrible or unfair thing that happened to you, it may be completely legitimate, but it’s not getting you anywhere.  It’s over.  It’s history.
 
So, each of us, just like each nation makes up his or her mind, are we focusing on the future, are we looking forward, or are we looking backward?  As Marshall McLuhan, a commentator many years ago put it, are we marching backwards in the future?  Are we looking at the future through a rear view mirror?  Both of those comments he made sum it up very clearly, as far as I’m concerned.  So keep your eyes focused ahead, and wherever you go to live, look for a place where the people you’re going to be living with are looking forward to a better life.  And if they are, you can find yours there as well.  I happen to think Panama is a great place to do that, and it’s working well for me.  So if it works well for you, wonderful.  But don’t lose sight of that, in the national life of the country you reach eventually, even if you stay at home, and in your own life.        
ROSALIND MCCOY of PANAMA SIGNATURE REALTY – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The question "what are the best places to live in the world" is too board to answer.  For the cities, I know you can find the best in Australia, New Zealand, Canada......  If money is not an issue, you will find a whole lot more.
 
In my opinion, the answer to this question also concerns the heart. If you have a secure home with a loving family and good friends around you, you already have one best and happiest places to live.
 
Karyn Saunders of Inside Panama Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The short answer to what are the best places to live in the world is where you are happy 75% of the time.  Cost of Living, ease of living and solid medical care are what you need to consider in finding the best place to live in the world.  There are a few cities in Canada that are on the top 10 yet as a former Toronto resident we were looking for a warmer climate, solid infrastructure so we could take our careers virtual and a lower cost of living.  We found that in Panama.  Others have found it in Ecuador that is now up and coming and yet others found it in Spain and parts of Europe.  We also needed to find a country that allowed us to get back to Canada in one flight, two max.  As well as a country that was in our time zone as we are still working with North American clients.  If one destination checked off the boxes for everyone that would cause huge problems as you can well imagine.
Alan Filliger of Alana la Casa del Arte – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
For me it is impossible to answer the question what are the best places in the world to live.  I think it depends on who you are what you are looking for and what things do you need in your life to be happy.  Do you need a common language where you are going?  How about family and old friends?  Weather, rain, climate,medical and all sorts of things a person should consider. 
 
I made a list of what I wanted and needed in a new country.  I had traveled to 36 countries when I was a younger adult and frankly I found many different countries I thought I could be happy in.  I settled on Panama for reasons that were important to me.
 
A democratic country, tropical, good services for medical and dental, close to the USA, good cost of living, two oceans with just over an hour driving time between them, good shopping and restaurants, golf, scuba diving, fishing, mountain climbing, availability of different temperatures within easy driving distance, sports, movies, lots of expats (however I don't hang around expat groups much), not much violent  crime and an easy going tranquil lifestyle.
 
For me Panama is one of the best places in the world to retire.
Alan Morrison – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The best places in the world to live are those in which you can seamlessly adapt to the culture, weather, people, can ultimately feel happy and can as quickly as possible call it home sweet home. Panama is a great exploratory ground and I highly recommend viewing as much of the country as possible. 
Jay Butler of Asset Protection Services of America – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I found my paradise in Switzerland!  I'm sure there will be a number of opinions as to 'what are the best places in the world to live' but, rather than speculate, let me share with you where I reside and just a few reasons why I have found Switzerland to be THE best place in the world to live.
 
Switzerland has an overall population of only 8 million people, which is roughly the size of New York city proper, yet has remained in the top 5 most wealthiest countries in the world since such statistics have been recorded.  As a people, the Swiss are among the most friendly, respectful, intelligent and caring I have met anywhere.  Their passion for precision and quality of life is second to none.
Jay Butler near a lake in Switzerland – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
Switzerland is breath-taking.  The air is clean and crisp, the water is pure and refreshing, the alps are stunning in their majestic beauty, the atmosphere is cool and the sun's rays are warm.
 
After nearly a year here I have yet to find my first pothole!  Drivers are calm and relaxed, the roads are spectacularly built and maintained, the police are consummate professionals and emergency services rival the world's best.
 
Switzerland is prepared.  Swiss law mandates that every man, woman and child have food, water, medical supplies and fuel for a minimum of 2 years in the event of any emergency such as a natural disaster or war.  Every structure is required to have bomb shelters and no building permits are issued unless the architectural designs meet the demanding specifications of the respective canton (state).  The cement in these shelters (where we live) is dense beyond imagination.  When you pound on these blast doors you hear and feel a 'thud' that is void of any reverberation as if there were no air mixed in the cement at all, it's just 100% solid.
Swiss bomb shelter – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 Bomb shelter in Swiss home – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living Entry to Swiss bomb shelter in a home – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Switzerland is armed.  Men, ages 18 to 50, spend three weeks per year in active military duty and are sent home with fully-automatic AK-47's and all the ammunition they can store.  Switzerland boasts the lowest crime rate in Europe and is far more heavily armed per capital than America.  Switzerland's armed forces are extremely formidable and built solely for defense.  I am appreciative and respectful of the Swiss mentality and respect for human life.
 
Switzerland is healthy.  The healthcare facilities and hospitals are an art form, literally.  Lobbies have fountains, designer stained-glass, smoked privacy mirrors, soft secondary-lighting systems, beautiful artwork on the walls and fresh flowers.  The number of staff far outweigh the number of patients and the care you receive is consistent from one visitation to the next.  Public medical equipment and care in Switzerland surpass that of most private institutions in other countries.
 
Mountain in Switzerland – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSwitzerland is home.  It's enjoyable knowing you live in a country which places such a high-value on quality of life.  If, as an American, you wish to live here and obtain citizenship - you can do so.  With a minimum bank deposit of $100,000 (USD) it is possible to form a Società Anonyme (SA) and, along with personal assets in excess of $500,000 (USD) and 5 years of residency, you can obtain Swiss citizenship and passport.
 

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