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Trend: Americans Retire Overseas for Endless Summer—International Living

“Our only wardrobe changes are changing from our indoor sandals to outside sandals, and deciding whether to wear sunglasses or a hat,” says IL Ecuador Correspondent, Jim Santos who lives in the beach resort town of Salinas. “Our coldest nights of the year rarely dip under 70 F, and our warmest days are usually under 90 F. Most of the time it is the same old 80s F during the day, the same old 70s F in the evening.

A West Virginia native, Jim and his wife Rita moved to Salinas three years ago for a life of year-round summer.

“We traded cold, snowy winters and hot, blistering summers for a place where there are no extremes…But there have been many other benefits to our jump to expat life. Our health has improved due to the better lifestyle and abundance of fresh, unprocessed foods.

“We are only two degrees south of the equator, so our days and nights are always just about the same—12 hours long. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always in season, so whether it’s strawberries or asparagus, it’s just the same and just as fresh whether it’s May or November.”

As the summer comes to an end in the U.S., more and more Americans are finding ways to skip the harsh winter months and extend their summer in a less-unpredictable climate.

Rex, 77, and Colleen Swanson, 68, moved to a small, well-landscaped community of homes on the water about 20 minutes’ drive from Pedasí, Panama, a small fishing and farming community popular with expats. Pedasí, they say, reminds them of their hometown in northern Minnesota.

But there’s one thing they were happy to leave behind: “We don’t miss the cold and the snow,” says Rex, who notes it can get hot during the day. “But we’ve got a pretty good breeze here.”

Like anywhere in the tropics, there is a rainy season (from May to November). But it’s not a deal-breaker for the couple, especially in this region, which is known to be the driest in the country.

Labor Day may mark summer’s last hurrah in the States, but Boomers retired in sunny shores abroad enjoy summer all year long. New reporting from the editors of International Living reveals three beachside destinations increasingly popular with expats, where the cost of living is low, the lifestyle is healthy, and the sun shines year-round.

“Even in the rainy season, it’s not always cloudy. There’s always some sun each day. It lifts your spirits,” says Colleen. “The nights year-round get to 75 F, which is perfect sleeping weather.”

“Whatever we need is very accessible. And it’s a very agreeable community…it’s kind of like a small town in America,” says Rex.

And they’ve found their new way of life to be very affordable. They pay $1,300 a month—including internet and water—to rent a large, fully-furnished, two-bedroom home within walking distance of the beach. Their electric bill is about $50 per month.

“In general, it’s easy to come to Panama and retire. They make it easy for Americans. It also feels like the way they handle a lot of things is how we’re used to,” says Colleen.

Along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast, spanning the northern Pacific coastline, lies the popular surf town, Tamarindo. Not only is it known for its golden-sand beach, but also its continual sunshine and warm weather.

It is along here that IL Costa Rica Correspondent, Jackie Minchillo, found her ideal way to extend her summer.

“I was born and raised in Michigan and lived in Chicago as an adult. Harsh winters have been the name of the game most of my life. When my husband and I decided to make a move abroad, warm weather and sunshine year-round were at the top of our list of criteria,” says Jackie.

“When people ask me what I love most about living in Tamarindo, I tell them it’s the sunshine every day of the year.”

Similarly, Cason Gaither swapped life in South Carolina for early morning walks on the beach and watching the sunset in Tamarindo.

“I wake usually around 5:30 a.m. to take care of emails, check social media and of course, the surf report,” says Cason. “I wouldn’t say Tamarindo is particularly cheap compared to elsewhere in Costa Rica, you pay to live so close to the beach. I live one block from the beach and one block from all the nightlife. I could not do that anywhere in the States for the budget I live on here.”

Editor's Note:
Members of the media have full permission to republish the article linked above once credit is given to

Further information, as well as interviews with expert authors for radio, TV or print, is available on request. Photos are also available.

About International Living

For 37 years, has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

To learn more please contact Associate Editor, Carol Barron, tel. (772) 678 – 0287, e-mail: CBarron(at)

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