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Is Clutter Getting in the Way of Your Retirement?

Recently, I was listening to a teleclass on de-cluttering your life with emphasis on the multiple kinds of clutter that people accumulate without even realizing it. Gathering clutter can become an unconscious obsession that ends up taking on a life of its own. Within one month of listening to this teleclass, I received my Oprah magazine in which she devoted space to a number of articles and tips on how to de-clutter your life. I thought it was interesting that the topic of clutter had shown up several times in such a short period of time. It must be a springtime topic.

As you all know by now, I have a passion about assisting people in creating a successful retirement. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that life’s clutter stands in the way of a fulfilling and meaningful retirement. The following are some of the various kinds of clutter that interfere with our lives on a daily basis whether we are retired or not.

Physical Clutter

Physical clutter is the most obvious to all of us. Things, objects, papers, books, tools and old clothes that are too large or too small crowd our closets, drawers, garages, attics, etc. Many of these are things we will never use again, and they could easily be thrown away. Others could be given away to people who can use them. Some have too much sentimental value for us to part with them. Are you in a place in your life where you could make those decisions? Some of these “things” separate the way we were and what we did with who we are today. As we think about retiring to a new life stage filled with new experiences and possibly even a new residence, what are you holding on to that no longer serves you well and has no real purpose in your life? It is ironic that some people actually postpone retirement because it would mean facing the clutter accumulated over the years of their lives. Could the excitement that this next stage of life offers you motivate you enough to let go of these “things”?

People or Relationship Clutter

Are there people in your life who are no longer supporting you in the way that you want or need them to? Have they changed or have you changed so the relationship is no longer serving you well? When you are with them, do you feel good about your life and yourself? Maybe you aren’t sure how to let go, whether it’s out of fear of hurting them or having regrets about losing a long-time friend. Before you make a decision, ask yourself, “will I be helping or hurting myself by staying in this relationship?” In the planning stages of retirement, it is not unusual to reflect on your past, present and future relationships. You might be wondering who will be there for you in this transition. Can you give less time to some relationships that are unsupportive while you give more time and attention to other relationships that are supportive? Reflecting on past and present relationships may include colleagues, friends outside of work and even some family members.

Emotional Clutter

Often we are burdened and held back by emotional clutter, which I define as old feelings that have never run their course in order to make way for healthier emotions. We notice that our energy is chronically compromised by those heavy emotions. It is almost like you are carrying a backpack full of bricks around with you. This emotional clutter comes in the form of would-haves, could-haves, should-haves and regrets about ways we wish we had behaved differently in our lives. Did you hurt the ones you love or fail to reach personal goals that would have enhanced your life? Were you so rooted in your comfort zone that you avoided risks that may have led to success? Do you regret being held back by fear of the unknown and missing important opportunities? These are the kinds of unhealthy feelings and emotions that can affect your physical, emotional and social world in retirement. This is not a healthy way to enter a new stage of life that should be free and clear of all this unnecessary emotional clutter. You will have many years in this new life stage, so reflect on what you need to let go of. Revisit those people and situations that need mending. If you do, you will have much more peace of mind in this new career called retirement.

Letting Go

Instead of being immobilized by physical, relationship and emotional clutter, face it with the courage that you have demonstrated in other life situations. Clear out the clutter and make room for new and exciting opportunities. Here are some ideas for you to consider that will help you manage the clutter so it doesn’t eventually control your life.

1. Begin by going through the “things” that you have and create three separate piles: a) things to keep b) things to give away c) things to throw away. You will be surprised what shows up as you do this exercise. It will begin to affect how you are feeling and thinking about yourself and your environment.

2. Explore your relationships and lovingly let go of those relationships that can’t be successfully mended. At the same time, nurture those relationships that you believe are supporting you. You will often find these relationships in surprising places.

3. Identify the paralyzing emotions that are cluttering your psyche and try to understand them. Let them speak to you in a way that you can let go and move on. Is it fear of letting go of regrets that is holding you back? Could you repackage your career by using your skills in a different way? Do you need to work on your marriage before retirement magnifies hidden problems?

