As you approach the age of retirement, you may be considering the possibility of relocating outside the United States. Individuals have various motivations for departing from the U.S., whether it’s due to personal financial considerations, political factors, economic concerns, or simply a desire for a new environment.
In May, GOBankingRates reported the 15 destinations overseas that offer affordable retirement options. However, selecting a place to reside entails more than just considering expenses, particularly if you possess the financial means to retire luxuriously.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
If your preferences include beaches, pleasant climate, engaging in watersports and golf, as well as experiencing historic architecture and a tranquil lifestyle, Lisbon, Portugal, is worth considering in Europe. It’s the kind of destination where retiring would make you feel like you’re on a perpetual vacation.
You have the option to obtain a Golden or D7 Visa for retirement purposes, which grants you access to public healthcare. Additionally, you can choose to upgrade to a private healthcare plan for enhanced coverage.
2. Salinas, Ecuador
Salinas, Ecuador, known as a popular vacation destination, offers an ideal setting to settle down and enjoy your retirement. Situated along the South American coast, this charming town boasts a vibrant tourist economy, resulting in an abundance of shops, restaurants, and bars.
While Salinas may be slightly more expensive than other cities in Ecuador, it remains more affordable compared to many cities in the United States. Moreover, all residents have access to public health insurance, with the added possibility of choosing private healthcare plans.
3. San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica offers a cost of living that is approximately 30% lower than the average U.S. city, making it an ideal destination for retirees with a fixed income. However, to be eligible for a Pensionado Visa, you must have a monthly retirement pension of at least $1,000.
The mild climate, with temperatures consistently in the 70s and 80s, is particularly appealing to retirees. If you seek a metropolitan lifestyle during your retirement years, the capital city of San Jose might be the optimal choice for you.
4. Mykonos, Greece
Recognized as one of TripAdvisor’s top destinations for 2023, the charming coastal city of Mykonos, Greece, is not only an exceptional place to visit but also an excellent choice for retirement. According to Savoteur, Greece is regarded as one of the most affordable countries in Europe.
However, as a U.S. expatriate, obtaining residency in Greece requires fulfilling certain requirements. These include demonstrating proof of current medical insurance and showcasing a regular income equivalent to 2,000 euros per month (or maintaining a minimum of 24,000 euros in savings). Additionally, income tax will be applicable on investment income earned within Greece.
Nevertheless, the rich culture, delightful cuisine, and access to beaches and watersports make retired life along the Aegean Sea immensely rewarding. If you envision a retired life that involves ample time spent outdoors, Athens, Greece, is another enticing option to consider. International Living has designated it as one of the “top 5 sunniest cities in all of Europe.”
5. Shanghai, China
If you prioritize affordability and low crime rates as essential factors for retirement, Shanghai could be an intriguing option to explore, given its distinctive character. According to a report by Savoteur, housing costs in Shanghai are 45% lower compared to the United States. Corporate Vision News also suggests that a monthly budget of only $1,000 would be sufficient to cover living expenses and relish a fulfilling retired life in this city. It’s worth noting that China has been recognized as one of the top six retirement destinations in the country.
The healthcare services in major cities offer a level of quality comparable to that found in the United States, and it’s worth noting that the public healthcare system is free for most residents, including expatriates. However, it is important to consider that residing in China entails a distinct lifestyle and one significant aspect to bear in mind is the lack of unrestricted access to the internet, which is typically provided free of charge.
If the idea of retiring overseas appeals to you, it could be beneficial to arrange several vacations to various cities around the globe. This way, you can gauge your affinity for the local culture and climate before making a decision solely based on financial considerations.