11 Best Places to Retire in the World

11 Best Places to Retire in the World

Are you searching for the best places to retire in the world?

We all have different ideas about where and how we would like to spend our retirement time.

Retirement is not what it used to be.

We are generally younger and fitter these days, so moving abroad in later years has never been more popular.

Whilst some people just want to spend their days enjoying a stress-free life, close to family others want more.

Moving somewhere that offers a little more action such as a European city, or taking advantage of more daylight hours and favourable weather conditions is the dream for many these days.

If you plan well, retiring overseas can bring about more positive changes than you might expect such as a larger home, no heating bills, new friends, and more money in your pocket.

These are just a few of the benefits of living in another country.

Whatever appeals to you, it will take some serious thought and planning to retire overseas.

If moving somewhere else in the world is your goal, arguably the biggest hurdle is deciding where to settle.

Here are 11 of the best places in the world to retire to as well as a look at what makes them so special.


Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal. Image credit: Unsplash

It may be one of the smallest places to retire on our list, but it supplies plenty of benefits.

Moving to Portugal offers plenty to desire.

Obviously, the first benefit here is the weather, Portugal enjoys beautiful weather for most of the year.

You have a choice of city living, a coastal lifestyle or you can experience a more rural inland area.

Porto and Lisbon are the largest cities in Portugal.

This is where you will find nightlife, culture, and history.

Popular coastal destinations include the Algarve region, acknowledged by Forbes as the most affordable place for retirees in Europe.

The town of Cascais is also popular though real estate is expensive.

Around 20 miles along the coast from Lisbon, it is a beautiful spot with a stunning beach and harbour area.

Cheaper options include Covilhã, Beiras in central Portugal.

This location is inland, but property prices are much more reasonable. With the warm weather, a pool is not out of the question.

Silves is another coastal location within the Algarve. It has some lovely beaches but is a little cheaper than some of its rivals.

Barcelos is near the Spanish Border and in recent years, many people from Spain have been moving into this region, due to its prime location and low costs of living.

Portugal is gaining in popularity as a no-nonsense reasonably priced location with an easy laid-back attitude to life. Perfect for retirees!

The huge benefit of retiring in Portugal is that you can still claim your UK state pension and you can transfer over personal and other pensions here too.

Check out the property prices in Portugal.


Ko Hong, Thailand

Ko Hong, Thailand. Image credit: Pexels

This may be a little too far for some, however, large numbers of expats choose to spend their retirement by moving to Thailand.

It is cheap here and ideal if you are worried about how long your retirement savings are going to last you.

In Thailand, a little goes a long way.

Plus, the Thai people have great respect for the older generation treating them with respect and honour.

Thai people are also extremely friendly and welcoming.

You will make new friends in no time as plenty of Brits are already enjoying the wonderful lifestyle Thailand offers.

Getting a visa is easy and inexpensive, there are plenty of local agents willing to help with the process.

One of the great things about Thailand is that you can enjoy little luxuries such as a maid, a gardener and or aided healthcare at a fraction of the cost compared to the UK.

The local cuisine can be spicy, but there are lots of very affordable establishments offering a good English breakfast if that is what floats your boat!

Crime rates are low in Thailand, and you can go about your business day or night quite freely.

Start the search for your ideal retirement home.


Downtown Vancouver, Canada

Downtown Vancouver, Canada. Image credit: Envato Elements

Retiring in Canada is one of the top choices for many in the UK.

The country offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, welcoming locals, and a high quality of life.

These combine to make Canada an excellent choice for those seeking a cooler climate combined with the chance to explore the stunning locations on offer throughout their retirement years.

Canada’s natural beauty is truly unmatched.

With iconic landmarks such as Niagara Falls, Moraine Lake in Alberta, and the remote Yoho National Park in the Rocky Mountains.

These stunning locations provide a dramatic contrast to the UK, offering retirees an array of scenic environments no matter where you decide to call home.

Whether you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and kayaking, or simply the peace and quite of nature, Canada is sure to deliver.

Canadians are renowned for their friendliness and inclusivity, making it easy for newcomers to feel at home.

