November 19, 2013 — Note: Since this article was written we have added more country guides to the original 10, and will continue to add them here.
There is an intrepid group of people out there whose dream for retirement involves moving far away to an exotic location in a foreign country. For citizens of the US and Canada, that often means retiring to Mexico, Costa Rica, Central America, or a country in South America. Retirees in Europe and the UK tend to favor southern Europe or even Southeast Asia. Such retirements bring with them a number of challenges, along with advantages. Today we are pleased to announce new mini-guides to international retirement in 10 countries. We plan to add more country guides in the coming months.
Like the Mini-State guides we’ve developed to all 50 U.S. states, each guide follows a consistent format: each has the same sections with helpful information and data. Samples include: overview of expat retirement in that country, rules for visas and buying property, crime and security, cost of living including property, medical, weather, and pluses and minuses.
You can find all of the Topretirements mini US State and Country guides in this Directory. Just select the state or country from the list on the right (each guide has links to reviews of towns and cities in that country)
Here are the country guides:
Belize. This tiny country is tucked on the Caribbean coast of Central America between Mexico and Guatemala. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest in the world. There are pluses and minuses to retiring here.
Costa Rica – A Stable Ecological paradise surrounded by the sea
Ecuador. Located on the Pacific Ocean Ecuador is an up and coming retirement spot with about 5,000 – 10,000 American expats living here. The cost of living is exceptionally low, although there is some crime and violence.
France – Beautiful cities, hilltop villages, and idyllic Provence
Greece – This nation of islands in the Aegean Sea has a mild climate and beautiful setting. While the country’s economy has been battered, it still makes for an idyllic retirement.
Ireland – The Emerald Isle from which so many of us came to America
Italy – Food, wine, and country villages in the hills
Mexico – A huge country where the dollar goes far and preconceived stereotypes can be wrong
New Zealand – It’s easier for people from the Commonwealth to retire here, but there are some programs that might let you move to this safe and beautiful country where they filmed “Lord of the Rings”.
Nicaragua – This fairly poor country in Central America is just above Costa Rica. There are several towns popular for expat retirement.
Panama – A stable country where the official currency is the U.S dollar
Portugal. This warm weather country with a huge coast on the Atlantic Ocean is more affordable than most other countries in Europe.
Puerto Rico. Living in this U.S. Territory is much easier for U.S. citizens than most other non-mainland locations. It does have its pluses and minuses, however.
South Africa – The most developed country in Africa with a beautiful coast line and many attractive cities and towns for retirement.
Spain – Extremely popular with Brits and northern Europeans looking for a warm winter destination.
Thailand – Tropical and exotic beauty along aqua beaches or alluring Chiang Mai
Uruguay. This stable and safe country near Argentina has become a very popular place for expatriate retirement.
Not for Everyone
In our opinion a lot of people choose an expatriate retirement for the wrong reasons. Living out of your home country is definitely not for everyone. Doing it for the money should not be the only reason. See “The Darker Side of International Retirement – 6 Reasons Not to Do It“. Beware of promises from organizations that want to take your money in exchange for reckless promises of life abroad. The good life exists there, but all is not roses.
Comments: Have you been affected by the Biggert-Waters bill and subsequent changes? Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.
Suggestions? Please let us know what other countries you would like to see reviews for – we’ll put them on our list. Also, please use the Comments section below to share your experiences in retiring abroad, including the search for the perfect country.
10 Best International Places for Retirement