Faro Algarve Portugal Beach Deserta Island

Why Algarve, Portugal, Is The #1 European Beach Destination

As Close As You Get To Paradise

If you’ve been a reader of Live and Invest Overseas newsletters for any length of time, you’ve probably heard us say (at least a dozen times) that there is no perfect paradise. No single, one-size-fits-all retirement haven solution.

We don’t mean to disappoint, of course. We call it like it is. And we make it our mission to present you with our careful selection of the world’s best offerings. Based on your own agenda, you choose the place that makes sense for you.

But sometimes, there’s a place that comes close to perfection. Sometimes, there’s a place so full of charm, so heavy on attractions, so welcoming and accommodating of expats, that it pretty much ticks all the boxes you could possibly lay out for your dream retirement.

Portugal’s Algarve is one such place. It’s the stretch of coastline in the south of the country, starting at the Spanish border and running almost 100 miles across to Europe’s southwestern tip, Cape St. Vincent—once believed among Europeans to be “the end of the world.”

Cape St. Vincent—once “the end of the world” for Europeans

Long-time magnet for British holiday-makers, as well as other mainland Europeans seeking less-crowded beaches than those on the Med, the rest of the world has been slowly catching on to the Algarve’s stunning beaches. In 2013, it was named Best European Beach Destination at the World Travel Awards (the travel industry’s version of the Oscars). In 2015, Portugal was named World’s Best Golf Destination. Not forgetting that the Algarve came out tops in Continue reading

The City Of Medellin, Colombia, Offers Sophisticated Living On A Budget

Property Opportunities In Medellin, Colombia

Sophisticated Living At A Much-Undervalued Price

I have a quick-fire question for you…

When you hear mention of “Colombia,” what’s the first thing to spring to mind?

(Don’t overthink it. Just settle on the very first thing.)

Was it coffee… drugs… gangs… Pablo Escobar… or beautiful women?

Or—if you caught Narcos on Netflix—maybe Escobar making million-dollar drug deals, surrounded by beautiful women, shooting down rival gang members?

If this is your image of modern Colombia, then we need to talk.

At the Global Property Summit here in Panama City last week, attendees were Continue reading

Morillo Beach shoreline in Panama

Morillo Beach On Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast

Why You Need To Follow The Surfers

If you want to find the best beaches in Central America, my advice is to follow the surfers.

Not the tourist surfers… but the local guys.

You don’t need to be a surfer… or care about ever stepping foot on a board.

But, if you’re a lover of sand, sea, and spectacular sunsets, you may just find yourself on some of the best-kept-secret beaches of the world.

Take Morillo Beach on Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast, for example.

Where?

Exactly.

You won’t find Morillo listed on the top 10… or even 50… beaches in the world.

You may not even find Morillo on a list of top 10 beaches in Panama.

But it’s here that handfuls of surfers and backpackers are coming out for weekends (mostly from Panama City)… Continue reading

Panama City Skyline

Insights On Living In Panama: The Land That Has It All

Experiencing Life In Panama

I’ll admit I knew little about Panama before I arrived in the country—and not even about that guy who faked his death in a canoe. (If you haven’t heard that one, don’t worry—I’ll share more details later.)

I’d heard, of course, about the furious pace of construction in Panama City over the past decade and a half. So I expected to land on a building site surrounded by incredible noise.

Instead, where those cranes once dominated the sky, I found blocks of dazzling new skyscrapers. And the noise… it was no more than I was used to in Paris. Panama City is up-and-running and completely open for business.

My point is: no matter how much you read up about a place in advance, being on the ground is entirely different.

I’ve been getting a lot of queries on Panama these past weeks—both in connection with Continue reading

Reasons For Moving Overseas

How Do You Explain Your Reasons For Moving Overseas?

What Your Well-Meaning Friends May Never Understand

When friends dare to ask why you’re even entertaining this crazy notion of moving overseas, what do you tell them?

Do you have a list of justifications ready to defend yourself… in the hope that it will help them understand what, in your mind, is a very logical decision?

I’ve been there. And, sometimes, it gets exhausting…

Maybe you tell them you’re looking for a better quality of life that just can’t be had where you are right now…

Or you want to be somewhere you can stretch your dollars farther and live more comfortably…

You might be in search of better weather (somewhere you can be at the beach and enjoy summer temperatures year-round)…

Or perhaps you tell them you’re tired of the fast pace of modern life and want to escape to a place that’s more laid-back and embraces more traditional values (and, hey, where you’ll be surrounded by more supportive, like-minded people)…

These are all top reasons soon-to-be expats tend to throw out when explaining their decision to leave behind their old home in search of a new life.

And, while we may all have different reasons for going overseas, I believe there’s one thing we all have in common. One main motivator that, through all the hassle we may get Continue reading

Beach property in the Dominican Republic

Advice On Buying And Living In The Dominican Republic

“Why Would We Bother Going Anywhere Else?”

When Bob Granger proposed to Janet, part of the “deal” was that they wouldn’t retire in the United States. He wanted to get away—and he was giving her the opportunity to come along for the ride. (She said yes.)

More than a decade later, while the Grangers worked away at their jobs in Washington D.C., a friend who knew they were in the market for a new life overseas put them onto the Dominican Republic. Liking what they heard, the couple planned a visit.

What they did in the first 24 hours of that vacation is something we always warn our readers against…

They bought a house.