Furthermore, English is one of the two official languages, alongside French.

This ensures that communication is straightforward for English-speaking retirees from the UK.

Additionally, once you achieve permanent residency, Canada’s healthcare system becomes a significant perk for retirees.

The country provides high-quality, government-funded, medical care after a three-month waiting period.

However, it’s important to note that moving to Canada for retirement does come with challenges.

The country does not offer a specific retirement visa.

This means the immigration process can be complex and potentially costly.

Prospective retirees must navigate this process which will often require exploring other types of visas or residency options.

Some of the most popular retirement cities include Calgary and Ottawa.

These areas offer excellent cultural scenes and plenty of amenities.

Meanwhile, areas like West Vancouver and Niagara Falls provide stunning natural beauty and a quieter lifestyle.

Each location offers its own unique charm and benefits, allowing retirees to choose a place that best fits their own preferences.


Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico. Image credit: Pixabay

Relocating to Mexico is another top choice when looking for the best place to retire in the world!

Another location that is quite far from home but like Thailand offers a fantastic lifestyle for retirees on a budget, it is well-known for its affordability rating.

Even if you settle in what is considered a more expensive location in Mexico, it is almost guaranteed to be far cheaper than living in the UK.

Mexico has a location to suit everyone, from cool highlands to beaches, bustling cities, and quiet towns.

The food is fantastic; tacos to tamales and tortas, tequila to pulque and mezcal, if you are a foodie, you will love Mexican cuisine.

If it is a life spent by the sea that appeals to you, head to Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or Puerto Vallarta. All excellent choices.

No need to worry about the language barrier because, in Mexico, most people speak English.

As a result, this can make things like navigating the residency process at the immigration office and managing the real estate purchase process with your solicitor much easier.

In Mexico, it is entirely possible to buy a cosy two-bedroom apartment, a lockup-and-go property, and also own a small apartment in the UK.

You can easily spread your time between both and not miss out on seeing family and friends.

Find out how much a retirement property would cost you if you opted to retire in Mexico.



Uluru & Kata Tjura National Park, Australia

Uluru & Kata Tjura National Park, Australia. Image credit: Unsplash

Moving to Australia is understandably one of the most attractive destination for retirees in the world, particularly from the UK.

Retirees are drawn to this gorgeous country thanks to its similar culture, warm weather and high quality of life.

Australia offers everything from serene beaches and lush rainforests to bustling cities.

This ensures a retirement that can be as relaxed or as exciting as you wish.

Another key consideration for retirees is often healthcare.

Thankfully, the healthcare system in Australia is among the best in the world.

It provides extensive coverage and excellent medical services that ensure peace of mind for everyone who needs it.

The country’s healthcare is supported by both public and private sectors, offering excellent accessibility and quality care for all.

Australian culture is notably relaxed and friendly, creating an easy social environment for expatriates to enter into.

This social aspect, combined with the country’s scenic beauty makes it a very fulfilling place for those in their retirement years.

However, retiring in Australia does come with some challenges.

The distance from the UK is considerable, with direct flights taking around 18 hours.

This might sway those wishing to maintain close ties with family and friends back home.

Additionally, while Australia offers specific retirement visa pathways, these come with some strict eligibility criteria that can limit accessibility for some.

There are plenty of popular retirement locations in Australia.

Melbourne is known for its culture and excellent property market, Queensland for its warm climate and beaches, Tasmania for its quiet, natural beauty, and New South Wales for a combination of urban life and picturesque coastlines.

Each area offers its own advantages, meaning you are sure to find the perfect home no matter what you are looking for in your retirement.


Nerja, Malaga, Spain

Nerja, Malaga, Spain. Image credit: Pixabay

Moving to Spain is very popular with retirees!

Much closer to home, Spain has always been a favoured retirement country for UK ex-pats for many years.

Unfortunately, there was an exodus of sorts when the UK left the EU which saw thousands of people moving back to England.

However, it is still possible to emigrate to Spain but there are more hoops to jump through now.

The lifestyle in Spain is well known for being sociable, relaxed, and family-friendly.

As well as its famous ‘tapas’ and regional dishes like ‘paella’, Spain also makes some of the best wine and cheese in the world so you won’t go hungry!

