The best place to retire in the world should offer comfort, luxury, and an overseas experience so that you can continue to reinvent yourself and your life. As a retiree, you’ll want to be able to live in a place where you can finally slow down and not have to shovel snow, do a 9 to 5, or live where the cost of living matches your financial situation. The places we have listed below meet those requirements thanks to our details such as (access to hospitals, proximity to the nearest airports, safety, cost of living, and so on) so that you might be able to pinpoint at least one spot where you can retire whenever you’re ready.
Best Place To Retire In The World: 9 Oversees Options!
1. Panama: Coronado
Panama is an ideal place to call home for your retirement, if you enjoy a slower pace, or if you are interested in living in one of the world’s most interesting cities. Considered one of the best places to retire abroad, living it up is easy in Panama mainly thanks to its low population of less than 10,000 and thanks to its warm climate which is perfect for those who are of retirement age. The climate is hot and dry year-round. The average temperature is 86 degrees making it an easy living for expats. Speaking of expats or foreigners, Coronado, once the playground of wealthy Panamanians, is now home to many foreign retirees. English is widely spoken, and the U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere. U.S. retirees continue to head to Panama thanks to its top-notch health care, dollar-based economy and a “pensionado” program that allows residency and other benefits to financially qualified retirees.
One important factor when looking for retirement is access to hospitals. Therefore it’s comforting to know that the San Fernando Clinic, affiliated with Panama City’s San Fernando Hospital, is situated in Coronado. Other affordable and well-regarded hospitals in Panama City are all just an hour away.
Safety: A diverse destination filled with interesting people from all over the globe, locals are used to welcoming foreigners, and you can expect to be treated very well. In addition to friendly people, you’ll also enjoy all of the perks of modern society and a solid infrastructure. Coronado has made it simple for foreigners to become residents, and once your paperwork is all over, you will be granted access to a range of discounts on everything from restaurants and hotels, to travel and health care (did you know? the medical care in Panama City is considered “world-class”).
Aesthetics: New home in a city, by a beach, or on a mountain as you enjoy a pleasant climate that will give you the opportunity to remain active throughout your retirement.
Things To See: Located on the Pacific coast, The Coronado Country Club offers beach activities, fine accommodations, and dining.
Which airport is the closest? Tocumen International Airport in Panama City is just about an hour away from Coronado. There are nonstop flights to the U.S.
Cost of living: Panama placed at seventh (in a tie with Portugal) in the Global Retirement Index for the cheapest cost of living. If you are a retired American couple, you could live comfortably on $1,200 to $1,300 a month.
2. Mexico: Tlaxcala
While Tlaxcala attracts tourists, it hasn’t been overrun by expats which keeps prices in check
The population is only 89,795 and Tlaxcala is one of the best places to retire in the world and is often called “Undiscovered Mexico”. It is situated in the mountains about two hours from Mexico City and an hour from Puebla, Tlaxcala making it a slower pace of life than its bustling neighbors. The climate here is always mind and comfortable. The high elevation keeps the city’s average temperature at around 60 degrees. Summers are rainy, and winters are dry. One important factor when looking for retirement is access to hospitals. Tlaxcala has multiple medical facilities within the city, and major hospitals can be found in Puebla and Mexico City.
Safety: Compared to the other parts of Mexico, Tlaxcala has been kept away from drug-related violence.
Aesthetics: The city retains its historical charm in part to its brightly painted colonial-era buildings.
Things To See: An architectural highlight is the large, tree-studded Plaza de la Constitucion, which features fountains, statues, 28 archways and colorful murals narrating the history of the state. Volcanoes are spread throughout the horizon, including Malintzin, one of the tallest in Mexico.
Which airport is the closest?: Catch nonstop flights to the U.S. from international airports in Puebla (just one hour away from Tlaxcala) and Mexico City (about two hours away).
Cost of living: Mexico ranked tenth in the Global Retirement Index for the lowest cost of living. If you are an American couple, you might easily live modestly on $1,500 a month and very comfortably on $2,500.
3. Spain: Bilbao
Offering much peace and quiet, this region offers creat temperature all year round. The usual temperatures vary from the mid 50s in winter to the high 70s in summer. July and August are the hottest months; January, the coolest. Most exciting is the fact that France and the Pyrenees lie due east. Even if you order dinner or ask for directions, knowing a little Spanish goes a long way, though many locals tied to the tourism field will speak English. Although the population is mildly high with a number such as 353,187, access to health care is a plus as a result. Bilbao has modern hospitals and clinics. There are numerous pharmacies, including some that are open 24 hours a day.
Safety: Bilbao is one of Spain’s biggest cities and is safe with an efficient, cheap public transportation system, along with miles of parks.
Aesthetics: Outdoorsy folks would love the beach which is less than an hour away. Bilbao is a huge plus for foodies as well as art lovers as it has a plethora of restaurants serving everything from traditional Basque dishes to innovative cuisines, such as molecular gastronomy.
Things To See: It has undergone an urban rejuvenation, becoming home to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, with its titanium panels and striking architecture that draw tourists from around the world.
