I get that question a lot. I wish I had a simple answer, but as long as people are different — with different hopes, wishes, dreams, likes and dislikes — there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
And sometimes asking “which country” isn’t the right question. Because different parts of a country can be very different. I mean, what do New York City and Podunk, Idaho have in common? Not much.
Fortunately I can give you a place to start.
Here are two lists, from two respected sources, of places that are attractive to expats in terms of cost, climate and general quality of life.
The first list gives you, not just a country, but a specific city or town in the country.
It’s from Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live & Invest Overseas. She’s been writing about expat life for over 25 years, and she’s moved her family from the US to Ireland, to France and now to Panama.
- Coronado, Panama
- Languedoc, France
- Ambergris Caye, Belize
- Cuenca, Ecuador
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- County Kerry, Ireland
- Granada, Nicaragua
- Medellin, Colombia
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This list is from International Living’s annual list of the World’s Best Retirement Havens. In putting it together, they consider diverse factors like cost of real estate, special retiree benefits, cost of living, climate, health and more.
I took strong issue with their list in 2011. Usually, though, they’re more on target and I’m comfortable with this list.
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- Dominican Republic
Choosing where to live involves a lot of complex decision making. How to choose the best country for YOU takes some soul searching, thought, planning and boots-on-the-ground time.
Hopefully these lists of top overseas retirement havens will give you a place to start.
Do you have a question about how to choose an overseas destination? Leave a comment below!