The Best Places to Retire Overseas in 2021

Retire overseas.

The best place to reinvent your life overseas in retirement depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Some people dream of long walks on the sand, while others would prefer regular nights out at the theater in a thriving city. Here are the most appealing places to call home based on the cost of living versus the quality of life on offer, the cost and quality of health care, the amount of English spoken, options for how to spend your time, the infrastructure, climate, environment, safety and the ease of establishing legal residency. Consider these overseas retirement spots.

10. Medellin, Colombia

Monthly budget: $1,700

Medellin is a pretty and tidy city of parks and flowers. Almost every building is constructed of red brick and topped with red clay roof tiles, which creates a delightful effect. The cost of living is affordable, and many of Latin America’s best hospitals are located here. Medellin is an industrial, economic and financial center for Colombia and a literary and artistic area. The city is home to newspapers, radio networks and publishing houses. Popular events include an annual poetry festival, an international jazz festival, an international tango festival and an annual book fair. Medellin has good wines, great coffee, outdoor cafes and open-air music venues. Thanks to its mountain setting, Medellin has consistently pleasant weather.

9. Ambergris Caye, Belize

Monthly budget: $2,300

Ambergris Caye is a 26-mile long and one-mile wide island of white sand that sits just offshore from mainland Belize. The Mesoamerican Reef is the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Living here, you could wake up each day to the sound of waves lapping gently on the shore and the faint crash of the ocean farther out as it breaks against the coral reef. The heart of Ambergris is San Pedro, a quirky, comfortable little beachside town with open-air bars and restaurants, art galleries, wine shops and bakeries, an infrastructure that has developed as a result of the big expat presence. This is an island of sun- and fun-loving people who enjoy the warm turquoise waters and natural beauty of this Caribbean island.

8. Gozo, Malta

Monthly budget: $2,700

The picturesque little island of Gozo has abundant sunshine, turquoise waters, extraordinary history and a traditional village atmosphere. Some of the world’s oldest religious structures are found here, including the Ggantija Temple. The island is home to 15 major villages, all featuring homes, restaurants and businesses organized around central churches and town squares. You won’t find a Mediterranean party scene or shopping malls here. The lifestyle is safe, peaceful and quiet. This could be an ideal base for someone who appreciates proximity to the sea and wants an affordable European lifestyle and convenient access to the rest of Europe.

7. St. Chinian, France

Monthly budget: $1,900

Located in the south of France, St. Chinian is the quintessential French country village. The area is best known for its wine. St. Chinian is home to 1,900 inhabitants and 200 winemakers. The area now produces world-ranking red wines from the original carignan, cinsaut and grenache grapes, with the addition of syrah and mourvèdre varieties. Property prices in St. Chinian are half those of Provence and the Côte d’Azur. St. Chinian can feel remote, but Spain is near enough that you can pop over for dinner, and Paris is just three hours away by train. Thanks to the excellent train and bus service, you can live in St. Chinian without a car.

6. Pedasí, Panama

Monthly budget: $1,600

A former fishing village, Pedasí, on Panama‘s Azuero Peninsula, is home to a big and growing community of expats, retirees and second-home owners from around the world. The big draw is the unspoiled Pacific coast. Playa Venao is famous for its surfing and the venue for international surf competitions. Pedasi is also a sport fisherman’s dream. Just offshore, the continental shelf drops off dramatically, creating what’s known in fishing circles as the Tuna Coast. This is also one of the best places to see the annual migration of humpback whales. Pedasí has the necessities of life, including a public health clinic, two banks, a public library and a small shop selling surf and beachwear, but has a village atmosphere and remains relatively undeveloped.

5. Northern Belize

Monthly budget: $1,600

Northern Belize is a top affordable Caribbean lifestyle option. Just a three-hour flight from the United States, Northern Belize is a land of tropical sunshine and Caribbean waters. The area is home to some of the best fishing, bird-watching and archaeological sites in the world. Once the center of the ancient Maya empire, northern Belize now marks the intersection of Caribbean culture, Central American farmland, vibrant jungle and Mayan ruins and temples. This part of Belize is sprawling, covering 2,500 square miles, yet the population is just 100,000 people. The language is English, so it’s easy to become part of the community and make friends.

4. Cuenca, Ecuador

Monthly budget: $1,370

Cuenca is a Spanish-colonial city of cobblestone streets, historic architecture and grand colonial churches. The city is a center of art and literature, where you can attend the orchestra, a play, a tango show or an art opening, often for free. Cuenca also boasts cafés, restaurants, bars and bookshops developed to service the thriving expat community. Cuenca is a regional center for health care, which is high-quality and inexpensive. Like many former Inca capitals, Cuenca is located in a central valley at a high altitude. Its location at 8,400 feet above sea level means thinner air and potential problems for people with respiratory issues, but it also accounts for the year-round spring-like climate.

3. Lisbon, Portugal

Monthly budget: $2,800

Lisbon is a coastal city that is situated at the point where the River Tagus empties into the Atlantic Ocean, with a swimmable beach at Linha de Cascais. This historic city has world-class museums, galleries, concerts, theater and dining, all with the backdrop of centuries of classic architecture. Living here, you are a short flight from Europe’s major cities, and many places are served by the region’s low-cost airline industry. Portugal’s health care and education systems are world-class. People from Lisbon are a friendly, welcoming bunch, with a flair for revelry that shows in their love of music and dancing. Plus, thanks to the long alliance with Britain, many of the Portuguese people you encounter will speak English.

2. Mazatlán, Mexico

Monthly budget: $1,700

Mazatlán offers the conveniences of a cosmopolitan lifestyle while living near the beach. Mazatlán lies about nine miles south of the Tropic of Cancer on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The main attraction is the 11 miles of mostly contiguous, beautiful beaches bordered by warm, clean, swimmable waters. Living here, you could start each day with a walk along the sand at sunrise, followed by a day exploring the historic colonial city center. Hidden away among the many backstreets and passageways of this impressive colonial downtown are dozens of restaurants, cafés, galleries and shops. You can become part of the expat community and speak mostly English, or you can choose to immerse yourself in Mexico’s charming culture and speak mostly Spanish.

1. Tavira, Portugal

Monthly budget: $2,500

Portugal‘s Algarve has near-perfect weather and sunshine year-round. The area has first-world infrastructure, provides easy access to the United States and the rest of Europe, and a great deal of English is spoken. Tavira is a traditional Algarve town with cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, lacework chimney pots and azulejo tiles. The town unfolds along both sides of the River Gilão, flanked by Renaissance architecture and connected by an old Roman bridge. This established and welcoming expat community has top-notch medical facilities, an affordable cost of living and endless opportunities for fun and adventure, especially for nature lovers.

The Best Places to Retire Overseas in 2021:

1. Tavira, Portugal

2. Mazatlán, Mexico

3. Lisbon, Portugal

4. Cuenca, Ecuador

5. Northern Belize

6. Pedasi, Panama

7. St. Chinian, France

8. Gozo, Malta

9. Ambergris Caye, Belize

10. Medellin, Colombia

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The Best Places to Retire Overseas in 2021 originally appeared on usnews.com

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