Which airport is the closest? The Bilbao Airport is situated about seven miles north of the city center, or about 15 minutes by taxi.
Cost of living: Spain isn’t cheap, but it’s lower in costs since the real estate market went bust. The nation tied for 12th place, with Brazil and Honduras, on the Global Retirement Index for cheapest cost of living. If you are an American couple, you could live comfortably on $3,500 a month.
4. Malaysia: George Town
Most people famously travel to Malaysia for affordable, quality medical and dental services, especially from the Middle East. One important factor when looking for retirement is access to hospitals so it’s good to know that there are several hospitals and clinics in and around George Town.
Safety: George Town sees a lot of foreigners and is quite safe. Over the past decade around 20,000 foreigners, including 815 North Americans, have taken advantage of a system called Malaysia My Second Home, which is a program that offers retirement incentives like long-term residency status and breaks on car imports and purchases. Applicants of this program must meet strict financial requirements. Although the population is quite high with 740,200 people, there is a charm and bustle to George Town, the capital of the Malaysian state of Penang.
Aesthetics: George Town is often considered British colonialism on the cheap. It’s got a lot of natives who live there, mainly ethnic Chinese, but in terms of language English is spoken, thanks to the country’s historical tie to Britain. Unlike Britain, the temperature here is very different – the average temperature is a muggy 80 degrees year-round but one similarity exists: it rains a lot in George Town which is located in northwest Malaysia, and gets its fair share of rain, particularly in April and October.
Things To See: A Unesco World Heritage site, Malaysia’s oldest city is known for its rich history but also for its street food and intriguing architecture.
Which airport is the closest? Penang International Airport is 11 miles south of George Town, but keep in mind that one flight connection is required to reach the U.S.
Cost of living: Malaysia came in third, right behind Thailand and the Philippines, in the Global Retirement Index as one of the lowest living costs. If you are an American couple, you can get along extremely well on $1,500 a month.
5. Ireland: Galway
Ireland has experienced an increasing housing bust. For retirees at least, this is a great thing as the dramatic decrease in real estate costs has put Ireland within reach for those who couldn’t afford or even think to live in Western Europe. English is spoken everywhere of course, and many of the foods and traditions like St Patrick Day will be familiar to Americans. Yes, the population is a bit high with 250,653 and yes, the weather can be dreary (ranging from the mid-40s to the high 60s, with rainfall pretty much all year), but Galway’s pluses outweigh that minus. One important factor when looking for retirement is access to hospitals. Therefore it’s comforting to know that Galway University Hospital runs two local facilities, University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital, in the city.
Safety: The city, located on the western coast of Ireland, is safe, welcoming, and walkable.
Aesthetics: Those who are looking to retire will fall in love with the beautiful beaches, verdant countryside, and the cobblestone streets at the heart of the city filled with restaurants, bars, and shops.
Things To See: Galway is also known for its festivals, which celebrate everything from oysters to horse racing.
Which airport is the closest? For nonstop flights to the U.S., the best bet is Dublin, three-and-a-half hours from Galway by bus or three hours by train. A closer substitute is Shannon Airport, which is around two hours from Galway by bus.
Cost of living: Ireland came in 19th out of 22 countries ranked on the Global Retirement Index for the cheapest cost of living. Only France, Italy and New Zealand have higher living costs. If you are an American couple, then you could live comfortably on $2,500 a month.
6. Ecuador: Salinas
Salinas is famous for being like Miami without Miami prices and without the traffic! The population is much lower, coming in at 34,719. The climate is kind of similar too with it averaging in the 70s during the day and falling into the low 60s at night. One important factor when looking for retirement is access to hospitals and Salinas has a 20 minute drive to several clinics in La Libertad and Santa Elena. There’s even a local doctor in Salinas, popular among retirees and foreigners, who makes house calls. The charge: $30 per visit. Retirees or expats will find top-notch hospitals two hours away in Guayaquil.
Safety: Ecuador is a relatively safe country, but just like many countries, pickpocketing and other petty crime can be a problem, particularly in large cities such as Quito and Guayaquil.
Aesthetics: Jutting out into the Pacific, Salinas is Ecuador’s largest coastal resort town, with great oceanfront condos, open markets and upscale restaurants.
Things to See: A jetty, home to the Salinas Yacht Club, distinguishes trendy San Lorenzo Beach from the quieter Chipipe Beach.
Which airport is the closest? The closest airport is about two hours by car or three hours by bus to Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. From there, you can fly directly to the U.S.
Cost of living: In terms of the cheapest cost of living, Ecuador came in fourth — and number one for Latin America — on the Global Retirement Index. A retired American couple could live well on $1,500 a month ( for an American couple including dinner out most nights) even a high-end beach lifestyle on the cheap as this is one of the least-expensive beach resorts in Latin America. No wonder there is a growing expat community.
