Senior Active Living - Spring 2022

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SPRING 2022

GROW A HUMMINGBIRD GARDEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF CBD BEST CARS FOR THE ELDERLY READY TO RETIRE? TOP PLACES WITHOUT TOP PRICES

! M E H T E S O L R O M E USE TH S T N I O J R U O Y P E KE

g n i n o i t Func A publication of the

SPRING

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contents Spring

Use Them or Lose Them! Keep Your Joints Functioning

20 3. GARDENING

12. RECIPE

Grow a Hummingbird Garden

Cheesy Broccoli Bowties

6. FINANCE

14. FEATURE

Best Cars for the Elderly 10. RECIPE

Top Apps for Seniors 16. WELLNESS

"Bacon" Mac N' Cheese

The Health Benefits of CBD

11. RECIPE

18. GRANDCHILDREN

Savory Meatballs With Gravy

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Memorable Things to Do With Your Grandchildren 22. TRAVEL

Ready to Retire? Top Places Without Top Prices

Multivitamins

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GARDENING

Grow a Hummingbird Garden By Leigh Burgess

H

ummingbirds are thought to be bringers of good luck. Tiny and quick, spotting one buzzing amongst the flowers feels like a lucky thing indeed. Planting a hummingbird garden is a beautiful way to naturally attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other flower-sipping critters. Here are some of the best flowers to plant to attract a garden full of buzzing jewels. BUTTERFLY BUSH • Butterfly bush flowers come in a variety of colors, with shades of purple being most common. Butterfly bushes are best grown in full sun, but can tolerate some shade. Depending upon the variety planted, butterfly bushes can be anywhere from 5 to 8 feet tall when fully grown. DAYLILIES • Hardy and easy to grow, daylilies come in a variety of colors, from yellows to reds to pinks. Depending upon the variety, daylilies can be anywhere from a mere 8 inches high all the way up to 5 feet tall. Daylilies grow best in zones 4 through 9. TRUMPET VINE • Needing a sturdy structure to grow upon, trumpet vine's orange-red flowers are hummingbird favorites. Quickly reaching heights of up to 20 feet, trumpet vine is hardy in zones 4 through 9. HONEYSUCKLE • Choose a native variety, as Asian imports can be very invasive. The North American native trumpet honeysuckle has beautiful red flowers, and it won't choke out native plant species. A fast-growing vine, native honeysuckle will climb up to 10 feet and likes full sun. PETUNIA • Available in a wide variety of colors, easy to grow and having a lengthy blooming season, it's no wonder that petunias are as popular with hummingbirds. Half to 1 1/2 feet high, petunias love full sun.

SALVIA • Beautiful blue salvia blooms from summer through fall, adding aromatic beauty to your garden. Drought-tolerant, salvia likes full sun, but can handle partial shade. Salvia grows from 1 1/2 to 5 feet high. BEE BALM • Available in colors including purple and red, bee balm is a summer bloomer that does best in full sun. Easy to grow, bee balm is hardy in zones 4 through 9. Grows to around 4 feet tall. Planting a combination of these flowers is sure to attract buzzing beauties to your yard. Adding a small water feature will also ensure that hummingbirds have a source of water.

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Seniors

ACTIVE

executive publishers Hal G. Fox & Suzanne Polk Fox

managing editor Suzanne Polk Fox

copy editor

GENERAL MANAGER Clyde King cking@hartmannews. com ADVERTISING Stefanie Bartlett sbartlett@fbherald.com

Ruby Polichino ruby@fbherald.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya mmaya@fbherald.com Rachel Cavazos rcavazos@fbherald.com

TO ADVERTISE To advertise in future editions of Active Living please call Stefanie Bartlett, or Ruby Polichino, our advertising representatives, at 281-342-4474 for rates, information and deadlines.

