International Living magazine subscription?

Would it be in my best interest to subscribe to International Living magazine if I am just beginning my research for retiring to Costa Rica or Ecuador??

I am not among those who simply write off the publication as “International Lying.”

However, IL readers should be cognizant that the company’s primary businesses are attracting advertising dollars, selling seminar tickets and otherwise profiting from the needs of Expats and prospective Expats.

If International Living is promoting an upcoming seminar about moving to Belize, will the magazine publish information about coastal disease issues there .. or exposure to earthquakes there .. or the fact that the English spoken there is a tortured form of the language ?

Probably not.

On the other hand, would Expats be aware of Buga, Colombia -- BOO-gah -- as an up-and-coming Expat destination without IL’s reporting ?

Again, probably not.

Balance the fluff against the new information you can get .. realize that IL is  usually a starting point, not your main resource .. and choose whether the price of a subscription might be worth it to you.


AnneinTexas :

Would it be in my best interest to subscribe to International Living magazine if I am just beginning my research for retiring to Costa Rica or Ecuador??

I would neither recommend nor reject reading it, but mags are printed to make money so you can't always trust what you read.

I would strongly recommend reading posts on forums such as this and taking the time to absorb blogs written by people who live in your country of interest, that and local news sites.

You'll notice I didn't name any country, that being because the advice stands for any country you might consider.

Thank you so much for the sage advice.

Thank you cccmedia.  I see that you are a prolific writer.

In the past, by in large, the general consensus around here has probably not been pro IL. CCC brings up a really good point about them mentioning some interesting places that you probably never have heard of. Probably most people who are thinking of traveling, or moving outside of their home country have at one point in time read a few IL episodes. At least if they are coming from the U.S. Also think that the reason in general that people who have moved to a foreign country, or travel frequently to a foreign country tend to distance themselves from IL, is that they find the information IL gives is very positive, and rosy, but not necessarily the most accurate. Plus they also tend to promote certain places where they own real estate, or have development projects they are selling, which I think kind of turns a lot of people off.

With information so readily available in this day and age, there are just so many more places you can go to get more reliable, and in depth information. Granted, people all have different opinions, and will get some conflicting information at times, and will still run into people who have a vested interest in making a profit by telling you what you want to hear, but for the most part think you will get far more accurate, and objective information from other sources.


Thank you for your response and information.

Years ago, as a former (and naive) subscriber to IL which resulted in an inundation of mail to sign up for their promotional tours and purchase literature on the best places to retire, etc., I concur wholeheartedly with j600orr and cccmedia's advice. Save your $ and use the wealth of online resources such as this Forum where you can obtain accurate, up-to-date information from ex-pats in situ on various questions you may have. There is no hidden agenda here.
Good luck.

I think International Living is inaccurately advertising “luxurious” lifestyle on a middle class budget. It’s misleading and impossible and I’m using their cost of living guide for Quito as an example. They advertise a luxurious 2 bedroom furnished apartment in the financial district can be rented for $700. This is inaccurate because I live in the financial district seen numerous apartments, know people and friends who rent in this area and it’s not possible. For clarity sake lets define a luxurious apartment – it’s one with high end/very good quality appliances,big screen tv, very nice high quality furniture, some original wall art,  great décor, quality floors (hardwood), ceilings, excellent painted walls, superb kitchen with everything, good windows/blinds, cabinets, very nice bathrooms (think 5 star hotels) and with good service in the building.

You will not get that for $700 a month, you will however get a nicely furnished small 80 meter apartment for that amount in a newer building or okay furnished larger apartment in an older building. I keep up with the prices and values of property of this area, and that is what you will get.

They also advertise that two people can eat out 8 times a month at “top restaurants”, for $225. Ha!Ha! where is this paradise? Two people can however eat out for that amount at mid-level and casual dining restaurants. Establishments like Romolo e Remo (Italian restaurant), Al forno, Sushi-in, Chilis and similar places, and speaking of Chilis they currently have a lunch promotion for $13.90 per person which includes a starter, lunch plate and drink.

“Top restaurants” per person excluding wine and gratitude cost $35-$55+ per person, and you’ll need between $560-$880+ to eat at such places 8 times a month. Such "top restaurants" include PSARI and Nuema.

Additionally they advertise that a meal costs $3, those are merely limited almuerzo prices and those are the starting prices and definitely not applicable for the financial district with an exception here or there on the fringes of the area. A decent Ecuadorean meal with reasonable amount of protein will cost around $6-$8 (example Las Fritadas).

Thank you.

I totally agree with everything written.  I'm currently a subscriber.  I do enjoy learning about places I've never been (and probably never will be). BUT, every email I receive from IL is a marketing tool.  I used to receive emails from "Living and Investing Overseas".  They are even worse - 100% marketing.  I unscribed to LIOS.  The renting and buying information is inaccurate at best.  It's easy to check prices on everything in another country.  Just Google real estate in your chosen location.  You can do the same with restaurants.  This is much more accurate than anything found in IL or LIOS.

Save your money. It is more sales than information. I tried it and cancelled because they kept trying to sell their seminars etc.

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