Costa Rica is 19,760 square miles of the most beautiful country you will ever see – from its rainforest to its hundreds of miles of unspoiled beaches. It has a great climate, friendly people, a tradition of democracy and no army. That’s right, Costa Rica is such a peaceful country, it doesn’t feel the need for an army.
Costa Rica’s cost of living – for a retiree – is much less than what you would pay for a comparable lifestyle in the U.S. In fact, you can live a life of luxury with a full-time housekeeper in a lavish, three-bedroom house in the country’s Central Valley for about $3,000 a month U.S. And if your income is derived from social security, a pension or investments in the U.S., you won’t have to pay a penny in income taxes.
Croatia? Where is Croatia and why would I want to retire there?
This country became a sovereign nation again in 1993 when the old Yugoslavia broke up. On its west is the Mediterranean with timeless fishing villages, pristine beaches, secret coves, little harbors and turquoise waters. Even though you may not have heard of Croatia, many people say it’s the closest thing to the Mediterranean of the past years – relaxed, safe, beautiful and unspoiled. It is truly one of Europe’s loveliest treasures with 1,185 islands and waters that Jacques Cousteau once described as the cleanest and clearest in the world.
The cost of living in Croatia is not as low as the Central American countries, but it is about 30% to 40% less than other European countries. For example, a good meal, including starter course, main course and dessert will cost you about $25. There are also plenty of coastal building sites in villages that are still available at reasonable prices. For a new apartment that is five blocks from the sea in Petracane place was recently offered for sale at 208,000 Euros.
Ecuador is on our list of top 10 places to retire because it is one of the least expensive places in the world to live and yet offers a wonderful lifestyle.
Ecuador is often called the land of eternal spring. It lies right on the equator and has 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year, making its weather just about perfect the year around – no matter where you are in the country.
This nation also offers just about everything you could want in the way of breathtaking scenery – from the famous Galapagos Islands to snow-capped volcanoes.
It is not really a stretch to say that you can live like a king in Ecuador on a pauper’s budget. In fact, expatriates say that you can take $250 U.S. out of an ATM machine on Monday and this will cover your expenses for the entire next week. Many also say you can live fairly well in Ecuador for about $700 U.S. a month or $1,000 tops.
France may be the best place in the world to retire. It has just about everything you could want in a place to live – amazing architecture, great food, a temperate climate (for the most part), the world’s best wines and haute couture. The country has an amazing number of things to see and do from the Louvre to Notre Dame Cathedral and from the beaches of its Mediterranean coast to world-class skiing in its Alpine mountains. Plus, France offers food so exquisite; it trumps cuisine anywhere else in the world.
The cost of living in France depends on where you live. France is basically a rural country and the cost of living in one of its small country towns is a lot less than living in Paris or Marseille. On the average, a single person living in France will spend about $129 U.S. a week for food. The cost to rent in communities near Paris can be around $645 U.S. a month. However, downtown apartments and condominiums can reach the astronomical price of $1900 to $2500 U.S. a month.
Honduras is a country of friendly people, sun-splashed beaches, fresh food, a reliable infrastructure and a remarkably low cost of living – creating one of the best life styles to be found anywhere in the world. It is a country with just about everything to offer from inexpensive land and low building costs to a stable government and excellent health care.
Honduras’s cost of living is between one-third and one-half less than that of its Central American neighbors and is considered to be one of the world’s most reasonable. A three-bedroom home with a pool, tennis court, maid’s quarters and plenty of land in one of Honduras most exclusive areas sells for about $80,000. Additional monthly expenses such as a live-in housekeeper, telephone, electricity and air conditioning costs only about $150.
Part of Italy lies on the European Continent while the majority is on the Italian Peninsula. It also has the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Seal – Sicily and Sardinia. It was literally the cradle of western civilization, the home of the Renaissance and the source of all western religions in the form of Roman Catholicism. This makes Italy just an amazing place to live with so many things to do and see, you could spend years touring the country and there would still be museums, churches and galleries left to visit.
The one downside is cost of living as it has one of the highest costs of living in the European Union – though there is a large disparity between the cost of living in the prosperous north and the relatively poor south. For example, a furnished, two-bedroom house will cost you, on the average, about $1667 a month to rent.
Immaculate beaches, spicy foods, warm nights, a low cost of living, friendly people, many of whom speak English – are just a few of the many reasons why Mexico makes our list as one of the 10 best places to live.
Mexico stretches from the U.S. on the north to Guatemala and Belize on the southwest, and from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
In addition to offering hundreds of miles of beautiful, sun splashed beaches. Mexico also offers a very reasonable cost of living. At the time of this writing, a single household with four family members would spend only about $370 a month on grocery items. Rent for the typical one bedroom apartment is around $185, and even a 2-bedroom apartment in Acapulco or some other big area generally costs only about $308 to $370 a month.
If you think of New Zealand as a place where you’d find thousands and thousands of sheep and fast America’s Cup boats, you’d be right – but only about 1/3 right. That’s because New Zealand also offers great beaches, a wide variety of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, free health care (for the most part), a good educational system, economic freedom, a lack of corruption and attractive, modern cities. It even has 376 wineries, many of which are world-renowned.
New Zealand’s climate is mostly temperate, except for the alpine areas of the South Island. Most of the country lies close to the coast and has mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and lots of sunshine.
The cost of living in New Zealand is certainly not as cheap as, say, Ecuador, but it is still reasonable by U.S. standards. In fact, you can live a modest lifestyle in New Zealand for about $700 U.S a month and will need a total income of only about $43,000 for a more upscale life.
In addition to having a world-famous canal, Panama offers a great lifestyle at a very reasonable cost. In fact, it has become a number one place for retirees, property investors and second-home buyers.
Many Panamanians speak English, making it easy to rent or purchase a home, buy groceries of just have neighbors over for a barbeque. Its one downside is the weather, which tends to be hot and humid much of the year.
You can buy most consumer goods in Panama for a fraction of what you’d pay in the States. A U.S. style house can be built for about $40 a sq. ft., and a full time live-in maid costs only $120 to $160 a month. Panama also has an amazing program called Pensionado. If you are a resident “pensioner” under the Persionado Visa, you will get a discount of 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country, 30% off bus, boat and train fares, 25% off airline tickets, 25% off restaurant meals, 50% off closing costs for home loans, … and much, much more.
Spain has sparkling beaches, mountains, fabulous cities, fun festivals and lots and lots of sunshine. It offers amazing architectural and regional diversity, sophisticated cities, and one of the best lifestyles and quality of life available in Europe or, for that matter, anywhere in the entire world.
Thanks to Spain’s geographical situation, its climate is very diverse – not even including its mountains. Its economy created more than half of all new jobs in the European Union over a five-year stretch that ended in 2005.
Spain’s cost of living is a bit lower than many of the other European countries. The cost of renting a house or apartment varies from area to area with rental costs in Madrid or Barcelona at about $14 per 10.76 sq. ft (sq. meter). On the coast or in central Sevilla, it’s about $7.50 – $8.90 per square meter per month. Elsewhere in the country, rental costs will be more like $5 per month per square meter.
That is a quick look at what it takes to be in the 10 best places to retire list. You may agree or disagree with our list and that is ok. This is very subjective. We hope this information gets you started on your search for your best place to retire around the world. You can visit each country and get more detailed information with specific cities to live and retire within each country.