The Five Best Countries To Retire To

When people dream of retirement, many of them think of sipping drinks on the beach of some warm locale.  For some of them, that warm locale is located thousands of miles away.

The idea of retiring abroad holds greats appeal for many not just because of the warm weather, great food, picturesque views and rich culture.  There can also be great financial benefit.  The cost of living can be much lower compared to here in the United States.  While there will be such obstacles as cultural and language barriers you may need to overcome, if you’re willing to work with that you may find some great opportunities both from financially and personally.

Taking into account both the financial benefits as well as the locale’s attractiveness, here are five great places outside of the United States to spend your golden years.



Our neighbor to the south often shows up in the news because of the crime along the U.S. border but that minimizes what the rest of the country has to offer.  Housing prices are much cheaper and health care can be had for just a fraction of what you’d pay in the United States.  Throw in the many beaches and gorgeous landscape and you’ll find several reasons why many retirees call Mexico home.


AARP recently rated Panama as one of its top retirement locations and for good reason.  This Central American country has one of the least expensive costs of living around (just $200,000 will buy you one of the nicest homes there) and draws such as the rain forests, mountains and growing economy make this a choice retirement location.  Plus, the Panamanian government wants you there.  They offer financial incentives to draw expatriates into the country to help support their local economies.

Costa Rica

Another Central American gem, Costa Rica offers miles of pristine beaches, thriving rain forests and lush wildlife.  Like other countries on this list, Costa Rica offers a low cost of living and high quality health care is available on the cheap.  Language barriers could be an issue as most natives are Spanish speakers but given the mild climate and local amenities like restaurants and supermarkets can more than make up the difference.


Argentina offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose life in a big city like the capital of Buenos Aires or the seclusion of one of the many small villages in the countryside.  Housing has become more affordable recently as the country’s economic troubles of the last several years have made living here more attractive.  If you’re a fan of dance, take advantage of one of Argentina’s countless tango bars and experience all the rich culture the nation has to offer.

New Zealand

This tiny Pacific Ocean country shot to prominence as the setting for the Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  The stunning landscapes and natural beauty complement the nation’s cuisine, pubs and night life.  New Zealand has become more accommodating to outsiders recently as tourism has become a significant revenue source.  Moreover, New Zealand has consistently ranked at the top of several quality of life rankings measuring peace, education, prosperity and lack of corruption.

If you’re considering living abroad, any of the choices on this list would be a fine place to call your next home.

Photo credit: hu90

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Author Info

This post was written by David Dierking. David lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has been working in the financial services industry for over 13 years with a background in investments, accounting, and marketing. He earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute in 2004 and was recently published in the Milwaukee Business Journal. You can also check him out at The Ultimate Fit Challenge

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