6 Awesome Places to Retire Abroad

The US economy currently isn’t at its best. I mean we are recovering, but right now the economy is on a topsy-turvy ride as it battles the influences of the European debt crisis. This would have been ok, had it not been for the recent 2008 economic recession. According to a special index made by the Labor Department that measures the actual cost of living of Americans, this year hit a record high, surpassing even the highest point of July 2008. And this new record was set only in February of 2011. This index is influenced by factors such as economic instability, rising consumer goods prices, and unemployment.

Considering the expensive cost of living in the US, retirees are now looking for feasible options where they can enjoy their retirement life to the fullest. According to CBS Money Watch back in 2010, there are 500,000 retirees living overseas, and that number is quickly increasing. So where exactly is the best place to retire abroad? Below is a list of the top 6 best places to retire abroad. This list takes into consideration the cost of living, adequate health care services, and real estate components. And of course, an English-speaking nation will always be a plus.

1. Bocas del Toro, Panama

One of the reasons why Panama is on top of the list is because of its close proximity to mainland USA. The area of Bocas del Toro is just a one-hour flight from Panama City. The climate is of course tropical, so retirees can enjoy the warmth of the sun with just a few rainy seasons. Hospitals are available in the main island of Bocas del Toro, but most expats prefer the hospitals in Panama City. The cost of living is also generally cheap, as a retired couple can comfortably live on a $1,500 budget a month.

What makes Panama so enticing for retirees is of course the presence of turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and tropical rain forests. Although Spanish is the main language, there are many locals who can speak good English. And to make it even easier, their currency is the US dollar.

2. Nha Trang, Vietnam

Situated in the coast of South-Central Vietnam, Nha Trang features miles and miles of beautiful beaches and large mountain ranges. The Cam Ranh International Airport is just 25 miles from the area and there is also a 1,000 bed Khanh Hoa General Hospital located in the city. What makes this place so alluring aside from its beautiful beaches is the ridiculously cheap cost of living. A retired couple can live comfortably with less than $600, and having a budget of $1,000 can allow you to live a luxurious life. Although English isn’t widely spoken, there is a small population of foreigners, with restaurants and bars that cater to them.

3. Roatan, Honduras

The Honduras is well know for the world’s second largest coral reef, and it has stretches of white sand beaches and warm ocean waters. One of the best things about this area is the nonstop flights from the U.S to Roatan International airport. There are also two hospitals and several clinics on the island, with larger facilities in the mainland. The average temperature is about 81 degrees which is considered to be tropical. The cost of living is also fairly low, as a retired couple can live well on a $1,200 monthly budget. There is also an established expat community, making retirees feel right at home. The only downside is that the Honduras lies in the hurricane belt.

4. Merida, Mexico

Different from the previous retiree getaways, Merida is less of beaches but more of city colonial charm. The city holds a European feel with many opera houses and cathedrals to see. The climate is tropical and there is an international airport with nonstop flights to the US. Mexico City is just 2 hours away by plane. There is also a growing population of retirees which has resulted in English newspapers and libraries. Mexico is in third place on the Global Retirement Index for cost of living, and a retired American couple can live the good life for only $1,700 per month.

5. Bearn, France

If Europe is more of your feel, Bearn France would be one of the best places to go. The area takes you back in time as it is an epitome of a quaint medieval town. It is complete with castles, churches and vineyards, and hunting and fishing are the favorite past times. The cost of living in Bearn is much cheaper than other well-known areas in France. For only $2,000, it is possible to live a comfortable retirement there. Although there is no main airport in the area and no nonstop flights to the US, it is possible to get connecting flights via Paris, London, etc.

6. Corozal Town, Belize

For those retirees who are looking for a peaceful place to live but yet has the convenience of large amenities such as malls and museums, Corozal Town in Belize is the place to go. It has a warm climate all year round, and one of its biggest perks is that English is the main language. The government is also supportive of retirees as it runs a “qualified retired persons” programs that allows retired individuals to get tax-free imports of household goods and other products. A retired American couple can enjoy living in the city for only $2,500 per month.

The perks of living abroad are already quite obvious. First of all, retirees can enjoy beautiful surroundings with either a choice of pristine beaches, sweeping countryside, or cultural beauty. And even more than that, the value of their dollar can go a long way. Retirees can purchase beautiful homes on the cheap, plus it will just seem as if they are on a long vacation without pending work to get back to.

Call to Action!

If you were to retire now, which one of these places would you choose and why?



  • Vietnam looks beautiful, and the pricing is attractive. But I'd probably choose Belize. Closer to home in case of an emergency and it's always good to know there's someone close that speaks your tongue. Granted, all these destinations could change dramatically by the time I retire.

  • I think I'd move to France. I'd need to pick up the language, but there are so many amazing sites and history in Europe that you could keep yourself busy with local-ish trips. Small town Italy or wester-eastern europe could be fun too.

  • YFS /

    Belize all the way for me! Just a beautiful place

  • 6 Awesome Places to Retire Abroad…

    The US economy currently isn’t at its best. I mean we are recovering but, right now the economy is on a topsy-turvy ride as it battles the influences of the European debt crisis. This would have been ok, had it not been for the recent 2008 economic rec…

  • I'd go for Vietnam due to the cost of living, but Mexico is appealing due to proximity to US. My permanent home would likely be a ranch homestead in the middle of nowhere USA.

  • […] Is it time to retire?  Your Finances Simplified looks at 6 international locations. […]

  • […] travel insurance can help you out with in case of emergencies.YFS @ Your Finances Simplified writes 6 Awesome Places to Retire Abroad – The US economy currently isn’t at its best. I mean we are recovering but, right now […]

  • Ideally, six months between some acreage in central US, and six months in a house in an out-of-the-way place somewhere in Italy…

  • JAMES /

    Anywhere that there is an ocean is the retirement spot for me.

  • […] @ Your Finances Simplified writes 6 Awesome Places to Retire Abroad – The US economy currently isn’t at its best. I mean we are recovering but, right now […]

  • YFS /

    I hear ya on that one. I'm a beach love myself. that's why I'm leaning towards Belize.

  • Aime /

    Since I love the scenic sights in Europe, Bearn, France will be the perfect place for me.

  • Ernst Olofsen /

    the places you mention sound good, but as we live in Australia , we would like if there is something nice and fairly cheap around this way too, keep up the good work.
    E & C, Queensland.

  • How’s the weather in Australia at the moment?

  • We took a hard look at Mérida and loved it, but we couldn’t do the tropical climate. Instead, we chose San Miguel de Allende six years ago for its combination of climate, culture and the basic warmth of its people. I became interested in the process of becoming an expat and wrote a book based on conversations with 32 Americans and Canadians who had also made the move. It’s mainly a way of getting inside their heads. It’s called San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart. Here’s a link to an excerpt on my website:

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