The Best Places to Retire Overseas for LGBTQ+ Seniors

A growing number of U.S. citizens are looking to retire overseas. For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, there may be special considerations beyond affordability and access to quality health care.

For example, it’s important for most LGBTQ+ retirees to settle somewhere that’s safe, allows same-sex marriage and boasts a lively and dynamic LGBTQ+ community. But before deciding on a home overseas, LGBTQ+ retirees should consider some practical aspects.

“I recommend extensively researching how your income will be taxed in your potential new home if they have any tax treaties with the U.S., cost and availability of health care, walkability and local transportation and expat groups in the destination to help adjust,” said Jake Skelhorn, a certified financial planner and wealth advisor at Spark Wealth Advisors in Jacksonville, Florida, in an email.

Here are some LGBTQ+-friendly overseas retirement destinations that are drawing U.S. citizens to put down new roots in their golden years.

— Amsterdam

— Bangkok

— Buenos Aires

— Lisbon

— Madrid

— Montevideo

— Paris

— Taipei


The Netherlands has long been a stronghold of acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality has been legal since 1811, and the Netherlands

legalized same-sex marriage in 2001. Amsterdam has vibrant pride celebrations every summer, including events for LGBTQ+ seniors. The city is home to numerous LGBTQ+-friendly hotels, bars, monuments and tourism operators. Reguliersdwarsstraat is Amsterdam’s most popular LGBTQ+ neighborhood, while nearby cities such as the Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht are also very welcoming. “I recently heard from a gay couple that Amsterdam was a wonderful surprise as a possible LGBTQ+-friendly retirement destination for them,” Skelhorn said.

[See: The Cheapest Places to Retire Abroad on $1K Per Month]


Although homosexuality has been legal in Thailand since 1956, same-sex marriage isn’t currently allowed. Nonetheless, Bangkok is home to a thriving LGBTQ+ community that centers around the Silom area. The biggest beauty pageant for transgender women, Miss International Queen, is held here every year. “Bangkok has a growing LGBTQ+ community and offers a mix of traditional values and modern influences,” said Michael Collins, a chartered financial analyst and founder of WinCap Financial in Winchester, Massachusetts, in an email. “The city has a lively nightlife and affordable cost of living, making it an attractive option for retirees.”

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is known for its open and accepting attitude toward the LGBTQ+ community. In 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. The country also supports full adoption rights for gay couples. “Additionally, discrimination based on gender is criminalized, providing legal protection for all individuals,” said Laura Madrid Sartoretto, lead researcher at Madrid-based Global Citizen Solutions, in an email. The city is home to a lively LGBTQ+ scene and numerous events such as Network 360, a conference for LGBTQ+ members of the business and tourism industries, which takes place every August with government support.

[Read: Where Retirees Can Buy a Home Overseas for Under $100K]


Portugal’s capital city has increasingly been a draw for U.S. retirees due to a confluence of factors such as affordability and quality health care “Lisbon is known for its warm climate, beautiful architecture and laid-back lifestyle,” Collins said. “It has a large LGBTQ+ population and is generally considered to be a safe and accepting city for retirees.” Homosexuality has been legal in Portugal since 1982, and same-sex marriage was legalized in 2010. Popular areas for retirees include Príncipe Real, Lapa and Cascais.


Spain is a world leader in protecting LGBTQ+ rights: It legalized homosexuality in 1979 and made same-sex marriage legal in 2005. Its capital city, Madrid, is home to one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in Europe. According to Jen Barnett, co-founder at Expatsi, which helps U.S. citizens retire abroad, the Chueca neighborhood is the epicenter of the LGBTQ+ community. Madrid is also a place of cultural diversity. Living here, you’d be surrounded by people from all over the world, which can help you to fit in, make friends and find your place in the community.


As one of the smaller Latin American countries, Uruguay is often overlooked relative to its larger neighbors, Brazil and Argentina. However, Montevideo offers a relaxed and safe environment with strong legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community. “The city is known for its friendly and inclusive society, affordable living and beautiful coastal setting, making it an attractive destination for LGBTQ+ retirees,” Madrid said. Montevideo is one of only a few places in the world with a monument dedicated to those who have been persecuted because of their sexuality. According to the Equaldex Equality Index, which measures the current status of LGBTQ+ rights, laws and freedoms, as well as public attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community, Uruguay ranks fourth worldwide and first in South America, making it the highest-ranked non-European country.

[READ: The Best Places to Retire in Mexico.]


Americans often dream of retiring in the capital of France, a place where you can live the fullest expression of who you are without fear of persecution or discrimination. “Paris is widely regarded as one of the most romantic cities in the world and has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights. Retirees can appreciate its stunning architecture, world-renowned cuisine and diverse cultural offerings,” Collins said. Same-sex marriage has been legal in France since 2013, and LGBTQ+ people enjoy full adoption rights in this country. The city boasts no shortage of LGBTQ+ parades and festivals, such as the annual Paris Gay Pride Parade, Techno Parade and the newer Drag Parade. However, budget-conscious retirees should be aware that Paris is among the most expensive cities in Europe.

Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan took a progressive step forward when, in 2019, it became the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriages. “Taipei may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking about retirement destinations for LGBTQ+ individuals, but it has been making strides towards equality in recent years,” Collins said. Gay people have been able to openly serve in the military since 2002, and it became legal to change your gender in 2008. The country also has anti-discrimination laws in place for employment and education. The Taipei Gay Pride Parade will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2024; it’s estimated that around 180,000 people attended the event in 2023. The Mr. Gay Taiwan pageant and WOOW Pool Party are among other annual events that exemplify this city’s open-mindedness.

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The Best Places to Retire Overseas for LGBTQ+ Seniors originally appeared on

Update 06/17/24: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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