When retirement is on the horizon, one of the most important considerations for seniors is where to spend their golden years. While some retirees prefer to stay within their home country, many others look to foreign shores to make the most of their retirement.
While choosing the perfect country to retire comfortably in can be exciting, it can also be daunting. There is lots to consider, including the climate, cost of living, culture, overall quality of life, and how easy it is to relocate as a retiree.
Resources, such as the annual Global Retirement Index can provide valuable insights to help retirees make an informed decision. It’s among the most comprehensive reports of its kind which uses hundreds of real-life experiences and opinions about the best countries to retire to. Though it can also be a bit complex for some.
To simplify things, if you’re thinking of retiring abroad but are not sure where to start, here is our guide of the 10 easiest countries for a comfortable retirement.
Ecuador, located in South America between Columbia and Peru, is an increasingly popular destination for retirees. It has super affordable living costs, one of the lowest in the world, with the ability to purchase a home on the Pacific Coast with amazing views of the Andes for around $150,000.
Ecuador produces abundant food off the land with year-round growing seasons meaning prices at local mercados are incredibly low. The temperate climate is also attractive for many, depending on where you go. Coastal areas are warmer and more humid, with cooler climates in the Andes mountain range.
Ecuador has a diverse and stunning range of landscapes including the Amazon Rainforest, providing retirees with ample opportunities for exploration and adventure.
Ecuador offers the Retirement Visa available to those who receive a lifetime pension or annuity income of at least $800 per month. You must have proof of retirement and any other income you will receive abroad.
It’s no surprise Greece is one of the best places to retire comfortably, given its sunny Mediterranean location, breath-taking natural scenery, friendly locals, delectable cuisine, and rich history.
Retiring here could mean days spent relaxing on sunny Santorini beach, and indulging in delicious Greek cuisine with fresh ingredients and mouth-watering Mediterranean flavours.
Greece has a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and cultural experiences. Retirees can also enjoy a lower cost of living compared to other European countries, and access to quality healthcare.
The Greece Residency by Investment Program is among the best European options for foreign retirees looking to retire in the European Union.
The program offers a range of benefits including the lowest investment requirements in the EU, residency in just 60-90 days, free access to the Greek health service, and no residency requirements (so you can begin the process years in advance).
Book a free consultation with an Astons Trusted Adviser to find out more.
France is another great country to spend your retirement years in. Boasting a rich culture, stunning architecture, and beautiful scenery, France is an ideal destination for those who enjoy exploring history and the arts.
France is also renowned for its excellent healthcare system, with both public and private options available, ensuring that retirees can access quality medical care when needed.
France offers a high standard of living, with well-developed infrastructure, modern amenities, and a diverse range of leisure activities, as well as delicious cuisine, fine wines, and cheese, which are all part of its rich gastronomic heritage.
Retirees in France can take advantage of various tax incentives and discounts, including reduced rates for public transportation and cultural events. France offers the Retirement visa, available to retirees looking for permanent residency, as well as the Investor visa and long-stay visa if you want the option to live for up to a year and renew thereafter.
Italy is a wonderful place for retirees to consider. With its picturesque cities, charming countryside, and beautiful coastlines, Italy offers an endless array of cultural and natural treasures to explore. Italy’s warm and sunny climate is another attraction for retirees, along with its world-renowned cuisine, fine wines, and exceptional healthcare system.
Retirees can take advantage of various tax incentives and discounts, including reductions on property taxes and income taxes for non-Italian retirees. Italy also has a very affordable cost of living compared to other western European countries, particularly in smaller towns and villages.
Retirees can also benefit from Italy’s well-established public transportation network, which makes it easy and convenient to explore the country. Italy offers the Elective Residency Visa requiring proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself without work.
Undoubtedly the allure of Thailand begins with its idyllic, sunny climate and is a true favorite among retirees with an eye for natural and cultural beauty.
Thailand is a great place to retire as it is a vibrant hub of social activities, where festivals and traditional ceremonies provide a festive ambiance, meaning there is always something to do to feel rejuvenated.
