Picking out the best retirement countries in the world can be a tricky feat. After all, there’s a lot to consider when planning for retirement without throwing a new culture, currency and possibly language into the mix. However, some of the best countries for retirement that made it onto our list might surprise you. So, while there are definitely important things to consider when looking to retire abroad, there are also plenty of tempting possibilities that aren’t so far out of reach. Today, we’ll be sharing a list of the 9 best places to retire in the world, and why you might want to start planning now.
The Best Retirement Countries In The World
In this article:
Cheaper rent, healthcare, and the low cost of living make Mexico one of the best retirement countries in the world right now. The highly diverse environment in Mexico allows you to choose to retire in an incredible range of locations. Many people choose to retire by the beach or up in the mountains. You might even consider going to some of Mexico’s smallest villages to set up shop there.
The country’s cost of living is also appealing, as a couple can live on $1,500 to $3,000 a month with most major expenses included. Additionally, if you like dining out, Mexico’s myriad of gastronomic delights will ensure you’ll find something new every time you go out.
Mexico also features affordable healthcare services. Finding healthcare in private establishments cost around 25% of what it would in the U.S. Legal residents can avail of the public healthcare system for just a few hundred dollars per year. Another bonus? If you’re over the age of 60, and you are a legal resident, then healthcare is free.
Next up? Nicaragua. Another Latin American country that can be a truly affordable retirement destination for U.S. citizens. The cost of living is very low compared to the US, allowing retirees to experience beautiful beachfront living while on a shoestring budget.
Planning to spend your retirement in flip-flops and beach shirts? Look no further. Nicaragua is a prime surfing destination, with six-foot swells pretty much year-round. Fishing and hiking are pretty much a national pastime. And for your cosmopolitan delights, look no further than its major cities for prime shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Expats usually gravitate towards Granada and San Juan del Sur, two of the best places to retire in Nicaragua. Learning a bit of Spanish before you settle in is a good idea, especially if you plan on living out the rest of your life in this beautiful country. However, if your Español is a bit rusty, some locals do speak English and immersion will do wonders for your language skills in the long run.
3. Costa Rica
This popular and safe retirement country has everyone abuzz, and it’s easy to see why. Costa Rica’s booming economy, awesome beaches, and hundreds of natural wonders can keep any U.S. retiree interested for a long, long time.
The cost of living here is incredibly affordable. A couple living in Costa Rica can be very comfortable living on $2,500 a month. Additionally, retirees will also find it very easy to apply for a retiree visa for Costa Rica. Their revolutionary Pensionado Program requires its applicants to have at least a monthly pension income of $1,000 to retire, which is easily achievable with most IRAs.
Compared to the U.S., rent and cost of living is much cheaper. While it may be more expensive to live here compared to the first countries in the list, it’s still a lot more preferable than spending your retirement dollars on expensive rent in the U.S.
Due to Panama’s close proximity to the U.S., many retirees find themselves booking tickets to this beautiful Latin country. Exotic locales, low cost of living, senior discounts, and the ease of applying for residency make Panama one of the best retirement countries for U.S. citizens.
If you’re really frugal, you can scrape through with only $500 a month. Of course, that may not be the kind of standard of living many are looking for during retirement. There are plenty of reasonable places that are more luxurious than a $500/month budget, but be sure to factor your desired cost of living so as to save appropriately.
In terms of healthcare, you’ll be happy to know that Panama offers excellent and affordable healthcare in the country. Another thing to consider is Panama’s local health insurance plan, which costs less than $150 per month.
Colombia is known for another C…coffee! Colombia is one of the biggest coffee growers on the planet. Retirees will find that Colombia can give them so much bang for their buck. As of today, the Colombian Peso trades for 3,000 to the dollar. (For a current currency comparison, look here.) If you’re looking to stretch your nest egg as far as it can go, Colombia is an excellent place to make that happen.
It is also one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The climate is perfect year round, with 12 hours of daylight each day. Its cities are steeped in history, from the oldest ethnic villages to the massive and charming colonial cities dotting the country. One such city is Cartagena, an old colonial city turned into one of the country’s best retirement locations.
Ecuador has jumped into almost every list of the best retirement countries, and with good reason. It is one of the best countries to retire for the U.S. citizens because of all it has to offer.
A retired couple could conceivably live off less than $2,000 a month, including rent. Furnished apartments, even those with the best views, usually go up to just $600 a month. You could really stretch your nest egg here if you so choose.
Another great thing about retiring in Ecuador is the diversity of the climates in the country. You can choose to be close to the mountainous Andes, or spend your days lazing along the Pacific Coast.
Exploration will never run dry thanks to its many snow-capped volcanoes, epic hot springs, and the rainforests of the Amazon. You will also be in close proximity to the Galapagos Islands, the most diverse wildlife reserve in the world.
Medical care is not expensive at all. According to International Living, Ecuador features some of the world’s best healthcare systems at a fraction of what it costs in the US. A trip to the emergency room, for example, will set you back just around $30, compared to hundreds (or thousands) in the US. If you’re an expat, you might consider going for private medical insurance. However, residents are still eligible for public medical insurance.
Peru’s crisp, comfortable climate, great food, and low cost of living make U.S. expats flock to Peru’s cities to retire.
Peru offers its residents a 1,500-mile stretch of coastline that is dotted with great luxury resorts and awesome surfing spots. If you’re a beach bum, this is one of the best countries to retire for you.
Two-bedroom apartments usually go up to $250 a month. Compared to retiring in, say, San Francisco or Florida, this is quite the steal. Peruvian food is a savory smorgasbord of different delights that will surely keep your taste buds interested, and your wallet pretty much untarnished from food bills.
Asia and Europe
Hospitality, friendliness, affordability, and peace of mind are the hallmarks of retiring in Malaysia. The country has made it easy for retirees to apply for residency, making it one of the best retirement countries in the world. Through the MM2H program, foreigners can easily obtain a 10-year renewable visa. While not exactly “affordable,” the perks of retiring here more than offsets the steep price tag.
Possibly the most appealing factor for Malaysia: the cost of living. Expats can live off a mere $2,500 a month in this country. The food is savory and exciting, and you won’t have to look far to experience the culinary delights of your home. Malaysia is home to a booming food scene that won’t disappoint. Additionally, the coastlines of Malaysia have lots of prime real estate up for grabs, so you can finally build that dream beach house for you to retire in.
International Living awarded Portugal the title of “Europe’s Best Retirement Haven.” It’s easy to see why, because Portugal has one of the world’s most affordable lifestyles. It’s luxury without the steep price tag, and retirees will find that their pension and savings will last them a long time in this country.
For example, a four-bedroom-and-bath home in the capital city of Lisbon will set you back $1,000 a month. For the cosmopolitan in you, this is an excellent place to set your home base.
The pleasant climates and the diversity of where you can set up shop are stunning. From sleepy fishing towns to riverside metro cities, retirees can find a home away from home almost everywhere. Healthcare is relatively cheaper than the U.S., allowing you to spend more money on leisure and entertainment than your medical bills.
Choosing the best retirement country for you to retire to isn’t a decision to be made without proper research. However, if you want to live in a beautiful and affordable environment during the golden years, this list is a good place to start. Save up, plan well and you just might be living a luxurious retirement in one of these awesome countries!
Where would you like to spend your retirement years? Let us know in the comments section below.