Affordable Places To Live in Europe

Not Just For Retirement, These Are Great Places To Live …  

Europe’s Top 5 Affordable Retirement Havens



Imagine the smell of freshly-baked croissants wafting through the air, or the satisfying swallow of wine made from grapes grown just down the road. Perhaps you muse about living on a sun-drenched Mediterranean beach or tucked down a cobbled lane savoring the cosmopolitan delights of a history-rich city…

A retirement in Europe is a dream for many folks. And it can easily be a reality. If it’s culture, history, and variety you’re after, Europe has it all, and at a cost much lower than you may think… Over the next few pages we explore the five best low-cost options for enjoying your perfect European retirement.

Each of these countries contradicts the dated view of Europe as a continent for the wealthy retiree

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France: Pleasantly Affordable, Great Quality of Life

By Barbara Diggs


You didn’t expect France to be on this list, did you? Many people can never believe the land that gave the world the likes of Versailles, Chanel, and the term haute cuisine could be anything other than prohibitively expensive.

Don’t let France’s glittering reputation blind you. France is a wealthy, First-World country, but the average French person only makes about $30,000 per year. Outside of high-glamor zones like Paris, Provence, and the sun-soaked towns of the Riviera, the cost of living and real estate can be surprisingly reasonable…yet the quality of life remains very high.

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Spain: Sunny, Affordable European Living

By Glynna Prentice


Warm, sunny days by the glittering Mediterranean, cool nights at an outdoor café, lingering over dinner until the wee hours, mouthwatering paella, mounds of fresh seafood, succulent roast lamb (and flavorful wines to accompany them), rich, ancient culture, hilltop castles, and vast stretches of countryside just made for hiking and cycling. Spain invites you to wax lyrical over its many charms and its laidback lifestyle. Here, having fun is expected and hanging out is an art.

And these days, that appealing lifestyle is very affordable. Spain has long been one of the least-expensive countries in Europe. And today, with real estate prices at their lowest in decades and the euro weaker than it’s been in years, Spain is a downright bargain, whether you’re looking to live here full- or part-time.

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Malta: The Best of European Island Life

By Gigi Griffis


Ask any expat why they upped sticks to relocate to the tiny Mediterranean island nation of Malta (all 122 square miles of it—not a whole lot bigger than Nantucket) and the same three reasons keep cropping up: sea, sunshine, and the friendly and welcoming population of English-speaking locals. I encountered all three in abundance on my journeys through this captivating island chain. And having traveled throughout Europe, I can honestly say that Malta fits the bill for an ideal retirement destination.

In Malta, you’ll find abundant sunshine even at the height of winter. Valletta, the nation’s scenic capital and adorned with historic buildings, is renowned as the warmest capital in Europe—and with less than 7,000 inhabitants, a highly manageable one, at that. Even in January, you’ll still find temperatures in the 60s F, rising to the 80s F during the glorious summer months.

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Italy: A Passion for Apulia

By Steenie Harvey


It’s understandable why many Americans regard Italy as expensive. I would, too, if I’d ever been foolish enough to pay $20 for an ice cream near Rome’s Trevi fountain or take a $120 gondola ride in Venice.

Thankfully, I spend far more time outside “tourist Italy” than in it.

Venture beyond the country’s big-ticket destinations, and you’ll likely be amazed at how inexpensive it can be. It’s not a case of compromise either—just like art treasures, history, and luscious landscapes, good living is everywhere.

Leaving aside hotspots like Capri and Sorrento, the farther south you go, the more prices fall. A quick example: The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Milan is $1,000 and in Florence it’s $700. But in Lecce, a flamboyantly baroque city in the Apulia region of Italy’s deep south, it’s $436.

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Portugal: The Last Bastion of True Old World Living

By Eoin Bassett


Ask your average European to describe England, Italy, or France and they will have an answer—even if they have never been. But beyond its southern beach towns and the elegant old capital of Lisbon, Portugal will have them stumped.