Christian Dischler

contributing writers Quentin Authur Jack Burden Leigh Burgess Jack Corwin Danette Smith Lilith Ellen James Farrell Emily Koelsch Faith Miller

art design and production

Suzanne Fox Claire Thomas The information contained in Active Seniors is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Active Seniors for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Active Seniors, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Active Seniors and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Active Seniors. Readers should not use the information in Active Seniors for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem.

© 2021 Fox Printing & Creative Publishing, LLC, New Orleans, LA All rights reserved Printed in the USA by Fox Print Services (igofox.com)

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FINANCE

t s e B s r a C 1 FOR THE ELDERLY

HYUNDAI SONATA

By Quentin Authur WHILE THE YOUNGER GENERATION TENDS TO OPT FOR VEHICLES THAT OFFER ALL OF THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY AND GADGETS, OLDER DRIVERS OFTEN HAVE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SET OF PRIORITIES WHILE CAR SHOPPING. SENIORS USUALLY LOOK FOR VEHICLES THAT OFFER ACCESSIBILITY, SAFETY, RELIABILITY, AND COMFORT. OF COURSE, THIS DOESN'T HAVE TO MEAN GIVING UP ON ENJOYING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY; IT MIGHT MEAN SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS PREFERRING A BUTTON TO A TOUCHSCREEN INTERFACE. WHILE MOST MANUFACTURERS DO HAVE AN OFFERING FOR THE OLDER DRIVER, THERE ARE SOME THAT DO IT BETTER THAN THE REST. HERE ARE FIVE OF THEM.

For many older drivers, the Hyundai Sonata checks just about every box in their search for an excellent mid-sized car. The suspension offers a comfortable ride, while its fuel economy and reliability are among the best in its class. Of course, everybody will love Hyundai's 10-year warranty if anything were to go wrong along the way.

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TOYOTA HIGHLANDER

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The Highlander comes as standard with all of the excellent craftsmanship and reliability that consumers have come to expect from a Toyota. The comfortable, elevated seats offer excellent visibility for the driver, and the handling is extremely smooth. For seniors in the market for an SUV, the Highlander is a fantastic option.


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SUBARU FORESTER

HONDA ODYSSEY

Older drivers with a family will appreciate all of the cargo space and seating in the Honda Odyssey. Its big, sliding doors and low floors offer excellent accessibility, and its reliability ratings are some of the best in the minivan class.

Seniors who still love to get out into nature are sure to love the Subaru Forester. This subcompact SUV has large windows which offer excellent visibility. The Forester also features all-wheel drive, so you can be confident of never getting stuck in the mud again. For an extra layer of safety, you can even opt for features such as pre-collision braking and a lane-departure warning system.

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KIA SOUL

Sometimes you just need a car to get you from A to B. There is perhaps no car better suited to this task than the Kia Soul. This subcompact car offers lots of cargo space, great fuel economy, excellent reliability, and one of the best warranties on the market. The Soul combines affordability and accessibility to create one of the best daily drivers available today.

NOT ALL SENIOR DRIVERS ARE ALIKE, OF COURSE, AND THERE ARE NO SIMPLE CRITERIA FOR WHAT THE BEST CAR FOR OLDER DRIVERS MAY BE. IF YOU REGULARLY DRIVE YOUR GRANDKIDS TO SCHOOL, THE HONDA ODYSSEY MAY BE YOUR BEST BET, WHILE THE KIA SOUL COULD BE A GOOD OPTION FOR GETTING YOU TO THE STORE A FEW TIMES A WEEK. ULTIMATELY, THE DECISION IS UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL DRIVER. HOWEVER, WITH SOME KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR OPTIONS, YOU WILL BE MUCH BETTER INFORMED AS YOU BEGIN YOUR NEW CAR SEARCH.

