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Top 5 Best Countries to Retire In

Retirement is a period of life many look forward to for years, and understandably so. After decades of working the daily grind of 40+ hour work weeks and just a fortnight of vacation a year, for many, retirement is an opportunity to finally pick up the hobby you’ve always wanted to try, see new sights, have adventures and enjoy the good life.

That’s why many retirees take advantage of their newly found freedom to pick up and move to another place in the world. Moving abroad also appeals to many folks in the US as there’s the potential benefit of a lower cost of living and more affordable quality healthcare. So why not retire abroad and live the life of adventure you’ve always dreamed of? Well, it can be hard to figure out where exactly the best country to retire in the world is for you. Factors like climate, cost of living, safety, political stability and public healthcare all come into play when choosing the best place for you to retire overseas. That’s why we’ve made a list for you of some of the best countries to retire in the world:

1. Italy

Birthplace of The Renaissance, originators of world-renowned cuisine and wine (cheese, pasta, pizza!), inventors of the architectural dome and of the piano – everyone knows Italy is a bucket-list destination to visit due to its influential history, rich culture, gorgeous landscapes and mouth watering eats. But did you know it’s also a great place to retire as well?

Though the major cities can be expensive, if you venture out to other areas it’s considered one of the most affordable places to live in Europe and you’ll still be near world-famous cities, beautiful scenery and the longest coastline in Europe. Considered one of the world’s best places to retire is Italy’s Abruzzo region. Nicknamed “the green region of Europe” for its gorgeous mountain landscapes and national parks, Abruzzo sits just 30 miles east of Rome. In addition to the lush landscapes, retirees love Abruzzo for its beautiful beaches, excellent cuisine, and rich culture. In Abruzzo, you’ll also be pleased to be away from the overcrowded tourist destinations of other areas in Italy.

Between some of the best food in the world at an affordable price, friendly people, and the relaxed lifestyle Italy is famous for, it’s hard to find a better place for retirement. To top it off, getting Italian citizenship is also considered easier than in other countries, so you’ll avoid the headache of overly complicated paperwork and jumping through hoops that can put a real damper on the stress-free retirement you envisioned.

2. Costa Rica

If you love outdoor adventures in the jungle, tropical beaches, fresh fruit at your fingertips and a laid back style of living, Costa Rica may be a place to consider for retirement. Costa Rica is considered the safest country in Latin America. It also has a relatively low cost of living compared to the US or Europe as well as access to affordable high quality healthcare.

You might want to avoid Costa Rica if you don’t like rain or weather getting in the way of your plans – the hurricane season there runs from June to November and can cause flooding, landslides and mudslides. Another reason Costa Rica might not be the place for you is if you’re a stickler for timeliness, the lifestyle really is laid back here, so if that’s important to you, Costa Rica might not be a good fit.

3. New Zealand

New Zealand is a truly unique country with great food, friendly people and gorgeous lush landscapes. It’s one of the safest countries in the world and is considered to offer one of the highest qualities of life. New Zealand also boasts a great quality healthcare system and a multicultural vibe.

However, if you’re looking to be able to retire somewhere you can easily travel to other countries from, New Zealand wouldn’t be a good choice for you as it’s quite far away from anywhere else. Other cons of retiring in New Zealand include a high cost of living, limited public transit outside of major cities, and quite a lot of rain in the winter months.

4. Portugal

The westernmost country in mainland Europe, Portugal sits right next to Spain on the Iberian Peninsula. It’s a beautiful country with great scenery, unique culture and cuisine, and plenty of history. It’s considered one of the best places to retire for its safety, affordability, and relatively easy residency requirements. It’s also known for being one of the friendliest countries in the world.

5. Spain

Spain and Portugal are neighbors and share a lot in common, from the Mediterranean climates and accessible beaches to the cities and architecture steeped in history. Spain, however, is significantly larger than Portugal and thus has more metropolitan areas, places to travel within the country and general infrastructure, which may appeal more to some retirees. On the other hand, Spain has a higher cost of living, takes twice as long to be eligible for permanent residency and is generally considered less friendly than Portugal.

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