We recently read that, come November, Americans who are unhappy about the result of the upcoming presidential election will be welcomed to move to Canada's Cape Breton.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
A local radio host is hosting a website that is pitching the Nova Scotia island as a "safe haven" should one candidate in particular emerge victorious. He claims he has already received hundreds of email inquiries from interested Americans.
We'll admit that Cape Breton looks tempting. It's a gorgeously green hilly island surrounded by blue Atlantic waters.
But winters there can be downright chilly -- certainly too much for our Latin America-thinned blood. We are not used to daytime temperature much below 70 F or 75 F degrees.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
The cost of living on Cape Breton would deter us as well. Apparently, the average cost for an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment in the city center of the island's historic capital of Sydney is C$750 a month ... or only about $560. Add at least $150 a month for utilities on top of that.
In Cotacachi, Ecuador, where we live, a fully furnished three-bedroom apartment in the heart of town was recently advertised for $500 a month--and that's with all utilities paid. You can often find nice furnished rentals as low as $350 a month. No furniture to buy. No parkas or snow boots needed. (The average February day in Cape Breton's Sydney is an icy 20 F.)
So while we hope to visit Cape Breton some summer day, we plan to continue living in Latin America, where we are certain our monthly budget will always be manageable. (For sure, it won't go up in flames on heating bills.)
But back to that upcoming election...
During the past 15 years that we've been living overseas, several election cycles have come and gone. With them, comes the ebb and flow of disgruntled retirees.
It doesn't really matter which party wins the election, some of you ... many of you, in fact ... will be unhappy that your candidate did not win. And quite possibly you'll start looking in earnest for an escape hatch.
Should you want to live on an island (like Cape Breton but in a more climate-friendly latitude) you might consider Belize's Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker; or Mexico's Isla Mujeres or Cozumel; or one of Panama's many idyllic little islands; or even a big island like the Dominican Republic. You'll never need a snow shovel in any of these places. (A broom to sweep the sand from your sidewalk is more likely.)
You can swim ... snorkel ... fish ... or sit outside and watch the local kids play in the surf ... every day of the year if you like. A bathing suit and a pair of flip flops is about all you'll need.
You'll find a low cost of living on these islands, too. Depending on the type of lifestyle that appeals to you, a couple can live on $2,000 a month or even less.
And if beach living isn't your style, let us point you to a fabulous culturally rich town or city like Montevideo or Quito or Medellín or San Miguel de Allende. Or come join us and other like-minded expats in a pretty perfect-climate mountain town like Cotacachi or Cuenca...or a lakeside retreat like Costa Rica's Lake Arenal or Mexico's Lake Chapala.
There is a place for everyone (and you'll probably find it on International Living's Global Retirement Index 2016). And if you think that your place may be outside the U.S. for whatever reason ... because of politics or weather or financial or healthcare concerns...it's good to know you have plenty of options.
Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal, Costa Rica