Top Retirement Destinations for Your Golden Years: The Best Countries to Retire In 2023

Top Retirement Destinations for Your Golden Years: The Best Countries to Retire In 2023

All of us, probably at one time or another, have dreamt of retiring abroad. How many of us actually do it though.

Retiring to another country can provide a host of benefits for us, as we move through this latter stage of our life.  

So why not take that step –  stop dreaming about it and perhaps put our dreams into reality?  ‘It’s a short life’ and all that stuff!

Many of the places we would choose to retire in, are actually places where we have enjoyed many over 50s holidays, during the years.

So I’m going to suggest 10 great places for you below. 

Firstly, why would we retire abroad anyway? 

Well, it offers an opportunity to experience new cultures and ways of life, which can be exciting and enjoyable. 

Secondly, many countries offer a lower cost of living than developed nations, enabling retirees to make their retirement savings go further.

Thirdly, relocating can provide access to high-quality healthcare at more affordable rates if your home country has no medical insurance plan –  or one is too expensive. That can affect your budget quite badly.

The best places to retire should give us a better quality of life

Also retiring abroad means less stress in everyday life leading to better quality overall health.

When moving somewhere fresh, we can hopefully (fingers crossed)  leave our old problems behind  – like worries about house repairs, cleaning services bills etc. providing stability & feeling secure during amazing years ahead!

With so many benefits on offer,  retiring abroad is definitely worth considering!

Many Of Us Want To Retire Abroad

Not all of us stay in the US for our golden years. Some of us decide to give another country a go and retirees are finding new ways to do retirement.

One of the biggest hurdles we face in retirement is our budget. More than half the people that can actually retire do it on a serious budget.

This of course leads a lot of us to do some serious research.

 In that research, we start looking at things like the global retirement index  – how to save money in retirement, how to stretch your retirement dollar, where’s the best early bird specials, and what about our pension? 

Eventually, you find some websites that tell wonderful stories about retiring abroad. And as you go deeper into that, you realize that there are actually some nice countries to retire to, that are half the price of living in the US.

Today we’re looking at the most popular countries for expat retirees in 2023. Let’s take a look.

 By the way, these are in no particular order…..

Top 10 Countries For A Comfortable Retirement In 2023

Number 1, Portugal.

Portugal is I think an often overlooked European country, especially for retirees. Right off the bat, it’s in Europe. It’s connected to Spain. I think it’s one of the best countries to retire in.

It’s almost in the Mediterranean. It’s got a long coastline with the Atlantic Ocean. So people just assume this is a very expensive European country. It really isn’t.

They have some amazing towns with colonial style architecture all over this country.

It has a really good healthcare system, good percentage of the population speaks English, and a retired couple can live on about $2,000 a month in Portugal.

You might be able to get away with it a little bit lower than that, but you probably gonna have to budget pretty good.

2. Ecuador  – An Awesome Place to Retire

Ecuador shares a border with Colombia, Peru, and the Pacific Ocean. It’s not really a border, but you know what I mean. Most of Ecuador lives on the west side of the country.

The east side is the freaking wilderness. Ecuador is one of the countries that’s fortunate enough to have the Andes Mountains running through it. And it goes right down the middle of the country, just about.

The Andes are the world’s largest mountain range extending through seven countries and topping out at 22,000 feet, almost 23,000. It’s actually 22,834 feet.

Ecuador has a really low cost of living and a solid healthcare system. So it’s a great place to take up permanent residency.

Cool thing is, Ecuador wants you to move there. There are always some hoops you gotta jump through. You just don’t fly down there and call it home.

There’s always some red tape, but Ecuador kind of, you know, they make it pretty easy.

You can retire in Ecuador on about $1,800 a month, give or take a little bit. Now, these are 2022 numbers, even though we’re talking about 2023.

The way the world’s economy is going right now, it could change next week.

3: Colombia – Up There With Best Places

Most Americans, including myself, remember the good old days of Pablo Escobar when it comes to Colombia. Colombia is nothing like that anymore. It’s a very good retirement location.

They do have some spots, but really it is nothing like the glory days of the 1990s and 80s. Colombia is a pretty great place to retire, though.

It has plenty of coastline on both the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. And like Ecuador, it’s got the Andes Mountains right there also.

It really has a lot of natural beauty spots.

They have a rainy season, but for the most part, most of Colombia, at least the populated areas, have decent weather.

It’s warm, it can get humid, but it’s decent. Colombia has solid healthcare, an easy visa process, and a low cost living.

