Best Countries for Retirement

North and South America on a globe

Many seniors are choosing to move out of the United States after retirement. For a great number of these retirees, the choice to move away from their homeland is a financial one. There are many countries where seniors can find a high quality of living that is much more affordable than it is in the United States.

Five Top Countries for Retirement

While many people choose to retire to locations that feature warm sunny weather, there are some that do enjoy cold weather and snow. The following is a cross section of some of the best countries for retirement based on their high quality of life and low cost of living.

1. Belize

Located on the East Coast of South America, Belize was formally called British Honduras. Belize has a comfortable, somewhat humid, subtropical climate with an average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. With English as its native language, Belize is a popular spot for retirees. The cost of living in Belize depends on the area and lifestyle desired.

2. Costa Rica

If you enjoy a lifestyle that is relaxed and laid back, Costa Rica may be the perfect place for you. However, to retire to Costa Rica you must file for a Costa Rica retirement visa, have the necessary permits and meet the specific guidelines regarding income. The warm weather, beautiful scenery and low cost of living make Costa Rica an excellent retirement choice for many.

3. France

With a low cost of living in some regions, and an excellent healthcare system throughout the country, France is the retirement destination of many Americans. There are many apartments and houses located throughout the country that are available for rent or purchase at very affordable rates.

4. The Azores

The nine islands of the Azores, part of the Portuguese Republic, feature a unique blend of historical charm and contemporary life, breathtaking scenery and an almost perfect climate. The Azores has a low cost of living, compared to the United States, making it a wonderful and affordable retirement destination.

5. Nicaragua

With beautiful Caribbean beaches, freshwater lakes and a gorgeous coastline along the Pacific Ocean, Nicaragua, located in Central America, is considered a great place to retire. According to the International Living, Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in the area, and in the entire world for that matter. In addition to its low cost of living, Nicaragua offers foreign retirees special incentives. To be eligible for the incentives you must have an income of at least $400 per month and be at least forty-five years old. Retiree incentives include:

  • There is no tax on earnings made out of the country
  • You are allowed to bring into the country one automobile without paying any tax and it is duty free. After five years you can sell the vehicle tax free. This can be repeated every five years with the same duty free and tax exemptions.
  • You are allowed to bring household goods into the country to use in your home duty free. The goods can have a value of up to $10,000.

Factors to Consider

Finding the best country for your retirement depends on specific considerations of the individual and the type of location desired. Several main considerations include:

  • Cost of living
  • Retirement income
  • Distance from family and friends
  • The type of weather one enjoys and the climate of the country
  • The desired lifestyle want during retirement years
  • Healthcare and medical facilities
  • Necessary visas and permits for residency

Making a Choice

When you are deciding which are the best countries to retire given your own specific situation and desires, spend time researching those countries that you find the most appealing. Visit the country you are thinking of relocating to and look at it through the eyes of a resident, not someone on vacation. Talk to other retirees who have moved there and get their views on living in the foreign land. Make sure that the country you choose for retirement is the best choice for you before you make a move or sell your house in the U.S.

Best Countries for Retirement