You've spent most of your life working towards a comfortable retirement. Maybe you've also taken a few international vacations.
Or maybe you've spent your adult life shoveling snow and want to move somewhere far away and exotic. Whatever the case, over 300,000 Americans are choosing to spend their retirements overseas.
Some of them are doing this because of the lower cost of living in other countries. Their pensions will stretch much further if they live in places where the dollar is worth more. Others are looking for a complete change of pace.
If you're wondering how to get the most out of your golden years, check out our list of best countries for American expats.
Things to Consider About Great Places to Retire :
When you're looking for a place to retire, either at home or abroad, there are three key factors to consider.
1. Cost of Living :
You want your retirement fund to work hard for you. Moving to a country with a lower cost of living is one way to enjoy retirement instead of worrying about it.
2. Health Care :
Getting older means bumps and scrapes are more serious than they used to be. You want to settle somewhere with good health care for a decent price.
Again, living somewhere with a lower cost of living means you can afford better health care.
3. Accessibility :
If you're the adventurous type, there are plenty of great places to retire that are a little off the beaten path.
But for the rest of us who enjoy the reliable internet and decent transportation, accessibility is crucial. You'll also want to be prepared for emergencies--and accessibility is important for that too.
Best Countries for American Expats :
We've created our list of the best places to retire by the country's affordability, health care options, and quality of life. Some of the countries offer more modern amenities than others.
Although you'll still have some research to do, this list is a great place to get started.
Mexico is one of the top 10 best places to retire on many websites. That's because of its vibrant culture, easy accessibility to the United States, and the cost of living.
The estimated monthly living costs for Mexico is about $2,200. This includes rent, utilities, and groceries. Registering in the country as a retiree gives you certain discounts on airline and bus tickets.
You can sign up for Mexico's public health care for free if you're 60 and older. But you can also opt for private healthcare at a fraction of what it costs in America. You'll receive the same kind of care--plus all the doctors learn English in school.
Malta is a little island near the coast of Turkey. It has a vibrant expat community, easy seaside access, and cheap groceries.
The cost of living there is about $2,000 per month. Most retirees flock to the shores of Malta to get away from bitter winter temperatures and enjoy year-round sunshine.
If you prefer chilly weather and cozy sweaters, Ireland is a popular option for American expats.
Their rolling green hills, world-famous beer, and amazing views are a big draw for Americans.
The cost of retiring in Ireland is about the same as retiring in the US. But its vibrant culture and history are one of its best selling points, and everyone there speaks English. Good luck with the accent though!
Cyprus is a beautiful island off the coast of Greece. While Cyprus is its own independent country, their culture is very similar to Greek culture. It has a low crime rate, and the cost of living is 20.8% lower than living in the US.
It's one of the best warm places to retire. And its proximity to Greece means you'll never run out of historical sites to visit.
If you'd like more information about retiring in Cyprus, you can view it here.
Spain is a member of the European Union, so the standard of health care and quality of life is high. But just because it's a part of the EU doesn't mean it's expensive. Spain is one of the cheapest countries in the EU.
Spain also boasts delicious food and tons of fun things to do. They have good telecommunications, modern housing, and excellent public transportation. There are many historical sites to visit, and the architecture is beautiful too.
Italy is also a popular European retirement destination for American expats--and for good reason.
Healthcare alone is a reason to move there. Italy ranks number two on the World Health Organization's list of countries. America is number 37 on the list, so you know you'll get great health care in Italy.
Italy also has fairly affordable housing and beautiful historical views. Between that and the good food and wine, it's amazing everyone doesn't choose to live there!
If you're looking for an affordable metropolitan country to retire in, Ecuador is the place for you.
The country is relatively small, which means you'll easily be able to hop in a car to visit the seaside or the mountains.
Senior residents of Ecuador get a 50% discount on utilities, plus a free landline. The monthly cost of living in Ecuador is about $1,500. You can spend that extra money you're saving on day trips and great food.
Costa Rica :
Costa Rica landed as the number one best country for American expats in 2018. It's easy to see why. You can rent a two-bedroom home for $500 a month, or you can buy beachfront property for the same as a two-bedroom home in America.
Costa Rica has a low crime rate, good health care, and they put a lot of effort into sustainable energy.
Many people who retire in Costa Rica report feeling better than they ever have. That's because the warm weather means you can be active the whole year--plus the fresh produce works wonders for your health.
Ready to Get Out There and Travel?
If you're looking for more travel adventures or want to explore the best countries for American expats, check out our travel section.
We have a ton of great resources to get you out on your next adventure!
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