Where are the best places in the world to retire? There are so many best places to retire lists that it's hard to figure out where you should go. If you're an American with little saved up for retirement, these may be some of your best bets. So let's start looking at 10 of the best places in the world to retire.
What do you need to say about la belle France? You already know how great its food is, about Paris-the City of Lights-the Louvre, the country's many cathedrals and the fact it has so many museums it's virtually impossible to list them all.
France is an amazing place to retire because it offers not just the museums and the cosmopolitan restaurants of Paris but sun and sand along the Mediterranean and the French countryside, with its many vineyards.
Housing in Paris is on the expensive side. However, if you're willing to go out into France's rural areas, you can get your own home for about $60,000. Healthcare in France is some of the best in the world and you will not have to pay much to get it as France offers medical insurance that you pay only $1500 a year for and that covers all of your healthcare expenses.
Belize or British Honduras as it used to be known is Central America's little treasure. It is located on the eastern coast of Central America, offers sun, sand and snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea. If you're looking for a tropical retirement, Belize is hard to beat.
If the sea isn't your thing, Belize also has the Maya Mountains with their beautiful waterfalls and some of the oldest Mayan cities to be found in Central America.
The cost of apartments on Belize very widely. An apartment in Belize City will cost about $1000 a month. But if you are willing to live in Ladyville, which is a bit further from the ocean, you can rent for about $150-$200 a month. In fact, you can get a nice three-bedroom apartment in Ladyville for $300 a month.
Ecuador is not only one of the least expensive places in the world to retire to, it also offers a wonderful lifestyle. It has sun-drenched beaches, snow-capped volcanoes and the famous Galapagos Islands. The country sits right on the equator-hence the name Ecuador-so it has exactly 12 hours of direct sunlight 365 days a year. It is known as the "land of eternal spring" for this reason as its weather is just about perfect year around.
Ecuador is slightly smaller than the state of Nevada. It borders the Pacific Ocean. Columbia is at its north and Peru lies to the south.
It is not much of a stretch to say that you can live like a king in this country on a pauper's budget. In fact, US expatriates living in Ecuador say that they can take $250 out of an ATM on Monday and cover all their expenses for the next week. In fact, it is said that you can live pretty well in Ecuador for about $700 a month or a thousand dollars tops.
While Mexico has certainly had its problems as of late, these occur mostly near its border with the US so the rest of the country is still relatively safe for expatriates.
Mexico's two biggest attractions are its low cost of living and its climate. Plus, if you choose to live in Acapulco, Mazatlan or the Mayan Riviera you'll be close to the ocean and close enough to the US for quick visits to your friends, children or grandchildren back in the states. On The other hand, if you're interested in being part of an authentic Mexican community, you can retire to places like Cuernavaca, Oaxaca or Morelia.
The country has immaculate beaches, friendly people-many of whom speak English-and warm, tropical nights. Because of the value of the American dollar versus the Mexican peso, a family of four can spend about $370 a month on grocery items. Rent for an average one-bedroom apartment is around $185 and you can rent a two-bedroom apartment in Acapulco or some other popular city for only about $308 a month.
Over the course the past few years Thailand's Koh Samui has become one of Europe and Australia's favorite places to retire as it provides retirees with the opportunity to live in an exotic, Southeast Asia country. Koh Samui It is actually an island that lies off the coast of Thailand but is only about an hour away from Bangkok. MSNBC has rated it as one of the best places to retire due in part to the fact that it has Internet access, friendly natives and a stable government. Its population is about 40,000 and while it's official language is Thai, English is spoken in many of the banks and government offices.
The cost of living on Koh Samui is very reasonable, mostly due to the fact that the Thai baht is worth only about thirty cents versus the US dollar. This means you can rent a very nice apartment on Koh Samui for 3,000 to 10,000 baht ($100) to $333)
A low cost of living, tropical nights, friendly people, affordable real estate - these are all things that make Argentina one of the best places in the world to retire.
Argentina's climate is terrific and its culture is what you would expect from a South American country - lots of eclectic architecture with buildings that would not look out of place in Europe. Plus, the country has pre-Columbian art, fiestas and due to its size, plenty of room to stretch out or roam. For example, Mendoza has the best regions for wineries and vineyards with prices starting as low as $75,000 for a 30-to 40-acre piece of real estate.