Thailand is also very affordable, with options for retirees with any budget. Purchase a two-bedroom condo for around $30,000, or a small, quaint rental for $180 per month. Thailand offers a comprehensive healthcare system, with both public and private hospitals and clinics providing high-quality care at a fraction of the cost of Western countries.
Retirees can take advantage of Thailand’s 10 Year Retirement Visa, however it is only available to those from certain countries, including but not limited to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Colombia has been rising in popularity among retirees due to its warm climate, beautiful scenery, and affordable cost of living. Retirees can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle including delicious cuisine, and a rich cultural heritage. Its growing expat community and welcoming attitude towards foreigners make it a great place to easily integrate into local culture.
Retirees can also benefit from an excellent healthcare system, with access to subsidized health insurance at reasonable prices. While cost of living has risen in recent years, retirees can still live comfortably in upper-class areas starting around $100 per month in small cities like Pereira or Manizales.
Columbia offers a variety of retirement visa options, making it easy for foreign retirees to settle in. Under the current requirements, retirees with basic social security retirement incomes of at least $700 per month can quality for the pension visa.
Not ready to retire yet, but receive a minimum rental income of $2,500 per month? The, you can obtain a similar visa under this category.
Mexico is a great option for retirees who want to enjoy a warm climate, rich culture, and affordable cost of living. The country offers a range of retirement visas that make it easy for foreign retirees to settle there.
Mexico is a large and diverse country with many options for retirees. The cost of living is relatively low, and the weather is warm and sunny throughout the year. Mexico has an affordable and comprehensive healthcare system, with both public and private options, modern facilities and highly trained doctors.
For retirees considering Mexico’s rich culture and history, delicious cuisine, and beautiful beaches, there are three main visas recommendations depending on circumstances and desired length of stay, including the tourist visa, temporary resident visa, or permanent resident visa.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is another country to retire easily, renowned for its warm and stable climate, it makes it the perfect destination for those looking for a tropical paradise to live in. Its natural beauty is unparalleled, boasting lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and an abundance of wildlife.
Costa Rica is widely regarded as one of the happiest countries in the world, thanks to its relaxed pace of life, friendly locals, and strong sense of community. Additionally, the country’s healthcare system is among the best in the region, and its low cost of living means that retirees can enjoy a high standard of living without breaking the bank.
The Costa Rica Pensionado Visa requires a monthly income of $1000 individually through social security, amenities, retirement funds or other retirement benefits.
Panama is a popular retirement destination for many reasons. One of the main benefits of retiring in Panama is its affordable cost of living, which allows retirees to maintain a comfortable lifestyle on a modest budget. The country also boasts a tropical climate, stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and a vibrant culture.
Panama is also an exceptionally safe place to live. Panama City has a technologically advanced healthcare system with top-notch medical facilities and doctors who are proficient in English, with healthcare costs a fraction of the cost of those in the US.
Panama offers several retiree visa programs that provide significant benefits, including discounts on healthcare, transportation, and entertainment.
For the fourth year in a row, Portugal has been ranked as the number one country to retire comfortably. Portugal offers a mild climate, beautiful beaches, and stunning scenery, making it a popular destination for retirees. The cost of living in Portugal is also relatively low compared to other European countries, and the healthcare system is excellent.
Portugal boasts 300 days of sunshine per year, incredibly friendly people, delicious seafood, and excellent public transport. It has a laid-back lifestyle with the big cities of Lisbon and Porto and the Algarve in the South.
Portugal also offers an excellent balance between cost of living and the quality of life. The country offers some of the highest standards of living in Europe, with low costs and excellent healthcare.
The Golden Residence Permit Program in Portugal grants the right to live, work and study and provides a wide range of investment options. Click below to speak to a trusted Astons advisor to find out more.
And there you have it, the top 10 easiest countries to retire comfortably for those who want to make the most of their golden years. If relocation to Portugal or Greece is top of your list, speak to a trusted Astons advisor today to find out how they can support you in your relocation process.