Moving abroad to retire offers the adventure of a lifetime, but it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular expat destinations around the world to help you on your way, whether you’re thinking of retiring abroad, or you’re already there but seeking a new place to live because you’ve had a change of heart.
The cost of living in Portugal is very reasonable and offers a high standard of living.
In 2019 it offered the best value for money combined with quality of life compared with other EU member states. On average, groceries are around half the cost of those in the surrounding countries, and rental prices are low, too. Prices vary depending on the area, but renting a two-bedroom apartment in the Algarve could be less than $620 a month.
The Portuguese state healthcare system is very good but can become overstretched. Many expatriates take out private health insurance and use private hospitals as, depending where they’re moving from, they may not have access to the public health system right away.
The Algarve region boasts some spectacular beaches, as well as golf courses, a long and interesting history, stunning countryside and picturesque villages, making it a popular choice for retiring expats. Portugal also gets up to 3,300 hours of sunshine a year – that’s more than California.
Panama topped the 2019 Annual Global Retirement Index and you certainly won’t be short of things to do there. Panama City has a vibrant culture that includes jazz, food, beer, film, and sport. The weather is warm and tropical, and with two long coastlines, Panama boasts plenty of beaches, as well as lush mountain villages and buzzing cities to keep you busy.
It also has some of the best benefits for foreign retirees in the world, including a range of discounts, property-tax exemption, and zero tax on income earned elsewhere. Living costs are low, with a litre of fuel coming in at less than $0.80, and the economy and government are stable.
Panama boasts a healthcare system to be proud of, thanks to many doctors coming from Europe and the USA. It offers a level of care that is up to Western standards, and in fact, four of Panama City’s private hospitals are considered among the best in Central America.