We all dream about retirement. When you’re young, it seems like a far-off fantasy. As retirement age approaches, you start to realize all the possibilities that retirement uncovers.
One of the most exciting possibilities is to retire overseas.
If you’re thinking about retiring abroad and living out your golden years as an expat, the two most critical things you need to figure out:
- Where do you want to live?
- Where can you afford?
We’ve taken weather, healthcare, culture, and the cost of living into account to compile this list of the 5 best places to retire in the world.
A List of Some of the Best Countries to Retire To
Retiring in Panama
Panama is an excellent option for retired expats thanks to its unparalleled climate. Its varied landscapes offer the opportunity to enjoy city living, mountain views, and beautiful beaches, such as Coronado and Bocas del Toro.
You can choose Panama for city life, Volcan for stunning mountain scenery, or Coronado for coastal living.
Panama is close to the U.S. and uses the U.S. dollar, making it great for American expats. Compared to the United States, the cost of living is about 25% less, and the cost of rent is nearly 35% less.
The Pensionado Program makes the country even more attractive for retired expats. It offers excellent benefits and discounts on everything from airfare to medical bills to utilities. Men can join the Pensionado Program at age 60, while women can join at age 55.
Costa Rica Retirement
Known for its beautiful beaches and tropical climate, Costa Rica is great for retirees looking for stunning scenery and a low cost of living. The native Costa Ricans are friendly and welcoming to expats, making it easy to assimilate into the culture.
Costa Rica has a large expat community, and it’s active and outdoor culture encourages a healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to medical care, you have the option to use the country’s socialized healthcare system or choose to pay for private insurance. Another huge bonus is that you can purchase and own real estate, even as a foreigner.
Expats Retiring in Mexico
Warm, tropical weather, a low cost of living, and proximity to the U.S. make Mexico a top destination for retired expats from all over the world. Whether you prefer the city, beach, or country living, Mexico has something for everyone. It also has a national healthcare plan, and it offers great benefits and discounts to seniors over the age of 60.
With its vibrant culture, there’s never a lack of things to see or do. But, like every country, there are some parts of Mexico where it’s just not safe to live. The safest places to live in Mexico include Sayulita, Campeche, Tulum, Mazatlan, and Cancun.
Ecuador for Retirees
Located on the equator, retires love Ecuador for it’s incredible and diverse weather. You can choose to live in a warm tropical climate on the coast or a cool, comfortable climate in the hills.
The low cost of living and the affordable cost of healthcare make Ecuador a favorite among expats. In a recent survey of expats, Ecuador ranked #1 for its quality of life, ease of settling in, and other factors.
Expat Retirement Options in Malaysia
With English as its unofficial first language, Malaysia is a great choice for retirees and expats of all types. The cost of living in Malaysia is 43% less expensive than the U.S. Malaysia boasts affordable rent, affordable healthcare, and a growing community of expats.
If you’re looking for the excitement of city life, Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, is an excellent choice. If you prefer coastal living, the island of Penang is an incredible destination.
Pick Where to Retire Abroad
Before you retire and decide to embrace expat life, do your research to find the place that’s perfect for you. Costa Rica, Malaysia, Ecuador, Panama, and Mexico are all great options. From vibrant cities to tropical beaches, these five countries boast a low cost of living and affordable healthcare.
But, most importantly, they all encourage a laidback lifestyle where you’ll be able to enjoy your retirement in relaxation.