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NUTRITION

Multivitamins THERE ARE MANY REASONS TO TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN DAILY. IF YOU ARE A HEALTH CONSCIOUS PERSON THAT IS SEARCHING TO IMPROVE YOUR EVERYDAY NUTRIENT INTAKE, CONSIDER A MULTIVITAMIN TO ENSURE YOU GET YOUR DAILY REQUIREMENTS. By Danette Smith

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Many Nutrients in One Bottle

Among the greatest advantages of taking a multivitamin is the wide array of minerals and vitamins it has in just one formulation. It can allow you to buy what you need in one bottle, rather than having to buy a dozen or more bottles. A complete multivitamin contains most of the minerals and vitamins required for a beneficial daily dosage. Multivitamins also come in different formulations for different needs, offering specific formulations for women, men, teens, or seniors to provide more targeted nutrition.

Fill in Nutritional Gaps

Although it is suggested to try to get all of the minerals and vitamins the body requires from meals, it's usually not possible for most people, and that's when multivitamins prove indispensable. The truth is that almost nobody eats a perfect diet all the time. Taking a multivitamin can fill in those gaps in your diet to prevent deficiencies. If you are under stress or regularly take pharmaceutical drugs, you are also a good candidate for a multivitamin. Both stress and medications can deplete your body of nutrients, causing you to get sick more often. A good multivitamin can help to replace those nutrients that you lose.

Give Yourself a Boost

Multivitamins can give you the energy required to cope with busy days, and can also provide greater mental clarity to help you work more proficiently. If you feel like you're dragging or your head is in a fog, a multivitamin can often help. Make sure to ask your doctor if a multivitamin might interfere with your medications. Then read each recommended dose and be informed of whether to consume your multivitamin with food to avoid upset stomach, or improper nutrient absorption. Taking a daily multivitamin is more than just a popular health trend, it can provide the extra nourishment that your body needs to keep you feeling your best. Spring

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s ' p u o S n O RECIPE

Easy Recipes Using Canned Soup By Lilith Ellen

WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD, IT IS COMMON TO BELIEVE THAT DELICIOUS FOODS REQUIRE A LOT OF MONEY. THIS COMES FROM A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ON TURNING COMMON AND AFFORDABLE INGREDIENTS INTO A SATISFYING MEAL. KNOWING HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE IS ESSENTIAL. HERE ARE THREE EASY RECIPES THAT SHOW YOU HOW TO TRANSFORM THE ORDINARY CAN OF SOUP INTO AFFORDABLE AND GREAT-TASTING MEALS THAT THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL LOVE.

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"BACON" MAC N' CHEESE Make the classic comfort food everybody knows and loves, macaroni and cheese. With the taste of bacon as an added twist, you can achieve a cheaper version of this cheesy dish using a couple of cans of cream of bacon soup.

INGREDIENTS

• 500g bag of dry macaroni • 2 cans cream of bacon soup • 1 cup milk • 1 cup shredded cheese • Panko bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together contents of both soup cans, milk and cheese. Remove the saucepan from the burner once the cheese has melted and the sauce is thoroughly heated.

 Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni according to the package's directions. Strain the noodles, then add them to the saucepan. Stir the macaroni and the sauce until thoroughly combined.  Spray a 9x13” casserole pan with cooking spray and evenly spread the contents of the saucepan in. Evenly sprinkle panko over the top. Bake 20 minutes or until panko is golden brown.


SAVORY MEATBALLS WITH GRAVY By Lilith Ellen

A simple, yet filling recipe that is guaranteed to satisfy hunger. It's one of those meals that seem like you put hours of hard work into making it when in reality, it's relatively easy and done in a short amount of time.

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs • 1lb ground beef • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix • 1 cup of oats • 1 egg • Season as you wish Gravy • 2 packets of instant gravy • 2 cans French onion soup It can be served with rice or mashed potatoes, as well as steamed veggies of your choice.

DIRECTIONS

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, combine ground beef, the packet of onion soup mix, 1 cup of oats and one egg. You can add diced onion or garlic if you want and any other seasoning that you desire.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and form the meatball mixture into 1 and a half-inch balls. Place them evenly spaced, so they are not touching on the baking sheet. Bake 22-24 minutes until they are thoroughly cooked through. The outsides should be nicely browned.  In a large pot, make your rice or mashed potatoes, and in another, steam your veggies. Do this while the meatballs are baking, and make the gravy about 5-10 minutes before the meatballs are done. This way, everything should be ready to go when the meatballs are out of the oven.

