Great Places to Retire Outside of the U.S.

You’ve spent years earning this. You’ve gotten your hands dirty, climbed the ladder, raised a family, endured hardships, lived, learned, loved… and now it’s time to retire! But… an ordinary sunshiny Florida retirement in a cushy trailer park with ten thousand of your peers isn’t for you.

Here at, we’ve put together some of the top overseas retirement destinations for those looking to broaden their horizons in their retirement years. So kick up your feet, grab a drink, and envision yourself in one of these exotic–and totally feasible–retirement locales:

Chiang Mai, Thailand: Thailand is one of the most affordable places to retire. Because cost of living is so low and the U.S. dollar-to-Bhad conversion is currently in our favor, it’s possible to live quite comfortably on about $1,100 per month, with $400 of that going toward the rent.

The largest city and the cultural center of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a beautiful place to live. Rich jungles border the Ping River, and it’s location on age-old trade routes ensures a unique atmosphere of diversity in its East Asian location. Chiang Mai is also a top tourist destination; the beautiful landscapes, architecture, and culture attract millions of visitors year round. It’s not hard to see why it’s such a tempting place to hang your hat.

Lunigiana, Italy: Who doesn’t love the thought of retiring in a Tuscan villa, sipping wine on the terazza while watching the sun set over the terra-cotta roofs and Appenine Mountains in the distance? That might not be such a distant dream. Lunigiana, Italy is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to retire.

An American couple can live comfortably in Lunigiana for just about $2,500 per month. Italy ranks second in the world on International Living’s global retirement index for healthcare. Luigiana is relatively small, with just about 130,000 people, and is located within an hour’s drive of both the Pisa and Genoa airports, so it’s easily accessible for you and any would-be visitors.

Cuenca, Ecuador: If you’re looking for more exotic spice in a retirement locale, you might want to consider the South American country of Ecuador. Cuenca, Ecuador is one of the most affordable, and beautiful, retirement spots South America has to offer. A historical and cultural center with rich jungles, beautiful mountains, and lovely architecture, Cuenca might just be the place you’ve been looking for.

Living in Cuenca is feasible with a monthly budget of around $1,300, about $500 of that going toward the rent. At about 400,000 people, Cuenca is small enough to get to know the people in your neighborhood but large enough to have the amenities of a city. A growing expat population is already established to offer support and camaraderie for your international move.

Béarn, France: If small-town Europe sounds more tempting than a bustling Ecuadorian city, you might want to consider Bearn, France as a possible retirement location. Settled in the heart of Basque country, Béarn is a smaller town with a population of around 350,000 people. For many French people, Béarn symbolizes traditional agricultural, pastoral, reassuringly stable France–full of rolling green hills, verdant valleys, and beautiful architecture sprinkled through the landscape.

Temperate temperatures, beautiful vistas of the Pyrenees Mountains, and easy access to Spain and other areas of Western Europe characterize this one-of-a-kind locale. An American couple can retire comfortably in Béarn for just about $2,000 per month.

Corozal Town, Belize: If you’re looking for consistently warm, sunny weather and exotic beaches to enjoy, Belize might be your answer. Corozal Town is a very small (population 9,901) coastal community with temperatures that hover within the mid-80’s most of the year.

Because it’s just a few miles south of the Mexico Border, a home in Corozal would offer a starting place to explore either Belize or Mexico. There is a quality hospital in Corozal, as well as easy access to medical care–and an American couple can retire in Corozal for just about $2,500 per month.

Nha Trang, Vietnam: For those more interested in East Asian cultures, Vietnam might be the perfect retirement spot–a rich culture blending ancient traditions with the new. Nha Trang is one of the most affordable places to retire; you can live like royalty for (much!) less in this small city.

An American couple could retire comfortably here for just about $600 per month; for $1,000, you could live in luxury. With beautiful, lush green views and warm, tropical temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s year-round, Nha Trang offers a tempting retreat for those looking for an beautiful, affordable retirement spot with rich, warm weather.

Cost of living and health care are two primary factors in choosing an overseas location for a dream retirement, so we factored those high into our list of concerns for retirement locations. Often when settling overseas, cost of living is significantly lower and high-quality health care is readily available.

Careful research into possible places to retire might reveal hidden taxes or other burdens that make it difficult to set up a new life in that foreign country, though.

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