Best Countries to Retire 2023

Retirement is an exciting stage in life. It gives you a chance to live on your own rules and time. Also, as a retiree, you can make a fresh start in your dream destination. Nowadays, many retirees prefer to spend their golden years abroad. But how do you choose the best countries to retire? Well, you are in the right place. In this guide, we will enlighten you on tips on how to choose the perfect country in the world to retire to.

Tips on how to choose a Retirement Country

1. Health care system in the country

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One of the critical factors any retiree should consider when finding a country to retire from is the healthcare system in the country. Generally, during your retirement, it’s inventible you will need treatment at some point. Also, many health issues are likely to ensue as you age. There are two aspects to consider regarding health care, including quality and cost. Consider a country where you can access quality medical care at an affordable price.

2. Standard of Living

The cost of living is of the essence when deciding on the country to settle in after you retire. Different countries have different costs of living. Therefore, the country you choose to live in determines your lifestyle and quality of life. For instance, in some countries in Europe and Central America, you can enjoy an enhanced lifestyle at a low cost. Go for a country where the standard of living within your budget. Consider the pension or other fixed income you will be getting after retirement. And then, research the regular costs such as housing, food, utilities, and transport and see whether your income can cover them.

3. Language in the country

Although many people overlook the language issue when looking for a retirement country, it is essential to have basic knowledge of the native language of the country you intend to settle in. That will help you when you are running your daily errands in places where the natives don’t understand the language you are speaking. But if you aren’t willing to learn a new language, choosing a country where your native language is widely spoken is advisable.

4. Safety in the country

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Safety should be a priority when deciding on a country to retire to. Ensure you choose a country that will guarantee your security as a resident even when you travel and explore the country alone. You can learn about a country’s safety state by checking the region’s statistics on robbery cases, violent crimes, or break-ins.

5. Visa Requirements to retirement

Finally, you will also need to know how easy or difficult it is to get the residency permit. Also, check on all the mandatory requirements for applying for and processing the visa.

What country is safest to retire?

Are you wondering what is the cheapest and safest country to retire in? Here are some of the best countries to retire.

Best countries for us expats to retire

Here is the list of the best countries to retire as an American.

Spain, for us it is the best country to retire in

best countries retire in spain
best countries to retire in europe

Spain can boast of being among EU countries with an overall low standard of living. This European country ranks among the top five best tourist destinations in the world. Nonetheless, it is peaceful, rich in history, and offers a lot of adventure. For instance, if you are an art lover, you have an array of sceneries gazes, such as the work of Baroques and Modernists like Picasso and Dali.

Standard of living: Although the city of Madrid is known to be expensive, rating it with other cities in the west, the standard of living is low. With a monthly income of $2000, you can retire comfortably in Spain. This amount tends to decrease if you live further from the big cities. Here you can find the cheapest cities in Spain and the richest cities in Spain. On the other hand you can see the cost of living in Spain.

Healthcare: Spain’s healthcare gives a retiree two options. You can either choose to access the country’s public healthcare or enrol in private insurance to avoid any potential delays encountered in the public service. You will only depart with $200 every month for full personal healthcare coverage.

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Visa requirement: Because you are looking for a place to relax for the long term and enjoy some more benefits than a tourist visa can offer. Then you need to go for a residence visa. Although the visa does not require you to work in Spain, you must prove the means you will have to support yourself. Any form of income, like a pension and investment statement not below $2,500 monthly, will work for you.

These are the options for retirees who want to live in Spain:


best countries to retire panama
best expat countries to retire

Panama is one of the best countries to retire. In fact, it has held the top position on the retirement index for over a decade. The country is located away from the American hurricane belt. Its warm tropical climate is cooled by a breeze from the Caribbean Sea on one side and the pacific sea on the other. Also, it perfectly peached between South and North America. The country offers retirees various environments such as mountain retreats, modern city living, beach communities, and grassy highlands.
Visa requirement: Acquiring a visa requires you to be of 18 years of age. Also, you should have a minimum monthly pension of $1000. This visa should be applied to a Panamanian attorney.
Standard of living: A couple considering retiring in Panama City will need $3000 monthly to live comfortably. However, a single person will do pretty well with $1700 monthly.
Healthcare: In Panama, there are state-of-the-art hospitals and health centres strategically located across the country. Also, any legal resident can access 20% of their prescription medication for free if they are age 60 for men and 55 for women.

