Whether you are young or old, a retirement plan is a good thing to hold. Okay, the rest of this article won’t rhyme, but the statement is true. More and more people are becoming conscious of what their money goes towards, and retirement is a big one! Florida is dubbed the unofficial destination of retirees, but let’s see where the best places to retire truly are.
As a general rule, the United States is not the best place to retire; the cost of living is extremely high. It doesn’t get easier when you get older, especially if you no longer have a steady income. The quality of life is different, maybe better, in other regions of the world as well. For example, the United States is very fast-paced and has a “go-getter” mentality. Other places in the world are more relaxed and family focused, so going abroad is a great choice when considering retirement. A few prominent issues with moving abroad to retire are the difference in currency (bless up for ATMs) and the language barrier (ili, Google Translate, is that you calling?). More people than you’d think speak very good English and are even fluent. Don’t let language hinder you from saving money in the long run. Without further ado, here are some of the best places to retire:
Photo: Tom Barrett on Unsplash
Spain is a tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches and mouth-watering, tasty delights. However, these attractions also make Spain an attractive place to retire! What makes Spain such a popular destination for permanent residency are its great living standards, lots of food options at low prices, locally grown, healthier foods, and low cost of living. Spain offers one of the lowest costs of living in all of Europe. Two people can live off of $2,500 USD a month in Spain. There are areas that remain warm most of the year, but there are areas that get snow and colder weather too (you know, if you’re into that kind of thing). Spain also offers some of the best healthcare around the world.
The Dominican Republic is another popular tourist destination. As the sun shines, the weather is always warm. Always. A reasonable monthly budget there is about $1,500-$2,000. It is less expensive to live there than North America or Europe, which makes it a very attractive option. The Dominican offers simple retirement processes which come with benefits and tax breaks. The food is abundant and affordable. The beaches are beautiful and warm. What’s not to love?
If you’re concerned about language barriers, perhaps you would consider the island of New Zealand? After a two-year application wait, an average $2,400 will settle you into this country with ease. Healthcare is either free or very low in cost (that’s without insurance, for those of you in the back). The standard of living is almost equal to that of the United States, which makes moving more adaptable. If you have a desire to work, New Zealand has a very open job market. Many Americans have settled into its work environment for that very reason.
So maybe you’ve made it this far and are a little worried about how far these countries are from the United States. May I introduce you to Costa Rica? The beautiful, warm country is wonderful to live in and about a $300 plane ticket away. Costa Rica is very progressive and low cost (between $1,300 and $1,600 per month). The locals are very friendly people who offer great communities to live in. The healthcare is very affordable and easy to aquire, but even without healthcare, there are many clinics available. Many doctors also accept Tricare Overseas, the retired military insurance.
Panama is another country that is close to our current home. Along with Spain, it is another country that tops many “best places to retire” lists. Panama does not have many taxes (no income tax if your income comes from another country), has many English speakers, delicious food (worth moving for on its own), low rent, many deals and coupons on air travel and food, many activities, and exciting communities. You can live in Panama City for as little as $2,600 per month. If you prefer small town life, you will not pay more than $750 per month in rent.
A list of six countries would be kind of weird, but Malaysia deserves to be on this list. Malaysia is possibly one of the most affordable places to live on this list. If you want to eat out, you can find many places that only cost $6 for a full, ten course meal. Haircuts are a fraction of what they cost in the U.S. You can live in this wonderful, colorful culture for only $1,800 per month. A trip to the doctor is extremely affordable (around $43, including tests). There are many hobbies to delve into such as hiking, going to the gym, scuba diving, beach bumming (is that a hobby?), traveling to one of the 878 other islands off the mainland, and eating (definitely a hobby). The weather is comfortable and warm most of the year too, making it an inviting place to rest after a long life of work.
Alizah Acosta is a passionate writer from the cold corner of America, better known as the Northeast. She recently graduated from Clarks Summit University with a bachelors degree. She uses the experiences and skills she has acquired and puts them in her work. Writing is not just a career, but a form of communication and an art. Writing is about showing this art form in a conveying and meaningful way.