Top ten locations for retirees
You’ve worked hard all your life, you’ve saved the pennies, and now after decades of living with the rubbish British weather, you just want somewhere to retire to and enjoy a new life in the sunshine of another country, but where exactly are the best places to retire to? We take a look at the top ten locations.
The tiny Mediterranean island of Malta boasts a staggering 3,100 hours of sunshine every year and enjoys an average temperature of 18.9 Celsius. Property prices are relatively cheap and the relaxed pace of life is ideal for those seeking a peaceful retirement; just don’t use the roads, as with most European nation’s driving isn’t the Maltese strong point. Most of the population speak English so there is no language barrier and the people are friendly to the British. You could do a lot worse than choosing Malta as your retirement destination.
Home to 27,000 British expats the beautiful island of Barbados is a home away from home except with sun, sea and glorious sandy beaches. Property prices are very low compared to the UK and healthcare is virtually free. The average temperature is a lovely 26 Celsius.
Australia is the most popular destination for UK expats with over 1.3million Brits already having decided that the land down under is the place for them. Property isn’t cheap in the cities but the low taxes, cheap healthcare and sunny climate more than make up for that.
The beautiful scenery of New Zealand is the main draw for most expats. The fact that the ‘Kiwis’ speak English is also a bonus as it enables you to settle in and make friends a lot easier. New Zealand is often cited as one of the healthiest places in the world to live, offering retirees a pollution free environment.
Thailand boasts both really cheap and developed and comfortable lifestyle choices. It is also noteworthy as being one of the few countries in this part of the world that offers formal options for long-term and retirement visas. Hua Hin is one of the few classic retirement havens in Southeast Asia, complete with golf courses, factory outlets, and gated communities. Foreigners make up approximately 15% of that population, and most of them are retired, making it easy to make friends.
The main concern for anyone who has ever dreamed of a new life in France is that it’s too expensive for the average retiree to consider seriously. Not true. Paris isn’t cheap sure, but elsewhere in France you can find realistic options, even if your retirement budget is modest. The most retirement friendly region in this country is in the southwest, north of Spain, where small country towns offer a way of life that is quintessentially French and also very affordable.
Unlike some areas of Asia, foreigners are genuinely welcomed in Malaysia. Language isn’t a problem, as nearly everyone speaks adequate English. Immigration is easy, and it’s possible to stay for an extended period with a simple tourist visa. Although the capital is more expensive than rural Malaysia, it can be marvellously inexpensive by Western standards. You can realistically expect to cut your living expenses by a third and still enjoy a lifestyle comparable to what you are accustomed to now.
Since the Eurozone economic crisis began property prices have plummeted since the highs of four or five years ago making the country an ideal place to find a cheap property. Spain also has the largest expat community in Europe and is home to the popular destinations of Barcelona and Madrid.
The USA is a relatively cheap option for living costs. Petrol is cheap and the climate is favourable especially in Florida and California. Healthcare is often very expensive however and the distance from the UK puts the states lower down on the list.
Mexico has been suffering in recent years from violent crime and the drug wars but don’t let that put you off living in the country. Mexico is a big place and continues to offer some of the best coastal lifestyle and retirement options in the Americas, including Puerto Vallarta, the number-one choice for an affordable life of luxury on the Pacific.