By:
Mabel Fatokun

Senior Citizens: Retire Abroad Happier In These 10 Low-Cost Destinations

The 2024 Annual Global Retirement Index is designed to provide guidance and information for those considering retirement abroad. The index was initially created to cope with the wealth of options available, with over a decade of exploration of dream destinations. Over the past three decades, the index has expanded to include a larger selection of exceptional destinations where Senior citizens can live a healthier, happier life, save money, and enjoy more. The index aims to help senior citizens make informed decisions about where to retire, ensuring they choose the right destination for their needs and preferences.

What has our research revealed about the best retirement havens in 2024? Read on…

COLOMBIA

The cost-effectiveness and convenience of travelling throughout the country are the main advantages of retiring in Colombia. In the past 20 years, Colombia has made significant progress towards increasing safety, but travelling off the established road still demands vigilance. Situated on the lesser-known Pacific Coast, which is renowned for its African ancestry, rainforests, and wildlife, are Nuqui and Chocó. 

A sizable chunk of the Amazon Rainforest is found in the Amazonas in southern Colombia. Leticia is located in the Amazon jungle, close to the borders of Peru and Brazil. Impressive are its magnificent rivers, Indigenous culture, and biodiversity. If you’re more at ease in an urban environment, Bogotá offers excellent theatres and street art that liven up the city. The northern section of the town has a sizable expat community; however, the traffic may be chaotic. 

Retirees who are residents should know their neighbours and where to shop for goods and deals that aren’t as expensive as “gringo” rates. Since most Colombians speak little to no English, living there requires a basic understanding of Spanish. Colombian cuisine is more flavorful than North American cuisine, and regional variations of many dishes are available everywhere in the nation.

FRANCE

France is a top gourmet destination in Europe, known for its refined culture, fine wine, and good food. However, the country can be affordable, especially with rising housing prices in the US. Retirees can find affordable real estate in southeastern France, which offers access to social and cultural activities, as well as services in English. This is especially true if they avoid higher-priced housing markets along the French Riviera, Paris, and Lyon. With the current state of inflation and rising housing prices, it’s becoming increasingly popular for senior citizens looking for an easy living and stress-free retirement.

MALAYSIA

Being a resident in Malaysia is a unique and meaningful experience, one that is not taken lightly. This Southeast Asian gem skillfully combines cultural diversity, affordability, and breathtaking natural beauty, resulting in a lifestyle that has drawn foreigners from all over the world. For those looking for a more laid-back, exotic lifestyle away from the bustle of North America, Europe, or Australia, Malaysia offers a unique combination of first-world conveniences at a fraction of the price. Undoubtedly, one of the primary factors drawing expatriates to Malaysia is the substantially lower cost h living compared to their Western counterparts.

GREECE

Greece has always been a popular dream holiday location on people’s travel wish lists worldwide. Greece attracts millions of visitors every year with its alluring ancient history, well-known historical ruins, sun-kissed islands, and nutritious, fresh food. It should come as no surprise that Greece has become one of the most popular retirement destinations in recent years. Greeks are really kind to us and have such a helping mindset!

Greece emerged victorious in our hunt for a retirement destination in Europe because of its temperate temperature and close proximity to the sea. Simply put, we missed that in the US and are looking forward to longer, more mild seasons in which we may engage in more outdoor activities.

ECUADOR

Indigenous, mestizo, black, and white people make up Ecuador’s ethnically diverse population, yet they all share a warmth and friendliness that permeates every part of daily life. You won’t face any hostility or discomfort because Ecuadorians are accustomed to having foreign residents, as many expats have expressed. Family is very important in our country, and on weekends you may find multigenerational families spending quality time together in parks, beaches, plazas, and restaurants all over the place. Ecuadorians have a tremendous deal of pride in taking care of their elderly family members, and they are accorded a revered status in society. The numerous benefits and reductions available to seniors, such as reduced travel costs and having your own line of transportation.