Costa Rica

costa rica countries for retirees
best countries to retire

Visitors to Costa Rica can attest that the country is full of natural beauty. It features extensive miles of coffee plantations, cloud forests, and beautiful beaches. This country is known for its welcoming locals and active outdoor culture. Also, it boasts of a stable democracy and high literacy rates. According to International Living, the country has a top-notch health system highly rated in Latin America.
Visa requirement: Costa Rica does not have an age requirement for a retiree visa. All you need is a $1000 monthly pension and a complete application with all the details to be done to the Costa Rica embassy in your home country.
Standard of living: If you are a retired couple looking for a country you can live in exceptionally well, Costa Rica will cost you approximately $3000 a month. However, for a single person, you will need approximately $2000. With such monies, you will live well in the Porsche areas of cities like Tamarindo and San Jose.
Healthcare system: Once you have acquired your residency, you can join the local universal medicine program that requires you to pay 7 to 11 per cent of your income. Also, you can have a private medical policy which you pay from your pocket. Besides, a doctor will cost you $50 to $80 per visit.


portugal is the country for retirees
best countries to retire

Many people have been selecting Portugal as their best retirement country for a while. The country enjoys a Mediterranean climate and has sun-drenched beaches. It also boasts old cities like Porto and Lisbon as cultural hot spots. Besides, the people are friendly, and most can speak English. Not to forget, the country offers free lessons to retirees who want to learn Portuguese around the country.

Visa requirement: Portugal introduced a golden visa in 2012 to attract foreign nationals. The qualifications for this Visa are one must be 18 years and above, with a clean criminal history. However, you are supposed to invest $603,865 or more in a Portugal property. Besides, you can opt to apply for 120 days stay Visa which requires only a minimum of $1070. After which you will apply for a two-year permit successively
Standard of living: In Western Europe, this country leads as the most affordable country. Suppose you visit this country and choose to live in the comfortable residential places in Lisbon. You will spend approximately $2200 every month. But a single person should have a budget of $1700 every month.
Healthcare: As an immigrant, you can access the State medical system once your resident permit and Portuguese ID number are out. The system charges are as low as $10 per visit. However, you can choose private insurance, which costs $5 to $46 per month.


Are you looking for a fascinating place that will offer you a combination of Asian and European cultures? Then Turkey should be on your list of the best countries to retire. This country has a conducive climate and stunning scenery from architecture, art, and rich culture that date thousands of years.
Standard of living: It is cheaper to live in Turkey than in the United States. According to Numbeo, living in this country will cost 53.56% less than in the U.S. Turkey has affordable renting prices and lower property costs. So, if you are looking for a country to retire to, you can list this country among your list of best countries.
Healthcare: The cost of healthcare in Turkey is cheaper than in most European countries. As a result, the residents of this country enjoy top-notch healthcare. That puts Turkey on the list of world medical tourism destinations.
Visa requirement: You should be above the age of 18 years, have a clean police certificate, and be able to invest $250000 in the property industry. This qualification will award you citizenship in Turkey.


Thailand is a wonderful country you can consider to be your retirement destination. It is a beautiful place and has a lot to offer. As a foreigner, expect to meet friendly people, enjoy conducive weather, and experience a lower standard of living. The weather is sunny, and there are plenty of beaches to kick back. Besides, Thailand is rich in culture and has many temples you can explore when you acquire a retirement visa. Learning a new language is not a priority as English is highly spoken in the country.
Visa requirements: To apply for a retirement visa in Thailand, you must be 50 years old and above. You must show proof of $21000 and above or have a monthly income of $1710. Although the visa allows you to stay in Thailand for a prolonged duration, you cannot have any employment.
Standard of living: The standard of living in this country is lower. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in Bangkok costs $640, with all utilities factored in.
Healthcare in Thailand: When you retire in Thailand, healthcare is an essential factor you must consider. This country does not have public health insurance for retirees. You will need to procure private insurance. It is good to note that the average cost of medical care is much lower compared to many western countries. However, the cost can be higher depending on how much you need medication.

