How to find your Nirvana

So how do you find the “perfect” place to retire?


Aside . . . I took the photo in Santorini.  I would love to retire in Santorini!  However the cost of living was horrendous – worse than Santa Barbara/Ventura where we were living and getting there is such a hassle and so expensive that my kids would never be able to visit.    So that’s just an example of some of the more obvious considerations to use in paring down your list of fabulous places to live to a short list of a few places that might work for you.

Here’s what we came up with as a short list.


Ventura, California – Made the list because we were already living there.  Maybe we had already discovered our “paradise.”  And frankly, in many ways we had!  California’s “Gold Coast” is the stuff movies are made of, and where many of the movies are made, and the place where many of the “rich and famous” choose to call home.  The problem there is the “rich” part.  We didn’t qualify!  We had a nice little home with a pool and backyard full of avocado trees.  We looked out over the Pacific Ocean.  Every morning I could see how big the waves were at the beach!  Life was good, but expensive!  29% of my income went for housing!  39% went to my spendthrift Uncle Sam and his cousin in Sacramento.

We’d been to Costa Rica and had heard a whole lot about Americans retiring there.  So Costa Rica made the list.

We had been visiting St Thomas for almost 30 years on cruise ships and visiting with our friends, Jack and Ella White, when they lived in St Thomas and Jack pastored the church in Charlotte Amalie.  I love St John, and St Croix . . . well, it was also an option.

Panama?  How did Panama make the list?