Upon retiring, you’re faced with a variety of options with which to fill your time. Some folks become full-time volunteers, while others seize the chance to finally fix up an old vehicle. Downsizing is attractive to many, but have you thought about living out of a suitcase? Long term traveling and even living abroad is on many retirees’ list, but how do you know exactly which country to travel to first? Luckily, International Living Magazine develops a Global Retirement Index every year to determine which countries are the best bets for expats looking to live the international lifestyle in retirement. Keep in mind that while these countries received high rankings based on a number of criteria, it’s still crucial to understand the culture of a country before visiting. Educate yourself on traditional customs, standard greetings, and try to learn basic phrases in the native language. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed. So, without much ado, here are the top places to retire in 2014:
If you’re looking for a global destination that has all the conveniences of the United States at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with Panama. The country uses the dollar, so you don’t have to worry about an extravagant exchange rate. Recent immigration policies have made it easier than ever to relocate, and you won’t have to worry about hurricanes! Property is affordable and you can easily live on a budget of $1,800 per month.
If you’d rather head to Asia, point your compass in the direction of this beautiful country. You’ve got the best of both worlds with miles of beautiful beaches coupled with rustic mountain adventures. Health care is impeccable and, as in many of our top retirement countries, cost of living is very affordable. According to International Living magazine, “a couple can live comfortably in a luxury ocean-view condo on $1,700 a month including rent.” Your dreams of an oceanfront home might just come true after all…
Affordable rent. Warm temperatures. Reliable private health care. Retiree benefits. Ecuador has it all and more. And don’t worry about having to give up the luxuries that you’ve come to know and love. Cuenca, one of the more popular expat cities, is a World Heritage site and has a population of 350,000 to 500,000 people. Getting cable and high speed internet isn’t a problem and the airport is nearby for visits from family members!
4. South of France
We understand that not everyone is meant for the tropical lifestyle. If you’re willing to jump through a few more hurdles and pay a little bit more, certain areas of southern France can provide you with enough European charm for a lifetime. Think wineries and gardens, museums and countryside hikes. If this sounds more appealing than beachfront living, France might be your number one retirement destination.
No matter where you decide to plant your retirement roots, do your research. Moving to a new country is a serious endeavor that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but if handled correctly, could be the opportunity of a lifetime!