As you unpack that heavy backpack of clutter that you have been carrying around, you will begin to feel lighter, freer, less responsible for others and more ready to move on. Now is the time to embrace the possibilities that are waiting for you. Now is the time to make the best of your life for the rest of your life.

Dee Cascio specializes in Retirement Lifestyle Strategies. She is a Certified Life & Retirement Options Coach, an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and a member of the International Coach Federation. Dee is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), a National Certified Counselor, a Certified Couples Imago Relationship Therapist, and a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). For the tools you need to build the retirement of your dreams, sign up for The New Lifestyle Retirement newsletter at http://www.retirementlifestylestrategies.com.

How Baby Boomers Can Create Extra Retirement Income

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Are you a Baby Boomer who wants to know how you can create supplemental retirement income?

Are you hurtling towards retirement age only to find that your retirement funds are short of what you need to comfortably retire

Do you still need to generate an income but you really do not want to have a job with a boss and a schedule and the stress of being regimented?

Well, take heart and think about starting an internet marketing business and you may find this is the solution to your problem!

OK, then how do you start and develop an internet marketing business? Where can you find the tools and techniques that you would need to be successful in this huge, online marketplace?

Would you like to do this the slow way or the fast way?

The SLOW way….how I did it for years:-(

You may want to think about what you would enjoy selling online. What is your passion? Do you like to play guitar? Do you raise and train animals and/or pets? Do you have particular knowledge that others would find desirable enough to buy from you? Have you others’ products and/or services that you would like to promote and sell online? If you can answer any of these questions you may find a place to start!

Next, you may find that the Internet is a vast, complex place where it takes special knowledge and a new language and techniques in order to get on it and sell products and services. Likely you will need to find a place or an organization that offers training and mentoring and coaching with professionals who have found success at this exciting Internet world.

You can try using search engines to key search for people and/or companies who are out there who can offer to bring you in and teach you what you need to get started and stay with your endeavor of internet marketing. Try keying in words like, “Internet Marketing Training” or “Internet Mentoring” or Internet Coaching” and you will find many results that may help you find what you are looking for!

But be careful about who you can trust, and be very cautious about what you are being sold. Up to date strategies, genuine help and a business that is financially solid are essential elements.

Once you have located a place or places that offer the training you need, be sure to do the diligence to find out the person’s or the organization’s reputation as successful trainers and mentors and coaches. Of course, you will need to weigh the costs of buying the training services from those whom you are researching. You should ask if their service in training, mentoring and coaching is ongoing or is it a one time seminar or seminars with ongoing additional costs over time. And you should ask for references of others who have used these people or organizations to find if success is what they have experienced.

Creating additional retirement income as a Baby Boomer is certainly something about which millions of people approaching retirement age are interested in.

The FASTER way!

I have spent over 10 years learning about internet marketing and using that knowledge to run my professional career counselling business. However I wasn’t able to create a real genuine online business until now. I suggest you have a look at My Online Business Education. I have found it to be ethical, educational, supportive and genuinely giving me the opportunity to create a business with a vision that is far greater than I have ever dreamt of before. This link tells you about it from the perspective of two baby boomers who are doing very well through the company.
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5 Ways to Earn Extra Retirement Income

Some people consider retirement is the end to their money inflow and their career. They do not realize that there are ways to earn extra income after retirement, regardless of the age you retire! Life after retirement is supposed to be stress free but it may turn out to be the most stressful time of life for many because of their fear of financial insufficiency.  Post-retirement life is also supposed to be about lifestyle, but it is very difficult to enjoy a great lifestyle if you are struggling financially or worried all the time.

People who have chosen a traditional retirement often express their concern about how they can maintain a sense of purpose and intellectual challenge. Living an income-producing retirement gives you all this in abundance!

Unlimited Retirement Breakthough bannerThe Internet

There are many easy ways to earn an extra income after retirement. The internet is quite an interesting option that has created a stable income for many, so much that there are some who have gone on to even become millionaires. So long as there is internet access and reasonable knowledge to work on the computer, anyone can make money online. Working from home is both convenient and rewarding. It helps to supplement the retirement income. Although there are legitimate business opportunities, you should also be aware of online fraudulent activities and companies that promise the world and deliver very little.