Argentina is such a huge country, it's impossible to say what the median cost of real estate is, but as an example of how far your dollar can go, you can buy a beautiful, 1700-square-foot Alpine-style chalet in the heart of Bariloche with a lake view for about $110,000 and a 3,200 and-square-foot house near the town center for about $225,000.
Once you get to know some Australian people, they are more likely than not to start calling you "mate." And they mean it. Australians are generally a friendly people who are easy to get to know and who welcome you into their country.
If you retire to Australia, you'll never have to worry about being crowded. You can have a large space of your own with no neighbors invading your privacy.
Australia has very little pollution, a reasonable cost of living and a great climate. It is in the southern hemisphere so seasons are reversed-summer there occurs when it's winter here and vice-versa.
Be prepared to spend a fair amount for a house. Here are median house prices for Australia's five largest cities.
On a brighter note, you can spend much less if you're willing to live outside one of these major cities or any of you are interested in living in an apartment.
For less adventurous souls who are not interested in becoming ex-patriots, no list of the best places in the world to retire would be complete without mentioning North Carolina.
This state is inviting for people who want four seasons but where none of those seasons is very extreme. It has medium-sized cities such as Durham, home to Duke University; and Wilmington. There is also a bevy of small towns where the living is easier and real estate prices lower-for example, Hendersonville, Blowing Rock and new New Bern,
North Carolina has the added advantage of the fact that everyone speaks English so you don't have learn a foreign language. And given its location, you would probably never be very far from the friends, children and grandchildren in your previous town.
As examples of the cost of real estate in North Carolina, the median sale price of a home in Hendersonville is $170,000; in new Bern $156,900; and in Blowing Rock just $168,893. The median price of a home in Durham is just $163,000 and in Wilmington a very affordable $187,000.
Hate the idea of watching some guy in a funny-looking suit stick a sword in a cow? Well, no matter, you can still enjoy life in Spain. This beautiful country offers much in the way of recreation and some great adventures. There is an amazing array of water sports, ballooning, mountaineering, trekking, boating, fishing, golfing, eco-tours and countryside tours. You can try mountain biking in the Pyrenees Mountains or surfing or kayaking on the Costa Brava. It also offers swimming and water sports in the blue Mediterranean; horse riding in the plush hills of Catalonia, and in the winter there is snowboarding and skiing in the Pyrenees.
In addition to bullfighting, Spanish culture is known for its flamenco music and dance, fantastic beaches and lots of sunshine. It is different than the rest of Europe and so is its cultural. It has an extraordinary artistic heritage, including Toledo-based artists El Greco and Diego Velazquez. In more modern times, Spain gave the world Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali.
Spanish architecture ranges from prehistoric monuments in to Minorca to Roman ruins in Merida and Tarragona. There are historic cathedrals, castles, and modernistic monuments. The Romanized cultures of the Iberian Peninsula interacted with Jewish cultures and the Muslim culture in complex ways, which gives the region of very distinctive culture.
Croatia? Where the heck is Croatia? After World War II, it was part of the second Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia broke up and Croatia became an independent state in 1991. It is now a member of the United Nations, NATO and the World Trade Organization.
The country is relaxed, beautiful and unspoiled. Many Europeans consider it to be one of the continent's loveliest treasures. It is slightly smaller than West Virginia and has a population of about 4,490,000. It is the home of timeless fishing villages, unspoiled beaches, secret coves, crystal-clear seas and turquoise waters. The country includes 1185 islands. Jacque Cousteau once described its waters as the clearest and cleanest in the world.
While life in Croatia it is not as cheap as in, say, Brazil or Argentina, it is still much cheaper than the rest of Europe. A good meal, including a starter course, main course and dessert will cost you about $25. And if you need plastic surgery or dental work you'll only pay about 50% of what a European doctor or dentist would charge. Croatia has more coastline than any other European nation. Its coastal real estate is some of the world's best and that some of the lowest prices.
Now you have 10 more ideas of the best places in the world to retire. This is not intended to be an all inclusive listing. There is no "one size fits all" retirement destination that will make everyone happy. You have to decide what is important to you and what you can afford on your retirement investments and income.