Retiring Abroad

Pixabay - Thailand - Retiring AbroadA recent Forbes Magazine feature did some helpful legwork for anyone who might be considering retiring to a foreign country. Some day. In a future far far away. Just to get ourselves thinking, I’ve summarized their summaries, and added my not-well-thought-out reactions. Let the fantasies begin!


“Australia actually encourage retirees, but they generally have to meet financial requirements, including a net worth, depending on location in the country, of at least $600,000 for a couple.” Uhhh…


“Health care away from Belize City can be spotty, but Miami is just a two-hour plane ride away.”  Maybe we just won’t get sick. Ever.


“One big problem: In recent years Canada has tightened up its rules on retirement immigrants to the point where the two best routes are having a family member already in Canada, or planning to spend no more than six months a year in the country.” Canada, love ya but you’re off my list.


“Politically stable Chile has a wide range of agreeable climates–from desert to Mediterranean to subtropical to snowy–at a reasonable cost. Health care is considered excellent and affordable. There’s no local tax on pensions and Social Security income from the U.S. Retirement visas are available upon showing of a secure source of income.” Sounds tempting…


“The draw for retirees is outstanding weather and scenery, a low cost of living, good, cheap health care and tax-free status given to pension and Social Security payments.” Gloria Delgado-Pritchett didn’t do a lot to endear Colombia to me.  I understand you can get illegal drugs there cheap. JK.

Costa Rica:

Beautiful, chill and cheap. High on my list, especially since my daughter returned from there yesterday and adored it. But…skeeters!


“On the Adriatic Sea, Croatia contains beautiful scenery, a good climate, ancient cultures, a low cost of living and tax breaks for retirees. ” Just a stone’s throw across the Adriatic from Italy. Still, I think I prefer Italy.


“Ecuador may be the world’s greatest retirement value play. Amid beautiful terrain, beaches and, offshore, the Galapagos Islands, there’s a cost of living less than half the U.S. average.” Beautiful. Cheap. Beach.


“The cost of living in Paris is pricey, but other places are more affordable, such the port city of Bordeaux in southwest France, or Lyon.” A small place in a small village in the south of France? Now you’re talking! Speaking of talking, what language do they speak there? English, right?


“For American retirees, Ireland can almost seem an extension of the U.S., except a lot prettier.  Almost everyone speaks English.” One word. Weather.


On top of good climate and food, Italy is blessed with affordable health care and insurance. Cost of living is reasonable, especially if you stay away from the larger cities.  Two words: Climate. Food. Three words: climate, food, beach. Sign me up.


“The climate is hot and humid, but suits fine many retirees who enjoy cheap living, terrific outdoor venues and the mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures. English is widely spoken.” Lovely, but too far from home.


“So long as crime-plagued border cities along U.S. are avoided, Mexico offers substantial benefits for retirees, including a warm climate, low costs and friendliness.” Nice place to visit but…


“On top of good climate and food, Italy is blessed with affordable health care and insurance. Cost of living is reasonable, especially if you stay away from the larger cities. ”  Convince me that it’s politically stable — and will stay that way — and I’ll definitely consider it!


“Long a fixture on foreign retirement lists, Panama offers a Florida-like experience at a steep discount. ” Worth further investigation.

The Philippines:

Lovely, English speaking, but just too far away. Typhoons are a scary possibility.


“The closest county in Western Europe to the U.S. is also the cheapest, affording retirees many benefits. Among them: a relatively low cost of living, a warm but mild climate, and a slower pace of life.” Yes! Portugal!


“Blessed with abundant sun, Spain is a bit like Florida. But it’s cheaper, especially for expats willing to settle a few miles back from the beautiful coasts.” Oh yes! Spain!


“With an average cost of living one-third that of the U.S., a developed, inexpensive health-care infrastructure and a warm tropical climate, Thailand has drawn a significant retirement community.” See Philippines.


“The climate is moderate, with four seasons but little snow….Uruguay is that rare country that allows foreign retirees to use the national healthcare system.” Really off my radar, at least since I did a report on it in 4th grade.

Caribbean islands are COMPLETELY MISSING! Could it be they are unreasonably expensive? Rats. If I am retiring abroad, I want to get to the bottom of this. After all, I’ll be wealthy by then. Bigger travesty: SRI LANKA IS MISSING. Maybe it’s better not to draw attention to this Serendipitous island.

edit: I just realized how Americacentric the term ‘abroad’ is. These countries aren’t abroad to those who live there. Does the US appear on any other country’s “best countries to retire abroad?” OK, overthinking again.