Working online is our favorite method of creating a retirement income, and we can show you how to be very successful on the internet. For more information on how to earn extra income using this exact same system and how you will be able to afford to live the good life make sure you check out the resource box below and follow the link within it.

Real estate investment

You may have your own home but having another home or property is lucrative especially with the rental income you can receive month after month. This is one of the best long term investments and can be used to pay off any other debts or mortgage payments. Real estate is one investment where the value of your investment keeps appreciating.

Jobs after retirement

You may be want to get a new job to earn extra income after retirement. The job you do might help you both  monetarily and emotionally. Consider following your own interests as well as your skills and past experience for your “encore career” .

Stock trading

Retirement stock trading accounts like IRAs /superannuation funds permit investors to purchase bonds, stocks, mutual funds, buildings or any other assets available for the purpose of investment.  If you are actively managing your own share funds it is wise to choose outstanding authentic organisations or individuals to inform and guide you about all aspects of this important element of your financial security.

Other options:

Starting your own business will not just give you extra income after retirement but also caters to your personal interest. You may want to start a catering business if you have an inclination towards cooking or take up teaching or become a computer consultant. You could also choose to become an accountant or book keeper or even a clothes designer if you have a keen sense of fashion.  Then again you may find that you can make a lot more money in far less time by using a proven reliable system of online business education.

There are so many options available to earn that extra income after retirement and all it takes is a decision to find out what is most suitable for you, then guidance to make it happen.

For more information about how to earn extra income after retirement using the same system that we have found amazing, watch this video and read the ebook which will be sent to you.

Retirement Planning – 6 Important Questions to Consider

The choice is yours, either have your retirement affairs in order or potentially leave the financial burden of your retirement to your children. Drift into retirement at your peril. It’s going to be a long haul exercise… so it will be better to be prepared.

On 1 January 2011 the first baby boomer will turn 65 and this generation will start it’s next significant phase of life. Described as a “a pig in the snake” this demographic extreme will have a major impact on the world.

For a long time retirement was blissfully perceived as being a delightful transition from responsibility and the cost of children to the tranquil financial and physical freedom of retirement… to the wonderful world of life after kids at home (LAKAH)!

For many that dream is becoming a nightmare. The world has changed. Retirement is not what it was for your parents. And unfortunately hope is not a winning strategy.

So take some time out of your hectic (or procrastinating) life and start your retirement planning by considering these 6 questions:

1. What exactly does retirement mean to you? Will you continue working by choice, a “nevertiree,” or will you be an unfortunate “fortiree,” forced into retirement at the arbitrary, compulsory age with inadequate financial means. If you plan, or have to, work, what will you do? The same job or head off in a new direction?

2. What lifestyle do you plan to live and how do you plan to rebalance the various aspects of your life? Working, family, recreation and “giving back” by working for a charity or in a voluntary capacity.

3. Do you think you have, or will have, enough money to retire? Enough to meet all your objectives in terms of lifestyle, legacies, and contingencies for the rest of your life? It’s said that money can’t buy happiness, yet not having enough money can certainly contribute to unhappiness.

4. Are you considering relocating? Will this be by choice or necessity? What are your considerations? Same town, same state, same country or a move overseas?

5. Do you have, or foresee, any potential health problems? If you don’t have adequate money there will be growing stress, your health may suffer, costing you more money and you’ll be in a downward health spiral.

6. If you are fortunate enough to have adequate financial resources for your retirement, have you thought about your retirement purpose? It seems pointless having lived a life of successful achievement to then drift into a meaningless existence… just waiting to die!

Hopefully through retirement planning you’ll be in a position to have a “good” retirement. Knowing what you want to do with your life and having sufficient financial resources. The alternate is a “bad” retirement done for the wrong reasons like just being sick and tired of work, all the friends are retiring, you’ve reached the arbitrary age, or merely the hope that you may be okay financially.

Retirement planning should be a meaningful ongoing process, one in which all the elements of retirement are considered and discussed. Then regularly updated and tweaked to account for the unexpected events that will certainly be faced.

