A new book on retiring outside the U.S. has been published: Retirement Without Borders, by Barry Golson with Thia Golson, Scribner/Simon & Schuster, 418 pp., December 2008, $19.95.
It has chapters on retirement in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize in the Americas; and France, Italy, Croatia, Spain and Portugal in Europe. It also has brief "samplers" on other destinations including Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, Thailand and the Caribbean.
I wrote the chapter on Belize.
Two or three members of this forum also (in two cases, anonymously) contributed a short section recounting first-person experiences living as an expat in Belize. Some people will recognize who the contributors are. Ian and Kate Morton, who operate Hickatee Cottages in PG, also contributed "My Belize" reports. A couple of other forums members also kindly contributed information, which I passed on to Barry Golson.
The Golsons built a house in Mexico and lived there for a while, an experience they reported in an earlier book, Gringos in Paradise.
This is a much-needed new sourcebook for folks looking to retire or otherwise relocate abroad. While it is written primarily for Americans (and Canadians), parts of it will be helpful to Europeans and others as well.
Since I, like the other chapter contributors, were paid a flat fee, I have no financial interest now in how well the book sells, but I do think it's a helpful resource for those who haven't yet decided where they would like to end up. It provides cross-comparisons among countries and grades the different countries on key attributes such as weather, health care and affordability.
Ease of residency A-
Special retiree benefits B+
Health care C
English sufficient A+
U.S expat community B-
Property restrictions B
Serious crime B+ (Belize City C-)
Petty crime C-
Food variety D
Distance, access to U.S. B+
(Note: These are Barry Golson's ratings, not mine. I disagree with a few of them.)