Few folks—not even the neighbors—have a clear picture of this small country. It’s Iberian but not Spanish. It nowhere touches the Mediterranean Sea yet it is in ways Mediterranean.

It’s small—no bigger than Indiana—but diverse, with each region distinct. You’ll spend the afternoon eating lamb in a mountain hamlet where wood smoke wafts from ancient stone homes, and that same evening dine on fresh fish on a sandy Atlantic beach.

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Many thanks to International Living Magazine



EHIC - Travel Insurance


You can use your card anywhere within the ‘European Economic Area’; so that’s all the countries in the EU plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and it also applies in Switzerland. You can find a full country guide on the NHS website.

Travel further afield and there’s no cover under the EHIC scheme, although some countries do have reciprocal arrangements with the UK, like Australia, New Zealand and Croatia, where you can get reduced cost medical treatment.


You’re entitled to healthcare on the same basis as the locals in whatever country you’re in. But this is the ‘basic level of state healthcare’, and as each country’s healthcare system varies, your EHIC may not cover all your costs.

If you’re on holiday in France and need medical treatment, then you’ll usually be expected to pay a doctor or dentist directly, even with an EHIC, but can pick up a treatment form which enables you to apply for a refund. You should then be able to claim back around 70% of your costs, which you can do by calling the NHS Overseas Team on 0191 218 1999. However you’ll need to submit your receipts and treatment form so make sure you hang on to any paperwork you’re given.

In Spain and Switzerland dental treatment is generally not available under the state system so you may well have to stump up. And in Cyprus, while it’s free for a doctor to issue you with a prescription (if you show your EHIC), you may get charged to pick it up from a chemist unless you visit a state pharmacy.

If your EHIC won’t cover the full cost of any treatment, you may be able to claim back the remaining ‘unpaid’ portion of the bill from your travel insurer. Some insurers like Churchill will waive the usual policy excess if the bulk of your bill is covered by your EHIC.


In practice you should be able to claim your free or reduced cost treatment by simply showing your card to the doctor, dentist or consultant carrying out your treatment.

But as your EHIC cover only applies in state run hospitals and clinics, (not private ones), be sure it is the state version you’re going to, and if you ask your tour rep for advice on which doctor or dentist to use, make sure they know you’re going to be getting any treatment using your EHIC.


So which is best to use and when? There’s no hard and fast rules on this but the Association of British Insurers (ABI) recommends that your EHIC is best kept for relatively routine treatment, such as if you need antibiotics, develop toothache or have a scrape that becomes infected.

Even if you don’t need to make a claim on your travel insurance for a minor incident like this, it’s best to let your insurer know that you’ve had medical treatment abroad.

If you’re unlucky enough to need more serious or emergency medical treatment then the ABI recommends using your travel insurance as policies provide not only medical cover, but will often cover other subsequent costs, which can be anything from rearranging your flight home, to having a family member stay on with you and even taxis and transport to the hospital for further appointments.

With some travel policies you’ll also be able to claim back things like the cost of phone calls which can quickly add up and would naturally be excluded if using your EHIC.


You’re covered for travel from the date of your application for up to five years, and if you’re abroad and lose your card you can apply for a provisional replacement certificate by calling the NHS overseas team on 0191 218 1999.

You’ll need to give details including your name, address, age and national insurance number but a temporary certificate can then be issued to the doctor or hospital treating you.


Make sure you apply for a free card on the official EHIC website. There are some commercial sites out there charging fees of around £9.99 a time to supply them, which is a complete con!

Thanks to Love Money News

Cliff Chapman


How To Create A Podcast

Why Create a Podcast?

For some very compelling reasons including:

  • The proliferation of smartphones
  • All-pervading bluetooth technology in cars and homes
  • And the powerful ability to start a conversation with an audience that’s keen to hear what you have to say or are interested in buying what you are selling.

Listeners can hear you on their morning jog or daily commute, time often spent listening to music, and you have your audience tuned in to what you have to say or promote or sell, even if they only have a few minutes to listen.

