Five Great Retirement Destinations for Expats

by David Tompkins

5 Great Retirement Destinations for Expats

Spending one’s golden years as a retired expat in a dream destination comes with many benefits. You have all the time in the world to enjoy the culture and the sights and sounds of a new haven at a low cost. You may be lucky to relocate to a place where you have easy access to the best healthcare facilities too. If you are seriously contemplating retiring in a foreign land, you should first decide where you want to move.

What is the best country for retirement?

Here are the 5 great retirement destinations for expats that can make your retired life great:

1. Nicaragua

Imagine living in a beautiful town like San Juan del Sur or a city like Managua post your retirement. A CNBC study suggests that you can lead a decent life in your own beautiful home by spending only $100,000 in Nicaragua. As an expat, you can enjoy various tax benefits too including zero% tax on out-of-country income. You can also enjoy easy access to medical care in almost all the major cities of this amazing nation.

You should go for international health insurance in your native country before you are 65 years old or before you relocate. More details available for health information recommendations for expats and travelers to Nicaragua from the CDC (note that this link opens in a new tab). The country has a host of real estate options for expats retiring there and some excellent beaches. Note that recent civil strife in the country may cause some people to reconsider retiring there.

2. Thailand

Thailand boasts of an amazing social life and culture, luring expats from all parts of the globe. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to retire because of low living costs. In Thailand, you won’t have to spend a lot in medical assistance; so, opt for a cost-effective international insurance plan when you decide to migrate to this country. You can make the most of your savings as you’ll have ample residential options to choose from. If you hold a work permit and pay for social security, you can easily avail free or heavily-discounted healthcare benefits from any of the country’s private hospitals, but again expats will require global health coverage. Quick guide to healthcare system in Thailand.

Thailand Caves

3. Ecuador

Ecuador can be the second home for expats from all parts of the globe. Boasting of almost 50 different climatic variations and ecological spots, this South American destination has something to offer for everyone looking for a peaceful and comfortable life. You can spend quality time with your friends and family in its pristine beaches that offer interesting pastimes including whale watching tours and fishing. You simply can’t miss its world-renowned Galapagos Islands during your stay.

Most expats love to live as retirees in Ecuador because of the easy availability of quality healthcare and low living costs. You can afford many things here that used to be deemed luxurious and pricey in your country. People without health insurance can pay just about $20 for an appointment with a doctor. Ecuador uses U.S. Dollars as its currency, which makes using and converting money when needed a walk in the park. Private healthcare is accessible by everyone if you have health insurance.

4. Portugal

If you are planning to move to Europe, Portugal can be a great option as the living standards are quite affordable. You can enjoy its pleasant weather and beautiful coastlines, and can easily afford a decent property. Wi-Fi is easily available too; so you can stay in touch with your loved ones online through Skype and email. Much-needed amenities are easily available to make your stay comfortable.

Even healthcare is not very expensive and is available for free once you become a permanent resident; however, having a private global health plan is always better. Click on this link to learn more about the health information in Portugal (note that this link opens in a new tab).

Retirement Destinations for Expats

5. Costa Rica

Costa Rica has always been a favorite among expats and retirees because of its climate, diverse culture, and scenic beauty. Each province has its innate vibe and lure. Be it the beaches, hustle-bustle of cities, or laidback rustic town vibe, Costa Rica has everything to make your stay memorable. House rent, food, as well as healthcare are much cheaper in the country than the U.S. Costa Rica offers universal healthcare and charges you a very nominal monthly fee as per your income.

If you and your spouse are nearing retirement age, exploring an ideal expat destination based on your style and budget is important. Your search for expat hubs can start earlier if you are planning an early retirement.

Other Considerations For Retiring Expats?

You should consider a lot of factors when retiring abroad. Choosing the right country is a big decision. Here are a few questions before you pick your retirement destination:

  • Can you keep your social security benefits and pension?
  • Will you have enough funds to last a lifetime?
  • Will you sell your existing home or do you need the cash to purchase a new home abroad?
  • Is your new expat destination safe? What neighborhoods are the safest for expats?
  • Do you have adequate healthcare to cover you for life?
  • What are the tax consequences of your move abroad? Is the new expat country a tax-efficient destination?

Don’t Forget Global Healthcare When You Retire Abroad

As noted above, it is vital that you obtain adequate global health insurance if you plan to live abroad or are already living the expat retirement dream. Check out our International Health Insurance page for tips and links to excellent providers. Learn more about different global health insurance plans and tips: 

A great resource for international healthcare is the Cigna Global Health Options plan offered by Expat Financial.

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