6 Exotic Retirement Destinations to Consider

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Figuring out the best location to retire in can be a long and arduous process. There are many factors that one must consider:

  • Where do I want to live?
  • Will my cost of living be low or high?
  • What type of climate do I want to live in?
  • Which countries are easiest to move to?

These four questions are just the tip of the iceberg of things a person who is about to retire should think about. Let's take a look at six exotic locales perfect for the retiree who wishes to live abroad.


The Swing at the End of the World in Banos, Ecuador.

Bordering the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador is located in the northern end of South America. The country is home to beautiful beaches, the Galapagos Islands, a portion of the Amazon rainforest, and even snow-capped volcanoes. Retirees can expect a low-cost of living , leading a very comfortable life, including enjoying first-world conveniences like Wi-Fi and cell phones, for $1,600-$2,200 a month per couple; some metropolitan areas have an average monthly rent of about $600. Healthcare is both low-cost and high-quality. Ecuador's climate almost perfect, with average temperatures ranging from lows of 60 degrees to highs of 75 degrees, potentially eliminating the need for cooling or heating systems in homes.


Countryside around the Côtes du Rhône village of Laudun.

While many people may associate France with only its main metropolitan hub, Paris, there are many other regions in the country that are perfect for retirement. Smaller cities like Lyon or Blois and areas in the scenic countryside are full of homes you can get for a good value or a bargain price. Public healthcare is affordable and high-quality, with costs depending on income. The country has a mostly temperate climate, but temperatures vary by region. Retirees will find the hottest temperatures in the country's southern region, cool and rainy winters and hot and dry summers in the north and central regions, and cold winters in the eastern regions.


Grand Harbour in Malta.

Located almost in the center of the Mediterranean Sea and roughly 60 miles from the island of Sicily, Malta is a lesser-known hot-spot for retirees. In Europe, the island-state is one of the more affordable places to live , with an average rent for a two-bedroom home costing around $600 a month in the Valletta area. Its healthcare is consistently tanked in the top five in the world by the World Health Organization . There is a 15% income tax rate for foreign rate and no property taxes to deal with. Travel to, from, and within the island is hassle-free; it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to travel to your desired destination on the island, Malta is easy to get to from most major European airports. Its crime rate is almost nonexistent. Malta's climate is typical of its Mediterranean location, with mild and rainy winters and hot and dry summers.

New Zealand

Aerial view of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Over 1,300 miles away from Australia sits New Zealand, a two-island nation marked by volcanoes and sharp mountain peaks. Its climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains mentioned before as well as the surrounding sea. New Zealand has relatively mild temperatures; however, the far north region can experience subtropical weather during summer, and the inland mountainous areas can be as cold as 20 degrees. The cost of living is low, with an average monthly rent of $900 per month. There is no capital gains tax. The country has high-quality public and private healthcare. And, if you live in New Zealand countinuously for at least 10 years, five of them after age 50, you are eligible for state superannuation at age 65.


The skyline of Panama City near Cinta Costera.

Boasting one of the lowest costs of living in all of Central and South America, Panama is a popular retirement destination. In the bustling Panama City, monthly rent averages $600 per month, and there are other parts of the country where you can live comfortably for around $1,000 a month. Panama has two main seasons, but will vary according to geograpohy. Its winter season is normally wet, and its summer season is typically dry; temperatures vary from 90 degrees during the day and 70 degress during the night. Healthcare is affordable and high in quality. In some cases, you can visit a clinic for as little as $2, significantly cheaper than the U.S. standard. Panama's renowned " Pensionado Program " allows retirees who have relocated to Panama to live there as long as they like as well as a fantastic discount system, with 10-50% off everything from hospitals to travel to entertainment options.


A beach in the Algarve region of Portugal.

Portugal, specifically its southernmost Algarve region, was named by the U.S. News and World Report as the best place in the world to retire in 2014. Located along the Atlantic coast, Algarve is home to about 100,000 resident expat retirees. It boasts great weather, with an amazing 3,300 hours of sunshine a year. Algarve and the rest of the southern region of Portugal experience mild winters and hot, dry summers; temperatures average around 82 degrees during the day and 68 degrees during the night. The country has a relatively low cost of living, among the lowest in Europe, and a couple could live comfortanly on as little as $1,500 per month. Portugal ranks as the 18 th safest country in the world according to Global Peace Index's annual safety ranking . And, the country makes it easy for a foreign retiree to get legal residency with their Non-Habitual Resident and Golden Visa programs.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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