Patrick Millerd is a baby boomer “nevertiree” and aspiring digital nomad. He’ll help you discover how retirement planning can put you on the path to a create the retirement lifestyle you desire at www.Successful-Retirement.com.

Volunteering in Retirement: 4 Great Community-Building Options for Boomers

While many seek alternative careers after they’ve retired, volunteering, whether as a part-time venture or a full-time gig, is a popular choice among boomers. And with good reason. Having worked hard to support yourself and your family throughout your career, you finally have the time to lend a helping hand to others, giving you a sense of meaning that simply going on vacations or taking up hobbies can’t fulfill alone. Here are a few volunteer options for those of you who are interested in investing your time in public service.

1.Experience Corps Experience Corps is an organization composed of over 2,000 members over 55 in 20 cities across the United States. Its purpose is to tutor and mentor youth in urban communities by providing literacy coaching, homework help, and to serve as solid, attentive role models for kids who may not have such adults in their lives. For those of you who are interested in working with children, Experience Corps is a great way to do just that.

2.Senior Corps Created during Kennedy’s presidency, Senior Corp is a branch of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. Senior Corps runs three specific programs?the Foster Grandparent program, which enables volunteers to mentor children with special needs, the Senior Companion Program, which connects volunteers with adults in their communities who struggle with simple, day-to-day tasks, and RSVP, a program that takes each volunteers specific skills and matches them with organizations and projects that need their expertise.

3.Peace Corps While the Peace Corps requires more commitment than any of these programs, it’s also the one that is most adventurous. If you are in good physical health, the Peace Corps encourages older volunteers to apply. For two years, you’ll immerse yourself in an overseas community putting your skills to work in developing areas. Working alongside energetic youth fresh out of college, you’ll be learning a new language and become intimately acquainted with a different culture. To learn more about how the Peace Corps is now actively recruiting retired persons, check out this article.

4.SCORE If you were worked in the corporate world or owned a small business, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) might be the best volunteer option for you. The success of small businesses in America often depends on good leadership, and as a volunteer you’ll be assisting local businesses that need mentoring and support, using your previous experience in business as guidance. Volunteering with SCORE is a great way to contribute to the rebuilding of our nation’s economy, one small business at a time.

These are just a few ways that you can volunteer your time and expertise after retirement. Just because you are no longer in the working world doesn’t mean you can’t have a wider impact. Volunteering may be one of the most rewarding endeavors you’ll ever experience. For more volunteer opportunities, Idealist.org is a great website that offers a comprehensive volunteer database.

By-line: This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of best online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: [email protected]

Retirement Worries? An Alternative for Retiring Baby Boomers

The economic news is full of grim facts about the retirement picture for Baby Boomers: More Baby Boomers retiring and fewer people working is putting a strain on the Social Security program.

Government is considering raising the retirement age to 70 in the next twenty years.

But many Baby Boomers are working in jobs that put debilitating stress on their aging bodies; some of these hard-workers are wondering how they are going to make it to 66, let alone to 70.

2.2 million Baby Boomers are out of work and have been for six months. They are concerned that they may not be able to find jobs before it is time for them to retire.

There was a time when Baby Boomers weren’t so dependent upon Social Security. Many of them just kept working until they could work no longer. They built up pensions, owned homes, saved for their “golden years” – much of which was spent in the bosom of their extended family. Think the Waldens. But that was yesterday and, as the Beatles sang, “Yesterday’s gone.”

So, what’s a Boomer to do? An alternative that increasing numbers of Boomers are looking at is a computer-based home business.

The benefits of this should be apparent in that word “home”. It means that the aging Boomer doesn’t have to settle for a low-paying, high-stress, and physically demanding job but can work from home, on their computer.

It also means that they don’t have to have a physical site like a store front, a large inventory, or a warehouse to store it in.

This is much less physically demanding – though it does use a different set of muscles and the newbie home marketer may find that his or her feet, knees, and back don’t hurt as much but his or her neck, shoulders and derriere are stiff and sore.

Changing positions, taking breaks and walking around, and some simple stretches can help these new aches and pains.