Here’s a simple road map for creating a podcast

It can be a bit daunting to get started for the first time which is why the team at Copyblogger have produced this road map for creating a podcast.

Creating great audio content involves many steps and these are the simplest and most effective ways when starting from scratch.

Even if you’re just writing and recording a script and letting someone else do all the production work, this road map will help you appreciate everything that comes together to create a podcast


How a Podcast Is Born [Infographic]

Read more  about why Copyblogger is betting big on podcasting  …


A good hotel can make or break a trip.

The worst hotel in the best place is an unfortunate experience.

The best hotel in the worst place can be a very pleasant experience.

But the best hotel in the best place is something we dream about.

Here are 48 absolutely epic dream hotels.

Hotels 2










See more here …

5 Must See Attractions in Australia

Known for its endless beauty, exotic animals, awesome cafes, and infinite beaches, Australia is an adventure traveller’s paradise.

The Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
Listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the largest living structures on our planet and can be seen from outer space. To protect the thousands of marine animals and coral reefs that call it home, it was established as a marine park in 1975. It stretches 2300 km long (1430 miles) along the Australian coast of Queensland. With more than 1600 species of fish, sharks, turtles, and giant clams the crystal clear waters make the Great Barrier Reef a snorkeler’s and diver’s paradise. For the extreme adventurer many tour companies offer White Shark cage diving. For the not so adventurous the wonders of the reef can be seen from the safety of glass bottom boats. Whichever way you choose to see this amazing reef is a must see when traveling to Australia.
Photo Credit: oz-about.comUluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Listed as a World Heritage Site, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, also known as “shadowy place” by the indigenous Aborigines, is a striking red monolith rising 348 m (1,141 ft.) from the surrounding plains. It has become one of the most photographed natural wonders in Australia, sunset being the best time to capture its splendor. The best way to experience the sacred structures is to hire a local Aboriginal guide or ranger.
Blue Mountains National ParkBlue Mountains National Park
A short 81 km (50 miles) from Sydney lays the Blue Mountains National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Gaining its name from the blue hue that radiates from the eucalyptus trees covering the mountains, the 664,000 acres comprises waterfalls, aboriginal rock paintings, spectacular gorges, and almost 150 km (87 miles) of gorgeous hiking trails. The Three Sisters sandstone rock formations are one of the most popular points within the National Park.
Bondi BeachBondi Beach
No visit to Australia is complete without experiencing the beach in all its glory and there is no better place in Australia to do it than Bondi Beach. Here is where you’ll find beautiful sand, refreshing blue water, gorgeous tanned bodies, and fantastic food. In the mood for some fun, the people at Bondi are more than happy to share their volley ball game, help a novice surfer, or include you in their picnic. There are various cafes, shops, and restaurants along the 6 km Bondi to Bronte coastal walk if a long stroll is what you want. A word of caution…the riptides off the beach can be treacherous so if you’re not used to swimming in the ocean stay in the shallow water. Of course there are those famous Bondi lifeguards to save you!Photo Credit:
Broome and the Kimberley Region
Infinite white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise seas make up the Cable Broome and the Kimberley region beach. Located off the town of Broome that was once known as the pearl capitol of the world, this thriving tourist town is known for its “Staircase to the Moon”. Visitors to this area in the months of March and October can witness a phenomenon that occurs during certain conditions in which the moonlight creates an optical illusion of stairs that appear to lead straight to the moon. Another famous must do activity are the sunset camel rides.

Marie Hernandez is a Destination and Hotel marketer, full time traveler, travel writer/blogger and the founder and author behind SeriouslyTravel.

How Will Google’s Change Affect Your Website?

You have probably heard that on 21 April 2015 Google makes a major change to it’s search algorithm.

mobile-friendly-google Copyblogger

This was posted on 25 February 2015

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

That date is important, but so is the word in bold.
In plain English: “You better pay attention.”

What does it mean to you?

The highly respected Copyblogger has put together a summary of what Google’s change is likely to mean to businesses.

I strongly recommend you read it to see how it could affect you.

Read it here 

Cliff Chapman