Thursday, June 30, 2011

Canada and Immigration Tips

Should I Move to Canada?

There are a lot of people who love the idea of moving to another country and believe the cheapest and best places to live lie outside the borders of their native land. For this group of individuals immigration is the one solution to their dream of improving their quality of life. Of all the nations in the world that people contemplate moving to you'll discover that Canada seems to top many lists. While obtaining a Canadian tourist visa is relatively easy you will soon learn that the route to acquiring a Canada immigration visa is somewhat challenging, to say the least!

Moving to Canada

The ways and methods for applying for a Canadian immigration visa are varied and differ based on a number of factors about the person wanting to move to Canada. Your first step is to do some preliminary research. Begin by simply reviewing the application form to learn about the items which are necessary. This way you can prepare all of your documentation prior to filling out the correct kind of form for you particular circumstance. Once you've looked through the list of required items its then wise to go a little further and find extra tips and information online. Like anything in life the more prepared you are - the more information you have at your disposal and the more you learn about the present rules for immigration the greater your odds of success.

Canadian Permanent Resident Status

The goal of your application is to obtain Canadian Permanent Resident Status and the only way to get there is through the federal government of Canada. Although you can apply on your own the fastest way to ensuring you get approved is by hiring the best Canadian immigration lawyer you can find. To improve your odds of success you can also register your application for two types of residency positions - to be a long term resident of Canada but also apply for a short-term position. This way of applying is perfectly acceptable and is known as "Dual intent".

If you are unsure if living in Canada is for you and want to start by traveling through Canada you can do so with a different kid of visa whereby you will not be regarded as a resident but you will still be able to stay and travel freely. Its important that you understand all of the facts around these types of temporary visas and the application requirements. One great resource to learn all you need to know is 'The Canada Immigration Workplace'.

When it comes time to send in your application for an immigration visa double check and make sure you have submitted all of the required information and documents that are requested. Additionally its important to understand that if you provide any false information or if you simply refuse to supply any of the required paperwork not only will you be refused admittance into Canada but you will also not be permitted to re-use your application for immigration to Canada. In other words you will have to start over.

While these laws may sound harsh they're in place to offer freedom and access to genuine travellers who want to temporarily reside in Canada.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Retirement Options - Spain

Retirement Options

You've worked the majority of your life and now you're retired. As part of your Retirement Plan you may very be thinking it's time to start anew - to experience life again as though you were in your youth - to  have fun - to learn and to relax. Many retirees feel that a big change is in order and are considering the move to another country. Their desire to to truly start fresh  in a new environment where they are surrounded by all things different and new - a different culture - different opportunities to learn but at a slower pace with peace and tranquility. Europe offers all of these qualities and one country in particular conjures up the image of an ideal retirement - Spain.

It's no surprise that many retirees opt for the romance and culture of Europe and Spain. The lifestyle activities are almost limitless. With a rich history and colourful culture anyone will surely be please with a Spanish Expat existence. Old cathedrals and palaces make one feel like they are stuck in time and that  these ancient structures are still alive. Spain has been described as "Heaven on Earth" especially for people who love to study history and ancient civilizations.

Moving to Spain

Spain has been one of the most frequented countries in Europe for many many years, not only as a tourist destination but as a retirement 'Hot Spot'. In fact Spain is still considered to be a top tourist magnet and an ideal retirement location for those who want to move here. It's certainly not a surprise as Spain has some of the best beaches in Europe and is known as one of the best places to quality of life and living. Spain offers relaxation and comfort to those who decide to retire there. All of this said its important to think over some things before you relocate here for good.

Spanish Retirement and Social Security

The most vital consideration of all is your pension. Knowing where you stand financially not only in terms of savings but also in regards to your ongoing sources of income, aka your pension, will determine whether or not your Spanish retirement plan will continue or you whether you need to forget Spain and look elsewhere. As in most life decisions most things or at least majority of them will depend upon your income. Whether it's the house of your choice or just your daily expenses it will all come down to asking yourself what you can really afford. It obviously makes things a lot easier if you have a nice chunk of  savings in your bank account as this will help with major purchases and to supplement your pension.