It is also less financially demanding – it doesn’t require the thousands of dollars that a brick and mortar business demands in start up. One has to be careful to avoid the come-ons, and all the opportunities to spend more money than necessary, but it is possible to get started with minimal capital output.

A warning is necessary though: Do not expect to get rich quick online. There are lots of internet marketing schemes out there that promise amazing incomes in exchange for two or three hours of work a day. Don’t fall for them.

If you are not yet retired, you can start now to build your business in your spare time, but please realize that it is going to take time and work to get to the point where you are earning a useful income.

Sara Dillinger is an Elder in the United Methodist Church, currently on leave of absence. You may check out her website at: http://www.for-boomers.com

Life After Retirement – Ideas for Retirees

Can life after retirement be exciting and interesting? It is an irony that many retirees after working hard so many years and striving to gain financial independence are complaining about boredom and a loss in direction in their lives. Retirement really should be the time to be enjoying the fruits of one’s years of labor and hard work, to relax, to catch up with friends and fellow retirees and pursue a lifelong interest that one has wanted to do but could not find the time during to their hectic working life.

There really are many options and ideas for retirees to consider to turn this phase of their lives into an exciting and meaningful one. Some suggestions include:

  1. Be a guardian and a companion to your grandchildren. Many people, especially men did not have the opportunity to bond with their children during their growing years due to their own hectic working life. Children are always a joy to be with. They are often innocent, inquisitive and active. I for one believe that spending time with children will add years to your life. They are God’s great creation.
  2. Be a tutor to your grandchildren. Yes, keep your mind active, look back to your grandchildren textbooks and be a tutor to them. It’s a great way to keep away the Alzheimer’s disease and to spend quality time with them.
  3. Be a tutor to other children. If you do not have any grandchildren, consider tutoring as a home based business for some pocket money for your expenditure. Or consider it as a charity work with a nearby Orphanage’s Home. As mentioned above, it is a great way to keep your mind active.
  4. Be a Consultant with your old firm. If the above ideas are not for you, consider the option of being re-employed with your old firm as a Consultant. Your experience may still be an asset and invaluable to your former boss. Your salary may be less but it is certainly will be less stressful than previously when you were a full time employee.
  5. Going back to school to strive for a diploma or degree in the field of your interest is also another great way of keeping your mind active.
  6. Becoming a volunteer at places such as schools, libraries, religious and other charitable organizations and meeting up with other charitable souls can do wonders and meaning to your life.
  7. Going back to full time employment. Of course the one ultimate option to some who are workaholic in nature is to go back into full time employment. For these people, work is matter of choice rather than desperation, other they will find a huge void in their lives.

As highlighted above, there are certainly many meaningful ideas for retirees for them to indulge in during their life after retirement. The retirement years should be the time of your life and there is certainly little time to be bored. As the saying goes, “don’t simply retire from something, have something to retire to”, and you will find your life after retirement to be joyful and meaningful.

Check out Jeremy Kong’s site Financial Planning & Investment Guide for articles on retirement and financial planning.

Hedging Your Bets on Expatriate Living Destinations – The Perpetual Tourist Six Flags Plan

W.G. Hill’s book “Perpetual Tourist”, introduced a way of thinking about international living that has influenced thousands of readers since that time. His proposed Five Flags Theory offered a compartmentalized lifestyle to be aspired to by free thinkers everywhere. By 2006, a sixth flag had been added. The sixth flag was based upon the expanding internet and and its addition helped to synchronize the implementation of the other five flags.

The idea behind the concept is that a person should attempt to become invisible to avoid government control over his or her life. Big brother should not know who you are, where you live, where your money comes from, how you spend it, and where you spend your play time.

This conceptual lifestyle has most frequently been proposed for those who wish to retain control over their life and finances, and like the idea of living abroad. It has been especially recommended for the wealthy who want to retain their wealth and has been more commonly implemented by them.

Few people ever completely live the six flags lifestyle, but many choose to live parts of it. For this reason, I am introducing it to prospective expatriates who might not already be aware of the perpetual tourist concept. Basically, the five or six flags refer to aspects of the lifestyle which are distributed among different countries.

