The best place to reinvent your life abroad in retirement depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Some people dream of long walks on the sand, while others prefer regular evenings at the theater in a flourishing city.
Here are the most attractive places to stay based on cost of living versus quality of life offered, cost and quality of healthcare, amount of English spoken, options for spending your time, infrastructure, climate, environment, security and ease of establishing legal residency, according to the annual Live and Invest Overseas Retirement Abroad Index. Consider these overseas retirement spots for 2023.
- Chitre, Panama.
- Tavira, Portugal.
- Medellin, Colombia.
- Kyrenia, North Cyprus.
- Corozal, Belize.
- Costa de la Luz, Spain.
- Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Paris, France.
- Sanur (Bali), Indonesia.
- Da Lat, Vietnam.
Chitré, a small town on the east coast of Panama's Azuero Peninsula, is little known to expats but offers a major lifestyle. It stands out for its high-quality infrastructure, the availability of health care and shopping options.
It is a traditional area of Panama with a strong regional culture, including interesting festivals throughout the year. A small group of expats have settled here and take advantage of the low cost of living, community safety and beach access.
The locals are friendly and welcoming, but you will need to learn basic Spanish to be able to interact with them. Panama offers a retirement visa that facilitates relocation.
Portugal remains a top destination for retiring abroad thanks to its climate, level of healthcare, accessible residency options, friendly tax policies and diverse lifestyles.
Tavira is widely regarded as the most authentic town in the ever-popular Algarve region of Portugal. The waterfront is the center of the town's activity, featuring a tree-lined promenade and numerous restaurants and cafes.
Tavira is next to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, which is an important wetland and habitat for hundreds of species. Due to the proximity of the natural park, the beaches of Tavira have been spared major development and remain naturally beautiful.
Medellín is a cosmopolitan city in Colombia that offers Euro-chic living at a lower cost. Due to the exchange rate with the Colombian peso, US dollar holders can enjoy life in Medellín at an even greater discount.
Medellín offers endless entertainment, including high-end gastronomy, museums, art, events, festivals, live music and shopping. Located at the bottom of a valley, there is also access to the natural world in the surrounding hills.
Medellín is one of the most livable cities in Latin America thanks to an efficient public transportation system, which includes free metro service and bicycles, plenty of parks and public spaces, and near-perfect spring weather.
Kyrenia, North Cyprus
Northern Cyprus offers one of the best opportunities in the world for a low-cost beach lifestyle. You can buy beachfront property for as little as $75,000 and enjoy a chic European lifestyle on the water from as little as $1,000 a month, an almost unbelievable budget for this part of the world.
Kyrenia is a city on the north coast. Sandwiched between the mountains of Kyrenia and the warm waters of the Mediterranean, it features some incredible seascapes. There is abundant sunshine, warm weather all year round, and rich local culture and history.
The focal point of the city is the port of Kyrenia, which was once an important export point for wheat, olives and other products.
Belize is a popular choice for expats. English is the official language, it's only a 2.5 hour flight from the US and residency in Belize is easy to establish.
Most expats look for island living on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, but a cheaper alternative is available on the Belize mainland at Corozal. Found in northern Belize along Corozal Bay, Corozal is an ocean lover's paradise.
It is a calm and relaxed city, and its infrastructure is not yet well developed. However, it is only 16 kilometers from Chetumal, Mexico, where expats can find high-quality healthcare, stores with American brands, and other needs that cannot be met in Corozal.
Costa de la Luz, Spain
The Costa de la Luz is a coastal strip in southwestern Spain that includes a handful of attractive and interesting towns.
Its centerpiece is Cadiz, one of the oldest cities still standing in Western Europe. It's full of historic Old World charm, including squares, a maze of narrow lanes, and grand cathedrals.
Rota, a low-key beach town that's also home to a US naval base, and Vejér de la Frontera, famous for its whitewashed Moorish buildings, are other popular options for expats. On the Costa de la Luz, the cost of living is low, the weather is warm all year round and the beaches are uncrowded.
Oaxaca City is a city in the highlands of southwestern Mexico that is gaining popularity due to its colorful colonial buildings, interesting indigenous culture, and delicious regional cuisine, including the potent mezcal libation.
The local culture is vibrant, traditional and notable for its festivals and celebrations, including the Day of the Dead. Oaxaca offers the possibility of a more authentic lifestyle compared to tourist-dominated resorts, and the cost of living is lower.
With a temperate climate and many green hills, Oaxaca is popular with hikers and nature lovers.
The heart of historic Paris is an open-air museum full of architectural marvels and historical monuments. You can stroll through shady squares and manicured parks and enjoy quiet afternoons in the café, or attend exciting previews, fashion and theater weeks and live music.
Paris is the best place in the world to seek a rich and full life. The best part is that retiring in France can be more affordable than you imagine. Expenses for public transit, internet, phone, and utilities can be a bargain compared to other developed cities.
France also has a world-class healthcare system that is available for less than the cost of US medical care.
Sanur (Bali), Indonesia
Southeast Asia offers some of the best opportunities in the world to reduce the cost of living in retirement. On the southeast coast of Bali is Sanur, an unassuming suburb of the island's capital, Denpasar.
Its long stretch of soft, golden sand is bordered by a paved promenade that serves as the main center of activity, especially at sunset. People walk, jog and cycle or enjoy live music and happy hour at the many beach bars and restaurants.
The advantage of Sanur over other parts of Bali is that it is walkable which reduces traffic and makes it more peaceful. Proximity to Denpasar means it is close to amenities such as hospitals, shops and the airport.
Da Lat, Vietnam
Da Lat is a former French colonial resort located on the Lang Biang Plateau in southern Vietnam. It was developed in the early 1900s to resemble an alpine chalet town and serve as a retreat for settlers.
It has unexpected features for a city in Southeast Asia, including French architecture, misty green hills surrounded by pine forests, and cool weather. Da Lat enjoys a temperate climate all year round due to its mountainous position. It is also known as the garden bed of Vietnam as its climatic conditions and fertile soil allow it to grow an abundance of flowering plants and produce.
Da Lat is home to a small expat community that appreciates the simple, laid-back lifestyle and incredibly low cost of living.