Health in Spain

Another key consideration to think about is how you will handle future problems like homesickness and your health - or if your health fails in some way. No one can deny that as we age in retirement we become more prone to illness and injury. It can strike at anytime. The location where you will be living is something that you need to consider seriously. Accessibility is key and proximity to a hospital and the best healthcare services is important. Even being close to a market and pharmacy takes on a level of importance in retirement. If you are hurt or sick you don't want it to be difficult finding and buying everything you need. Your priority is having any medical needs cared for quickly and easily.

Getting a Spanish Visa

Having a proper residency visa is also an important issue to consider. If you happen to be from a European country already then you do not need to apply for a Resident Visa. As a member of the EU you can move any place within the EU freely. On the other hand if you are from somewhere outside of Europe then you will be required to obtain for a Resident Visa.  Be prepared and allow time to get everything in order and for the lengthy approval process. You will be asked to present numerous documents that will prove you are qualified to become a resident of Spain without becoming a burden on the government or the Spanish people.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Your Best Investments

In this article we are going to cover some of the best investments as far as ways and places to invest in. With so many investment options, how does a person know where to put their money? You do exactly what you are doing, research. Get different ideas and options and then pick the investments that will match your investment objectives.

Lets start out with lump sum investments.

Best Lump Sum Investment

Annuity - If you have a lump sum which you want to get a guaranteed monthly payout from, then investing in an annuity might be just right for you.

You need to choose a solid insurance company first, then decide how much money you want to invest in the annuity. Based on their calculations you will be presented with different options, they will include duration and monthly payment. This is one of the safest lump sum investments for a guaranteed return for the time you select.

Best Countries to Invest In

With so much financial turmoil around the world, the list of favorable countries to invest in changes frequently. For this reason it is wise to diversify and only invest a portion of your overall capital in these countries. Plus, keep up to date with the changes before you make your final choices.

Here are the top five countries according to Forbes and a few other financial experts:

- Norway
- Finland
- Sweden
- Switzerland
- Hong Kong

Side Note - The United States has slipped down into 7th place as of this writing.

Other Areas to Invest In

There are so many places to put you money it's hard to capture all of them. You will also be persuaded by who you talk to. If you talk to a real estate agent they will tell you real estate is the place to be, if you talk a banker they will say CD's is the safest (@ .75 percent I need to laugh).

Here are a few places to consider: Precious metals, selected ETF's, diversified overseas funds and commodities (funds that invest in food, fuel, pharmaceuticals).

We mention the word "funds" a lot because they are diversified for you, these are the best places to invest in for most average people and they make up the ions share of the Best Retirement Plan. In a world that is so unsettled you want to stay diversified as much as you can.

Editors Note: Be sure to check out this Special Report of 44 Things you Must Know before you Relocate, Retire or Invest Offshore -

44 Things You Must Know Before You Relocate, Retire, Or Invest Offshore

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Your Best Retirement Plan

Retirement Planning

I live in what I consider to be one of the Best Places in the World - Canada. A long time ago, I was just 23 at the time, I met a Vice President (VP) of Canada's largest bank.  I was working as a reporter at the time and had scheduled an interview with him. After the usual introductions and chit chat he asked how old I was and then he asked if I had Personal Retirement Plan. At the time I was a little confused. What on earth would a 23 year old be doing worrying or even thinking about retirement? But I remembered his question and after a some years it occurred to me how wise and important that question really was. In fact this wise banker was giving me both a very big hint and a very big gift. I was just too young and naive to get it at the time.

Your Investment Retirement Account

The key lesson here is you are never too young to start savings or to start investing. It may seem like a big word and a mature thing to do but saving, even if only a little at a time, is the best way to be certain  you will have enough to retire comfortably when you are ready. Investing just $10 a month can make a huge difference. After 20 years the magic of compounding interest will amaze you. This lesson is all about not worrying how much you have to invest. It doesn't have to be a big amount to get started.  the habit of setting aside money is obviously the first skill to acquire but making sure your money actually grows is quite another thing. Let's face it, ten dollars stuffed under your mattress every week for 20 years may amount to a pile of cash but what value will it really have if it hasn't grown? No your mattress is not one of the best places for your retirement savings.

A Personal Retirement Plan

When it comes to investing for your retirement one of the key features is making sure they are secure. Yes, its true secure investments don't necessarily earn you the highest return but they will grow consistently over time and you can sleep comfortably knowing you won't lose it all. Avoid dabbling in the stock market and other high risk investments. Remember this is your Personal Retirement Plan.  It's all about you! The goal of your plan is to make sure your post-retirement life is one with financial independence and a comfortable standard of living after you have stopped earning.

