Where to: Retirement destinations

Aside

Retirement.

This may be a daunting term for some, so allow me to rephrase: Retirement abroad.

Talk about moving on to bigger (or smaller, perhaps) and better things. Recently, TopsRetirement.com posted an article sharing their thoughts on the 10 best international places to retire. Whereas the typical creation of such a list is built upon affordability and beauty, TopsRetirement.com focused on, “stable governments; low crime rates; the ability to mix with ordinary people; great food, wine, and culture; and 1st world dependability and bureaucracies.” What I find the most appealing about each of the following places in that there is an appreciation for a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of life.

1. Ireland. Land of (understood) language, culture, and countryside activity.

2. France. It would be nice to start off the day with a platter of renowned cheeses and fresh baguette, wouldn’t it?

3. Spain (coastal). Warm and sunny winters, anyone?

4. Italy. The great outdoors, food, and some more food.

5. Costa Rica. The picturesque hub of eco-tourism.

6. Croatia. Affordable and (in my opinion) underrated.

7. New Zealand. A perfect mix of ultimate adventure and quaintness. Oh, and The Lord of the Rings.

8. Panama. Lunch break on the beach in the middle of January, sure thing.

9. Mexico. Perhaps a surprise for some to see on the list, but you must remember: this beautiful country is not all bad!

10. Ecuador (Ceunca): Why not take to a lower-cost and friendly environment?

I mentioned how each of these locations may appeal to our ecofriendly senses. How so? Skip the car and hop on a bike to cruise Ireland’s quiet towns, Tuscany’s lush countryside, or for some sustainable exercise before delving into France’s fresh market delicacies. Off to the sunniest of destinations? Inquire about solar panels on your Spanish villa or Latin American beach house. Or, how about opting for open windows to allow for a natural cross ventilation in lou of constant air conditioning? An added bonus: a calming (and free) beach aroma.

The options are endless for outdoor activity in these 10 countries. Seeking to truly live your life to its fullest? This list includes places that encourage individuals to get onto their feet for a happier, healthier, and environmentally-conscious lifestyle.

For more on each location, check out the article on Topsretirement.com or Marketwatch.com (photo source).

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Sustainable Harvest Makes Lasting Connections [Corporate Conscious Wednesday]

Sustainable Harvest, our Corporate Conscious Wednesday Winner, sets a great example of how to bring investors and producers together. Specifically, Sustainable Harvests is a fair trade specialty coffee importer. The company works with stakeholders and outside investors to empower farmers who work with sustainable practices and buy from sustainable supply chains. In fact, in 2009, Sustainable Harvests invested two-thirds of its operating expenses (1.1 million) in non profit farmer training and activities to “create a global trade model that better serves fair trader farmers.”

This Portland based company works with farmers in Mexico, Peru and Tanzania, helping over 200,000 farmers compete in specialty coffee markets. By closely connecting farmers, investors, suppliers, and transporters, Sustainable Harvests has succeeded in creating an inspirational business model that benefits both businesses and consumers. Check out more about Sustainable Harvests at http://www.sustainableharvest.com/.