Spain also offers the bonus of being able to get back home on a more regular basis within a short travel time.

There is much more to Spain than the Costas. There are plenty of other arguably, more attractive destinations to consider such as Alicante, Malaga, and the Balearic Islands.

Plus, these places hold the highest number of British residents in the country making socialising just a little easier.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, Spain has been slowly recovering but still has some very reasonably priced real estate available.

Take a look at how far your money will stretch if you are thinking of buying a retirement home in Spain.


Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Les Baux-de-Provence, France. Image credit: Unsplash

Relocating to France is a great option for retirees.

Many of France’s provinces experience balmy weather.

Conditions are ideal for walking, swimming, cycling or just wandering through some of the many old historic villages dotted across the country.

Also, if you are looking for a location which offers quick and easy travel to the UK, you will be hard-pushed to beat France.

If you don’t like flying, no problem, go by sea or via the uber-fast no-nonsense Eurotunnel.

There are literally hundreds of beautiful places to live, the country is huge.

From Paris with its unique and sophisticated culture and cuisine right down to the southern end of France where you will find high-end places such as Cannes and Nice.

Of course, some areas of the country are incredibly expensive.

However, if you are willing to spend some time renovating, you can bag a fantastic bargain in France’s stunning interior.

France is geographically diverse therefore, there is a region to suit everyone’s tastes and pockets.

Take your time to visit several places and test a few before you make your final decision.

You do need to bear in mind that with more central areas, you will need to speak at least a little French.

But don’t let that put you off because so many towns provide newcomers with French classes. These are often provided especially to help ex-pats settle in and immerse themselves in the local community.

Rightmove has literally hundreds of homes on the market all over the country.

You can see if there is anything that takes your fancy here.


Valletta, Malta

Valletta, Malta. Image credit: Pexels

This is not the first country to spring to mind when thinking of the best places to retire in the world, however, moving to Malta is becoming an increasingly favourable choice.

You can look forward to a calm and peaceful lifestyle in one of the Mediterranean’s most dazzling islands.

Not everyone is ready to sit in a deck chair all day long. In Malta, you can lead a much more active lifestyle (if you want to).

Diving is a popular pastime here and there are some incredible dive sights to discover.

Alternatively, you can spend time visiting one of the country’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites and modern art exhibits and museums.

Malta is very safe too, and it is only a three-hour flight home – perfect.

Whilst Maltese is the official language, this is another destination where it is not the end of the world if you don’t speak the native tongue. Most people speak English.

Having a Mediterranean climate means you will have warm summers and mild winters.

The affordability of living in Malta is one of its main benefits. That said, where you live will determine your cost of living.

Like all countries living in or close to a city will inevitably be more expensive, both with regard to the cost of living and property prices.

St Julian’s and Sliema supply coastal living at its best.

The seaside villages of St. Paul’s Bay and Mellieha have large international communities and offer a comfortable and relaxed lifestyle.

There are so many more very appealing places to choose from in Malta.

A Place in the Sun is advertising lots of properties on the Market in Malta, potentially one of them could be your dream home.

Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Image credit: Envato Elements

In recent years Costa Rica has emerged as one of the top retirement destinations in the world.

The country is popular thanks to its incredible natural beauty, warm climate, and commitment to a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle.

Known for its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and a variety of wildlife, Costa Rica offers retirees a peaceful yet intriguing environment that is very hard to match.

There are also very progressive environmental policies in place in the country, a key factor considering its rich biodiversity.

This commitment to conservation ensures that retirees can sustainably enjoy the natural surroundings.

Furthermore, English is widely spoken here.

Combine this with the friendly nature of its people and you can see why settling in Costa Rica is made easy for expatriates.

Healthcare in Costa Rica is another significant draw.

This may be a key factor for many retirees.

The country boasts a high-quality healthcare system that is both accessible and affordable, ensuring peace of mind for retirees regarding their health needs.

This, combined with a lifestyle that naturally promotes wellness through outdoor activities and a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, supports a healthy lifestyle during your retirement years.

Financially, Costa Rica is also very appealing.