So charmed by everything they saw around them—the miles of pristine beach, the lush mountains, and the warm and welcoming community of locals and European expats—Bob and Janet were sold on life in Las Terrenas.

Unfortunately, they never got to live in that little impulse-buy property.

They weren’t ready to leave their jobs just yet.

But the Dominican Republic was more than a one-night stand. And, over the years, the couple continued to visit Las Terrenas on vacation.

The Grangers had the opportunity to visit other places and vet them for their retirement. They could have gone to Honduras… to Panama… to Costa Rica. But, as Janet put it plainly to attendees in the room at last year’s Live and Invest in Dominican Republic Conference, “Why would we bother going Continue reading

Beach in Dominican Republic with expats standing on the shore

Dominican Republic Expat Stories

Secrets Of The Accidental Expats

Diana and Don weren’t planning an international move when personal circumstances brought them to visit the Dominican Republic 14 years ago. But the more they saw, the more they were drawn to this little country—and particularly the Samaná peninsula. As the couple stood on a mountain just outside the beach town of Las Terrenas, overlooking the Caribbean coastline, they knew this was the life they wanted. Not long after, the couple said goodbye to New Jersey, and came with both their mothers and two sons—Diana’s a recent college graduate, Don’s a 15-year-old school kid living at home in France—to start a new life right on that mountain.

Todd, from Ohio, first came to the Dominican Republic just over 10 years ago on vacation with a friend. He planned to rent a house for a few weeks in resort-filled Puerto Plata. But after a couple of weeks spent enjoying the active lifestyle, the cheap costs, and more than anything, the Dominicans themselves, Todd decided to stay. Puerto Plata wasn’t for him in the long run. Like Diana and Don, he was attracted by the good and easy life of Las Terrenas. He settled there and soon began serving the other expats in town with his mail-forwarding business.

Larry’s first stop in the Dominican Republic was also Puerto Plata. But by the end of his vacation, he wasn’t ready to return to Florida. He toured the country some more and was drawn to Las Terrenas. A decade on, Larry’s personal training business is thriving while he, his Dominican wife, and their young daughter are living the good life at the beach.

I wanted to share these three stories today with you for two reasons.

First, among the choices for living the good life in the Dominican Republic, Las Terrenas shines. (We’ll talk about why in a moment.)

Second, what really strikes me about these expats (and is also true for a dozen more U.S. expats that we’ve met in the Dominican Republic) is that until they had set foot in this country, none of them had any plans of leaving the United States behind. In fact, none of them really had any expectation of the Dominican Republic at all.

Remarkably, this little Caribbean nation is still under the radar of most Americans. Over the last decade, while more vacationers are catching onto the attractions here—especially in Continue reading

Beautiful clear water beach in Belize with a small property

Quirks, Conferences, And Property In Belize

Buying Into The Good Life

“Welcome to Double Head Cabbage,” reads an actual village sign some 40 kilometers outside of Belize City.

It’s not the only quirky name you’ll find around this Caribbean country. Expats we know have settled around the village of Teakettle… in the Gallon Jug area… and out on Banana Bank.

Such Disneyesque place names certainly add to the charm of this overlooked Caribbean nation. A charm that wasn’t lost on the attendees at our 7th (and biggest to date) Live and Invest in Belize Conference two weeks ago.

From the first morning, I could feel the excitement building in the room. Here our attendees sat, ready to begin a new chapter in their lives. And, for those in search of adventure, they couldn’t have chosen a better place.

On the plus side, Belize is English-speaking. The new expat in town doesn’t have a new language to contend with per se…

Belize is still, though—as much as anywhere in the world—a foreign country. It has its quirks… and its own culture that will require some getting used to.

By the time we were through hearing from our expat guests (who gave their usual “warts and all” lowdown on their adopted homeland), it seemed that most of our attendees were already sold on Belize…

Not on Belize City where we sat throughout the main seminar. But they were curious about Ambergris Caye (offering the carefree tropical life Madonna sold us in her “La Isla Bonita” video back in the 1980s) and the Cayo District (with its opportunity for self-sufficient living)—places many of them would venture out to Continue reading

Vacationing on a beach

Why Living Overseas Is Different Than A Vacation

Better Than Any Vacation

Aren’t you glad we’re almost out of January? By now, you’ve recovered from the post-holiday blues, you’ve snapped back into your routine, and you’re looking forward to a greater year ahead.

A lot of people, of course, are mentally skipping right ahead to summer. They’re taking advantage of January sales and desperately making their vacation plans to escape the daily grind for a week or two.

But, now that you’ve joined us here at Live and Invest Overseas Confidential, you know that you’re not limited to just a couple weeks in a dreamy location… only to have to return to your regular life and wait 12 months to escape again.

You’re here because you’re considering breaking away from where you are now into a whole new world of adventure—and establishing a far better lifestyle—for at least a few months of the year.

Living overseas, of course, is completely different to a vacation experience. Once you get your bearings, you know the best place to go for a truly traditional, freshly cooked supper… you get the best value on your groceries… you’re welcomed heartily by your neighbors…. and you get to enjoy a place in the off season when all the vacation-makers move out.

You get to start over in a more attractive (and affordable) haven and live the good life full time… or maybe for three to six months of the year. You get to put your roots down in the place of your dreams… or move around every few months or years, according to your taste.

This is retirement all on your own terms. Your life, your way… Continue reading