Retirement can be about elevating your standard of living and enriching your lifestyle, even if you have only a modest nest egg. And retirement can begin at any time and any age. To do this you need to shift your perspective and look beyond our own borders.
The idea of relocating to another country, in retirement or otherwise, can be intimidating. To pick a place, start by figuring out how much money you have to live on in retirement. Tally the equity in your home, the value of your IRA or other retirement accounts, your Social Security or other pensions, your car, other property holdings, collectibles, and household goods.
After you’ve taken stock of what you own, take a good look at who you are. Make a list of your personal priorities and preferences, your interests and agendas, and your objectives and goals at this point in your life. What could you not live without?
Then compare your personal priorities against the world’s most interesting, appealing, and affordable places to spend time. There are at least 25 countries where you could live well on very little. Here are seven of my picks for the world’s top retirement havens.
Panama. In many ways, Panama is the world’s premier overseas haven. It’s certainly the best choice if you’re considering launching a new business as part of your new life overseas.
France. France is far more affordable in some regions than you might imagine and delivers an unparalleled quality of life for every euro invested.
Uruguay. You’ll be far removed from all the troubles of the rest of the world in this safe, stable, and welcoming country.
Belize. With both Caribbean island and inland highlands living options, this is a country where life is sweet and simple.
Mexico. Mexico is a good choice if you don’t want to move too far from children or grandchildren.
Croatia. This is the new and far more affordable Tuscany.
Malaysia. My top pick in Asia is not only super-affordable but also, unlike most countries in this part of the world, open to foreign retirees. Malaysia has straightforward, user-friendly options for establishing foreign residency.
Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.