Moving abroad for retirement could be one of the best ways to stretch your retirement funds further while allowing you to explore and experience other parts of the world. The cost of living, quality of life, and cultural accessibility all play a role in how appealing a country is to retire in.
Here are some of the “retirement havens in 2021” as ranked by International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2021 – dubbed as “the most comprehensive and in-depth survey of its kind”:
Vietnam has been ranked as the tenth best retirement haven in 2021 by International Living. It scored an astounding 99 in terms of the retirement index for cost of living. According to International Living, “you can live comfortably for less than $1,500 per month” in some of the most expensive cities of Vietnam, namely Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.
International Living has also ranked Vietnam as the country with the best opportunities for retirees, with an index of 83. This is consistent with the ranking of Inter Nations which found that Vietnam is the tenth best place for expats in 2021.
Development in this context refers to the infrastructure of a country (e.g. internet access, electricity, road, public transport network, etc.). France has been ranked as the eighth best retirement haven in 2021 by International Living. It scored a retirement index of 96 for development. According to International Living, “a couple can live comfortably for $2,083 to $2,483 a month”.
“While France keeps pace with modern times, much of its attractiveness lies in the time-honored traditions practiced throughout the country”. The country has many charming cities and towns that can be considered to suit your preferences
France has been ranked by Inter Nations as the third best country for expats in 2021 in terms of health and well-being. 87% of the expats rate the affordability of healthcare positively (vs 61% globally) and are happy with the quality of medical care (vs 71% globally).
Portugal has been ranked as the fifth best retirement haven in 2021 by International Living. It scored a retirement index of 87 for housing. For just $400 per month, you can rent a fully furnished, three-bedroom home with “views of lush, rolling hills and fertile farmland.” According to International Living, “a couple can live comfortably, but not lavishly in Portugal on $2,500 per month”.
Inter Nations states that Portugal is “home to some of the happiest expats worldwide. 84% are happy with their life in general, compared to a global average of 75%”. Inter Nations has ranked Portugal as the fifth best place for expats in 2021. From the beach to the countryside with different climates and landscapes, each Portugal region can be considered a great option.
Mexico has been ranked as the third best retirement haven in 2021 by International Living. It scored a retirement index of 94 for fitting in/entertainment (if you are an American). According to International Living, the transition to a new life in Mexico is all that much easier because of the large expat community which is made up of “1 million Americans and a half-million Canadians”. Further, because of the close proximity and “trade and cultural ties” between Mexico and the United States, “you’ll find that much of what you find on store shelves, on restaurant plates, on TV, and elsewhere is familiar to you”.
“…you could spend under $2,000 per month per couple—for all expenses, and have a life filled with fun, no scrimping necessary. This is possible because of low-cost real estate (to rent and buy), affordable food at the market and in restaurants, cheap transportation, low-cost medical care, free and affordable entertainment options, and more.”
Based on Inter Nations, “89% of expats in Mexico are happy with their life in general (vs. 75% globally), placing the country first worldwide for personal happiness”. Inter Nations has ranked Mexico as the second-best place for expats in 2021. Mexico best locations for living or retirement are highly caterable to your priorities and lifestyle choices.
Costa Rica has been ranked as the best retirement haven in 2021 by International Living. It scored a retirement index of 97 for healthcare. In Costa Rica, “once you have acquired your residency, you pay approximately 7% to 11% of your reported monthly income into the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social healthcare system (Caja for short) and the national medical program is available to you without pre-existing exclusions or age disallowance”.
“A couple can live comfortably, but not necessarily extravagantly, here for around $2,000 a month”.
According to Inter Nations, 88% of expats are happy with their life in Costa Rica. Inter Nations has ranked Costa Rica as the third best place for expats in 2021. With so much nature to enjoy and an affordable cost of living, there are plenty of places for you to consider in Costa Rica.
While the above are some of the best countries for retirement, it is pertinent to bear in mind that the main idea of relocating abroad for retirement is to address the pension issue and stretch out your retirement fund. With that, our search engine tool, MoveNation, which will be made available soon, will be able to assist you in projecting your retirement fund against the potential cost of living and expenditures depending on the retirement country.