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Top 10 Countries to Retire To

Updated on October 30, 2015

After years of working and saving up, it’s time to enjoy yourself and the fruits of your labor. If you are considering retiring abroad, knowing where you can best enjoy your retirement years is something you should invest a little research on.

The Ten Best Places to Retire

1. Panama – For those who would like a convenient, affordable, and easy destination for retirees. Panama is one of the top places which is almost always featured on retirement haven lists because it offers a comfortable life where you can have fun in the sun and sand while living in a colorful community that has a rich culture. The residence programs of Panama have also made it much easier for retirees to move in permanently. Their main requirement for retirees however is to have a $1,000 pension before settling.

2. Malaysia – Considered as the best place to retire in Asia, you can enjoy an ocean-view condo unit for as low as $1,000. With an average temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit, you can enjoy the beaches and surrounding islands. The country even has a program for non-Malaysians called “Malaysia My Second home” where individuals are allowed to stay using a social visit pass for 10 years.

3. Ecuador – With great scenery, favorable weather and an affordable lifestyle, Ecuador is next to Panama when choosing an accessible place to retire. A lot of retirees choose Cuenca where most of the locals understand English well. Rent for 2 to 3-bedroom apartments may be as low as $300 and these often come with furnishings as well.

4. Portugal – Known for its rich culture, great food, and fair weather, Portugal is a great place for retirees who are planning to have an affordable lifestyle after retirement with all the comforts that modern cities can afford. Next to Spain and France, Portugal happens to have the next largest expat community. Properties in this area are also much cheaper compared to the previously mentioned countries.

5. Spain – If you wish to go somewhere close to the Mediterranean coast, Spain is the place to go. Because of the recession that they are experiencing, retirees are in luck because real estate property prices have plummeted. Buying a beach condo for about $150,000 is possible, and long-term rental deals can start for as low as $500 in the region of Alicante in particular.

6. Costa Rica – Costa Rica is famous for its welcoming aura for expats and for having an excellent healthcare program. It is also very easy to become a legal resident of Costa Rica especially if the pencionados have a stable income of at least $1,000. If a spouse can show that income, they can bring their other half as their dependent. The fair weather all throughout the year along with the beaches makes it a great place for relaxation and easy days.

7. Malta – Malta is one of the world’s smallest states and with English as the first language for most of the locals, retiring to this sunny country is definitely desirable for those who want a change of scenery.

8. Barbados – The Caribbean also has its allure when it comes to having a safe haven to settle in for your latter years. Soak in the sun and enjoy the white sand which people have to pay for in expensive cruises—every day when you retire in Barbados. They have a virtually free health care program, and there is a lot of English speakers in the area so adjusting to the culture as well as getting around won’t be a problem.

9. Australia – You can also consider going down under if you have a little more money to burn. While property won’t come cheap in Australia, they have low tax and cheap health care expenses which is why some have considered settling here instead of other places where English is not the first language. It is one of the largest expat-friendly countries.

10. Thailand – For a rich experience amidst temples, friendly locals, and a flavorful and spicy cuisine which will make a mark on your heart, Thailand is a great place to go. Property comes cheap and so does transportation. One adjustment you would have to make though is to learn some local phrases since not all people here are adept with the English language.

Considerations When Choosing Where to Retire

Remember to spend what you have wisely when you are in your retirement years. Consider how much you will be spending on property mainly, and gauge if your pension or income would be enough to support you in your chosen retirement haven. You should also do research about retirement programs which the country offers. Make a list of potential places you would like to go to and narrow down your options by doing some research on each place.

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  • kgmonline profile image

    Geri MIleff 3 years ago from Czech Republic

    Italy is a wonderful place, indeed but as you said it might be pricey...:)

  • profile image

    aronia83 3 years ago

    Great list, if I had the chance, I would have already moved to another country, l love to travel and explore new cultures, to immerse in them for a while and learn new life lessons... How about adding Italy on the list, it is a wonderful place to live, although not as affordable as I wish?

  • kgmonline profile image

    Geri MIleff 3 years ago from Czech Republic

    They are indeed! :)

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is useful and interesting information. Some of those retirement locations look very desirable!