Retirement isn't easy. It's about making a transition from years of a similar lifestyle to a completely new one. It also isn’t cheap either. Almost 25% of US citizens think they need at least a million-dollar to retire peacefully. On the other hand, Social Security accounts that over 700K Americans receive their pension in an abroad account. So the tendency to retire abroad isn’t uncommon. The question is, which are the best places to retire?
Top 9 Countries for Comfortable Retirement on Earth
Panama has been the consistent top choice for retirement across the globe mainly for two reasons – its tropical climate and the structured healthcare system. The central American location means it's much closer to the US.
The country has a dedicated visa system that allows pensioners to retire there initially for three months with subsequent permanent residency options. The public-private partnership healthcare system is robust with high subsidies from the government. Moreover, the government offers different tax rebates for retirees.
The South American country bordering Brazil is another great retirement destination. The country boasts some of the best healthcare systems and retirement plans for people mainly coming from the USA and Europe.
Uruguay offers a mix of modernity and traditions. Pensioners need to have at least 1500 dollars of income to settle long-term in Uruguay. Just like Panama, the country has a unified healthcare system that ensures routine checkups and treatment at a fraction of the US costs.
They say there’s nothing like Spanish summer and we couldn’t agree more. The country offers some of the best living standards for elderly citizens with temperate weather, warm climate, and coastal cities.
The European country boasts some of the most architecturally rich cities like Barcelona and Madrid with stunning countryside. Any pensioner with an annual income of over 29K USD can easily apply to be a permanent resident in the country.
The process is a bit lengthy and requires a lot of legal proceedings. There’s a workaround to this system which is the golden visa. It requires a real estate investment of more than half a million dollars. The healthcare system is also very affordable with 100 to 150 dollars covering the entire monthly health expenses.
Ever wanted to experience island life up close? There’s nothing like the Dominican Republic. While most island countries focus on being tourist destinations, this little South American nation is also a great retirement option for those who can afford private healthcare and a 1500 USD living cost.
A retiree will have to apply for a tourist visa to gain entry to the country. From there on, applying for a PR will take a few months.
Costa Rica is another great option in the Central American region. The main reason for the popularity of these nations is their affordable lifestyle and a secured integration system for the pensioners.
On average, a retiree can easily get by with 1000 to 1500 USD per month including healthcare. The country also offers luscious beaches, laid-back downtowns, and an overall slow way of life. Granted this is the perfect life for anyone looking to get away from the busy life of big cities.
If you are from the US, Ecuador can be considered retirement heaven. The country offers the lowest requirements both in terms of background checks and monetary aspects. With just 800 dollars of regular pensions, anyone can apply to the pension visa program.
A retiree can even get their property with around 150K USD investment. If that is too much, there is nothing to worry about as 1500 USD will be more than enough to make a good retired life in Ecuador.
Colombia is often dubbed the sunshine country of central America. This serene laid-back country has been on the list of not just holiday goers but retirees as well.
The cost of living is a bit high in central Columbia in cities like Bogota. A person can expect to spend around 2750 USD for a comfortable living.
The healthcare system of Columbia is universal so everyone gets state coverage. You can expect to spend around 70 USD for healthcare which is a fraction of what it would cost in the USA. Moving beyond that, a retiree can expect to get a pensioner visa which will last about 2 years at one go.
Portugal is known as the cobblestone capital of Europe. Its cobblestone architecture from the city center to the more rural areas make it one of the most picturesque countries in the world. The country also has a reasonable retirement plan as it consistently lists on top of retirement choices in Europe.
Buying properties worth over half a million USD will grant a golden visa in Portugal. It’s the easiest way to settle in the country as a pensioner. But if that doesn’t work, expect to shell out around 2200 USD for a city center living.
The best thing about Portugal has to be its healthcare system. The universal health coverage costs around 46 USD which is much cheaper than any European counterparts.
Even though an unlikely option, France is still one of the best retirement options out there. The art capital of the world is known for its culture, tradition, and fast city life. Moving away from Paris, you will find scenic countryside in Normandy and Cote D'Azur. The country offers a great mix of modernity and tradition.
Apartment prices start at just over 150K USD. But a retiree should expect to spend around 1500 to 2000 USD for a city living in France. The healthcare system of France is rated number one by WHO with the least out-of-pocket expenditure of any developed country in the world.
There is no fixed pensioner visa program in France. A person wishing to retire here will have to apply for a long-term residence visa which requires a minimum pension of about 1000 USD.
So far, we have mentioned 9 best countries for passing a peacefulm retired life abroad. Almost all the developed countries of the world allow for a retirement destination. In the end, the choice comes down to cost and the environment along with personal preference. So, which country are you planning to retire to?