In just a few days, we’ll be releasing our latest annual Overseas Retirement Index—this hugely anticipated report is the climax of everything we do all year long.
Dozens of contributors spend the entire year scouting, experiencing, comparing, and reporting on the best places in the world to retire, and we bring all of that to bear in this exclusive yearly publication.
And this year, for the first-time ever, we’re lifting the curtain on our process, giving you special access to the Index creators and allowing you to hear what we really think about the final rankings…
A few of us have been working together on putting together these indexes for nearly a decade now, and we have a lot to say about how it all goes down.
This year, we’ll get together for a live, on-air discussion to introduce you to the winners… and the losers… explaining their benefits and their faults, in a candid conversation that will reveal far more than we’re allowed to on paper.
During this interactive webinar, you’re invited to send us in your questions and feedback—be they arguments for or against our results—as we divulge the secrets to our methods.
Join us for free this Jan. 11, for this exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at who made cut and who got booted from this year’s list of superlative, affordable destinations for retirement overseas.
Meantime, here’s a taste of just a few of the countries that will be featured—sign up for the webinar to hear which cities in particular we’re touting for 2024…
Mexico: Accessible, Affordable, And Familiar… Why Go Farther?
Mexico is the most accessible country in the region from the United States and Canada and it offers lots of options and opportunity for the expat.
This is a big, extraordinarily diverse country with two long coasts, mountains, and colonial cities… not to mention Aztec and Mayan ruins, jungle, rain forest, rivers, and lakes.
Plus, being in North America, this country is home to many American franchises, from McDonald’s to Pet Depot and Walmart to Starbucks.
Almost anything you buy in the States is also available in Mexico, though ease of availability depends on your location (rural and remote areas offer fewer franchises and order fewer imports).
For all these reasons, Mexico is home to the biggest established population of American expats in the world.
Ajijic and Chapala are two of the world’s biggest established communities of North American retirees overseas (though these aren’t our top recommendations in the country).
Puerto Vallarta offers one of the most affordable turnkey retirement options on the Pacific Ocean. Here, you could enjoy all the comforts of home at a fraction of the cost (despite the well-established expat community).
The silver mines in Mexico’s central highlands provided the incredible wealth that impelled Spain to world prominence in the 16th century and created Guanajuato, the crown jewel of Mexico’s colonial cities.
Along with Guanajuato and Puerto Vallarta, we recommend the Bahia de Navidad and San Miguel de Allende.
Panama: A Retirement And Business Haven With Pacific And Caribbean Coastlines
Panama could arguably be called the world’s best offshore haven. There is no doubt that Panama has serious advantages for those looking for a country with a cheaper standard of living than the United States and Europe.
It’s also blessed with beautiful islands, ample coastline beaches, mountain retreats, and colonial towns.
Even before the Panama Canal was built, everyone wanted a piece of the golden pie. It was as if this little country’s growth was strangely predicted, pushing the Spanish, later the French, and then the Americans to dwell and build here.
It was the Canal, though, that really pushed Panama onto the global stage.
The country’s strategic geographic position, and the significance of the Panama Canal, mean this destination is an important point on the world map. In short, Panama’s economy has always been strong especially now due to the canal and the massive amounts of wealth that move through it (and earn Panama revenue).
Panama City is the banking and financial hub of the entire region. Here, you can expect every First World amenity you can imagine. Panama City is choc-a-block with U.S.-style shopping malls, mega-grocery stores, wine shops, sushi bars, five-star restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, art galleries, and 12-screen movie theaters showing first-run movies in English.
Wi-Fi is world-class, the water is drinkable straight from the tap, and utilities are relatively reliable. The doctors and many medical facilities are top-notch.
And once you get beyond the capital, Panama is a natural wonderland…
Get out of hectic Panama City and you’ll discover beautiful tropical islands fringed with white sand and coconut palms… and mountain retreats where howler monkeys wake you up in the morning and migrating songbirds put you to sleep at night.
For such a small country, Panama packs a punch in terms of the diversity of lifestyles available. City or country? Beach or mountains? Modern or rustic? There are as many lifestyle options as mangoes in the markets in this country.
Panama is Central America’s southernmost point, and, because of a bend in the isthmus, it is oriented more east-west than north-south. It’s only 50 miles from top to bottom at its narrowest point but stretches about 500 miles from east to west. Plains border both coasts, rising upward to the country’s interior and central mountain ranges. Almost half the country is covered with forest, and about one-quarter of that is protected in preserves.
In addition to forest, Panama has more than 2,500 miles of coastline and some 1,500 islands, many uninhabited. There are breathtaking beachfronts still undeveloped and almost deserted in some parts of the country. You can enjoy white-sand beaches, palm trees, soothing breezes, and colorful sunsets all by yourself if you want. Or, if you prefer, you can party until the wee hours with the surfers you’ll meet on many of the beaches.