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Cheesy Broccoli

RECIPE

By Lilith Ellen

Bowties

This favorite is incredibly easy to make and will make you look at broccoli in a completely different way. It's creamy, cheesy, and has full servings of vegetables, making it an ideal and affordable dinner go-to.

INGREDIENTS • 500g bag of bowtie (also commonly known as farfalle) pasta • 2 cans of Campbell's (or other brand) cream of broccoli cheese soup • 1 cup of milk • 2 cups of shredded cheese • 2 cups steamed broccoli • Panko (optional)

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FEATURE WebMD Logo

PRINT CMYK VERSION Blue

By Jack Burden

W

hile many app developers have focused on meeting the needs of young people and millennials, there is an emerging need to create useful apps for the elderly and those living with various kinds of disabilities. The following are some excellent apps that can increase independence and quality of life. WebMd Do you have questions about your health or the health of a loved one? WebMD is an excellent app that can be carried around on your phone and accessed at any time. Users can browse through in-depth information about

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TOP APPS FOR SENIORS

over 5,000 different illnesses. This information includes causes, symptoms and possible treatments for each illness. The app also has a medication checklist that keeps track of medications being taken by particular individuals within your family. This is an especially good feature for seniors who are suffering from multiple ailments. Silver Surf Silver Surf is an app that keeps track of events of interest to seniors. It is organized by categories, including entertainment, health, legal and financial. This app gives quick access to information related to medical concerns, health-related regulations and changes that

may affect senior citizens, and useful government programs specifically for seniors, such as tax breaks. Silver Surf also has a large database of helpful resources, including discounts at restaurants across the U.S. and Canada.

CleverMind This app was created by the makers of Silver Surf and WebMD for seniors with memory problems. Users can take practice tests to improve their brain functions. It is also able to help users learn how to remember new information, recall information more effectively and keep track of a busy schedule with reminders. This app is relatively young compared to its competition, but it has already been awarded


first place in the Aging 2.0 Competition held by Health 2.0 in San Francisco, CA. Good RX With GoodRX, senior citizens can search for the lowest prices on drugs at a pharmacy. When the card is swiped at checkout, the user receives a list of the best prices on all drugs and can compare them to other prescriptions. With special discounts that are only offered (or even available) while using the GoodRX cards, seniors can save up to 80% off the cost of drugs they need. This can be especially useful for seniors who take multiple prescriptions. Pillboxie Seniors often have to take multiple medications throughout the day. There are several options available to manage these medications offered by startups and pharmaceutical companies alike. This app is different in that it works like a database to track and keep up with medications taken over time. Each time a pill is taken, it can be entered into the app as part of an ongoing record of medication usage over time. It is possible to keep track of multiple pills taken once per day or tablets taken twice per day. Fall Detector The fall detector app automatically detects a fall and immediately indicates via alarm and flashlight alerts. This app sends out an alert message to selected contacts after a fall is detected. An emergency message will report the date, time and place where the incident occurred. Users can select who should be notified when they fall and how fast they want the alert to be sent out after a fall has been detected. Users can also set up a

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countdown timer that allows them to cancel an alarm within seconds. As a senior, you have special needs in this day and age. These apps are a few ways you can improve your everyday life, whether you struggle with memory problems, or want to be prepared in case of a fall. These unique programs are designed specifically for seniors, and provide an ease of access that will improve your quality of life. If you aren't tech-savvy, ask someone to help you get familiar with these apps, and enjoy increased independence and renewed sense of security.

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WELLNESS

HEALTH BENEFITS OF CBD By Jack Corwin

I

n recent years, studies regarding the benefits of CBD have shown great results. Based on the results of this research, CBD breaks down all barriers to create a natural and safe way to treat various disorders. Users of various age groups are excited to understand how CBD can benefit their health. Several companies have also begun introducing CBD through innovative means such as oils and creams. The growing body of research on CBD is helping to better understand its potential. This informative guide will show you how CBD can improve the health and well-being of the elderly.

