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5 of the Best Places in the World to Retire

5 of the Best Places in the World to Retire

If you’re settling down and looking for a place to retire, you don’t have to just head down to Florida like everyone else. Retirement can be a big opportunity to try living in a new place and experiencing new cultures, without having to worry about the burdensome question of finding work in a foreign land.

But if you want to use your golden years as an opportunity to explore the world, there are some factors that any retiree should think about before picking a country or city. Access to good healthcare, a low cost of living, and a pristine environment are just a few things to consider. And most importantly of all, any country you pick has to be one where you will have minimal visa issues and can let you return to your home country quickly and easily.

1. Belize

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    DSC_0289 by mcassidy129 via Flickr

    Want to head south but don’t feel very confident in your Spanish skills? Then head to sunny Belize, an English-speaking country that is one of the most welcoming countries for retirees in the world.

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    Belize offers a Qualified Retirement Program which allows foreigners to become full-time residents of Belize providing that they can transfer $2,000 per month in income. It also offers additional incentives such as an exemption from Belizan taxes and import duties. And once you are in Belize, you can see wildlife sanctuaries, the Belize Barrier Reef, or otherwise enjoy life in pleasant Cayo with its mixture of English and Spanish culture.

    There are some downsides. While Belize offers a low cost of living, the catch is that its infrastructure is not that well-developed and the CDC does recommend that travelers to Belize should receive vaccinations for typhoid and Hepatitis A. But overall, Belize offers a new culture and land that is highly welcoming towards foreign retirees.

    2. Canada

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      Maclean Creek Kananaskis Alberta Canada by Thank you for visiting my page via Flickr

      If you don’t want to move too far away, then there is Canada. Canada’s culture is obviously similar to the United States, and it boasts the best infrastructure and healthcare out of this list. Don’t forget that like the United States, Canada is a massive country where you can see a huge variety in cultures and cities.

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      The biggest challenge with moving to Canada will be getting a visa. Canada does not offer a retirement visa, and permanent residency visas are more biased towards those who work. But if you are well-educated and have plenty of savings, then you should still be able to get a visa without significant trouble.

      3. Ireland

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        St. Anne’s Park & Rose Gardens by William Murphy via Flickr

        Given the importance of Irish culture to the United States, it would be little surprise to see that many American retirees are interested in moving back to their ancestral homeland. Ireland has the advantages of both being a European nation while not being as expensive as the major European nations. It combines urbane civilization along with the beauty of the Emerald Isle and a chance to take a short jaunt to London or Paris.

        If your grandparents emigrated from Ireland, then you can become an Irish citizen. Otherwise, you can apply for a “permission to remain” for three months and can then re-apply for longer periods of time. Like Canada, retiring to Ireland likely requires a strong savings account in order to be let in.

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        4. Thailand

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          Khao Lak Bayfront Resort by Kullez via Flickr

          Thailand is probably the biggest challenge on this list. It is a truly exotic culture where you really will need to try and learn the Thai language to get the most out of living in this Southeast Asian nation. The Huffington Post has just a few examples of some of the cultural concepts which you should understand.

          But Thailand is an incredibly cheap country that accepts expatriates from all over the world. If you want to live someplace that may feel more like home, then the city of Chiang Mai is a great location. You can meet both young foreign workers, retirees, and Thais mixed together in a city that offers a unique culture and can give you a new perspective on the world.

          5. Costa Rica

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            Parque Nacional Corcovado-121 by Christian Haugen via Flickr

            This Caribbean island is repeatedly cited by experts as one of the best places in the world to retire, and for good reason. Like Belize, Costa Rica offers a retirement program designed to attract retirees. Even a mere Social Security check can be enough to qualify for permanent residence and a chance to settle down in Costa Rica.

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            In addition to its retirement package, Costa Rica offers a rich natural heritage unmatched by any other country in the world. The country just announced that it produced all of its electricity using renewable sources for 76 straight days, and it has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean. Costa Rica is more expensive than other countries in the region, but it is still far cheaper than the Western world.

            Costa Rica may no longer be a hidden gem as over 20,000 American expatriates are enjoying life on the island. But that just shows what a fantastic spot it is.

            Featured photo credit: Hector Alejandro via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on January 2, 2019

            7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

            7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

            Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

            Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

            Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

            Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

            1. Just pick one thing

            If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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            Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

            Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

            2. Plan ahead

            To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

            Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

            Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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            3. Anticipate problems

            There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

            4. Pick a start date

            You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

            Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

            5. Go for it

            On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

            Your commitment card will say something like:

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            • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
            • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
            • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
            • I meditate daily.

            6. Accept failure

            If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

            If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

            Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

            7. Plan rewards

            Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

            Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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            Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

            Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

            Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new?

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