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Best Places to Retire Abroad
A thirst for adventure – and high costs in the United States – are luring more retirees abroad. According to International Living, a resource for retiring outside the United States, the top international retirement options on four continents are:
South America: Ecuador. Ecuador has cultural and physical diversity: You can retire in the mountains or by the sea, in a small village or a bustling city. Real estate prices are very low, as is the cost of living. And the government offers extensive perks to retirees, including discounts on flights, sporting events and movies, public transportation and utilities. You can even get your landline free when you buy a house. There is excellent medical care in the larger cities, and a large ex-pat community can ease the transition for American retirees.
Central America: Panama. Panama has excellent health care; the Punta Pacifica Hospital in Panama City is affiliated with Johns Hopkins, and you are never more than an hour’s drive from medical care. The cost of living is low, and the weather is great. The country provides an array of benefits to retirees. And, because of its long relationship with the United States, it is very welcoming to Americans.
Asia: Malaysia. It is easy to rent a luxury home for a budget price, and a low cost of living overall makes a comfortable life very affordable. There is a growing ex-pat community, and many of the natives speak English – a remnant of Malaysia’s time as a British colony. If you are feeling even more adventurous, Malaysia is a great starting point to explore the rest of Asia.
Europe: Spain (tie). One of the major attractions here is the weather; there is plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. In addition, Spain’s many distinct regions offer a variety of dining and cultural opportunities. And Spain is a first-world nation, with all the attendant advantages such as developed Internet, infrastucture and entertainment options, as well as easy access to the rest of Europe and to the United States. Finally, the World Health Organization calls Spain’s health care system one of the best in the world.
Europe: Malta (tie). This island is one-tenth the size of Rhode Island, but it offers a wealth of advantages for retirees. It has excellent health care, a delightful climate and lots of things to see and do, including the Mediterranean, golf and nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most of its natives speak English, since the country was a British colony. It has first-world infrastructure and amenities, and one of the world’s lowest incidences of crime.