According to a report released by InternationalLiving.com, if you are looking to live better for less, want to diversify your investments, and add a little adventure into your life, there are some great options.
The Annual Global Retirement Index – published for 23 straight years – ranks the best international retirement destinations using a mix of data compiled by on the ground editors. By looking at the most popular destinations for U.S. and Canadian expats, editors assessed factors ranging from the price of groceries to utility costs, to average temperatures.
From there, the information was scored in categories such as ‘Climate’, ‘Special Retiree Benefits’, ‘Real Estate’, ‘Health Care’, ‘Cost of Living’ and ‘Entertainment and Amenities’.
Although this is simply a guide to help retirees narrow down their search, you should still go and see which places fit you the best.
Panama ranked No. 1 this year because it offers a “great combination of variety and value,” Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of InternationalLiving.com says. “No matter what it is you’re hoping to find, Panama is a good place to look for it.”
The main reasons Panama scored #1 is because of how easy it is to get in and out of Central America; it uses the U.S. Dollar; and excellent healthcare. Foreigners in Panama enjoy access to the same rights to property that locals do, and there are loads of visa options fit for a king. The pensioner residence program, gives residence to anybody with a pension of at least $1,000 a month. Seems like gaining residence is a breeze for most boomers.
Similar to Panama, Ecuador offers a variety of lifestyle options with it’s sunny beaches, temperate mountain villages, college towns and historic colonial cities. “This country rolls out the red carpet for its seniors, as well—offering benefits like 50% off international airfares and cultural events. Plus, Ecuadorians are welcoming, friendly, and easy-going. It’s a friendly place to launch an adventure in retirement.”
Ecuador is an attractive choice for retirees overseas because you can really stretch your dollar. For $1,800 you can live very comfortably – rent included. “A condo right on the coast that might cost you $1 million or more in California would cost you less than $150,000 along Ecuador’s northern Pacific. You can also rent a furnished apartment in the colonial city of Cuenca, for instance – a place right in the heart of things – for $600 or less a month. And it’ll only cost you $2 or $3 to take a taxi across town.”
Asia’s #1 retirement destination. In Malaysia, English is the unofficial first language, making it much easier for a North American to transition. Although it is far and ‘exotic’ it is incredibly affordable. “Talk about a place where you can step up in your lifestyle without blowing your budget! Malaysia is a place where you really can embrace a first world existence for $1,700 a month.”
‘Malaysia My Second Home’, allows foreigners to stay on a social visa for 10 years and is renewable. Because Malaysia has become a ‘medical tourism’ destination, retirees can expect to be surrounded by great healthcare at half of what you would pay in the U.S..
Retirement destinations shouldn’t just be affordable, they need to be a welcoming place that allows for an integration into the local culture. They should be safe, attractive and provide diversions as varied from the beach to the stage.
Retirement is a time for learning new languages, make new friends and a chance to reinvent yourself – you’ve earned it.
No destination is a one-size-fits-all and you really need to prioritize what you really want.
Retiring abroad is not for everyone, and one thing you need to bring with you is a sense of adventure. And retiring overseas needn’t be a one way ticket – start with a portion of your time and test the waters.