When it comes to ultimately using your retirement wealth-building program, whatever it may be – 401(k), IRA, Roth, self-directed plan – what are you dreaming of?

For many people, the dream involves an idyllic place to enjoy life after retirement.

The key to making that dream reality, of course, is coming up with a smart savings plan that will bring you the best return on investment – and then sticking to it!

At Investment Resource of AZ, LLC, we’ve helped clients successfully roll over millions of dollars into self-directed IRA accounts and many of them now are enjoying their own slice of paradise. Ask us how we can help you do the same.

Is Your Dream  Spot on One of These ‘Best Places to Retire’ Lists?

First, Let’s Dream Globally

Here’s U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 10 Best Places to Retire Overseas in 2018– most with a cost of living below $2,000 per month:

Algarve, Portugal – “Located at Europe’s westernmost tip and boasting a hundred miles of Atlantic coastline, Algarve boasts beaches, golf courses, sunny weather, friendly folk and a low cost of living. It is an old world lifestyle at a very affordable cost.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,835 per month.)

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic – “On the country’s northeast coast, this is not just another sandy Caribbean beach town. This island outpost is more cosmopolitan than you’d imagine. This means fresh baguettes, sophisticated restaurant menus, kisses on both cheeks in greeting, waitstaff who are alert and attentive and other similar niceties.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,500 per month)

Medellin, Colombia – “Medellin is a city of parks and flowers that is pretty, tidy and pleasant. … Thanks to its mountain setting, Medellín is one of a handful of cities around the world that qualifies as a land of eternal springtime.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,900 per month)

Abruzzo, Italy – “The Abruzzo region is the most overlooked and undervalued in central Italy. … At certain times of year you can even ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon. Low-cost flights give you affordable access to the rest of Europe. Abruzzo is a top choice for old world living on the Continent.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,500 per month)

Mazatlan, Mexico – “Mazatlán is one of the few places in the world where you can walk for miles on an uncrowded beach within the city limits. Located about midway along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Mazatlán is making a comeback.… The focal point is Plaza Machado, which is now surrounded by busy outdoor cafés and international restaurants.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,370 per month)

Ambergris Caye, Belize – “If your overseas retirement fantasies are aquamarine and sandy, put Ambergris Caye at the top of your list. The diving and snorkeling, the color and clarity of the water and the abundance and variety of sea life in this country is unparalleled.On Ambergris Caye you can live a simple and relaxed life by the water. There are only a handful of streets and very few cars on the island.” (Estimated cost of living: $2,170 per month)

Cuenca, Ecuador – Cuenca is a lovely and historic town that predates the arrival of the Incas in a majestic setting. Cuenca’s large center has a wealth of colonial homes with interior courtyards, thick adobe walls and iron-railed terraces looking down onto the street, punctuated regularly by plazas and squares. Travelers come from the world over to enjoy these square blocks of history, study in Cuenca’s world-class language schools and to experience a rare glimpse of unadulterated life in an Andean colonial city.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,135 per month)

Languedoc, France – “Languedoc is historic, colorful, eclectic, always changing, authentically French and at the same time very open to retirees. Villages here date from prehistoric times, but the feel of this part of France is medieval. Living here is simple and traditional, while still offering all the services and amenities of modern life.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,590 per month)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – “This is a country of contrasts. The ultramodern city center in Kuala Lumpur, with its many skyscrapers, overlooks Kampung Baru, a traditional Malay village and the city’s oldest neighborhood. Kampung Baru has somehow managed to survive completely untouched by modernity, less than half a mile away from the downtown area.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,580 per month)

Chiang Mai, Thailand – “The cost of living in Thailand can be temptingly affordable. The way of life is exotic and idyllic, full of adventure and discovery and, at the same time, completely at peace. … You will meet people from all around the world, who are all looking for new lives in an exotic, beautiful, welcoming and almost unbelievably affordable part of the world.” (Estimated cost of living: $1,365 per month)

To read U.S. News & World Report’s complete story, click here.


Dream Locations Closer to Home

Now, for those who prefer to stay closer to home, here’s a look at Forbes’ 2018 list of the top 25 places to retire in the U.S. The authors say: “Our list, of course, is about not only living affordably, but living well. So we look at a raft of quality-of-life indicators … And we look for places that support healthy aging. … We also weigh attributes that foster an active–and hence healthier– retirement.Still another lifestyle factor we consider is a city’s rank for volunteering–an activity that is playing a growing role in Boomers’ search for a meaningful retirement.”

