Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One of the Cheapest Places to Live

Back in the UK Tracy Walker of 'Peterlee Mail' writes about Carr Street as being one of the Cheapest Places to Live in North East London.

The street and area was recently highlighted in the BBC documentary : Famous, Rich and Jobless. The BBC story was about living on unemployment insurance or welfare in the Hart Lane area of Hartlepool.

As is the case with many cheap places to live Carr Street has over half of it's houses boarded up. A two bedroom house in this area sells for just 38,000 pound. It's reminiscent of areas like Detroit in the U.S. which also boasts some of the cheapest real estate in the country but at what cost? Would you really want to live in any of these areas just for the sake of living cheaply?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheapest Places to Retire to recently asked the question, 'Where are the Cheapest Places to retire?' It's a big world ut there and when thinking exclusively about being cheap you're likely to end up in Africa somewhere. But, Shelter Offshore has done a great job of balancing quality of life with affordable living to uncover the best and cheapest places to retire to.

Yes, you know I've been singing the praise of Panama for year snow and Shelter Offshore thinks it's a pretty cool place to live too. Here's what they say about Panama, "You can live like a millionaire on a millionaire’s salary or you can enjoy a comfortable, modest and decent standard of living on a modest amount of money in Panama."

Again, blowing my own horn here, like I've said - get away from the flashy condos in Panama City and stay away from the American marketed 'Gated Communities' especially the few that offer grand and expensive to maintain Golf Courses. Take a short drive into the 'interior', and that doesn't have to mean far away from the ocean, and you will find Panama Property is much cheaper and so is the cost of day to day living. One thing the article does say that I have to disagree with is, "learn how to haggle and shop like the locals". I've always found that most Panamanians don't like to haggle. When you eat with the locals you get charged the same low price they pay. Again, stay away from the Gringo hang outs and you'll pay local prices.

Here's a quick list of other places they mention as Cheap Places to Live Abroad in Retirement:
The Philippines
and Argentina

The article concludes by reminding us that 'Cheap' is a relative term - relative to you, your budget, your savings, your expectations. With TV and the Internet we are now all coming to realize that 'third world' may just be a term to keep us put. There are numerous country on this planet that are civilized, clean, interesting, comfortable and cheap. If you're ready to retire it can be especially so as more and more nations develop incentive programs to entice you and your retirement nest egg to join them. All the more reason to consider investigating places to live abroad.

Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire

Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire is often cited as one of the Cheapest Places to Live in the U.S. New Hampshire boast no state income or sales tax which contributes to it's title as one of the cheapest. Plus it's close to Boston so many people choose to live in Manchester and commute across the Massachusetts border to work.

Like every other part of America this area experienced overbuilding starting in about 2006 which lead to a real estate down turn during the recession. Home prices were still down 7.3% in2009 compared to 2008 and they appear to be continuing tom decline. It's helping to keep living cheap here but even with the recession unemployment rate at 6.7% still remains lower than the national average at 10%.

Nashua is the second largest city in New Hampshire and with the drop in Real Estate prices more families are moving here. Home prices in some popular Nashua neighbourhoods are 20% - 25% less than they were in 2005.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Move to Spain

Oops, just remembered I was going to continue our review of Spain and look at some of the things to consider with a Move to Spain but I got side tracked.

Removals to Spain

In America that term sounds kind of funny. For some reason the word 'Removal' has taken o a negative meaning here. I always find it interesting how the meaning and differences of words often don't occur to us unless we travel.

Well, in this case I've come to learn that 'Removals to Spain' or 'Removals to France' or 'Removals to...'  anywhere is what Europeans and the English refer to when they are speaking about a move - as in getting a mover to package and move household stuff to another place.

Car Hire Spain

Another term I have come across is 'Car Hire'. I had never heard of that one before either.  It seems it's quite common in the U.K. and Europe to ask for say 'Car Hire Spain' as opposed to a 'Car Rental Spain'.

Anyhow, I just find this whole language difference thing fascinating. We spend so much of our time in communication conflict - let's face it even wars have been started and continue over the interpretation of words. If we just took the time to do a little research - a little study and try to uncover the meaning of words in other places the world would be a more peaceful place. And that's my piece or peace for the day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

International Living

A few weeks ago I mentioned International Living Magazine. It's a great resource and one I refer to often both online and off-line. The thing I like most about I.L. is that the articles are written by people who have 'been there and done that'. They really are Living Internationally not sitting in a New York office collecting data. Here are the most recent topics and headlines to give you a flavour for what they are finding on the International Living scene:

April 2010 - Cerro Azul: Where You Can Still Buy Land in Panama from $16,500

March 2010 - Portugal's Alentejo: Europe as It's Meant to Be

February 2010 - The World's Easiest Places to Retire - Note: Watch for an upcoming blog post with lots more detail ion this topic!

January 2010 - Quality of Life 2010: The World's Best Places to Live - If you've been following this blog you know we've spent the last three month's reviewing this issue. Great stuff!

December 2009 - The 4 Best Real Estate Plays for 2010

That gives you a bit of the flavour and variety of topics you will find in International Living Magazine. Each month I really look forward to getting my hard copy in the mail. It's a full colour magazine and although it does a few full page advertisements they're really not over bearing and are targeted at whatever the current article is about so that can even be helpful.

So, if you're curious about International Living and want to learn from the best source check out my World's Best Places to Live post for more details.