7. Croatia: Dubrovnik
Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik is one of the pricier locales in Croatia, but it’s affordable compared with better-known Mediterranean hot spots. With a low population of 42,615, Dubrovnik has an ancient charm attached to it. The climate here is seasonale and ranges from the mid 40s in January and February to the low 80s in June and July.One important factor when looking for retirement is access to hospitals, so it’s nice to know that General Hospital Dubrovnik, a full-service hospital, is located right in the center of the city.
Safety: Croatia sees a steady influx of tourists who find it safe. The population of Dubrovnik is also low which is a plus point but it’s tourism brings in people. One good thing to come out of that is English spoken at shops and restaurants.
Aestherics: Sandwiched between mountains and sea, Dubrovnik’s geography is breathtaking. Those in search of culture, history, and architecture will be very pleased in this medieval walled old town, which is home to a 14th-century monastery.
Things To See: Not only can retirees soak up all the history and attend cultural events such as the Dubrovnik Film Festival, they can also enjoy beaches and island-hop along the coast.
Which airport is the closest? In terms of proximity, the Dubrovnik Airport is about ten miles from the city center in Cilipi. You have to make one or two connections (possibly in Zagreb and then in a major European city) to head to the U.S.
Cost of living: If you are a couple from the USA, you could live comfortably on $2,700 a month. Please note, Croatia wasn’t ranked in the Global Retirement Index.
8. Colombia: Medellin
Because this famous city is in the mountains, Medellin has consistently pleasant weather which is springlike year-round, the average temperature is a pleasant 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to its mountain setting, nights can be cool and humidity isn’t an issue. These days, Medellin is an industrial, economic and financial center for Colombia and a literary and artistic area. The city is home to 2.4 million people in addition to newspapers, radio networks and publishing houses. Is it home to hospitals that are catered to retirees? The good news is that five of the top hospitals in Latin America are located in Medellin. Affordable, high-quality health care has made the city a popular destination for medical tourism. (Note: Medicare does not cover overseas medical care.)
Safety: A lot of things have improved in the 20 years since drug lord Pablo Escobar was killed by Colombian soldiers here. Today, Medellin is known more for its growing tourism industry and architectural renaissance than cartel violence. Parks, libraries and museums abound, thanks to a decade-long urban revitalization effort that’s earned international acclaim, and a modern metro and tram system connects far-flung neighborhoods. Unlike other popular retirement spots in Latin America, Medellin isn’t overrun with foreign expats, so real estate is still relatively affordable. On a final note, while Colombia’s second-largest city is vastly safer than it was a decade ago, crime (including violent crime) is much more prevalent than in the U.S. American retirees should heed State Department warnings on travel and safety.
Aesthetics: Medellin is a pretty and tidy city of parks and flowers. Almost every building is constructed of red brick and topped with red clay roof tiles, which creates a delightful effect.
Things To See: Local artist Fernando Botero’s corpulent sculptures adorn many of the European-influenced public spaces. Popular events include an annual poetry festival, an international jazz festival, an international tango festival and an annual book fair. Medellin has good wines, great coffee, outdoor cafes and open-air music venues.
Which airport is the closest? The closest one is Jose Maria Cordova airport which is located 19 miles to the southeast of Medellin’s city center, in Rionegro. There are nonstop flights to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Cost of living: Colombia tied for 16th (with the Dominican Republic) out of 22 countries in the cost-of-living component of International Living’s Global Retirement Index. The top-ranked nation has the lowest living costs, while the 22nd-ranked nation has the highest. A retired American couple could live comfortably on $1,500 a month in Medellin. A small apartment in the center of the city costs about $75,000.
9. Belize: Ambergris Caye
Last on our list of the best place to retire in the world is a tropical place where you will no longer have to deal with the burden of shovelling snow and having to bundle up to endure the cold temperatures in the winter. Because the official language is English, and residents often speak Spanish and English fluently, you may be able to retire overseas without having to worry about learning another language, if you choose Ambergris Caye. Adding to the charm of the island, most inhabitants get around by golf cart, but be aware that the sparkling azure waters make tourism a primary industry here. Ambergris Caye is a 26-mile long and one-mile wide island of white sand that sits just offshore from mainland Belize. The Mesoamerican Reef is the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere.
Safety: This is an island of sun- and fun-loving people who enjoy the warm turquoise waters and natural beauty of this Caribbean island.
Aesthetics: Ambergris Caye is the country’s biggest island, where you can explore Mayan ruins, as well as typical tropical sports such as windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, diving, and swimming. Living here, you could wake up each day to the sound of waves lapping gently on the shore and the faint crash of the ocean farther out as it breaks against the coral reef.
Things To See: The heart of Ambergris is San Pedro, a quirky, comfortable little beachside town with open-air bars and restaurants, art galleries, wine shops and bakeries, an infrastructure that has developed as a result of the big expat presence.
Which airport is the closest? Ambergris Caye is located around 15 minutes by air from mainland Belize. Hourly flights from the Philip Goldson International Airport in addition to the Belize City Municipal Airstrip to Ambergris Caye are offered through local airlines Maya Island Air and Tropic Air.
Cost of living: If the relaxed pace of island life sounds idyllic, the cost of living per month is also good at $2,300.