This Week In Travel and Health

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The last few years, most Americans have been wondering just how golden their golden years are going to be. But putting that aside and focusing on the upside, there’s been some interesting information in the news this week about Boomers retiring abroad. International Living recently came out with its 2012 Retirement Index. They ranked countries based upon categories such as climate, cost of living, ease of integration, and importantly given our mission here at Healthy Travel Blog, healthcare.

Based on those factors and a few others, Ecuador is the big winner. As Reuters reported last week, the main attraction of Ecuador is the cost-of-living; this story highlights a couple that lives comfortably on $600 a month.

But a low cost-of-living can’t be all you look at when you’re planning retirement. Specifically, the health care system is a critical component of your planning. Bryony Ashcroft at Expat Health looked at the healthcare offering in Ecuador, and comes away with a favorable impression.

“Healthcare is not only very affordable but also first-rate in terms of quality. The public system is very cheap compared to the US or Europe but waiting times can be long and the quality does vary from cities to rural areas. The private option is still very affordable and many expats find the cost is half what they would pay in the US.”

Expats are eligible for Ecuador’s Social Security medical program for about $57 a month.

International Living rates Ecuador’s healthcare infrastructure as an “80” out of 100.

On to the rest of the links. St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend, and if you’re lucky enough to be in Ireland this weekend, I’m sure you’d like to have a culinary guide to Dublin and Cork. At The Atlantic, Hampton Stevens tells you the best places to dine.

We have a lot of the “best, greatest and most spectacular” this week. At the Wall Street Journal, Georgia Freedman goes searching for the best Dim Sum in Hong Kong. At CNNGO, Bija Knowles looks at 15 hotels you have to have on your bucket list. There’s some cool stuff here; I’m still trying to understand the physics behind England’s Balancing Barn Hotel. And at Huffington Post, Sara Cardoza offers a slide show of the world’s most spectacular castles.

At the Wall Street Journal, Madeleine Miller fulfills a lifelong quest and visits the ancient city of Troy.

And here’s an Associated Press piece about the end of an era in Mexico City – the city’s iconic VW Beetle taxi cabs are being phased out. It’ll never be the same…

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