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1

CBD IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF SLEEP Although sleep disorders, such as insomnia, are conditions that affect people of all ages, they are more common in older people. Experts suggest this is caused by the change in sleep patterns as we get older, as well as the chemical imbalance caused by certain medications. Because sleep is the time the body flushes out toxins and recovers, the conditions that prevent it from occurring are extremely harmful to older people. To treat this disorder, most seniors often turn to sleeping pills. And while these products may temporarily solve the problem, they have more serious side effects in the long run. There are many causes of sleep disturbances such as stress, anxiety and general imbalance in the body. According to studies, this product has soothing effects and can fight stress. CBD is becoming more and more popular, and it is quite possible to acquire it in different forms.


2

CBD RELIEVES PAIN One of the biggest problems of old age is joint pain. The majority of the elderly population suffers from arthritis and other chronic pain. With age, our body's immune system weakens, affecting the time it takes to recover. CBD is known for its incredible pain-relieving properties and may be effective in seniors. It promotes the release of serotonin which helps reduce the perception of pain. It also reduces the sensitivity of stimuli in the body to reduce inflammation. You can use it as a cream to apply on painful areas.

3

CBD PROMOTES BONE HEALTH Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that occurs with age. Older people with the disease have weak bones. Osteoporosis can cause inflammation, pain and make older people prone to fractures. CBD is a cannabinoid that can strengthen and support bone health. It can further promote bone regeneration. A recent study showed that these effects are possible with regular use of CBD. More research is being done to understand why CBD is effective in this application, but testimonials from current users suggest that this product may be a treatment option for seniors.

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GRANDCHILDREN

Memorable Things to Do With Your Grandchildren

F

By Emily Koelsch

or many retirees, the biggest perk of this season of life is getting to spend more time with grandchildren. While there’s a lot to be said for the simplest moments spent together, it’s also fun to incorporate some special activities into your time with them. Here are a few of our favorites to help you create lifelong memories with your grandchildren.

Share a Family Recipe

Most grandparents have a few recipes that kids look forward to having when they are at Grandma or Grandpa’s house. Rather than just making family favorites before they arrive, sched-

ule a time to make the recipe with your grandchildren. Not only will they enjoy being in the kitchen with you, but you’ll also have a great opportunity to pass down a family recipe.

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Enjoy Nature Together

Being outdoors in a beautiful place inspires creativity, exposes kids to new things and offers an opportunity to enjoy a special experience with loved ones. Look for a nearby nature trail, bike path, canoe trip, or hike to experience with your grandchildren.

Teach Them a Hobby You Love

You probably think that your grandchildren aren’t interested in your hobbies, but you might be surprised. Not only will they be happy to get a glimpse at something you’re passionate about, but they’ll also be excited to learn something new. Whether it’s golf, gardening or fishing, let them give it a try.

Let Them Share a Favorite Activity with You

They’ll also enjoy sharing something that they’re passionate about with you. Let them pick something that they want to share with you and then be prepared to dive in. It might be a board game, a new dance move, or even a favorite video game, but if you take interest in what they enjoy, you’ll both have a great time. Go to a Show Together

a special event together. Keep an eye out for local events that you think you all would like and plan an outing. You can make it even more special by taking them out for a lunch or dinner date beforehand! All time with grandchildren is precious, but a little extra planning and preparation can ensure that even the simplest activities turn into lifelong memories that you both will cherish.