The first flag relates to your citizenship or passport. The premise is that a person should hold a passport to a country that does not tax the worldwide earning of the owner, does not tell its citizens where they can and where they can not go, and does not try to police their morals. This first flag can be a difficult one for a U.S. citizen to carry out unless they are willing to renounce their citizenship; a step never to be taken lightly.

The second flag relates to your residence base. This is your official legal residence even if you spend little or no time there. The idea is that it should be a tax haven, and should not tax any income earned abroad. Your choice most likely would be based on your financial status. The wealthy can choose any country that qualifies whereas a less heeled individual might have to choose a lower budget base like the Turks and Caicos or Panama.

The third flag relates to your playgrounds. This may be more than one place and coincides with where you physically spend most of your time. This is where the idea of a perpetual tourist becomes important. Many countries have legal restrictions on how long you can reside without becoming or applying for citizenship. So, your playgrounds may encompass several countries in which you spend several months a year.

The fourth flag relates to your business base. It is here where you earn your money. This is a flag that can readily be used by most businessmen. You incorporate in an offshore tax free country, have all your company administrative and financial transactions done there, while selling your products to a worldwide market. You can be living somewhere else, and still legally be operating through this legal structure.

The fifth flag relates to where you invest and keep your assets. This should never be where you physically reside, and should be a country that maintains a high degree of privacy. The location or locations where you keep your assets should not be in the same country in which they are earned or spent. This may not be as desirable or as necessary for individuals with few assets, but as Benjamin Franklin said: “A penny saved is a penny earned”.

The sixth flag (added in 2006) relates to having an electronic haven is cyberspace. The idea here is that your internet presence should be based in a location where the internet is not taxed or regulated, and should not emanate from only one location. You servers should be set up as to be invisible to all. You want the appearance and safety of a non-physical base, i.e., physically invisible, but present everywhere.

The average retiree living abroad is not likely to need or use all of the six flags in their expatriate living. But the idea of being a perpetual tourist, which implies at least using some of these “flags”, makes being aware of their existence worthwhile. With today’s ever changing political and economic environment, you never know when you too might need to use some of these strategies.

Dr. Lamar Ross has a special interest in training individuals for expatriate living and providing information on unique travel destinations. He is an author, educator, photographer, internet entrepreneur, and international traveler. He has lived in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and India and has traveled extensively in 29 different countries. He plans to spend more time in Panama in the coming years. He speaks both English and Spanish fluently and has a basic ability in several other languages. For more information on expatriate living, check out the blog Expatriate Traveler Notes

The World’s Top Retirement Destinations – Their Ratings Are a Constantly Moving Target

Each year several major organizations come out with their list of the world’s top retirement destinations. The top ten is not usually the same from year to year and the criteria for ranking of these destinations varies by source. I recently analyzed top ten retirement destination lists from four major organizations to see how they correlated. The differences were significant although several countries showed up on all or most lists.

The four organizations were: International Living; Global Post; Forbes Magazine; and Live and Invest Overseas. All lists were the last one done by the organizations. All were published between late 2009 and May of 2010. The results are illustrative of the problem of rating retirement destinations, but also indicative of some trends.

Here are some of the results. Only one country, Panama, was on all four lists. The ratings for Panama were first, third, fourth, and seventh on the respective lists.

There were four countries that had ratings on three of the lists. These countries were: Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, & Malaysia. Argentina rated sixth, seventh, & ninth on its lists. Ecuador was ranked first, second, and fifth on its lists. Uruguay held fourth, fifth, and seventh ranking on its lists. Malaysia was rated fourth on one list and eighth on the other two lists.

To show how varied these lists are I found that seven other countries were on at least two of the four lists. These were Australia, Belize, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Mexico, and Thailand.

Finally, there were ten other countries that show up on only one of the four lists. How they rated individually on their respective lists demonstrates further how variable these lists can be. The rating follows the countries name in parentheses. These countries were:

Austria (# 1);
Brazil (#6);
Canada (#10);
Chile (#10);
Croatia (#8);
the Dominican Republic (#9);
Ireland (#5);
Malta (#9);
Spain (#10)
and South Africa (#6).

