For the past 25 years, International Living has ranked the best retirement destinations in the world, looking at aspects like the cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare and much more. Here is a quick summary of the world’s top seven desirable retirement destinations:
7 most desirable retirement destinations in the world
Spain has miles of beaches, a wonderful climate and a laidback lifestyle, which makes it a top retirement destination. One of its major benefits is that it offers some of the lowest-cost first-world living in Europe. It’s also a country with a rich cultural life and many beautiful, historic cities. These cities offer shopping and a lifestyle experience similar to London or Paris, but are far less expensive.
Malaysia has the reputation for having the friendliest residents in Asia. It’s a clean, modern country known for its 878 idyllic islands, spectacular beaches and untouched rainforests. The food in Malaysia (even the street food) is renowned for being first-class and the shopping in Kuala Lumpur and Penang is excellent. Malaysia also has some of the best-trained doctors in Asia, many of whom have trained in the US or the UK – and most of them speak English, which is a huge bonus.
Columbia is fast becoming a popular retirement destination with its excellent healthcare and diverse yet temperate climate – and the big attraction – low costs. The country touches both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and has three ranges of the Andes Mountains running through it. Life in Columbia is laidback and relaxing and the capital city of Bogota has plenty to offer retirees looking for culture and excitement.
4. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has been a hot retiree and expat destination for more than 30 years. It’s a safe, stable company with low costs and a laidback, stress-free lifestyle. Life in Costa Rica is generally considered to be good and expats find it easy to integrate into local communities. Costa Rica also has a highly rated healthcare system with advanced technology and doctors trained in the latest medical techniques.
Ecuador is the ideal location if you are looking for perfect weather. As it is situated on the equator with a mountainous terrain, it offers its residents the enviable opportunity of being able to choose their ideal climate simply by moving up or down a few degrees in altitude. Healthcare in Ecuador is of a high standard and its prices are very affordable as is real estate – whether you are renting or buying.
Panama has a strategic location, which makes it accessible to citizens from all over the world. It’s a modern, comfortable country with great cellular and Internet connections. Foreigners are treated like VIPs in Panama and their Pensionado (Pension) program is one of the best in the world. For expat retirees, the added bonus is that it’s relatively easy for expats to obtain residence – enabling them to access this program, which grants members a wide range of discounts.
Mexico is this year’s winner. Filled with plenty of expats and offering a familiar first-world lifestyle at low cost, it is a country that has over 1 million Americans that call it home. The country also has excellent hospitals and English is widely spoken throughout.
Access your retirement wealth with FinGlobal
Any South African living abroad who has financially emigrated has the option to turn their retirement annuity into cash – even prior to the recognised retirement age of 55 and can then transfer their funds to their new home. This is possible because of changes to the tax legislation that came into effect in 2008. What’s even more advantageous is that the money can be used for anything – an exotic holiday, home remodelling or you can re-invest it, the choice is yours.
If you have pension, provident or preservation funds you can transfer your retirement savings offshore and reinvest it in a new retirement fund. Depending on your new country of residence, you may even increase your retirement savings. If you have already made a previous withdrawal to your preservation fund, FinGlobal has the solution to access the balance and will transfer it to your offshore account.
If you’re planning on retiring abroad, and need any advice about your financial emigration and accessing your savings, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.