Obviously, it depends on where you move to and where you live, but you could survive there and live pretty good on about $2,000 a month.

4: France  A Great European Country To Retire To

retire to France

This is another one like Portugal. You’re going to think it’s expensive.

France has amazing cities and outstanding rural communities. Obviously, if you move to Paris or something like that, it will be very expensive, but the smaller towns in the rural areas have a more affordable cost of living.

If you want to live in Paris, you will probably need an income of at least $3,000 monthly.

The thing that really puts France on this list over a lot of other countries is their public healthcare. France has excellent healthcare. It has high-quality healthcare that is still affordable. So that qualifies it as one of the top countries and it’s no wonder. 

If you’re living outside the cities, there’s a lot of nice communities where you could live pretty comfortably on about $2,200 a month.

5: Guatemala.


Guatemala almost gets on this list for cost of living alone. It is cheap to live in Guatemala so one of the best countries in central America for retirees.

This one’s no secret. In this respect, it joins some of the best countries for retirement. Indeed it is one of the cheapest countries for retirement abroad.

It’s not like Guatemala just sprung up and Americans are learning about it. It’s been a popular spot for expats for quite some time.

Don’t be surprised if you find a whole bunch of people just like you. Find Hank and Carol, tell them you heard about them on a video.

Guatemala has beautiful mountains, plenty of forest. They got a nice patch of Pacific coastline and a little sliver of beach in the Caribbean Sea.

Yes, it stretches all the way across Central America, which really isn’t hard to do, especially down that area.

For some reason, people think Panama’s the only one that has, you know, two separate coastlines, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Costa Rica has it, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala.

The only two that don’t have both bodies of water is El Salvador and Belize. You can live comfortably in Guatemala for about $1,500 a month.

Obviously, I’m talking about American dollars.

6: Spain.


Finishing off our European countries, we have Spain.  Many people want to retire in Spain and so I have to include it in the top ten countries as a retirement destination.  And it’s always a firm favourite for expats to retire.

Again, you probably thought it was too expensive, but really it’s not. Downtown Barcelona, Madrid, places like that, it’s gonna be a little pricey. If you can afford it, great, but it’s not as cheap as some of the other places in Spain. 

 However if you get out into the small towns and the rural areas, it is definitely affordable.

If you can afford Spain, it is one of the best places to retire as an American on the planet. Good food, fine wine, Mediterranean, great healthcare, and it is affordable.

There are not many countries like this and so it makes it one of the best places to enjoy retirement.

You could survive not in the big cities, obviously, but you could live comfortably on around $2,000 a month in some of the smaller towns.

7: Mexico.


More and more people are moving to Mexico all the time. It’s got some problems with cartels and there’s some dangerous places, but for the most part, it’s a nice country to live in.

If your only experience is like Tijuana and Juarez and Sonata, maybe, yeah, it’s not the best country if that’s all you’ve seen. Sadly, that is what most Americans do see.

However, it’s actually an ideal retirement location and an ideal country for Americans too. 

It’s almost like if someone came from another country and all they saw was Detroit and Camden, New Jersey. That’s what it’s like if you only see Juarez, Tijuana, and Sonata.

Mexico, though, is definitely a place to know before you go. Where should you live? Where should you visit? What should you avoid? Things like that.

Some of the best things about Mexico is you’re right there next to the U.S., so getting back and forth is pretty easy.

They’ve got a low cost of living, beautiful beaches, the Caribbean and the Pacific side, and you can live comfortably on about $1,800 a month here.

8: Panama.

panama retirement

Who doesn’t want to live in Panama? I love Panama. One of my favorite countries.

A lot of the old military bases, because the U.S. used to have a ton of military bases there, now not so much, but a lot of them, like PACOM, are now communities where people have condos and a lot of American retirees will live there.

Panama is a beautiful country with amazing people. Panama’s got everything from jungles to mountains to amazing coastlines.

You take a hike in the forest, A, be careful, but B, every little bend you go around, there’s a new river, a waterfall, a creek, a stream. There’s water everywhere here.

In the United States, if there’s any kind of water going over any kind of cliff, like a seven foot tall waterfall , it will have a name.

That’s what we’re kind of used to.

It’s not the world’s best country, but it’s decent and it is affordable. They have some great golf courses, amazing fishing, and you can live comfortably in Panama on about fourteen hundred dollars a month.

9: Belize.


Belize is a great little country sandwiched in between Mexico and Guatemala. It has miles of Caribbean coastline and a good percentage of people here speak English. That in itself makes it a popular retirement place and in my opinion one of the best retirement destinations for Americans.

