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The 10 Best Places to Retire Around the World

June 23, 2022

Retire to a country that offers ex-pats a comfortable life on a modest budget.

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Where to Spend Your Golden Years

When you're ready to retire, consider moving to a country where the cost of living is low, the quality of life is high and the weather's great. You'll also want excellent healthcare, modern conveniences (high-speed Internet, anyone?) and beautiful scenery. Forget lunches on plastic trays and Bingo games in senior centers; instead, sample international cuisines, lounge on pristine beaches, tour world-class museums or sail and swim in a country that welcomes retirees.

Before you turn ex-pat, do some research. Look for a culture, climate and customs that fit your lifestyle, or that you can adapt to and appreciate. Want access to golf courses, shopping, dinner clubs and public transportation? Can you learn a new language, or will many locals speak yours? Plan your next steps with our round-up of 10 top places to retire abroad, based on International Living’s 2022 Annual Global Retirement Index. Shown here: Metz, France

Note: The world changes fast. Before you travel or relocate, visit Travel.State.Gov for up-to-date information on safety around the world. Find out the best places to retire in America and the best beach towns for retirement on HGTV.

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1. Panama

Tropical Panama ranks first on International Living's list of the best countries for retirees. Just three hours from Miami, it offers direct flights to many U.S. and Canadian cities. The water is safe to drink, power is reliable and the hospitals are excellent. Many ex-pats settle in Coronado to enjoy yoga, tennis and water sports or in the cool highlands of Boquete. For beach lovers, the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean are a couple of hours from Panama City. According to International Living, ex-pats can feel safe here, and the country is outside the hurricane zone. The GDP is expected to be strong in 2022, thanks to a rise in tourism and other factors. A couple can live here comfortably for less than $3,000 a month, including rent. Shown here: The Panama City skyline from the financial district

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2. Costa Rica

What’s your pleasure: cocktails on the beach, a jungle tour or exploring Costa Rica's beautiful, temperate Central Valley? Two-thirds of the country's population live there. Overall, Costa Rica's climate is warm and tropical. Many retirees say they can get healthier here thanks to the outdoor activities, locally grown foods and grass-fed beef. Thriving ex-pat communities welcome newcomers, private and public healthcare options are high-quality and low-cost, and real estate can be a bargain. A two-bedroom home and groceries, transportation, healthcare and a few extras will run about $2,000 to $2,500 a month. Costa Rica’s natural beauty, safety, stable democracy and the current, progressive leadership continue to invite retirees. Shown here: Playa Hermosa on the Pacific Coast

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3. Mexico

Three times the size of Texas, Mexico has something for everyone, from the beautiful Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts to its highlands, small towns and bustling metro areas. An estimated 1 million Americans live in Mexico for at least part of the year, and ex-pats say it's easy to fit in. In many areas, $2,000 a month covers housing, food, transportation, utilities and healthcare, although popular locations are pricier. You can become a resident in just a few months, and there's no requirement for how many days you must spend in Mexico each year. Private medical, dental and other healthcare facilities are up to date and often cheaper than their US equivalents. Shown here: Our Lady of Guanajuato Church University Templo Companiea, Guanajuato

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