Whether it’s live theater, a movie, or a concert, you’ll all enjoy the opportunity to go to

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EXERCISE

brittle and prone to injury than the cartilage of a well hydrated person. To keep your joints at their best, drink water throughout the day, with meals and during exercise. By Faith Miller QUIT SMOKING Looking for another reason to give up the habit? Smoking damages your joints as well as your lungs. Smoking decreases oxygen saturation in the blood, slowing the supply of vital nutrients and making joints weaker overall. These weakened joints mean that smokers are 1.5 times more likely to suffer overuse injuries any people consider MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT than non-smokers and almost joint issues to be a Joints are optimized for a twice as likely to suffer strains, natural part of getting healthy individual performing sprains and other traumatic older. It doesn't have everyday activities. Individuals injuries. If you do smoke and to be that way! A few simple above a healthy weight range would like to quit, make sure to lifestyle changes can keep your may notice that everyday actalk to your doctor about a plan joints functioning well into your tivities lead to joint pain; this and potential solutions that can golden years. is because each extra pound help control the urge to smoke. GET MOVING increases the pressure on your TAKE A SUPPLEMENT The phrase "use it or lose joints as you move, and that Several vitamins and nuit" definitely applies to joint added stress leads to inflamma- tritional supplements have health. Maintain mobility by tion and discomfort. Eating a shown promising results in the gently stretching major joints healthy diet–preferably rich in fight against joint damage. Vilike knees and hips, and minor omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, tamin pills designed specificaljoints in the fingers and toes. and protein to further buffer ly for joint health often contain With your doctor's approval, joint health–can help maintain a glucosamine and chondroitin, put your joints to work with healthy weight, as can the light two compounds that aid in carlow impact activities like exercise already recommended tilage formation and increase walking, cycling, swimming, for optimal joint health. joint strength. Ask your doctor or working out on an elliptical DRINK UP before adding any supplements machine. Avoid high impact Dehydration exacerbates to your diet to make sure negactivities like contact sports and a number of health problems, ative medication interactions workouts that involve jumping including joint degradation. will not occur. or sharp turns. Start slow with Water accounts for nearly 80% Good joint health doesn't have any new exercise program and of the mass in human cartito be a hassle! Attention to make sure to warm up before lage, and not taking in enough healthy habits and a little help your workout and cool down water means that the cartilage from your doctor can keep your after you've finished. in your body will be more joints feeling great.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand

TRAVEL

Ready to Retire? Top Places Without Top Prices

By James Farrell

YOU'RE RETIRED, HAVE A STEADY FIXED INCOME AND YOU HAVE RESTLESS FEET. PERHAPS YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF LIVING SOMEWHERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, BUT WORK AND FAMILY HAVE HELD YOU BACK FROM SPREADING THOSE WINGS OF YOURS. NOW YOU ARE READY TO TAKE OFF AND MOVE TO A NEW COUNTRY. THERE ARE A PLETHORA OF CONSIDERATIONS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT BEFORE CHOOSING A PLACE. WILL THE CLIMATE SUIT YOU? WILL YOUR INCOME IN THAT COUNTRY GIVE YOU NOT JUST A GOOD LIFE, BUT A LIFE IN WHICH YOU LIVE WELL? WHAT ABOUT HEALTHCARE IN THAT COUNTRY? IS IT SAFE? ARE THERE ENOUGH ATTRACTIONS THERE TO KEEP YOU THOROUGHLY ENTERTAINED? HERE IS A RUNDOWN OF SOME OF THE BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD TO LAY YOUR HAT WHEN YOU'RE IN THE RETIREMENT ZONE.

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND For a long time, Chiang Mai has been featured on lists of best places to live in the world for expatriates. The city, located in Northern Thailand, is surrounded by verdant mountains covered in lush tropical forests. As a popular tourist destination, it's home to countless attractions and has been called a "food paradise" by people picky about what they put in their mouths. Climate: Chiang Mai has a long rainy season from May until October. The hot season, from March to May, can be oppressive with temperatures sometimes climbing as high as 40°C (104°F). The cool season from November to February might see temperatures at night drop as low as 15°C (59°F). That's chilly to most Thais, but not for most Americans.

