I like the sense of freedom I feel here
December 07, 2017
A new report from the editors of International Living explores how safe expats feel as retirees abroad (very safe, as it happens) and looks at the disconnect between outsiders’ perception of some popular retirement destinations and the often very different reality on the ground today.
“Safety is our number-one consideration when we’re evaluating the merits of a place where expats might consider retiring,” says Jennifer Stevens, International Living’s Executive Editor. “If we don’t deem a destination safe, we don’t recommend our readers go there. End of story.”
“What we’ve discovered is that in the places we do recommend—like Nicaragua, Colombia, or Malaysia, for instance—expats living there often say they feel safer than they did back home.
“Even so, folks on the outside who’ve never been to these places themselves often carry around outdated or simply ill-informed misperceptions about them, believing them to be less safe than they really are.
“No place is 100% free from crime, of course. But there’s a lot less violent crime in the places we recommend than there is in the United States. And just as there are parts of your home town you might not venture into after dark, that’s true of any place.
“Disqualifying an entire country as an attractive place to live because of some newsworthy event in one small corner of it is like saying you’d never live anywhere in the United States because of the crime rate on the South Side of Chicago.”
Expats living in International Living’s top retirement havens report that they feel very safe in their adopted homes.
“After 10 years of living here in Nicaragua permanently, I can say unequivocally, that Nicaragua is a much safer place to live than the U.S. And that gives me peace,” says Bonnie Hayman, IL Nicaragua Correspondent.
“I moved here without knowing a soul. Friends and family told me it was dangerous. I went anyway. Now I feel much safer in this beautiful country than I do when I visit my daughters in California or Washington, D.C.”
Nicaragua is a beautiful country that boasts a dramatic Pacific coastline, long Caribbean beaches, volcanoes and fresh water…