Are you searching for a new place to call home? A place where you can finally dedicate your time to all the things you have always wanted to do after a lifetime of hard work? If your answer is yes, then you’re just one step away from finding that magical place.
Above all, you need to figure out the things that are most important for you: is it the cost of living in that future home of yours or maybe the quality of health care? You may be looking for the ideal climate and natural beauty that you have dreamed of your entire life? Distance from your home, crime rate and pollution are also essential factors that you have to consider before making this life-changing decision.
If all this sounds like a mind-boggling task with countless hours of weighing the pros and cons of each retirement destination, don’t despair – experts have done the extensive research for you and have significantly narrowed down the list of potential winners. Here are the top 5 countries where you can fully enjoy your golden years:
With its 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight throughout the year, Ecuador is often called the “Land of Eternal Spring”. The climate is extremely mild and the natural beauty is simply breathtaking – from astonishing mountains and high plains to a dense jungle and tropical beaches, Ecuador has it all.
Also, although the prices of properties have risen in the last several years thanks to the growing economy, the country still offers the best-value real estate in the world. Buying a property in Ecuador is easy and straightforward, and you can rely on your attorney to lead you through the purchase process. Moreover, owning a property can qualify foreigners for residence.
And undoubtedly, one of the things you will find most appealing is that Ecuadorians have a lot of respect for older people and you will feel welcomed into their community in no time. In addition, the excellent health care in the country with its first-class hospitals, clinics and well-trained doctors turn this South American republic into the number one retirement destination in the world.
This is a place where retirees are truly respected – they receive residence quickly and are awarded a number of special discounts – up to 15% off doctor visits and medications, 25% off at restaurants and an impressive 50% off admission to movies and theaters. Many aspects of life for senior citizens here come with a pleasant discount and… a smile. Panama is renowned for its friendly and hospitable people who enjoy their tranquil take-it-easy kind of lifestyle.
Furthermore, this southernmost country of Central America boasts a year-round spring-like climate with unique outdoor activities like bathing and swimming in both the Pacific and the Atlantic on the same day. The longevity of most locals is attributed to an exclusive variety of vegetables that are believed to fight cancer.
The low cost of living, the diverse beautiful nature, the abundance of English speakers and the currency being U.S. dollars are also big pluses for the people who have chosen Panama as their retirement home.
Another destination to retire and move to is Malaysia. Malaysia is one of Asia’s most desirable destinations for a number of reasons, but what stands out the most is its exceptional health care – it is considered to be one of the best in the world. Most affordable, too. Medical tourism thrives in the country thanks to the highly qualified physicians and the low prices – a dentist checkup may cost as little as $9. Furthermore, prescriptions and hospital visits here cost merely a fraction of what you would have to pay in most other countries.
Since English is the country’s unofficial first language, making new friends with amiable locals is a piece of cake. Also, the cost of living here is low – rent is around $500 a month, entertainment expenses may be as low as $100 and foreigners are allowed to own properties freehold. Some of Asia’s best street food, excellent bars and restaurants also add to the flavor of your unique experience.
Climate-wise, this country is a tropical paradise with unspoiled pollution-free beaches, virgin jungles, spectacular mountains and gorgeous islands. Throw in the good infrastructure and it is easy to see why many retirees are having the time of their lives in this exciting Southeast Asian nation.
Next in our top list of countries to retire and move to is Mexico. Another excellent choice for retirement where foreigners can appreciate, savor and emerge into the rich, colorful and lively culture of this vast modern country. Nearly three times the size of Texas, Tierra Azteca offers diverse natural settings – from thousands of miles of beach to maintain ranges and everything in between.
The overall cost of living is low and the health care ranges from good to excellent. Similar to Malaysia, medical tourism is well developed here. A residence visa is enough to apply for the national health care system of Mexico which has a cost of around $300 a year.
No matter what kind of lifestyle you prefer, you are sure to enjoy it in the diversified and vibrant cultural life of Mexico.
Often called the “Switzerland of the Americans”, Costa Rica is considered by many as the ideal home away from home. It is the most peaceful and politically stable of all the countries in Central America, boasting a democratic system and an economic structure with an enduring tradition of over 150 years. Retirees do feel welcomed here – gaining permanent residence is an easy and hassle-free experience and the government aids new-comers with very few restrictions on purchasing property or even starting a business.
Another strong point that attracts foreigners is the universal healthcare system (known as Caja) – first-rate and yet extremely affordable. The incredible natural beauty, the mild tropical climate, the low crime rate and the friendly locals make Costa Rica a great retirement destination.
In reality, perfect retirement destinations do not exist since each one has its strong and weak points. However, the magical trick for all of you who seek a good quality of life for a reasonable price is to find the one that will best suit your needs. Success is attainable through careful analysis of the pros and cons of each candidate winner but experts agree that the best way to know for sure whether a new home will make you truly happy or not is to actually go and see it for yourself, and if possible, to spend some time there.
Your turn now: What is your favorite retirement destination? What do you think about our suggested countries. We’ll really appreciate your comments.
Posted on Jan 6, 2014; Last updated: May 22, 2014
Topics: Country Moving Guides