Perhaps what surprises visitors to Ecuador most is the juxtaposition of the modern and the traditional. One of the key attractions for foreigners is the inexpensive cost of living across the nation.

SPAIN

Spain has maintained its standing as one of the best places to retire because it provides a special combination of a high standard of living, pleasant weather, and a wealth of cultural activities. Spain is a European gem that makes an excellent retirement destination or new home for remote workers, because of a number of factors that continue to draw in those looking for a happy and relaxed lifestyle.

Spain has a wide range of climates to match its varied terrain. It’s one of the sunniest areas of Europe, with 300 to 320 bright days annually, whether you like the Mediterranean coast’s temperate temps or the Canary Islands’ sunny days. The northwest region of the nation is the best for people who want milder climates and more verdant surroundings. Significantly lower living costs in Spain than North America make it an attractive destination for those with deep pockets. The country’s robust healthcare system ranks among the best globally, making it an ideal choice for retired expatriates seeking healthcare through its private healthcare system.

PANAMA

Here, life is good. People are laid back. Even in really uncertain times—the world financial crisis, the epidemic, and the hottest, driest year come to mind—actually, particularly in extremely uncertain times… Where I’d rather be is Panama. It’s convenient, comfy, and boringly stable. In terms of sustainability and environmental performance, it leads Latin America. (Panama is among the few carbon-neutral nations on Earth.) According to PPP, it is the richest nation in Latin America. Its economy has been expanding at the quickest rate in the area for years. and it is referred regarded as the Hub of the Americas because to its fantastic international airport, which is home to the greatest airline in Central America. However, none else on the planet provides as much with as little inconvenience as this does. Panama continues to rise to the top. In actuality, it has outperformed all other nations on this metric the most times.

MEXICO

Mexico is one of the best places to retire for a variety of reasons. lifestyle, culture, friendliness of the locals, and affordability without sacrificing elegance. Yes, exactly—I did say “luxury.” You can afford a little more luxury in your life because of the cheaper cost of living, and Mexico has lots to offer in this regard. Return to Mexico and immerse yourself in the customs, traditions, and welcoming atmosphere of the local population. My favourite aspect of living in Mexico is this. In Mexican society, friends and family are very important. They are quite courteous, and while you are leaving, you will often hear them say que la vía bien, which is a small blessing that means safe travels.

PORTUGAL

Portugal’s diversity more than makes up for its small size. This little jewel of a nation has something to offer practically everyone, from vibrant metropolises to charming mediaeval towns. Here are a few reasons why so many people retire from this area.

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, is a vibrant blend of old-world elegance, museums, concerts, and restaurants. Many of the buildings are tiled. Because the city is spread across seven hills, the best way to get around is to take one of the recognisable yellow trams or other public transportation options. Lisbon, which is home to Portugal’s main airport, receives a fair number of tourists, and the people there speak English.

The nearby town of Cascais is well-known among expats as a gathering place for friends. Portugal offers healthcare at a lower cost than the United States for most Americans, without compromising quality. Portugal discounts some public transit and tourism attractions in recognition of its ageing population. In grocery stores, people with mobility impairments are also invited to go to the front of the line. Portugal has consistently ranked among the world’s safest nations by the Global Peace Index. Gun violence is unheard of, there is little crime, and even the senior citizens live car-free and fearlessly stroll around after dark.

COSTA RICA

Costa Rica is the ideal home away from home because of its pure vida attitude. Perhaps it is the immaculate beaches, the Central Valley’s climate that feels like springtime all year round, Nicoya, the country’s capital, being home to one of the world’s Blue Zones, the volcanic energy that runs through its soil, the rich biodiversity of its flora and fauna, the breathtaking turquoise waterfalls, or the fact that Costa Rica has been named among the happiest nations.

These days, this jewel of Central America is not just popular with seniors, but also with single digital nomads and families trying to get away from the grind. Moving to this tropical paradise, where daily living coexists with nature, is the dream of many.

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