The reason we run luxury real estate round-up articles on this travel site is that many people end up buying where they’ve traveled. Or at least come back and rent long-term. How many times have you heard someone say, “We went there on vacation and just fell in love with the place.” So they end up moving there.
For me, it was my sometimes home of Guanajuato, Mexico. Down the road are about 10,000 foreigners who felt the same about San Miguel de Allende. We’ve run articles on places in Latin America many couldn’t stand to leave: Ambergris Caye, Mendoza, Zihuatanejo, Punta de Mita, Cuenca, Bocas del Toro…
They all sound more romantic and exotic than Naples or Scottsdale, right?
Moving to a foreign country or spending part of the year there isn’t as simple as just packing up a suitcase though, so it’s worthwhile to do your homework. Moon Handbooks has a lot of good guides out, written by authors who know them well. Living Abroad in Mexico, for example, or Living Abroad in Belize. These will answer all the questions you have and a lot that you didn’t know you should have. They cover visas, cultural issues, costs, real estate, and the most important question: why there? Follow either of those links and you can search for ones on Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and more.
You can find lots of free information on the web for specific locations and if you can dig up a good message board the expats use, that’s a great place to get nitty-gritty details. For authoritative information that is current and vetted, however, you can’t beat a paid subscription to International Living Magazine. They’re often running deals for $59 a year or $89 for two years, which is a small price to pay for expert advice on a major life change. They’ll save you a lot of headaches.
They spend a good bit of each issue focusing on Latin America since it’s close to the U.S. and Canada, most of the countries are welcoming to foreigners who aren’t broke, and it’s easy to buy real estate. Apart from a few outliers here and there, you’ll almost always get more for your money than you would where you live now—with far lower monthly expenses. Click here for more.
If you’re doing this to really cut your expenses and live better, see this book: A Better Life for Half the Price.