Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guam: Paradise Found

Barron's, the financial news publication, has included Guam on a short-list of great places to live, especially in terms of the cost of housing.
Here's the story kicker: 
Retirement: Bulletproof Your Portfolio -- U.S. territories like Guam and American Samoa may not be high on your list of retirement havens, but they're well worth a look. Finding oceanfront bargains.
Although the story is aimed at people who want to retire, I also believe that Guam, Micronesia and points in Pacific, can be attractive to knowledge workers, people who can work independent of any office. 
As the article points out: 
Guam is also much cheaper than Hawaii, and not as isolated as you might think. Though it is seven hours from Hawaii, good short-haul airlines make it easy to reach Japan, the Philippines or China. The big worry in Guam is weather; the island sits in the western Pacific's typhoon zone. In the past decade, it's been hit by two super-typhoons.
Yes, the typhoons can interrupt work but they are relatively rare and the island is usually quick to recover. But the more important is Guam's proximity to Asian countries, which, in my mind, can make it very attractive to U.S. workers who want to be in relatively close range of Asian time zones.

As a counterpoint to the Barron's article, read
Brad Boydston's thoughts on the idea of retiring on Guam. He loves the island, but as a place for retirement?