As going international becomes cheaper and faster, and the price of living increases in the United States, retirement overseas is becoming more viable and more attractive than ever. It is estimated that 17% more Americans retired abroad between 2010 and 2015, a number expected to continue to increase over time. Among the reasons to retire abroad, along with the low cost of living, are warmer climates and cheaper healthcare.
Many couples want to retire abroad, but the distance is not ideal. This is why Central America is a popular place to retire due the its proximity to the U.S. and the frequent flights to major cities. Central America, and many countries in Europe, offer some amazing perks for retirees, including the ideal climate and low cost of living you want. The following countries were featured on the 2017 Annual Global Retirement Index by International Living.
In many places in Panama, you can live on just $2,000 a month. Everything from food, housing, and utilities are all cheaper than in the U.S. The country also offers the most attractive retirement program that gives foreign retirees the same perks of offered to Panamanian nationals. Some of the benefits include:
- 50% off entertainment
- 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
- 25% off domestic airline tickets
- Up to 25% off medications
- Between 10% and 20% off healthcare costs
The small country of Ecuador on the equator can be your new home with a comfortable cost of living that sits around $1,600 to $2,400 a month, depending on your lifestyle.
Because Ecuador has distinct geographical regions, the low cost of living isn’t the only reason to retire here. You can choose between the coast, the highlands, the amazon, or the beautiful Galapagos islands.
Retiring in Portugal, the oldest nation-state in Europe, offers the perfect destination for retirement abroad. Because the country is the easternmost nation in Europe, access from the U.S. is quick and easy. The diverse culture and attractive climate are reason enough to spend your golden years in Portugal.
If you needed another reason, the cost of living is incredibly cheap compared to the rest of western Europe. You can rent a 2-bedroom apartment for less than a thousand euro a month, and the price goes down when you get into the countryside.
There is also a great tax exemption for foreign retirees.
The expat community in Costa Rica, along with the locals, is accepting, making Costa Rica an excellent choice for your retirement abroad.
A couple retiring in Costa Rica can expect to pay $2,000 to $3,000 a month to live comfortably. This includes housing, transportation, medical care, food, and entertainment. This is a great price for the North American standard homes.
If you gain residency, you will also have the opportunity to access the world-class national healthcare program for a low fee.
Colombia is known as the second most biodiverse country in the world. The tropical rainforests, mountains, glaciers, rivers, plains, deserts, and beaches would keep anyone occupied for a lifetime.
If the biodiversity doesn’t draw you in, the low cost of living will. Similar to other Latin American countries, Colombia has a low cost of living. You can live comfortably in the country with $1,200 a month.
Nicaragua is the cheapest place you can retire to in the Americas for the highest quality of life. A one-bedroom apartment can cost you as little as $325 a month. Less than $500 can afford you a three-bedroom apartment. Groceries and transportation are also significantly inexpensive.
Along with the low cost of living, Nicaragua boasts a high safety ranking. The peace and political safety have made Nicaragua the safest country in the Central American, Panama, and Dominican Republic region. You can spend your retirement with a peace of mind about your day-to-day life, and, more importantly, your wallet.
Other countries on the list included:
Many of these countries offer great quality healthcare for a fraction of the cost. Retirees looking to save some money can easily have procedures done abroad. The first thing you should do, however, is your research. The U.S. is considered to have the best healthcare in the world. If you choose to have a procedure done overseas, whether voluntary or necessary, make sure you are visiting a quality medical facility with world-class doctors.