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.