You have come to the end of your working life and have a considerable retirement pot to work with.
Your feeling adventurous and are considering all your retirement options.
The world is a big place, so where do you start when it comes to deciding which part of the globe to park your suitcase?
Before considering any countries, you need to take stock of the things that are important to you in retirement.
These might be things like access to decent healthcare, cultural activities, being able to speak the language, the cost of living, the climate.
These are all aspects of living that we intend to highlight in our trip around the world to consider retirement destinations that might be right for you.
In our research, we have taken the liberty of identifying the sorts of things that may make or break your retirement years so let’s get on with our best places around retirement places around the world.
Voted as one of the top spots to retire to, Panama has a lot to offer the retiree.
You may have certain preconceptions about Panama as a country, but when you land at the international airport, these start to ebb away.
Panama is a well-developed country with solid, reliable infrastructure surrounded by modern facilities that other countries would eye with envy.
One of the top attractions for expats and retirees alike is the value you can enjoy.
The cost of living is exceptionally competitive, and you can enjoy a coffee for a $1 and taxi for $4 and a meal out for under $20.
One of the most pleasant surprises for retirees is the standard and cost of healthcare in Panama.
The health facilities are modern and inexpensive, and most doctors can speak English, with health care insurance at least 50% cheaper than in the US.
The other pleasant surprise is the Pensioners program or Pensionado.
It allows qualifying pensioners looking to retire to the country to stay as long as they like, along with a wide range of pensioner discounts.
Some of the most attractive places to retire in Panama actually turn out to be some of the most beautiful.
One favorite place is El Valle a lush crater valley in the hills of Panama.
Sitting at 2000 feet above sea level it has a cool climate with plenty of restaurants, bars and activities for retiree are to take part in.
If it is a beach life, you are looking for then maybe try Bocas del Toro.
This range of islands has a very Caribbean feel with white sands and translucent waters with the backdrop of green rain forests.
Finally, probably the best-known retirement destination in Panama is Boquete.
An hours flight from Panama City, this mountain region is known for its year-round spring-like weather.
There are so many groups and activities for retirees you will be spoilt for choice.
The other popular Central American country very popular for US retirees is Costa Rica.
This neighbor to Panama has long stretches of unspoiled deserted beaches and dense jungle, and Costa Rica is truly a beautiful retirement destination.
There are well-established expat communities throughout the country already so you can slip right into the Costa way of life with ease.
Costa Rica is a small country about the size of an average US state but is so diverse in terms of landscape, lifestyles, and climate.
More than 20,000 US retirees already make Costa Rica their home, and it is not surprising as the country has one of the highest standards of living in Central America.
Although still below the cost of living in the US, Europe and Canada you can probably live comfortably on an average of around 2000 – 3000 $ a month.
Rents are affordable as is home ownership if that is what you want.
The universal health care system in Costa Rica covers all Costa Ricans, permanent residents for a small percentage of monthly income.
There is both a private and public healthcare system both can be accessed by expats.
The healthcare costs are between a third and fifth of what you would pay in the US depending on the treatment you require.
A visit to the doctor would cost you below $60 and specialist consultation between $80 and $100.
For access to the government healthcare system, you would typically pay between 7-11% of your monthly income.
So where to live in Costa Rica?
If you are looking for peace and quiet and rolling hills with crystal blue lakes then take a look at the Arenal region.
Then there is the gold coast which sits on the Pacific coast.
Here is your fair share of surfing communities, small towns and fishing villages such as Tamarindo.
If you are really into beach living, then look the Nicoya Peninsular
where there are a plethora of popular beach towns to choose from.
If the cost of living is a significant factor for your retirement, then Ecuador might fit the bill.
It is probably one of the most affordable places to live, particularly if you have a small monthly budget.
You can live very well in Ecuador, and it is also pleasant on the eye due to the natural surrounding beauty.
Ecuador is still a developing country, and the economy is gaining strength year on year.
The country has an extraordinary diversity in that you can access snow-capped mountain regions, sun-drenched beaches and dense Amazon jungle.
Ecuador is also home to the Galapagos islands, where Darwin made his amazing discoveries.
With inflation at only 4% your US dollar will certainly go a long way with property prices very affordable and the cost of living is very favorable.
If you are over 65 there amazing benefits on offer from the Ecuadorian government.
You will be able to access healthcare and medicines free of charge.
There are tax exemptions on specific taxes and special care with those with chronic disease.
There is also a 50% air fare reduction on offer from international airlines.
The climate is very temperate with temperatures not scorching even in the summer months.
If you are seeking a warm country to retire to then maybe give Malaysia a shot.
The climate is traditionally hot and steamy with a rainy and dry season.
One benefit is that everyone usually speaks English so there is no communication problems.
Malaysia has a retirement visa option where you can get a 10-year visa as long as you meet certain health and financial criteria.
The cost of living in Malaysia is really competitive and can be a fraction of that in the western world.
You can live to a very good standard with an income of $2500 a month. You can rent a 3-bed condo with gym and pool for only $600 a month.
The high-quality healthcare is excellent value and low cost, with most doctors being trained in the US or the UK. A general doctors visit is only $15.
Food is a crucial part of their culture and the streets are filled with food bars and coffee huts. Most cities and towns are reasonably safe making this a retirement country worth a second look.
For our final retirement destination, we have chosen a European country that already has a large expat community.
The most popular region for retirees is the Costa Del Sol.
It has excellent infrastructure and a coastal mecca for some but it can resemble Miami beach front.
Further inland might be more appealing.
The other coastal area popular with expat retirees is the Costa Blanca sandwiched between the cities of Valencia and Alicante.
A couple of great cities to consider are Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia all offering the many advantages of big city living.
Spain alongside Portugal are still the two countries in the EU block that offer a competitive cost of living.
If you choose to live on or near the coast, you will find it cheaper than living in one of the cities.
Renting a one-bed apartment will cost you approx 500 euros, a three-bed house 800 euros.
You will need a long term visa to establish your retirement in Spain.
The long stay visa gives you temporary residence and you will need to spend at least 6 months in the country to hang on to it.
You will need to apply for visado de residencia and have proof that you have enough income to support yourself.
The climate is one of the attractions of many expats with temperatures of 24 in the summer and getting down to a low of 13.
If you are considering Spain, you will find low-cost housing by the sea with cosmopolitan food choices and a mild temperate climate.
Many expats and retirees say that you are made very welcome in Spain, and every effort is made to ensure you integrate and feel welcome.