The Best Places to Retire in 2019

There are so many options, so how do you know where is the best place to retire? Thankfully, International Living has done the work for you...their 2019 Annual Global Retirement Index sifts through locales from all over the world to find the best places to retire.

Their list includes 10 countries where expats can thrive. In the tenth position is Spain. According to International Living, Spain is a good choice because their basic food items are inexpensive at just around 60 cents a pound - the country has a long growing season and produces lots of fruits and vegetables. Cost of living there is around $2,500 a month.

Number nine is Thailand, eight is Peru, seven is Portugal, six is Columbia, five is Malaysia, five is Ecuador, number three is Mexico and number two is Costa Rica. IL says Costa Rica is a good choice because of its low cost of living, affordable top-notch medical care, bargain real estate, tropical climate and natural beauty. Expats tell IL that Costa Ricans are generally friendly and welcoming.

The number one spot goes to Panama. IL says Panama is warm and tropical, but outside of the hurricane belt. They use the U.S. dollar and the tax burden is low. The country offers good food and ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Ocean-view condos in the country’s capital start as low as $1,500 a month.

To learn more about the list and the reasons countries made the list, click here.

We loved covering the Arizona Mission of Mercy 2018 event

We had a great time covering the Arizona Mission of Mercy 2018 event on Dec. 7-8. This is the fifth time the great folks at the Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation have invited us to come out to the Arizona Fairgrounds to document the amazing, heartwarming work they do.

It was their 7th annual event. Every year nearly 300 dentists and 1,200 technicians volunteer their time to provide dental work for those who desperately need it, but can’t afford it.

We met so many wonderful people who were willing to share their stories with us. Please take a look at the video and think about helping out this great cause! Their website is https://www.azmom.org.

Dogs May Be Aware of Their Own Thoughts, Study Finds

Dogs know when they don’t have enough information about a situation and will actively seek additional information, finds new research.

According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, dogs show signs of possessing metacognitive abilities, or the awareness of one’s own thought process.

They conducted three different tests to see if dogs would be aware of having a lack of information and seek additional information. In the experiments, dogs were tasked with finding a reward hidden behind one of two V-shaped fences. A researcher would sit between the two V-shaped fences and place a reward behind one of the fences, while the dog was being held by someone else. Some dogs were shown the reward first, some were not. Scientists wanted to see if dogs would seek additional information by checking through the gap in the fence prior to deciding which one to walk around. This would mean the dog was aware of the fact that it did not know where the reward was and was looking through the gaps for more information.

Researchers found dogs checked more often when they did know where the reward was located, but that didn't mean they went behind the correct fence. Scientists say that could be because the dogs were just so excited about finding the reward they went for the closest fence even though they knew the reward wasn’t there.

According to the study, their results show there is some evidence of metacognitive abilities in dogs, although they are not definitive and more research is needed.

Millennials, Like Their Parents, Will Depend on Social Security in Retirement

Although there’s been lots of talk about Social Security potentially running out when Millennials are of retirement age...according to new research with the way Millennials are saving, just like their parents, they will be completely dependent on a monthly Social Security check.

According to a Bankrate report, only 42 percent of households led by someone under the age of 35 own a retirement fund such as a 401(k) or an IRA and the median value of those funds is only $12,300.

If you’re a Millennial or know one...here’s Bankrate's advice: Build your emergency fund in a high-yielding savings account; Save 10 percent of your pay in an employer-sponsored 401(k) - if you job doesn’t offer one, consider an IRA or Roth IRA; Wait to retire - the later you retire, the larger the Social Security check - for instance, $1,400 a month at age 62, compared with $2,480 at 70.

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