So less of a chance of running into language barriers. Belize has a lot of mellow beach towns along the Caribbean coastline. Just pick one and hang out.

Belize shows up on our list because almost everyone speaks English.

They have decent health care, pretty stable government, and you can live comfortably as a couple here for about eighteen hundred dollars a month.

You want to cut costs a little bit. You can definitely get by about twelve hundred on three thousand a month.

You would live like a king in Belize because their cost of living is pretty low.

10: Costa Rica _ One Of The Most Popular Countries For Americans 

costa rica

This is a very popular one for Americans, and it has been for about four decades now. Because it goes down there and surfs at least once a year, goes down, spends like two weeks just surfing in Costa Rica.

It’s a very welcoming country for Americans. Another one that has the Caribbean Sea on the east side of the Pacific Ocean on the west side.

And it’s considered one of the safest countries in Latin America. They don’t even have an army.

Now, besides all that good stuff, their cost of living is very, very low. It’s actually the lowest on this list.

Cost of food, rent and health care is much cheaper than any place else in Latin America or Europe or North America.

They say you can get by on less than a thousand dollars a month if you want to live big.

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions off the best countries.

Well, that’s it For the top 10 countries – I hope it gives you some food for thought. 

FAQ About The Best Places To Retire In The World

What are the best countries to retire in Africa?

There are a number of good countries to retire to in Africa, but two probably stand out as the best.

They are South Africa and Morocco.

I think they would easily fall into the top 10 countries in Africa. 

South Africa offers retirees an excellent standard of living for their money. The cost of living is affordable, with high-quality housing options available at a fraction of what one would pay in more developed nations.

There’s also access to top-rated medical facilities, including hospitals and doctors that offer quality services you can trust while experiencing world-class wildlife safari spots.

On the other hand, Morocco, known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich culture make it an ideal destination for seniors seeking adventure and history buffs too! It might even be one of the best places to retire in the world. 

This country provides a combination of modern amenities such as shopping centers near resorts or lively fresh food marketplaces around streets where they can explore the unique Arabic architecture of kasbahs from old times during leisure time which brings back memories & excitement

Both countries have warm climates year-round with plenty of sunshine making it perfect for relaxing days by beaches or walking in picturesque gardens or vineyards fulfilling hobbies perfection!

All these reasons make them popular retirement destinations offering something different depending on your preferences – it’s worth considering when planning your golden years!

What are the best countries to live in as a woman?

There are many outstanding countries offering great quality of life for women, but I’m going to choose two  –  Iceland and Sweden. If you’ve got retirement plans, then these are countries that offer amazing benefits. 

Iceland is well known to have the smallest gender pay gap in the world; it has a strong focus towards including women in politics and leadership positions while providing equal opportunities education-wise. It is a very popular destination for vacations and also one of the best countries for retirees.

Besides, safety is not an issue either  –  harassment or domestic violence have effective laws effective laws protecting women.

Sweden offers generous maternity/paternity leave policy options where parents can share time off work even extending beyond one year.  So it’s one of the loveliest places in the world, to think of retiring when you hit that retirement age. 

Additionally safer streets & solid working safety regulation make this country a peaceful place to live fulfilling comfortable lifestyle goals further .

These factors describing how these two countries treat their female population group compare high globally making them places worth considering when looking for balanced living arrangements!

What is the best country to retire in Asia?

There is no shortage of excellent countries to retire to in Asia, but I think two stand out as the best: Thailand and Malaysia.

Thailand offers an affordable cost of living with high-quality healthcare available at very reasonable prices. Get place to be a permanent resident. 

The beauty of this country isn’t all that is breathtaking; the famous Thai hospitality makes it a comfortable space for seniors coming from different cultural backgrounds around the world making them feel at home away from home. 

 While enjoying aspects like vibrant night markets or stimulating temples grounds.

Malaysia provides prestige for retirees on top food buffs wish lists!

It offers traditional shopping experiences mixed with fusion cuisines such as blends of Malay-Chinese subcultures ,providing an unmatched experience overall. Affordable luxury buildings overlooking stunning ocean views await those who relocate offering stunning sunsets each day!

Overall both destinations provide atmospheres that offer rejuvenating qualities you deserve after years of hard work!  


  • Stephen

    Stephen is now retired. He spent 25 years in community welfare and is one of the co-founders of life over 50. He has a keen interest in everything concerning this special age group.....and makes valuable contributions to the site. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, cycling and gardening. Also a keen jazz music lover!

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