How to Invest for Retirement

Finding a good advisor who knows their way around the wild and wooly world of investing and retirement planning is always a good idea. Financial professional like investment advisers and financial planners have the knowledge and experience to assist you in making the correct choices for the best investments.

Other Retirement Investing

Although starting small by saving and investing even a small amount of money consistently works well over the long run you may want to consider a more aggressive approach when you have a little extra cash on hand. Some financial advisers say that its a good idea to use 60%  of your net income for your living expenses and then allocate the other 40% to savings and investments. As your income grows with age and work experience the 40% will grow too. But also your saving and retirement investment fund doesn't necessarily have to come from just your income. Money is money and it could be a bonus, a gift, an inheritance, maybe even a prize. Many people call that 'found money' and they like to go spend it on something luxurious - something they never would have bought otherwise. I consider that to be a waste. Sure, go buy yourself something nice but I encourage you to flip the ratio and invest the rest in a higher risk investment. So consider spending 60% of your 'found money' on the luxury of a higher risk investment.

In conclusion, for the best retirement investment results start saving and investing as early as possible. The more money you save and invest the more secure you are in living a comfortable life in the future. The best way to achieve your retirement goals - consult an investment adviser or financial planner who can help you make the right choices with your Personal Retirement Plan.

Editors Note: Be sure to check out this Special Report of 44 Things you Must Know before you Relocate, Retire or Invest Offshore -

44 Things You Must Know Before You Relocate, Retire, Or Invest Offshore

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cheapest Places To Live In California

The Cheapest places to live in California can be found in the most northern part of California such as in Eureka. Heading north you will follow along the coast lines with magnificent shores and further up it is lined with Redwood trees and gorgeous landscaping. These could easily be described as some of the most beautiful places in America. Agricultural, farming, hunting and fishing are favorites in earning a living or to just enjoy the diversity of the land as a hobby or past time.

Cheapest Places To Live In Los Angeles

In the Panorama City located in the Valley is one of the cheapest areas in Los Angeles to live and to find lower rental rates. The short drive to the main part of city is well worth the trip for employment or for attending school to save on rental prices. Heading east of Los Angeles toward Quartz Hill or to Lancaster the homes and apartments located here are cheaper compared to other places in Los Angeles and they offer easy commute for work or school.

Safe Places To Live In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a very well populated area with a lot of diversity, religion, gangs and some really rough places to live. A few of the safest areas can be found in City Terrace, Culver City or around the Thousand Oaks area. These are well protected and the community pride itself in having a clean and safe place to live.

The cheapest places to live may not always be the best or safest places to live in the world. Sometimes to find the best place to live for your needs may cost a bit more than what the cheapest place has to offer. Finding that special place that is within your budget and where you can feel secure is worth the extra effort in researching and learning about all the areas of the state. Location, employment, safety and happiness goes along with the decision in finding the perfect place.

The Most Beautiful Places

The most beautiful places in the world are abundant and located on every continent and in every corner of our amazing planet. People always believe they have found the perfect spot until they discover a new place. Perhaps its true the the grass is greener on the other side of the pasture? The joy of a new place should always be shared so others can enjoy it. Following are just a few of the wonderful places that can be enjoyed on the continent of North America.

Most Beautiful Places in Canada

Akshayuk pass is an old riverbed that was created from a melting glacier. The deep U shape of the pass is a characteristic of trails left by glaciers that have passed through. At the highest point of this pass is picturesque Summit Lake which does a most unusual thing- it flows both north and south!

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful natural wonders. This waterfall that is situated on the border of Canada and the United States draws tourists from both countries. The voluminous falls are renowned for their powerful flow which can reach over 200,000 cubic feet per second!

Most Beautiful Places in America

The Outer Banks are barrier islands located in the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of North Carolina. They are a little over 200 miles long and are home to many historical places. It is possible to visit the first colony created or a famous wildlife reservation or a national landmark!

The Grand Canyon is a very steep sided canyon which has been carved over thousands of years by the Colorado River. The vertical cliffs provide visual proof of the many geological layers that have accumulated over the centuries. It is possible to stand on a glass bridge to enjoy a 360 degree view of this natural wonder.

