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5 Best Islands to Retire On
July 23, 2015
Go where the weather is warm and the worries are few.
From almost any shore on this largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands, you can swim out to the reef and check on the neighbors — barracudas, sea horses, eagle rays. You can lie in a hammock. Or head out to a golf course, which isn’t crowded. Why? Because the island isn’t just for those who want to while away hours. So-called retirees open schools and clinics here.They get involved with the local youth. Retirement doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means doing what you want.
Boca Chica, Panama
Well-preserved natural islands surround a small peninsula. Water taxi to a boulder-and-palm-lined beach on Isla Parida. Take jungle walks with howler monkeys on Isla Boca Brava. Also dive, sail, fish for marlin and tuna, all nearby. Many people speak English, and Panama uses the U.S. dollar as its currency. The city of David, less than an hour away, offers shopping, health services and flights to Panama City, which connects you to flights anywhere. Boca Chica is access to civilization balanced with natural serenity.
A healthy lifestyle (kalamata olives and homemade hummus for sustenance, walking for transportation, low stress) and cheap rents (especially relative to much of the region) make this a winning spot for long-term living. How long? The island is known for the agelessness of its inhabitants. Exactly why octogenarians rule on Ikaria remains a mystery. “Medicines” here include honey, herbal tea and red wine. But longevity might have most to do with not worrying about longevity — or much of anything.
Once of key strategic importance in the region and trading hands many times, this small group of islands in the central Mediterranean (just south of Sicily) is now a stable republic, with nearly perfect weather including winters mild enough that fruit ripens in January. Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, sailing and snorkeling have no of-season. The infrastructure is well maintained. Health care is high-quality and affordable. English is an official language (along with Maltese).
Exotic as Malaysia might be, many things here will make you feel at home. English is widely spoken. The country ofers retirees renewable 10-year visas (known as the Malaysia My Second Home — or MM2H — program) and allows foreigners to buy property. Good health care, a vibrant crossroads culture, and cuisines (including the coveted nyonya) of near mythical variety round out an appealing place to live. Exotic and welcoming is hard to beat.
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