Here’s a quick snippet of information from Forbes’ stunning slideshow, followed by a bit a trivia about each location.

Asheville, North Carolina –Scenic Blue Ridge Mountains town of 90,000 in North Carolina panhandle 200 miles northeast of Atlanta. City inspired Thomas Wolfe’s first novel in 1929, “Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of The Buried Life.”

Athens, Georgia –Classic college town (University of Georgia) of 125,000, 70 miles east of Atlanta. Rare double-barreled cannon from Civil War on display at City Hall.

Bella Vista, Arkansas – Beautiful Ozarks foothill town of 28,000 in very northwest corner of Arkansas, 200 miles south of Kansas City. Evolved from summer resort town.

Bluffton, South Carolina – Water-oriented coastal village of 19,000 in South Carolina’s Low County west of Hilton Head and northeast of Savannah. Area originally known as Devil’s Elbow Barony.

Boone, North Carolina – Pretty mountain town of 19,000 in North Carolina’s scenic High Country, 100 miles northwest of Charlotte. Named for pioneer Daniel Boone, who occasionally camped there.

Colorado Springs, Colorado – Outdoor playground of 465,000 next to Pikes Peak, 60 miles south of Denver. TV show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was set in Colorado Springs (but shot in California).

Columbia, Missouri – Multi-college town (University of Missouri, Stephens College, Columbia College) of 120,000 midway between St. Louis and Kansas City. Walmart founder Sam Walton graduated high school here.

Fargo, North Dakota – North Dakota’s largest city, population 121,000, abutting Minnesota across the Red River of the North. Original name was Centralia.

Green Valley, Arizona – Scores of retirement communities with a combined population of 32,000, 20 miles south of Tucson in the Santa Cruz River Valley toward the Mexican border. Some 15 species of hummingbirds in area.

Iowa City, Iowa – Classic college town (University of Iowa) of 75,000 persons in eastern Iowa. First capital of Iowa.

Jacksonville, Florida – Florida’s largest city, population 880,000, in state’s northeastern corner. In terms of acreage, largest city in U.S.

Largo, Florida – Sunny Florida town of 82,000 between Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, west of Tampa. Named for a lake later drained for development.

Lexington, Kentucky – “Horse Capital of the World” and college town (University of Kentucky, Transylvania University) of 318,000, in center of Kentucky. Named for Lexington, Massachusetts.

Lincoln, Nebraska – Nice mix of state capital and college town (University of Nebraska) with a population  of 280,000, 50 miles southwest of Omaha. Home of U.S.’s only one-house state legislature.

Madison, Wisconsin – Another appealing combo of state government and academe (University of Wisconsin), plus local lakes, in city of 255,000. Official local bird is plastic pink flamingo.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Big college vibe (Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, plus Chatham University) in big city of 304,000. Home town of pop artist Andy Warhol and a museum housing his works.

Raleigh, North Carolina – State capital and college town (North Carolina State University, Shaw University) of 470,000 in famed Research Triangle. Named for English explorer and tobacco proponent Sir Walter Raleigh.

Roanoke, Virginia – Lots of greenery around Blue Ridge Mountains city of 100,000, 240 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Town’s original name was Big Lick, for local salt deposits.

Salt Lake City, Utah – Scenic state capital and city of 194,000 wedged between Great Salt Lake and two mountain ranges. Only U.S. state capital with three words in name.

San Marcos, Texas – Sunny college town (Texas State University) of 61,000 between Austin and San Antonio in Texas Hill Country. Lyndon B. Johnson graduated from Texas State.

Sun City, Arizona – Age-restricted Phoenix suburb of40,000. Considered country’s first planned community for retirees.

Vancouver, Washington– Columbia River city of 175,000 facing Portland, Oregon. Originally founded as a fur trading post.

Venice, Florida – Sunny Gulf of Mexico coastal town of 22,000, 70 miles south of Tampa. Calls itself “Sharks Tooth Capital of the World.”

The Villages, Florida – Rapidly growing senior-citizen-oriented town of 115,000 50 miles northwest of Orlando. Area said to have more golf carts than New York City has taxis.

Wenatchee, Washington – Scenic Columbia River city of 33,000 150 miles east of Seattle on sunny, dry side of Cascade Range. Self-styled “Apple Capital of the World.”

To read Forbes complete story, click here.

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