Most Beautiful Places to Live

Finding the perfect place to live is subjective to your personal tastes. Whether you enjoy rural or urban, mountains or oceans, or hot or cold weather there are beautiful places that you can find to be the best place to live in the world for you.

10 Most Beautiful Places in the World

So what do you think? Leave me a comment and see if you can list 10 of the most beautiful places in the world you know about!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Best places to live in Colorado

The Top 10 Places to Live in Colorado

There's a lot of space in Colorado and it's no wonder it's becoming the 'in-place' to live. Lets' have a quick look at the Top 10 Places to Live in Colorado and then we'll examine a few of these places in a little more detail:

  1. Louisville
  2. Superior 
  3. Arvada 
  4. Loveland
  5. Broomfield
  6. Highlands Ranch
  7. Fort Collins, Denver
  8. Longmont
  9. Littleton
  10. Colorado Springs. 

Louisville, KY is certainly consider one of the Best cities to live in Colorado . This is because it has a good health care plan and low taxes. It is known for having a low crime rate and dry weather. The unemployment rate is the lowest in the state because of the industries that are in Louisville. Every Friday night during the summer there is a street fair that has a beer garden, live music, and activities for the kids to do.

One of the other good places to live in Colorado is Superior. This is because their housing market is cheaper than most of the other cities.  While Arvada is another great place to live because it has the Cussier Car Musuem. The Cussier Car Musuem has over 100 unique cars.

Loveland is a great place to live because it has Boyd Lake State Park, a modern water sports facility.

Broomfield is a great place to live because of there segway tours to the city.

Highlands Ranch makes the grade mainly because of Redstone Park. Redstone Park everything for kids to do.

Fort Collins is another wonderful kid and family friendly spot because of the Swetsville Zoo. The zoo is not actually a zoo, it is an outdoor art gallery.

Denver is a great place to live because it has Lollipop Park. Lollipop Park is an indoor children's amusement park.

Longmont is a great place to live because of Mile-HI Skydiving. Mile-HI Skydiving has the longest freefall of 17,500 feet.

Littleton is a great place to live because of Fat City. Fat City is an entertainment center for kids of all ages. Colorado Springs is a great place to live because of Magic Town.

Thats our quick review of Colarado for today and just a few reasons why we consider these fine communities some of the Best Places to live in Colorado.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Best Cities to Visit in the USA

Travel to the USA!

The summer is finally here and for our Canadian and European friends its time to travel to the USA! There is such a huge variety of places to visit and experience that people from all over the world simply can't resist visiting this great nation. With a place for every ones taste from the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington D.C. to the wild and weird in Austin, TX. Yes, in the US you'll find the best cities to visit and some of the best places to visit in the world that have given them that title.

Top 10 Destinations in the USA

The top 10 destinations in the USA include:

  1. New York City with its amazing Broadway shows, towering Empire State Building and great places to eat like Little Italy or Chinatown. 
  2. Boston, MA has the Fauneuit Hall Market place were tourists can come shop and see the many street performers and get the feel of the past and present nestled into downtown Boston. Then there is 
  3. Orlando Florida with Universal Studios and Disney World.
  4. Denver,CO and its beautiful mountains and adventurous terrain suited for hiking,biking, and rock climbing. 
  5. Philadelphia PA and 
  6. Washington D.C. is packed with history with the Lincoln,Washington, and Jefferson Memorial and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and great Philly cheese steaks. 
  7. San Francisco California has one of the biggest film festivals holding the International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and 
  8. Los Angeles CA with the J. Paul Getty Museum that holds some of arts finest between its walls including Van Goh and Monet. If the beach is more your style some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are in 
  9. Miami Florida or for world famous casinos and mind blowing shows like Criss Angels Cirque de soleil show Believe 
  10. Las Vegas, NV is perfect.

Top 10 Most Visited Places in the US

Best Places to Stay

For the best places to stay for your dollar and your body the list could be long but here are a few of our top picks:

  • Anaheim boasts of having America's Best Inn and after a day at the Disney parks the reviews seem to back it up. Great on price and on location you'll be within walking distance of the parks. 
  • The Country Inn and Suites by Carlson at the Denver International Airport is great because its next to the airport but also because the staff are so friendly, the breakfast is hot and the pool is warm and inviting.
  • The Mapes in Reno is another one way up on our list for the Best Places to Stay in Reno.
Whether you are from near or far we encourage you to get out and discover all that America has to offer.