9 Best Countries to Retire in 2022

older man on a vacation sitting on a bench looking at the sea

If you’re transitioning into retirement, you’ll want to consider a number of factors. 


And one of the most important is deciding where to retire


Retirement is an exciting new chapter, made all the more enticing by considering venturing to new shores. 


Retiring abroad may seem like a far-off dream, but with a bit of planning, you could turn that dream into a reality. Even if it’s living abroad part-time.


There are many great countries to choose from, and we’ve narrowed it down to nine of the best when it comes to quality of life and cost of living. 


#1 USA



For many retirees, nothing is more attractive than finally being able to settle somewhere within the US and from there, take time out to explore all that the country has to offer.


There are many exciting places to settle in the US that present reasonable living costs. For instance, compared to New York City, Atlanta rents are around 52% lower, while groceries are approximately 23% cheaper.


Obviously, if you’re already an American citizen, then it’s as simple as choosing where in the country you’d like to retire. Other popular retirement spots include Orlando, Florida, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Pensacola, Florida. 


And if you’re someone who’s attracted to active senior living communities, check out these best retirement communities in the US.


There’s no such thing as a retirement visa for the United States, but with a significant investment, it’s possible to obtain a visa through the EB-5 program.


#2 Spain



Spain is a great place to retire for many reasons: the Mediterranean climate, the diverse and beautiful landscape, the rich culture, the excellent healthcare system, and of course the affordability. With just $25,000 a year, you can retire comfortably in Spain.


On top of that, the people are friendly and welcoming, making it easy to stay socially connected as you settle into your new life in Spain. Spain’s healthcare system is also highly rated, and the visa process is relatively straightforward, with most non-EU residents opting for a residence visa. 


If you’re looking for a retirement destination that ticks all of the above boxes, then Spain should definitely be at the top of your list.


#3 Portugal



Spain’s neighbor, Portugal, is becoming equally popular among retirees. With its stunning scenery and comfortable year-round weather, Portugal is an attractive, welcoming destination. 


The cost of living is again relatively low. For example, you can take a pick from these seven picturesque places for under $30,000 a year.


Portugal’s healthcare system is also of high quality, with visas being conditional upon holding health insurance. Portugal’s passive income (D7) visa is valid for five years – after that, you need to apply for a permanent permit.


#4 Turkey



Turkey offers up a fascinating combination of European and Asian cultures. The weather is good, and the scenery is spectacular.


What’s more, the cost of living in Turkey is excellent. According to Numbeo, the cost of living is half that of living in the United States.


Turkey is rated well for healthcare, and it’s one of the world’s top destinations for medical tourism. Visa-wise, Turkey offers an affordable option made very simple – by investing in $250,000 worth of property, you receive citizenship.


#5 Thailand



If you’re thinking about retiring in Thailand, you’re not alone. In recent years, Thailand has become one of the best countries to retire, thanks to its low cost of living, beautiful weather, and friendly people. 


According to a NetCredit study, retiring comfortably in Thailand is ⅓ cheaper than in the US. 


Plus, there’s no need to worry about learning a new language – English is widely spoken in Thailand. Visas are relatively easy to obtain and there are numerous options, but the most popular one is the retirement visa.


#6 Argentina



Home to Buenos Aires – otherwise known as the Paris of South America – Argentina offers a delightful mix of European and Latin American culture.


Argentina’s cost of living is nice and low. Even in the city of Buenos Aires, groceries are around 71% cheaper than in NYC, while rent prices are almost 90% lower than in NYC.


The healthcare system in Argentina is well-rated, with less costly international healthcare policies than some EU countries. In addition, there are two visa options for retirees depending upon passive income or pension status.


#7 Dominican Republic

dominican republic


One of the least expensive tropical island destinations for retirees is the Dominican Republic. Just two hours from Miami, it’s also a dream location for many US expats.


The Dominican Republic’s cost of living is also excellent. For example, in Santo Domingo, the price of groceries is approximately 57% lower than in NYC, and rents are around 88% lower than in NYC.


The healthcare system is good, with quality care available to retirees in private hospitals at reasonable costs. The country welcomes expats with its retirement visa, and you can enter on a tourist visa and apply for your retirement visa once you’ve arrived.


#8 Italy



Italy isn’t quite so attractive from a cost-of-living standpoint, but its cultural appeal is too great to overlook. Well-known for its resident’s longevity, fantastic weather, and stunning historical charm – Italy has a lot to offer. 


That said, the cost of living isn’t necessarily too bad, depending on where you head. For example, groceries average 38% cheaper than in NYC in Florence, while rent prices are around 75% lower than in NYC. 


Italy’s healthcare system is well-rated, and residency visas are available, subject to sufficient passive income, which is somewhat higher than the other destinations on the list. 


#9 France



Retired ‘foodies’ or wine lovers will love France for its incredible cuisine and wine culture. Also, its location in Europe makes it the perfect spot for retirees who want to do some exploring. 


France’s cost of living varies depending on the exact location, but even in the capital, it can still be relatively affordable. For example, in Paris, the price of groceries is approximately 19% lower than in NYC, and rents are around 53% lower than in NYC.


The healthcare system in France is one of the best in the world, and prescription medicine is very reasonably priced. Although the visa process can be a little complex, it is possible to gain a retirement visa; you must just apply for a long-stay visitor visa first and apply for the retirement visa once you’re there. 


Be Adventurous & Retire Abroad

If you’re looking for the best countries to retire in the near future, which of these should you consider? 


It really depends on your needs and wants. If you want a country with low taxes and good healthcare, Spain or Portugal may be a good choice. If you’re looking for a more tropical retirement destination, then Thailand or Argentina might be more up your alley.


Some of the most important questions:

  • Which are the best countries to retire in Europe? Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, and Portugal are particularly popular, with fantastic weather and good healthcare.
  • Which are the best English-speaking countries to retire in? Most European countries speak English widely, and although Australia didn’t make the list this time around, it’s home to many fantastic retirement spots. 
  • Which are the best countries to retire with good healthcare? All of the destinations on our list offer good quality healthcare, but France is the highest-rated, followed by Spain and Turkey.


While there are many factors to consider when choosing the best country to retire, these nine countries offer a great starting point for your research. Each has an abundance of affordable healthcare options, a wide range of activities and experiences to enjoy, and welcoming locals who are happy to help out a newcomer. 


So what are you waiting for? Start planning your retirement escape today.

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