Best Places to Retire Overseas

Countries with Lots to Offer Retirees

Best Places to Retire Overseas
November 26, 2015

What is your preferred concept of retirement? Is it sitting on a beach in Italy sipping wine, or sitting in a bowling alley in Wisconsin sipping suds? Either one is fine, but if your tastes run toward the former, you may be interested in the opinion of InternationalLiving.com on the best places to retire overseas in 2015.

Factors such as cost of buying/renting, cost of living, senior benefits, health care, infrastructure, and climate were evaluated and combined into a composite score for ranking purposes. Below are the top ten out of the twenty-five countries evaluated as being premier overseas retirement locations.

  • Ecuador – Ecuador scores extremely high in all categories except for infrastructure. The cost of living and housing prices are very reasonable, and Ecuador boasts a great combination of entertainment options and excellent medical facilities in the larger cities (in case you overdo your entertainment)

  • Panama – Panama actively courts overseas retirees, with their Pensionado Visa that offers deep discounts on everything from entertainment and restaurants to medical services to utility bills. The cost of living is already quite low, there is a significant expat population, and Panama boasts great infrastructure relative to its neighbors.

  • Mexico – Plenty of expats, cheap property, and relative proximity to the U.S. make Mexico a popular choice. If you prefer, you can find an expat community where you can easily get by speaking only English, or you can seek a more diverse experience — all at reasonable prices.

  • Malaysia – Malaysia offers a diverse culture and a high standard of living at a low cost, with a particularly good and affordable health care system. There are not as many benefits or discounts specifically for seniors, but you really shouldn't need them.

  • Costa Rica – Great beaches, a stable democratic government, low cost of living, and plenty of entertainment options make Costa Rica a great retirement option. On top of that, there are plenty of expats to help you fit in.

  • Spain – For those who prefer a European retirement, Spain offers the most affordable experience, along with a rich template of cultural diversity. The Spanish health care system is one of the world's finest, and the infrastructure rated the best of all the countries surveyed.

  • Malta – It may be small, but Malta offers many amenities that make it worth bargain shopping for a retirement home. English is routinely spoken, health care is top-level, crime is minimal, and there are many historical sites to explore.

  • Colombia – Colombia offers a very low cost of living, a great climate, excellent health care, and plenty of entertainment options for retirement.
  • Portugal – The low cost of living and mild climate, combined with excellent infrastructure and widespread understanding of English, make Portugal another affordable European option.

  • Thailand – For you more adventurous retirees, Thailand offers a multitude of beautiful outdoor locales — rain forests, beautiful beaches, impressive temples and other breathtaking scenery. All of that is available in a low-cost locale with excellent health care, great restaurants, and thriving expat communities.

What about that Italian wine? Italy just missed the top ten list at number 11, but if that's your preference, it is not really important what we think — or what InternationalLiving.com thinks for that matter. You can find more detailed information on the top destinations here.

Look through the options and their respective positives and negatives, and investigate your favorite locales. If none of those strikes your fancy, restart your search with more inclusive sources. Soon enough, you will be enjoying your retirement in whatever country you choose. "Propino tibi salutem!" Or "bottoms up," whichever is more appropriate.

Let the free MoneyTips Retirement Planner help you calculate when you can retire without jeopardizing your lifestyle.


Photo ©iStock.com/Wellych

  Conversation   |   11 Comments

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Erin | 11.26.15 @ 21:03
I hadn't thought about retiring to another country, but is something that I will be keeping mind after reading this.
Katie | 11.26.15 @ 21:18
I question a bit of the information in this article. I noticed that some of the places that are in the best places to retire list are considered poorer countries, and higher on the drug cartel lists. Is it really beneficial to retire to a place like that? I know that it is probably not in the same area of the country as most of the drug issues/money problems, but do people really wish to retire in some of those places? This article makes me think about where I want to retire, just a bit more...
Britt | 11.26.15 @ 21:19
I know that when I retire, I want to move somewhere up north
Kyle | 11.26.15 @ 21:20
Interesting article. My grandparents are thinking about moving soon after they retire.
Steffanie | 11.26.15 @ 21:21
Sounds like retiring in another country needs to be considered, although I sure would miss my family.
Jane | 11.26.15 @ 21:21
I've thought about retiring in Belize, but I'd have to visit there a few times first to be sure it was a good choice or not.
Kailie | 11.26.15 @ 21:22
A lot of these places sound like they'd be wonderful.
Carla Truett | 11.26.15 @ 21:24
I would love to retire on a beach or in the mountains. Retiring in another country actually never crossed my mind as an option. Mexico sounds nice to me.
Heather | 11.26.15 @ 21:33
Of all the places listed here I would choose Costa Rica. But the one country I could see myself living would be Australia. I've always wanted to go there. I'm not sure if I could move to another country though. Guess it all depends if Trump gets elected or not.
Sarah | 11.26.15 @ 21:35
Retiring in another country is an interesting idea. Good to know which are better if I were to go that route
virgorising | 05.01.16 @ 20:30
Heather, looks like lots of us are considering another country if people are unthinking enough to vote for a gold plated devil. Karen
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.06.16 @ 22:05
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