Showing posts with label retire in Guatemala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retire in Guatemala. Show all posts

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Retire in Lovely La Antigua, Guatemala

Would you like to retire overseas to a small city with an established, English-speaking ex-patriot community?  If so, be sure to investigate La Antigua, Guatemala.  This lovely community has spring-like temperatures the year around and excellent medical care.  In addition, the cost of living is very affordable ... about one-third of what it costs to live in the United States.

Average daytime temperatures in January, one of the coldest months of the year, range from about 53 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit (similar to what we experience here in Southern California).  In May, the warmest month, the temperatures range from about 63 to 78 degrees during the day (somewhat cooler than Southern California in the summer).  As you can see, there is very little difference in La Antigua weather from one season to the next.

This charming colonial Central American city has appealed to visitors for centuries. The Antigua Plaza was first laid out in 1541 and is the heart of the city.  Many of the buildings surrounding the Plaza were also originally erected at about the same time.  There is a large fountain in the center of the Plaza, surrounded by trees, benches and gardens.  You can also take a carriage ride around this elegant Colonial city.

In addition, if you live near the city center, you can walk almost everywhere, eliminating the need to have a car.  Travel back to the United States is also convenient, since it is just a four-hour flight back to Texas.  That's less time than it takes to fly from Boston to San Diego!

The city has a lot to offer new residents, including wonderful restaurants.  It is a popular destination for people from all over the world, including Europe, Asia and North America, especially those who want to study Spanish through an immersion program.  Consequently, there are a number of Spanish language schools in Antigua. The University of San Carlos in Antigua was originally founded in 1687.

In addition to the large community of retirees from the United States who reside in the city, Antigua is also a popular tourist destination.  Cruise ships dock in Guatemala on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the country.  This beautiful city is known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Your friends and family members will look forward to visiting you in this lovely location.

Frequent religious celebrations and festivals are among the appealing features of the city, including weekly processions through the streets of Antigua during Lent.

Things to Consider When Moving Abroad

I am often asked where to begin if you want to retire abroad.  Before deciding to live in another country, I highly recommend that you take an extended vacation there and tour as many different areas as possible.  It is the single most important action you can take before you make a final decision.  While you are there, meet with Realtors and leasing agents.  Ask them to introduce you to Americans living in the area so that you can get all your questions answered.

You should also consult with a local, English speaking attorney and/or CPA to discuss any legal and financial issues you might encounter in pursuing your goals ... purchasing property, getting a job, starting a business, acquiring medical insurance, etc.

Check out the State Department website for any warnings about visiting or living in the country of your choice.  Visit your local Social Security office and find out what arrangements you will need to make before you move.

It is best to accumulate as much information as possible before you move, rather than experience a nasty surprise after you have given up your home in the United States and resettled in a foreign country!

Other Articles You May Want to Read:

How to Access International Travel Warnings and Alerts

How to Collect Social Security and Retire Overseas

The Risks of Living Abroad

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Photo credit:,_Guatemala.jpg (verified from Wikipedia Commons)