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Vietnam is one of the best countries in the world to retire, especially for adventurous retirees. This Asian country has modern cities, eye-catching historic sites, and friendly and welcoming people.
Furthermore, the country is developing rapidly with one of the most robust economies in Asia. You will appreciate the excellent infrastructure and high-quality health care in the region. Also, you will love the country’s food, beaches, and culture. Here’s a closer look at why many people are considering spending their golden years in Vietnam
Standard of living: Vietnam is one of the cheapest countries to retire and has the lowest cost of living in south Asia. Life is 70% cheaper in comparison with western life. If you live alone,1200 is more than enough every month. With this money, you will live a comfortable life, hit the gym, enjoy some beers as you relax on the beach, and run some expenses that are not even vital. However, you will be subject to personal income tax in Vietnam.
Healthcare: Vietnam has universal healthcare that combines western and eastern medicine. In this country, every person has access to basic healthcare. Nonetheless, the entire cost can range from low to high, depending on where you access your medication. If you visit a consultant in a private hospital, you will pay roughly $30. As a retiree, it is vital to pay for monthly insurance of $60 to cover any medical costs.
Visa requirements: Vietnam does not have a retirement visa, but a ready option exists for individuals who want to retire. You can apply for a six months visa which allows you to stay in the country for three months at a time, or go for an extension. Many people would prefer to step out of Vietnam and refresh their three-month than paying an extension visa.


Malta is the tenth smallest country in the entire world. It is located 50 miles south of the island of Sicily. Although the square miles may scare you, the archipelago country will surprise you with its beaches, aromatic spices, seafood-food cuisine, language, and tea culture. No wonder many expats find this place conducive.
Besides, many of its residents live in Valletta, the capital of this country. When you tour Valletta, you will be amazed by its great snorkelling spots, hiking trails, museums, and ruins as old as Stonehenge. The locals speak English well; hence the retirees do not have to learn a foreign language.
Standard of living: Malta is an affordable and way much cheap place to live than many European countries. The living standard costs might drop significantly depending on where you choose to stay.
For instance, factoring in your rent, transportation, healthcare, and regular expenses, you will intend to spend $2330 per month.
Healthcare: As a retiree, you may not access Malta’s excellent health centre. However, private insurances have quality premiums that are not expensive. Their cost lies between the range of $50 and 300 per month. But if you choose to access a public medical facility, you pay around $20 for a basic check and $65 if a specialist attends to you. That is why most Maltese residents opt for private health insurance over free public healthcare.
Visa requirements: To retire to this country, you need a Malta permanent residents visa, especially if you are a non-EU national. You will also need to have an annual income of $25263, open a Maltese bank account, either pay a yearly rent of $10984 or buy a house worth $329,514.

Final Words about Best Countries to Retire

Choosing a country to retire to may be overwhelming. But with the above guide, you will definitely find an ideal destination to spend your golden years.

FAQs Best Countries to Retire

Can I still get my Social Security if I move to another country?

Yes. You may be able to receive Social Security payments while leaving abroad if you meet certain criteria. But that depends on your citizenship and residency status.

What is the best country for US citizens to retire in?

Retirement is one of the parts of the American dream. Affording a comfortable retirement plan that is budget-friendly is the engine that is pushing many American to look for a good retirement destination abroad. The location should offer better living standards at a lesser cost. As an American citizen, you can choose countries such as Panama, Costa Rica, Spain, or even Thailand to spend your golden years.

What is the number 1 place to retire in the world?

Spain and Panama have been rated as the best countries to retire to for more than a decade. This is because they offer good security and a lower cost of living than other countries.

Where can I retire on $2000 a month?

There are several destinations where a retiree can comfortably enjoy their golden year with a monthly pension or income of $2000. Such countries include Panama, Thailand, Spain, and many more. You just have to find the best country for you to retire to.

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Easiest countries to retire in Europe?

If you want to retire in Europe, these are the easiest countries to obtain the European residence permit.

Where is the best country to retire to?

For us the ideal place is Spain, as it is in the EU, where you have a lot of security and the living costs are among the lowest in the EU and there is good weather all year round in the Canary Islands or in the south of Spain. In general there are many retirement destinations in South America and South Asia. These countries are known for their favourable climate, attractive beaches and affordable living standards.

2 thoughts on “Best Countries to Retire 2023

  1. Kevin |

    What a great list of wonderful places to retire! I would love to live in Europe when I retire, my dream as an American is to live like the Europeans!

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |

      Thanks for your comment! If you need our help, let us know.

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