OK, so how do we use the ratings to help us in our retirement destination decision making? I am not a statistician, so I will not try to analyze these rankings mathematically. However, if I were to base my decisions upon the number of times a country was on one of these lists and their comparative rankings, my ranking of the top five would probably be from those which were on at least three of the four lists and would be in this order.

1. Panama

2. Ecuador

3. Uruguay

4. Malaysia

5. Argentina

For you to make an informed decision, you would have to know what the criteria used were for all four lists, and compare them to what your own retirement criteria are. The groups analyzed above are generally considered respectable and honest in their evaluations. However, there may be ranking of a given destination by some groups that may be effected by which country the group presenting it is emphasizing at the moment in their seminars. So study any new lists carefully.

For your own purposes, you may limit yourself when making a destination source by considering the geographical area, the language spoken, economic factors, or any number of factors that relate to your specific needs. The important thing to remember is that these ranking are indicative of certain factors that effect most retirees. Take that into consideration but ultimately your retirement destination choice must fit your criteria and your projected lifestyle. After all, next year’s rankings may be totally different.

Dr. Lamar Ross has a special interest in training individuals for expatriate living and providing information on unique travel destinations. He is an author, educator, photographer, internet entrepreneur, and international traveler. He has lived in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and India and has traveled extensively in 29 different countries. He speaks both English and Spanish fluently and has a basic ability in several other languages. For more information on expatriate living, check out the blog Expatriate Traveler Notes.

Early Retirement Plan – 4 Golden Strategies to Leave the Rat Race Behind

Make early retirement your choice. With a plan you can happily live on without damaging your quality of life. Live with what you need instead of what you want. There is a difference. And learning to distinguish between the two is the key to an early retirement plan.

1) Needs versus Wants. What is the difference?

Needs are what you cannot do without. Like food expenses, mortgage payments, health insurance. The majority of everything else is a want. Your goal is to accumulate capital, not stuff.

If you are serious about sticking to an early retirement plan, take a good look at where your hard earned money goes.

2) How to Reduce Debt

Cut your spending. Sounds so simple, right? But how is this accomplished? By asking yourself what you spend money on, over and over. This is truly the first step to retiring early. Make a list of every penny that leaves you wallet.

Walk whenever you can. Do away with the gym membership and 500 channels. If your goal is to retire early, you need to create an early retirement plan and stick to it.

3) Live with What You Need

You do not have to live under a flower pot, eating peanut butter and crackers for twenty years to retire early. But you do have to make changes. Take control of your spending. If you continue to do what you are doing right now, will you be able to retire early? Will you be able to retire at all?

4) Work to Accumulate Capital

If you are working to buy material possessions instead of accumulating capital, retiring early will only be a pipe dream. Become thrifty to a fault. Every time you pull out your wallet, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”

Waiting until you are debt free to save is a mistake. Have your early retirement plan on paper. Read it every day. Written goals keep you focused and move you in the direction of your goals.

By knowing the difference between needs and wants, eliminating unnecessary spending, and working to accumulate capital instead of possessions, you will very quickly find yourself on the road to early retirement. Long before the government says you can retire.

By Marisa Bermudez: You can find more information about strategies for When to Retire in the free online guide at http://Your-Retirement-Paradise.com/

Expatriate Living – Retire to a Place, Not a Country

You’ve decided you have what it takes to live abroad, ( or at least you are willing to pursue it further), but you keep hearing negatives about the countries you are considering. Big deal! You are going to retire to a specific place in a country, not to the country per se. Pick the kind of life you want to live and pick a place within a country that fits that lifestyle.

I live in the United States. What if my only knowledge of the United States was of the slums of Chicago or New York? Would I have a very high opinion of the safety of the United States? Probably not. But, I live in a small community outside of Orlando, Florida. Now that is different. I have the city nearby, but I have some land, a garden, a dog, some chickens, and a relaxed life compared to the “big city”. So, where you retire is more important than what country it is in.

Take Panama, for example. Many people still think of it as a country run by a dictator like in the days of Noriega. A little research quickly show that the country now has a politically stable democratic government, a booming economy, has become the financial and banking center of the Latin American world, and in most lists, rates as one of the top places in the world to retire. That is no expatriate retirement program better than their “pensionado” (retiree) visa, yet there are still areas of the country in which I personally would not want to retire. That are others in which I would be delighted to live.

