One of my favorite places on earth will be getting a lot of positive attention starting later this month when “Survivor” begins filming its 21st season in and around San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Then, for 14 weeks this fall, some 13 million U.S. households will tune in to CBS every Wednesday night to watch 20 Survivorists tromp around the Nicaraguan jungles.
This is a big deal for a little country like Nicaragua. I’ve seen the effects of this kind of thing in the past. When “Temptation Island,” for example, aired its Isla Bonita season filmed on Ambergris Caye, Belize, suddenly, overnight, this outpost of divers and fishermen was a household name.
The Temptation Island Effect created a new and higher-end (US$1 million-plus) market on this formerly unnoticed Caribbean island, the vestiges of which I viewed recently. All along Ambergris’ white-sand coast today are condo developments built to supply the Temptation Island viewers who, having been introduced to this island paradise in prime time, wanted to claim a little piece of it for themselves. How cool it became to be able to say, “I’m going down to spend a week on the beach at my place on Ambergris Caye…you know, the island off Belize where ‘Temptation Island’ was filmed…”
We’re moving slowly this morning.
After about 18 hours of travel, we arrived at Charles de Gaulle to find (quelle surprise) the French airport workers were en greve (that is, on strike). We waded through hundreds of people to make it to the immigration line…where we waited more than an hour to be admitted to the country.
Then, outside, we joined those same hundreds of people waiting for taxis to take us all into the city.
Then, on the highway…mon dieu…rush-hour traffic. Another hour-and-a-half later, we arrived finally at the little apartment on rue de Verneuil that the kids, traveling with us, remember as home.
A friend in Europe called this week to ask if I thought my Marketwatch members would be interested in bank foreclosure deals in Mediterranean countries. My friend has been active as a broker and developer in Spain and Croatia for more than a dozen years and has contacts elsewhere in Europe, as well.
I assured him that, yes, this is the kind of opportunity I’m keen to bring my Marketwatch members, and I’m reviewing details for a forthcoming Marketwatch report now.
The kinds of extreme bargains my Euro-market contact is telling me about are available in many markets right now. The key is locating them. You won’t find these kinds of deals on the Internet. You have to have “boots on the ground,” as they say, either your own or those of a reliable contact (like my friend), someone active in the market where you’re shopping.
Can’t remember where you placed your car keys again? Already forgotten what you read just a few minutes ago?
Such situations often lead adults to conclude they’re on a downward spiral, that their aging brains just aren’t as agile as they used to be.
Neural connections that convey information do weaken with age and disuse, reports New York Times health editor Barbara Strauch. However, contrary to popular belief, research shows your brain can continue to develop as you grow older, building neural connections that help you recognize patterns, better see the “big picture,” and achieve deeper understanding of complex issues.
The rental market in Paris has shifted. Last year, when the euro was strong, tourism was down. The short-term rental market suffered.
Today, the Greenback has about 20% more buying power in this part of the world than it did a year ago. Tourism is up sharply, and short-term rentals are back in demand.
Meantime, thanks to la crise, as the French refer to it, many apartment owners in this city have been struggling. With fewer tourists on the scene over the past 18 months or so, landlords did what they could to attract long-term tenants. Business people flow steadily through this city, often with their families in tow during their 3-, 6-, or 12-month placements. More apartment owners fighting to attract a piece of this executive rental pool has translated into falling pricing. Mid- and long-term rental rates are down and more competitive than they’ve been in a long time.
After cost of living and housing, the question of foreign residency options is a key one to consider as you make your retire-overseas plans.
The truth is, not every country welcomes foreign residents or retirees, and, in those that do, the requirements for qualifying for residency status vary greatly. Furthermore, some countries (for example, Panama) offer many different options for establishing permanent residency.
A local attorney can detail all the possibilities for you, and, in most cases, I recommend you use a local attorney to process the associated paperwork for the visa you choose to apply for. It’s worth the minimal expense, and it saves you the effort of trying to wade through the related red tape in a foreign language. In some cases (again, in Panama, for example), an attorney’s help is not only advisable but required.