If you crave heat, adventure, and exploring new cultures, consider retiring abroad. While many people choose to downsize, or move to a more rural setting when they stop working, increasing numbers of Canadians are choosing to cross oceans or continents to start the next phase of their life. Relocating to a new country can be a great way to stretch your life savings without sacrificing a lively retirement—and a great excuse to start exploring new parts of the world.
These seven cities boast mild climates, great healthcare, a welcoming environment, and great cost of living. Take a look and see if one may be a good fit for you!
Belize is not only beautiful, it’s also easy to move to. The official language is English, and the country’s Qualified Retired Persons program offers benefits to foreign retirees and a fast track to residency status. A town like Corozal offers a laidback lifestyle but is still a short drive from the amenities of more central Chetumal.
This beautiful, well-maintained colonial city is home to a large expat community, offers good, affordable healthcare, and boasts a low cost of living. You don’t even really need a car—you can walk pretty much wherever you want. Ecuador is only becoming a more popular retirement destination, so get in before prices shoot up!
Panama makes a lot of best-of lists when it comes to retiring abroad, and we can see why! It has international-standard healthcare, consistent, spring-like weather, and a laidback pace of life. If you choose to head to Boquete, you’ll be living in the country’s “Food Basket”— a great spot to do some gardening or try your hand at growing coffee. While speaking Spanish would be an asset, Panamanians are welcoming and accepting of foreigners
George Town, Malaysia
George Town is safe and affordable, with low taxes and a reasonable cost of living. Located on the island of Penang, which is nicknamed “Island of Pearls” for its beauty, the city is largely English speaking. There’s great art culture, easy access to the outdoors, and it’s a community obsessed with food—the local greeting translates to “have you eaten yet?”
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Known for its beauty, Thailand is a great spot to spend a tropical retirement. Chiang Mai, known as the “old city,” is a sprawling metropolis but, being in the Northern part of the country, less overrun by tourists than the popular South. There’s enough of a North American influence for things to feel familiar, but you’ll also be able to immerse yourself in Thai culture.
If you want some Old World ambiance in your retirement haven, try looking at Pau. It’s close to England and has a large, established, and welcoming expat community. The mild climate and easy access to beaches and mountains make it a great spot for the outdoorsman, and there’s a vibrant sporting culture.
Lagos has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a beautiful 15th century old town, inexpensive cafes and restaurants, and charming architecture. Utilities are inexpensive—you don’t need air-conditioning or central heating—and rent is dirt-cheap. It’s a foodie’s dream! There’s lots of amazing cuisines, especially seafood. If you have a car there’s a whole coast full of beaches, historical sites, and wonderful towns to explore.
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