General Cost of Living: $2,000 a month is enough to have an excellent standard of living in Chiang Mai. You can find websites that tell you that you can easily live on half of that, but in retirement, one wants to live comfortably. It depends on location, but rental costs according to expat-focused websites for a nice, large three-bedroomed house will cost anywhere from $500 to $800 a month. Healthcare: Thailand has an excellent healthcare system, which is one of the reasons why medical tourism is so popular there. In 2019, CEOWorld magazine ranked Thailand 6th in its Health Care Index. The Negatives: Chiang Mai's traffic is hectic, and during the cool season the city experiences pollution from agricultural burning.

AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE If it's a more laid back lifestyle you want with a backdrop of turquoise Caribbean waters, then the island of Ambergris Caye might be more to your liking. Life is so slow here that many expatriates choose a golf cart as their mode of transportation, while bicycles are another choice. The island can easily be navigated since it's only about 25 miles wide and one mile across. Climate: The wet season lasts from June until December. The temperature throughout the year ranges from 16°C (60°F) to 30°C (86°F), and when you consider the wind coming from the ocean it's almost the perfect temperature yearround. General Cost of Living: Like Chiang Mai, expats who've lived on the island will differ regarding

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Some other places that could have easily been on this list are Panama City, Panama; The Algarve, Portugal; Danang, Vietnam; Quito, Ecuador; Merida, Mexico and Costa Ballena, Costa Rica.

how much they say it will cost to live well. The general consensus is $2,000 a month (including rent) will provide a comfortable lifestyle. Other sources say $1,500 is enough if you live frugally and $3,000 is good if you want to gorge yourself in top-class restaurants every week. If you look at the latest rental costs, a three-bedroom house will cost you half of that $3,000. Healthcare: There is no hospital on the island, so for medical emergencies, you would have to get to the mainland. There you'll find both private and public hospitals. Healthcare in Belize is ranked quite low by the World Health Organization, so this is a drawback. The Negatives: Healthcare and an overabundance of tourists. ALICANTE, SPAIN Pristine beaches, a lively nightlife, winding alleyways flanked by graceful Spanish architecture–what more could you ask for? Alicante has around 320 days of sunshine, and it's affordable. Climate: Spring in Alicante is mostly pleasant, although some rain can be expected. Summer from June to September is

hot and sunny and winters can be quite mild with frequent rain. Year-round, the lowest daytime temperature is around 10 °C (50 °F) and the high in summer should be close to 32 °C (90 °F). The odd heatwave has seen temperatures rise to 40 °C (104 °F). General Cost of Living: You can live well in Alicante for around $2,000 a month. Rents are cheap, with a three-bedroom place costing anywhere from $800 to $1,000 a month. Healthcare: The good news for expats is that in 2019 Spain came in first place on Bloomberg's Healthiest Country Index. The country's healthcare system is ranked in the top ten in the world and better still, long-term residents can use it for free. The Negatives: Life would be better if you could speak some Spanish. PUGLIA, ITALY Located on the heel of the boot of Italy, Puglia has some of the most astounding coastlines you'll ever see. The food is to die for and comes at a mind-boggling low cost. Steeped in history, this region of Italy has much to see. For sheer beauty and tranquility Puglia is unbeatable.

Climate: Puglia is hot and dry for much of the year, although temperatures in winter can go down to 8°C (46.4°F). November to March is when you'll see the most rainfall, but in relative terms, Puglia is still very dry. Summers can be scorching hot with temperatures going up to 40°C (104°F). General Cost of Living: The cost of living is low when you consider that you can rent a two-bedroom apartment for around $700 per month. A very small apartment will cost just half of that. One of the best things about this region is the fact you can get an excellent meal (with wine) at a standard restaurant for less than $30. Healthcare: Puglia has mostly public hospitals, with some private hospitals. Italy's healthcare system, like Spain's, is ranked as one of the best in the world. Also, if you have resident status, you can get that great healthcare for free. Negatives: It depends on where you choose to live, but in some more remote areas, you might not have many expats to socialize with. That could be perfect if you want a quiet life and if you want to connect with locals, you might also want to learn Italian. These are just some amazing places where you can spend your retirement well, lie back in the sun, and be assured for the most part that you are safe.

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