Best countries to retire in

What are the best countries to retire in?

With the post-pandemic world opening up to overseas travelling, a growing number of people are choosing to retire overseas. Moving countries for retirement requires a certain level of research to determine which country is suitable in terms of healthcare, lifestyle, and other such factors. We will always recommend that you contact a financial adviser before moving, to make sure all your finances are in place and it is the right move for you. Our advisers have put together a list of tropical destinations, with sound living costs, which have consistently featured among the top countries that are retirement friendly.

1. Panama

Panama - Retire destinationPanama consistently ranks among the top 10 best countries to retire, usually in the 1st or 2nd spot. Along with favourable weather, the Central American country has infrastructural connectivity that provides access to excellent modern healthcare, a safe environment, and friendly communities. Amenities range in the affordable category, and for retired residents, the Pensionado visa offers lowered expenses for transport, entertainment, and utilities. The UK is one of the 22 friendly nations whose residents can apply on a fast track to becoming permanent residents.

2. Costa Rica

Costa Rica - Retire destinationRight next to Panama is Costa Rica with its progressive and stable democratic system that is suitable for retirees. Because the national motto means ‘pure life,’ retirees can expect affordable living in a country that consistently performs well in the healthcare, development, and governance categories. Its post-Covid laws have been designed to be retirement friendly: one can import two cars, a shipping container of home goods is tax-free, and lower threshold for investors. A solo retiree can live comfortably on about $1,600/ month.


spainThis country has been a popular retirement destination for Brits. The recovering and growing economy has facilitated a rise in property prices around major cities. These are still low enough for aspiring retirees to snag a bargain. Nearly 17% of registered Spanish property is owned by UK citizens. Retiring in Spain means that you won’t go all that far without running into a fellow Brit. Add in widespread, high-speed internet, relatively cheaper living, and healthcare, and you’ve got a perfect retirement destination.

4. Portugal


The capital city Lisbon is often considered one of the most liveable cities. The country has favourable tax systems wherein overseas pension is exempt from tax for up to 10 years. While English is commonly spoken, the government also offers free Portuguese language classes. So, language barriers are one less thing to worry about. Overall, the country does well with housing, climate, living, and healthcare.

5. Malta

The country has a robust healthcare system that offers services free of cost to all citizens and to British residents under a reciprocal healthcare provision system in the UK. The transport system is not very well developed, which is why it is lower on this list. Reportedly, imported consumer goods can be either difficult to procure or expensive. Malta offers incredible recreation and an active lifestyle.

Choosing the country to retire in

1. Visa and residency requirements

Immigration and residency laws vary around the world. As a British expat, find the country that makes the retirement transition easier. If you need more information on other destinations, check out our Expat Destination Guides which will give you a full breakdown of the country you are looking to retire in. Refer to updated information on vaccination, passport validity, and so on. This also means knowing whether you can purchase immovable property or a house. Have a qualified real estate agent so that you are secure whether buying or selling. For more information on golden visa programs and obtaining residency through investment, you can visit our citizenship by investment page here.

2. Driver’s license

The destination may or may not recognise your driver’s license. Get an international license before you head out. You can also get a local license after you arrive.

3. Visit before you move

If you can, visit the country for a while before you actually move there. It will give you an idea of the culture, weather, surroundings, and general culture. You can adapt to it beforehand instead of facing a culture shock. Take this time to learn about the local customs and public holidays and familiarise yourself with transportation.

4. Working after retirement

Retirement does not necessarily mean that you stop working. If you want to work or set up a business, know the ins and outs of doing so. Being aware of any restrictions can help you decide which country to move to.


The list of countries where you can retire is not exhaustive, but it can give you an idea of the options you have. Do your research and find the country that fits your retirement plans. Contact us today and we can help you plan for all your retirement needs.

About Author
Ruby Coogan

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