I have personally applied for the pensionado visa in Panama. So, where would I like to live? I am still not sure, but I have already visited communities in the interior (that’s everywhere outside of the Panama City area) which appeal to me.

I am not a beach person, so living on the coast is not as appealing to me as it is to some. However, with a country bordered on the South by the Pacific Ocean and on the North by the Caribbean Sea, wherever I chose to live would be no more than an hour or so away from a beach. I like the mountains, so I would be more likely to live inland. Your living requirements are probably different.

Do you have to be in a place where the majority speaks English? If so, you immediately narrow your choices of places within a country to live. In Panama, in places like the picturesque El Valle de Anton ( two to two and a half hours from Panama City), and Bocas del Toro ( Up to 8 hours away depending on whether you fly or drive from Panama City); there are numerous enclaves and communities largely made up of English Speakers. In both areas there is no lack of Europeans also. And, if you want to be in a foreign country where the official language spoken is English, you might also look at Belize, the former British Honduras.

So, when considering where you might retire, do not let comments or negative views of the country as a whole be the determining factor. Remember, the cost of living, the availability of medical services, and other personal requirements which you may have, vary greatly from area to area within a country. It is your personal requirements that should determine your retirement location. You are retiring to a place, not a country. Take care in finding that place.

Lamar Ross is an author, educator, photographer, internet entrepreneur, and international traveler. He has a special interest in training individuals for expatriate living and providing information on unique travel destinations. He has lived in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and India and has traveled extensively in 29 different countries. He speaks both English and Spanish fluently and has a basic ability in several other languages.

For more information on other topics related to expatriate living check out http://www.squidoo.com/expatriate-living, and for specific Panama impressions go to: http://www.squidoo.com/panama-impressions.

What Are the Advantages of Retiring Overseas?

After long years of hard work you will come to a point wherein you just want to enjoy, relax and just chill. To be able to do what you want at your own pace and to freely do the things which you have been holding up for a long time. Picking the right country to settle in is a tricky quest thus enjoyable and can be knowledgeable because you get to research and know different things about a country in the process of finding the right place for you to dwell in.

When you plan to retire overseas you must have a concrete and detailed plan on how you are going to go about your living condition in a certain country. There are a lot to be considered if you want to have a smooth and trouble-free life abroad such as knowing certain regulations and laws which you are not yet accustomed to; know their requirements on visa and residency permits. You have to consider their culture if it is different from yours; know the cost of living in that country whether you can really cope up with it. It is also important to consider if the country offers health care and medical benefits. Another thing is to select a country that will safeguard your safety and will not put your life at risk in anyway possible. Take into consideration also that the country you choose is somewhat similar or close to your mother country, for reasons that you might have relatives which are still living in your former country and at sometime you choose to visit them, you would not have to spend a fortune or so much time by doing so.

It may be a bit scary at first to live in a country all foreign to you but give yourself sometime to get to know the country and surely you will get used to it then. There are numerous advantages when you choose to live in a foreign country, here are some of it:

1. You get to explore another part of the world apart from yours.

2. If the cost of living in your mother land is higher, it is wiser to spend your lifetime savings in a place where the cost of living is not high but offers almost the same quality of lifestyle.

3. You will have the chance of meeting other people and makes more friends

4. You can choose a country with a good weather; this will depend on you preference.

5. If you want to improve your standard of living which your country fails to offer, then you can choose to live abroad.

6. Sunny weathered countries are typical choices when retiring overseas; this is because these countries offer a lot of fun, recreational activities. They are also good suppliers of fresh produce of fruits of vegetables which is necessary for the health of the retirees.

In relocating to other countries, it is a must that you are financially stable so would not have to worry with how you are going to live your life in a foreign land.

Mitch Bowler is an avid traveler, having lived the majority of his adult life overseas exploring different cultures and learning about the best that each has to offer the expatriates who live there.

Visit http://www.retiring-overseas.com/ for more information on living abroad.