When I Google “best retirement cities,” most of the posts make me laugh. They recommend retirement destinations like Wenatchee, Washington and Portland, Maine. Sure, those places are much more affordable than the Chicago suburbs. But is Wenatchee where you want to spend the rest of your life?
A lot of people are making compromises these days so their retirement is more affordable. But you don’t have to sacrifice your Golden Years to Gainesville, Florida. There are many other best places to retire abroad that are near paradise, and are even cheaper than living in dreary Maine.
Here are 5 of the best places to retire abroad:
Numbeo Cost of Living Index: 66.94
Valletta is the capital city of Malta, a tiny island chain wedged between the coasts of Sicily and North Africa. If nice weather is your prerequisite for a happy retirement, then Valletta is the place to go. Warm weather lasts through November and winters are short.
You can always test the place out by renting before you buy — seaside, one-bedroom apartments run for as little as $750/month. At this retirement destination, island life is laid back, and there’s also a large international community of English-speaking residents you can integrate into.
Numbeo Cost of Living Index: 47.52
If you like an old-town, university feel, then Coimbra is the city to retire. The Portuguese city is considered by many to be the country’s version of Oxford, and has been ever since the 1500’s. Old cathedrals and quaint university bars are the regular haunts of aged professors and expat retirees alike.
The climate in Coimbra is very mild, with temperatures ranging from the 40s in the winter to no higher than the 80s in summer. Foreign buyers can easily find affordable homes with some land less than 30 minutes outside of the city. And if you want to spend part of your year back stateside, there’s plenty of opportunities to rent your home out to students.
Numbeo Cost of Living Index: 61.13
Barcelona is Spain’s second-largest city with a deep history in Catalan identity. It’s easy for even the greenest of tourists to navigate and explore the city’s various monuments, galleries and museums on their own.
As for taking it up as a permanent residence, Barcelona is affordable and near the beach. You can also take advantage of Spain’s world class healthcare if you get insurance (which is also very affordable).
Numbeo Cost of Living Index: 46.11
Cuenca is a colonial-style city in the heart of Ecuador. If you want big city amenities with a small town feel, then Cuenca should be at the top of your list of best places to retire abroad. Healthcare in Cuenca (and the capital, Quito) is excellent. It’s also fairly easy for expats to join Ecuador’s Social Security healthcare system.
The number of expats living in Cuenca is already on the rise – around 5,000 Cuenca residents (1% of the population) aren’t from Ecuador.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Numbeo Cost of Living Index: 43.52
Chiang Mai has been an attractive retirement destination for decades now, so it’s easy to find a community of likeminded retirees to join. And if you’re interested in culture, Thailand has a lot of it – with many smiling people happy to help you learn more.
You don’t have to worry about missing creature comforts from home, Chiang Mai is an international city, equipped with various megamalls and multinational department stores.
Those are just a few of the many best retirement cities around the world where your retirement savings can really stretch. Stick with our blog to learn more about great retirement destinations and transitioning abroad for retirement.
It’s time to start figuring out what’s next for you.
Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.