Largely as a result of its crossroads positioning, but also thanks to its reputation worldwide as a top retirement, offshore, and banking haven, Panama is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, and the fastest-growing market in the region.
Colombia: The Best Health Care In Latin America With Diverse Lifestyle Opportunities
Colombia lies where the Andes converge with the Pacific and the Caribbean, providing a dramatically beautiful country with two coasts and lots of geographic and cultural diversity along with strong regional identities. It’s considered the second most biodiverse country in the world after Brazil.
With a population of about 50 million, Colombia has the third largest economy in South America, after Brazil and Argentina. The World Bank ranks Colombia as the #1 country in Latin America and the #6 country in the entire world for investor protection (that’s better than the United States).
This country offers great diversity, from the world-class colonial city of Cartagena to smaller Spanish-colonial towns… from international-class cities, including and especially Medellín, to mountain villages and fincas… plus great beaches, too.
Health care in Colombia is world-class, but it’ll cost you only 1/4 or less of what you’d pay in the United States… and, yes, plenty of English-speaking doctors can be found in the cities.
Plus, the strength of the U.S. dollar (as well as Canadian dollar, to a lesser extent) is adding even more bargaining power to the already low cost of living… you can lock in the historic rate by purchasing a property or opening a bank account.
The visa process is quick and cheap: You can qualify as a pensioner with an income of only $810 a month… or you can invest as little as $27,700 to obtain an investor visa. The clincher? You don’t even need to hire a lawyer.
To retire in Colombia is far from the obscure idea it once was. Escaping from its “drug renegade” reputation, Colombia is now considered one of the world’s top retirement destinations.
With miles and miles of beautiful coastline, quaint colonial cities, awe-inspiring mountain ranges, and some of the best weather in the world, Colombia offers something for every retirement lifestyle.
As a retiree living in Colombia you can spend your days relaxing by the pool, strolling through the park, sipping coffee at one of the many cafés, or just about anything else you could imagine.
This is one of the many joys of retirement in Colombia… you have the freedom to get out and live life on your terms, even on a limited budget.
The low cost of living in Colombia is one of the most attractive aspects drawing in retirees.
Whether you are on a social security income and need to stretch your retirement dollars or you’re looking to live out your savings in a life of luxury, you can live a happy retirement in Colombia.
Everything from groceries to prescriptions are likely to cost much less in Colombia. Exceptional health care is another reason retiring in Colombia is so alluring.
In short, your dreams of retiring in Colombia may just be getting started, but one thing you are sure to discover is that you can have the retirement you deserve at a price that you can afford
Belize: The Ultimate English-Speaking Caribbean Paradise
The search for land, water, gold, timber, and oil have led people from around the world to Belize since the Maya first settled in the region thousands of years ago. With its forests, coastlines, and rivers, it boasts an embarrassment of riches in life-sustaining natural resources. These resources once supported an agrarian population of nearly 500,000 Maya and continue to provide for a range of lifestyles.
Today, Belize is a safe, welcoming and unassuming country where the population values personal privacy, self-determination, and freedom. And it’s one of the quirkiest places we know…
Belize City’s roadways are built around a system of roundabouts (thanks to her British colonizers), but shops alongside them sell rice, beans, and tortillas still ground by hand.
Everyone you meet speaks English (it’s the country’s official language), but this belies the stories of their origins. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are descendants of migrants from Britain, yes, but also and more so the surrounding Central American countries. You’ve got Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Nicaraguans mixing with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land, the pirates who came later, the Mennonite farmers who began arriving on the scene in the 16th century, the British who ruled until 1981, and each other.
Belize is undeniably one of the best places in the world to hang your hat…
Only a 135-minute flight from the United States, Belize is a tax haven, an investment haven, and a premier retirement destination.
This is pure, classic Caribbean… With 250 miles of white-sand Caribbean beaches and more than 400 islands, plus expansive rain forests with huge networks of rivers and caves and Mayan ruins.
You could settle in Belize quickly and comfortably with rents starting at around $650 a month. Double that rent, and you could make your home on the popular, sand-fringed island of Ambergris Caye.
Belize is a country of freedom-seekers. The pirates came to ply their pirate trading out of view. The Mennonites came from Germany and the Netherlands so they could be Mennonites without anyone bothering them. The British came so they could bank in private. And the folks from the surrounding countries who’ve sought out Belize over the past few decades typically have made their way across this country’s borders in search of safety.
Belize is also one of the easiest places to become resident—and offers many tax and investment benefits to the retiree.
Since ‘Survivor’ and ‘Temptation Island’ put it on America’s radar, sleepy little Belize has been attracting attention for its white-sand beaches, coral reef, Mayan ruins, and virgin rainforest.
This under-the-radar, sand-fringed, English-speaking country in the Caribbean offers a warm climate… an affordable cost of living… lifestyle options from sandy beachfront to quiet inland retreats… safety… stability… privacy… independence… freedom…
Where in Latin America—or the rest of the world—might suit you best for future retirement?
Editor, LIOS Confidential