The cost of living is relatively low, and retirees will benefit from not having to pay income tax on foreign pensions!

The residency requirements are also more accessible than in many other places.

There is an annual income threshold of around $12,000, much lower than in many European countries.

Popular retirement spots like Guanacaste with its beaches, Monteverde with its stunning forests, Nuevo Arenal by the lake, and the lush Central Valley offer a range of choices depending on your lifestyle preferences.

Each area provides a unique blend of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and modern conveniences, making it easy to find the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxed and enriching retirement.


Panama City, Panama

Panama City, Panama. Image credit: Envato Elements

This is yet another location that you may not have thought of as a retirement destination.

On the positive side, British citizens can enter Panama visa-free for up to 180 days.

UK citizens can also apply via a “fast track” to become permanent residents or apply for the Pensionado visa which is available to anyone with a lifetime pension (over 18).

It has become an increasingly popular retirement location in recent years for a number of reasons.

Low cost of living combined with natural landscapes alongside a modern healthcare system and top medical facilities.

Though Panama City offers a more cosmopolitan lifestyle it is still very affordable compared to many British and European cities.

You also have the choice of living near the beach, mountains or within the city walls.

The perfect climate all year round ensures that a steady stream of people is finding out how easy it is to spend their golden years somewhere in Panama.

If you’re considering buying a property in Panama, you’ll be happy to hear that Panama welcomes foreign buyers.

You can bag a luxury beachside apartment or an amazing city pad for less than you’d expect to pay in many other countries.

The obvious downside here is the distance from the UK.

It takes around 11 hours to fly to Panama, so it does make getting home regularly that much trickier.

It may be 11 hours away, but that is still much better than the flight lengths that Australia and New Zealand have!

Again, you can see for yourself what you are likely to pay for a home in Panama here.



Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany, Italy. Image credit: Unsplash

Italy is one of the more idyllic destinations for retirement on our list.

The country offers a blend of stunning landscapes, a mild climate, and a rich cultural heritage, making it one of the best places to retire abroad.

From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the pristine beaches of Sicily, Italy’s stunning landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for a tranquil and scenic retirement.

One of the top reasons to consider retiring in Italy is the country’s famous culinary and wine culture.

Italian cuisine, known for its emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients, alongside world-renowned wine, ensures that foodies will be more than satisfied.

In fact, this diet is shown to contribute to the notably high life expectancy of the Italian population, suggesting a lifestyle conducive to health and longevity. Perfect for your retirement!

While major cities like Milan, Rome, and Bologna might be on the pricier side, the overall cost of living in Italy can be quite reasonable, especially in the southern regions.

Towns in the south offer not only affordability but also a slower, more relaxed pace of life, which can be ideal for many retirees.

Some of the most popular retirement areas include Puglia, Tuscany, Lazio, and Sicily.

These not only boast beautiful scenery and a rich history but also provide a vibrant community life, perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in Italian culture.

The warm hospitality of the locals along with well-established expatriate communities offer a variety of social opportunities for newcomers settling into their new life in Italy.

Overall, the combination of scenic beauty, cultural wealth, culinary delights, and a favourable cost of living make Italy a highly attractive option for retirees from around the globe.

Careful Consideration

White&Company Truck in Transit

White&Company Truck

When considering a move overseas and selecting the perfect destination to retire in, planning is essential.

It is a very big decision, so you don’t want to get it wrong.

The benefit of reaching retirement age is that you can make living overseas an adventure.

As time is your own, you can concentrate your efforts on exploring different countries until you find “the one”.

Whilst you are away, you can keep in touch with everyone back home via Skype, Zoom or a simple WhatsApp call.

The sky really is the limit when you are looking for the best places to retire to in the world.

You can start preparing for your dream move with the help of our house removals service from White & Company today!

Regardless of which country you choose to move to, we will ensure your belongings arrive safely without disruption.

White & Company are also pleased to announce our new video survey service.

We can now safely conduct remote removals surveys, ascertaining all the relevant information for your move, all from the comfort of your own home.

So, give us a call today or fill out a quick quote form to see how we can get your dream move in the works.

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